Tuesday 31 October 2017

Daniel Brocklebank Interview: Billy's fight with Peter Barlow

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog October 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

How has Todd and Billy found parenting up until this point?
Surprisingly Todd has taken to it easier than Billy; Billy has been stressed out by the whole thing. Both love having Summer but with Billy being a vicar and very moralistic, he wants to be a good parent and he still wants to be good at his job yet he wants to be fun and be a good partner to Todd so it’s completely changed Billy and Todd’s dynamic. Todd is winning so far in the parenting stakes.

What’s Billy’s thoughts when he sees Summer being loaded into the ambulance?
Billy’s terrified. He promised Drew he would take care of Summer and within a few months of them taking her on, she’s already heading into an ambulance so there’s not only a lot of worry for her, Billy has not been able to keep his promise to Drew.

Peter tries to apologise and explain  - what’s Billy’s reaction to this?
Billy sees red. He loses his temper and certainly reacts in a way that not only shocks Peter but shocks himself.

Billy flies at Peter and punches him...
It’s rare that Billy’s temper flares but he does have one and that was a choice of mine when I first started here. A lot of TV vicars I have seen have always been a bit wet and sipid and it was important for me that Billy wasn’t that. I thought it was a more interesting take; yes he is a vicar, yes that is a vocational position but that doesn’t mean that Billy is not flawed. Just because he is a member of the clergy, of course it doesn’t mean that he can’t have those idiosyncratic parts of his personality that don’t necessarily marry with the job that people think he has got. This is a side of Billy that he has tried to suppress for various reasons which will come out in other ways later on...

How does Todd react to what Billy has done?
Todd is horrified. Let’s not forget that Todd is not an angel nor blameless in a lot of ways but Todd is horrified because Billy’s actions put their adoption potential at risk with Summer. Todd’s reaction comes from that angle rather than the fact that Billy’s hit somebody.

What was the filming scenes like to punch?
Chris is amazing to work with. We had a fight co ordinator and we all discussed how we felt it should come across because I still wanted to keep it in the confines that was Billy. But I think viewers be shocked, I was certainly shocked to read it when I first got the scripts! It’s going to be interesting!

What is the best thing about working with Chris Gascoyne?
Chris is awesome, he is a well versed actor with years and years of experience so when you are working with someone like that there is a comfortability where you can discuss and sit and chat and do workshop things. Chris is great and I am loving working with him.

What advice would you give Billy?
The story that we are playing out is explaining why Billy is the way he is, we are not changing who he is so the advice I would give is keep your head, take a deep breath, count to ten and think before you react.

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Satanic symbolism in Coronation Street?

(This post was originally posted by Martin Leay on the Coronation Street Blog October 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

You don’t half see some strange things on t’Internet. I can’t even remember how I found this but it is guaranteed to give you the willies this Halloween.

There is a theory suggesting that the Corrie tram crash of December 2010 featured subliminal satanic messages. The argument centres on a piece of broken wood, which is believed to be a goat’s skull with horns on it. Check this out:

Could the powers that be have inserted a satanic symbol into our beloved soap? I doubt it.

Still, the devil is in the detail and it was nice to see Rosie recently acknowledge her past life as a Goth and the "strictly held beliefs" she would have died for.

Maybe it's time Craig Harris returned to Weatherfield? He could rock up in his leather trench coat and satanic goat necklace and whisk Rosie off to a Sisters of Mercy gig.

Come on Corrie - be a devil! Happy Halloween, everyone.

By Martin Leay, on Twitter @mpleay

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Coronation Street's Halloween Hauntings and Horrors

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog October 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

It's Halloween - that most spooky day of the year. Well, if you like that kind of thing. All right, you might not. But if you do, then you might like to take a scary little look at some of our Halloween blog posts!
You might like to read...

And how about listening to Craig Charles reading his Halloween poem called Scary Fairy
Listen to it here.

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Monday 30 October 2017

Corrie Canada Weekly Awards for Oct. 23 - 27

Cake Fail: Simon's birthday cake for his grandfather. Roy likened it to one of Deirdre's pots!

