Of course not. The start of the Christine Mulgrew Era, despite the loss of Cockney Lorraine and her ever-changing dress codes and the loss of Michael Byrne and his miserable face, was as mad as a box of frogs.
Carol Barry, unhappy that elder daughter Dynasty has plumped for a life of book learnin’ and domestic bliss with junior mobile app magnate Kevin Chalk, phoned up a fictional version of Jeremy Kyle to volunteer to air the Barry laundry on daytime TV. I can’t help thinking that if only Dynasty had mentioned the Chalk App Millions, Carol would have been rather more well disposed towards young Kevin and would have been off sourcing a fascinator from a store with lightish security in preparation for the wedding.
Barry Barry, ever one for a money-making opportunity himself, laid on a mini bus to take half the school to join the audience of ‘Noble Thoughts.’ We’ll leave the issue of the TV studio’s lax door policy to one side (teachers just bobbing in and out practically at will) and focus on the show itself, which would have had Ofcom in uproar and the Daily Mail self-combusting. Kevin thought he was there to help Dynasty confront her issues with her mother, but the show was angled at him being a nasty little family-wrecker, and just to underline how dreadful he was, they’d dredged up his own horrible mother to tell everyone what a monster he really was. The point of this was to make Carol look like a paragon of maternal virtue, which she succeeded in doing stylishly by punching Kevin’s mother on stage. Kevin was embraced into the Barry family bosom and was invited for tea. Everyone bonded around a feast of Generic Fried Chicken.
You’d think Christine would have had an easy day of it back at Waterloo Road, what with the majority of her speaking pupils going AWOL for the day to the TV studio. But she had to contend with Nikki Boston being all snippy and undermining and Imogen’s mother taking exception to an alcoholic firestarter being in charge of the school and Imogen still seeing Connor. Naturally Imogen’s mother was not thrilled to learn that her daughter was now Mrs Mulgrew Jr, either. Angus Deayton properly arrived, as in he’s now in the opening title sequence. He’s gloriously offensive to everyone and has a high-maintenance Chinese wife. He put his name on the door of Grantly’s classroom, which he’s currently using. This made Verruca Salt and Harley have a meltdown because they revere Grantly and don’t want him to die.
Maggie the Dinnerlady doesn’t want him to die either, but the doctor said it was time to unplug him. Tom Clarkson tried not to heave a sigh of relief at the prospect that he could keep both his kidneys, and instead concentrated on looking tearful at the bedside (in what was actually a very sad scene). But then – a miracle! Grantly started breathing unaided. Maggie’s prayers might have been answered after all, but Tom’s grip on his second kidney is suddenly looking more shaky.
Next time: Kyle Stack.
Posted by PLA (More Waterloo Road here)