Well, here we are again, time to cast a beady eye over the lathered remains of the most recent goings on. Out of the debris of crashed minibuses, Ronnie Mitchell’s coma and numerous attempts at coital endeavours from Jimmy and Nicola in Emmerdale, I’ve passed my judgements. Being that my opinions count for everything, here is the official (not really) lowdown of what’s set soapland on fire and what’s left it in the January cold…
What I’ve LOVED
We all love a good spoiler or two and I was sitting at a recent Coronation Street press event rubbing my hands together with glee as the episode previews rolled but as you watch the drama unfold live, you end up feeling pretty empty when everything that has been promised will happen comes to pass. On one hand, you’re pleased that the soap producers haven’t lied to you. That’s always nice. On the other, though, you’re hoping to be caught off guard with a curveball that you weren’t expecting. So thank heavens for recent Emmerdale (and to a large extent, EastEnders too) for throwing in viewer surprises into their episodes and keeping the buzz of live soap viewing alive. Rachel Breckle rocking up to the trial of Charity and getting her sent down was a stroke of genius, especially as Emma Atkins had gone to the effort of concealing her pregnancy so no one knew she’d be going on maternity leave. Now there’s dedication to the secret. Then came the revelation that baby Archie is in fact a fake (he would’ve gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for those pesky Spencers) and Megan’s subsequent snatching of the fraud baby. Next week, the surprises keep coming in the form of an exploding caravan, a shock exit and some really delicious stuff that I’m sworn to secrecy over. Keep it up Emmerdale!
WARNING: This article contains spoilers which some readers may wish to avoid
It may be the last series of Waterloo Road (sob!) but there is going to be no let up in drama as the hit school based drama heads to its climax in coming weeks. In Monday’s episode, we see former shrinking violet turned outgoing fake tan-aholic Bonnie take centre stage as her desperate bid for attention backfires spectacularly. Continue reading
I didn’t for a moment expect that this would be something I’d have to write anytime soon; like the rest of the UK and the fans of Coronation Street worldwide, I remain reeling with shock and despair at the passing of Anne Kirkbride after the news broke yesterday evening.
Anne, renowned for creating and portraying one of Coronation Street’s most endearing, iconic and popular characters of all time, has passed away at the young age of 60, after a short illness. Her final, now poignant appearance was in October 2014, when she took a 3 month break. We all expected to see Deirdre back sometime soon; how awful then that the unthinkable is now the case: we will never see Deirdre Barlow on Coronation Street again. Continue reading
It’s a big year ahead for Coronation Street and I was lucky enough to get a massive insight into what’s afoot when I was invited to a press screening of upcoming storylines as well as a chance to meet some of the up and coming as well as established Corrie stars.
As well as chatting to the various cast members about what is to come for their alter egos, I was also able to have an extended conversation with the man behind it all, Stuart Blackburn and, judging by what he says, 2015 could well be Corrie’s year. Be warned, there are SPOILERS aplenty.
Await no further, here’s a full transcript of what he had to say:
Tell us about the bus crash…
2014 was an action packed year for Corrie and early 2015 is focused on a spectacular crash. It isn’t just a stunt for stunt’s sake, let’s get that out of the way, it’s a turning point for a lot of characters. Everyone involved in filming these dramatic episodes is very proud of the end results.
You’ll be forgiven for missing it as ITV did hardly any promotion whatsoever (snort!) but a little known drama called Broadchurch returned to our screens last night; picking up the story where we left off. The sleepy seaside settlement had been rocked by the revelation that Joe Miller had killed young Danny Latimer after the investigations of DS Hardy and Joe’s own wife, Ellie, outed him and prompted him to confess. Continue reading
We all like a drink at New Year and it’s been a particularly rocky new year in Walford (or a normal one by EastEnders standards) so we can’t really blame any of the Albert Square residents for getting a little bit sloshed but Denise took it a wee bit too far this evening. Yep, the Vic is often home to people making a bit of a spectacle of themselves (we’re looking at you Sonia ‘Gastric Band’ Fowler) and it was Denise’s turn today.
Having had a face off with Kim about the bruises on Patrick’s arms, Denise sought solace in the bottom of a bottle and wasted no time in lashing out at all and sundry before falling unceremoniously from her stool. This sobering moment gave Denise a bit of a wake up call and sent her back home with her drunken tail between her legs but one thing was sure; something needed to change where Patrick’s care was concerned. Denise cannot go on like this; but where will this leave everyone’s favourite Trueman?
The main action in Walford however was in Dexter’s exit. Naw, just kidding, it was the car crash obviously but we’ll cover Dexter’s departure first and he pulled off something I never thought possible in his final appearance; he was actually somewhat likeable. He spent his last few moments not thinking of himself; which is largely what he has done during his entire infuriating Walford tenure, but reuniting dying Stan with Cora. Cora was considering joining Dexter in Newcastle (given my close proximity to the Toon, I’m a tad worried at how close Dex will be to me) but we know that her stony but slightly soft centred heart lies with Stanny Boy.
They were united with a mix-CD (modern!) at the subway station and went back to Walford to face their uncertain but tender looking, if only short term, future.
EastEnders’ New Year special had more twists and turns than a giant’s intestine as Ronnie and Charlie’s wedding day spiralled shockingly out of control; spelling death, destruction and more red herrings than Morrisons’ fish counter.
Ronnie was getting married and, for some inexplicable reason, was so desperate to see the back of Nasty Nick that she stole 100k from Phil and handed all of the cash over to Walford’s least trustworthy resident. Quite how Ronnie assumed Phil wouldn’t notice such a substantial dip in finances was never really addressed but when the truth did dawn on Mr Potato Head, all hell broke loose.
