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Jane Reynolds's Weekly Blog – 10th November 2013

SunsetoverSwindon1 Jane Reynoldss Weekly Blog   10th November 2013As ever, my posts start with a 'Sunset Over Swindon' (formerly SunRISE Over Swindon'!) photo. This is the view outside my window on Tuesday 12th (about 4.30 pm) as I write this:

I made the fatal error of going out last Wednesday night, then invite people for dinner on both Thursday and Friday nights – as well as having a big meeting on Thursday morning.

The result was that I didn't end up posting this blog until an hour before I had to start all over again Soap-watching for THIS week's 'Soapy Corners', and was already wondering how I was going to fit it all in (as I've got some other commitments this week which will take up quite a bit of my time).

That was the moment when the solution (which I'd been asking 'The Universe' to provide me with for months) suddenly came to me, and my path became absolutely clear.

Writing and producing my 'Soapy Corners' takes up almost half my week. That's too long. From next week they're going to be condensed-down into a much more concise version, with occasional 'special reports' (perhaps) if a big storyline's coming to a head, etc.

This will free me up to start work on some of the many other projects/ideas on my 'to do' list which will then – in turn – hopefully start to earn me some money, as I've got lots of bills (including electric central heating!) to pay for now that I'm living by myself since my father died earlier in the year. (Since I'd given up work to write I'd been living at home with my dad, but the house is now sold and I have to start earning a living again!)

I'm very pleased to have started writing for Yahoo!TV as of last week, and here's my latest posts with them: 'What we learned from the Soaps this week' and 'The best of the week's one-liners'.

This site is getting a makeover too. Watch this space for lots of changes!

Alice is well and truly in the frame for Michael's murder

EastEnders logo e1337598881632 Alice is well and truly in the frame for Michaels murderYou can hear me talking Soaps 10.30-11.00 am every Thursday on Swindon CLICK HERE TO LISTEN or simply use the Tunein Radio App.

Fireworks are banging; Janine should be banged up; B's back, and Alice has been stabbed in the back. 

IMG 2397 Alice is well and truly in the frame for Michaels murderYay, Bianca's back, and – like me – she's got a bit of catching up to do.

"Woss all the police doin ahtside Janine's 'aahse. She ain't finally flipped an' killed someone, 'as she?" she cackled.

Aah, Bianca; 'there's many a true word spoken in jest' as the old saying goes, but the only one laughing here is Janine herself as she – yet again – blatantly lies in order to wreak her twisted revenge on some poor person who's crossed her.

Stabbed in the back: just like Michael was

IMG 2391 Alice is well and truly in the frame for Michaels murderThis time it's Alice on the end of it. Sweet, kind Alice, who has given us a stunning and utterly convincing performance as an innocent person banged up for a crime she didn't commit.

It's easy to sit and watch it on TV, but just imagine being in her situation for real. Each one of us will have been wrongly accused of – or blamed for – something we didn't do at some point in our lives, but it'll rarely be anywhere near as serious as being accused of murder, and Alice is well and truly in the frame for Michael's.

Joey: one of life's great thinkers

Joey's struggling to believe it, but then Joey struggles with most things. I struggled to work out how, after throwing the glass as hard as he could out into the hallway (where it shattered into a million pieces) he was then seen picking bits of it up from the front of the sofa; behind where he'd been standing.

IMG 2402 Alice is well and truly in the frame for Michaels murderAs if Joey wasn't confused enough by it all, Kat just about finished him off with this remark: "The next time Janine 'does the right thing' it'll be the first time." Work that one out, mate!

Soaps' very foundations revolve around wrongdoings and injustices (which are almost always righted at some point), and we're now off on what could be months of angst as we see Alice languish in a cell while Janine swans around the place acting like the grieving widow. She did actually manage to spare a thought for her daughter this week though.

IMG 2421 Alice is well and truly in the frame for Michaels murder

"Her life is ruined. How will she ever be happy now?" she wailed.

"She's got you," Whitney replied kindly.

God help the poor little mite. She wouldn't be smiling if she knew what lay ahead. As if having fifty percent of both Michael and Janine's genes isn't enough of a handicap, having Janine as your sole carer would be enough to make Scarlett crawl outside and throw herself under the first runaway car that happened to be passing that day.

