4th November 2006
Is it me, or is Nancy’s hair getting even more
lopsided? I now have to watch every scene she’s in at
a 45 degree angle. Or maybe it’s just that she is
acting every scene at a 45 degree angle. Anyway, I’m
finding it very disconcerting.
Another person who has trouble standing upright is
Amy, with that Rapunzel-like ladder of hair attached
to her head. On Monday she returns to school, but when
faced with Ste’s indifference and a dressing-down from
Michaela, sets off down a destructive path. But then
is there ever any other kind in Hollyoaks?
It’s the grand re-opening of the Dog on Friday, and
when the mystery guest fails to show, Steph steps into
the breach. Jessica and Will are also waiting on
tenterhooks to see who will become the student
newspaper’s new editor. Given how little any of them
ever study, just saying “Hold the front page”
constitutes a full-time job.

21st October 2006
“You’re gonna be late for school,” Becca told Justin,
in yet another romantic encounter. Not. Having called
time on their relationship, it now seems as of she’ll
end up doing time for it.
On Monday Becca tries to convince Justin that she
wants him back, but even he isn’t that stupid and
realises she is just doing it to try to persuade him
to drop the charges. On Wednesday he is increasingly
nervous about his claims, especially when Foz rips
them apart, and on Thursday he walks out of school for
good. Nancy is also suspended after having a go at
him. Who next? Amy - if and when she has the baby? Can
anyone ever get a full education in that place?

14th October 2006
It’s taken her a long while, but finally, on Monday,
Becca decides that her relationship with Justin is
over. Angry at discovering her getting on well with
Jake, he gets drunk and she receives a call from the
school asking her to pick him up. To add insult to
injury, when she puts him to bed, he calls her Mum. He
was never going to take rejection lying down (unlike
the rest of their time together) and on Tuesday he
files a complaint against her. On Wednesday she is
arrested for having sex with a minor, and although she
is granted bail on Thursday, she now faces the
prospect of giving birth in jail.
On Tuesday Carmel discovers Mercedes’ and Jacqui’s
stash of cash and decides to spend it on a boob job.
Eh? They’ve employed someone who looks as though need
one, in a cast where everyone looks as though they’ve
already had one?

7th October 2006
“Shouldn’t you be in school?” Becca asked Justin over
breakfast on Tuesday. It’s not a question many women
get to ask their lovers of a morning, and one which
Becca does not seem keen to ask much more, as her
feelings for Justin fade. I enjoy the close-ups on his
exquisite mouth, by the way, but please could you
narrow the lens when he has the occasional spot close
by? This week, I thought a meringue had landed in my
On Tuesday Becca is feeling very pressured by
Justin’s talk of wedding plans and wonders whether she
is doing the right thing, when she discovers that
Justin paid for the engagement ring on her credit
card. When they find themselves awkwardly next to Jake
and Carmel in Il Gnosh on Wednesday, her estranged
husband gives her more food for thought.
Justin is clearly barking, and on Friday he turns
on Jake when he misinterprets a conversation between
Becca and him. “Becca’s making the biggest mistake of
her life,” said Nancy on Friday. Well, the second, if
you count the shop she chose to buy her maternity
Life in the Barnes’ household has been disrupted by
the departure of Mike, and on Monday Sarah moves out
to live with her dad. On Thursday Mike looks forward
to life settling down again, so that Amy can return to
being a kid. Not much chance of that, given that she’s
having one.

23rd September 2006
Is Becca completely nuts? She must have been to have
embarked upon an affair with Justin in the first
place, and now it seems to have completely addled her
brain. “Maybe if I talked to him like the mature,
intelligent person I know him to be,” she pondered on
Tuesday. Mature and intelligent? I’ve seen smarter
turnips. On Wednesday he’s off on one again when he
thinks that Foz is making fun of Becca. He then lashes
out at everyone, and later, suspecting that something
is going on between Becca and Foz, destroys the
latter’s mural (no great loss to the art world, mind
you). On Friday he decides to tell everyone in the bar
about Russ and Mercedes’ affair and, fuelled by
alcohol and anger, ends up getting himself arrested
after giving Kris a beating. On Friday he is contrite
enough (or deranged?) to ask Becca to marry him.

