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Soap watch; Altered image for Dale's randy vicar.

LOVE is in the air this week in Emmerdale as Bernice finally succumbs to Ashley's devastating charm. Or something like that.

And Betty is in her element with this fab piece of gossip and tells the whole village about the couple.

One man who is not happy with the news is Pollard, who is running for election.

He goes to see Ashley to discuss the "morality of a vicar sleeping with a barmaid".

Obviously, this doesn't go down too well with Ashley at all.

Lisa isn't bothered with the gossip as she's got serious problems of her own. Her business has to close this week and, when she overhears Paddy talking about her, she leaves the house.

Oh dear. All is not well at all in the Dales.

Ashley is the starring man this week in Coronation Street, too, in a sublimely ridiculous storyline. Yes, it's still all about vegetarian butchers. Honestly, have you ever heard such bunkum?

No wonder the stars of the Street are leaving in their droves.

And the best news ever is that the dreaded Alison is leaving too - and this time, believe me, it is very much for good.

Jez (that hideous character) is hassling Steve McDonald (that even more hideous character), and the McDonald boy is actually pretty scared. Good. Serves him right.

Pleasing me this week is the return of Spider - back for his swansong, before heading for that soap- character graveyard.

Gail is not a happy woman this week. Surely some mistake.

She's unhappy because her daughter is forming a relationship with Hayley.

She needs to get a grip, that woman, and fast. Mind you, the arrival of Jerry (Rebecca's ex- hubby) ought to get this affair thing sorted out sooner rather than later!

And what about Debs getting it on with Dev. Go girl, I say. He's a nice bit of all right.

Over in Brookside, there is a distinct lack of good-looking blokes around. I mean, look at Jimmy for instance. A face only a mother could love - or the long-suffering Jackie. Poor woman. This week, though, she takes Jimmy back, totally shocked at his condition after a week sleeping rough on the streets.

Darren has his own problems, dealing with Victoria's abortion and then the revelation that the baby wasn't his but drug dealer Dave's.

That man will need a consultation at his own surgery soon, poor thing.

Emily is still hassling Susannah, but Nikki is on to her tearaway sister and warns her. Mmm, like that will work.

And what about Ron? He goes to pick up baby Beth at the nursery and comes back with the wrong kid!

Hollyoaks is hot this week, with Ruth's pregnancy and Kate's return the best bits.

And the Max and Chloe relationship is fun, although not for them this week when they are caught in a compromising position by Helen. How embarrassing!

Down in Albert Square, Jackie's mood takes a turn for the worse. EastEnders is tackling a sensitive issue here in PMS.

Jackie suffers badly from it and this week physically attacks Gianni. Just how much will that affect his macho ways?

Well done to EastEnders for recognising that PMS is an affliction that many women suffer from.

Now where did I put those boxing gloves - it's about time the blokes in my life learnt their lesson ...

Big storyline of the week in the Square, though, is Lisa's collapse and baby scare.

And the best storyline is the one that sees Phil come to blows with Dan - about time, too. Dan, the man with the fake tan, is long overdue a punch. Why not send Jackie round to sort him out too?

And, thank the lord, Melanie finally realises that the shady Mr Sullivan is not the man for her. But just who is?

Steve? Will someone save him anyway - he's a miserable character these days, is he not, and it is, quite frankly, boring me to tears.

In Family Affairs, Benji has problems, but the Warrington family - man they have big trouble ahead of them!

Andrew's murder trial is about to start, and Sara, after being thrown out of her house, gets a job as a lapdancer!
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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Brown, Merle
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 22, 2000
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Next Article:Rankin with the best; John Hannah tells MERLE BROWN how he ended up on both sides of the camera for his latest TV role - thanks to his best pal.

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