House: Racquel receives a telephone call from her friend Lorraine, who is after a bed for the night on Monday, as she is coming to the area for an interview. Curly goes aff to work after telling Racquel that she was terrific last night at the Firman's.
House: Ashley asks Don whether it is OK for Kelly to stop the night. Don blusters about the house being small; he doesn't want to hear what goes on. They agree that when Don is working nights it would be alright. Ashley is glad, because he knows that Don "isn't right keen on women" which Don indignantly rejects. He says he has just been unlucky to pick religious maniacs or common-or-garden maniacs.
Corner Shop: Alf gets Maureen and Maud to sponsor him for the walk in aid of the school. He reckons he's good for a couple of miles.
Bookie's Flat: Claire is unsure that it will work out - them living there. Des doesn't see the problem. Becky goes off to help at the school fair, so we establish that it is Saturday.
Rovers': Trish is relaying to Martin the scandal about "Ken Barlow - Mr. Never-a-hair-out-of-place" and the headmistress. Martin is sceptical. emily stands helplessly in between Alf and Percy who each intend towalk furthest in the sponsored walk.
Corner Shop: Racquel has spent the day cleaning in preparation for Lorraine's visit - they were on the course together. Maureen is worried that Maud has come back to work too soon after her illness, but agrees to still go out with Bill this evening for his birthday.
Bookie's Flat: Carol (the mother-in-law) goes to see Claire and Becky's new flat. She is unimpressed.
Rovers': Liz meets Jim to collect the cheque for £1000. She later chats to Sean Skinner, telling him she is glad to be divorcing Jim. Carole denounces Claire's move as "a charade" since they are still under Des' influence.
Weatherfield Comp.: The school fair is taking place in the hall. Mrs Head once more seeks reassurance from Ken that no-one knows what happened in Southport. Due to inclement weather the sponsored walk now consists of laps around the inside of the school hall. Tricia spreads the gossip to Gail, and gets Jamie to point out Mrs Head to her. Emily tries to defend Ken's honour. Ashley arrives to meet Kelly, with Uncle Fred in tow - who goes off to explore, to find Mrs Head as Ashley reveals to Kelly in an aside before getting on to the more interesting news. Don says it is OK for her to stay, when he is out working. Kelly robustly protests "No it is not. The state of that bathroom? You'll not get me in there!" Somehow, I don't think that was the location Ashley had in mind. Percy and Alf are still continuously bickering as they walk round. Then Alf appears to stub his toe on a chair, but it turns out to be a sprained ankle, treated by none other than the Doctor who saw Alf the other day. He informs Alf that he has notified DVLA that Alf is no longer fit to hold a driving licence after the accident in the car park. Meanwhile, Fred has cornered Mrs Head. He remembers her as Susie Mottishead - they lived next door to each other when they were children. He then tells her that she and Ken are the talk of Weatherfield.
House: Des asks Claire to stay the night. She tells him what Carole said, and that if they stay it will just prove it is a charade.
Rovers': Curly relaxes over a pint after a hard day's work, Racquel asks him to tidy the observatory, "finish your drink first!" Maureen cancels her night out with Bill, as she had to take Maud home earlier and Sally minded the shop; they plan to celebrate his birthday next week instead. Ashley tells Don that Kelly won't be staying as she is too consciencious too leave Daniel.
House: Alf wonders how to explain to Audrey when she gets back from the Health Farm.
School: Mrs Head asks Ken how the story has got out round the town. Credits.
Purple object: ladder.
Best line. Don: There must be some women that are as sane as any man.
Lookout Street denizens - because Ken Barlow's on the warpath. Fortunately it's only Derek who has to feel his snippy little tongue as Ken accuses him of spreading gossip about himself and Mrs Head. Derek blusters his innocence and then reports the episode back to Mave who suddenly realises that loose lips really do sink ships, especially if they're loose around ex-cast members of Oranges are not the Only Fruit.
Mave questions Becky about what she overheard - and Becky confirms her "worst suspicions" - so Mave tells her not to repeat the gossip to anyone else (a bit late for that now Mavis), leaving Becky to pull one of her "Mavis is a silly pathetic old woman" faces - so at least Des has taught her something of use.
Mave and Derek decide not to say anything to Ken, even though they are "technically" guilty. Meanwhile at the Rovers, it's the news on old Drear's loose lips that we all want to hear. "It's R TRACEY," announces Drear. "She's comin' HOME! Oh KEN, whaddarewegonnaDO??"
Fiona has a new backing-tape, but hold onto your seats because the excitement doesn't end there. Maxine (wearing sordid fluffy-heart top) tells her that she has been ignoring customers by concentrating on her show-biz "career".
But pride comes before fall, because that night in Shirelle's Fiona "plays" before a crowd who commit the crime of not paying her any attention at all. Miss Glenn Close throws a huge "I will NOT be IGNORED" fit and warns everyone that she will (gasp) stop singing if they don't give little Princess the attention that she craves. The crowd continue to laugh amongst themselves so Fiona prances off-stage to kill Alec/Shirelle/Maxine/Tony/etc.
These two hair-dos are still fighting over where Claire should live and whether Des is immoral for arranging for Claire to pretend to live over the bookies. "Get out!" screams Des (again). So Claire retorts with "OK - I'm moving in for good!" I wonder what the next tired impediment to this relationship the writers can throw at us? Bring Steph back perhaps? Have Claire and Becky pull off rubber masks to reveal it was only Tanya and Charlie all along? Or perhaps Emily will go mad and hold everyone hostage in the salon?
Rackle's new "friend" has arrived and she's exactly what you'd expect - a lot of bubbly brown hair that would probably burn your fingers off if you touched it, a pair of greedy yet vacant eyes, and a southern accent that puts her just a few doors up from the girls in "Birds of a Feather".
Co-inciding with all this, is Rackle being told that she will have to be "let go" at her massage parlour place because there is "no job". Rackle drowns her sorrows with Lozzie, who convinces her to apply for the same job that she's applying for.
The pair get drunk while verbally abusing the Rovers (now we know Rackle's gone beyond the point of no return), and Old Loz even tries to chat up Ashley. "How come all the best men are taken," she brays at him, causing him to do that little in-out thing with his neck that men do when they think they've "scored".
When 'raine meets Curly she insists on kissing him and tells Rackle that "he's not like how she imagined her husband would be." "Nur," says Rackle. "Neither did I."
It's Big Night again for Maureen and Bill, and to cut a long and very embarrassing story short - this silly pair finally wind up back at Bill's flat - only to be spotted sneaking upstairs by first Roy, then Drear. I almost expected Drear to get out the condoms and diagrams. Sequence ends with inevitable embrace - at least it wasn't full-on the lips so we have something to be thankful for. Credits.
Best scene: Don/Maureen/Bill: Don shows us that he really does need a life by whittering on to Maureen about Ashley "He 'as 'is own shelf in t' fridge an all, but when I offer 'im a cup of coffee do I take it from his shelf? No I do not - I take it from me own." Then Bill arrives, and the "lovers" try to arrange their sex-lives without letting Don know. Once Bill has left, Don pauses for exactly one second and then continues with his dirge as if nothing had happened "That's where t' system falls down altogether you see Maureen. And I'm using my electricity to make his coffe...blah blah etc."
Best prop return: The key on the elastic finally returned, for an all too brief swansong at the end.
A THOUSAND GREETINGS, and I hope you,ve all had a good week.
