Friday, 31 January 2014

Sneak Preview for Canadian Corrie for Feb. 3 - 7

Without further ado here is a brief sneak preview of what you'll see on  next week's Corrie in Canada.

It's a tragic week for Coronation Street: Hayley dies and everyone is devastated. Sally's lost her watch and it seems that Maddie has nicked it. Will Sophie get it back? Chesney gets a new roomie, and then more than he bargained for. Gloria and Dennis prepare for another gig. How does Rita feel about it? Nick and Leanne may have reached the end of the road.

For more details and photos, visit the Moosejaw Mercury at

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Fab Photo Friday - Hayley's Hen night

(This post was originally posted by Sunny Jim
on the Coronation Street Blog in January 2014, reposted with permission.)

It's Friday again so it's time for this week's fab Coronation Street photo. There's really only one character that we can feature this week, so here she, Mrs Hayley Cropper celebrating her hen night.

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Thursday, 30 January 2014

Coronation Street Chit-Chat: Corrie news catch-up January 2014

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog January 2014, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Here we go with Coronation Street chit-chat, a catch-up of some of the shorter news stories that haven't made it into their own blog post. 

And so, here we go.

Current Corrie cast 
Kym Marsh (Michelle Connor)granted divorce from Jamie Lomas.
Catherine Tyldesley (Eva Price) goes on holiday to St. Vincent
Charlie Condou (Marcus Dent) talks about leaving the soap
Malcolm Hebden (Norris Cole) brings smile to staff and patients in hospital on Christmas Day.

Ex Corrie cast
Stephanie Cole (Sylvia Goodwin) stars in new stage play
Matthew Marsden (Chris Collins) says he's got no regrets about leaving Corrie for Hollywood.
Sacha Parkinson (Sian Powers) films new drama in Manchester.
Julia Haworth (Claire Peacock) gives acting lessons to students
Kevin Kennedy (Curly Watts) to open a dry bar for recovering alcoholics

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Exclusive! Interview with Susie Forrester, Hayley's Humanist Minister

(This post was originally posted by Ruth Owen on the Coronation Street Blog in January 2013.)

As a lifelong Coronation Street fan it was a real joy to hear that my good friend Kate Rutter had succeeded in her audition for the part of Susie, the humanist minister, who will preside over Hayley’s funeral.

Susie first appeared on our screens on Friday 3rd January, when she walked into the cafĂ© to see Hayley. She introduced herself, and we know from previous comments Hayley has made, that she finds Susie ‘really nice’ and indeed, so she seemed on her first appearance. Susie, of course, will be on screen again for what many are saying will be the most upsetting, convincing and heartbreaking event the soap world has ever seen.  Kate is particularly delighted to have been offered the part of a character who is closely linked with a story of such power and drama, affecting almost all of the characters on the cobbles.

Kate has great admiration for the work of Julie Hesmondhalgh and David Nielsen, as Hayley and Roy respectively. She admires the history of Roy and Hayley’s relationship and adds that both are hard workers, determined to get it right, and are also very warm, welcoming people. In fact, on the topic of being warm and welcoming, Kate was welcomed by all the cast members she came in contact with. It was very interesting to hear that Kate Ford aka Tracy Barlow, is a very warm, witty and kind person, which, of course, means that Kate Ford is a cracking actress.

On the set of Coronation Street, Kate says there is a genuine sense of loss; partly because Hayley is dying but also because Julie is leaving. In discussion about the future of Roy in Coronation Street we speculated as to whether the writers might pair Roy with someone else, and that if they do, they had better not do it too soon after Hayley’s death. We also surmised that Fiz and Tyrone will do all they can for Roy. So many of the characters will feel bereft and her cheerful, positive, no nonsense, heartwarming kindness will be hugely missed.  

Kate will of course lead the service for Hayley’s funeral and  said that it was marvellous to be able to play her part to a whole cast. With the possible exception of Tracy Barlow, who, when it was discovered that Hayley was in fact, a transsexual person, who used to be Harold, had nothing but spite, disgust, hatred and scorn to throw at her. No loss for Hayley if Tracy doesn’t turn up, but I have a hunch that she just might.

Kate was full of admiration for the ‘well-oiled’ machine that is at the heart of the smooth running of our favourite soap. Crew, producers, directors, makeup, wardrobe and cast members - all are very well organised and there is a real efficiency about the whole business. Simultaneously there are often three teams filming all with their own crew, director and producer. The sense of ultra efficiency and excellent organization is inescapable, Kate explains.

Kate herself has been an actor for many years. She left her home city of Leeds to train as an actor at Rose Bruford Drama School in Sidcup, Kent and has played many roles since then on stage, in television and in films. In The Full Monty, 1997, Kate played the part of the dole clerk who asked Horse, ’Have you been seeking work in the last fortnight? Have you done any work, paid or unpaid in the last fortnight?’ To these questions Horse replies, no. Kate’s character then looks at him, over the top of her glasses and says, ‘That’s not what I’ve heard.’ It’s a delightful piece of acting.

Kate also appeared in the film Oranges and Sunshine along with Emily Watson. Kate played the part of Vera Wilson, a woman whose child was sent to Australia with many others. Kate’s most recent television work was as Doctor Miriam Stubbs in BBC Scotland’s soap River City.

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Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Coronation Street set tours to go ahead in 2014

I've been there and done that, but I'm going to do it again.

It's been confirmed by the Manchester Evening News that the tours of the old Coronation Street Set on Quay Street, Manchester are going ahead for 6 months this year, starting in April and ending in October.

The new owners of the site are  planning to do it as a group tour through the studios and the outside set where they will walk groups of punters through Corrie history, let them have a look at a few of the famous sets, the green room and even a few dressing rooms before letting the tourists loose on the cobbles themselves. There may be a gift shop and a cafe. It all sounds pretty good, to me!

It will be branded "Old Granada Studios" and looks to be opened in April though there is no word on entrance fees and hours yet. I'm going to be in Manchester in early April so I really hope it's open by then! I've been to the set a few times but one last chance is calling my name and if it's available, I'm not passing it by!

You can see photos of my past adventures on the cobbles and of a few local Corrie events here.

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Todd and Marcus - Yay or Nay?

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog January 2014, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Todd's set his sights on Marcus, but is Marcus' relationship with Maria strong enough for Marcus to deny Todd's obvious, if somewhat oily charms? 