16th September 2006
Well, that was one way to shut the Lockjaw Twins up,
although personally, I think that barbecuing was too
good for them. It’s the funeral on Monday, when
Justin’s grief and anger boil over when he discovers
where Russ was when Sophie was dying. It causes
tension on Tuesday between him and Becca, who tries to
persuade him that violence is not the answer, but he
has no regrets over lashing out at Russ.
It doesn’t take long for life to get back to
normal, and on Tuesday Nancy tells Foz that she loves
him. It takes him until Thursday to tell her exactly
how he feels - let’s hope he puts a few home truths
about her dreadful choice of hair colour in there.
The secret of Gilly and Kathy’s affair is out on
Thursday, when Neville acts as a mediator to try to
save Gilly’s friendship with Rhys. Unfortunately, Rhys
ends up punching his dad, which puts yet another
strain on their relationship. I’m still not
comfortable with Rhys’s personality transplant, but
Sarah is well rid.

9th September 2006

Well, that was a KFC moment - Kentucky Fried Chicks
day in Hollyoaks, although we have to wait until
Monday to see who died. The more blondes the show
loses, the happier I am; not because I dislike blondes
per se, it will just be easier to work out who
everyone is.
You’d be hard pushed not to know who Kris is – or
what he is. Gerard McCarthy is a really terrific actor
and it’s great to see the show investing in some great
characters as opposed to the vacuous lip-glossed bores
they end up having to kill off in fires.
As everyone prepares for the funerals, a dead
person’s diary causes trouble on Thursday and causes a
rift among the students on Friday. I don’t really
care; they’re all merging into one now. A note,
therefore, for the future: mine’s a KFC with extra
fries, please.

19th August 2006
Why does the salon need more than one person working, if there are hardly any customers? Sophie spent the whole week bleating about Warren; Louise spent the whole week having a go at Warren; and Mel was sacked on her first day in Louise’s job for being drunk and gobby at the end of the day. Small wonder than nobody wants to go there.

On Monday Sophie’s patience is wearing thin, as Mel recovers from her latest bender, and on Tuesday she has to juggle her relationships between her alcoholic sister and Russ. It looks as though romance is starting to blossom between Sophie and Russ, but when they define their relationship, Mel is left feeling like a gooseberry – as opposed to looking like one, which she usually does after her benders.

Romance is also blossoming between Gilly and Sarah, and on Friday, when she tells Rhys exactly what she thinks of him, Gilly opens up to her. But does she feel the same way? There must be something in the air, because love is also on the cards for Dom and Tina, the girl with the Kwik Save checkout clothes and the Spud U Like personality.

12th August 2006
I really think Becca has a bit of a cheek. She told
Nancy that she thought Foz was “too old for you”, when
she is shacked up with a schoolboy who, as Nancy later
pointed out, is not even old enough to drink.
That’s far from the case with just about everyone
else. On Monday Dom and OB recover from a night of
drinking and start reminiscing about lost friends and
loves. On Thursday it’s the turn of Mel (again), who
spectacularly falls off the wagon following a team
drink to celebrate her new job. On Friday she has no
recollection of the previous day and loses her job.
Her sister Sophie, meanwhile, is increasingly relying
on Russ for emotional support, and on Friday this
appears to be leading somewhere. What has happened to
Russ, though? With that haircut and strange clothes,
he now looks like an escapee from Prison Break.
The good news about the Lockjaw Twins is that Mel
now appears to have grasped the art of talking with
her mouth open; Sophie has not. It might fall to Russ
to prise those lips apart. We can but hope.

5th August 2006
Jack never really gets to do much, so it was good to
see him get a storyline that required him to show some
emotion. He wasn’t too pleased to hear about Frankie’s
pregnancy and on Monday will have to deal with his
guilt when she loses the baby while undergoing
On Tuesday it is left to Steph to break the news to
her mother, but of course Frankie blames Jack who, she
says, has got exactly what he wanted.
The older characters have to make the most of what
they’re given because of the show’s heavy emphasis on
youth and beauty; so, that’s enough about them for the
moment, and in the same episode we’re quickly back to
young sex. Rhys can’t help boasting about the saucy
pictures he has of Sarah on his phone, but when they
get into Darren’s hands and Sarah realises what has
happened, she wastes no time in telling Rhys exactly
what she thinks.
On Wednesday Nancy reassures her that the split is
a good thing, and the pair head off to Foz’s party.
After taking drugs, Nancy finds herself scared and
frightened in the woods. Is this a first, though? I
imagine she is always under the influence of something
when she dyes her hair.
On Thursday Sophie finds that she can’t get Russ
out of her head. Why should she be able to? This one
half of the Lockjaw Twins can barely manage to get any
words out of her head; why should a man be any