You Can Say That Again award: Ken admitted it's been "quite a year". Brian adds "Hashtag Understatement". They're both correct.

Phrase of Doom: Shona saying she's sure Dane won't bother them again.

Instant BFF: Sophie mentions that she and Rosie hardly know Rana but it doesn't stop Rosie from including Rana on a shopping trip at Todd's suggestion (he hardly knows her either) and Rana doesn't think it's strange at all. Weird.

Fashionista award: Cathy's retro Boney-M look.

Practical Joke award: Not only was there something left of the beef cube after a hot shower but I'm impressed that Amy and Asha managed to get the bonnet (hood) of Roy's car up and mess with the fluids while the car was parked in front of a busy cafe with nobody noticing.

Tardis award: Norris' house. Mary's moved in though Sean already has the spare room. She's not *with* Norris though so I don't know where she's sleeping. Then she moves back to Dev's to his phantom spare room, so that Jude, his wife and baby can stay at Number 3. Again, where!!!!!!

Best Reaction Ever: Eilee's face finding out Gary Windass is the father of Nicola's baby.

Lines of the week:
Roy to Fiz "I thought this was a question of morality, not superstition" (but I can see where she's coming from. Nobody wants to tempt fate.)
David "We're calling it what it is. Extortion" Dane "Are you doing him out of pity or guilt?"
David "Mum, we're off to the Peaks, we're not husky sledding to the North Pole" (you can never be too warm outdoors at night in October. Mark my words!)
Roy about Brian "His desire to be a martyr usurped his desire to be clean" (Ha!)
Yasmeen about Zeedan "I saw him smile briefly this morning so I knew something was up"
Phelan "What kind of a monster do you think I am?" (er...)
Billy "How could you be so stupid?" Todd "I get up early and practice"
Vinny/Harvey "I'm a wanted man" Phelan "And I'm a vengeful one"
Todd "I've not had me hands on too many women's knickers in awhile. If you know what I mean"
Tracy "History should stay where it belongs and that is in the past"
Tracy "If I had to listen to you wittering on about soap, I'd chuck myself in the Irwell" Daniel passing by "What would be the point of that? Witches float, don't they?"

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Claire King reveals struggle with alcohol and debt

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog October 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Claire King, who played the woefully underused Erica Holroyd in Coronation Street, has given an interview to Channel 5's In Therapy show in which she talks about being cheated on by her actor husband, and how it caused her to spiral into debt and alcoholism.

Claire opened up about how she has suffered heartbreak, depression, addiction and near financial ruin. And, The Mirror says, she revealed that the 2004 breakdown of her marriage to Peter Amory – her on-screen stepson Chris Tate in Emmerdale – was what set it off.

She said: “He liked a drink but he was also gambling as well. I mean big gambling. I knew he always gambled but not in that way. Lose your house money, lose everything money. I was £9,000 short of paying my mortgage off and then ­suddenly, poof. It was just horrible and it was draining.”

They divorced after ten years of marriage when it emerged Amory had been cheating with Claire’s co-star Samantha Giles, who played Bernice Blackstock in Emmerdale.

Claire spoke to addiction counsellor Mandy Saligari about the painful split for Channel 5’s In Therapy, which airs on Friday this week.

You can watch Claire's interview in the show In Therapy on Channel 5 this Friday night at 10pm.

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Sunday 29 October 2017

Five things we've learned from Classic Coronation Street this week

(This post was originally posted by Graeme N on the Coronation Street Blog in October 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

I was overjoyed when the announcement came that ITV3 would start re-running classic episodes of Coronation Street. To begin with, I was disappointed the network wasn't going to show episodes from earlier on - I believe the mid 1970s to early 80s to be the golden age for the show - however I can now see the benefits in starting in 1986. The episodes broadcast this week are modern enough to feature a vast number of characters viewers today will still be aware of, either because they are still regularly on our screens or because their time has only recently been and gone.