Here is the update for the UK episode Wednesday 11th [or even the 6th ! - Graham] November:
We begin with a morning scene outside the Corner Shop, where Maureen greets Bill. She is looking remarkably post-coital in a glowing kind of way. Clearly a bit of what she fancied did her good. The bedroom scene on Monday wasn't exactly what you,d call explicit, especially when she had been interviewed in WOMAN magazine, and said the very walls would be shuddering with unbridled lust, or something very much along those lines.
Mavis chats to young Becky about where they happen to be living now. Mavis has lost track of their nomadic ways. Becky pulls Mave's leg by wondering if she and Dirk might have a spare room. Mavis scotches this notion by saying the room is used for guests and lumber. I should tell our overseas buddies that Mavis hasn't turned the back bedroom into a timber yard; lumber refers to junk/rubbish in this instance, not wood.
Then there is a sudden death on the street. A death for which none of us were prepared, and the popular press had not leaked to the masses. I refer to the demise of the entire transport fleet of McDonald and Webster. Yes, the van is knackered. Kevin confirms the worst at a gut- wrenching post mortem, (that's autopsy for you foreign lumber-speakers.) This is not a scene for the faint hearted. It,s curtains for the Transit van, although Kev thrills British viewers by saying "Jim could fix it" The truth of the matter is that this vehicle would clearly need divine intervention, even beyond the powers of a dotty old northern disk jockey.
Over breakfast, Raquel's getting the wobbles about the forthcoming job interview, but Lorraine bolsters her confidence.
Wearing matching natty outfits in canary yellow (The Corner Shop Corporate Colour?) Maud and Maureen talk about the previous night. Maud is fishing for gobbets of gossip, but Maureen is playing her cards close to her chest. Roy comes in for a packet of chewy mints. He describes his method of eating them. M and M are less than fascinated.
In the pub - can,t think of the name of it right now - Roger's Revenge - something like that anyway, Liz tells Diedre she's received the final bill from her solicitor, and all but £53 of it will be covered by Jim's cheque, so she's happy.
All at once, a rover returns. THAT'S IT!! That,s the name of the pub. Spooky coincidence! The rover is in the shape of our Tracy, astonishingly still being played by the same actress! The big news is that she's marrying a 25 year old carpet fitter, but she's not pregnant. She's known him six months, and clearly likes the cut of his pile, so to speak. Her mum pretends to be pleased, which is one of the things mums often have to do. Later her step-father pretends to be pleased, and does a more creditable job, I'd say.
Alec and Fiona pick over the bones of the disastrous club gig the other night. He tells her she needs one thing to succeed in the entertainment business, and that's talent. Talent and determinationTWO things to succeed.talent, determination and luck THREE THINGS! to succeed. (I hope to god some of you understand this nonsense.) I know you didn't expect the Spanish Inquisition. Rita reinforces the pep- talk later, and Fiona decides she still on target for a life of fame in the spotlight after all.
Lorraine and Raquel both go for the job interview, and there is much heart-searching about the possible future conflict between career and kiddies. More of this anon, I'll warrant.
Claire's mother visits her at Des's house. The ex-mother in law bends her ear about the current arrangements, but Clare tells her to shut up, basically.
Back in the Rovers, Audrey says she might consider hiring the able-bodied Brian as a driver, if Alf is off the road for good. You will remember a flirtation between her and the able-bodied Brian while Alf was myrrh. Alf is filled with alarm.
About this time, we are treated to a zoomed-in close-up full-frame shot of Des and Clare snogging in the pub. Do people still say snogging, or is it sucking face these days?
Still anxious about their transport arrangements, Bill and Jim console each other over a drink. Then we learn that Jim has really fixed it. To be more accurate, he's 'fixed' Liz,s exuberance because he's phoned the bank and stopped the cheque. That's check, for you foreign lumber- speakers. Oblivious to the fact that his bank will probably charge him about £50 quid for the pleasure, he reckons he's played a blinder. The last shot is of Liz at the bar, also oblivious of the little bit of bad news awaits her.
My Wednesday Oscars go to Maud and Roy, who shared a super little scene which was in the form of a meeting of minds. Roy confirmed that Bill and Maureen would not have welcomed being disturbed the night before. They shared a knowing look and a conspiratorial grin.
The purple object was a distributor cap from a 1972 Ford Cortina 1600E.
Or a barrel, you work it out!
That's it for tonight.
GOOD NIGHT AND I LOVE YOU ALL!
Drear's Flat: Ken wants R Tracy to get married "from the family home" but R Tracy points out that she has left home. "So have I, Ken" says Dreary.
The Street, outside Jim's: Jim and Bill survey the new van bought with the money Jim hasn't paid to Liz. Bill is incredulous when he finds out that Liz doesn't know.
Drear's Flat: R Tracy doesn't want to ask Ken to fork out for the wedding. Drear gently tells Tracy that he is her Dad - it wasn't just signing a piece of paper when he adopted her.
House: Alf has the form for the driving licence people, who want his permission to speak to his doctor. Audrey makes him sign it.
House: Lorraine is hogging the bathroom and Curly is desperate for a pee. L is jumpily waiting for the phone to ring, but Rackle seems relaxed about it. Curly says he'll bring back a bottle of champagne - either to celebrate or commiserate.
Rovers: Dreary and R Tracy spread the wedding news to Big Red and Emily. Tracy doesn't quite commit herself to answering whether Hackney is "nice". Mike Baldwin makes snide remarks, Tracy goes off to phone the loved one.
House: Rackle answers the phone, says yes a lot then hands it to Lorraine. They don't want Lorraine, but Rackle has to go for a second interview. L bitches to R that it isn't fair as R wouldn't have gone if it hadn't been for her, so R has stolen L's job.
Rovers: Ken arrives, and R Tracy tells them Robert says it is OK to get married in Weatherfield. Ken and Drear are very happy. Tracy takes Ken off to book the register office.
Jim and Bill's van: Big budget location shots here as we are treated to interior shots of the van, alternately from each front door pillar, with Jim driving past unidentifiable (to me) buildings and houses, including Staples office store. They discuss Jim's money problems - Bill is apprehensive of Liz's reaction. Jim intends to pay the money back in instalments.
House: Lorraine goes, as she can't face Curly and the champagne. Lorraine apologises to Rackle for being selfish. Rackle is her usual nice self.
Rovers: Dreary and Liz talk weddings, Andy doesn't intent to follow suit. Jim takes Liz aside for a word. He tells her he has stopped the cheque. Bill and Dreary cluck in the background. Liz goes ballistic, grabbing Jim's shirt and shouting. Jim retorts that if she needs money to ask her rich boyfriend and stomps out. Liz runs after him.
Street - Jim's van: Liz wants to know who; Jim says Sean Skinner. Liz pokes Jim with her bony fingers alot whilst shouting. Jim stays calm saying he needed the money for the van so he can work. (So he can build up a future for Steve when he gets out.) Jim promises to pay her regular instalments and Liz calms down and walks off. Bill and Dreary have been stood a little way up the street waiting to watch Jim and Liz get physical. Ken and R Tracy drive up. They say there was a 3 month waiting list - too long - but there was a cancellation for next week which they have taken. So Tracy gets her wish for a simple do.
House: Curly is home, says he's not surprised that Lorraine didn't get a 2nd interview and Rackle did.
Rovers: Jack warns Ashley of the dangers of marriage as Ken and Dreary are sitting down for a cosy chat about the wedding arrangements; Jack's eyes light up with pound signs at the prospect of hosting the reception.