Could these two get together? Should they get together? What do you think, Coronation Street fans - Todd and Marcus - Yay or Nay?

I say Yay, only because Marcus and Maria have never worked for me.

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Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Mighty Afro-Dite

(This post was originally posted by Scott Willison on the Coronation Street Blog in January 2014, reposted with permission.)

Coronation Street is a world of diversity, a world where black live alongside white, gay with straight, Norris with normal humanoids.  It's a world where people love and accept people who look and act in all sorts of peculiar ways - I'll just point at Mary and back away slowly.

Why, then, is only one afro ever allowed on the Street at a time?

The afro is the mightiest of all hairstyles.  It is proud, defiant; it is quite literally headstrong.  Think of the greatest wearers of the afro.  Diana Ross.  Pam Grier.  Lionel Richie.  Michael Jackson.  These people are legends.  It's the Official Hairstyle of Blaxploitation and Motown, an expression of political might and social awareness.  It's damn fine, you dig?

The first person in Corrie to properly wield an afro with pride was Kelly Crabtree.  (Curly's girlfriend Shirley had a semi-fro, but it was the eighties: everyone had big hair then).  Kelly was short of skirt and big of hair, huge, voluminous locks bursting out of the top of her head.  It acted as an early warning system - beware the mighty mouth approaching.  One glimpse of those stacked curls over the back of a Rovers booth and you knew a noisy time was going to follow.

Kelly left, and was replaced with that girl who was a stripper and who bunked up with Lloyd.  She was completely forgettable.  I can't remember her name even as I sit here.  All I can remember is she had a fierce ball of incredible black hair that radiated from her head like a darkened sun.  It was far and away the most interesting thing about her, and I was sorry to see it leave.

Fortunately, Coronation Street's one and only afro comb was passed on to Kirsty.  This was the first hint that an afro could be a useful mood indicator.  If Kirsty was wearing her hair out, letting it bounce round her head in a free and easy fashion, she was cool and relaxed.  If the hair was pulled back however, pinched into a tiny bun, it was a signal that madness was soon to follow.  Tyrone might have saved himself a lot of bother if he'd just hidden her kirby grips: it was probably the stress of keeping that awesome weave under control that drove Kirsty mad in the first place.  Of course, Natalie Gumede then went on to wield her afro to devastating effect on Strictly.  I was beside myself the week that she fell ill and therefore couldn't perform to Proud Mary, perhaps one of the finest hair shaking songs ever written.  And yes, she was robbed by Abbey Clancey.

Now Jenna's here to uphold the afro tradition, though in the grand tradition of ladies who like ladies, her hair is a little shorter and more sensible than her predecessors.  Unfortunately her job in Roy's Rolls means that her mop of black pride is sadly kept under wraps for health and safety grounds; it's none the less always a pleasure when she turns up in the Rovers with it happily bouncing around her ears.  All these women have been strong, gutsy, fierce - well, all of them except that girl who went off with her ex-husband in the end (Sharon?  Susan?  It'll come to me).  I think Jenna should break out the afro more often, and perhaps influence other members of the Street to follow her example.  Just imagine if Gail emerged from the salon with hair a foot high and a foot wide; I'm sure you'd agree, that would be a joy to behold.

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Video: The Coronation Street set through the years

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog January 2014, reposted to this blog with permission.)

This is a wonderful video from Official Media City and ITV to commemorate the move of the Coronation Street set from Quay Street in central Manchester to Media City.

There are scenes from the show's history showing the Street being knocked down, built up, deaths, slaps and all manner of other brilliant, wonderful stuff.  It's most definitely worth a look.

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Monday, 27 January 2014

Hayley Tamaddon gets six months Corrie contract

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog January 2014, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Hayley Tamaddon, who plays Coronation Street newcomer Andrea, has been given a six month contract to stay on the show, reports The Sun (via Digital Spy).

Hayley's character has also been given a surname, always a good sign that a character's going to stay.  She's Andrea Beckett.

Any thoughts on Andrea so far, Corrie fans? 

I've found myself shouting at her, going "it's none of your business!" when she's been caught in between Steve and Michelle's bedroom shenanigans.  I do hope she gets together with Lloyd though, not Steve.

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Corrie Canada Weekly awards for Jan. 20 - 24

Foot in mouth: Beth talking about Hayley's sewing machine and her not coming back. And she was gobby to Julie who's suffering, post-breakup. Not quite the most tactful, is she?

Pants on Fire: Peter lied about meeting the client but Carla caught him squarely in the lie. So his solution? Pile on another one about being tempted to drink.

Subtle award: Steve dancing on air thinking Michelle might be pregger.

Mr. Doubtfire award: David was doing the ironing!

Fashion Ooh: I loved Beth's feather earrings!

Hypocrite award: Michelle. She's the one that doesn't want a baby. Why shouldn't she be the one to have herself sorted?

Tit for Tat award (pun intended). Steve decided if Michelle can ban him from nookie, he can ban her, too.

Desperate Measures award: Roy will move hell and high water to get strawberries for Hayley and she probably doesn't even want them anymore. When he couldn't get them, he went off the rails. 

Ooh er Missus award: Sean does love a foreign tongue!

Just my type, then, award: Eileen described Tony as a lying, cheating, ratbag. Just Liz's sort of fella, I believe.

I need new pants award: Carla figures there must be a bloke behind Tina's exit. She's sitting right beside him and didn't Peter squirm!

Job search Fail award:
Beth has been looking for work in a bar. Liz just lost a barmaid. Um, why wouldn't Beth have made a beeline for the Rovers?

Lines of the week:
Beth about Hayley's machine "If you had your way, we'd have it cordoned off and all have to cross ourselves when we pass it!" (snork)
Andrea about Liz "She's funny your mum. I hope I'm as sprightly at her age" (and Liz had that coming)
Liz "Blokes and ultimatums never mix"
Andrea "Snip of the tongue!" Steve "I hate you allllll!!!!!"
Tina "So you're saing it's over" Peter "Honestly? It never even began" (first true thing he's said)
Audrey to Gail "You have been known to occasionally over season"
Steve "It's vasecto-me, not vasecto-you"
Roy "I was wondering when sarcasm might rear its ugly head"
Michelle "You know as much about the Cold War as a bag of chips..." Steve: "I think you'll find that's the cod war" (LOL)
Julie "Fractured ribs heal. Can broken hearts truly mend?"
Audrey "Who does she think she is? Lady GoGo" Maria "Ga Ga" Audrey "You're not kidding"
Lloyd "So basically, you're both refusing to have nookie with each other. You might as well be married!"