This first week has featured Ken, Rita, Jenny, Audrey, Gail, Sally and Kevin. All characters we still thankfully have with us today. The likes of Deirdre, Emily, Jack and Vera, Betty and Hilda are still very much in our consciousness too. Early '86 also began some long running stories, introducing Sally Seddon to enliven Kevin's life for many years to come and most of all, the start of the three year Alan Bradley saga. 

I have been tasked with cobbling together a blog on five things we've learned from the first week of Classic Coronation Street on ITV3. So here we go...


It was much easier to get rid of Tracy Langton/Barlow in 1986

1985 had seen Coronation Street invest in a second Tracy. Holly Chamarette played Ray and Deirdre's sprog from 1985 until replaced by Dawn Acton in 1988. These were the days when Tracy could disappear upstairs for many months at a time without Digital Spy launching a poll or taking to Twitter to ask the audience where she's gone. This week of episodes focused very heavily on the Barlow family and Ken's attempt to adopt Ray Langton's offspring. What amazed me were the many creative ways the writing team of '86 had of getting rid of young Tracy so Ken and Deirdre could thrash out the drama without the side ponytailed youth getting in the way. Here are my favourites:

"Go and wash your hands Tracy-luv and don't get marmalade on the banister"

"Go and get me a handkerchief from the top drawer of me dresser Tracy-luv"

"Go and scrub the back of your neck Tracy-luv, I don't want to see a tide mark again"

Please note, none of these instructions involved taking ecstasy, one of Samir's kidneys or getting into bed with Roy Cropper.


The Rovers was enduring a major 1978 hangover 

Even though we are more than half way through the 1980s, much of the Coronation Street set seems to be stuck in the late 1970s. Brown predominates, particularly in the Rovers where Bet is now in charge and ruling over Betty, Jack and Gloria Todd with an alarming behive and classic Resting Bet Face. The saloon bar of the Rovers appears to be a slightly less alarming shade of deep turd brown from when Dame Annie Walker ruled the roost and looked heaven-ward each time something common occurred "Frrrred! Frrred! Fetch the Rover!" 

The wallpaper circa 1978 was a horrid, turgid brown wheel of fortune motif with curtains to clash but by the mid-1980s and pre-Rovers fire (poor Bet crawling through her own vomit in a nightie we all hoped was flame proof - a treat still to come) it had been softened to a kind of silky beige print although elements of the seventies still remain. Most notably the creosote brown wooden surround, remarkably good as new despite that lorry load of timber crashing into it in 1979 and those dreadful curtains that clashed with absolutely everything. I jest but they hang there forlornly, as if waiting for Dame Walker to return although we all knew she never would.

Susan Barlow was about as wooden as the saloon doors in Baldwin's kitchen

1985 had seen the return of Ken's daughter Susan, twin of Peter and daughter of the late Val. Having been sent to Scotland following Val's incineration in those weird maisonettes, mainly because Ken couldn't snog Joanna Lumley and look after two whinging kids at the same time (come on, that would be a stretch even for Sir Laurence Olivier), Susan was found living in Newcastle without so much as a Scottish accent. She was soon in cahoots with that Cockney cad Michael Vernon Baldwin, despite her being 21 and him being old enough to have played a gangster in a 1960s Norman Wisdom film. 

We all know how that storyline ends (step forward factory stripper and ambulance chaser Adam Barlow). However what struck me was just how awful 1980s Susan was. On paper the decision to bring back the actress who had last played young Susan in the early 1970s was a sensible one, ensuring continuity. Unfortunately this plan overlooked the fact that in this case anyway, a decent enough child actor had not transformed into a great adult acting star. Watching grown up Susan and her wavering northern accent as she bobbed between No 1 Coronation Street and Baldwin's bachelor pad was excruciating. Even the brief, pointless scenes of her drinking Mellow Birds in a borrowed yellow-brown dressing gown, sat on Mike's manly green leather sofa were painful to behold. In a period which was still chock full of legendary Corrie characters, the predominance of Susan Barlow is something that makes me glad 2017 has brought us a more high-tec remote control.