Shirrelle's Club: Fiona is performing "Take My Breath Away" to an apparently appreciative audience. Alec is pleased with her, "That's the buzz, it's better than sex. Well I've no personal experience of singing to be able to comment, and the memory is going about the other" Alec goes off to get the money, leaving Fiona to get chatted up by the man in the audience she has used for Rita's trick of singing to one person. He was there the other night and thought she picked him specially. Fiona seems touched by his genuine appreciation, then he leaves suddenly when she tells him it's a showbiz thing and it could have been anyone.
House: Curly lies with his head in Rackles lap while she plays with his hair speculating on her previous hopes, dashed. He thinks she'll be OK. Credits. Purple object: radio.
Best line. Curly and Rackle talking about class. C: "You're one of those people who have got it and don't know - the best kind." R: "You're bound to say that, you married me." C: "That's why I married you."
Best hairdo: R Tracy looking like Pocohontas, in plaits.
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Let's meet Tracy's intended and thank goodness that he seems like a nice sort of boy - with hair all combed into place (not like horrible Craig). In fact *everyone* seems to have fallen in love with Robbie, and he's even making Vera honk like a goose at the bar in the Rovers, so he must be OK. I think that if the circumstances were only *slightly* different, Deirdre would have jumped on him by now. "Just a half?" she inquires - when Robbie doesn't go for the full pint. "I have to keep my weight down," he says. "I play football." You can see Dreary's nasty little mind at work already. However, this is NOT a throwaway scene - as it "establishes" that Robbie isn't used to getting drunk - and ! - it's his Stag night tonight.
Perhaps Robbie should be giving Ken a few tips on losing weight because he seems to have put on about 10 stone since the last episode - it's living with Kelly that does it - a diet of lard-burgers and Ashley's left-overs can't be very healthy. Robbie's parents pay a visit on Ken and Drear - and straight away we don't like them because they say "Tracy's a nice girl but we think Robbie's on the rebound." "I'm not happy," mutters Mr Father.
Ken and Dreary dispatch the Trace to buy a wedding dress (she comes back with something from Oxfam and a pair of D-Ms "Doc Martens" hisses Drear helpfully - she's so "with it"). Meanwhile, Robbie is sent on his Stag Night. Now I'm looking forward to Wednesday's "this is when the plots start to get better we promise" hour long episode. Aren't you?
Joyce is on the scrounge again and manages to con a few pounds from Vera and Alec with some pathetic tale about how Scamper needs vet fees. Goodness knows what she really wants the money for. The mind literally boggles.
Samantha's been wearing that motorcycle helmet too long, or maybe she's just been stuck in Wetherfield too many months, because her hair's gone flatter and the tan is fading. Did Boots take the bronzer off special offer I wonder? Don't worry dear, because some men don't care how artificially brown your skin isn't, and Sean Skinner's one of them. He offers to take Sam "to the dogs" on a date - I know how he feels - the whole programme's gone to the dogs at the moment, so why should they be an exception?
Sam agrees (!) but then Liz McDonald sticks her crooked nose in and says "He sexually harrassed me - I am an abused woman!" Instead of saying something like "In THAT hideous red gyspy-woman top I'm surprised that he just didn't try to buy heather from you", Sam rushes round to the bookies and cancels her invite to "the dogs". Sean starts to put 2 and 2 together and gets Liz.
Rackle and Curly are in their living room - Rackle has had a shower, and it makes the front of her hair look exactly like Curly's. Then it's off to the 2nd interview - and while she's sitting uncomfortably in a leather chair, a fellow interviewee tells her that she always takes her wedding ring off during interviews as she doesn't like to appear to have "ties."
When it's Rackle's turn - guess where the wedding ring goes? In the pocket. The interview is quite funny - Rackle is on top form - speaking French and saying "I (pause) have (pause) no illusions" (about modelling). She is offered a job in Koala Lumper. Her mouth and eyes open very wide.
That evening she tells Curly her "news". Curly assumes she is not going, hugs her and then "gets on with the tea." Rackle just looks thoughtful. At this rate I don't know if I can bear to watch Wednesday's episode. Credits.
Best line - Percy's doing Tracy's wedding cake: "Is that Tracy with an E, or Tracy without an E?" Well, Percy, it's Tracy without an E, but with a Morroccan kidney.
She's been putting her clothes through a combine harvester again and was wearing a red creation that looked like it should have a cartoon all of its own. This was coupled with a lime-green pinny - and one of those turban-style head-scarves that even Lucille Ball got tired of wearing. I can only be talking about one woman - yes, the Taste Vacuum herself: Vera Duckworth.
A THOUSAND GREETINGS and I hope you have all had a good week. Here is the Coronation Street update for the UK broadcast dated 13th November. It was a one-hour special, and promised to be choc-full with emotion. I'd say it registered 7.5 on the Cadbury/Kleenex Emotional Richter scale:--
Judy and Gary talk over the breakfast table about his new-found worry that he might be 'firing blanks' in the bedroom. You know what I mean...don't make me spell it out. It takes a few seconds for Judy to guess the source of this self doubt, and later she tells Samantha not to talk to Gary about any subject whatsoever, including motorbikes, but especially not bedroom related matters.
Vera asks Judy what is the latest news on the health of Scamper. Not surprisingly, Judy doesn't know anything's amiss with the little scamp. Rolf Harris could get the little blighter up and about, I'll bet! I was wondering if Scamper had gone private at the vet's. If so, Joyce would have to carry a Bupa Scooper from now on!
Still in the pub, Sean comes in, to be greeted very frostily by Samantha. He hints at litigation over Liz's sexual harassment rumour. I'll lay you 7 to 4 he won't go through with it.
It's wedding fever in another part of the Street, and we are treated to a rare look at Deidre's mother, Blanche, who is here for the Great Celebrations. They call at the corner shop where she wisely invests in a box of tissues. You can tell it's going to be one of those episodes!
At Ken's place, the principal wedding protagonists are assembling. We get a camera shot over Ken's shoulder, where one could be forgiven for thinking a teddy bear had just popped out from his abdomen, a la Alien. But then in the next scene, we are further thrilled and delighted to learn that it is no ordinary bear. Ken has it in his lap, and at one stage, it answers a question FOR HIM, by nodding with all the accumulated wisdom it can muster. The hilarious bit is that no one refers to the bear being there! Pretty Zen, actually. The bear is singularly unimpressed when we learn that the groom has gone missing. He and the Best Man were locked in a steel container on the stag night, having been told it was home. Being somewhat light of heart at the time, they were perfectly happy to accept this.
Now begins a dramatic dash hither and thither, as it dawns on the hapless searchers that the container is probably on board ship by now, on its way to Saudi Arabia! They go to the best man's house where his mother opens the door in her pink shell suit, and if you think I'm going to crack that terrible old joke, you're WRONG! Anyway, she doesn't know where they could be, but they also go to the house of a fellow reveller. Greg. He looks and feels awful, following the stag night. Greg is groggy. He joins the search party, though.
Deidre's neck is convulsed, and who can blame her? When Tracy hears that he's nowhere to be found, she is very confident that his love for her will bring him to the Register Office at the appointed hour. Robbie's father isn't too bothered about a thorough search, and advises they should cancel the register office. He sees it as a blessing, and makes a reference to Tracy's drug incident. Ken pulls a very cross face at him, and Deidre defends her, too. E by gum!