Happy (extended) families!

IMG 2399 Alice is well and truly in the frame for Michaels murderOn the plus side, at least she gets a bedroom to herself and doesn't have to share her Peppa Pig toys – unlike Tiffany, who's now got another half-sister: 'Spud' (yep, that really is what her dad called her; like he's got room to talk!) to add to her collection. Morgan, too.

"Good news: mum's back. Bad news: you know how I've got two dads? It looks like I might have three now," he informed his (existing) siblings in the cafe, and it wasn't long before Bianca's mob had gained another couple of members.

Rosie (spud!) and TJ. (Didn't TJ used to be in Terry's son in Emmerdale? He's grown!) TJ and Liam look as if they could be brothers and – knowing EastEnders – we'll probably find out that they ARE!

It's the Addams Family, alright

Unknown Alice is well and truly in the frame for Michaels murderIMG 2405 Alice is well and truly in the frame for Michaels murderAs for Terry: is his surname Addams? He's the spit of Uncle Fester, and could yet turn out to be Cousin ITT's* real father! He seems like a nice-enough feller, but it'll only be a matter of time before his dirty little secret comes out. They all have one. What's his going to be?

The Lord only knows, but hopefully David will hang around long enough to 'sort 'im 'aht' when the time comes, and talking of sorting people out: why doesn't he just sling Masood out and have done with it?

David and Carol have got such great sexual chemistry that it's a wonder they're not at it like rabbits, although there's more than enough kids in that house already so it's just as well Carol's unlikely to find herself 'up the duff' now!

Since Zee went, there just doesn't seem to be 'any point' to the Masoods any more. Kick him to the curb, Carol, and just get back with David. Go on. You know you want to.

Starry, starry night. Can only mean one thing …

IMG 2417 Alice is well and truly in the frame for Michaels murderWhen I saw Kat and Alfie stood outside at the fireworks I braced myself in case this was the moment that THEY were about to get back together – again, but it was a false alarm this time, luckily.

When they looked up to the sky though, I thought "NOT THE MOON. PLEASE, NOT THE MOON!" but thankfully we weren't subjected to that joke of a photo-shopped full moon (which shines even brighter than Alice's teeth), this time; only one lone firework 'for Michael' (Moon). Pffft.

I've had to watch in a bit of a rush this week so haven't listened quite as carefully as normal, but I did spot a bit of Appropriate/Inappropriate Music in the Background. As Bianca's in the pub asking Michael to leave and he's saying he wants to stay, you can hear the words 'I will be right by your side' playing on the jukebox slap-bang inbetween their lines!

IMG 2409 Alice is well and truly in the frame for Michaels murderA Good acting by a Supporting Artiste (sounds better than 'bit-part actor', doesn't it?) Award goes to Kirsty's loan shark. Nice job mate.

Another few Grins of the Week this week; things are looking up) although most of them were Bianca's lines)! Just as well she came back when she did or it would have been a very lean week – although the whole stuff with the kids arguing etc was very entertaining.

Bianca: "What time are the kids back? I want to prepare them."

David: "What – for 'im?"

Janine: "She seemed kind of hostile."

Joey: "Come on, Janine. Alice is never hostile."

Janine: "Tell that to Michael."

Joey (Janine fake crying): "Janine, please! I might start thinking you really cared about him."

Janine: "Yeah, well, I did – when I wasn't hating him."

Kat: "What did you get me?"

Bianca: "Nuffink, but I did bring something back with me."

Kat: "You can get cream for that."

Bianca: "It wasn't meant to be like this, mum. I did have a plan."

Carol: "Well it wasn't a very good one, was it?"

IMG 2416 Alice is well and truly in the frame for Michaels murderBianca: "Well, it never is, is it?" (You can say that again, B!)


* Who set those fireworks off then? It wasn't Alfie. They seemed to start by themselves and run in a complete consecutive sequence – just like you'd have at a proper, organised display.

Considering Alfie can barely string a sentence together, there's no way he could have organised an Event like that.

* Kat said she thought the fireworks might be 'too intense' for Tommy. How, exactly? He's a small child. If Janine had been (fake) wailing and gnashing her teeth in the middle of the Square he wouldn't even have noticed because he'd have been too busy looking up at the pretty lights. Dur. Then they wonder why their kids get hangups!