(As an aside, the focus on the Barlow family in early 1986 made me realise just how old that kitchen was when Pat Phelan ripped it out last year! Ken, Deirdre and co lived with those foul units, pond scum green tiles and willy shaped jelly moulds for nigh on thirty years). 


George Wardle? Anyone?

Early on in the week I spotted a grey, mumbling Don Brennan prototype lurking about in the shadows in the Badwin's Casuals sewing room. He's so grey he's even got a rancid grey pleather blouson on to match his character. Looking at the credits, which fortunately didn't disappear into a quarter of the screen while the continuity person announced what was coming up Saturday week, I found that this character went by the name of George Wardle. No, me neither. Watching more episodes it soon appeared this poor unfortunate had until recently been linked romantically to that edifying representation of black roots, brown food and all encompassing misery, Ivy Tilsley. Apparently George was quite keen on Ivy, despite knowing she was an interfering old fantasist who came as a package deal with foghorn best mate Vera, toothy muscle-bound son Brian and pony-tailed Wailing Wall Gail. 

Following the storyline closely (ahem) it seemed that by January '86 our George was spending a great deal of time in Packing (pre-Kirk) with a delightful new companion called Pauline, much to Ivy's chagrin. Thankfully gob on a stick Ida Clough helped her friend get over the heartbreak by bringing it up every time the camera happened to fall on her delectable features. The only other thing I learned about George was that he couldn't stand onion in a ham roll. Quite right too. Wardle had gone by February having been sacked by Baldwin for crimes against men's fashions. 

The Fruity Sauce story arc ruled

Ah the little things. These days we rely on the likes of Brian and Cathy for delightful, down to earth story arcs. In early 1986 Alf's mini-mart took centre stage to provide comic support to the serious goings on with the Barlow family and with the newly arrived Jenny and Alan Bradley combo from hell at Rita's. She's never had it easy, our Reet. Alf's new wife Audrey spent much of January '86 tarting about the corner shop and moaning about living amongst cardboard boxes full of salt and vinegar in the shop flat. The delights of Grasmere Drive were sadly still a few years off. Audrey's flighty doings led to a calamitous mishap with a pricing gun that the likes of Percy Sugden and Vera Duckworth were only too happy to take advantage of. 

Oh yes, Audrey mistakenly priced up bottles of "fruity sauce" at 14p instead of 41p! The biggest outrage in the shop's history until that tram popped off its tracks in 2010. The cost of things in 1986 shocked me on a couple of occasions this week. I can't imagine buying anything for 41p these days not to mention the fact later that week Alf and Audrey tootled out in Alf's alarmingly sporty soft top MG Midget to view a semi-detached house (with a sun room) on the market for £40 000! 

This week of classic Corrie on ITV3 has been an absolute triumph. It has reminded us of the slower pace Corrie once had - it was more character driven, less aggressive and all about the writing. It was a nostalgia fest and nearly as comforting as wallowing in a roll top tub full of melted Caramac. And I for one can't wait for more.

Classic Coronation Street is broadcast on ITV3 every week day at 14.40 and 15.15, repeated from 6am the next day.

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Sunday Comments October 29

Shona's ex has jumped into David's car with the kids in the back, if you will recall. The kids are scared. Dane starts talking to the kids and tells them that Shona's son killed their mummy. With that, he gets out and runs away, damage done. Later, Max is discovered missing. Shona is the one that finds Max, he's hiding in the empty factory which now seems to have a tarp installed as a roof since there's no sunlight streaming through. Shona talks to Max through the storeroom door about how her son did a terrible thing but she's trying to help make things better for him and Lily, too. David arrives and it seems like Shona realizes this might be the end. It takes him awhile to get through to Max.

Max finally comes out of the storeroom for a hug. David tries to explain, agreeing it's a bit weird that Shona's in their lives given the circumstances. He explains how you can love lots of people and you don't love any of them less in order to love a new one. It kind of makes sense to the lad. Max worries that he might meet or see Clayton some day. David assures him that will never happen.