The police and the port authorities have to be stood down when Robbie appears safe and sound, but still no best man.
The wedding takes place, and Deidre lends her own wedding ring because the Best Man is still not around. Tracy hugs her and tells her she loves her. My Cadbury's chocolate heart melted, there and then. Later, at the reception in the pub, Ken gives a speech. It quickly develops into a bit of a moral lecture about love, life, and all that, but Deidre is taking it all in, and looking at him all dreamy. Her neck is off duty by this time. By this stage she has removed what had certainly been the worst hat in the long and chequered history of ladies outfitting.
Enough of jollity, I KNOW WHAT YOU'RE ALL WAITING FOR......
Curly and Raquel's day starts with the arrival of a letter from Berkeley International, and him thinking it is nice to be offered such a glamorous job, but never mind......then as he talks to her, he starts to put two and two together. Why did they think she was in a position to accept the post, unless she lied about being married. She admitted to leaving off her ring at the second interview. From that moment, the die is cast, and he slowly realises the writing is on the wall for their marriage, and that she will go to Kuala Lumpur. Twice he makes to go to work, but he just sits in the car outside the house, mulling it all over. She puts up token resistance to his questions, but even that is short lived.
During one of his periods of absence, Fiona comes to call, and Raquel tells her the whole story. If offered, Fiona would jump at the opportunity, but her circumstances are quite different, of course. She doesn't have a husband who loves her more than life itself, and who worships the very ground where she stands. Curly repairs to the pub, where he is monosyllabic, except to tell Judy that he has lost the reason for living.
Back at home again, Curly recalls Raquel's tears in the toilet before the wedding ceremony, and asks if it was Des she was crying for, or herself, or who? Then (somewhat inexplicably) he accuses her of giving him chocolate money. I think he was equating her love with counterfeit currency, but I think the simile was inappropriate. In the bedroom, we see the wedding picture of the two of them, cheek to cheek, smiling for the camera. Through tears, Curly tells her to phone Berkeley's and accept the job, whereupon he starts to pack. He's going off to a Firman's conference in Wigan, which Anne was going to attend in his place. He tells Raquel not to take her key with her, as he doesn't expect to see her back.
Then we see her sitting partway up the stairs, bemoaning the fact that she was never picked for the rounders team at school. Again, we know what she's trying to say, but self-expression is not Raquel's strong point.
Her ambition has triumphed over her love for Curly, and there's not a thing he can do about it. She tells him he's a lovely, lovely man. All very upsetting. He shoulders his bag and leaves the house. As he's getting in the car, we have the clever counterpoint of his misery, set against the joy of the wedding party spilling out of the pub onto the street, where the happy couple board a taxi taking them to their future.
The final scene was of Ken putting an affectionate arm round Deidre, as they congratulate themselves on how well it all went off, in the end. They almost kiss. They retire to the Rovers together. Very together.
Through a veil of tears, I think I spied a purple radio.
Good night, and I LOVE YOU ALL.
Red-eyed Racquel is packing. Dreary comes to return some make up they borrowed for R Tracy's wedding.
Eric wonders why Curly is there instead of Ann. Curly can't bring himself to explain and runs off to the loo.
Jack wants Alec to come in with him on a deal to put on more talent nights for a contact in the brewery trade. Jack offers Alec a 10% (percent) cut, put Alec points out Jack needs him more that he needs Jack and demands 50% or nothing.
Racquel's preparations are interrupted again, this time by Judy. She is worried that she may be unable to have children, and that Gary will leave her if they can't have any. Racquel confides in Judy that she is leaving for Kuala Lumpur, and that Curly isn't happy. Judy tries to get Racquel to phone Curly and tell him she has changed her mind.
Vera inadvertently drops Jack in it when in response to Alec's probing reveals that Jack's brewery pal is Harvey Nuttall. Alec remembers that Harvey is cheating on his wife with some young girl. Liz tells Fiona that some group who play in her wine bar are looking for a girl singer. Fiona is interested and says she will get the number from Liz later. Liz is just telling Fiona to beware of the musician's "roaming hands" when Sean Skinner comes in and accuses Liz of again slandering him. He tells her that she is sick as she enjoys causing trouble and wants all men castrated. Liz gives him one of her flashy-eyes looks.
Rovers: Jack tries to get Joyce to look in Alec's flat for some contact numbers for artistes by concocting a story that some people are arranging a surprise party for Alec. Joyce doesn't say much but seems suspicious.
Gary is reassuring Jude that seeing the doctor will put their minds at rest. She gets up and goes out, saying she won't be long, leaving a big plate of sausage and mash. Gary gets on with his crunchy sausage.
Racquel has ironed all Curly's shirts. She phones the conference hotel. If we didn't know better we would be wondering if she had changed her mind.
Curly is called to the phone over the tannoy and nearly breaks his neck running down the stairs to it.
Racquel is on hold on the phone but someone is knocking on the door. She puts the phone down just as Curly's voice says hello.
Curly is upset that she hung up, and tells Eric that his and Racquel's marriage is over.
House: It was Judy, knocking on Racquel's door, wanting to know what Racquel had done. Racquel says there was no point talking to him; Judy points out that Curly is a decent bloke, but Racquel says she doesn't love him and can't carry on like this. She explains to Judy that although she did once dream of being rich and famous, it's really about feeling worth something in your own right. If she had been true to herself in the beginning she would never have married him. Judy gently wipes Racquel's runny mascara.
Jack concedes to Alec that he can have 50%, but Alec says he is now dealing directly with Nuttall and Jack is not in the deal. Jack does not believe his mate would do the dirty on him. Then there is the incredibly clumsy device (for a writer as experienced as Adele Rose) of Dreary coming up within Jack's earshot, and saying "Alec, you know that Eurostar weekend break to Paris you asked me to book, well I'll need to know the first names of Mr Nuttall and his travelling companion." Jack scowls.
It's evening and the shop is closed. Sean opens the door to Liz who says she has come to apologise. "So, you admit to lying about me" he replies, then says she is just upset that he made a pass, even when she gives out come-on signals. They have a feisty exchange, he asks her not to spread gossip as she should know how unpleasant it could be. She looks alternately angry and lustful/flirty.
Eric and Curly drink brandy and Curly painfully tells Eric about everything. Eric encourages him to go home and stop her. Curly acknowledges that if he begged her to stay - which he would - she probably wouldn't go, but eventually would have hated him.
House: Racquel leaves her wedding ring, then has second thoughts and puts it in her bag.
Betting shop: Liz and Sean are now sitting in the office drinking whisky. Liz is wearing an indecently short skirt. He insults her by making a remark about Steve, and before you know it they are standing really close together in the doorway. Sean says he knows she is trouble, but he fancies her; she admits she was jealous of Samantha and that is why she said those things. Sean asks her to continue the conversation over dinner, but then tries to eat Liz's face instead. Just before they kiss she has this funny little smirk on her face and I can't work out if it's lust, or her evil mind plotting against him somehow.
House: Racquel gives Judy her clothes, for Judy or the charity shop. Judy is upset that Racquel is going, and promises to keep an eye on Curly. Racquel leaves, Judy just wants Gary to hug her. Credits.
Purple object: ladder.
Sartorial elegance award: Jack, who gains brownie points for his frog braces, but loses them for having more sticking plaster than ever on his glasses.
