4th November 2006
“You blew yer big chance; you’ll never have another
man like me,” Charlie told Maria, assuring her that he
meant everything he said in relation to leaving Tracy.
She should count herself lucky. She’d be nursing him
with pneumonia in his old age, given the lack of
clothes he hangs about in. What is his winter
wardrobe? A white vest and the usual unbuttoned
blue-checked shirt that he has now worn more often
than Emmerdale’s Jack Sugden wore his (or is it the
same one, and another bout of cost-cutting by ITV?).
Tracy is clearly up to no good tomorrow, pretending
to want Charlie back, and when she declared on Friday
“I swear here and now, I am gonna kill ‘im”, nobody
was going to be taking bets against her. On Monday she
makes a big show of their togetherness when she goes
to the salon for a manicure and hairdo from Maria, and
later she puts on an even bigger show in the Rovers;
but does Charlie smell a rat? Either that, or it’s the
stench from his unwashed shirt.
Sally’s life has returned to normal, following the
excitement of her trip to Paris. “Make sure you bleach
under the rim,” she instructed Rosie, prior to
father-in-law Bill’s visit. From the Eiffel Tower to
Domestos and lavatories, in one fell swoop. Now she
has to be content with Kevin disappearing with Bill,
who is never more than three yards away from a pint.
Tomorrow Molly is furious when she discovers that Bill
took all the lads to a lap-dancing club, but how will
Sally react when she finds out that Kevin went too?
There is more trouble for the lads on Wednesday, when
Tyrone orders a traffic warden stripper for Jack’s
birthday, in the belief that all the womenfolk are
abroad. They’re not.
Bill is causing waves all round, and with Maureen
in Germany, he takes advantage of his single status to
take Audrey to the dogs (as if there were not enough
on the Street as it is). Sneaking back for a nightcap,
he takes the opportunity to plant a passionate kiss.
Be careful, Bill: the last guy she had feelings for is
now six feet under. The one before, also, come to
that. She’s so good at seeing them off, she’s throwing
in a free funeral with every shampoo and set at the

21st October 2006
The Street’s older residents rarely get to venture
further than Manchester, so it was good to see the
Websters enjoying Paris. How they managed to find a
taxi willing to take them was astonishing in a city
notorious for its unwilling drivers; and how they
found one whose driver allowed one person to sit in
the front nothing short of a miracle. But Helen
Flanagan was astonishing and desperately moving as her
character, Rosie, bit a dramatic farewell to Craig,
who legged it to Berlin. Sally Whittaker was also
fabulous as Sally, quaffing champagne as if it were
life’s greatest experience and forgiving all to
comfort her devastated daughter.
It’s back to mundane life on the Street on Monday,
when Tracy decides to play matchmaker to Maria and
Steve. “If there’s one thing I’ve got a degree in,
it’s coppin’ off,” said Tracy this week, little
knowing that her boyfriend is getting more than a
shampoo and set from the pretty hairdresser.
Lovestruck David discovers Maria’s secret and she is
forced to emphasise their “special friendship” in a
bid to keep him quiet. Short of ripping out his tongue
and covering him with treacle, there is precious
little anyone is going to be able to do to keep David
sweet, and on Wednesday he slashes Charlie’s tyres and
smashes the windscreen of his van.
Jamie is also consumed with jealousy on Monday when
Frankie turns up in the Rovers with Danny, who has
moved back in. You can’t help feeling that if Jamie
combed his hair, his stepmum might be more interested,
and on Friday she tells him that she really is in love
with Danny, whose hair has also taken a turn for the
worse. What are they using to cut hair these days at
the salon? A combine harvester?

14th October 2006
“You look lovely,” Deirdre told Bev, when she first
saw her in her wedding dress. Well, yes: if a walking
bruise is your idea of lovely. “She looks a picture,”
she later told Fred, failing to mention exactly which
picture she had in mind.
In the end, he never got to see his bride, because
he was lying dead in Audrey’s hallway. How the
paramedics managed to shift the body in such a short
space of time was nothing short of miraculous, and on
Friday the locals gather to say goodbye to him
In the meantime, however, no one is very happy with
Audrey for her part in scuppering the big day.
Tomorrow, Rita accuses her of wanting Fred just
because somebody else had him, but on Wednesday Audrey
decides to fight back.
Sally remains oblivious to Rosie and Craig’s plans
to run away to Berlin tomorrow, when the family arrive
in Paris for their holiday. On Monday, with Kevin’s
father Bill looking after Sophie, Kevin and Sally take
time to reminisce over the past 20 years – that’s a
lot of baked beans, let’s be honest – while Rosie
writes a farewell note in the hotel room. It’s more
writing than she has ever managed to do in her entire
school career, but when it comes to the crunch she
can’t go through with the escape plan and is
devastated when Craig leaves her on the railway
There is another break-up on Wednesday, when Violet
tells Jamie that their relationship is off. Frankie
has an inkling of how he feels about her, and on
Friday he declares his feelings. It is clear that she
has feelings for him too, but to escape them she
rushes round to Danny’s and tells him she has decided
to give their relationship another go. Blimey: that
father and son certainly know how to share and share
alike. First Leanne; now Frankie. Talk about pooling
your resources.

7th October 2006
As romantic statements go, it wasn’t up there with the
best. “I thought I could do better than you,” said
Audrey, when Fred asked why she had first down his
proposal of marriage. It comes to something when you
realise that Fred is the best you are going to get,
which is what Audrey has just done. But surely, when
shaving that monstrous egg of a head in the salon this
week, she must have been struck by the horrors of what
it would be like waking up to it every morning. “Think
of what poor Beverley’s going to have to put up with,”
said Fred. Quite.
Tomorrow, Fred is still in turmoil, following
Audrey’s confession, and on Monday Audrey decides that
she cannot bear to go to the wedding. The celebrations
are shortlived, anyway, when Fred pops his clogs –
well, that’s one way of solving the dilemma – but will
Bev get him down the aisle first, or will he choose to
spend his dying moments in Audrey’s arms. If he
chooses the latter, let’s hope she’s been doing her
bicep exercises: when someone the size of Fred chooses
to go in your arms, trust me, the limbs will know
about it.
It seems that Fred is not destined to rest in peace
just yet, when on Friday Ashley and Bev disagree about
his final resting place. Ashley wants him to be
cremated; Bev wants a family burial plot (Blimey:
Manchester big enough?). Either way, he’s dead meat,
which, being something for which he lived, must be
something of a comfort for the surviving carnivores.
While everyone grieves for Fred, the Street’s young
lovers, Craig and Rosie, are looking forward to their
escape, and on Wednesday, as she laughs with her
daughter about the forthcoming family trip to Paris,
Sally remains blissfully ignorant about the couple’s
plans to disappear. On Friday, as they finish their
last day at school, the pair symbolically burn their
ties – presumably on a pyre much smaller than the one
required for Fred.

23rd September 2006
What was Matthew Kelly doing in the psychiatric ward,
chatting to Claire? Presumably it wasn’t really him
because I suspect that Matthew has not yet resorted to
taking work as an extra, but the likeness was
remarkable. Still, it’s an idea: “Tonight, Matthew, I
want to be . . . divorced from Ashley.”
At least her incarceration has given Fred and Bev
something to talk about other than their forthcoming
wedding. “ ‘ow’s Claire?” asked Bev on Monday.
“Barking,” replied Fred, ever the sensitive one.
Tomorrow Fred is in a more reflective mood as he
and Audrey contemplate how much time he has left in
Weatherfield. Audrey is anxious because she feels that
everyone around her is disappearing – something that
most people want to do anyway, following one of her
hairdos. When she returns home and discovers a
break-in, it is to Fred she turns again and on Monday
shares some more quality time with him.
Bev has plenty more to worry about on Monday when
Shelley makes a brief return with the news that she is
pregnant with Charlie’s baby. Without thinking, Bev
shares the news with Deirdre, who on Wednesday tells
Tracy. On Friday Charlie returns from his Birmingham
trip with Maria and won’t know what has hit him. “I am
the luckiest man alive,” he said on Friday – before he
knew he was going to be spending two nights in
Birmingham, presumably.
There is not much joy on the relationship front for
Frankie and Liam either, and on Monday she dumps him.
He pretends to Danny that it was he who did the
dumping, but on Wednesday Danny is pleased to discover
the truth. The girls are pleased that Liam is sticking
around, although having two bosses still has little
effect on their productivity. Who are their clients
these days? Even Mike during his Alzheimer months
managed to drum up more business than Danny and Liam
are managing to do.
It’s crunch time for Violet and Jamie too on
Friday, when she decides to take the bull by the horns
and ask Sean to try to find out whether Jamie is gay.
Disturbed by the number of texts she finds her
boyfriend has sent to him, she fears that yet another
relationship is doomed. Fear not. If he was gay, Sean
would have had him stripped, washed and delivered to
his tent long before now.