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Sunday, 26 January 2014

Coronation Street and Julie Hesmondhalgh win at National TV Awards

copyright @itvcorrie via twitter
Woohoo!  Coronation Street has won the award for Best Serial Drama at this year's National Television Awards.

Serial Drama, is of course the posh name for Soap.

The awards were held tonight, Wednesday January 22nd 2014 in London.

Corrie producer Stuart Blackburn led a host of cast members onto the stage to collect the award.   

David Neilson (Roy Cropper) spoke first and said: "Thank you so much to everyone who voted, to everyone who didn't vote. The reaction to shows like ours and Emmerdale, Eastenders and Hollyoaks is that they create a feeling of community and occasionally you get a huge reaction from a story and you realise how important these shows are because when people laugh together, cry together you get community and this show is made by - we're the front of it, but -fantastic crew, the funniest people in the world but also the people who are the most professional and know when to give you a bit of quiet and know when it's serious and also the hallmark of this show, just wonderful, wonderful writing. And we're led by Stuart Blackburn who has been very brave in going for some very, very tough stories."

Stuart Blackburn followed up by saying: "Thank you so much for this. It's 53 years old this show. I'd like to thank everyone who's been in it, everyone's who in it, everyone who will be in it. It's come this after a fantastic year, so thank you the audience for voting. Thank you, everyone"

Well done to Coronation Street for this very well deserved award!

Julie Hesmondhalgh wins Serial Drama Performance at National TV Awards
copyright @itvcorrie via twitter
Julie Hesmondhalgh who plays played Hayley Cropper in Coronation Street, has won the award for Serial Drama Performance at this year's National Television Awards.

The awards were held tonight, Wednesday January 22nd 2014 in London.

Well done to Julie for a very well deserved award!

In accepting her speech Julie dragged David Neilson on stage with her.  "There ain't no Roy without Hayley. There ain't no Hayley without Roy.  Thank you so much to our Corrie family. You know how I feel about you all. I love and miss you. Thank you everyone, for everything."

Julie thanked the Samaritans for their support with the Hayley storyline. She also thanked cancer charities especially Pancreatic Cancer UK and Maggie Watts for the petition.  She thanked three men in her life - her late father, her husband TV writer Ian Kershaw and Corrie co-actor David Neilson for the last 16 years working on the soap.   

David said: "We all love and miss Julie so much but no more than me.  She stands there and looks at me and says "Dave, you've got a bogey!"

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Sunday Comments - January 26

Peter's preoccupied all right and Tina's avoiding him and he doesn't want her to leave Weatherfield so he promises to stay out of her way. Really. He promises. From inches away. Playing doctor. All the while blowing off a client. Fail! He lied to Carla and Tina was shocked just how easy he did it. Mark of an experienced cheater, luv, because Peter's a very good liar, not just because of the cheating but because of the alcoholism. But he's not perfect. Guess what, Peter, the client is in the office. So much for that lie. Best way to handle it? Pile on another one and pretend you've been craving a drink. Talk about putting the fear of the Gods into her. Oh he's good. And Tina found out about that lie, too. Carla is in bits and worried about Peter on top of it. Even more reason for Tina to want to leave but there's a condition. He has to come clean to Carla. You know that's not gonna happen.

Liz is right. Peter is a classic cheating man that wants the best of both ways. Tina really believes that Peter loves her. Liz knows he doesn't. Peter proved it and told her plain out. She asked if she should stay. For him was strongly implied. What did he do? Turn and walk away, or tried to. He had to be honest with her. He really does love Carla, not her. He never intended it to be a grand love affair and now that she's making noises about the L word he's done. Running for the hills which have a hotel with five stars and a spa.

So that's what Tina did too after a quiet goodbye to little Jake though she couldn't face Rita. Of course she's fine for money, she's still got all that cash from Owen. So she's gone. But I think she'll be back and if soap opera cliches are anything to go by, she will probably come back pregnant. Just speculating.  Tina hasn't told anyone that she's gone. Probably not even given Owen back the keys. Carla is shocked but respects her for it. Peter's just shocked. Rita's hurt and confused. Can't blame her. Liz and Peter know darn well why Tina left. Peter got more and more agitated every time her name was mentioned, trying desperately to pretend he wasn't bothered until he couldn't stand it any longer and had to ask Liz if Tina mentioned his name. I totally love it that Liz takes no prisoners and puts people like Peter in their place.

Peter not only inherited his father's loose morals, he's inherited a very keen lying gene. He's smooth, isn't he? Poor Simon was gutted. Problem is, when you tell a lie, you're bound to be caught out. Carla has decided that Rob is the reason Tina left and if not, there has to be a bloke involved somewhere (and she's sitting right beside him!)

I thought David would have moved in straight away from last week's reconciliation but Kylie didn't want to rush it at the time. Sensible, really but in the face of little Max, she gave in. Did Leanne sack Kylie in the end? I guess she must have because David wants Audrey to give Kylie her job back and so she did and even though Kylie figured it out, she's loved up so it's ok. Kylie's pulling herself together but not without a lingering doubt or two. Loved David and Kylie listing Gail's pros and cons!  David knew Gail would find the pro/con list. She wasn't nearly as insulted as i though she'd be and Audrey just found it highly amusing.  but making her own list? She hardly came up with anything all that scathing, did she?

Michelle is finding smells annoying and she's bitchier than usual. She's tired and has put on a bit of weight and Maria's suggestion that there might be a particular reason struck home. Is she pregnant? Liz hopes so. But, No, Michelle isn't pregnant after all but Liz let the cat out of the bag before she knew for sure. Poor Steve, hopes up high and then dashed again after Michelle decided to string him along a bit first. I can see why she'd be reluctant, with a 20 year old son, you wouldn't likely want to start all over again.

So Michelle is ticked off that Steve told his friends and is unbending in his refusal to have a vasectomy. How is that different from her telling her friends like Maria and being unbending in not having a baby? Steve really would love to have more kids so it's not really fair to insist he have a vasectomy. Loved Lloyd and Eileen taking the micky, lots of snip and chop puns. Even Andrea got on the bandwagon but she's right, he shouldn't do it if he really doesn't want it. I'll tell you what.. Michelle's been continually bitchy about Steve talking to his friends, Andrea in particular, and she's mighty jealous of Andrea. She might want to rethink that "no sex" thing. Can't blame Steve for being angry, you can't be using sex as a weapon.

