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Oh Lord, what a high old time.

Emmerdale (ITV) is no stranger to white substances. Apron Annie was always up to her elbows in flour.

And there was no shortage of flu powder whenever anyone sneezed in the Sugden household.

But 25 years is a long time in soap opera. Residents of Beckindale now eat out instead of baking their own.

And not all the drugs are sold over the counter in the village shop. Lord Alex Oakwell (Rupam Maxwell) resorted to snorting cocaine and did not care who saw him doing it. But you can bet lots of parents watching with their children were horrified. Especially at a time when the Government has launched an anti-drugs crusade.

I suppose we should be grateful that his actions were frowned upon and it was clear the habit had not spread to the lower classes. Kim Tate (Claire King) hit the roof when she caught him wiping his nose in the bathroom during her engagement bash at Home Farm.

"Want some charlie?" he said. For a moment I thought he had forgotten her name but he was simply offering her a line of the stuff.

A tipsy Linda Fowler (Tonicha Jeronimo) was even more alarmed later when she went for a drive with him to spite boring hubbie Biff (Stuart Wade).

"Are you an addict?" she asked as the bow-tied toff took some charlie out of the pocket of his dinner jacket. She should have inquired if he was a sex maniac because within seconds he was reaching for her charlies as they sped along a country road.

She fought him off like a wildcat, causing him to crash the car. The lecherous lord escaped serious injury and fled the scene after moving the lifeless body of his companion into the driver's seat.

The cad is turning into the biggest baddie on the box. It brought a dramatic end to the glamorous bash which saw stiff fashion competition among the women.

Linda spent pounds 150 on the low-cut black dress that was to lead to her downfall and Kathy Glover (Malandra Burrows) wore sparkling pink. But the award for sexiest outfit had to go to the bride-to-be whose plunging neckline revealed all. Unfortunately, despite lashings of make-up, the pimples on her face were there for all to see as well.

Not everyone went to the party. The Dingles favoured a knees-up at the wine bar. The Woolpackers provided the entertainment and everyone had a high old time without resorting to hard drugs. The only line they were interested in was line dancing.

I THOUGHT Coronation Street was cruel to say farewell to Mavis Wilton and Don Brennan in the same episode, but EastEnders (BBC1) is even more brutal.

In Albert Square they send people packing by the vanload. The entire Jackson clan - Carol, Alan, Robbie, Sonia and Billy - were shipped out .

They were moved to a secret location for their own safety, what with the kidnapping and all. My heart was in my mouth when the family put it to the vote, but fortunately only Robbie wanted to stay.

I was not the only one who was glad to see the back of them. They were given a police escort to make sure they didn't change their minds.
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Copyright 1997 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Purnell, Tony
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Oct 17, 1997
Next Article:Piano strikes wrong chord with Annabel.

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