Coronation Street

Mon 26/10/99, ITV

Jim comforts Natalie

A year to the day since Natalie's marriage to Des finds the landlady quietly mourning while Vinnie, Leanne and Betty bitch about her apparent lack of memory. However trusty old Jim discovers Nat bubbling outside Des' house and takes her for a drink at the Flying Horse. Quite touching scenes between the two. Meanwhile Tyrone finds a stray greyhound while Spider starts his new job at the Claims office and is appalled at fellow eco-warrior Tim's, who looks uncannily like a young Elton John, hardline dealings with a Scots claimant. (Why was this part Scottish by the way? Doesn't anyone in the North of England claim benefit?) Melanie and Tom wonder about their relationship while Ian and Sharon do the same. And once again the programme finishes on Sharon, this time kissing Ian after telling him that he hasn't blown any chance of them getting married. How come she's getting all the closing scenes these days? ****

(23/10/99) One of the great strengths of Corrie is the ability of the writers to come up with not just tragic storylines but also the comic side of life too. Roy Cropper has been the source of much of the laughs in recent years and just the sight of him coming off the bus with a surgical demonstration doll is enough to set me laughing at least. Of course Les Battersby had to be the one person in the street at the time. Poor Roy. Meanwhile Spider is having to go for a job at the benefits agency against his principles only to discover one of the interview panel is an old eco-warrior already working the system from within... And poor Maxine. Having returned from honeymoon alone because Ashley refused to fly, she has to wait further for him now that his ship has diverted to Iceland in bad seas... Not likely to be laughing however is Sharon who is falling for two-timer Ian all over again... ****

Roy and friend

Ken's 60th Birthday

(10/10/99) Poor Ken. Hoping that his 60th birthday would pass off quietly, he had little chance of that with Dierdre's mother Blanche about. Not content with making lewd suggestions to her daughter and giving Ken a huge card, she had a request played on local radio with his phone number read out for any old pupils to call their former teacher; a huge banner, mispelled by the well-meaning Tyrone, displayed outside his house, and a surprise party thrown at the Rovers. In the end however he quite enjoyed it until arch-enemy Mike Baldwin demanded that he pay Mike back for Dierdre's court fees as well as paying for her upcoming appeal hearing. Meanwhile Roy and Haley are considering taking up a first-aid course while Gail is still trying to convince Martin about the vasectomy. Maybe they should wait until Roy has done Advanced Surgery 101? [Sound sample] ****

(8/10/99) How many times will Mike put up with Deirdre shouting I'm handing in me notice!? Linda's quite right she is too sensitive by half. Still Mike knows a good workhorse when he sees one so Linda's the one that gets fired... Should leave her free to lord it over the rest of the street for a while in any case... Elsewhere poor Curly gets a right thumping from Roy in the cafe. Yes, you did read it right but of course he was choking on a bit of rushed food at the time. Others who no doubt will be also throwing something up soon are the Rovers bar-flies who all sampled Vinnie's Velvet Stout. They all seemed convinced it wasn't half-bad. But then the amount they all drink, how are they ever sober enough to tell the difference? Meanwhile Gail is convincing Martin to have a vasectomy... With the world population about to top 6 billion I suppose they'll be doing their bit to slow growth down. But with all the deaths in soaps these days, I'd certainly be looking at my contact if I were Sean Wilson... ***

Velvet Stout Tasters

Spider and Toyah's New Home

(3/10/99) Everything is looking rosy for Mike and Linda in the UK's oldest soap with the factory girl moving in with her rogue of a boss. Of course it won't last, but I hope Linda gets to spit a lot of her venom at the Wakefield residents before everything turns sour. Meanwhile with Emily and Maud at last off on their far-east jaunt, you'd think the coast would be clear for Spider and Toyah to get cosy at Auntie Em's while she's gone. Unfortunately the Eco-warrior has given his word and they are reduced to a sorry looking tent on the Red Rec. In October in Britain? They won't last a week... Finally the most ludicrious story-line gets worse - the police phone Terry Duckworth about the dodgy car that he had sold to his mother (and subsequently stolen back) and while he's saying he's knows nothing about the theft, the car is being crushed about ten yards away... Maybe the Police don't listen to the background noise of telephone conversations? ***
Audience: 14.03m (4th) BARB

(24/9/99) Ah, Ashley and Maxine's wedding has happened at last and didn't the bride look like Alexandra Bastedo? Of course, as with all the soaps these days, a special event requires a special hour-long show but although this sometimes works, often like this episode the writing is padded out to fit the time. The writers took the sledgehammer approach to the Pain/Pleasure principle with Gary joking as best man with the wedding guests while wife Judy collapses and dies hanging out washing in their backyard. Meanwhile Sharon was blubbering for all she's worth to loverat Ian's answerphone while drowning her sorrows in vodka and perhaps some sleeping pills? I thought the sun was shining at the wedding but you know what they say, it never rains but it pours... **
Audience: 15.92m (3rd) BARB

Coronation Street

Coronation Street

Fri 17/9/99 When they first joined the soap my hope was that Gary and Judy Mallet would become the new Jack and Vera. In a way they did but the bump on the head Judy received in Vera's car this week is by all accounts the end of the road for her at least... Elsewhere the Sally/Danny/Sharon saga goes on - frankly I think he deserves better than either of them. Finally what is this Maud and Emily trip to Bangkok all about? Will Emily return with her own sex-slave or what? ****
Audience: 14.80m (3rd) BARB

TV Book

See behind the scenes at Coronation Street in Access All Areas
by David Hanson, Roger Dixon

[Correspondent - Country Tracks - Don't Try This At Home - Eastenders]

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