IMG 2410 Alice is well and truly in the frame for Michaels murder* Those bananas have got more flesh on them than Lucy. That girl is way too thin. I find it extremely worrying.

* David went to the shop and came back with a single pint of milk. What, for all that mob? He'd be better off buying a cow and sticking it out in the garden.

* Nice to see CC this week, and nice to see that publicity photo of the new family. Shirley's brother, aye? Funny how she's never mentioned/we never knew of the existence of this whole big family of hers, but anything that gets Shirley back on our screens is ok with me!

IMG 2413 Alice is well and truly in the frame for Michaels murder* I've never seen David in anything except that suit, but we now know that he owns a tracksuit top. No wonder he's got so much cash to throw around; he certainly isn't spending it on clothes.

* If that nasty man has damaged my lovely Peter's boyish good looks then he'll have me to answer to. Let's hope his velvety voice isn't affected either.

Cousin ITT Alice is well and truly in the frame for Michaels murder* Lauren's wasted just hanging around Albert Square. With her ability to look into someone's eyes and 'know for a fact whether they're lying or not', she could be out earning herself a fortune as a human lie-detector.


(*Cousin Itt: Sharon's boy Dennis.)

Corrie Corner: Roy and Hayley drift further apart

Corrie roof logo e1341149395169 Corrie Corner: Roy and Hayley drift further apart(You can hear me talking Soaps 10.30-11.00 am every Thursday on Swindon CLICK HERE TO LISTEN or simply use the Tunein Radio App.

Dressing gowns; dressing downs; special offer wallpaper, paper and pens and someone's back to school again. 

IMG 2318 Corrie Corner: Roy and Hayley drift further apartRoy got the bedroom decorated (much to Hayley's horror), but no amount of decorating can 'paper over the cracks', as Roy and Hayley drift further apart with each passing day.  Roy had persuaded Hayley not to visit Jane in case it tired her out, but when they finally went to the hospital they discovered that she'd died the night before.

Roy might think he's doing the best for Hayley, but he's terribly misguided and acting purely in his own interests – no matter how he tries to rationalise it. He just wants to keep her for as long as possible, but once the cancer really kicks in it'll be too late for her to put her wishes in place, and when he's watching her in proper pain – dying before his eyes – there's no way even HE would be able to advocate keeping her alive, so she's right to be pushing for him to comply with her wishes.

IMG 2322 Corrie Corner: Roy and Hayley drift further apartThat's a while away yet though, and Hayley's very much alive and kicking at the moment, but if anything was going to hasten her demise it would surely be the prospect of waking up to that new wallpaper every morning. Her face when she saw it was a picture.

Still, as someone who owns a matching red coat and dressing gown I'm sure she'll cope! The look of shock on Roy's face when he opened the cafe door to be confronted by that embroidery; it's a wonder he didn't end up having a funny turn of his own.

Faye's hidden talent:

IMG 2342 Corrie Corner: Roy and Hayley drift further apartGrace turned her evil attention on Mary this week. Even though they were caught red-handed spraying Mary's van, Faye STILL managed to convince Anna that it wasn't her.

IMG 2426 Corrie Corner: Roy and Hayley drift further apartThat girl ought to get her head down and study. With powers of persuasion like that she's surely got a fantastic career ahead of her as a defence lawyer!

It was as painful to listen to Mary recount the memories of being bullied as a child as it was to see her being bullied by a child (Faye being the – mostly – unwilling cohort) this week. Anna hasn't yet realised the extent of Grace's evil, and tries to mollify Owen.

"I know you don't like her, but she's a little girl," she rationalised.

"Yeah. So was Tracy Barlow once," he shot back.

Partners in crime

He's on to something there. If Faye's destined for a legal career then Grace should set her sights on becoming a partner in Tracy's shop. She's certainly got the right skill set. Imagine those two behind the counter together. Be afraid. Be very afraid!

IMG 2310 Corrie Corner: Roy and Hayley drift further apartAmy is – of course – half of Tracy's genes (she certainly looks like more her mother with every passing week!), and with Steve as a father it makes you wonder what lies ahead for her?

There were some hilarious scenes between Liz, Steve, Michelle and Lloyd this week as Steve announced that he was going to go to College.