Liz might have caught the bitchiness from Michelle. She was uncalled for rude to Andrea. And Andrea clearly has a shine for Lloyd. I think they'd make a nice couple. Lloyd is dancing on air now, after lunch with Andrea. Steve jealous?

Hurt feelings in the factory when Beth is using "Hayley's" machine. Difficult to see someone else in that chair I guess. I did laugh at Beth though. She didn't mean to come out with what she did the way she did but her crack about making the machine into what amounts to a holy relic was funny. She wasn't very nice to Julie either and Carla tore a strip off her and sacked her for the temper tantrum. Carla might be the boss but Peter's an equal partner. However, he can't really not support her in front of the girls. Beth is trying to get her job back but she's not really putting much into it. Carla called it Gross Misconduct but she seems to be focused on Beth misusing the machine which she didn't really. She gobbed off and instigated, true. I would think that would be a written warning but she's probably had more than one before now. Still, people get sacked from the factory for very little and a tribunal would have a field day. 

Carla had a difficult time shoring herself up to see Hayley but put the smile on her face anyway. And Hayley is getting noticeably weaker but Carla can put a smile on Hayley's face. Hayley's pale. No appetite. Can't eat anyway. Fiz had a good idea, get some little treats for Hayley but she was so anxious to go that Tyrone had to do some unexpected takeaway (Roy's pies! Does he make them from scratch? He used to buy them from Fred). She wasn't even able to be tempted by much they brought her except for the strawberries.

Hayley wants strawberries and strawberries she will have if Roy has his way. Even if she looked at them as if they were chopped liver and I don't think they went down as nicely as the ones the other day. It's so difficult watching Hayley in pain and she's scared that more pain killers will put her right out of it. Nearly broke my heart to see them swaying to The Look of Love.

Roy's solution is to get yet more strawberries but that quickly went off the rails when he couldn't get the precise ones he wanted. I don't know how Roy figures the retailer can provide the fruit when they are clearly out of them and when Tyrone found one last packet, past their sell by date, all reason went out the door. And if there's a reason that Roy slipped beyond just his own two feet, there's more health and safety issues to hold over the shop keeper's head. Roy landed on his back, surrounded by strawberries. He didn't get arrested so that's ok. Roy feels like he's failing Hayley. He's not of course but he wants to make every moment count.

Julie's still wobbling post-Brian which is entirely normal and quite normal for Julie, she's still very emotional and she's making it all about her every chance she gets.Maria and Marcus are back on screen. They do make a nice couple. Now they think they'd like to buy a house. What Audrey has to do with it, why they should even have thought of Audrey's opinion makes no sense. She can always find a new tenant for the flat. Although I do think Audrey had reason to be miffed when Maria out and out lied to her about where she'd gone. It's all about respect. It was more about that then anything. Maria believes that Marcus is committed, now that he's willing to buy a house with her. Sure reason for things to go pear shaped, especially with Todd floating around wanting to cause trouble.

Jason isn't altogether sure it's a good thing his father is around. And Eileen certainly doesn't think it is. Tony's trying, it seems, and he's corralled Eva in to help. Can't blame Jason for being wary. Tony wants to buy Jason a meal at the Bistro on Monday.  Meanwhile, it's Todd's birthday coming up. Monday. I sense a conflict. Well Todd does like a good fireworks display, he just might get them. Stay tuned.  Tony seemed to be giving Liz the glad eye and she was duly flattered.

Todd, at least, felt that Eileen should know Tony's invited to the birthday meal ahead of Tony just showing up. Well, I don't think Todd really thought about it in those terms, he just wanted to stir the pot now. It's fair, though, I'm sure Eileen wouldn't want to see Tony walk up on the night of, not without warning. She's got to do it for Jason's sake. Todd really does have a crush on Todd and Julie can tell. 

FINALLY Tracy mentioned something that i've been moaning about for years. She never had to have anyone walk her to school like kids today. Bessie Street is right around the corner practically.

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Devil Woman (with speculation)

(This post was originally posted by Scott Willison on the Coronation Street Blog in January 2013. No spoilers, but speculation included)

What is wrong with Carla Connor?  I'm being serious.  It seems that whenever she gets a boyfriend or husband, he immediately turns out to be mad, a sexual pervert, or a mad sexual pervert.  Even when they seemed quite nice before.  Is it her lipstick?  Is it filled with psychotropic drugs, like Poison Ivy? 

I admit, I'm heterosexually challenged.  But from where I'm sitting Carla seems like a hell of a catch.  She's gorgeous.  She's funny.  She's clever.  She's got her own factory and a fondness for necking red wine.  Where is the downside?  Frankly, I'd be tempted to have a quick bunk up with her, and my entire gamut of sexually experience with "the ladies" is a snog with tongues as a 19th birthday experiment with one of my girl friends.  (I wasn't converted).

First, she's married to Paul, and he spends his spare afternoons romping with hookers in the Weatherfield Travelodge.  He ended up ramming a prostitute into the back of his car and then smashing it into the side of a truck in Salford Quays.  Then she fell for Liam, who instead married a Girl's World doll that had somehow gained sentience, also known as Maria.  He ended up being mown down by a car arranged by her next husband, Mad-Eye Moody himself, Tony Gordon, because apparently being in love with Carla drives you insane.  After he was blown up, she picked herself up, dusted herself down, and got engaged to a psychopath who turned out to be a rapist on the side.  Frank was so awful his own mother killed him.  Plus there was Trevor the Binman who, in line with our "one kiss from Carla and you go mad" theme, subsequently hooked up with Janice Battersby.

And now there's Peter Barlow, who's appealing enough if you like doughy tattoo'd former alcoholics with a string of failed marriages and having Ken for a father-in-law, but who was married to Carla for less than an hour before he was snogging Tina on top of the vol au vents at the reception.  Next to the voluptuous, fascinating Carla, Tina looks like someone's stapled a pair of Lizzie Duke earrings to a chew toy, and only a fool would pay her even the slightest bit of attention.  Yet there Peter is, kicking Simon's Lego to one side so he can diddle her on the living room rug. 

