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Ian Hyland column: Pat And Mo: Ashes To Ashes.

Byline: Ian Hyland

FAILING to learn from previous spectacularly burst soap bubbles EastEnders went back in time with Pat And Mo: Ashes To Ashes (BBC1, Thurs).

And while we didn't find out whether Pat's a junkie, we did discover she was once a major tom. Crap David Bowie jokes aside, it soon became clear that among the many flaws one thing stuck out like a joke at an EastEnders script meeting.

Young Pat. Because it was hard to look at young Pat (Emma Cooke) without thinking "I definitely would". There have been many references over the years to Pat being a bit of a looker in her youth but surely this was stretching things too far.

Still, you can't blame the casting department for taking an afternoon off. Especially as the writers were clearly already a few rounds ahead of them down the pub.

Early doors, Old Mo had a question for Old Pat. "Do we have to go on raking all this over, Pat? What's the point?". By the end of the show you couldn't help wishing Old Pat had agreed and called a halt there and then. The closing credits were more like a roll of shame - fittingly accompanied by a blast of Who's Sorry Now? Answer? All of them, I hope.

It was hard not to think the whole thing had gathered dust on the BBC shelves for a year before being snuck into the schedules at the last minute.

For a start, Charlie - who spent most of the show saying "Well, this is going well", thus proving that as a TV critic he makes a great taxi driver - still had his cab.

Even Kate's Nail Bar looked like a new and exciting addition to the Square. (OK, I might be pushing it a bit there.) The fact that Pat and Mo were gathering for the 25th anniversary of Jimmy's death - his gravestone said he died in 1978 - was also a bit of a clue. Why does that matter? Well, it just added to an already half-baked, context-lacking mess. Maybe instead of wasting time (although, admittedly, not much money) on daft bubbles like this the writers could come up with some decent non-diet based storylines for Pat and Mo within the soap itself. In fact, this WOULD have been a decent storyline for the soap itself. I mean, I fully accept that the Ferreiras' mortgage arrears and Dirty Den looking bored/miserable/asleep for a whole week should rightly take precedent.

But, you know, it's just a thought.i.hyland@mgn.co.uk

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BEAUTY: Young Pat
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Apr 4, 2004
Words:431
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