IMG 2431 Corrie Corner: Roy and Hayley drift further apartLiz was under no illusions as to her son's potential. "I'll give it a week," she proclaimed to Michelle and Lloyd.

"I'll give it an hour," Michelle retorted.

"It'll be us three that'll have to pick up the slack. It's a good job you've got no staying power," Liz continued.

"Blimey mother. You really are the wind beneath my wings," Steve replied in astonishment.

Liz and Sean have got an eye for the gays

Todd's revelations took the wind out of Eileen's sails this week as he returned, jobless penniless, and with a lot of catching up (and making up) to do.

IMG 2305 Corrie Corner: Roy and Hayley drift further apart"So, what's she like then; this girlfriend of Jason's?" he asked his mum.

"She looks like a blow-up doll," Eileen replied in her usual blunt fashion!

Methinks Sean's antenna might be pointing at Todd (not a euphemism!), and it didn't take him long to suss out that the stranger at the bar was 'A friend of Dorothy'.

"Liz. My 'Gaydar' is never wrong. I had Sandi Toksvig pegged way before she came out," he announced theatrically. (Oh, if only there'd been a clue, Sean (!).)

"Yeah. I was the same with Boy George," Liz replied in excited agreement. Great stuff!

IMG 2319 Corrie Corner: Roy and Hayley drift further apartSean's been in the thick of it this week. I'm not sure that Agony Uncle is his forte though.

"For a year at least, everything with me and Jools was fine; great. Then he sort of started to get clingy," Todd explained.

"See, I like it when they get clingy," Sean replied; clearly baffled at how anyone wouldn't enjoy that!

So many Grins of the Week for you that I couldn't fit them all in. Classic Corrie:

Grace: "What did you have for lunch then?"

IMG 2328 Corrie Corner: Roy and Hayley drift further apartMary: "I had a prawn … salad … sandwich."

Grace: "Big, was it?"

Steve: "If they invented a time machine tomorrow, I wouldn't go back to being twenty, cos what did I have then that I haven't got now?"

Lloyd: "Hair?"

Todd: "Nice shirt."

Sean: "Looks better off. … That's a lie; it doesn't."

Steve: "Why do you find it hilarious that I want to grow as a person?"

Lloyd: "If you ask me, you've grown enough."

IMG 2341 Corrie Corner: Roy and Hayley drift further apartTodd: "It's not my fault there's a recession on."

Eileen: "Well how come Jason and I managed to get a job then?"

Todd: "I wonder that sometime, an' all."

Steve: "Shouldn't there be three of you?"

IMG 2303 Corrie Corner: Roy and Hayley drift further apartLiz: "What?"

Steve: "Witches, cackling."

Kylie: "Look, I know you're still angry with me."

Leanne: "Hmm. Nowt gets past you, does it?"

Steve: "I answer to no man."

Michelle (angrily): "Steve?"

Steve: "Yes dear?"

Gail: "I write to Sarah-Lou at least once a fortnight. I break open the Basildon Bond and I'm away."

Eileen: "I'll bet she looks forward to your letters (!)"

IMG 2327 Corrie Corner: Roy and Hayley drift further apartJulie: "I had a friend who got married in a poncho."

Carla (gobsmacked): " … Well, I'll bear that in mind, yeah."

Gloria: "Is there something I should know?"

Gail: "We'll be here all night."

Michelle: "I see you more than I see Steve."

Lloyd: "You say that like it's a bad thing."

Hayley: "It took you nearly ten minutes to reverse into a parking space."

Roy: "It would have been a lot easier if that other driver hadn't kept shouting at me."

"Hayley: "He was driving an ambulance. I think he was in a bit of a hurry."


IMG 2336 Corrie Corner: Roy and Hayley drift further apart* If seeing Steve announcing that he was going to College made a little part of you feel that you'd like to go back and do a bit of studying, then 'Carpe Diem': seize the day. Get out there and DO IT!

* Do you think Grace might be Curse-ty's long-lost sister? She's got the same evil stare!

* Hayley was folding socks and had one left over. She wanted to keep it, but Roy couldn't see the point. "If it's not one of a pair, what use is it?" he pointed out with typical 'Roy logic' and deep poignance.