Fred has received an invitation to visit Betty's Hotshot and asks Rita to go with him. Big Red, sensing that it's either go with this story-line or be stuck for the next 5 weeks saying things like "You have to want success" to Fiona, jumps at the chance. Meanwhile, Jack finds out that Fred has an invite, and starts to wonder why he hasn't got one. Still seething because Alec Gilroy stole his talent-night idea, Jack feels common as muck and left out in the cold. A conversation with Don (who is now living in a world of his own and no longer pays any attention to what anyone says - the result of having to smell the intoxicating body odour of Ashley all day long no doubt) makes Jack realise how useless his life is becoming, and he resolves to somehow get to the "party" rationalising with Gary that they both own a bit of one of the horse's legs so they "deserve to be there".
Sean is having a smug-fest because he is now officially "with" Liz - any sane person would be having round-the-clock counselling but the hair-gel must have seeped into his skull and clouded his judgement. Des does not approve - using the word "baggage" with reference to Liz, although not in the way that I would like to use it on her. Des tells Samantha about the newest Street pairing - and she is perplexed, then calls both parties "hypocrites". You're better off without him Sam luv you still have your tan - and don't believe the rumours - bronzing powder can love you back.
Fiona is going behind Alec's back and arranging secret glam recording sessions without his knowledge. Emily Bishop (looking like the Bride of Frankenstein while in the middle stages of what looks to be a very difficult set and shampoo - I always knew she had problem hair) almost puts her foot in it by revealing this to Alec, but then she offers to let Fiona use her piano to practice on. Alec mutters something rude like "We want something a bit more exciting than Onward Christian Soldiers" causing Emily to get so angry that she is unable to think of a cutting barb. It seems that she saves her bile for Mavis and Derek these days. While Fiona is out "making music" - the smoothie audience member from the other night comes into the salon looking for her, in order to try again. Maxine swoons (but in vain) as Mr Audience Member only has eyes (but obviously not ears) for Fiona. At least we now know what sort of "clientele" Shirelle gets at her seedy little club - sick perverts who will trace someone halfway across Manchester if they think they've got a 1 in 100 chance of sex at the end of it. Maxine dutifully (and jealously) passes on the message to Fiona - who puffs out her little cheeks as if she is the new Reg Holdsworth and thanks the writers for making her the popular talented rich one and Maxine just the decorative dizzy one.
Curly's back and Judy is having a neb through her window - she doesn't want to go round herself (she doesn't relish the idea of having Curly's snot all over her shoulder and who can blame her) so she sends that emotional vacuum Gary in her place. Gary tries to be "matey" with Curly - but all Curly can do is drift from one room to the other - making gaga eyes at Rackle's tacky "R" key-ring that she left behind, and Rackle's answer-phone "leave your message - I am Rackle" message. Curly "drowns" his sorrows in a pub in a scene that is fortunately not shown, but the next thing we know, Anne and Andy are playing some sort of domination sex game about tea-time ("ANDY - where are the KNIVES and FORKS??") when they get a knock at the door, and Curly - in intense/drunk/ giddy/denial/false jolliness state waddles into their hallway and blurts out "I've brought chips!" "Get rid of him ANDY!" Anne hisses, several hours later, as Curly proceeds to tell his sad story and embarrasses everyone present. He even tries to get Anne to sit by him - and Miss Pride+Prejudice is having none of that. Andy summons up his last bit of masculine aggression and prepares himself to throw Curly out - however, Curly has collapsed in a vegetative state on the sofa. "At least he's not talking," Andy quips. "Shut up Slave-Boy, and cut your hair!" Anne shrieks. Credits.
Awards Glamour Tiara: Vera was wearing a pair of ear-rings which defied description - almost. Imagine a pair of white fuzzy-felt centipedes attached to each lobe. Maybe they were bits of her brain trying to escape?
A THOUSAND GREETINGS, and I hope you've had a wonderful week. I'm sitting down to write the Wednesday UK update for the episode which ended three minutes ago, on 20th November. It was transmitted two hours later than usual, due to schedule disruption of the footballing kind.
With a camera technique we've seen many times, the opening shot pans across the screen with the morning milkman on his rounds, to the house of Anne and Andy, where the first scene is to take place. Anne is having a minor panic about Curly being in the house, having slept there the night. She hopes her knickers on the upstairs radiator won't give rise to embarrassment. Andy pacifies her, but they soon discover that he's disappeared in the night anyway, and gone home. For no particular reason, Anne says,"I'm wierd sometimes, aren't I?" Who are we to argue?
Jack is still wittering on about not being officially invited to the stables tour at the weekend. The sticking plaster on his glasses has now reached epic proportions. For me, that joke ran out of steam several months ago!
Judy pays a call on Curly and brings a pint of milk. She tells him he looks terrible. I'm sure that's just the kind of thing he's dying to hear. She assures him that she hasn't told a soul about the split-up, but he tells her he'd prefer that she would, to save him the heart-ache in having to re-tell the sorry tale over and over.
In the salon, Audrey is under the dryer, where she can't hear a word of what is being said to her. "Thanks, coffee would be loovler", she answers to a totally unrelated question. Alec arrives and Fiona takes the bull by the horns and tells him that she has accepted a booking, to sing with the band at the Hourglass this coming Saturday. Alec is very cross indeed, and hints at no longer being her agent, if that's the sort of stunt she's going to pull. Later in the pub, however, things have sorted themselves out to everyone's satisfaction. The times of her two appearances permit her to do both gigs. She even accepts his suggestion to put things on a firmer footing by entering into a management contract with him. To delight Fiona fans, there is a wonderful close up of her in this scene.
Then we're back in the old slammer, where it's visiting time again. Steve is wearing that natty red vest to distinguish him from his mother, in case they try to swap identities in a brave bid for his freedom. Something tells me Liz might be terribly popular with the lads on E Wing if she were to change places with her son. I wonder how many Steve McQueen fans were hoping Liz would pull up her top to reveal a large butterfly tattooed on her chest? She cautiously tells him about her new relationship with Sean. Steve's eyes immediately perform a visual check on the inside of his skull, and he storms off, prefering continued incarceration to hearing any more about the man who threatened him with violence if he didn't settle his old gambling debts. He talks to another inmate (nothing much like Dustin Hoffman) who thinks Liz was Steve's sister.
I thought her hair has suffered some kind of relapse since the last episode, when it was at its zenith of unacceptability. What do you think?
Judy tries to tell Vera the sad news about Curly and what's-her-name, but Vera goes off at a tangent thinking it's a pregnancy announcement, and so Judy misses the opportunity. She has equally scant success trying to tell Betty. Eventually, Judy takes the bold step of announcing it to all and sundry in the Rovers. Now everyone knows.
Deidre thanks Emily for the wedding photos, as they paw over them in the pub. Emily has even had the best of the bunch enlarged and framed for her. Armed with this, and 72 other prints, Deidre repairs to Ken's place, where she is invited in, so that they can paw over them together. It all gets rather cosy, then the conversation inexplicably turns to timber!
Deidre: Did you feel a bit of a hypocrite at the wedding? Ken: I was thinking mainly about yew. Isn't it odd how we all strive for mahogany?
It was quietly explained to me later that mahogany is something to do with sticking to the straight and narrow with one's wife. All Greek to me. I was barking up quite the wrong tree.