29th July 2006
Nicole’s visit to Sam in prison on Monday leaves her
pondering the ultimatum he gives her, and on
Wednesday, during a visit from the Owens, he takes her
hostage and makes a bid for freedom. Incredibly, it
works, which doesn’t say much for prison security, and
with Sam out on the loose on Thursday, Russ is worried
for Sophie’s safety. Justin squares up to Russ for not
warning the twins about the escape sooner. He’s doing
a lot of squaring up to people these days and is very
unconvincing in doing so. One minute you’re having it
away with your teacher in the store cupboard, the next
you’re the local thug. Why can’t he just do what
normal boys of his age do and settle down to his
The question of Dom’s sexuality is answered on
Monday, when Tony confronts him and doesn’t quite get
the answer he expects. It’s not one that requires him
to keep his back to the wall, though.

22nd July 2006
As if it were not bad enough losing your wife to one of her pupils, now Jake must decide, on Monday, whether to turn himself in over the hit and run accident that killed the Valentines’ mother. On Tuesday he goes to the police station, and although Steph and Frankie blame themselves for angering him before the accident, Darren thinks that Jake deserves everything he is going to get.

On Thursday Becca offers her support to her ex, unaware that Sonny is watching, intent upon revenge. You can’t help wondering why Jake doesn’t just clear off. Becca took ages to come round to the idea of being with him, a tenth of that time to decide she was a cradle snatcher, and now he is the scourge of Hollyoaks. The only thing he has left to comfort him is that lovely kitchen, and that must be something of a blessing after the months he spent staring at Becca’s moping mug.

It’s the day of the funeral on Friday but, elsewhere, OB remains suspicious of Clare, who has gained power over Tom by trying to buy his affection. And what is Dom holding back about his love life? Tony and OB are highly suspicious.

15th July 2006
When did Rhys turn into such a horrible guy? His early
affection for Sarah was all rather sweet and, despite
a bizarre encounter with her mother, their
relationship seemed to be on course. Now, he can’t
wait to see the back of her (and as if he hadn’t
already seen enough of that when watching her
swimming). On Monday Sarah overhears him badgering
Gilly into admiring the number of fit birds (he’s such
a romantic) the world has to offer, but he changes his
mind when he spots Georgia in The Dog.
On Tuesday he is recovering from his latest night
of passion, but when Sarah declares that she wants him
back, he tells her who he was with and what he was
doing the previous night. Sarah suggests something
more casual, but on Wednesday it is clear that nobody
is convinced by the “just a bit of fun” line she is
taking on the relationship.

8th July 2006
“D’you want me to hang around?” Sophie asked Claire
this week. Well, there’s only ever one answer to that
question, and it’s not the one with three letters. As
if the Lockjaw twins were not irritating enough, now
Louise has started to speak like them. Has she been
taking elocution lessons from Mel and Sophie, or do
they all have sensitive gums and daren’t risk their
jaws over-exercising themselves?
On Tuesday Mel receives her degree results, and is
distinctly underwhelmed. Sophie, in the meantime, has
eyes for Russ, but when they agree to be just good
friends, she is left wishing that they were something
more. On Friday, however, he is distracted by thoughts
of Mercedes, and Sophie is left gutted when Russ’s
real feelings are rather brutally confirmed.
Hollyoaks is looking terrific again, and the
detracting over-stylisation has given way to a more
relaxed feel that has brought character to the fore
once more. That probably has a lot to do with the
arrival of ex-executive producer of Coronation Street
to Mersey TV – a man who understands that character is
It’s the day of Max and Clare’s wedding on Monday,
but will OB make it to the register office to stop the

1st July 2006
That old chestnut, the past, finally caught up with
Sean this week, and on Tuesday his relationship with
Louise is tested as they discuss Warren’s proposal. On
Wednesday, at the end of her tether, Louise decides to
agree to it and on Thursday goes off to meet him at a
smart hotel. Sean, distressed at what he has forced
her to do, hits the bottle, while Louise blames
Warren. She is therefore more than a little surprised
when he reveals whose idea it really was.
Sex is often used as a debt-settler in soap
(EastEnders’ Kat slept with Andy just to pay off
Alfie’s £7,000), and you can’t help wondering why they
do not do what normal people would do and take out a
bank loan. Louise, however, upon learning the truth,
decides not to go through with the act, but on
returning to Sean on Friday, will she tell him that?
Clare’s scheme is going to plan on Monday, when
Max’s money from the shop comes through, and there is
only a week to go before the wedding. The fly in the
ointment, however, is the return of OB, who quickly
starts to work his way back into their lives. On
Friday Clare frames OB by planting drugs, but will he
make it out of prison in time to stop the wedding?