There's a difference between the classic Street "wronged woman", a la Elsie Tanner, and Carla.  Elsie picked the bad fellas in the first place because she wanted a bit of company and love.  She had more in common with Eileen than the feisty sexual tornado that is la Connor.  Carla just seems to pick perfectly affable, decent chaps, then sends them careening over the cliff edge of sanity and into the fragrant garden of loony.  When the marriage to Peter finally fails - as of course it will, possibly over Tina's bloodied corpse - I can't imagine which affable hero Carla will turn into a psychopath next.  Little Max?  Tom Hanks?  Pope Francis?  Surely no man is safe.

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Saturday, 25 January 2014

Hayley Cropper's wedding dress goes up for sale

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog January 2013, reposted to this blog with permission.)

The wedding dress worn by Julie Hesmondhalgh as Hayley Cropper in Coronation Street is up for sale on eBay.  This is the wedding dress Hayley wore to her second wedding to Roy in 2010.

You may remember that Roy and Hayley's second wedding involved a steam-train ride and it was a wedding which mad Mary tried - and failed - to derail.

You can bid to win the wedding dress along with a signed Corrie script of their wedding episode at eBay here.

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Catch yourself on, Steve

(This post was originally posted by Graeme N on the Coronation Street Blog in January 2014, reposted with permission.)
Are they making Michelle Connor even more horrible than usual for a specific reason? Is there a big storyline ahead that we don't yet know about? I'd really like to know why we're having this gob on a stick front and centre so much at the moment.

I love Steve McDonald. Always have and always will. Back in the day he was a bit of a lad and high drama followed. Remember the wonderful Jez Quigley, dear reader? 

Then the powers that be discovered Simon Gregson could do comedy as well as drama and the rest is history. Simon is terrific behind the bar of the Rovers and equally wonderful in the Streetcars office with Lloyd and Eileen. A real asset to the programme and something of a rarity. He came in as a young actor and has stuck with Corrie into adulthood. 

So why oh why can't they find him a decent woman to play off? Becky was more than a match for Steve, but like Tracy Barlow, she ran rings around him and made him look more than a little bit daft. Karen did that too, but Steve was far less emasculated back then. Steve and Karen were a great partnership, their scenes together were zingy, if you know what I mean. You never knew who would come out on top.

Not so with Michelle. I didn't get their relationship the first time Steve and Michelle were together (baby swap disaster anyone?) and I still don't get it now. Michelle is rude, bossy, arrogant and treats Steve and anyone who agrees with him like something she's just trodden in. Her reaction to the arrival of Andrea was very telling, she obviously felt threatened, although my feeling is Andrea will end up with Lloyd. 

This vasectomy business is bad enough, but the pinnacle of Michelle's unpleasantness came when Steve enrolled at college. The belittling he received at the hands of his partner was just foul and as usual with Michelle, there was no come back. She pretty much got away with it scot free. 

I love the McDonald's back behind the bar, but please oh please can they ditch Michelle? Steve needs someone who treats him like an equal, not a drudge and a silly wee boy. I'm not sure I see any suitable candidates in Weatherfield at the moment so perhaps it's a job for the Corrie casting director. It has been suggested before that Liza Tarbuck would be good behind the bar and I think she might also make a good partner for Steve.

I'd make one final change at the Rovers too. 

I know Liz is giving Jason's dad the glad eye at the moment, but please can we see big Jim McDonald once again? There has been no mention of him since Liz returned (unless I've missed something). Liz and Jim behind the Rovers bar would be magnificent. I can't remember if Jim is still in the Big House, but Tracy Barlow was once and that didn't stop them springing her out to get on everyone's nerves. 

So catch yourself on Steve, ditch Michelle!

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Conversation Street podcast 77

Gemma and Michael's podcast for the episodes in Canada that aired up to last night can be heard here. Don't worry, they don't do spoilers so you won't hear anything you don't want to!

Michael and Gemma talk about Peter the Cheater, Roy's strawberry quest, Steve's troubles with Michelle's demands.
A nice long character profile about classic character Ena Sharples.

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Friday, 24 January 2014

Bring back Audrey's son, Stephen Reid

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog January 2013, reposted to this blog with permission.)

We saw him last on Coronation Street in 2007 but tonight, Audrey's son Stephen Reid, got a mention in the show.

Stephen is Gail's half-brother and the uncle to Nick, David and Sarah-Lou, who's in Milan, working for one of Stephen's businesses.

With thanks to Corripedia, we also remember that when Stephen was born, Audrey had to give him up for adoption.

Stephen turned up in the Street for the first time in 1996 to get to know Audrey and his half-sister, Gail. During his stay, Nick was sent by Gail to live with him as Nick's relationship with his mother became stained and Stephen offered him a job in Canada, which Nick accepted.

In 2007, Stephen returned to Weatherfield to visit Audrey and Gail for Christmas. He offered his other nephew David a job in his business and David accepted. However, because of David's relationship with Gail, Stephen offered his niece Sarah the job instead, so Stephen left Weatherfield again with Sarah and her daughter Bethany to Milan. He was unable to make it to Gail's fifth wedding to Joe McIntyre.

Could it be time for Stephen Reid to reappear?

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Thursday, 23 January 2014

The Canonisation of Hayley Cropper

(This post was originally posted by Clinkers (David) on the Coronation Street Blog in January 2013.)

Gawd bless the Corrie scriptwriters. Last week I jotted a few bits down about Hayley's 'canonisation' and hey presto, the lady mentioned the very same word in that evening's episode. I spent half an hour glaring at my notes followed by some manic folding and unfolding of my arms. Well, it seems to work for Michelle . . .

We - and indeed Hayley - are now entering the final furlong of our 'journey' together. Of course, this is not real life. Hayley exists merely to entertain us and we thank, wave farewell to and cheer on her way the rather wonderful Julie Hesmondhalgh. Bless her - she's given us sixteen years of Hayley-shaped fun on t'cobbles but all good things come to an end.

The demise of Mrs Cropper will no doubt provide the opportunity for a little moist-eyed remembrance though. Not perhaps in the Princess Diana hysteria mode. Visions of Elton John banging out some mawkish ballad in the Rovers, accompanied by Liz and Michelle's snorts of derision, are unlikely. A weeping Fiz laying a bouquet outside Underworld to the People's Panty Stitcher is not a scene we will not see. Yet Britain's telly viewers will grieve for Hayley. Shed a tear, brave Albion.