16th September 2006
Is Sean’s time as the only gay in the village coming
to an end? As Jamie’s relationship with Violet starts
to hit the rocks, Eileen becomes suspicious tomorrow
when she sees him and Sean acting like more than just
good friends. On Friday they plan a boys’ night out,
when Sean promises Violent that he will question her
lover over his strange behaviour. He succeeds in
getting him very drunk (never hard in Weatherfield),
but will Jamie spill the beans? Of course, he’s not
gay; he’s just in love with Frankie, as his annoyance
tomorrow over her growing relationship with Liam
testifies. With Danny also back from Spain tomorrow,
there is yet another love triangle in the air; and on
Monday, when Danny arrives for his first day back at
the factory to find Liam ensconced, there can only be
fireworks. At least it lays the groundwork for us to
be rid of Adam, whose hair could not have caused more
controversy had a yeti on acid moved into the street.
His hairdo is second only in vileness to his smugness,
and the idea that he even had the ability to write his
name when signing the factory contract is simply
Poor old Claire is now in hospital, and although it
must give her welcome relief from Ashley’s verbosity
(is it me, or does he form his sentences from a 36
letter alphabet? I swear there are at least a dozen
sounds I’ve never heard before), it is a sad state of
affairs. On Monday Fred sides with Ashley and tells
Claire that she is there for her own good, but Ashley
is at breaking point. Fred has other things on his
mind and on Wednesday decides to sell the pub to Liz
and Steve. This is a great move, as Beverley Callard
and Simon Gregson play two of the show’s strongest
characters. Their immaculate comic timing will
doubtless bring great entertainment to the bar, not to
mention a whole new wardrobe of skimpy tops for Liz.
Something tells me we won’t be missing Fred’s cleavage
for very long.

9th September 2006

At last, some new totty on the Street. With Danny
away, and Adam’s hair slowly devouring his head, there
has been precious little to keep a girl excited. But
with the arrival of Liam and Paul Connor, we can
breathe easy again. It looks as if they are here for a
while, too, as tomorrow they buy Adam’s share of the
factory for the knockdown price of £80,000. What,
pray, does it do to warrant a price tag of £80, let
alone £80,000? On Monday Liam wastes no time in
establishing his authority, when he tells Kelly to go
home and change her risqué outfit into something more
suitable for the workplace. Given that her entire
wardrobe consists of skirts that double as serviettes,
that might be something of a problem. On Wednesday
Liam decides to give Hayley more responsibility, but
his real motive is to grill her about Danny, his love
rival for Frankie’s affections. What is it about that
woman? I know she’s very attractive, but she comes
with more baggage than Louis Vuitton.
The attempt to give Claire more of a storyline
outside her usual “What did you do with your cleaver
today?” humdrum life with Ashley gathers pace
tomorrow, when her behaviour becomes even more
erratic. On Monday she becomes convinced that her baby
is not the one she gave birth to, and by Friday Ashley
is forced to hatch a plan to get her sectioned.
Personally, I think she’ll find it something of a
relief after living with Ashley and Fred – I say,
personally, I think she’ll find it something of a
relief. At least she won’t have to wear ear-plugs at
There are more japes from David tomorrow, when he
again claims to be suffering at the hands of bullies
at school. When Gail takes him to the headmaster on
Monday, he is backed into a corner when asked to
reveal the names of his tormentors. That will be
difficult: we have yet to see any other pupils in the
school. Self-flagellation is the closest to bullying
that David is ever going to get.

19th August 2006
You knew when Maria said to Sarah “Let’s give you a day to remember” that it would be precisely that. I was suspicious when I saw Jason smiling so much. He has never managed to show a full set of teeth before, so it was clear that whatever he was planning, it was something that was going to make him a darn sight happier than anything Sarah ever did for him.

There is more bad news for her tomorrow when she discovers that she cannot retrieve the £500 deposit Audrey gave the couple for the apartment. And to add insult to injury, a dishevelled Jason arrives back, still in his wedding suit and full of apologies. On Monday he is declaring undying love again, taking to hanging up a banner outside his house, and on Wednesday he starts putting up posters all over the Street. Surely Sarah is not going to soften in the light of these grand gestures? In fact, the miracle is that Gail does not take a pair of shears to his vital statistics. At the very least she could attack them with one of those rollers that Sarah had in her hair before the wedding. I’ve seen less threatening atom bombs. When is Maria going to learn to blow-dry and the salon stop using equipment circa 1969?

Maybe it’s just that she has other things on her mind and is too busy learning new skills with Charlie to acquire any others in her work. On Wednesday, however, she ends their affair when Tracy fills her in even more on her own passionate relationship with him. How does he have the energy to do any work on his building sites? How, also, if he missed Tracy so much, that he did not notice that she has returned from her brother’s with a fabulous new set of teeth?

12th August 2006
Has someone in the wardrobe department bought a job
lot of black vests, or are Charlie, Jason and Craig
all sharing the same one? I suspect the latter, as you
never see more than one black vest in a scene at any
one time. This week we saw it on Craig and Jason,
separately, but not Charlie, who was depressingly
overdressed again.
Thankfully, that state of affairs looks set not to
last for long when, on Monday, Maria and Charlie start
giving each other the eye at Sarah and Jason’s
wedding. On Wednesday they end up on the sofa at her
apartment and he ends up staying the night. On Friday
Maria is horrified to wake and see him sleeping next
to her. I’m in a state of shock, too – Charlie in a
bed! Most of his sex life takes place over bar
counters and on various pieces of furniture; in fact,
I’m not sure he even knows what a bed is. Anyway,
there is another surprise in store for him when Tracy
returns early from her brother’s, and the pair share a
romantic reunion (bet they don’t even make it to the
stairs). When Tracy later goes to the salon to get her
hair done (and a girl needs it after sharing a sofa
with Charlie), she enthuses to Maria about her perfect
relationship. But will jealous Maria be able to keep
her mouth shut?
The much-awaited wedding day arrives for Sarah and
Jason on Monday, with Gail and Eileen still adamant
that they won’t be attending. I’ll be surprised if
Bethany makes it in that bridesmaid’s dress, too: it
was more of a spaceship than a meringue, and given
that she has yet to speak (when can we hope for her
first words? Her 18th?), she didn’t have the
opportunity to complain about it. Will the mums have a
change of heart and make it to the registry office?
Will Jason see sense and call the whole thing off?
“He’s a bit thick, but he’s got a heart of gold,” said
Charlie, of his work colleague this week. Less of the
“bit”, Charlie.

5th August 2006
You know when things are really serious in the Barlow
household when Ken gets his glasses out. They were
barely out of his hand this week as he pondered the
contents of Mike’s real will that Danny kept secret.
Ken wanted to wait until Adam had had chance to
consult a solicitor; Blanche was all for action. “You
with principles and a terraced house; him with a
factory and a fancy flat,” she sneered.
The glasses will doubtless be putting in an
appearance again tomorrow, when Adam decides that he
is not going to accept Danny’s poor offer. On Monday
he takes drastic action and calls in the cops to
investigate Danny for conspiracy to commit theft.
Maybe he should get them to investigate himself and
David while they’re at it – for conspiracy to commit
crimes against hair-manity. Have you ever seen two
such hideous heads? I dread to think what’s nesting in
there. Small wonder we have not seen Joanne running
her hands through Adam’s locks; she could lose a
finger in there.
Everything is resolved at the factory by Friday,
when Adam accepts a 40% share of the business and
starts as joint boss. I’m presuming that means
alongside Danny, rather than head of drugs, although
where Underworld’s concerned, you can never be too
Trouble is also looming for Sarah and Jason as they
prepare for their wedding. We know this because Sarah
said “Nothing’ll stop us, will it, Jase?” this week,
which is always a sign that a whacking great roadblock
is about to hit your emotional path. On Monday Rita
lends her a brooch as her “something borrowed”, and
Audrey gives them the deposit for a house. Gail,
however, remains adamant that she will have nothing to
do with the event.
The course of true love is not running smoothly for
Rosie and Craig either on Wednesday, when the
lovebirds fall asleep in the squat. For Sally, this
really is a case of taking the biscuit – not quite
what she has in mind when she buys Rosie some welcome
home ginger creams tomorrow night.