* Jason's got very clean nails for a builder!

* We learned the perfect way to get yourself a free coffee/drink etc this week:

Gloria (to Nick): "Aah. Treating your mum to her breakfast. That's nice."

Gail: "Actually, it's MY treat."

IMG 2307 Corrie Corner: Roy and Hayley drift further apartGloria: "Ooh, thank you. Milky coffee please Roy!

* Great performance from the newly-divorced woman in the Bistro. It wouldn't surprise me if we saw her again. Beth (and Craig) had that little cameo when she appeared as an ex of Steve's – and look at her now.

I gave them a big thumbs-up that week. I'm doing the same for this lady. She's got 'Corrie regular' written all over her. Remember: you heard it here first!"

* The winner of the brand new, sealed box set of Meerkat story books (courtesy of is @TeamNatalieGume. Congratulations!




Another week of confessions in 'Emmerdale-y'

Emmerdale logo2012 Another week of confessions in Emmerdale yYou can hear me talking Soaps 10.30-11.00 am every Thursday on Swindon CLICK HERE TO LISTEN or simply use the Tunein Radio App.

Missing kids; meddling kids, little kids and unborn kids. No kidding. Who's the daddy? Whose daddy? Who knows!

PriyaEmmerdale Another week of confessions in Emmerdale yWhat a relief to find that Jake never got any further than the Sharma's kitchen cupboard. The police would never have found him there. Priya, however, is a lot smarter than they are, and it didn't take her long to smoke him out.

She's been really sweet to Jakey (despite 'Hairy David' and Alicia having been so worried that she'd tell him who his real mum was), and I reckon she'll make a great mum someday (soon)?

It's just a pity that Jake couldn't keep her secret though. No sooner had Noah told him than he scuttled back home and spilled the beans, but HD had only himself to blame for not having told Alicia straight away.

What a dilemma though: finding that your ex is pregnant but knowing that your new partner can't have children. Alicia's encouraged him to fight to stop Priya having an abortion, but when you see what some of the other kids in the village have been up to this week you'd wonder why anyone would even want a baby. Even if you DO have a baby in Emmerdale, chances are it'll be to someone you don't want it to be to and will already be giving you a bucketload of stress.

David's dilemma. It's all too much for his brain to cope with!

Look at HD: he was worried sick (and his baby's not even the size of his pea-sized brain yet), and Rachel caught him at a bad moment:

DavidEmmerdale Another week of confessions in Emmerdale y"Can I have these cheap because they're past their 'sell by'?" she enquired.

"Yeah, whatever," he muttered distractedly.

"Don't 'whatever' me when I'm doing you a favour," she cried indignantly.

"Alright; gobby!" he screeched (comically).

I laughed out loud at that bit, but HD's not the only one with things on his mind; Rachel's got problems too, and it's been another week of confessions as she felt compelled to finally tell Sam who Archie's real father was. I'm not sure she needed to have bothered though. Sam wouldn't have twigged if the kid had popped out with 'I'm Jai's son' tattooed across his forehead.

SamEmmerdale Another week of confessions in Emmerdale y"They should have told him straight away," he pointed out when he found out about Jake.

"I guess it's easy to say when it's not you," Rachel replied cryptically, to which his response was: "Eh?" See. Clueless!

Sam might only be intellectually qualified to join the Emmerdale police force, but it's unusual for Charity not to have picked up on Jai's unhealthy interest in all things Archie (as her radar's usually always set to 'high alert'), but it's going to be 'moyderrr' when she does find out.

The 'Hunter' became the prey!

Dress Another week of confessions in Emmerdale yIt was Rodney's turn to get found out this week though. Poor Rodders. He was only masquerading as a Hunter-gatherer to try and keep Georgia in dinners and carrier bags, but was caught in plain sight in the Woolie as his date for the evening showed up in a dress that can best be described as 'unusal'.

I'm no fashion expert, but that outfit defies description. It reminded me of that episode of 'Fawlty Towers' where Basil put black handprints on that girl's boobs! If that dress was a roll of wallpaper it'd be on the wall at Declan's.

Great plan, Megan

Ah, Deccers. He looks to be another step closer to getting the Hotel deal sorted this week but he's already got an unwelcome guest. I really don't think he's grasped the concept of being a hotelier. In a hotel people are supposed to pay you to stay, but he's paid Katie to leave.

