Anyone who is anyone in the UK British soap magazine world knows that today, the results of the Inside Soap Awards 2014 are revealed, about half a year since they were launched. I call them the Inside Soap Awards 2014, but I prefer to know them as ‘The ‘Which Soap has the most dedicated multi-voting fans awards 2014.’
Either way, it’s got me thinking (dangerous stuff, I know) about the last year in the world of soap. Here, I reflect on a year of underwater escapades, murders of beautiful young women, collapsing attic floors, rooftop death dramas, dramatic house fires and Steve McDonald.
I know, given the fact that I write here about all soaps, that I should display some degree of impartiality, but I’ll openly declare that I have mostly voted Emmerdale this year. So, that’s as good a place to start as any. It’s been a blockbuster year in Britain’s most eventful village and not a leek show in sight. Instead of village fetes and sheep shearing, we’ve seen armed sieges, rooftop plunges and Charity Macey getting slapped about the chops with her husband’s meat tenderiser. Continue reading
One of my friends is a taxi driver. I know, I know, you’re tired of hearing about the showbiz circles I mix in, but it’s entirely relevant for this post. Watching the terminally miserable looking David Morrissey’s performance as ‘sick of life’ cabbie Vince McKee was pretty much like watching my friend. Except for the bundling someone into a boot bit.
The incidences of vomit stained seats, incontinent drunks, foul mouthed abuse, shouty business conversations and uppity passengers criticising your chosen route would drive most people to a bit of road rage and Vince’s descent into being a man pushed over the edge was written and performed well, and stirred a kind of stressed but empathetic tension within me as I watched.
The setup was this: taxi driver Vince has been married for 18 years, has a teenage daughter and his life seems stuck in a rut. His job is dead end and the reappearance of an old friend who has been released from prison opens up a temptation to join a life of crime, overseen by the guy with the gun from the Alan Partridge Film. Continue reading
Last night’s Corrie double had it all didn’t it? Ongoing feuds exploding across the Street, veiled threats of prison violence, dodgy ex husbands threatening suicide whilst preparing a reunion dinner, exhaust pipes being stuffed with fruit, dog-napping by a child assisted by lesbian teens, pill popping mothers lying to GPs and, of course Gerogia May Foote dressed to the nines in a lovely blue number for the standard Weatherfield Monday night out.
The main story of the night was Todd inserting his banana into an exhaust pipe (please, do grow up) in order to cause a distraction that would allow him to sneak into the garage and steal an apple. No, you haven’t wandered into an alternate dimension; this was genuinely the basis of the main storyline from last night’s Corrie. And still, it outrated every other TV show yesterday by over a million viewers.
Let’s delve a little deeper (into the storyline, forget Todd’s banana). Todd is feeling a little put out as he is taking the flack for something which is almost entirely his fault. Wanting to lash out at Tyrone and Foghorn Fiz, he decided to leave a chilling message by nabbing the remainder of Luke’s lunch from under their noses. Continue reading
Very rarely in soap do you get what would be classed as a ‘golden couple’, that being a pair of characters that are so meant to be and have such on screen rapport and chemistry that they are clearly soulmates. With most pairings of soaps succumbing to affairs or killing each other within the year, it is a treat for viewers and fans to have that solid couple who, no matter what the writers would throw at them, their love would still remain.
Coronation Street’s Hayley and Roy Cropper and Vera and Jack Duckworth were prime examples of this. And so were the irreplaceable Jim Branning and his beloved Dorothy. As news reaches us that the fantastic actor behind the kindly and bumbling Queen Vic potman, John Bardon, has sadly passed away, I reflect on one of EastEnders’ most loved characters.
Jim ‘The Basher’ Branning entered the soap as a brash, cruel and violent character, portrayed convincingly by John, but it wasn’t long before the actor’s natural warmth meant that Jim could not always be written this way. John was an actor who conveyed the decency and humour that Jim became loved for, and it was only natural that the character’s progression would follow this. Continue reading
WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS. Please do not read further if you prefer to avoid them.
The aroma of plump sausages sizzling on the barbie, the feel of sand trickling between your toes (and the crunch of it in your sandwiches) and the blazing heat of the one solitary warm day we had are all distant memories. Our thoughts are turning from foreign holidays and ice bucket challenges to how we are going to occupy the slowly darkening evenings.
Cue the ambitious soap producer, determined to reel their temporarily errant, sun worshipping fans back in with an action packed autumn of drama. And Coronation Street and EastEnders are both really going for it this year. Continue reading
“This place doesn’t change a bit,” cooed Ken Barlow affectionately, as he disembarked from a (non-Streetcars!) taxi, cloaked in an American style white blazer, and smiling contently.
How wrong could he have been? Quite apart from the fact that the Street physically has changed due to the recent studio move, there has been a lot that has happened in his absence that Ken did not know about. By the end of Monday night’s double, he had ambled miserably and exhausted to bed without supper or wife, having finally been put in the full, sordid picture.
But while Ken ended up being unhappy with his welcome home, it was a treat for viewers who have felt something missing in the absence of Ken, the undisputed King of Coronation Street.
The scenes between Ken and Deirdre were classic Corrie, and comfortably reminiscent of their fiery relationship of yesteryear. Ken’s fury at Deirdre’s level of secret keeping and Deirdre’s devastation as the pressure she’s been under finally hit her allowed William Roache and Anne Kirkbride to do what they’ve been wanting to do for over a year; give stellar performances together once more.
Of course, Ken and Deirdre ham it up; when have the Barlows not been a tongue in cheek married couple? But Ken and Deirdre are as endeared to the British public almost as much as fish and chips and it was surprisingly comforting to see them reunited on screen. Continue reading
It’s been a distressing few weeks on Coronation Street lately. Between the hypocrite harlot that is Katy condemning Anna for a night of infidelity (yes, REALLY) the horror of whatever has happened to poor Gail’s hair recently (if only there were some hairdressers in the family), and Antony Cotton being handed a new contract (I kid, I kid…) there hasn’t been a lot to smile about recently.
Of course we have the equally traumatic events of Tina falling from a high balcony, grazing her knee and then further antagonising the man that caused her to fall. The result? Let’s just say that Rob’s temper combined with a metal bar led to blood and fake tan stains all over the cobbles.
Peter has hit the bottle again and is generally just going around being a nuisance, stressing Carla to the point of her collapsing in agony and tragically losing her baby. Being a prime suspect for Tina’s murder hasn’t helped lift her spirits much either, and spending a lot of time with mardy Michelle only exacerbates the gloom. Still, protective brother Rob is on hand to stand by her and he will do anything, ANYTHING, to help. Well, except for coming forward and admitting that he killed Tina, of course. Continue reading