29th July 2006
It was inevitable that once summer came, everyone
would start last year’s duck obsession all over again.
Claire was first in line yesterday when she announced
about her firstborn: “Told him I’d take him to the
park to see the duckies.” Don’t even bother to open
your eyes, mate; you’ll be seeing a lot more of them
between now and your 18th, and not just on your plate
a l’orange.
Claire has still not chosen a name for the baby,
and tomorrow, intent on proving that she is supermum,
decides to decorate the house. Although Ashley is
impressed, Fred wishes the pair would put their
energies towards choosing a name. Claire, by the way,
likes the name Dylan; Josh favours Zodan. With that
duck obsession looming its head again, don’t be
surprised if they plump for Donald.
On Monday Danny decides that Leanne is the worst
thing that has ever happened to him (Really? Even
worse than his haircut performed by a blunt knife?),
and there is more trouble to come when she hands
Blanche a mystery envelope to give to Adam. It is, of
course, the second will, and when Danny discovers that
Leanne has double crossed him, he leaves a message on
her answer machine declaring that he will kill her if
he ever sets eyes on her again. On Wednesday both Adam
and Danny meet with their solicitors, and Danny’s
suggests that his best bet would be an out of court
But what, pray, has Mike left? A factory that
produces no goods (have you noticed how none of the
machines actually works? I’ve been there; they’re not
even plugged in!); an apartment; and a wardrobe full
of undesirable golfing sweaters.
Life at the salon continues as normal – three
members of staff to every one customer – and on Monday
Jason arrives to declare undying love for Sarah,
telling her that he has booked the registry office for
two weeks’ time. Eileen and Gail are horrified by this
turn of events, and on Friday they are hellbent on
making the wedding and the couple’s future as
difficult as possible. Given Gail’s romantic
background, you would think she would just be grateful
for her daughter copping off with someone who doesn’t
need to wear a straightjacket at breakfast, but at
least the mothers are united for once.

22nd July 2006
No showers for Charlie this week, just a few more appearances in his new black vest. That might be about to change on Wednesday when he and Tracy move into the new house. All that shifting of boxes is bound to bring him out in a sweat, as do the strange noises they hear coming from inside. As he and Jason lie in wait with baseball bats, the intruder appears, and after a struggle his identity is revealed. From where do soap characters manage to get baseball bats at crucial moments? No one even plays baseball, yet at the slightest noise (the EastEnders have an ever ready supply, too), out comes the wood – and, in this case, two bits. Would Charlie, on the day of unpacking, even have got round to opening the box labelled “baseball bats” yet? Would it not be more likely that he would have grabbed the kettle?

The other hunk on the Street, Nathan, has sadly departed, leaving the way free for Danny to move in on Frankie again. Confident that he can win her round, tomorrow he gives Leanne her marching orders. Big mistake. On Monday she reveals that she has Mike’s original will, prompting Danny to break into Janice’s flat in a desperate search for it. On Wednesday, when he has done a deal with Leanne, Danny asks Frankie for a drink, and on Friday she contemplates whether to take him back. After one drink? She should settle for nothing less than a vineyard after what he’s put her through.

There are also relationship problems for Sarah and Jason tomorrow when they start to disagree over the finer details of the wedding. On Monday he tells Charlie that he does want to marry her – but not yet. On Friday Sarah decides that it’s all over between them. Precisely what the ‘it’ was they had going for them in the first place remains a mystery.

15th July 2006
No sooner did I request, last week, that Charlie take
more showers and hang around in the living room in
just a towel, than the show duly obliges. On Monday
Charlie was too much for Tracy to resist when she
caught sight of his bare chest, and there it was
again, later that night, following his sexual
encounter with Shelley in the pub. “Good things come
to those who wait,” said Charlie smugly at the end of
the night. You’re telling me. Time for yet another
shower, methinks.
Not that Tracy will be interested. Tomorrow, after
days of rowing following Shelley’s revelation, the
relationship looks decidedly rocky. But when she hears
Shelley telling Bev in the toilets that she made the
whole story up, she lets the full strength of her
wrath upon her rival. This will doubtless see a return
to the sofa, where Charlie and Tracy enjoy most of
their sexual activity – doubtless because the
mysterious stair thief of the Street has struck again
(seriously: how many people do you ever see using
There are anxious times in the Peacock household on
Monday (they use half a staircase, but you never,
ever, see anyone further than halfway up), as Ashley
awaits the arrival of Matt. Claire, meanwhile,
believes that her contractions are becoming more
frequent. About time. How long has she been pregnant?
Three years? It certainly feels that way. When Matt
arrives, will Ashley allow him to come to the rescue
and deliver the baby, or will he again decide to do
his impression of an over-ripe tomato ready to burst,
as he usually does whenever the doctor looms into
There are also domestic dramas for Frankie and
Nathan on Wednesday, when a row over milk results in
the end of the relationship. On Friday Danny wastes no
time in trying to win back his ex-wife and sends
Leanne on a shopping spree in order to make his move.
So, it’s farewell Nathan, who resigns from the garage,
leaving Kevin and Tyrone in the lurch. Oh, no: how
will they cope with the heavy workload of trying to
fix one car a month?

8th July 2006
Hooray! Charlie’s been shopping. This week he acquired
another white vest/T-shirt, and a red one too. This
means that there are even more things to put on his
back purely for the purpose of taking them off again.
When he thought burglars had broken into the flat, he
took off his jacket to put around Tracy’s shoulders –
in fact, just another excuse for showing us those
fabulous arms.
Shelley will be seeing a great deal more than his
arms on Monday, when Charlie makes sure he and Tracy
are in the same restaurant as her and Steve. When
Tracy and Steve disappear to tend a sick Amy, Charlie
and Shelley embark upon a very dangerous game, which
sees them back at the Rovers and once more in the
throes of passion. Charlie has seen more sexual action
behind the bar than he ever manages to do in his
bedroom; I’d be very careful eating any hotpot that’s
served over that counter. However, Shelley is brought
down to earth by a vengeful Charlie, and her only
recourse on Wednesday is to issue him with an
ultimatum - Buy a new long-sleeved shirt, or else?
Having expanded his T-shirt/vest drawer, he now needs
to turn his attention to the many hangers he must have
lying empty next to his one checked shirt.
On Friday Charlie tries to apologise to Shelley in
order to stop her blabbing all to Tracy, but Shelley
decides that Charlie’s girlfriend needs to know the
truth. The smile that the sentence “We’re having
laminate flooring” put on Tracy’s face on Monday (some
people are easily pleased) looks as if it is going to
be well and truly wiped off – well, only until Charlie
gets his kit off again, presumably (talking of which –
please could he take more showers and emerge with wet
hair and a towel wrapped around his waist? Once a
month is not enough).
The Street’s obsession with bread continues, with
Liz this week going to Diggory with the words ”I’d
just like a large white crusty white slice, please.”
Only Liz could utter such an innocuous sentence and
make it sound like a come-on, but such requests are
still doing nothing for Diggory’s business. On Monday,
despite Tyrone and Molly’s efforts to drum up business
for the pizza delivery service, Diggory finds himself
serving his very last customer. What on earth are the
scriptwriters going to do without being able to put
the words “loaves” and “Eccles cakes” into their
scripts from now on? I reckon that’s going to cut
their material down by at least half.

1st July 2006
Gail’s attempts to read the Prologue from The
Canterbury Tales as she started to teach David at home
were laugh-aloud funny. “I thought you said English
literature,” said the woman for whom an intellectual
exercise normally stretches to little more to plugging
the iron in. David’s smirking as she struggled through
the Middle English text was soon cut short when she
decided to enlist Ken instead – an ex-teacher who
apparently “knows the Canterbury Tales backwards.”
Given Ken’s limited grasp of even modern day English,
I find this hard to believe, but at least he showed
On Monday David is surprised to discover that he
gets on rather well with Ken, but maybe they only get
around to discussing why both of their hairdressers
leave them with so much hair at the front of their
heads, they need guide dogs to get them around. It’s
not long before the scheme falls apart, though, and
when David has to go to Ken’s for his next lesson
after Ken is forced to baby-sit Amy, he resents going
to what he feels is an old people’s home. He starts to
enjoy himself, however, when Blanche puts in an
appearance and expresses her contempt for Ken’s style
of teaching by constantly interrupting and criticising
his choice of poem.
The more I see of Jack P. Shepherd, who plays
David, the more I am convinced he is a great star.
Most child actors tail off and do not fulfil their
early promise, but he finds new skills all the time
and is a joy to watch.
On Friday his character is up to no good again,
when he tries to persuade Gail to let Craig crash on
their couch until Rosie returns from France. Having
been given just 48 hours to leave his house owing to a
legal loophole discovered by Charlie, Keith finds
himself trying to persuade his grandson to vacate
number 6, where he has barricaded himself in.
Liz and Bev try a bit of matchmaking between Steve
and Shelley on Monday, but on Friday the barmaid
decides to leave for good because she has had enough
of Charlie’s mind-games. I wonder if there is more to
it. Maybe she is fed up with nobody ordering the
“specials” at lunchtime. Every day, there is a long
list of them on the blackboard, yet still the only
thing anyone ever orders is hotpot. What happens to
the dozens of leftover dishes? Why hasn’t the Rovers
gone bankrupt, with staff buying so many ingredients
that then go to waste? Maybe it’s just that nobody
(apart from Ken, of course) can read. Or maybe the
specials are written in Middle English.

