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Matthew Wright.

'Ere, Tiff! Wossat Grant up to wiv yer muvver?

EastEnders' dramatic bid to up ratings

THIS sensational kiss marks the moment of ultimate betrayal for EastEnders' Tiffany Mitchell.

The passionate snog between her husband, Grant, and mum, Louise Raymond, will devastate Albert Square's favourite barmaid.

It is the scene which will kick off one of the most gripping storylines in the show's history.

The clinch happens after hard-nut Grant, played by Ross Kemp, shows some rare tenderness by comforting Louise - actress Carol Harrison of Brush Strokes fame - after a furious row with her ex-hubby, Terry.

Unable to resist powerful sexual feelings for one another, the pair fall into the steamy smooch, which will be screened next month.

The vibes between Tiff's long-lost mother Louise have been building since Grant returned from his jaunt to Spain.

But the kiss happens while Tiffany - Martine McCutcheon, who is quitting later this year to pursue her singing career - is away from the Square on a massage course.

In this instance Louise, afflicted with guilt, pulls away but, as the plot unfolds, the couple try - but fail - to resist their urges.

"Grant has done some terrible things in his life but this is really the worst," said my EastEnders insider. "They're terrified that Tiffany will find out but just can't tear themselves away from each other.

"Louise has come back to the Square to make it up to Tiffany and Simon, whom she walked out on when they were kids. But she knows that a relationship with Grant is hardly the behaviour of a mother who is seeking forgiveness from her children."

The astonishing relationship will culminate in a spectacular one-hour special, to be screened at the beginning of September, which focuses on the three troubled characters.

The storyline is the handywork of new executive producer Matthew Robinson, who is determined to boost ratings with sensational plots.

It was Robinson who was responsible for the cull of ten cast members.

He was drafted in to boost viewing figures for BBC1's ailing soap five months ago.

And after analysing Albert Square's performance against ITV rival Coronation Street, Robinson and new BBC drama boss Mal Young decided that drastic action was needed.

The characters he has axed include Sanjay Kapoor (Deepak Verma), Ruth Fowler (Caroline Paterson), Gita Kapoor (Shobu Kapoor) and Michael and Susan Rose (Russell Floyd and Tilly Vosburgh).

My source adds: "They're convinced that the liaison between Grant and Louise will make the show unmissable.

"It's real on-the-edge-of-your-seat stuff and viewers can expect more plots like this."

SANJAY ON SONG

AXED EastEnders star Deepak Verma is to follow in the time-honoured tradition of "ex" TV soap stars by launching a pop career.

Deepak, who played dopey Sanjay Kapoor, is banking on a singing career since being written out of the show.

He's joined Stone Roses guitarist Aziz Ibrahim to record an album. "People say: 'Oh you're an actor, how can you sing?' and that's the problem we have in this country," says Deepak in an interview on Kiss 100's Full Frontal show.

"Music is something I'm learning about. I followed ex-Stone Roses singer Ian Brown around Glastonbury.

"I don't play any instruments, but I sing."

Watch out, Kylie.

WHY IT'S MICHAEL FIT-LEY..

HE'S the most nimble-footed dancer around and at last I've discovered the secret of Michael Flatley's success - supreme fitness.

The Lord Of The Dance star recently trekked up Table Mountain in South Africa.

And once at the top he went through his fitness routine, undeterred by the 3,500ft altitude which makes exercise even more crippling.

Despite the exertion Michael, 39, found the energy to romance his new girlfriend, South African model Simone, at the exclusive Palace Hotel in South Africa's Sun City.

My insider said: "Michael sets very high standards for himself to ensure he is super-fit for his shows.

"Most people would be short of breath just getting to the top of the mountain but Michael went through his exercises and hardly broke into a sweat."

I think this means we can safely say he will be in peak condition for the London leg of his Feet Of Flames extravaganza show at London's Hyde Park on July 25 - his last ever live dance performance.

DALE Winton is so modest it's untrue. The Supermarket Sweep star turned down a leading TV part because he doubts his own abilities.

"Someone wrote a sitcom for me," he says.

"I was offered a star role as the camp purser on a ship. I turned it down because I was terrified.

"I'd love to do it but I can't act."

That doesn't seem to stop others, Dale.

Ulrika fails secs test..

I BET TV presenter Ulrika Jonsson wished she'd never agreed to go on my pal Graham Norton's new Channel 4 chat show.

The mischievous camp Irish comedian revealed that the blonde beauty failed one of her exams - at secretarial college in Oxford.

What was the former weather girl's chilly response?

"You b*****d".

GOT ANY GOSSIP? CALL ME OR P0LLY GRAHAM ON 0171 293 3950
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Wright, Matthew
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 22, 1998
Words:840
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