Tag Archives: katherine kelly

HIM: The lad with no name

james-murray-fionn-whitehead-katherine-kelly-himHIM is a “domestic horror drama,” for those who like their genres mixed.

HE is, at first sight, your average antisocial, slightly messed up, weed-smoking teenager, forever staring at his phone or shut away with his headphones on. I’m going to have to refer to HIM as HE, because for some reason the writer (Paula Milne) has decided not to give HIM a name. This makes interactions with HIS family somewhat tricky – have you ever heard a parent give a kid a good telling off without mentioning their name at least once?

The set up is that HE (Fionn Whitehead, who is excellent) is the son of divorced parents (James Murray and Katherine Kelly), who have both moved on, found new partners and produced new children. HE has found HIMself pushed out, particularly by HIS father (nobody plays an arrogant twonk quite as beautifully as James Murray, and he’s a surgeon in this one – Holby City casting people, please make a note), whose house is full of studio-produced photographs of his “new” family – a wife who would rather ignore the fact that her husband has another family, plus their son and twins on the way.  Continue reading


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Coronation Street: Becky leaves in style

The traditional ways to leave Weatherfield (apart from being murdered by Tony Gordon or John Stape) are by taxi or Weatherfield Hopper, that curious little bus that only appears when someone needs it and has a driver who is happy to wait as long as you want while you have an argument or tearful goodbye with a loved one.

I doubt whether anyone ever in the history of Coronation Street has uttered their final lines on the show while drinking champagne in the first class section of a flight to Barbados. But that’s exactly the way Becky McDonald (Katherine Kelly) left the show last night, and it was brilliant.

Since her early appearances as a chain smoking, back stabbing petty criminal in 2006, Becky has morphed into one of the most loved characters in the show. I’ve not always been a fan of her tendency to go over the top (eg the drunken hysteria of her wedding to “Stevie” and the way she used to convey passion for the poor lad by applying herself to the front of him like the alien creature sticking itself to John Hurt’s face in Alien), but she’s always been quirky, vulnerable, feisty, loveable and infuriating in equal measure. Her relationship with the Croppers, no strangers to quirkiness themselves, has formed one of the most touching and convincing “families” ever seen on a soap, and I had a huge lump in my throat when she kissed them goodbye in last night’s episode.  Continue reading

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Coronation Street: The old home town looks the same. Apart from…

Liz McDonald has been away in Spain for ages. Since well before Christmas. She arrived back in the Street this week with a particularly unpleasant hairdo, but otherwise looking all perky and refreshed, and looking forward to catching up with all her friends and relatives, as you do.

Rather than the happy homecoming she expected, it’s been more like stumbling into The Stepford Wives or Invasion of the Bodysnatchers. Things in Weatherfield are most definitely not how they used to be.

The most obvious thing to most people would be that a tram has crashed into the street, necessitating a total rebuild of those Weatherfield institutions, The Corner Shop and The Kabin. Liz, however, is a family woman first and foremost, and is most keen to see her granddaughter, Our Amy, and ply her with straw donkeys and inflammable Spanish leisurewear. Shock number one: Our Amy has moved! Not very far, mind. She’s only the other side of the wall at the Barlows, with (shock number two!) her mum, Tracy. That’s Tracy Barlow, convicted murderer but released on a technicality (the technicality being that Weatherfield was short of a villain, with Tony Gordon gone. There’s only so much evil that Owen the Builder can manage in a half-hour episode).

Shock number three is that Tracy is working behind the bar at the Rovers. “My two favourite women behind the same bar!” beamed Deirdre, oblivious to the fact that Liz hates Tracy and the feeling is bound to be mutual because Tracy hates almost everybody.

The fourth shock is that Steve and Becky seem quite relaxed about this state of affairs. This is because of something which Liz doesn’t know yet, which will come as the biggest shock of all – Steve and Becky can’t defy Tracy, because if they do, Tracy will tell the authorities that Steve and Becky bought Becky’s nephew Our Little Maxie from Becky’s sister with cold, hard cash. Frankly this was a complete waste of money anyway because they hardly ever see him, what with him being stored in some secret annexe of the Rovers for most of the time.