24th June 2006
What on earth was it about bread and cakes this week
that got everyone so excited? At one point there were
three women from the factory in Diggory’s shop; then
Sally came in and bought four rolls (£1.20 – is it me,
or is that a bit on on the pricey side?). Next, it was
Blanche complaining; then Steve. Over at Streetcars,
Eileen was stuffing her face. We had lingering
close-ups of rolls, and even more lingering close-ups
of Diggory’s worried face. Hang on, you thought: call
me psychic, but methinks there is something going on
here. Sure enough, on Friday Diggory admits to Molly
that he has had to get a bank loan to keep the
business afloat. Why, when he has just had the busiest
week since he opened?
It’s not a good week coming up for poor Sean,
either, and although he gets to spend tomorrow with
his dad – their first Father’s Day together for 20
years – Brian drops a bombshell that makes Sean wish
he had never begun this journey back to the past.
Antony Cotton is sensational as the gay factory
worker: one minute hilarious and delivering great
lines with exquisite comic timing, the next
desperately moving, as Brian lets Sean down once
again. There will probably be more tears on Monday,
when Sean leaves a message for his mother in an
attempt to discover what really went on all those
years ago.
Fathers are being a bit of a disappointment at the
moment, and on Moooooooooooondaaaaaaaaay
Deeeeeeeeeeeeev has another vowel attack when he
deciiiiiiiiiiides that Aaaaaaaaaaamber would be better
off living with her mother after all. This follows the
revelation that she has been stealing alcohol from the
shop and sharing it with Rosie and Craig. This follows
Sally finding Sophie drunk and sick when she too gets
her hands on the stash. Who can blame the kids? There
is precious little else to do in the Street. Don’t any
of them have homework to do? And how come Rosie is
allowed to go to school looking as if she has applied
her make-up with a ball and chain? Surely drink can
only improve her co-ordination.
There are more problems for David on Wednesday,
when he reveals to Gail that he has been playing
truant, owing to his being bullied at school. On
Thursday Gail therefore decides that she is going to
teach him from home. Now this we have to see. 9-9.30
am: iron three shirts. 9.30-10.00 am: carry newly dry
laundry to living room. 10.00 am: iron 54 blouses. An
education it will be; whether it will be one of the
right sort is another matter.

17th June 2006
What on earth was it about bread and cakes this week
that got everyone so excited? At one point there were
three women from the factory in Diggory’s shop; then
Sally came in and bought four rolls (£1.20 – is it me,
or is that a bit on on the pricey side?). Next, it was
Blanche complaining; then Steve. Over at Streetcars,
Eileen was stuffing her face. We had lingering
close-ups of rolls, and even more lingering close-ups
of Diggory’s worried face. Hang on, you thought: call
me psychic, but methinks there is something going on
here. Sure enough, on Friday Diggory admits to Molly
that he has had to get a bank loan to keep the
business afloat. Why, when he has just had the busiest
week since he opened?
It’s not a good week coming up for poor Sean,
either, and although he gets to spend tomorrow with
his dad – their first Father’s Day together for 20
years – Brian drops a bombshell that makes Sean wish
he had never begun this journey back to the past.
Antony Cotton is sensational as the gay factory
worker: one minute hilarious and delivering great
lines with exquisite comic timing, the next
desperately moving, as Brian lets Sean down once
again. There will probably be more tears on Monday,
when Sean leaves a message for his mother in an
attempt to discover what really went on all those
years ago.
Fathers are being a bit of a disappointment at the
moment, and on Moooooooooooondaaaaaaaaay
Deeeeeeeeeeeeev has another vowel attack when he
deciiiiiiiiiiides that Aaaaaaaaaaamber would be better
off living with her mother after all. This follows the
revelation that she has been stealing alcohol from the
shop and sharing it with Rosie and Craig. This follows
Sally finding Sophie drunk and sick when she too gets
her hands on the stash. Who can blame the kids? There
is precious little else to do in the Street. Don’t any
of them have homework to do? And how come Rosie is
allowed to go to school looking as if she has applied
her make-up with a ball and chain? Surely drink can
only improve her co-ordination.
There are more problems for David on Wednesday,
when he reveals to Gail that he has been playing
truant, owing to his being bullied at school. On
Thursday Gail therefore decides that she is going to
teach him from home. Now this we have to see. 9-9.30
am: iron three shirts. 9.30-10.00 am: carry newly dry
laundry to living room. 10.00 am: iron 54 blouses. An
education it will be; whether it will be one of the
right sort is another matter.

10th June 2006
How heavy was Sean’s Auntie Betty? Roughly three ounces, I reckon, given the ease with which the pall-bearers carried her coffin into the church. They could not have gone any faster had they been bearing a matchbox on their shoulders, and if ever coffin sprinting makes it into the Olympics, this lot will walk away with the medals.

Her death has given Sean the opportunity to reconcile with his father, and tomorrow he is looking forward to another meeting, this time at a pizzeria. So far, all they have in common is that they like their coffee the same way, and tomorrow it looks as if Sean is in for another disappointment as he sits watching the minutes tick by, with no sign of Brian.

On Monday he pays him another visit, and when Jamie sees Brian hiding behind the bedroom curtain, he starts to worry for his friend. It’s a big father and son week, and on Tuesday, when Jamie tells Sean what he saw, the latter thinks that his comments are fuelled by jealousy, given Jamie’s bad relationship with his own father.

There are no signs of that improving, either, especially on Wednesday when Danny accuses Leanne and Jamie of having an affair; in fact, she was just trying to pour oil on troubled waters.

In the midst of all this heavy family stuff, there has been some great comedy. Shelley’s date with the dreadful boring bus driver Simon was a riot. “Have you got a favourite bus, Shelley?” he asked, regaling her with the details of his favourite routes. “Busy-ness maketh the bus,” he philosophised, praising the popularity of different vehicles.

Shelley is not the only one having a hard time on the relationship front, and tomorrow, when Steve is released from police custody, he has to confront the scheming Ronnie, who has shopped him to save herself. To be honest, I’m not surprised she was involved in a hit and run: she can barely see over the steering-wheel, let alone beyond it to any would-be corpses lying in the road. On Monday Steve tries to make up with Lloyd for sleeping with his girlfriend, but on Wednesday there is more bad news when he is summoned to a formal hearing of the local mini-cab licensing committee, to review his suitability regarding the operation of the firm. Of course he’s unsuitable. Any one employing five drivers (Steve, Lloyd, Ronnie, Claire, Les, at the last count) with one fare per week between them is hardly Harvard Business School material. The corpse was the closest anyone had been to a Streetcars cab in months; everyone should just have been grateful for the fare, no matter how incidental and accidental it was.

June 3rd 2006
“Amber is playing miiiiiiiiiiiiiind games, because she wants to live here with meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee,” moaned Dipthong Dev on Sunday, again resisting the opportunity to let daughter Amber move in with him. “What I feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeel is complicated,” he later told Fred. Really? The only complicated thing in Dev’s life appears to be working out how many vowels he can fit into each sentence. On Monday, however, things are about to become a lot more complicated, when the reality hits home for both him and his daughter, and Amber is too scared to tell her father that she has been locked out of the house. Given the Street’s appalling security measures, surely a credit card slipping the Yale lock would be all that was needed, but no, it is left to Roy and Hayley again to rescue the youngster and track down Dev. Now, where could he be? The Rovers, or The Rovers? You’ve guessed it! The Rovers! It can surely only be a matter of time before the teenager decamps to the Croppers’, who were keen to have her all along; the mystery continues to be why Hayley shows a greater keenness to take on new children than she does a new mac.

The job lot of chewing gum in the props’ department has now found another consumer in Steve, who this week was gnashing away so much, he looked as if he was auditioning for the lead in The Lion King. On Monday Ronnie asks him to take the rap for the speeding ticket Streetcars received for the night of the hit and run; he, of course, does not know about his girlfriend’s accident, as he was in bed with Kelly at the time. On Friday, the question is whether, in order to save his own skin about the hit and run, he is prepared to lie – or whether the better option is to be skinned alive by both Lloyd and Ronnie.

I hope he comes clean; Kelly and Steve would make a wonderful pair, and Tupele Dorgu and Simon Gregson, who play them, have wonderful comic timing, accompanied by great expressions, that would open up a lot of doors in the storylines.

Look out for the fabulous Tim Healy on Monday, when he arrives to play Sean’s father, Brian. On Friday Brian confesses that he knew his son was gay from an early age. Yer don’t say.

