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Soap watch; Eco-warrior Spider is on his way out.

IT'S a terrible state of affairs. Yes, Spider, who we all thought had died in his grotty flat in Coronation Street, is actually alive.

But he's leaving. Yes, everyone's favourite eco-warrior is spreading his wings and heading out of Weatherfield in the next few months.

Unfortunately he's not taking half the cast with him, which is a shame. Or maybe it's the scriptwriters I don't like. This week sees more of the Maxine turning vegetarian plotline, as she tries to convince Ashley it's the way to go. Oh behave woman. There is nothing wrong with a nice plate of steak and chips.

Anyway, elsewhere, Curly is getting all smoochy now that he's got to the bottom of the policeman thing, and Sergeant Emma Taylor is his for the taking.

Gwen's still acting like a dimwit, and poor old Jim MacDonald is too blind to see what a nightmare this woman really is.

And now, to Tony's killer. Well, remember the coke dealer Jez? Steve MacDonald's mate? Well he's back this week, causing trouble, but looking unsure of himself when he sees the reward posters for the capture of the man who killed Natalie's son go up.

Leanne for one is convinced he's the killer. I'm not too sure. But do we really care? I mean, it's not as if anyone liked Tony. And I can hardly remember him it was that long ago. This is enough to drive the most die- hard Street fans to the off switch.

Or, switch to EastEnders, which you should not turn off this week at all. Poor Ricky Butcher. He's had a hard life. He's lost children, family, wives, jobs. Oh, he's had his troubles. And this week he's had enough. Off into the sunset goes Rickkkaaaaay.

Forever labelled with that name - said in that manner - will be Sid Owen, who did a fine job of playing him for 12 years.

Ricky is, of course, leaving because the whole car-scam thing is out in the open, and Dan knows, thanks to the lovely Janine. Yes, that's Ricky's sister. Can you believe that she would do that?

In fact, I can't believe she can even speak to Dan after what he did. If anyone did that to my brother, let's just say they wouldn't be on my Christmas card list, and I certainly wouldn't be chewin' the fat with them. But, hey, I'm not Janine, thank God.

So, Dan and Ricky have a punch-up, and then Ricky confronts Phil, and it's not pleasant. But it's a great episode (Thursday), so don't miss it.

Elsewhere in the Square, Beppe cannot believe what his mother has done. And poor Steve is having a very hard time of it with Billy.

Meanwhile, Lisa's having a hard time in Emmerdale. Unbeknown to her, hubby Zak has slept with his ex- wife Nellie (please get rid of this awful woman, Emmerdale), and of course there's all the fuss about the crash. Was it her fault? Or has Chris Tate got something up his sleeve? Oh I expect so.

Now, to Brookside, And tell me, would you trust your health and welfare with dippy doctor Darren? No, me neither. Can he not see that Victoria's completely mad? This week he's so excited about the pregnancy - not even thinking for a minute that the baby might be druggie Dave's. Brilliant that, isn't it, the way Brookside name their characters so well; dippy Darren, druggie Dave, bolshy Bev, slutty Susannah, evil Emily, etc, etc.

Anyway, little evil Emily will get her comeuppance soon. Nikki is the brains of the Shadwick mob, and it seems that she is beginning to see that her darling little sister is not as innocent as she looks.

Plans are afoot for the hen weekend, and Lindsey borrows money from her dad to go. Why? Why is she going? She hates Jacqui and she's not exactly Rachel's mate, is she? Why would anyone invite her - except the scriptwriters to make the fun week in Benidorm (coming soon) more exciting - in the first place?

Over In Hollyoaks, Zara is in big trouble after starting the school fire. Well, you would be, wouldn't you? Hopefully, they'll send her off to a remand centre somewhere never to darken our door again. I would never tire of punching that girl. Oh, sorry, can I say that?

Anyway. Laughs all round when Finn discovers who his older woman Vicky really is. Well laughs for us, but not Tony. But that's always the case, isn't it?
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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Brown, Merle
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 15, 2000
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