17th June 2006
Tony has become a bit of a hero of mine. He’s had a
wife who beats him up, struggled to run a restaurant,
dealt with the loss of his baby – and all this while
trying to keep his hair out of his eyes at the same
On Monday he wakes with a hangover, which is
instantly made worse when he realises that Mandy has
gone. Personally, I’d be breaking open the bubbly. He
starts to question Dom, though, about why Mandy
confided in him, and when the police arrive to say
they have found a body matching Mandy’s description,
his day is about to become a lot worse. He needn’t
worry, I suspect. Every girl’s body matches Mandy
because everyone within a 50 mile radius looks exactly
the same as her.
Just when he thought things couldn’t get any worse,
on Tuesday Dom confesses to having kissed Mandy, but
it’s a stress too far for Tony, and on Wednesday he
refuses to accept his brother’s apology.

10th June 2006
What on earth is the matter with that Mandy? I don’t just mean now, following the tragic death of her baby, but always? Tony is a hard-working, loving and, let’s be honest, incredibly patient husband, yet all the woman ever seems to do is moan.

On Monday she starts to wonder whether she has married the wrong brother, but Dom tries to get her to try to make the marriage work. On Tuesday, following an impassioned speech by Tony at the support group, Dom finds her crying in her room about the marriage, and she admits that it is all over. It’s not long before Dom takes advantage of the new situation (is it ever?) and on Wednesday the couple share a kiss.

They are not the only ones at it. On Monday Liz is furious to discover that Justin has spent the night with Becca, whom he has gone to comfort following her near suicide attempt. I wouldn’t have worried; I can’t imagine she is bright enough to unscrew the lid on any bottle of pills; ignoring the instructions not to take more than eight in any 24 hours would have been an intellectual achievement of mammoth proportion. Watch those exam results rocket now that there is no more of her teaching input at the school.

3rd June 2006
“Please can we just carry on as we were,” said Becca to Jake, just after announcing that she had been having an affair. What did she expect? “Sure, love. Fancy fish fingers for tea? We could open a nice bottle of wine to celebrate.”

Naturally, Jake responded with fury and grabbed Becca’s hair, which was certainly one way of getting her to change her style.

On Monday Becca’s world starts to fall apart still more, when she is escorted off the school premises. Honestly, I worry for that girl. What on earth was she doing turning up there, anyway? On Friday it seems as if the affair might have more serious implications, when the police turn up, and on Thursday she reaches rock bottom and heads for the bathroom cabinet and a handful of pills. On Friday Justin has to enlist the help of Jake to get into the flat, but what will they find there? Fair play to Justin, though, he is sticking by her.

Talking of rocky relationships, is there anything else that Mandy and Tony can go through? Having just lost their baby daughter, on Monday there are more problems afoot, when Mandy appears to be growing a little close to Dom. It takes only until Friday for her to admit that she can no longer be with Tony, but does that leave a space for his brother to step into his shoes? I know that everyone grieves in their own way, but the whole relationship has felt like one long grieving process.

27th May 2006
The blindness which must have been affecting everyone at the school, oblivious to the fact that Becca never spoke to anyone other than Justin, is finally cured on Tuesday. Yes, the secret about the affair is finally out, when Becca is forced to confess to Jake. His reaction is to storm over to Mel and Sophie’s 21st birthday party and tell everyone. On Wednesday, despite Becca telling him that she had ended things (small comfort, to be honest), he cannot bear the thought of his wife and Justin together (you and me both, mate) and packs his bags and heads for The Dog.
  On Friday Becca has morning sickness to cope with, on top of everything else, but she does not give Justin any hope for their future. Her only concern is whether Liz has told the school. Even if she hasn’t, it’s not the kind of thing that’s going to stay quiet for very long. Anyway, when she gets the push, it won’t be any great loss to the school, as she was always so busy pursuing Justin, she never did any teaching. Anyone know what her subject is?