27th May 2006
Told you, told you, told you. I said from the start that it was David sending the “Richard” cards to the rest of the family, and so it proved to be. The strange thing was, in a week when she had so much to contend with, admonishing her wayward son, that Gail still found time to do the ironing. And not just some ironing. Basket after basket of the stuff. When Audrey came round, the place looked like a Chinese laundry, with clothes hanging from every available hook and door. Gail’s pledge never to bring round any more dodgy men will have to stand; there wouldn’t be any room for them.
  David might have escaped the strong arm of the law, but the same can’t be said for Kelly, who received a suspended jail sentence for a crime she did not commit. At least she has had the good sense to walk out on Lloyd, but tomorrow he is feeling very low and asks Steve to talk to her. Big mistake. On Monday Steve has a row with Ronnie, a turn of events which leaves both him and Kelly on Wednesday poring over the ruins of their respective relationships. The inevitable happens, but on Friday the pair vow that their night of passion must remain a secret and must never happen again i.e. it will happen again, remain secret until they are caught out, and then wreck everyone’s lives in the process.
  On Wednesday, however, Ronnie has other things on her mind, after using her mobile phone while driving and colliding with a heavy object. On Friday she is stunned to see a newspaper report appealing for help in tracking down the hit and run driver of a fatal accident. Is there anyone in soap who owns a car and does not manage to kill themselves/someone else/a dog? And while we’re on the subject of cars, why does Streetcars have four drivers and only one fare per week?
  Charlie is up to more mind games on Monday, when he reveals the whereabouts of Tracy’s missing designer shoe. He is also giving Keith a hard time over an unpaid bill, and on Wednesday plans to take the matter to Keith’s landlord. But what is he really up to? On Friday, all becomes clear when his new business deal leaves Keith needing not only a new roof but a new house. Now, if Charlie has so much money to throw around, how come he hasn’t been to M & S to buy a new shirt?

8th April 2006
How on earth did Mike manage to find time to dye his
hair in the time between leaving the hospital and
arriving in Weatherfied? And how did he manage to find
a hairdresser’s open in the middle of the night – and,
more to the point, one that would not question the
fact that he was in his pyjamas? When he left the
ward, he was almost totally grey; when Ken found him,
his locks were dark brown.
   Anyway, he’s gone - and how: lying in Ken’s arms
and telling him that Deirdre planned on leaving him.
It doesn’t say much for your life if Deirdre is the
last person you think of as you go, but then naming
every woman he has ever slept with would have kept him
there at least until 2008.
   Tomorrow the paramedics arrive and confirm his
death, and so it’s over to the Rovers, where everyone
starts reminiscing about the great entrepreneur. It’s
not long before the atmosphere turns sour, as Jamie
rants at his father for having taken everything that
Mike had.
   There is a surprising twist on Monday, when Leanne
discovers a new will that leaves everything to Adam
rather than Danny. Although she reveals its contents
in a photocopy to Danny on Wednesday, she does not
tell him that she has the original, and they must wait
until the reading of the will on Friday to discover
whether anyone else is aware of the change.
   Kym Marsh’s much awaited appearance has brought
some light relief to the show, if only for the
dreadful key change she struggled with during her
audition for Vernon. First he had to suffer Liz’s
rendition of Fever, but declared: “She’s the best
we’ve had so far.” That really wasn’t saying much.
Tomorrow, Liz gets increasingly paranoid about her
lover’s relationship with his new star and follows
them to a flat to try to catch them out.
   Passion is also on Tyrone’s mind on Friday, as he
is planning a hot might with Molly. He is worried that
she will go off him when she sees him with his clothes
off (heck, he’s scary enough with them on), but Nathan
suggests that he turn the lights off. Let’s hope that
he listens to that advice.

25th March 2006
Everyone is showing great concern over Mike’s
deteriorating condition, but why does no one encourage
him to comb his hair, which hasn’t been touched since
he came back from Spain. Life gets even worse for him
on Wednesday, when he is found at Les’s house,
thinking that it belongs to Bet Gilroy. Now that
really is bad, having her come into his mind again.
There is worse to come on Friday, when he thinks that
Emily still works at the factory, and that Ernest is
still alive. Is it me, or is Ernest getting
considerably more attention now than he did when he
was alive? Maybe, locked in the past, Mike will also
remember the day that Ernest was shot, and point out
to everyone that his killer bore no resemblance
whatsoever to Ed, who recently claimed to be him.
   Jason’s head is all over the place, too. Why can’t
he make up his mind which woman – Violet or Sarah – he
really wants to be with? Tomorrow it appears he has –
again – when he asks Sarah to marry him. He doesn’t
appear on a white charger to do this, but breaks into
her house by smashing the back window. Nice. That
bodes well for the future. At first she says no, but
then accepts – although only if he will get down on
one knee and propose in front of everyone in the
   What is this obsession with knees that everyone
appears to have? Last year, it was Deirdre on both
knees, begging a favour from Mike; a couple of weeks
ago, Cilla was demanding that Les shuffle across the
cobbles on his knees to ask her back; and now Sarah.
   Charlie reveals his true colours again on Monday,
when he makes a pass at Ronnie while Steve and Tracy
are upstairs admiring Amy asleep. She, however, says
she wouldn’t touch him with a bargepole, and on
Wednesday Steve wonders why she has changed her
attitude towards the bounder.
   There are also ructions in the Platt household on
Monday, when Gail is forced to throw Phil out after he
comes close to hitting David. Jack P. Shepherd, who
plays David, just gets better and better, and we must
all raise a cheer at the outcome of the night. But is
it Phil who is sending the cards signed by Richard
Hillman? Tomorrow, Audrey receives a Mother’s Day card
bearing the killer’s signature. My money’s still on

18th March 2006
“Mike always liked to look good,” said Deirdre, as
Mike stepped out of the cab to arrive back in
Weatherfield. Er, no, he didn’t, Deirdre. He had a
horrible array of diamond patterned golfing sweaters,
hideous yellow or beige shirts, and an overcoat that
looked as if his mother had bought it for him at the
age of four, assuring him that he would “grow into it”
(he, like the rest of us, didn’t). “Are we mates?” was
the first question he asked Audrey - a dangerous one,
given his history of spreading his favours so
lucratively around Weatherfield.
   Tomorrow, Leanne and Danny discuss the implications
of Mike being so ill, but Danny is adamant that he
will never put him in a home. When Penny comes round
to look after him, he doesn’t have a clue who she is,
but as I said last week, neither do I -and this week
it got worse! Her hair looked as if it had been hit by
a low-flying insecticide, which may well get Mike
before the Alzheimer’s does.
   It is a desperately painful storyline and one that
is being sensitively handled by the show; it is also
incredibly brave to project the issue centre stage in
a popular timeslot. On Monday Mike turns up at the
factory, raging at Danny whom he thinks has stolen the
place from him, and there is worse later on when he
thinks that the presence of Leanne in his flat means
that he has had a one night stand. Inevitably, he
makes a move on her. I say inevitably, because even to
the end, it seems, Granada are determined to play out
Mike’s Lothario image. I’m just worried that if he
does, as has been reported, die in Ken’s arms, that he
might make a last ditch attempt to get into the
bedroom even then.
   On Friday Leanne shows just how evil she can be
when she takes advantage of Mike’s condition to get
him to take her on a shopping spree. Please, make her
buy something that covers up that cleavage she was
parading at breakfast on Sunday. It’s supposed to be
the day of rest, not breast. It was all Danny could do
to keep his corn flakes down.
   It looks as though Charlie may have met his match
in Tracy, when on Monday she sets a scam in motion to
persuade him to take Amy back. It involves her
pretending to be pregnant, pretending to have an
abortion, and pretending to grieve for her lost child.

Wouldn’t it just be easier just to switch boyfriends?

11th March 2006
Can anyone tell me what has happened to Penny? Has she
been swopped with an alien, or is it just a change of
make-up and hair (and voicebox, come to that)? When
Mike returns from Spain tomorrow, she is disturbed
when he doesn’t recognise her, but then who can blame
him; neither can anyone else. He also has trouble
recognising Audrey, and everyone is shocked to see how
much he has deteriorated. Audrey is particularly
affected, and on Monday starts to look at her life in
a new light and tells Maria that she has so much more
she wants to do. How do I already know that this
“more” will involve her going to the Rovers more,
rather than taking up woodwork or learning a new
   Leanne is still determined to wrest power of
attorney from Mike, but on Wednesday, when Danny and
Mike visit the solicitor, Mike is as lucid as he has
ever been (actually, to be honest, that was never very
much). Has Danny’s plan met a hiccup at the last
hurdle? On Friday Mike turns up at the factory wearing
his pyjama top under his suit jacket, although even
that is an improvement on the dreadful golfing
sweaters he is prone to wear. When the family go to
the doctor’s, they are given the awful truth – that he
has Alzheimer’s Disease.
   It has been reported in the press that he will die
in Ken’s arms, which at least is one better than dying
in Deirdre’s – or living in Deirdre’s, come to that.
   Elsewhere, there is also high drama in the
Elliott/Peacock household on Monday, when Matt’s wife
Sylvia turns up imploring Claire to allow Matt access
to Josh. Claire won’t go behind Ashley’s back, though,
which is a bit strange, as in those glasses she can
see not only behind his back but about another three
miles well into the distance.
   On Wednesday Ashley takes his frustrations out on
Claire when he refuses to attend her ante-natal
appointment, but when she is rushed to hospital with
high blood pressure on Friday, he comes to his senses
– in Ashley’s case, no great distance to travel.

