World Of Lather

Feb 2012

In Hollyoaks, Steph is dead – martyring herself in a fire.

Let’s face it she had to go. She was positively ancient – 24 (age in Hollyoaks being determined the same as dog years).

After ten years, her evil creator, Professor Phil Redmond (CBE) has finally decreed she (like us) had suffered enough.

The loved ones she left behind have taken it badly, spending their days drinking, fighting and shagging each other senseless. So no change there then.

During her time in this everyday Merseyside enclave, inhabited entirely by people with an age and IQ of nearly 20, Steph lived a rich, not to say happy, life.

She was a bully and wannabe WAG, before miraculously transforming herself into the show’s tragic heroine, suffering cervical cancer, epilepsy and a hysterectomy.

Her husband was run over on their wedding day. Steph later slept with his killer (long story). She also watched him in horror as he threw himself off a cliff. So unlucky in love then…

She reported her brother for rape, auditioned for The X Factor, was stalked by a serial killer, and inherited a donkey. It’s all on wikipedia, and I don’t think it’s been tampered with. I mean, who the hell would make that up ?

Meanwhile, there’s also evidence that psychedelic drugs are taking over EastEnders.

The people who write it are clearly drug-addled and the viewers probably need to be. Drug use among the actual characters is statistically, improbably, minimal

Phil’s crack is – mercifully – no longer being shoved under our noses (or his). He’s given up crack quite easily – thus giving hope for us all.

On the other hand, he has developed a vice even more pernicious and unpleasant than crack: Glenda !

The venue for their romantic rendezvous is the back of Phil’s Jag.
“Thank you, for the ride,” she will purr without much ambiguity.
“Night night, Auntie Glenda !” Phil will leer back, like some sort of licentious pirate.

Phil has set up house with Shirley, Jay and Billy – it being a Walford by-law that two people cannot just live together by themselves.

Of course, no-one else would want to live with Phil (an alcoholic, crack-addicted psychopath) or Shirley (alcoholic Terrahawk).

It didn’t take long before Phil was telling Shirley he was going “up the snooker hall” – an unseemly metaphor to use even about Glenda.

Billy & Jay pass the time playing pool – oblivious to the fact that Phil could stick a ball in a sock and brain them with it at any minute.

Having weaned Phil (and themselves) off crack, this week the writers were peddling Class Cs – not amongst the young people that have populated Walford like rats (EastEnders actually has the most drug-free kids in London) but the unlikely form of Carol Jackson.

Having found a bag of weed, Carol first assumed it belonged to Connor – the ruffneck mate of her son Billie. Actually, it was Glenda’s. (She does get around doesn’t she ?)

Bianca wasn’t too happy – though when is she ever ?
“Can you please just stop shouting ?” Carol begged (stoned), speaking for us all.

Elsewhere, at the end of Monday’s episode Ian Beale was trapped in Zainab’s cupboard under the stairs (not a metaphor).

He was still there on Tuesday – listening to Jane.
“I don’t want to be waiting for Bobby to grow up and be watching Ian slurping custard.” (Is THAT a metaphor ?)

Ian consoled himself by going home with Glenda (yes her again).
“If you ask me Jane’s an idiot,” Glenda pouted. “Why would she even consider leaving you ? Good looking, decent, successful…”

Ian is none of these things. The supposed big-shot of the Square, he hardly ever ventures in to the West End, let alone The City. He inherited the caff (from his muvver, Kaff) and the rest of his business empire consists of… a chip shop.

Finally, if anyone gives a shit about Kat & Alfie let me know – or, better yet, form a group on Facebook.

With his archaic, smelly leather coat and endless yacking, in real life Alfie would be the most irritating person you know – someone you would cross the road to avoid. The poor scriptwriters are so out of it, they think he’s the most popular character in the programme.

Who is the most loved soul in Coronation Street ? Graeme probably. Graeme is what passes for a Renaissance Man in Weatherfield. Butcher, window cleaner, petty criminal… There’s nothing he can’t do (quite badly.)

Graeme is surely safe from the cull that is heading The Street’s way on December 6th.

Evil David Platt has a pass too. He has just been diagnosed with a major storyline for a start – in the form of epilepsy, a worrying sign that the writers might be starting to campaign to make us feel sorry for him.

Yes, like the bus in Speed or the subway train in The Taking of Pelham 123, there is an out of service tram careering towards The Foundry hell bent on oblivion.

The lull before the storm has been excruciatingly dull. Leanne and Nick, Peter and Carla, Molly and Kev… it’s hardly Dangerous Liaisons is it ?

“Get in the back now !” Nick will demand to his ex-wife and one-time escort.

John Stape and his greasy-haired, chicken-headed mistress/stalker Charlotte have got to be hot favourites for t’chop and death would spare Ashley from moving to France.

Fiz, Kieran, Michelle, Janice, Izzy, Schmeichel and Auntie Emily are among those I would deem dispensable. Hopefully there will be carnage.

Happy 50th Anniversary Corrie. Bring it on. Let it all come down.