As followers of continuing drama, this is probably not such a surprising reaction. We invest time in following the fictional stories drifting past our eyes and therefore the characters therein. Hayley more than most has struck a chord with viewers and yet at the very beginning, the whole idea of a transgender resident of Coronation Street seemed bizarre. Well, that's how Hayley had been trail-blazed in many of the UK newspapers. Coming as it did in the Brian Park era, the Hayley storyline had everyone thinking that it would unfold as some hilarious 'man in a frock' pastiche. Things didn't quite unfold that way.

Rather than a badly drawn caricature, Hayley was presented as someone who could be sympathised with. The decision to initially pair her up with Alma Baldwin was genius. A caring character loved by many was seen as championing a misunderstood young woman. Alma extended Hayley's social circle and helped defend her against the unpleasantness dished out by the likes of Les Battersby and initially, Mike Baldwin. By portraying these men as boorish and ill-informed, we sided with Hayley and cheered every small victory she chalked up.

Is Hayley worthy of soap 'canonisation'? Is anyone? Hayley has not always been the perfect Streetmate. Her obstinate streak has often flared as well as periodic bursts of jealousy - although it's hard to feel much sympathy for Mad Mary on that score! What really shone about Hayley though was her ability to be anyone's friend. If you needed her, she was there, able to listen, advise and comfort. Maybe that's what we loved about her. Hayley was the one person we all secretly wanted to sit down with and have a chat with during the coffee break.

Perhaps more importantly, the scriptwriters, storyliners and Julie herself, with the help of trans members of the LGBT community, helped to redefine the public perception of what it meant to be a transsexual. It wasn't a subject for titillation or light relief. Through Hayley's eyes, viewers were able to gain some understanding of the prejudice and ignorance faced by the trans community. Any fears that Hayley would be portrayed unsympathetically soon disappeared. The battle goes on but there is no denying that Hayley Patterson Cropper's existence on a soap opera street has enriched the debate. Saint Hayley of Weatherfield? Probably not but for so many reasons, she is a creation to be celebrated. Here's to you, Hayley Cropper!

See also: Exclusive! Celebrity Corrie Blogger - Julie Hesmondhalgh

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The Year of the Platts

David and Kylie are back on the road to reconciliation but Nick and Leanne have just about flipped the marraige off the straight and narrow and look about to roll it into the ditch. This storyline has been running for a year and I, for one, have enjoyed it all. For a potted summary of the twists and turns, read over here.

Do you think Nick and Leanne will ultimately be ok or will they hit the skids permanently?

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Wednesday, 22 January 2014

What will the Street deliver in 2014?

On the whole then, a decent batch of festive episodes from Weatherfield this year, save for the usual nonsense of 'snow on the cobbles'. Every year. Now another twelve months of ranting lies ahead here at Coronation Street Blog Towers. However, we live in hope and cling to the possibility that there will be much to enthuse about before we reach for the Christmas decorations again.

There are new characters to welcome and maybe even cherish. Weatherfield's favourite personal trainer - well, only personal trainer, Kal, is getting his feet under the table. Save for his slightly exaggerated speaking style, Kal looks like he's going to fit in well. He's establishing relationships and has caught the eye of Come to Deirdre. She likes a challenge but I fear Kal would jog quickly into the sunset should he be presented with Deirdre's stuffed marrow.

'Feisty' Maddie - she of the filthy hair and filthy attitude - will no doubt mellow but hopefully not too much. If she's here to put some oomph into the increasingly dreadful Sophie, then so be it. Likewise Tony Stewart. He should add a different dimension to Grimshaw family life and hopefully give Eileen a chance to hone her misery to new levels in the coming year.

The debate over the Corrie women has been an interesting one over the past few weeks but by the 'eck Minnie Caldwell, the ladies do need sorting out. The nasty brigade seemed to  gather in force during the end of 2013. New, horrible Rita is unpleasant to watch and rather than comforting Mother Earth, she's now morphed into a meddlesome ratbag. The collapse of her marriage may be on the cards and if so, maybe in its wake we will get a more thoughtful, contemplative Rita.

(edited to remove a paragraph with spoilers, regarding some characters that are leaving this year.)

Michelle and Liz. Liz and Michelle. They stagger around like something out of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? Michelle has never really been a fan favourite and now she's in full arm-snapping mode, she's even worse. Maybe 2014 will see her finally escape the House of McDonald and emerge into something more positive, Like a taxi to the airport. As for Liz? She's a better option as landlady than Stella but that's not saying much. Her recent duffing up of Peter in the bogs was laughably bad. If Liz is to remain we can only hope that she calms down a bit and acts her age. At the moment she lacks credibility and that's never good for a Rovers boss.

Post-Hayley Roy is surely going to be an interesting character this year. Please, dear storyliners, don't shove the poor bloke into some comedy friendship with Mary. No doubt Mary Moodswing will be waiting to make an entrance stage left but it would be too obvious a move and simply wrong. Where Corrie always triumphs is when unlikely friendships emerge. Roy and Carla would be interesting and given the latter's relationship with Hayley, maybe not too jarring.

Kevin's due back from Germany this Spring and we can all hope that he doesn't launch into some dreadful attempt to woo back Sally. The pairing of Sal and Tim is inspired. She's desperate, he's lazy. They could well be Stan and Hilda: The Next Generation. Let's not spoil this with Kevin screeching from the sidelines. Much better that he surprised everyone by bringing back a new woman or even his long lost brother Carl. Remember him? Don't worry, you're not alone.

What else would it be good to see in 2014? More of the new and rather wonderful Come to Deirdre. Anne Kirkbride must be loving every script delivery to her dressing room. Deirdre is suddenly canny, funny and a wee bit naughty. We are loving it. Also let's have more Eva this year. She and Jason were made for each other and with both characters approaching thirty, it's time for them to settle down. Something else for Eileen to moan about. How about a more independent Gail 2014 too? The whole Tilsey/Platt thing is starting to feel very claustrophobic. It would be fun to see her away from that house and striking out on her own. She doesn't need to be a trainee Ivy Tilsley. One of those was enough.

Let's forget about the likes of Tina and Tracy, who seems set to be bellowing "Well, hello?" every five minutes until the end of the century. What about the rest though? Is there a character you would like to see develop in a different way? Any new friendships that could emerge? Or how about new characters who could enhance the lives of some of the familiar faces? What would you like to see on t'cobbles in 2014?

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Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Fancy a Cab, Pop Pickers?

(This post was originally posted by Scott Willison on the Coronation Street Blog in December 2013.)

BBC Four's fine repeats of Top of the Pops from 1978 reached their climax over the festive season with the Christmas edition. 