4th March 2006
Danny is the only one with a real sense of perspective
over what is happening to Kevin and Sally Webster.
“They’re not exactly Donald and Ivana Trump, are
they?” he said of the pair this week. He was even more
precise at the factory, after Sally cracked under the
strain of Janice’s abuse: “You’re a seamstress, Sal.
You don’t get executive burnout.” Maybe not, but she
is suffering intensely, and not just because she has
to endure wearing that dreadful white cardigan, circa
   On Monday she snaps yet again, when she catches
Rosie and Craig kissing, and, intent on sending her
daughter to boarding school, she orders her into the
car and drives recklessly to Yorkshire. It’s a bit of
a scary trip, and all Kevin can do is listen to
Rosie’s screams as Sally completely loses it. When he
finally finds her, she is a lonely wreck kneeling on
the grass. All this because her daughter has been
having sex? I know that Sally hasn’t had much since
the car salesman had her over his desk, but everybody
needs to move on (cardigans excepted, it seems). On
Wednesday, as the family attempt to get back to normal
(fat chance), Craig wonders whether Rosie is about to
end their relationship when she says that she does not
want to lie to her mother anymore. Why not? She must
have spent her entire childhood lying to her over her
alleged enjoyment of baked beans for her tea every
   Janice’s departure also has repercussions for Les
tomorrow, when Cilla refuses to forgive him for
sleeping with her ex and tells Yana that she wants a
divorce. The whole situation was totally unbelievable,
and also a bit pointless, as Vicky Entwistle, who
plays Janice, has actually been written back into the
show. Please give her a new coat when she returns, or
at least get the pink one dry-cleaned.
   There is more trauma for Gail on Friday, when she
receives another card signed by Richard Hillman. This
time it’s a condolence card marking the anniversary of
his death, and Phil starts to worry that Gail thinks
he is the person behind it all. Why would he bother?
Just waking up next to him must be enough to freak the
poor woman.

25th February 2006
As the Street’s young people start to get a taste of
adulthood, they are turning on their parents with a
passion. Gail’s questioning of David and her concern
over drugs fell on deaf ears as he pointed out that
nicotine, coffee and alcohol were all drugs - he had
learned this in “Citizenship” in school (Is that a
replacement for needlework? I am so hopelessly out of
date). “You should see the way she throws wine down
‘er neck,” he told Craig. Down her neck? She all but
hooks herself up to the vine.
   Over at the Websters’, Rosie’s relationship with
Sally is no better, and when she returns from her
ski-ing trip tomorrow she just wants to pick up from
where she left off with Craig. When Sally tells her
that he has a new girlfriend, she dumps him, but on
Wednesday Sally is furious when Kevin tells her he has
seen the pair together.
   Why doesn’t Sally get it? Why do no parents never
seem to get it? The more you tell kids not to do
something, the more they will want to do it. On Friday
Sally is at it again, when she produces a prospectus
for a remote private girls’ school, where she
threatens to send Rosie if she does not stop seeing
her boyfriend.
   Ed continues to have an even rougher time of it
than Rosie, and tomorrow Emily tells him that she
cannot forgive him. When he realises the effect he is
having on her, he decides to leave, but will Eileen be
able to persuade him to stay? I hope so. The woman
hasn’t had a bloke in years, and it might be the only
thing that encourages her to buy a new dressing gown.
In their post-coital embrace, she looked as if she was
being swallowed whole by the Great Blue Towelling
Monster. Still, hers isn’t as bad as Rita’s, which is
a double whammy of a thing that makes her look as if
she is hiding a regiment in there (In her dreams).
With her newly coloured, bright orange hair sticking
out of the top of the monstrosity, she could have
passed for a zebra crossing pilon in drag.
   Dr Matt Ramsden turns up again on Wednesday, making
small talk (what other kind would there be?) with
Claire. On Friday he approaches her again and plays
with Joshua. I sense something coming off the rails
here - and it’s not Thomas the Tank Engine.

18th February 2006
It’s not often that Eileen Derbyshire gets much to do
in the Street, but she really came into her own this
week, as Emily struggled with the news that it was Ed
who had killed her husband. Disbelief, shock, despair,
anger, hatred – every emotion was there in a
breathtaking performance.
   There is more of it to come tomorrow, when Emily
goes to church to try to get God’s support to move on
with her life. Going to Audrey to get a new hairdo
after so many years might have been a more progressive
start, because when she gets to the church she
struggles to make it through. Has she lost her faith?
She has certainly lost faith in Eileen and on Monday
is appalled to discover that Eileen is going to give
her relationship with Ed another chance because she
feels he is genuinely remorseful.
   It’s knives out for Eileen on Friday, too, when
Deirdre gives her the cold shoulder and Ed gets a
barrage of abuse from Blanche. Given what is going on
in their house with Tracy at the moment, you’d think
they’d have more sympathy with the fallen of the
world. Having dumped Amy on her parents, tomorrow the
atmosphere is tense when she goes to visit, and on
Friday there are more problems when Deirdre is
suspended, having pushed through a planning
application for a man she snogged on a night out.
Deirdre goes for blokes with great gusto, so I’m
amazed the guy is still standing; the only thing he
should be planning is a quick escape on the first bus
out of Weatherfield. Ken might be on it too, when
Deirdre is forced to tell him about the kiss. He’ll
get over it. Buy him another sweater and he’ll be as
right as rain.
   There is a big surprise on Monday, when Fred
rescues Bev from the motorway where she has been
dumped by her latest lover. Why this encourages Fred
to propose to her is a mystery, and we can only
imagine that they put something in his tea at the
Travelling Chef on the way home – or something in
hers, because she accepted. They announce their
engagement on Wednesday, only to call it off again
when the eyebrows are so raised in the Rovers, it
looks like an invasion of low-flying caterpillars. On
Friday, however, the tables are turned again, and the
couple seem genuinely happy.

11th February 2006
Never trust a man with a Uriah Heap haircut. Also,
never trust a man who turns suddenly to God; and, most
of all, never trust a man who turns down sex when it’s
offered to him on a plate, irrespective of how large
or small that plate is.
   These were all my concerns this week, when Ed
rejected Eileen’s advances, but tomorrow, after a
passionate kiss, Ed ends up staying the night. It’s
not all plain sailing, however, and on Monday you can
add murder to the crime list of haircut, God and lack
of sexual drive. Hoping that he has a future with
Eileen, Ed decides to come clean about his past and
confesses to Emily that it was he who “accidentally”
killed Ernest while taking part in the armed robbery
that left her a widow many years ago. Accidentally? As
I recall, the gun was pointed straight at him and
   Naturally, Emily is disturbed, and on Wednesday
tells Rita and Deirdre who Ed really is. No matter how
hard she tries, she says, she cannot find it in her
heart to forgive him. But how will Eileen react when
Emily tells her? Isn’t that just Sod’s Law for poor
Eileen. You wait for years for a man to come along,
and then finally you get his kit off, only to discover
that he’s an armed robber. How much simpler life was
when the only robbery on her mind was trying to nick
Gail’s reflexologist.
   Mind you, life is not running very smoothly for him
either, and tomorrow there is another row with David
when the boy is unimpressed by Phil’s present of a
Westlife CD. Come on, they’re not that bad, are they?
Phil threatens to break David’s fingers in the same
way that David hurt Phil’s, but will Gail arrive in
time to stop her lover losing his temper? Actually,
given the damage done to David’s hair over the years,
I imagine that anything done to his fingers would seem
   It’s not a good week for relationships, and having
thrown out Tracy and the vomiting Amy on Monday, on
Friday Tracy begs him to take her back. He agrees –
but only if she comes alone, and so Tracy calls a
family meeting in the hope of them agreeing to keep
Amy while she runs back to Charlie. She’s all heart,
that girl.