8th April 2006
How many more ways can this show come up with to get
people to take their clothes off? When Tony refuses to
give Olivia and Jessica their jobs back on Monday, on
Tuesday they decide to stage a naked sit-in. It’s not
long before their antics attract the attention of the
local press, and, to avoid a scandal, Tony agrees to
reinstate them. They also encourage him to strip, but
when the police arrive, the threesome are arrested for
indecent exposure. The only surprise about this is
that it doesn’t happen more often.
   It’s been hard enough believing the Jessica/Justin
relationship, and Kathy’s seduction of Rhys was even
harder to swallow. “I want you, Rhys,” she said, with
the kind of enthusiasm one reserves for biting off
heads of chickens. The threat still looms on Tuesday,
and on Wednesday, when Sarah tries to initiate sex,
Rhys has to turn her down. On Friday, however, it is
clear that he still likes her a lot.
   There is another altercation between Mel and her
mother on Monday, when Liz slaps her daughter across
the face and then throws her out of the house. Fast
losing friends, Mel turns to the ever reliable OB
again, and he agrees to let her stay in the flat, with
the proviso that they keep it from Max. Given that he
shares the flat with him, isn’t that going to be a tad

1st April 2006
“I’ve been thinking,” said Olivia, on Monday. Somehow,
I doubted it. Anyone who has such a ghastly array of
lobotomy bands in their wardrobe is no great thinker.
Thank goodness they came off for the salon opening,
reducing Olivia’s head to at least half the size.
   The salon opens for business on Monday, but owner
Sean has other things on his mind, when Louise comes
in to “talk”. Why do women always choose the most
inopportune moments to want to talk. Last week, she
wanted to have a heart to heart during the launch
night. “We slept together last night,” she wailed. So
what. Get over it.
   I’m rather excited by Sean, who is the sexiest bit
of totty in absolutely ages. Matthew J. Lewis, who
plays him, has real star quality, and, I predict, will
be a face of the future on mainstream BBC and ITV.
   With one half of the Lockjaw Twins working in the
salon, the other continues in self-destruct mode. On
Thursday, armed with her last £20, Mel heads for the
pub, where she picks up Neil and heads to a local
hotel; but all is not quite as it seems.
   On Friday, back in the SU Bar, she offers herself
to anyone who will have her. Hasn’t everyone already?

25th March 2006
What on earth is alcoholic Mel doing, taking a job at
The Loft? On Monday it becomes clear what a bad move
this is, when she starts stealing vodka. Clare decides
not to shop her to OB, but it can only be a matter of
time before her secret is out. To be honest, I’m
amazed Mel manages to get anything down her throat.
She and Sophie, the Lockjaw Twins, can barely be
bothered to open their mouths to speak, let alone eat
or drink.
   There is bad news for Becca on Wednesday, when her
father dies. Unfortunately, she is nowhere to be found
because she is with Justin. Isn’t she always. Still no
one has noticed them behaving like MI6 agents in every
school corridor, so it’s still only Mandy who knows
the truth. On Thursday she reassures Justin that she
is not about to betray Becca’s trust.
   It’s the day of the salon’s grand opening on
Friday, when Gilly volunteers as a guinea pig, just to
be near Jessica. Alas, though, his head to toe wax
does not endear him to her any more than his dreadful
hair has managed to do, and she tells him she thinks
it best if they do not meet again. The name of the
salon is Evissa, by the way. Expect more bleached
blonde babes emerging from its doors very soon.

18th March 2006
Where does Olivia buy her headgear? Lobotomy Bands R
Us? Nothing else can explain the gross monstrosities
strapped to her forehead that make her look as if she
has been bandaged up after a particularly severe
operation. On Tuesday she can’t help interfering in
Jessica’s life again, when she persuades Mark to stay
at the flat, but on Wednesday Jessica is furious when
she discovers what her friend has done.
   The Becca/Justin relationship still manages to go
completely ignored by everyone at the school, despite
the fact that the pair (a) stand right in front of the
glass in the classroom door every time they want a
snog, and (b) keep having pupils burst in on them,
forcing them to leap apart with all the force of an
electric shock. On Friday Becca is nearly caught out,
when Jake discovers her admiring a bracelet that is a
present from Justin. How long is it going to take for
the penny to drop, mate?

