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Let's drink a toast to Vera's ruby booze day!

Not a trace of anniversary schmaltz as Vera and Jack Duckworth rang up their Ruby Wedding with a Rovers rave in Coronation Street - with sex-mad Vera, in naughty knickers, forcing Jack to accept that strife continues at 40.

It was fabulously fragrant soap as The Street toasted its unlikeliest enduring marriage.

Forty years together and, as dear Les Dawson used to say, only three rows. Morning, noon and night!

From the moment Alec Gilroy started the party with the immortal opening line: "Let joy be unconfined but not one drop of free drink pass over the bar", it was clear it was set to be classic Corrie.

And it climaxed hilariously with Vera, wearing shocking scarlet lingerie, insisting Jack chased her upstairs as she stripped off.

He'd been throttling the bottle since breakfast and, despite an encouraging bark of "tally-ho" from Fred Elliott, went to his fate looking like he'd prefer a peck on the cheek from one of his pigeons. He had tried to avoid sexual slavery but Vera had put all her basque in one exit and her Last Orders were explicit.

From a fate worse than death to a fight to the death, the latest round in the Weatherfield ranting-weight championship between Spurned Sal and Natalie the Lay brought the celebrations down to, well, traditional Street level.

Fight experts have noted that, comparing styles, Sally packs a knockout punch but Natalie is adept at picking up points in the verbal clinches. And all over mucky mechanic Kevin Webster.

Maybe his service is better than anyone imagined.

YOU CLEVER PLUGGERS

Yob 'n' rollers Oasis hyped their latest album in BBC1's sanitised documentary Oasis - Right Here Right Now (Wednesday).

It had bigger plugs than the team baths in Wembley Stadium dressing rooms.

But it wasn't just the cheeky little cap worn by Liam Gallagher that stirred the odd echo of dear-departed John Lennon - without the mischievous charm and flick-knife wit of Lennon, of course.

Musically these Man City lager louts proved more than capable of standing alongside the great British rockers.

Fireworks as lady meets the vamp!

Ladylike and luscious, Anna Brecon burned like

a beacon as Lord Alex Oakwell's bride Tara in ANOTHER soap wedding celebration in Emmerdale (ITV, Thursday). But will tasty Tara last the course? And how will the new Lady Oakwell react when she discovers her rival Kim Tate is a vamp? It promises to be horsewhips at three paces...

Here

cuss the bride!

Cockney capers at the wedding blessing for Tiffany and Grant Mitchell in EastEnders, with Tiff learning that it's the time- honoured tradition in Albert Square to cuss rather than kiss the bride.

It was suggested she should be greeted with Stand By Your Man rather than Here Comes The Bride and the snappy couple had a boisterous barney en route to the church.

Tiff's drunken dad Terry showed up uninvited, charmingly dubbing her an "ungrateful little slapper".

And in a five-night special next week she and Grant, Ricky and maybe-mum-to-be Bianca, and Phil and Kathy, are all heading for Paris.

Sacre bleu, that's the most explosive little team to hit France since D-Day!

QUICK TAKES

JUST when will Jeremy Beadle appear and reveal that C4's three-parter Plane Crazy (Tuesday) is really a spiffing spoof?

Egomaniac Bob X Cringley - what can his middle name possibly be? - and his efforts to build a plane in 30 days would have been chucked out by Challenge Anneka.

Exasperating Cringley, who thinks a World War Two Mustang is "super sexy", would have been a handy bloke in a PoW camp.

To go dig a deep hole.

SENSUALITY surprisingly slipped by the censors in Neighbours (BBC1) with a feetish fetish performed by schoolboy Billy Kennedy (Jesse Spencer) on his ankle-socks crush Anne (Brooke Satchwell).

Watchdogs are usually cranky about any hanky panky in Oz soaps but Billy's foot massage led to Anne's first screen kiss - and not even behind the school bike sheds!

Yet it was important enough to move live Test cricket to BBC2.

FORMER Queen Vic landladies seem to have found a safe haven in Sunhill.

Recently Sharon (Letitia Dean) guested in The Bill and on Friday the original gin-soaked queen of The Vic, Angie Watts (Anita Dobson), turned up as a kind of sin-soaked Queen of Mean member of a tough East End criminal family.

She must have been amused by Friday's sub-title: Has Anyone Here Seen Bigmouth?

Bianca Butcher surely wasn't around in Angie's dirty days in Albert Square?
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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Lanning, Dave
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Aug 24, 1997
Words:746
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