Ronnie had tied the knot with Charlie boy, watched by guests such as Sharon Watts, Billy ‘spare part’ Mitchell and Mrs Doyle. She got somewhat distracted when she saw Nick lurking about (seriously, this is a guy who is better at lurking around corners and behind doors than Sideshow Bob from The Simpsons. I half expected him to stand on a rake) which proved the point that paying him to go away was never really going to work.
Ruthless Ronnie may have slammed a car boot down on a two bit criminal last New Year, but Nasty Nick, Albert Square’s most notorious villain, is a different kettle of fish altogether. This is a chap who has no qualms about poisoning his mother, blowing up a cafe or faking his own death; a few words of warning from a blonde in a wedding dress won’t see him off. Still, Phil can be quite scary, so when Nick overheard Ronnie giving Phillip permission to kill Nick, he sprung into action. As cutting the brakes of Mark Fowler’s motorcycle all those years back had worked out so well for Nick (his son, Ashley ended up being killed), Nick sliced the brakes of Ronnie’s wedding car before swooping off into the shadows.
It’s been a massive year in Emmerdale with errant lumps of Jimmy sperm leading to surprise births, have a go heroes drowning after being blasted with flare guns and Kerry having a shot at being a novelist and we have gasped, laughed and watched in awe all along the way.
But, as well as being entertained, it’s important that we learn lessons too. So what can we take from Emmerdale’s wacky 2014 that will help us survive life in 2015? 20 lessons I have learned that will change all our lives for ever; here they are:
1) If you are going to donate sperm next year at any point (it’s certainly on my to do list) try and remember that you have done it and ensure that you inform your better half. These things have a habit of coming back and biting you on the ankles.
2) Never hire Kerry as a ghost writer. If Zoella had done this, her debut novel wouldn’t have just beaten 50 Shades of Grey, it would have emulated it too. Look no further than the adventures of Kitty and Randy for proof.
MORE: Exclusive extracts from Kerry’s novel about Kitty and Randy
3) Cougars will always turn psychotic and dress up in your next bride’s wedding dress. Bear this in mind when you’re taking lessons from the older woman next door, particularly if she owns a beauty salon and likes a swig of whisky.
4) Trying to steal pigs is a bad idea. The likelihood of you bringing home the bacon successfully is low.
5) If your husband’s infant daughter is grieving over the death of her mother, the best approach probably isn’t to throw selfish strops and get drunk on wine behind the wheel. This makes you seem a bit like a…well, a complete bitch actually.
Well what a soap year 2014 has been. EastEnders pushed its brand new Carter clan to the forefront of every storyline imaginable, culminating in a cracking Christmas crescendo while Emmerdale was at its whacky best with lakeside showdowns, suicidal cops and storage container kidnappings aplenty. Meanwhile, Corrie welcomed Ken Barlow and Kevin Webster back to the fold and triumphed with the storyline of Steve’s depression; but has been depressingly lacklustre elsewhere.
In a year where we’ve had explosions, suicides, donated sperm, secret children, identity theft, chaotic weddings, ill advised smooches, murderous looking sheep, irate Irish prisoners, devastating scars that look more like papercuts, long running (and I mean VERY long running) murder mysteries, face swapping returnees, pig thefts, schizophrenia, farming mishaps, horrific rapes, drug dramas and Norris learning to use a tablet, it is difficult to compile a list of highlights.
Nothing stops me, however, so here we go: a month by month reminder of the good, the bad and sheer nutty of 12 months in Walford, Weatherfield and the Dales. Enjoy and here’s to the next twelve months. Click below to get reading!
Akin to over indulging in turkey, chocolates, Christmas pud and that ninth unnecessary glass of Baileys, Christmas Day is a time of an exhausting deluge of soaps. In exchange for making us sit through three whole hours of it (and if you’re a Downton Abbey fan, you’ll have been nursing square eyes on Boxing Day), we are assured that the episodes will be worth it by delivering epic festive drama, warmth, disaster and surprises by the bucket load.
If we’re going to be giving up our precious Christmas evenings (hey, I’m a busy man, I got a drinking game of Jenga as a gift) then the soaps should be pulling out all of the stops. It is an annual tradition that soaps pull out their big guns on the 25th December after all but this year has given us a bit of a mixed bag with my usual favourite Coronation Street falling disastrously flat while EastEnders lived up to it’s huge trailers and beyond, leaving me tired with so many family twists exploding out of the woodwork. Let’s take a closer (and, bitchier) look at what the three main shows had to offer…
Emmerdale: Bernice sleeps with Santa and Katie’s wedding ring calls her the village bike
In an unusual tradition for Emmerdale, a couple had chosen to get married on Christmas Day (it was a whole year since this had happened), well and truly stealing Jesus’ thunder. It was Andy ‘wife beater’ Sugden and Katie ‘village bike’ Addyman’s second attempt at this whole matrimony thing and, much like last time, Andy’s spiteful brother Robert was an unwelcome spectre over proceedings albeit with a different face.
The siblings had been scrapping on their parent’s graves with one of them dressed as Geri Halliwell the previous night (keep it classy lads) so it was fair to say that relations between them weren’t exactly great on the day of the wedding. However, Robert’s bit of rough, Aaron, was on hand to give his part time nemesis and part time lover some words of advice that his ongoing venomous attitude is affecting his lil sister Victoria and so he offered full apologies to be taken back under Andy’s bulging bicep of a wing again.