72. More lesbians

Tapehead no 72

In your heart of hearts, you know it’s the last thing you should do, but – despite all your friends’ entreaties – you cannot resist the temptation. A few free samples and you’re hooked. Never mind the dangers of crack; when will the government act against the growing number of people succumbing to weekly doses of Emmerdale?

This week’s episodes are Emmerdale 2006 and 2007, like sci-fi. Conclusive proof that Emmerdale is another planet. (It’s Yorkshire.)

After a spate of murder, sex scandals, and more people playing away than Leeds United, Emmerdale has become so obsessed with notoriety that even the sheep are on drugs (watch that deranged one in the opening credits). 

A sex-with-animals storyline can only be weeks away.

This week, Zoë, the lesbian vet is recovering from an attempted rape. Sexy Kim Tait (who could be Sexy Cindy’s mum if those roots are anything to go by) is having a rest and seeing what it’s like to stay vertical.

Comedy capers are provided courtesy of the extraordinary Dingle family, who have the best one-liners this side of Preston Front: “Shut up, slug-brain,” “Ooh, you big jam tart,” etc.

Nellie, the Dingle mum, is the best comic creation in soap since Hilda Ogden, like Julie Walters doing Hylda Baker: 

“If you’ve gone to that boozer,” she shouts at one of her dumb sons, “I’ll geld yer.”

Nellie can also do things with a cocktail cherry Sherilyn Fenn would attempt. Watch out for an unexpected guest appearance by R Kelly.

This week in EastEnders, David Wicks has a new dog. Robbie is torn between Wellard and Samantha. Even Jules and Blossom are doing the Wild Thing, butterfly-style.

Bianca is losing everyone to Samantha: her best mate, Tiff, is now Sam’s best mate. Her boyfriend Ricky (or Greystoke as Tapehead calls him), is still Sam’s husband; and her Dad (David) is Sam’s boyfriend.

“Don’t worry,” her mum consoles her. “Everyone goes through this kind of thing when they’re young.” 

(You speak for yourself Carol Jackson.)

Elsewhere Kath has been feeling “a bit dodgy” (“It’s me ‘ormones playin’ up – you know The Change”); Nigel and Fat Pat Cabs are wearing the same blouses (D H Evans?) and Todd Carty’s acting technique goes from Frowning to Frowning Really Hard – as if he’s turning into an American Werewolf From London (from Walford).

No wonder his wife Ruth is so miserable. Alternating between staring in EastEnders and singing for Portishead is about as depressing as you can get, and that indecipherable Glaswegian accent doesn’t help.

More soap mania on Dyke TV (Three Kisses And A Funeral) which includes interviews with Della from EE and Anna Friel – the lovely Beth from Brookside – being her usual bolshie, mouthy self.

Worth watching principally for re-runs of Beth’s songs with i)Margaret, ii)The Teacher, and iii) The One With Pigtails, the programme soon deteriorates into obscure lesbians giving their bizarre interpretations of The Significance Of Beth.

Rachael Wilson declares: “It’s typical ! A survivor cannot be seen to survive in the end.” (Eh ?)

Their confusion between Friel and Beth grows more and more alarming until they start giving the young actress a hard time for posing in the press with her boyfriend and “stressing she’s not gay”. One girl considers pictures of Friel wearing a fashionable baby-doll dress quite disturbing bearing in mind she’s a survivor of child abuse”. (Huh ?)

The truth is, Beth’s popularity stemmed almost entirely from the child abuse storyline, as did Friel’s most powerful performance. The lesbian storyline was tacked on to the character out of desperation for controversy.

Neither Beth, nor Margaret, were ever plausible lesbians.

In fact, a scene on the beach reminds us that the most convincing aspect about Beth being a lesbian is the idea she takes after her mother. Now, Mandy Jordache really does look like a lesbian.


Dyke TV – Three Kisses And A Funeral: Sat, 10.30pm-11.10pm

EastEnders Omnibus: Sun 2.20pm-3.45pm, BBC1

Emmerdale: Tues/Thurs, 7pm-7.30pm, ITV