11th March 2006
Talk about being ungrateful. Were it not for Steph,
Cameron would have been on the scrap heap mentally and
devoid of any friends. “I’m just sure you’re not
helping,” he said, of her incessant cleaning (only to
help him), adding that he thought his words had come
out wrongly (you’re telling me).
   On Monday Steph faces the prospect of losing him to
a European tour and worryies how he will cope with OCD
when he is away; but when he tells her on Tuesday that
it is the opportunity of a lifetime, she realises she
has to let him go. On Friday, however, he confesses
that he cannot live without her. Everybody say Ahh. I
hope she tells him to get knotted (which would be very
bad indeed for someone with OCD).
   There is awful news for Jessica on Monday, when the
doctor tells Olivia and Mark that she has meningitis.
Is he sure? Personally, I think it is all those
Philosophy lectures she has been attending. Mark said
on Monday that she was in lectures “all day”. No
student is ever in lectures all day: it’s usually one
at mid-day and then the pub all afternoon. “What
lecture is she in?” he asked Olivia. “Ethics, I
think,” she replied. Bet you a fiver she can’t even
spell it.

4th March 2006
Does anyone ever have anything to think or talk about
other than sex? On Monday it’s Amy’s turn, wondering
whether she should have sex with Ste. It doesn’t take
her long to make up her mind, and on Tuesday she is
left wondering how Ste will feel about her now that
the deed has been done (He’ll dump you, love; they all
do). She quickly believes that she has made a massive
mistake, and even more so on Wednesday when the
graffiti in the toilets indicates that she has gained
a reputation as a bit of a slapper. Blimey. It doesn’t
take much, does it?
   Becca (who is a bit of a slapper) has started to
take the pill again, and on Friday sneaks off to
Justin’s, while telling Jake that she is off to a PTA
meeting. It surely can’t be long before Sarah is at it
with Rhys, too, but on Friday Kathy warns him that her
daughter must not be distracted from her swimming.
Should you be remotely interested, by the way (I’m not
– not until the boys’ heats, anyway), Sarah comes
third in the county swimming heats.
   There are even more arguments over sexual
conquests, when on Thursday Mark is determined to
discover the identity of the person who slept with
Jessica. He mistakenly identifies Rhys as the culprit
and punches him in the face, and on Friday is no
nearer to knowing the truth.

25th February 2006
Does Darlene have a fetish about corners? Why else
would she constantly be lurking around them, just so
happening to hear conversations not meant for her
ears? A couple of weeks ago, she was dismayed to
overhear Frankie talking to Craig about her alleged
vulnerability; this week she overheard Darren talking
to his father about the schoolgirl he slept with - a
fact she later used to her advantage when threatening
him. On Monday she is causing more trouble between
Darren and Craig, when the former cannot understand
why his brother is not grateful that he slept with her
- thereby exposing her for the manipulative woman she
   Their relationship does not improve on Wednesday,
when the SU bar celebrates St David’s Day (Hurray for
the Welsh!). Not only do the punters find it racist,
however (the lager with a leek in it would have been
enough to put me off), Craig broadcasts the fruits of
his webcam to the whole bar - Darren’s views on the
Welsh, students and women.
   It’s a pity Craig wasn’t around with his camera in
Louise’s office this week, when Sean turned up with a
bunch of flowers, and the pair set about wrecking the
furniture with their sexual antics. I thought this
kind of stuff was supposed to be reserved for late
night Hollyoaks shows; they would have needed an IKEA
fitter to put everything back together after they had
finished with the place. On Thursday Louise accuses
Gilly of being the college thief, although you can’t
help thinking that if she kept her mind on her job,
instead of her body on the desk, she might be a better

18th February 2006
How does Darlene keep managing to pull the wool over
everyone’s eyes? The chain of Scotch Wool Shops
doesn’t see this much of the stuff, and yet she’s at
it again, this time at the Osbornes’. Darren is fed up
with her lies, but when Darlene overhears a
conversation between him and Jack, she uses it to her
advantage when Jack asks her to leave. On Wednesday
Darren tries to get through to Craig and hatches a
plan to expose the troublemaker, but on Friday Jack
and Darren are stunned to discover that she and Craig
plan to get a flat together.
   Gilly makes the ultimate sacrifice on Friday, when
he feigns illness and foregoes the Man Utd/Man City
game to be with Jessica, who really is ill. Greater
love hath no man . . .