Anyway, they get very cosy, and that seasoned old charmer Ken carefully picks the most seductive moment to offer her a piece of wedding cake. She snubs him, by refusing the celebratory morsel, and leaves, all of a hurry, simply because she feels "too comfortable". Take note, chaps: when you get the girl round to your place, things are progressing nicely, you're talking about old times, there's lots of eye contact and good body language signs, DON'T OFFER HER ANY CAKE....a bad move! She'll be out of there before you can say marzipan.
I think her leaving in a rush had more to do with nausea induced by Ken's sickly green kitchen tiles!
Vera dispatches Jack round to Curly's house late at night. "Be a mate" she instructs him, and arms him with a four-pack of beers. Jack comes to the back window, only to see Curly on the phone to his mother, telling her the Grim News. Mother cries. Mothers do. Jack returns home, having not disturbed him.
Then the pathos level is unmercifully cranked up by the writer, as we see Curly make several attempts to replace the old outgoing message on the answerphone machine. At first he records, "sorry, but we're not....." realising the word "we" is inappropriate, he tries again, and records a very long message consisting mostly of silence as he stares into space, and says "I'm out.....very long pause.........and so is Raquel."
Then he notices her dressing gown hanging on the bedroom door as he prepares for bed. He inhales her perfume which lingers on it. Tenderly, he cradles the garment to his breast, and begins to weep as he lies down to try and sleep.
Up and down the land in a million homes, strong men wept with him.
Like Curly, I'm off to bed now, to quietly weep into a purple chocolate football, which is not what I was hoping for!
Good night and I love you all.
A crowd (of five) football supporters establishes for us the viewers that it is not in fact 7.30 pm on a cold wet Friday night, but Saturday morning. Shop: Fred and Rita pop into Maureen's shop on their way to the stables. Maud collars Rita for the latest in the Curly/Rackle saga, while Fred makes a purchase of 2 packets of Polo mints into a half-minute scene. After Fred and Rita leave, Maud passes on the gossip to Maureen, who at first can't believe that Rackle has left Curly.
Curly declines Kevin's invitation to accompany him to the football, and Judy's request he goes out on the town with her and Gary. Vera goes outside to see off the stables gatecrashing party - Don, Gary, RJamie and Jack - just as Jack sneaks round the side with a crate of ale, hoping Vera won't catch them. She does, she moans. Lovely interchange, then: Jack: "Why can't you just say 'Have a good time, lads'?" Vera: "What, you and a crate of ale - course you'll have a good time!" Inside the pub, Des and Sean have a drink, Des says Steve won't approve of Liz's relationship with Sean, but at least he can't do much harm from prison. Fiona and Alec ponder the possible future difficulties in juggling London bookings and hairdressing clients. Emily offers words of sympathy to Curly, but she doesn't know what to say.
Fred is giving Rita the benefit of his knowledge of British Bloodstock breeding, we won't quibble that he muffed the pronunciation of stallions to something like "staniels", after all, Al Read muffed his lines often enough. The trainer says Betty's Hotshot will soon be fir and ready to race. Jack and co. arrive, hooting and shouting. Fred is indignant.
Maureen, Emily and Maud ruminate on marriages which break up. Maud can't resist having a go about Reg. Maureen empathises with Curly, as it's not so long since that she was left alone.
Fred gets angry with Jack and Gary for being there uninvited, Rita leads him away to calm down. Jack sees one of the owners being photographed on his horse, all kitted out in hunting pink. Jack thinks having a Christmas card done of him on Betty's Hotshot would be just the thing, and gets Hilary to arrange it for him.
Ken calls round to return the photos. She is pleased to see him and they make small talk about Daniel's being babysat by Kelly. Dreary invites Ken to stay for a meal.
Jack in riding gear, getting onto the horse. Rita has him summed up; a pillock. Fred is indignant, he owns more shares, but Rita says he would kill it if he sat on it. Jack says the photo of him on the horse will be the Rovers Return Xmas card, which usually says 'From Jack and Vera' but this year will be 'From Jack and that Old Nag' As Jack poses on the horse, Jamie blows up and pops his crisp bag. The horse bolts, and a stunt double rides off into a nearby field. Adverts. The horse is still carting Jack around the field. Don, Jamie and Gary think it is a huge joke. Hilary looks far too calm. Jack falls off, but doesn't move.
Maureen goes to see Curly. He gets the red wine out (?!) and tells Maureen all about how Rackle never loved him, or even fancied him.
Jack is stretchered off, unconscious. Since he fell off onto his drinking elbow, the apparent concussion proves what we suspected all along; that that is where his brain is! Rita makes Fred follow to the hospital.
Ken opens the wine (inexpertly, for one who attended Wine Appreciation evening classes) and Dreary asks if he is over Denise, he says he is; Denise was one of his mistakes. Drear, fishing for compliments, asks if she too was a mistake. Ken manages to keep a straight face while telling her that losing her was the mistake. The cringe-factor builds up as they share their hopes that Tracy and Robert have a happy marriage. "Don't do it, Ken!" we scream at the telly. They kiss. Well, first they sort of rub noses, then their mouths really get to work.
Vera looks out in vain for Jack, as a car pulls up. It stops outside Ken's house, and in it are Denise and her friend Brian. Meanwhile, back at Drear's, the snog continues. She takes his hand and leads him to the bedroom.
Kelly answers the door, Denise and Brian barge in, Kelly is frightened. Denise coos over Daniel, and says he now belongs with her and she's not leaving without him. Kelly phones Ken. Cut to Drear's - close up head shot of them tussling on the bed - she with glasses off! They decide to ignore the phone. House: Kelly is distraught. Denise wants to wait for Ken.
Maureen wurbles on about getting over it, reveals her divorce is now final. Bill comes and collects Maureen to go out. Curly doesn't go with them.
Phone rings. Judy answers, gets the news about Jack and tells Vera she had better get to the hospital.
Brian wants to take Daniel and go. Kelly puts up a robust defence, she tries to phone Ken again, in tears. Phone in Dreary's goes unanswered. Credits.
Extract from Ken's diary
I couldn't believe it when Kelly rang last night; just as I was beginning to think that life was finally coming together again. Suddenly Denise is back, as calm and rational as a terrorist with her finger on the trigger of a bomb. She talked about her "rights". What is best for Daniel; MY SON! The son she abandoned!
I couldn't take it or her crazy interpretation of events. I lost my cool, yelled, shouted; I didn't know what to do. Then she pressed the trigger. According to the law of the land, it seems a psychopathic loser who ran off with her sister's husband, leaving her child behind, is a better parent of my son than I.
Better parent? Denise is as changeable as the wind. Brian as good as admitted that he doesn't even want Daniel. And they have the "right" to take away my baby son. Who is Daniel's father to a woman like that? Just the latest man she is carrying on with?
Perhaps I should have called her bluff, made her resort to the Social Services. But Denise knows me too well. She knows that I love Daniel too much to subject him to that. So she used the love I have for my son against me, in order to take him away. They didn't even care enough for Daniel to take his toys with him. I had to get them myself.
Kelly is terribly upset as well. But I feel too sorry for myself to care. At least Diedre understands. She offered to move in for a while to help me sort things out. Oh Daniel, Daniel, what am I going to do? I don't know what to do.
Extract from Joyce's diary
I can't figure Alec out. Is he going to get romantically involved with me or not? Today he said he couldn't go out with me - wanted to spend the evening at home. I bet! Fiona told me herself that she was singing tonight and Alec never misses that. Lying little toad he is. Judy says I'm making a fool of myself running after him, but I showed him who was the fool. I went to Liz's pub to surprise him.