4th February 2006
Why is Phil bothering with Gail? Not only does he have
the devil incarnate David to contend with, he has to
try to make Gail interested in anything other than the
pile of ironing in her living room. He took her to the
museum this week, where he quoted Shakespeare and
tried to educate her in the workings of the human
brain (I swear she was a hair’s breadth from asking
what a brain was). “It might be more interesting than
I thought,” she said, with zilch conviction.
   He would have been better off with Eileen, but it
appears she has moved on – or has she? Tomorrow she
has asked Ed round for tea, but when he doesn’t
reciprocate her advances, she gets angry and thinks
that he does not find her attractive. On Wednesday,
however, there appears to have been a turnaround, and
she tells Sean that she does not mind waiting for him
and that the relationship is going well. How long is
she going to wait, though, and which will be first:
the bus pass, or the bedroom?
   Tyrone, however, is fed up with playing the waiting
game, and after six years has finally decided that
Maria is never going to feel the way about him that he
does about her. Having cancelled the wedding, on
Sunday he is bemused when Audrey assumes it is because
Maria has gone off with another man. Are there any
left that she hasn’t gone off with? Not really; they
are now having to draft them in from the city. On
Monday she is out with a journalist, and on Friday a
lawyer takes a fancy to her. He’s there on behalf of a
client, who wants to sue the salon for a disastrous
hairdo. The miracle is that she is just the first to
do so. Rita should have sued for a cracked skull long
ago, for all the lacquered weight of that Taj Mahal
precariously balanced on her head.
   How come all these men go for Maria, anyway? True,
she’s a pretty girl, but a journalist and a lawyer in
one week? These are people with an education; Maria’s
only degree is in services to the monosyllabic world
of bedroom science. Tyrone is well out of it, although
I hope he’s cleared a big shelf in his house. I fear
he’s going to be on it for a long time.

28th January 2006
How come, if Mike is so successful and the Quays are
so great, that he lives in such a dinky flat that
would have trouble housing a dozen postage stamps? And
given that Leanne spent so much time away from
Weatherfield before her return, would she really have
been so excited, moving into said flat with Danny,
about the prospect of a sauna on the premises and a
shopping channel on the TV? She had to ring Janice
when she saw a gold necklace on it for just £13 –
which, in Janice’s world, would buy three coats, two
scarves and a terraced house.
   At least Danny and Leanne appear to be happy,
though, which is more than can be said for Gail and
Phil. Tomorrow, David continues to reject Phil’s
advances and even tells him that he slammed the car
door on his hand on purpose. Having returned from
visiting his father in Liverpool, David also tells
Gail that Martin and Robyn are having a baby.
Personally, I think I’d rather have my hand slammed in
a car door than go through that ordeal with Martin at
my side.

   David is really learning how to manipulate
situations, and it is a huge tribute to Jack P.
Shepherd, who plays him, that the skills the very
young actor displayed early on are so convincing now
he is playing a teenager. It is a rare gift
(Emmerdale’s Kelvin Fletcher has it, too), and on
Monday we see David try to twist the knife between
Audrey and Gail when his grandmother offers to help by
taking him for a burger.

    You can’t help wondering whether all this junk
food is the reason behind his hyper-behaviour. Pizza
on Sunday, a burger Monday; what’s wrong with the odd

   There are even more traumas in store on Friday,
when Sarah opens her birthday cards, only to discover
that one is signed by . . . Richard Hillman. Hmm.
Methinks I smell a David rat.

   There is a touching moment on Monday when Fred
spots an old flame when he takes Ashley to Casualty
after the latter slices his finger (no Sweeney Todd,
is our Ashley). It’s ex-fiancee Stacy/Orchid, whom he
discovers has been beaten up following another fake
wedding scam. On Friday, it is Rita who offers the
lady her compassion as a fellow victim at the hands of
a violent man. Is poor Fred about to be duped again?
And who washed Ashley’s blood off the fillet? Worse
thought: who bought it?

21st January 2006
“I offered to take you back, you ungrateful cow!” Devscreamed at Sunita, when she told him to get lost. Tobe honest, given the size of those babies, I’m amazedshe is able to say anything at all; it’s going to be along haul recovery.

Tomorrow, in her tiredness, she lets down her guardand allows Dev to hold his newborn, and on Wednesdayshe agrees that he can have them for the day. Tosecure his future, however, Dev tries to ditch hispast and tells Amber to clear off because the twinsare now his priority. Next on the scene is Davinder,who berates him for his treatment of their daughter.

I’ve forgotten how many kids Dev has. Are there asmany kids as there are shops? Whatever the number, hedoesn’t pay much attention to either, so it is good tosee him taking an interest now.

Gail might be wishing that she had not had David onMonday, when his spite towards Phil intensifies whenhe slams his mother’s lover’s hand in the car door.That’s likely to put paid to Phil’s reflexology for awhile, although I can’t help feeling that he’sslackened off in that department now that he has hisfeet firmly under Gail’s table. In Casualty, Davidfeigns concern for the hand, and on Friday decides togo to visit Martin in Liverpool.

Why on earth is Phil bothering, when there are somany free women around, not least Eileen, who isalways up for it (or would be, were she ever to getshot of sons and lodgers). Talking of her sons . . .On Monday Jason decides that it is Violet he wantsafter all (déjà vu?), and makes a shock proposal. Heeven goes around to Sarah’s and calls her a tart. Pot,kettle and black, mate. If he didn’t spend all his social hours in the Rovers, he would meet hundredsmore women and realise that he is not morally orlegally compelled to choose between these two.

Sally might also have a few words to say on thetart front on Wednesday, when Rosie tells her she ison the pill. Ever one for an over-reaction, on FridayKevin and Sally decide to report the pair’s antics tothe police. Blimey. Don’t start giving the girl ideasabout handcuffs.

14th January 2006
Already halfway through the first month of the year, and some things still haven't changed. How many more years will Hayley see in, wearing that red mac? You would think that when there is a particularly heavy frost, she might think, for just a second, "I know, I'll nip down to the M & S sale and buy myself a duffle coat", but no; there she is, just like she has always been, in her poor man's Santa mac.    

Sally doesn't change year on year, either, and on Monday she reverts to her nagging self when she discovers that Rosie and Craig have bunked off school in order to spend time together. You just can't keep those hormones down, but it's all too much for Sally, who drags her daughter off to the doctor's surgery for the morning after pill. Why doesn't Rosie just sock her one? On Friday she takes matters into her own hands when she herself goes to the doctor's to ask to be put on the contraceptive pill. What a busy week the doctor is having. I can't help feeling, though, that Sally is being a tad hypocritical. I don't remember her breaking off from her passion across the desk with that garage bloke to say "Did you remember to get something for the weekend?" Come to think of it, she didn't do that with the factory bloke (funny how they all merge into one generic "bloke" where she is concerned), either. Maybe she has a penchant for involving stationery objects in her extra-curricular activity, but all the same, when it comes to safe sex, there would be less chance of becoming pregnant taking a summer break at a sperm bank.   

Talking of pregnancy, now that Sunita has had the twins, Dev is hoping tomorrow that she will welcome him back into the fold. She, however, makes it clear that although he is the father, she does not want him around full time. This does not stop him going off to register the births on Wednesday, although given the rate at which he procreates the human race, the greatest miracle is that he can remember his own name, let alone any kids'. On Friday, when Sunita goes to register them herself, she is naturally dismayed to discover that Dev has beaten her to it.

31st December 2005
There have been many wannabe Romeo and Juliets in history, but perhaps none more scary than Craig and Rosie. Dressed in their Gothic gear, they cut the kind of figures that serial killers run away from down dark alleys, which must surely make us glad that they are sleeping with each other and not imposing their horrors on anyone else.   

Sally doesn't see it like that, and on Sunday she and Kevin continue to vent their anger over the discovery that the pair have consummated their relationship. Kevin blames Sally, who refuses to accept that it was her fault, but their fury is compounded when they discover that Audrey and Keith knew what was going on all along (try thinking about Audrey and Keith being in bed together - trust me, Sally, your thoughts will soon be diverted from your daughter). On Monday Keith is irritated by his lack of ability to control Craig, and Sally knows that she cannot keep Rosie locked up forever. Then the problems really start when Sophie demands to know what is going on, and Rosie tells her. Doubtless the questions will be a great deal more complex than those Sophie used to ask, such as "Why do we only ever have baked beans for tea?" Or: "Why, when we are sent upstairs to wash our hands before tea, do we never come back down again?"   

Also on Monday, there is the hint of more strange couplings to come, when Sean gets a bit maudlin over his desire to become a dad, and Violet comes up with a very generous offer. Please don't let it be one that involves a turkey baster; it's way too soon after Christmas - we'll all know where it's been, and worse, it will probably still be warm.    Mike's is also looking to the future on Monday, but after his evening goes disastrously wrong, Danny takes the opportunity on Wednesday to pour more poison into his ear about Penny and Adam. By Friday, the poor man is so confused, he walks into the Rovers and is convinced that Penny and Adam are Mike and Linda and are having an affair behind his back. Don't worry, Mike. I'm confused too.