Back home, Shona and Gail wait for David who's put the kids in bed. Gail goes up to watch a DVD with Max. David does take some of the blame, for having a go at Dane earlier. He wants her to tell Max that she's disowned Clayton. She tells him that they agreed no lies and she can't agree to cut off her son but will keep him away from David's family. She tells him the rest of the money is being kept for Clayton. She hates what he did but he's her son. It seems like they are going to have to call it a day.

David seems resigned to her decision, focussing on his kids who need him the most. Shona's in tears in Eileen's arms and Gail finds her at work in the cafe in a depressed state. But Max also realizes that it's not Shona's fault that her son did a bad thing and with Clayton locked away, he thinks David and Shona should still be together because David laughs more when she's around.

They have a chat in the cafe and Shona's right. Being involved with someone is a choice but being someone's mother is not. At least she now knows Max doesn't blame Shona. That night, David and Max are stargazing in the garden. Shona brings over Roy's mega-telescope and all is well again. Looks like they're getting back together.

Billy tells Shona what he's done and why and promises to get the money back to her. She decides to leave it be where the cash was doing good, since the alternative recipient, Dane, would only have wasted it. Meanwhile, most of the recipients are paying bills except Beth who wants to blow it on herself. Aidan still has a face like a wet weekend over the burglary, thinking the police aren't going to be bothered with a lot of second had sewing machines. And why mention sewing machines specifically? Well, to introduce the next step in the plot.

Beth decided to spend her money on a second hand machine for their business. Turns out it was one of Underworld's stolen machines. Johnny and Aidan went straight to the place where Beth found it then straight to Adam, accusing him of the factory robbery. The proof? Adam's business card at the place that was selling the machines. Probably woudn't stand up in court but it does look faintly damning though Adam says he left cards in many, many businesses. Aidan knows Eva couldn't have pulled off the robbery all by herself but so far, there's no hard evidence and Adam knows it.

That idiot Colin's presence in the conversation wasn't helpful, and was intrusive as ever until Todd walked him out. I suppose the actor's contract must have guaranteed him a certain number of appearances and they're fitting them in wherever they can, whether it's logical or not.

Anyway, we later find out that of course Adam was involved but he alerted the business who got rid of the rest of the hot gear before the police came calling. It didnt' seem to matter. Adam and Todd both got arrested and Summer witnessed it. Now she's scared it's all going to fall apart. The police quiz Todd who tells them that he spread their business card around the whole district where the machine was found. Neither one were charged and each of them lied for the other. Todd makes Adam agree to play by the rules from now on. Billy's not too happy with him for delaying returning home and being a less than stellar role model.

The dinner party at Ken's is enjoying the vegetarian meal. Eccles is making a nuisance of himself under foot under the table. There's a reason for that. Brian appears to have a beefy scent to him and they realize that Amy had a shower after Ken but before Brian and knew Brian was expected. Little minx! Amy shows up later when Ken has served the cakes and is called back with the evidence of a stock cube retrieved from the shower head. She's got to write another apology and make it better than the last one, which Brian gave a C grade.

But the youngsters are not done playing tricks. Amy decides to dare Asha to put paint on Roy's car which, coincidentally, Brian wants to borrow to take Cathy to a Boney M tribute show. Cathy dressed up in a roll of tin foil (or it looked like it!) and Brian wore a tux. He didn't understand the order to dress up but then she probably didn't get specific. There was blue liquid or paint or something in the windshield fluid! They get out of the car after nearly hitting David the dog and, seeing Asha and Amy watching, immediately jump to the correct conclusion. I'm impressed that they managed to get the hood of the car up and mess with the fluids while the car was parked in front of a busy cafe with nobody noticing.

Parents are called again and punishment this time. Steve and Tracy seem to be taking it a bit less seriously than Dev, Cathy and Brian who want to know how they will be punished. It doesn't sound like Tracy was going to do much more than send Amy to her room otherwise. Brian has organized something much better than the lax punishment Tracy had devised. He has the girls dressed up and peforming to Bony M records! Couldn't have lasted very long, they were out on the street and out of the fancy dress shortly after and now Summer wants to play as well. What will they challenge her to do!?