Fascinatingly, it turns out that before he was a DJ and box opening cosmic orderer, Noel Edmonds used to work in StreetCars.  He presented the whole episode from what looked suspiciously like Fat Brenda's lair.

Sadly, there was no appearance by Bren's beloved Cliff.  Which was probably for the best.

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Monday, 20 January 2014

Video montage: Vote for Corrie in the NTAs

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog January 2014, reposted to this blog with permission.)

If you haven't yet voted for Coronation Street in the National Television Awards, there's still time - vote here.

Coronation Street is nominated in the following categories:

Serial Drama - Coronanation Street
Newcomer - Marc Baylis as Rob Donovan
Serial Drama Performance - Julies Hesmondhalgh as Hayley Cropper, David Neilson as Roy Cropper and Michelle Keegan as Tina McIntyre

The awards will be shown live on ITV on Wednesday 22nd January.  Voting closes at midday on Wednesday 22nd January 2014

Here's a little video to remind ourselves of some of Corrie's best bits - it includes a SPOILER of Hayley's final goodbye too.

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Exclusive! Celebrity Corrie Blogger - Julie Hesmondhalgh

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog January 2013, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Julie Hesmondhalgh has played Hayley Cropper on Coronation Street since January 1998 and has very kindly taken up our challenge for a celebrity to write about their love of Coronation Street.

In return we're donating £25 to Julie's charity of choice which is
the Pancreatic Cancer UK charity.

And now, it's over to Julie..

"I was always a Corrie viewer.  Growing up in '70s Accrington it was a way of life, like fish on Fridays and half day closing on Wednesday, something that just WAS.  Our cat Frisbee used to go wild and climb the curtains whenever the familiar theme music came on. Perhaps some animal instinct told her just how important that theme tune would become to our family…

Later, I moved to London and went to a drama school with a lot of posh people, and Corrie became like a delicacy, a taste of home, a reminder of where I was from.

When I got cast as Hayley Patterson in the winter of 1997 it was a relief.  Any actor born in the north will tell you it is the cross you have to bear, to be asked every day of your life, no matter what theatrical or even cinematic success you may be enjoying, “When are we going to see you on Corrie then?” I swear that’s why Ian McKellan did his time on the cobbles. How fantastic to be able to finally say “Next Wednesday 7.30”!

And here I am, 16 years on, no longer a part of that wonderful institution, but still on screen (for a few weeks at least) and still a Corrie viewer and fan.  It’s always been a joke at work that I really belong at the gates with the fans and the autograph hunters…it’s like THEY LET ME IN!

I was still pinching myself right to the end, not being able to believe my luck, particularly when having the honour of filming with the Legends of the Street (Rita, Dennis, Deirdre, Liz, Betty, Becky, to name a few).

And to have these amazing storylines has been the icing on the cake.  To see attitudes shift towards trans-people over the years as the Croppers’ love story endured, was the highlight of my career, but then the phenomenal response to Hayley’s long and painful goodbye has been one of the things I’m most proud of in my life.

Pancreatic cancer is a horrible disease, with a terrible survival rate that hasn’t improved in years.  A petition calling for better funding had less than 5000 signatures when the storyline began and is now just shy of 20,000. 

I have received hundreds of tweets and letters from people who have lost loved ones, who are fighting cancer themselves or are caring for sick relatives. Rather than switching off they’ve found some sort of comfort in seeing their experiences reflected onscreen.  It has been a privilege to have people share their stories with me.  

The Right to Die debate is a controversial and difficult one, but again I feel so proud to be part of the conversation. And that’s all I am…a part of it all.  The researchers, the storyliners, the producers, directors, the fantastic writers and the crew are the unsung heroes, and without David Neilson as my partner I would not have come this far. He is as brilliant as you think. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens to all my friends, and what adventures await my darling Roy, once Hayley has gone. 

That people invested so much in this off beat love story in the first place was miracle enough; to see how much they care now it’s coming to an end means the world.

Thank you for all of it." 

See also:  Hayley Ann Cropper, This is Your Life

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Sunday Comments January 19

The last thing Deirdre wants to see is Rob in his underwear. It's only polite, isn't it? She's not happy having Rob underfoot so much and of course Deirdre would take Peter's side. All of Deirdre's aggro at Rob gives Tracy a great idea. Move Rob in. Yeah that'll work. And he didn't want her to move in with him. Why would she think he wants to move in with her? No Rob, Deirdre doesn't fancy you. And Tracy suggesting that isn't going to persuade him but I'm shocked that he seems to be ok with it. Sucking up might work because Deirdre can be worn down. She's thinking about it. Up for bribery, even.

Rob is intent on winning Deirdre over and they've even managed to get her the new telly she wanted, for free from their shop as well. That's both barrels that is. But she's not stupid. She took the sucking up and still said he couldn't move in. And she used both barrels right back at her. Deirdre's point about hoping Tracy moves out had me hooting out loud. But Rob has put in the notice on his flat so where is that going to leave them. Surely he's got a month at least.

Now Tracy being Tracy is going to try to scare her mother into letting Rob move in. Nice. Will she get sucked in? Nope, their underreaction at her thoughts of calling the police rang all the alarm bells. Well of course. Kids leave fingerprints and there wouldn't be any would there? I guess she's not as stupid as they think but she's giving in anyway and I hope she makes them follow the rules and all. That'll teach them.

Hayley's definitely getting weaker. They are both getting a bit philosophical about opera. Meanwhile, Hayley wants to tell a few people that the end is near and Roy has to be the one to do it. Maybe it will help him face up to it though I suppose he really isn't in denial any more. Anna took the news with great aplomb, barely holding it together for Roy's sake. Trust me, I know this is the hardest thing, having to tell people there's no hope. Everyone is so supportive and broken hearted.

You keep waiting for Roy to break down don't you? You know he will eventually. He's terrified it means that Hayley will leave him sooner than later, by her own hand and she's warning him that it won't be long.

Why would Roy have taken his satchel with him to tell Carla the news about Hayley? That was weird. And contrived so that Roy could come back later obviously. And it certainly took him an awful long time to walk 30 yards over to the flat to get the bag, too. Time enough for Peter and Tina to go through round two, get dressed again, for Tina to sort out her hair and for Hayley to wake up and have a proper conversation with Carla.