Another thing Liz doesn’t know is about Becky looting the cash to pay for Our Little Maxie from Dev and Sunita’s safe, while Sunita lay wounded in the rubble of the shop following the tram crash (it doesn’t sound very good when you put it like that, does it?). Liz almost found out about this when she experienced shock number five: the previously sunny Sunita was definitely a bit frosty to Liz when she went to buy Jammy Dodgers. It’s not because Sunita disapproves of the jam-filled treats, it’s because she disapproves of the entire McDonald family these days.

Shock number six is that Becky’s sister, Kylie, is now engaged to David Platt. Liz is right to be totally outraged by this one – it is truly one of the most implausible and contrived storylines ever to besmirch the cobbles of Coronation Street.

Poor Liz. No wonder it’s all got her reaching for the Silk Cut. She’s going to need a holiday after all this lot.

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Coronation Street: I’m emigrating for the next 31 weeks

My very topmost favourite character on Coronation Street is Steve McDonald. I love his lugubrious, hyper-mobile face, and I love his banter with Eileen and Lloyd and Liz and Dev. I love the way he can be a right exasperating twat and the next minute he’s being so lovely you just want to give him a playful punch to the shoulder and yell, “Oh, you!” at him.

So why is it that the poor man is so often the centre of the most annoying storyline running at any given time? It’s the company he keeps, that’s what, and more specifically the women he gets involved with. For what felt like years Steve was living with the character known as Michelle Connor, a character so miserable and life-sapping that you could see your television screen turning monochrome every time she was on. When Steve finally dumped her and took up with the Street’s resident fruit basket Becky Grainger, I was throwing my Percy Sugden-era cap in the air and shouting “Huzzah!” Steve and Becky together? What enormous fun that’s going to be!

Except… Not. Things started badly with the wedding Becky was too drunk to complete. Then we had her being framed for possessing drugs and arrested by cartoon-evil cop Hooch (even his name was a cartoon name). Since Christmas, we’ve known that Becky is pregnant, but have had to put up with weeks of her and Steve squabbling and being horrible because he wanted kids and she didn’t and blah blah blah.

Now he knows she’s pregnant, he’s thrilled, she’s coming round to the idea of being thrilled, and you’d think we could finally settle down and relax a bit. Except I can’t help thinking that the scriptwriters are going to try and drag every last ounce of comedy/pathos/drama out of Becky’s pregnancy, because she’s currently their star performer (a position previously occupied by the aforementioned Monochrome Michelle). And I don’t think I can stand the histrionics. “I’m nine weeks gone!” she informed Steve yesterday. Holy crap. That means another 31 weeks to go.

Posted by PLA          (see all Coronation Street and Emmerdale posts)

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Coronation Street: Peace and goodwill to all starts early in the Street

Eddie Windass loves Christmas, and he likes to get his house (and neighbouring houses, if they’re not careful) all festooned with fairy lights as early as possible. Even though it’s still November, chez Windass is already looking like Blackpool Illuminations, with an accompanying naff carol soundtrack. How have the neighbours reacted? Well, typically Sally has been a bit sourfaced about the noise,  which amusingly could be heard in every house. But everybody else stopped to look at the glittering spectacle and sigh a happy, festive sigh.

Molly and Kevin had a few festive sighs to sigh on Friday. The first one was of relief, when they weren’t caught in flagrante by Sophie. The second was a sigh of happy anticipation from Molly, as Kevin asked her how she would feel about dumping the Dobbs and becoming a Webster. Imagine growing old with Kevin, and fondly stroking his plentiful chest hair as it turns from blackish to silver to white. Happy times.

Claire doesn’t have any friends, she’s realised. That’s because she’s hideously dull. She decided to try the time-honoured evening class route, where like-minded people can be discovered via the medium of karate, or plate spinning, or whatever. As well as this, she’s discovered another loner in the school playground – Becky McDonald, ostracised due to her habit of having a crafty fag while waiting for the school bell to ring. Becky now finds herself with a small, annoying cling-on (as if having to walk Amy home wasn’t tedious enough).

Theresa was barred from the Rovers. I can’t imagine that this is the first time it’s happened, though looking back I couldn’t put my finger on any specific occasions. This time it was because she was out-bitching Liz McDonald and waving her trophy boyfriend, Lloyd (I know, but there’s not much choice in the Street if you can resist Dev) in Liz’s face. Liz was a model of restraint for not lamping her one right there.

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