Todd then tells Summer it's ok to bend the rules if you don't get caught. I think that's going to come back to bite him, don't you? Summer is given a can of shaving foam and told to spray something rude on a car. We don't see what it is but she gets caught by the teacher that owns the vehicle. Billy and Todd get called to the school. It was a drawing of the definitive piece of male anatomy. Oops. Summer tells on Todd, about his attitude about rule bending. Double oops.

Todd and Billy are giving each other the silent treatment in the wake of Todd's arrest and his remarks that caused Summer to believe she could break the rules if she wants to, which is a bit ironic given Billy's recent theft of Shona's money. Todd stayed over at Eileen's. Poor Summer's not having a good day. It's her father's birthday and that's always tough. Todd and Billy are fighting and she's worried about that, too. At rhe bus stop, Amy, in true Tracy style, tells her she's lucky her father's dead because she can then get away with whatever she wants. I don't think she sees it that way. At least Simon knows what she's going through. She sees Todd later and is inconsolable with the fear that they're splitting up. Todd promises they'll both be there for her no matter what but it's not what she wants or needs to hear.

Simon shows off a joint he found at school and he dares Summer to smoke it. She throws it away but when they all head back to the bus stop, she retrieves it. Summer sits in the ginnel tearfully looking at photos of her dad, poor little lost thing. She pulls out the joint and box of matches it was in, lights up and in a clever camera shot, moves the match towards the joint but we don't actually see her light up because that would be too much for before the watershed. apparently this new drug called spice which she does later in the ginnel and subsequently passes out.

Eileen joins Phelan in the Bistro, armed with holiday brochures. He has a few digs at Daniel for his investigations into Phelan's deals. Looks like Phelan has spent his meal with Eileen keeping an eye on Daniel as he works, not afraid to catch his eye if need be. I'd definitely be suspicious that Phelan is working up to kidnapping Daniel if things get any stickier in that investigation.

Nicola has a day off and is roped into taking a delivery for Phelan while he's on a job. He's not really, he's taking supplies to Andy who's anxious that the replacement be procured. Daniel takes advantage of finding the builder's office empty to start snooping but Nicola catches him just before Phelan arrives. Daniel manages to slip out rather than quiz him and Nicola wants to tell her father that she's pregnant.

Eileen seems supportive, Phelan wants to know who's the daddy. I wonder if he'll still be glad he knows when she tells them Gary is the father. In a biological miracle, she knows she's pregnant merely a week or so after she has had sex with him. Not even time to have known she'd missed her period given the average ovulation is 2 weeks before it. And she's already having morning sickness 2 days later? Never mind. Phelan's face at finding out about Gary goes stony. Maybe Gary will end up in the cellar instead of Daniel?

Turns out Phelan is very pro-life and he's not helping the conversation any so Eileen throws him out. Go for a pint! Eileen wants to be supportive and let Nicola come to terms with it all in her own time. She doesn't think she wants to keep it but had a good discussion with Eileen about being a single mother. She's not trying to convince her to keep the baby, just letting her know how tough it will be and what the rewards might be as well. Phelan later apologizes for coming over like a bully earlier.

Then we get to the birthday of the lady in the home, Flora, who happens to be Vinny's mother. Daniel is going to be there when he calls her, or so he thinks but due to Phelan's meddling, he's lost the day off he had agreed with Michelle to have because she forgot, saw the change Pat made on the rota and scheduled him to work. He's got to find someone to cover his shift if he wants to have the time off which I guess he did.

Because Phelan overheard Daniel give the nursing home address to a cab driver. Uh oh, what's this? Daniel brings Flora some birthday cake hoping to be there when Vinny "face times" her. He drags out the visit, looking bored out of his mind as Flora chats on about people he doesn't know until there's a knock on the door from a nurse that wants a word. Turns out Flora's memory isn't what it used to be. Her birthday was 2 weeks ago and Vinny hasn't called her once since she's been in the home. Oh dear.