What is it with that Liz MacDonald anyway? She was hanging around with Mr Deep Fried hair again this evening. She and Sean even laughed at poor old Jack being in hospital. Mean thing. And as for that drunk at the bar who left her £100 in a envelope; from "a friend of her son" he had written. - well, no good is going to come of that. You mark my words.
Fiona is a good enough singer I suppose, and her one man fan club follows her everywhere now. But the way she treated Alec when he arrived tonight made my blood boil. He's done everything for her, got her stared, encouraged her, found her work. Now she seems to think she's too good for him. She treated him like dirt this evening; even broke her contract because she didn't believe him about some agent coming from London to listen to her. You'd think that being short, fat and old should be a capital offence the way she carries on.
Extract from Fred's diary
An unmitigated disaster of a day. One feels such a fool. Asking a lady friend to come and look at one's racehorse, then spending the whole day down at the hospital. If it wasn't for Rita, I would just have gone home. But I suppose, in an odd sort of way, I quite enjoyed being helpful, rather than just being tolerated, which is usually the most I get. The first thing Jack did when he came around was to insult me. There's gratitude for you. Still he'll be OK. Only a few broken bones and a slipped disc. Happen Jack will be glad of the excuse to spend a couple of weeks laying flat on his back anyway.
All the same, there was one part of the plan I didn't want to change. I finally did it. I asked her, Rita, to marry me. "I don't want your answer today" I told her. She looked so sad when I asked her, I am nearly certain she'll say "No". And I wouldn't blame her if she did. A woman like that - she could have her pick of men. She won't choose me, but at least, let me have one day of hoping that she might.
Rita (wearing a complicated Chinese-effect top) announces that Fred has asked her to marry him, much to the disgust of the Mave who tells her that she feels like washing herself every time that Fred comes into the shop.
But Big Red is spiteful enough to get married to Fred, just to make Mavis upset, so she tells her that she hasn't decided what she's going to say yet, and then goes all gooey thinking about how Fred will do anything for her, and can make her laugh (!)
Mavis tells Derek at lunchtime and the pair enjoy a scandalised little conversation about it. So when Derek bumps into Fred later on, he advises him not to "rush" the Big Red Wig. Fred thanks Derek (who has visions of Square Dealer Possibilities) and runs off to tell Rita that she must take her time and it is not a question to be answered glibly. While this scene is played out, Joyce and Don (perhaps the Street's two most common inhabitants if you discount Gary, Judy, Trash, Liz, Vera and Jack) are having a scratch-card frenzy. It's difficult to tell who's winning because Fred is talking over the top of them, but by the end of the scene, the floor is awash with little bits of silver paper and Fred has to wade his way through it all to leave.
Meanwhile, Big Red looks pensive in a close-up that lets us know that she's not getting any younger. I wonder if she has been filling in application forms for a part in the next Jane Austen tv adaptation?
Vera is finding her hospital visits a bit boring, considering that she and Jack never have anything to say to each other. Betty suggests bringing him a book on the War, but Vera is dubious. Poor Vera, the bills are mounting up, and she's in no position to run a pub. There's even a letter from Joyce's catalogue, asking her to settle her account. But Vera gave the money to Joyce weeks ago. What's going on? Joyce says that it's a case of one hand doing what the other can't see (!!), and Vera's the only person in the Street stupid enough to fall for it.
At the hospital Jack doesn't approve of any of Vera's gifts, but only brightens up at the prospect of a "bed bath". However, it's only Martin Platt, so Vera decides to stay and watch. Who knows, if what the gay gossip grapevine has to say about him is true then she might learn some arousal techniques.
The Liz stands alone in this incredible storyline. Someone has given the Frazzled One £1,000 and Liz can't work out who or why. It's obvious dear - the viewers have all clubbed together in the hope that you'll start buying some sensible clothes and have that teased brillo-pad hair-do straightened into something that doesn't trigger off sprinkler systems where-ever you go. All I can say is that now two men (three if you count Jim) are obsessed by Liz McDonald. Next week in a return to reality aliens kidnap Curly, while Ena Sharples comes back from the dead and tells us that she "dreamt" the last 27 years of Coronation Street.
A big van with the words "Magic Balloons" written on the side pelts down the road and then disappears. Then Coronation Street's very own "Magic Balloon" rounds the corner and goes into Sally Webster's house, with a face on her that's usually reserved for chiding Ashley.
"No Daniel?" asks Sally. "Could this be a drama that I could perhaps participate in?" But Sally has no idea of the size of the floodgates she has just opened as Kelly spills the beans all over the floor, and then proceeds to eat them all. "She didn't! He never! No!" cries Sally, aghast at the prospect of baby-theft. "If it had been any of my two there would have been Arrrrmerrregederrrren in this house," she continues. Poor old Kelly, thinking that she's going to get thrown out asks Ashley to get a flat with her. But Ashley is reluctant. After all, he's now found the ideal house-mate, Mr Custard-for-Brains Don.
Meanwhile, Ken's paying a visit to his solicitor, and the news is not good. "Yes," says Mrs Solicitor (who is really Emily with hair and shoulder pads) "We are living in a country where any old loony can take a baby away from you after she's dumped it for months in order to split up two relationships and live with her wife's husband." "Is there nothing I can do?" asks Ken. "Get rid of that baby-sitter for one thing," advises Mrs Solicitor. "Denise's team of laywers will make all sorts of suggestions about your relationship with her." Both Ken and Mrs Solicitor shudder...
So Ken sits Kelly down and tells her that she will have to go. Kelly does not take it well, and at that moment, Dreary knocks on the door, hoping that she can resume her relationship with Ken at the place where it was before the baby got taken away. "I'm busy consoling Kelly," Ken tells her. "Go away." "No sex for me tonight," moans Dreary, wobbling off down the Street. Credits.
Best line: The Big Red Wig can always find the time to snipe at Mavis, even when she's mulling over marriage proposals: "Tea? Coffee? Anthrax?"
A THOUSAND GREETINGS and I trust you've had a great week. If you haven't, it could be that you're simply not eating enough Cadbury's chocolate!
Here is the Wednesday update for the UK transmission dated, sponsored as ever by Preparation H, the Nation's Favourite.
We start with Jamie cooing lovingly at Jack's feathered friends, and them cooing back. He tells them not to fret. Judging by the state of the floor of the cage, his advice had come far too late! Vera appears, to put out the rubbish, and he lets slip something about Jack's horse- photo idea. She thinks Jack was intending to do something nice/romantic, and she is touched.
Later she goes to the Kabin, hoping to buy a cigar in a metal tube as a special treat for him. There are no such smokes on offer in the Kabin, so Rita donates a complimentary box of Dairy Box chocolates. (Are they Cadbury's?) Jamie's in there too (in the shop, not lurking in the box between the Coffee Desserts and the Montelimar) and he suggests that Jack might appreciate some pickled onions. I must say I thought he was kidding, as never in my wide experience has anyone brought pickled onions to someone languishing in hospital. But this, after all, is the north of England, so what do I know? When Jack eventually receives them, he is pleased. He is even more pleased that Jamie has brought with him the second most famous pigeon in British television history. (The first being the plump-breasted Speckled Jim, who met such an untimely end in Flanders.) In my day you took someone grapes and a goodly pile of Readers Digests. Now it's pickled onions and pigeons in cardboard boxes!