Lovely scenes with Carla and Hayley together. Carla really is a force of nature and will not be denied when she wants something. Nothing Roy could do or say would stop her seeing Hayley once she had the news. Even Hayley couldn't resist. That nearly tore my guts out, listening to Hayley say she was jealous that she was leaving and everyone else got to carry on and watching her cry in Carla's arms.

Hayley slept through her last New Year's eve. Roy couldn't bear to wake her. Boy they're really laying on with the makeup, aren't they, to make her look really ill. She's determined to get out and about a bit though she's really going downhill. Hayley's planning her funeral. It's sobering for her friends and I think Sean is taking it very hard, harder than most of his friends realize. He's worked with her for a long time, after all. Anyway, only these two actors and some fantastic writing could make a sad scene about funeral planning watchable. Roy realizes that Hayley's sinking fast and she's understating it for him.

Leanne and Nick are living apart. They didn't last the year out did they? Her face is still bruised, that's realistic at least. Nick had all the gear to work out, looked a bit odd with the tights on under his shorts but practical for this time of year. I still say there's chemistry between Leanne and Kal and I'm sticking with my prediction. Gail isn't so sure a temporary separation is a good thing but staying together might just rip them apart, like Stella said. Nick's getting on better with Kal than Dev has been. Plus he's got a lot more aggression to work out. Nick probably should see a professional councillor if only to figure out how to deal with the problem. Leanne is determined to stick with Nick so she moved back in despite his wishes. Gosh, it's after New Year's, over a week after Nick slapped Leanne and her face is still bruised. Reality, that's a first! He's started councilling. Let's hope that will help him cope. Her cringing when he reaches out isn't going to help his stress levels. It breaks his heart that she's scared of him.

Will Nick and Leanne manage to get through this unscathed? If they can keep the communication open, maybe. The stress is as hard on her as it is on him. Him pushing her away to save her might push her away for good but she's determined. It's a good storyline, though, it's giving a good idea what this sort of thing is like.

Kylie's sunk into depression now. She can't even be bothered to mouth off at Gail. She says she's trying to move on but you can see she's not got past the doorstep. Dangerously so, in fact. Gail tries to help mainly for the children's sake but her self esteem is so shot that nothing and nobody can help. Wine, it is and out like a light. I wonder how Max even knows how to cook pasta and turn on the stove but at least it wasn't the old kind where you have to light a match to set the gas on.

Doesn't David have a key? Can you not open the door from the outside when it's locked from the inside if you had a key? What else can David say or do to help that lost sheep of a wife he's got? I'm feeling sorry for both of them now. Gail gets so frustrated with Kylie yet you can see she's grown to like her. Maybe this is Kylie's rock bottom and David can recognize that she couldn't forgive herself as well as him. When did David actually grow up? He was wonderful with her and maybe now they can rebuild their life.

I have a feeling that Rob kind of fancies Tina after that little kiss. She just thinks of him as a mate but he must have waited for her while she did her shopping. Rewarding him with a kiss rubbed Peter the wrong way. With Peter being so jealous, I can't believe Rob hasn't twigged yet. Tina of course, was chuffed that Peter is making a jealous fuss. and Peter admits to being jealous, too. He just can't help himself. He's got Barlow hormones. She should have more sense than getting involved with a married man. But there they go, anyway and the deed is done. Urgh.

Well, all i can say is that the only good thing about it, and this isn't much but it's all I can find, that we get to see more of Peter's tattoos (Yes, I like tatts!) And at the end, Tina's alone and in tears. Do I feel sorry for her? Nope. Not a bit. She got what she wanted. How's that working out for you, luv?

Tina's thoughtful the day after, probably having spent New Year's alone (after getting off work) while Peter was with Carla. And Peter's head is in the clouds too. You know their flats are probably back to back. I bet he could knock on the bedroom wall and she'd hear it clearly. Yet he can still look Carla in the eye and tell her he loves her. He does, he's just got a hormonal problem.

Everyone's in the pub on New Year's but Peter asking Tina to babysit tipped her over the edge. Confession time. Liz knows very well what's up and she spilled the beans. Well, she's got to talk to someone even if that someone disapproves. Only because she's made every mistake with men there is to make, too. Loved Liz confronting Peter. Another hoot from me when she roughed him up against the wall. Brilliant! As disgusted as Tina feels about herself, I bet she'll be back in his bed before too long because now it feels like he's doing the chasing.

Boisterous little boy, Simon acting a fool for Carla's birthday and he gave her a Keep Calm teatowel that advises to kill zombies! Excellent! Peter's present, shiny bling went over well. Peter knows full well why Liz is giving him evils across the road. Tina blabbed. And she's right. He loves Carla and not her. It's obsession. Can't blame Liz for being protective and she's not one to hold her tongue and temper when it fires up. So now Tina is planning on moving to London. Might be the best thing really.

Will Tina really leave town? I don't think so, not yet anyway, or if she goes, she'll be back. That's usually the way it goes. She is so naive, thinking they'd be together if Peter was Free when maybe they would, but she is hardly the love of his life and she clearly just has a crush. She's right, he should be able to control himself so he's pretending he can. She stays, he'll avoid the pub. He's such a typical cheating husband, very clearly stringing her along though he knows she's infatuated. He really acted like a cold hearted, manipulating, cheating bastard this week.

Sophie's back at the soup kitchen, wanting to help out more and maybe write for their magazine. I can't imagine her being a journalist but you know, maybe this might give her a kick up the career pants. Or maybe she wants to see more of Maddie. Do gooder or something else? Maddie really is defensive and challenging and in Sophie's face. It begs the question what Sophie could contribute but you never know and Sally immediately has her on Fleet Street! You gotta start somewhere! Sally's snobbery and ambitions are a joy! But I think writing about Sally's handbag being stolen from the soup kitchen might not be the way forward. Sophie doesn't want Sally to report it, she feels sorry for Maddie.

Todd's back on screen as is Eileen who is still grumpy and moaning as usual. Amusing scene with Todd, Eileen and Steve in the cab office. Sean is assessing his life. Nobody's taking it seriously. Down the street, Jason's father has shown up, gobsmacking Eileen. So Tony is worried because Jason didn't call him at Christmas? Eva got Jason a new phone but would she have got him a new number as well? Possibly, I suppose, if it took a different SIM card or was with a different company. Jason couldn't be that much against his dad if he went willingly to the pub with him. I know Eva and Sean both think you can at least go forward and start again but I'm with Todd and Eileen. I think Tony's up to something or he wants something. Eileen's on her guard and Todd is even protective.

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