But guess what? He called anyway!!! His memory is also off because he clearly doesn't know when his mother's birthday is either. He wished her Happy Birthday but got quite a shock. Daniel obviously gave up and went home but Flora got a visit from someone else who waved at Vinny over Flora's shoulder, his old mate Pat Phelan! Excellent! what a surprise for Vinny/Harvey! He's really thrown and gets her to go for a nurse so he can talk to Phelan on their own. A few threats on either side and blackmail. Meet me or else. One bit of confusion is cleared up. It really is Flora's birthday, Phelan talked the nurse into telling Daniel it wasn't by telling her his aunt was confused about it (though surely her birthdate would be on file and the staff could find out quick enough to confirm it)

Daniel is disappointed and commiserates with his editor. In walks an angry man, her husband, who surprises Daniel with the news and a threat to Daniel's health and safety before dragging his wife out of the Bistro. Phelan gloats, Daniel knows exactly what he's done. He later brings beer to Andy, cheerful due to a good day's work. I wonder who the replacement is going to be, Daniel or Vinny? I'm starting to lean towards Vinny because nobody would really be looking for him if he disappeared. Later we see Phelan polishing up a hand gun!!! That makes me even more convinced he's after Vinny, not Daniel.

Sinead is making the rounds looking for jobs. Freshco's is hiring, or at least, she had an interview there. She also asked Tracy for a job, trying to impress her about the history of flowers, but gets a mouthful for her efforts there. She should have expected that! Daniel happens by, tosses off an insult at Tracy's expense. Sinead drags Daniel off to the Bistro for a fancy coffee as an apology for thinking he'd hurt Chesney while poor old Chesney has to work because he's the only one in Number 5 with a job at the moment even if he's still not feeling himself. Sinead chats to Daniel about job hunting and he tries to prod her to be more ambitious than working in a shop or the pub. He tells her he nearly had a good story but it fell apart just like everything else in his life that he loses. But later, Chesney collapses at work and luckily Billy is there.

Next we see Nicola visting an old friend of her mother's, Lydia who guessed about the baby and was shocked to hear of Nicola's biological father. She seemed further shocked to see a photo of who it is and she was very uncomfortable, too, I think and that makes me wonder why. She didn't think Nicola's mother would have an affair so maybe, just maybe, it was Lydia herself that had the affair with Phelan or a one night stand and her friend brought the baby up? Certainly, if Phelan knew the Rubensteins, he must have known Lydia as well as their good friend and Nicola rightly guessed it as well, at least that Pat and Lydia knew each other. Phelan pretends he doesn't know a Lydia and never did that he can recall.

He looks a bit worried. Nicola has decided to keep the baby and Phelan is really pleased. She's not going to tell Gary. We find out that Phelan will expect Andy to live in the unfinished house which he will sign over to him while he's looking after the new hostage, Vinnie/Harvey. He has to promise never to come to Weatherfield so the house must be in an outlying community. Andy agrees. Back at the yard, Phelan sends Seb over to the cafe and has another look at the gun that he had stored in the safe. He jumps when Seb comes back in looking for money. Did he see the gun?

Zeedan is shocked at Rana's baby demand. She is definitely on edge. She doesn't get an immediate yes from him so she storms back out again, confusing the heck out of him. Kate sooths Zeedan's fears. They chat about babies and relationships but it's clear Kate has gone off Imogen. The shine is off the apple, as they say. She likes the first part of "getting to know you" but is not so keen on the actual ongoing relationship, it seems. But Imogen was on the other side of the door to the kitchen and it all comes out. Kate suggests a slow down, Imogen realizes she means a full stop and storms out, hurt.

Rana finds Imogen on the bench. Imogen accuses Rana of fancying Kate and being jealous and walks off down the road. Sean returns Rana's phone and sees that there's something bothering Rana who seems to be a bit stunned at Imogen's accusation. Sean takes his break and sits with Rana, telling her Zeedan was probably just taken by surprise. Rana returns to the Bistro where Kate tells her she and Imogen are finished. Zeedan tells Rana he agrees to have a baby. As it's his break, she pulls him out (back home, presumably, to start straight away. Since she's on birth control pills, that might be a bit tricky) with a glance at Kate over her shoulder.

