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Soap box: It's not all right, Jack!; Things are hotting up, despite the power of flowers.

EASTENDERS

As the blue snake wiggles across the map of London and that maddening tune - dadda-dadda-daaa-daaa- daaaaaaa - starts, I now expect to read: Sponsored By Interflora. It's amazing how blooming important flowers have become to the soap. Frank sent some to Pat, then had to match it with a bouquet to Peggy, and on Monday Pat softens towards Roy when he sends her a floral tribute. Does any real woman make a life-changing decision because some bloke does or doesn't send her half of Kew Gardens wrapped up in an acre of see-through plastic? Never.

No matter. EastEnders has cheered up a lot since the saucy Slaters moved in. Ma Mo, the female Fagin, this week gets nicked for receiving stolen jewellery. She gets "grounded" by her embarrassed son-in-law, Charlie. Luckily that lasts only one day and when she staggers drunk out of the Vic on Thursday she gets a hefty shove from Pat. Mind you, she gets something off her chest first, yelling at her old enemy, "'Ere's the old slapper! You wanna 'ave a go on the old tart, Charlie? Everyone else 'as!"

Other news. Jim has fleas - no surprise there. Also, solemn little Sonia finally decides to do the deed with Jamie. As in a Victorian novel, I fear, she'll rue the day...

Beppe is already ruing the day Sandra returned. On Monday, when he realises she was ready to bolt with their son, he tells her, "I'm glad you can't have any more kids 'cos you don't deserve the one you've got!"

Then comes a second shock discovering that Jack is the 'other' man. "I fort you were my friend!" he gasps before they try to throttle each other, spurred on by mad Mo.

Mark, rushing to the rescue, is hit on the arm. He's convinced the resultant bruise is the sign of full-blown Aids, until his HIV consultant tells him he's fine. "There isn't a death sentence on me! I'm gonna live forever," he tells his mum, before vrooming off into the sunset on a monster motorbike.

Will he be back? Would you leave your fruit and veg stall to a right turnip like Zoe?

EMMERDALE

Whatever he thinks, it's not all bad for Paddy. Look at him. He's lost a wife but gained a neck, probably as a result of not having to scoff a cowpie and a cake shop or two with the missus every night. Keep it up, lad, I say. Lady Tara could be dragging you under the mistletoe by Christmas.

At the moment he's still long-faced and suffering. He's not the only one, though. Gorgeous Jason's in a state because his Aussie lover Joe's going back Down Under, if you'll pardon the expression. His visa's run out and, unless he can find a Pommie bride, it's back to Neighbours country for Joe. On Wednesday, they visit the Woolpack in their search for a stooge and there Tricia is. The proposal lacks charm.

"Will you marry me?" says Joe. "Me? Ooh, blimey. I'm your last hope really, aren't I?" she squeals. "Yeah," says Joe. Flattered nevertheless, the girl accepts forgetting that she's engaged to Marlon the Mutant.

He, meanwhile, has other things on his mind, like becoming Kathy's partner in the diner. While Pollard can't wait to buy her out for fourpence, Marlon can't wait to become the Marco Pierre White of the Dales.

Pollard traces the original owner of Tubby Turner's restored motorbike and tries to put the now clean machine up for auction. The plan, like the bike, backfires. Pollard's not beaten, of course. Squashed by a house, shot from a cannon, shocked by two million volts, he'd always bounce back, an evil smile on both his faces.

Oh, and Richie's finding life impossible with Sarah and her small daughter. Then I always thought Sarah couldn't handle two babies.

CORONATION STREET

The freaky, tragic shooting of Linda's store bandit brother Dean still stuns the Street, and while Weatherfield sees the fair cop as a heroine, Linda reacts predictably when Emma tries to apologise. "You bitch! You murderer! You murdering pig!"

She's no milder with her dad, who's grieving and vowing vengeance. "He got shot because he didn't have the nerve to get away from you bunch of scum and losers!" she hisses. Then at the funeral on Friday, we meet her long-lost mother Evelyn and it seems Our Lind is a chip off the old iceblock.

Only Curly knows what really happened and he's torn. (Nice that the writers are letting him de-geek and grow up at last). He decides that he and Emma need a break in France and I'm afraid we've got one of those terrible foreign trips ahead. (When soap goes away, soap goes astray.) Soon Maxine catches the bug, booking herself and Ashley on les vacances. By Wednesday, zut alors if foghorn Fred and Audrey aren't going to France too. The entente won't be so cordiale once that pair reach Calais. JE DIS, THE ENTENTE WON'T BE SO... Oh, forget it.

Martin finds life as a weekend father lonely and begins pressing the friend of his old lover Rebecca to tell her he's now available. Meanwhile Gail realises her new life must include a job. Something suiting her personality. Traffic warden, perhaps?

BROOKSIDE

Should we condemn or sympathise with Susannah, the man-eater of the Close? I hate her simpering, but I can see that for a middleclass woman of some sophistication, forced to live in shellsuit land with a load of people who hate her, a diverting hobby would be essential. Neither saintly Mick nor prissy Darren deserves her. But at a dinner at Darren and Victoria's, Susannah behaves appallingly and it's great fun.

But the week belongs to Jimmy Corkhill who has had an eventful life, even by soap standards. Scrounger supreme, dodgy dealer turned drug-crazed burglar and dealer, killer of Frank Rogers, embarrassing neighbour, unreliable friend, dad and husband from hell, and a man with worse taste in interior decor than Vera Duckworth. And all that was before he faked his qualifications and emerged as an evangelical, socialist schoolteacher - one still able to fit in a bit of violent crime with gangster daughter Lindsey.

His colourful career could end on Wednesday. In a double episode Jimmy gets dressed smartly, apart from odd shoes, walks into Brookside Comp, and takes a class hostage. When the cops arrive he does what anyone in a melodrama does - legs it on to the roof (left). Daughter Lindsey tries to coax him down. "You're not yourself, dad." I beg to differ. Will he jump? Or are there more mad Corkhill capers to come?

Our regular columnist Tony Stewart is on holiday.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

'Ere's the old slapper! You wanna 'ave a go on the old tart, Charlie? Everyone else 'as!

Mo to Pat, EastEnders

LOOKALIKE SOAP PETS

My schnauzer looks like Seth

That hang-dog expression, excessive facial hair and no doubt a little grumpiness - who else could this be but Emmerdale's betting man, sponger and poacher?

"My family think our schnauzer Fritz looks like Seth Armstrong (played by Stan Richards)," writes Moyia Thompson from Frinton on Sea, Essex. "He shares his naughty ways as well!" Like Seth, Fritz looks a little down in the dumps. But then Seth has good cause having been terrorised by a couple of teenage girl muggers, which even put him off his pints in the Woolie. But he has recently overcome his fears and gone poaching again.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Kingsley, Hilary
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Oct 14, 2000
Words:1246
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