THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS. THE BRITISH SOAP AWARDS AREN’T SHOWN UNTIL WEDNESDAY. IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW THE RESULTS, DON’T READ THIS ARTICLE!
It’s the night that recognises those shows which have been a constant on our screens for up to half a century; a chance for the casts of the soaps to mingle and show that there really is no rivalry (unless their name is Danny Miller, of course!), an opportunity to relive all of those precious and heartwarming moments we’ve seen with our families such as swapping dead babies, seeing a tram slaughter half a community or a fire subtly wipe out two long running residents and also a time for the teenage fans of Hollyoaks and EastEnders to set up multiple accounts in order to ensure the fittest star of their chosen show gets the recognition their pecs deserve.
A total of 17 gongs were handed out to celebrate the over-the-top carnage tearing apart fictional communities and it was a successful night for both EastEnders and Coronation Street in particular. Hollyoaks also fared well thanks to the one man saviour that is Emmet J Scanlan and Emmerdale didn’t go away empty handed either after a mostly gripping year. Even the cast of Doctors, bless them, turned up for a night out and to fill the extra seats that the caretaker on work experience accidentally left out.
So where did the prizes go? The night arguably belonged to Coronation Street which took away an impressive 9 prizes for its dramatic fiftieth year. But, despite taking away over half of the available prizes, Coronation Street was beaten to the main gong by BBC flagship soap, EastEnders, which was crowned Best Soap. Continue reading
Poor Ken. All he was trying to do was to earn a bit of money to get his little grandson Simon a decent Christmas present. By “decent,” it had to have the equivalent or greater monetary value than the present Simon is due to receive from his other granddad, George, aka Anthony Valentine from Colditz. He’s got a bob or two, has granddad George.
Ken, a man who acts like he has a superiority complex but who spends his whole futile life feeling thwarted and inferior, finds George very hard to take. Particularly as George (the father of the late Lucy The Florist) is bankrolling Ken’s alcoholic son Peter’s latest business venture – a wine bar. Ken understandably feels that this is just laying temptation in Peter’s way, and he has a point, as it seems only five minutes ago since Peter was slumped in a drunken stupor in a burning flat and had to be rescued by Tony Gordon, of all people.
So there’s Ken, looking pretty authentically ho-ho-ho in the window of one of the finest department stores in the north, and along comes adorable little grandson Simon and the aforementioned Granddad George. Simon wants to see Santa, and despite being one of the brightest children ever to grace a TV screen outside of Outnumbered, he fails to notice that Father Christmas is in fact Granddad Ken. Until Ken and George start sniping at each other about the value of gifts, whereupon Ken’s beard comes off, and a traumatised Simon wonders what granddad is doing posing as Santa.
“He’s not the real Santa,” Granddad George reassures the people still queuing, before ushering the bewildered Simon away for a soothing burger and fries. Ken is sacked, and we leave him in his Santa suit, staring at a bleak winter sky and possibly wondering why every good intention he ever has turns to rubble in his hands.
Last night’s Corrie was absolutely hilarious (excellent work as always from Jonathan Harvey and Damon Rochefort), mainly thanks to Norris Cole’s new assistant at the Kabin, Horace. These two are virtually doppelgangers – they look alike, talk alike, and even drink tea alike. “There’s two of them! This happened on a Doctor Who!” little Simon Barlow pointed out. Horace’s reaction to the world’s most charming five year old was, “It’s yobs like him that are destroying the very fabric of this country!”
Of course Norris, a man with spectacularly little self insight, is going to have no idea at all that Horace is basically a slightly exaggerated version of himself, but it won’t be long before he shows him the door. I’m only guessing, because I don’t read spoilers, but I bet the minute Rita’s feet hit British soil after her cruise, Norris will be begging her to get back behind the counter where she belongs.
When I was a mere slip of a pre-teen, I loved a man in a uniform. Not any old man in any old uniform, but – and this is going to be a bit delicate – I had something of a crush on a particular Nazi officer. I told you it was going to be delicate.
However, he was only an actor (heaven’s sakes, I’m not that old!). Anthony Valentine played Major Horst Mohn (no tittering at the back there) in the prison-escape drama series Colditz, and I thought he was lovely, with his steely gaze, shiny boots and smart uniform and supercilious sneer. Post-Colditz he went on to appear in all sorts of things, including playing suave “gentleman thief” Raffles in the mid-1970s, but frankly once he was out of that uniform I lost interest, and switched my allegiance to David Essex. Oh, the fickleness of youth.
But what fun to see Mr Valentine turning up in, of all places, Coronation Street. He’s playing Simon Barlow’s granddad. No wonder Simon is brilliant and beautiful, having Ken Barlow and Anthony Valentine as granddads. What a genetic legacy.