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Old Dicko is just too embarrassing; Soap watch.

THE Millennium Bug might not have ruined Ron Dixon's (Vince Earl) life as he thought it would in Brookside, but this week he manages to do it himself.

Old Dicko's been in the close 10 years, and what a life he's had. He's still a right royal pain in the butt, though, and this week Anthea decides she's had more than enough of him when he embarrasses everyone at the home of his daughter Jacqui's (Alex Fletcher) fianc Nathan (Marcus Hutton), Cuddington Hall.

So, this paves the way nicely for the return of Bev and Josh later this year then ...

In the meantime, Mike (Paul Byatt) and Rachel (Tiffany Chapman) and baby Beth get the delight of having Ron move in with them and Katie (Diane Burke) at No 8!

Katie's having a rotten time of it as this week sees her lose her job, too, after Nathan finds out she gave Nikki (Suzanne Collins) the files on Luke Musgrove. Oh dear, oh dear.

In Channel 4's Hollyoaks, dastardly Darren (Ashley Taylor Dawson) manages to split up Gina (Danielle Brent) and Emily (Lorna Pegler). The rat.

And then Gina loses the election at the college and is convinced it's because she's a lesbian. Not nice, but probably true.

There are no such problems in Coronation Street, as it has never had any gay characters - it jumped miles ahead and went for a transsexual instead.

Anyway, this week, Leanne (Jane Danson) is getting drug counselling, but leaves in a strop. Surely not!

And poor Martin (Sean Wilson) and Rebecca (Jill Halfpenny) could be about to be found out. Martin thinks Leanne has seen them at the hospital when she was there for her follow- up counselling session. Now she's the last person you'd want to know your secret - well apart from Audrey Roberts or Dot Cotton perhaps.

There's some boring storyline with Tom (Tom Wisdom) and his dad this week, but frankly I can't be bothered, and Tom's leaving soon anyway. Oh, sorry, who is he? He's the one from the hairdresser's, remember? The good-looking one with about one storyline in all his time there.

The most terrible storyline of all this week is the one which sees Alison (Naomi Radcliffe) and Kevin (Michael Le Vell) prepare for their wedding.

However, will Kevin go through with it? He shares a bottle of wine with Sally (Sally Whittaker) at the end of the week, and as they reminisce and the wine flows, is he having second thoughts about his forthcoming nuptials?

Now the other big storyline this week is Kelly (Adele Silva), who is in the depths of despair in Emmerdale. No wonder. She's what, 19 or something, and already on to her second pregnancy. The first time it was with Biff's baby, but she claimed it was Chris Tate's (Peter Amory) and now, well she doesn't know if it's her husband Roy's (Nicky Evans) or her step- brother Scott's (Ben Freeman).

So it's no wonder really when she takes drastic action this week to solve her problems.

There are problems for Julie-Ann (Chloe Howman) in Family Affairs, too, this week, when she ends up date- raped by Pete's (David Easter) business colleague Jon Tyler (Dominic Taylor). God, cheery stuff for the new Millennium. Not!

Gemma (Angela Hazeldine) has still got the festive spirit, though unfortunately too much of it, and straight out of a bottle too! Still at least she's able to forget where she is for a while, and might even slide through January into February without knowing it ever happened. Now that's an idea ...

And finally to our soap of the week, EastEnders.

Yes, at last, Mark Fowler (Todd Carty) has succumbed to an illness related to his HIV. Of course, we don't think he'll die ... but there is bound to be lots of crying and soul-searching, and misery by the bucketload. What joy.

So who can blame Sam Butcher (Daniella Westbrook) for just ignoring it all and getting down and dirty between the sheets with Steve Owen (Martin Kemp)?

Not me, that's for sure. What a lovely way to spend a cold January evening ...
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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Brown, Merle
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jan 15, 2000
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