11th February 2006
This show is really quite remarkable in finding ever
more unusual ways for young people to get their kit
off. When Ben left, we thought we had seen the last of
the boxer shorts, but now life has moved on and some
people don’t even bother with such niceties as
   This week, Gilly decided to take his clothes off
and model for the art class, and on Wednesday Rhys is
dismayed to learn that he has decided to do it again.
His posing is cut short when the fire alarm goes off,
and Rhys takes his revenge by making off with Gilly’s
clothes. Inevitably, Gilly then bumps into his love
rival Mark in the corridor, but there is better news
for him on Thursday, when he wins tickets to the
City-United game. I’m not convinced by Jessica’s
choice of Mark over Gilly, anyway. Mark’s parents may
have money, but all the money in the world does not
seem to have been able to buy the boy a personality.
   Becca is so miserable these days, her jaw is
competing against gravity, and on Tuesday it takes
another downward lurch when she has to supervise a
sixth form trip to the theatre. This being Valentine’s
Day, Justin wants to know why she is being so distant
with him, and when she says that Mandy knows about
them, she insists that their relationship has to stop
there – well, until Wednesday, when they end up
sleeping together again. Am I missing something here?
I mean: Justin! We’re not exactly talking lovegod, and
it can’t help that she looks 35 and he looks 12.
They’re at it again on Friday. When on earth does this
woman get her marking done?

4th February 2006
Hollyoaks just can’t decide what it wants to be at the
moment. Monday’s episode began with cartoon strips
featuring the storylines of different characters,
along with dialogue bubbles coming out of their heads.
It was just too clever-clever in a show that is at its
best when it is concentrating on plot. The
inconsistency really jars, and glossiness is
increasingly being used as a smokescreen for weak
   Justin, Becca and Jake, for instance, seem to be
locked in a kind of verbal Groundhog Day, and on
Thursday there is more of it when Justin confronts her
about her feelings. It looks as though the cat might
finally be out of the bag when Mandy witnesses an
exchange between the pair, and on Friday she is
horrified to realise her worst fears. Will she be able
to keep Becca’s secret? Will she heck.

28th January 2006
Now, come on you writers; stop stealing old jokes: “If
Abi Titmuss had triplets and I was one of ‘em, I
reckon I’d be the one that was bottle fed,” said
Gilly. Everyone who has ever made that joke is dead,
probably along with the women about whose breasts they
were talking. The show is at its best when characters
talk naturalistically, and the cast are so good, you
really don’t need to over-egg the comedy dialogue –
especially by using someone else’s lines.

   Still, dialogue seems to be the least of the show’s
worries at the moment, as it tries to come to grips
with Big Issues – in particular, Cameron’s Obsessive
Compulsive Disorder. On Monday Steph prints some
information off the internet about the condition, then
bombards Cameron with print-outs, brochures and web
addresses, which all smacks of . . . er, OCD, if you
don’t mind my saying so.

   There are words aplenty on Friday, when Justin
tells Becca that his family are moving south – and she
responds by telling him she doesn’t want him to go.
What is the world coming to? A woman investigating OCD
develops OCD; now a stalking victim has turned

21st January 2006
I know that Cameron isn’t well, but to be honest, I’m
not really worried about all the stuff he is writing.
It might be the same thing, over and over, but at
least he spends time with a pen and paper, which is
more than the other students do. At this rate, he’ll
be winning the prize for Prolific Student of the Year.

On Monday he goes to the park with Steph, but
insists that everything is contaminated – which, in
Hollyoaks, it probably is.

On Friday his paranoia escalates when they go to a
medical walk-in centre and he is terrified that Steph
is going to leave him. They resolve, however, to try
to get to the root of the problem themselves.

Also on Friday, there appears to be a bit of a
spark between Mel and OB, who is nursing a broken
heart after discovering Max’s betrayal on Monday.
You’re well off without Clare, mate; great body, but
that mouth could eat you whole for breakfast and still
have room for stegosaurus and chips.

14th January 2006
Will life ever get any easier for poor old Justin?

Wrongly imprisoned, in love with his teacher, and now dealing with the fact that his mum is broke and his sister was raped - he must be pining for the days when a cell door separated him from the outside world.

Having left school, on Monday he takes a job with the Council, only to find himself working with Jake.  When Becca takes her husband's sandwich in to him, she is stunned to see Justin and encourages him to return to school.

Now, what on earth is Becca doing, taking Jake's sandwich to him in the first place? Doesn't she have enough to do putting her make-up on in the morning? Despite vowing to give Justin a hard time, on Tuesday Jake softens, when he learns about the Taylor/Burton finances, and Justin's desperation to earn some money.

On Friday Mel goes to an Alcohol Abuse Awareness Group, but, unsurprisingly, finds herself at the pub. No prizes for guessing in which venue most people are likely to be in that town.