Mavis and Derek invite Rita and Fred round for Sunday lunch. The main reason for the get-together is for Derek to further his Square Dealer ambitions. When Mavis first mentions the lunch to Rita, she tells her to "Hang on lady!" I personally get an uncontrollable nervous tic if a female Street character fails to address another in this way at least once a month.
In the salon, Maxine muses to Fiona that there might be a curse on the place, seeing what happened with Denise, etc. Fiona pooh-poohs any notion of a curse, but I would remind her to take a squint at Liz's she- devil hairdo if any further proof were needed! On the news here tonight, there was a report that thirteen lorry drivers had parked their trucks in her hair, while they wait for the French port blockade to be lifted.
We see Fiona in the pub with her new chap, who advises her to trot over and make her peace with her erstwhile agent. She does so, and Alec tries to wring a promise from her that she'll not do it again. He tells her he has secured another top-line warbling engagement, not The London Palladium, not Las Vegas but The Scunthorpe Rococo! Dizzy heights indeed.
In the nick, Liz quizzes Steve about who might have dropped her the wad of cash. He is at a loss to explain it, but thankfully the cameraman knows more than Steve, as he pans across to a shifty looking inmate over in the corner, who is staring at Liz. My advice to him is that he should forget her directly: everyone knows that in prison, "If you can't find a partner, use a wooden chair!" Let's rock.
Gary comes to the bar of the Rovers and declares that it feels as though every nerve in his body has been sandpapered. Clearly that Judy is in possession of some bedroom manoeuvres hitherto unknown to yours truly. It is, in fact, a bout of 'flu. He goes home, drinks a large quantity of whisky, and toddles upstairs to his bed.
Vera finally gets the true picture about the picture. Well, you know what I mean. Joyce confirms to her that Jack was going to do the Christmas card as a joke at her expense. She plans to turn the tables in some way. She goes back to The Kabin to buy some film. 'What speed ?' inquires Rita. 'The quicker the better' replies Vera, somewhat predictably, but none the worse for that. She later gets Martin to take a snap of her and Jack, as he lies recovering.
Rita tells Emily about Fred's proposal. Emily starts musing about her own status, and wishes she had had more FUN in her life, and wonders where she'll be in ten years time. I think we all wish Emily had had more fun, too. With a high degree of wisdom, surely attributable to massive Cadbury's chocolate consumption, she tells Rita that the answer she should give to the Demon Butcher will present itself in its own sweet time.
Joyce clearly is having cash-flow problems. Vera questions her about the mystery mail-order catalogue bill, and she tells her she has sorted the matter out. A case of mistaken identity, she lies. Later she cadges £45 from Judy, ostensibly for the purchase of a desirable jacket. We'll hear more of this, I'll be bound. Mark my words, there'll be monkey-business at the back of this!
Kelly checks out of Hotel Barlow. He gives her a kiss on the cheek and a small gift. Deidre arrives at the same time, and invites Ken to supper. He declines, saying the whole nasty business with Denise has prevented him thinking clearly about anything else. He says he's going to Scotland at the weekend to see Daniel. She offers to accompany him, saying they have to talk. He snubs her again. Her neck isn't at all sure how to respond to double rejection, and quietly waits for direction.
In the pub, Sally declares that she can't stay, as she's teaching Rosie to play Scrabble. Sally is very proud that Rosie has just made the word 'haemorrhoids', covering two triple word scores, two double letter scores, and used all her tiles, making a total Coronation Street record score of 212 for a single word! Well, alright, I might have made that last bit up.
We end in the pub with Mavis telling Derek that she believes that marriage is on the agenda for Rita and Fred.
As for the purple object, I thought I'd do it in the form of a competition.
I have cunningly jumbled up the letters of the mystery object, thus:
Time allowed: 20 minutes.
That's yer lot.
Good night and I love you all.
Kabin: Rita is still undecided about Fred's proposal.
House: Gary and Judy plan Christmas. Gary is disappointed to learn that Joyce must be included in their plans. Judy is getting the flu.
Kabin: Alf comes in, telling them how relieved he is to have his driving licence back. Mavis is quick to point out that Rita didn't tell Alf about Fred.
Rovers: Andy asks Vera for the night off, even though Vera is short staffed; she agrees.
Street: Andy meets Liz, Sean passes by, Andy cold-shoulders him, then Liz turns down his offer of dinner. They agree that Sean will go to the wine bar at the end of Liz's shift.
Kabin: Fred asks Rita out to dinner, but she declines, saying she's getting the flu. In the presence of Audrey, Fred and Mavis, Jamie asks Rita if he can come to her wedding. Rita is obviously dismayed that Fred has blabbed to Jack, but he makes the excuse that he was so happy she was even considering it he couldn't help himself.
Salon: Alec arranges a time to pick Fiona up tonight for her gig in Scunthorpe. Afterwards, Fiona wonders whether it is all worth it.
Shopping Street: Alf picks up Audrey; as they drive along she tells him that Fred is to marry Rita. He is so shocked that he drives the wrong way up a one way street, straight into a police car!
Rovers: Fred and Don are moaning into their beers. Don maintains they are better off without women. Fred gives a lovely little spiel about how nice it is to have a woman to come home to, and vows to make amends to Rita, so that she will forgive him. Judy's flu gets worse, so Vera sends her home, but Betty will not work later on to cover the staff shortage.
Street: Fiona tells Ken how sorry she was to hear of Denise's actions, since Denise told her Daniel was better off with Ken. He asks if she would be prepared to say that in court and she agrees. Judy arrives home to find the house bedecked with Christmas lights and decorations. Inside, Gary is putting more up. She is uneasy about the cost, Gary said he did it to cheer her up.
Flat: Fiona's new man, Alan arrives with 2 tickets to a ball and a night in a posh hotel. His boss gave him the tickets as his wife was sick, but it is tonight. Fiona looks pained.
Street: Jamie asks Ken if it is true that his baby was kidnapped by a mad woman. He has been listening to the police radio.
Kabin: Emily gossips to Mavis about Ken going to Scotland to see Daniel. Rita reveals she isn't ill at all but wanted some time alone to think. Fred comes in laden with gifts for Rita - flowers, whisky, honey and lemon etc., - a lovely scene. Then offers to carry her upstairs to bed! He hopes he is forgiven, for Rita is "a pearl among women".
Wine bar: Sean brings Liz some jelly babies. He is going to measure their compatibility by whether she bites the heads off or eats them whole. They grin maniacally at each other.
Flat: Fiona reveals to Maxine that she is going away with Alan instead of to the singing job with Alec. She wants Max to lie for her. Max suddenly goes all moral on her about letting Alec down. Alan doesn't know she was supposed to be singing. (Surprising, that, as he was in the Rovers when she apologised to Alec, and is her biggest fan so you would think she would have told him her plans.)
Rovers: Audrey is telling the story of the crash to a packed Rovers when Alf comes in. He is very grumpy. He hears from everyone that it is true that Fred proposed to Rita. He scoffs at the idea that she would accept, but Emily says she thinks Rita might.
Salon: Alec accepts Max's explanation that Fiona can't sing because she has the flu. He is very cross.
Rovers: Andy leaves Vera to cope alone with a packed pub.
Kabin: Betty asks Rita if the rumours are true. Betty says you have to go with your instincts. Rita says that means the answer would be no - probably.
Wine bar: The mystery man brings flowers. Liz makes it clear she isn't interested and puts them in the bin. Credits. Purple object, beer barrel.
Best jewellery accessory : Gary's chunky gold chain.