Yasmeen is thrilled that Zee and Rana are planning a baby. Grandma at long last! I'd not bet money on it, myself. Rana and Kate make up their differences later on though Rana still looks uncomfortable. In a totally random move, it seems Rosie and Sophie are BFFs with Rana all of a sudden. Todd suggests to the sisters that they ask Rana to go shopping with them. Sophie does comment that they hardly know her but Rosie pulls her in and they talk her into going and nobody at all seems to find it strange that they're instant mates.

They shop and then go to a bar and of course Sophie asks for Kate gossip which only gives Rana a thoughtful face again. The young women proceed to get drunk on wine and shots. Great story about Rosie in Florida chatting up a punk young woman in a bar, anticipating her first lesbian experience, only to find out it was a bloke after all! Now Rana is *really* pining for Kate.

Rana went straight to Kate when she got back to the Street. Coincidentally, Alya went to the loo, leaving Kate alone with Rana who immediately moved in for a kiss. It didn't go over well. Kate later met Rana in the pub, where Rana has continued to drink. She did confess that she fancied her but then Zeedan, Alya and Luke arrived and the serious discussion is over but not forgotten. Kate pretty much told Rana her point of view by her words to Aidan, blaming him for all the factory's problems because he was a cheat (on Eva with Maria). She hates a cheat! Message given and received.

Later, Todd seems to have put himself in the position of helping her figure out who she really is, it seems but Rana's very defensive and insists she's straight. Later, Zeedan suggests they get married legally. The Muslim wedding they had doesn't count as far as the government goes, it seems. Rana's overwhelmed though she doesn't admit the real reason why. Yasmeen advises she and Zee to be honest with each other. That might not happen! Anyway, Kate comes to see Rana so Yasmeen leaves them alone.

Kate is concerned with the whole situation, they're her friends and Rana is confused. She loves her husband but can't stop thinking about Kate and Kate doesn't know how to help her. Rana insists she's not gay or bisexual. Kate's not so sure she's deep in denial. Rana's suggestion that Kate might return the feeling has Kate running for the hills. Later, Rana presses Kate again and it sounds like Kate might have feelings after all but she pushes Rana away.

Mary is waiting for Jude and his family who are coming for another visit and apparently staying at Norris' house. Again. Where? Even if Mary moves back to Dev's, I still don't know where they'd be sleeping and obviously Mary wasn't sleeping with Norris and had her own space. It's all very confusing.

Anyway, Mary is thrilled to see her new family arrive. Angie is definitely not very happy to be there, it seems. Mary has picked up on it, too. Norris cautions her, keep it low key. Jude and Angie are in Weatherfield to look for a house during the month that they're visiting and Angie has to start putting out feelers for a job. Add to the situation that Mary, a new mother and grandmother, is in their face and can't contain her joy and enthusiasm. Angie's finding it a bit claustrophobic I think.

Lovely bit of dialogue between Roy and Brian where Roy describes his music nights with Cathy (alternating favourites) leaving Brian a bit jealous. Notification in Dev's dialogue, Mary has moved in with Norris. Where is she sleeping? Sean still lives there in the spare bedroom.

Toyah is trying to bring the pub upmarket with wasabi nuts as a snack. Going by Liz's reaction, I don't think the regulars are ready for them! Liz is still working in the pub of course because Toyah can't find a way to tell her to go but she's giving Liz all the dirty jobs in the pub, probably hoping she'll quit on her own. She tries to get Liz to fix one of the beer pumps but she doesn't get to it before a brewery rep gets there and raps Toyah's knuckles over the beer. He's not happy at all.

The unsuccessful brewery visit from the other day has Toyah worried. Sure, there are other breweries but the Rovers has always served Newton and Ridley and it's a firm favourite with the punters. What if the brewery does pull out? Turns out, according to Liz, Tom Ridley likes the ladies. Liz is convinced to turn on the charm, schmooze Ridley, which she agrees to if she isn't assigned all the dirty jobs anymore. Deal.

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter
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