31st December 2005
I now think that Becca has completely lost it. Having slept with Justin, on Tuesday she suggests to Jake that they have a baby (my guess is that she is already brgnant with Justin's child, which would really put the cattery among the pigeons). On Friday she breaks up a fight between Nicole and Nancy, both of whom are vying for Justin's affections, but when she tells them that no boy is worth fighting over - especially Justin - he announces that he is leaving school.
Also on Friday, OB and Max are also vying for the attentions of the opposite sex - newcomer Clare, who declares her interest in Max.

24th December 2005
It was Christmas Day yesterday, and on Monday Becca must live with the consequences of her actions after sleeping with Justin. She returns home to find Jake still asleep on the couch, which, frankly, I find hard to believe. Even after a lot of drink, you'd manage at least to get in an interactive game of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (okay, just my Christmas Day, then). Having been on the receiving end of Justin's obsession, would Becca really be so stupid as to sleep with him? On Tuesday the whole mess looks set to start all over again, when she calls the night of passion a mistake, and Justin countering that she surely knows she belongs with him.   

It's New Year's Eve on Friday, and when Nancy turns up with a drunk Justin at Becca and Jake's dinner party, Becca realises he is a ticking bomb.

17th December 2005
Nothing's ever easy in these young people's lives, is it? Steph has epilepsy, Cameron has obsessive compulsive disorder, and on Tuesday Becca is dreading the romantic Christmas Jake is planning for her. When she grabs the opportunity to invite Nancy along, Jake relaliates by inviting the rest of his clan, too.   

So much for the marzipan on the Christmas cake; there's icing, too. When Becca hears that Justin has dumped Nicole on Thursday, she goes to see him and they share a passionate embrace. Blimey. That was a short honeymoon period for Jake and Becca; come to think of it, they didn't have one at all. She is unresponsive to the sexy underwear Jake buys her on Friday (Christmas Day in the soap), so nips round again to see Justin. I suppose it could just about pass for out of school tuition.

10th December 2005
It's taken Sam a long time, but at last he has seen the light regarding serial rapist Andy. Personally, I'm not convinced he would have stayed friends with him this long, but at last, on Monday, he is keen to lay the past to rest and starts shredding photos of his ex-friend. On Tuesday it is left to Russ to tell him that the police want to interview him.   

Russ's other task is to try to win Danii back, and after a couple of hours she starts to relent. Where is Andy, though?   

You have to feel just a little bit sorry for Nicole on Thursday, when she is forced to confess that she lied to everyone about sleeping with Justin. The fact that his remains were not left on the side of her breakfast plate should have been enough for everyone to have already guessed this, but she is gutted; to make matters worse, on Friday she also loses her best friend, Nancy.

3rd December 2005
I was really sorry to see the departure of Bombhead, who went off to join his new-found father and his new wife in the circus. There was a very funny post-credits scene on Friday titled "Somewhere in Lithuania", where Bombhead was enjoying his new job - as a human cannonball. Hilarious.   

In the aftermath of his falling out and subsequent making up with Bombhead, Lee sets out on Monday to prove that he is not a fraudulent brsident. Surely that will be easier to prove than his managing to convince everyone he had the qualities to make brsident in the first place. On Wednesday he finds an e-mail in Chris's account titled "Nailed Him" and thinks he has got his man, but Chris easily explains the missive.   

I'm feeling rather sorry for Cameron, who is suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder. With him, it's cleaning; with the makers of the programme, it's blondes.

26th November 2005
We knew that there had to be a reason for the clown story, other than to expose Bombhead's fear of them. Sure enough, one of them turned out to be his long lost father, although I'm not sure that hiding a rabbit or a bouquet up your sleeve is necessarily the best way to meet up with your son after so long. On Monday they meet up properly, and George has some news - he's getting married on Friday and wants Bombhead to be there. When the big event comes around, the Registrar is confused as the ceremony descends into comedy gags and circus routines, although if he had lived in the area long enough he would surely have known that life is one long farce there. Bombhead has to decide whether he is going to go to live with his father and join the circus, and with his friendship with Lee in tatters the decision might be easier to make than he thinks.   

The date rape storyline gathers pace on Monday, with Louise determined to get to the bottom of what happened at Lee's party. When Danii starts to question Sam on Thursday, he realises that she might be getting close to the truth. The subject is an important one, and apart from the occasional heavy-handed moral message, is convincingly managed. I can't help feeling, though, that if the female students all stopped drinking so much, they wouldn't put themselves at so much risk in the first place.