24th December 2005
"Sophie - you're not walking around like a tart before your time," Sally admonished her daughter when she was trying to pad out her bra. Never mind that Rosie is currently a walking coal face, nor that she is sleeping with Craig, Sally's eye is off the ball yet again. All that looks set to change on Friday, when the Street will be celebrating New Year's Eve. With Rosie over at her boyfriend's, Sally decides to enlist Craig's help to let in the New Year, and the penny finally drops when Craig answers the door in his dressing gown. That in itself is a miracle: he hasn't been out of his black garb in months; now, it seems, he is having great trouble keeping his clothes on.    Charlie has the same problem, so it is lucky that he has teamed up with Tracy, who is in and out of more bedrooms than a Slumberland rep. Tomorrow she is none too pleased to be spending the day with Steve's mob as well as her own, and so is grateful when Charlie knocks on the door and she can introduce him as her new beau. Whether anyone will be able to keep their dinner down when she does this is another matter.   

There are lots of dirty tricks being played next week, and on Monday Danny ups the stakes in relation to his feud with Adam by telling Mike to ignore the people who are telling him he is ill. Carol, too, is up to no good and insinuates to Jamie that Frankie might have an unhealthy interest in him. The effect is simply to fuel his feelings, and on Wednesday he confesses to Mike that he has fallen for someone. Blimey. They really like to share and share alike in that family, don't they?   

Also on Wednesday, Tracy engineers a holiday to coincide with Steve and Ronnie's, knowing that Steve will be torn between his girlfriend and looking after Amy. As pawns go, that child has to be one of the most over-used on the board - not to mention the one with the fewest presents. At what point will it dawn on the Street's residents tomorrow that they have forgotten to do any Christmas shopping?

17th December 2005

The real problem in the Platt household is that Gail's children are watching too much television. First it was David, quoting a character from Little Britain (How very dare you!), and now Sarah is turning into Catherine Tate's Lauren, accusing her mother of disrespecting her. When ITV shows start quoting funny lines from the BBC's, you know their comedy department is in deep trouble.   

There are more problems for Gail tomorrow, when David continues to be rude to Phil, and on Monday, when Gail invites him to stay over Christmas, David resorts to drastic measures by breaking into Phil's flat. Come Wednesday, Phil is pouring out his troubles to Eileen and rather enjoying the solace offered by her house. You have to admit, it's rather a jolly place with Sean being there. Only Jason, who lolls around like the Grim Reaper with a hangover, threatens the harmony.   

Like the Platts, the Websters are having teen troubles, and tomorrow Rosie and Craig take their relationship into the bedroom. Big mistake. Given the amount of black make-up they both wear, the sheets are going to be dirtier than the coal scuttle. On Monday Keith and Audrey discover what the youngsters have been up to, and it is left to Keith to have a man to man chat with his grandson. As Keith appears to have spent more time handling pigs than women, I'm not optimistic. In this respect, the only advice I can see him being able to offer is that if a girl starts grunting, she's having a good time.   

The traditional Christmas tensions are also rising for Steve on Friday, when Tracy says he cannot see Amy on Christmas Day. Backed up by Ken, they head off to the Rovers to confront her. Why, by the way, do Ken and Deirdre keep interfering in their daughter's life? I know that she's living with them and they are babysitters on tap, but at this rate Tracy will be drawing her pension before they stop asking her where she's been the night before.   

There is, at least, some seasonal fever at Underworld, and the girls persuade Danny and Mike to give them the afternoon off to go for Christmas drinks (don't they always take the afternoon off?). Mike's forgetfulness, however, results in more confusion over the Christmas wages.

December 10th 2005
There was a totally unbelievable moment this week, when Liz told Deirdre that she hadn't been "you know", up for it the previous night with new boyfriend Vernon. For a start, if you've already gone off the idea after a couple of weeks, it ain't gonna work; but more significantly, the idea that Liz has moments when she is not up for it is, plainly, ridiculous. Tomorrow, she brings Vernon back to the flat, leaving Steve to play gooseberry. Still, he should count his blessings at having time away from girlfriend Ronnie. Does she have any hands, or are they just very cold and therefore permanently ensconced in her pockets?   

"He seems very genuine," Deirdre said to Liz, about Vernon. Hmm. Would you go on the recommendation of a woman who dated a bigamous tie salesman in the belief that he was a pilot?     It is a good week for love for the older generation all round, and tomorrow Audrey and Keith get it together, too. On Monday Blanche spots Audrey leaving his house and wastes no time in spreading the news. How come, though, that he was not up and about doing his paper round?   

On Wednesday it becomes clear that Bev's feelings for Fred are growing, when she is left feeling deflated when he tells Shelley that his relationship with her mother is purely platonic. It doesn't take much to please Bev. Two dinner dances in two weeks, and even Fred is starting to look attractive. I'm not sure my stomach will be able to take it when the mistletoe comes out.   

Also on Wednesday, Mike's forgetfulness starts to frustrate Danny, when a bank error turns out to be the reason behind the "missing" money. The slow, devastating effect of Alzheimer's is a heavy storyline, and it is incredibly brave of the show to tackle this heartbreaking illness. There is also some humour in it, when Mike orders Hayley back to work, having forgotten that he has recently sacked her. What next? Thinking that Deirdre is still his lover? Now that really would be too awful for words.

3rd December 2005
"I want you . . . not to jump my girlfriend," Jamie told his father this week. It's a fair enough request, I suppose, even though it was a case of shutting the stable door after the horse - in this case, stallion - had bolted. It looks as if the romance is not over, though, when tomorrow Danny and Leanne contemplate becoming an item. If I were Danny, I'd think twice about being with a woman who wears hairbands that look as if they're holding a lobotomy injury in place, but each to his own.    

On Monday the pair brazenly enter the Rovers, and it's not long before a row breaks out between them, Frankie and Jamie. On Wednesday, when Leanne makes a show of being the boss's girlfriend in the factory, it is clear that the pair have become social outcasts, and the question is how long they will be able to keep up their front. Still, I'd rather be in Leanne's shoes than Frankie's. How long does Carol intend to stay, and couldn't she put some of the money she is saving on booze in Frankie's direction? On Friday Eileen suggests that she ask both Jamie and Carol for rent; Jamie too must have a few bob, because he's still not spending his dosh on haircuts. Maybe it's all going on elocution lessons. Then again, perhaps not.   

Also on Friday, there's a shock for Sally when she visits the Seddons to complain about their wayward daughter and finds them living rather smartly. Mind you, anything upwards of a shoebox with a big toe extension would be glamorous by the Websters' standards. It transpires that they consider Sally's side to be the rough ones of the family and Sophie the bad influence on Nicolette. Wait till they see Rosie, who sends the Addams Family running for cover.   

Tracy is on the manhunt again, and on Friday Ken advises Deirdre not to react to the fact that she has slept with Charlie. It's a shame the builder doesn't pay as much attention to laying bricks as he does to bedding women.

26th November 2005
Living on the Street within such close proximity of the Rovers is not good for an alcoholic. It is specially not good when you bump into people like Eileen and helpful comments such as "Sober ain't all it's cracked up to be." Poor Carol. She only had to stumble a couple of yards before finding herself at the pub's door, where she at least managed to resist. But with everyone else having no social life other than the Rovers, she looks set to live a very lonely existence.

On Monday she might turn to drink again, when she sees Danny trying to get his feet back under the table (if he can find any room, given the number of empties that must be there). Frankie, however, looks as if she might be about to give her husband a second chance, and on Friday makes her way to his flat to tell him so. What she doesn't bargain for is finding Leanne there, who has gone to seek comfort in her former lover's arms.    

There is also romance in the air for Fred and Bev on Friday. Poor Bev. The older female members of the cast must dread those scripts landing on the mat. What choices are there on the love front? Ken, Mike or Fred. Being devoured by Fred has to be the worst option . . . I said, being devoured by Fred has to be the worst option. Life isn't much better for Liz, who is escorted to the Weatherfield Traders' Ball by Diggory. She wastes no time in looking for a better prospect, however, and soon forgets about her date.   

At least all this frivolity gives us a break from Deeeeeeev's vooooooooowel exerciiiiiiiiises, which have been gaining even greater momentum in the light of Sunita demaaaaaaaaanding a divooooooooorce. I want to know how on earth Dev managed to knock up three shop assistants in his different shops. Don't these women have shelves to stack? I'm not sure I'd want to buy anything from any of the shops now; not when you know what's been going on in the store cupboards.   

The tragic news of the week is that a fight with Nathan tomorrow leaves Ashley with a serious eye injury, and on Wednesday we learn his fate. I won't say too much, but let's just say that the word Nelson springs to mind.