DeclanEmmerdale Another week of confessions in Emmerdale yEven going for a coffee did nothing to improve his mood.

"What can I get you?" Bob asked him cheerfully.

"Don't tempt me," he grunted, scowling down at Katie.

Declan might have been contemplating murder (where's your friendly, neighbourhood serial killer when you need them?), but Megan had a better idea: "Shall I just push you off a tall building and have done with it?" she suggested helpfully.

That's not a bad idea (she could claim on the insurance then get the decorators straight in), but could she take a couple of others there up with her; namely Gemma and 'Gobby Gabby', please?

Gobby's a little witch, but is her mother too?

IMG 2385 Another week of confessions in Emmerdale yHonestly. What is it with these pesky kids? (Half term was last week; you'd have thought they'd have all been too busy doing their homework to have time to go round causing trouble!)

Gobby's antics have given us some very funny scenes between Bernice, Jimmy and Nicola this week, and led to Jimmy thinking that Bernice had the hots for him. Needless to say, Nico didn't believe it, and once they sorted it all out, Nico asked her sister to stay. She had her reasons:

"You can't go until Jimmy's stopped limping about the place. You're the only one who shows him any sympathy," she explained. Aah, such devotion!

IMG 2384 Another week of confessions in Emmerdale yBernice seems to have gone from 'diva' into Mrs Doubtfire over the space of a couple of weeks (even ironing Jimmy's boxers!), but it's easy to see how she's managing to be a 'domestic goddess': magic powers.

Remember Bewitched? Bernice even looks like Samantha … and has the same name in real life too. Spooky. Yes. One minute she was behind the bar discussing bras in pockets (isn't that the line from a Pretenders song?!) with Jimmy, but when he left to hurry home, she was coming down the stairs as he walked in. Now that's clever!

Kerry puts her foot in it

IMG 2389 Another week of confessions in Emmerdale yLess clever (and about twenty years too late), Kerry's attempt to be a devoted mother to Amy – as usual – fell flat on its face this week – although it was Kerry who firstly nearly fell off her heels (walking up Joanie's step), then fell right on top of a policeman – which got the pair of them arrested.

Yelling, "Oy. Come out here, you baby-snatching grass," probably isn't the best opening gambit when you're trying to open delicate negotiations either, is it? Who cares though. I just love Kerry.

Joanie said one of the most haunting lines I've ever heard to Amy this week though. "Kyle doesn't care. Fireman Sam means more to him than you do."

The truth's hard to hear, pet

IMG 2376 Another week of confessions in Emmerdale yIt's true. As adults, we think that children think the same way as us. They don't. Children possess that wonderful ability (that we're all born with) to simply 'live in the moment' and haven't yet learned to obsess over the past/the future like adults do, and Amy really doesn't mean anything to him right now.

If I was Amy I would feel as passionately as she does though. It was different when he had parents, but a woman of Joanie's age really isn't the best person to be raising a toddler single-handedly. It's not about love, it's about physically being able to cope with the demands of a small/growing child.

Ooh, I'm getting all philosophical. Quick. Let's have our Grins of The Week!

Hairy David: "Is that for you?" (a pregnancy testing kit)

Priya: "No, it's for my dad."

IMG 2387 Another week of confessions in Emmerdale yNicola: "Why would she start planting bras in your clothes?"

Jimmy: "Ha ha … she fancies me (of course)! You do."

Nicola: "I wouldn't go that far."

Vanessa (morosely): "You're never too old to suffer for love."

Chas: "Thanks Vanessa. Very uplifting. You can come again (!)"

Val: "Bob. Give us one of those chocolate cakes for when they find Jake."

Diane: "How's that going to help?"

Val: "Well, he's bound to be peckish when he turns up."

Diane: "So it's a 'Sorry your mum's your auntie' cake?"

Bernice: "Gobby's at a difficult age."

Nicola: "Seems to be lasting a while."

Megan: "Thought of any ways to squeeze Declan dry?"

Katie: "Yeah, cos that's all I do, isn't it? Just sit around and think of ways to screw him. Financially speaking, of course."

BerniceDiane Another week of confessions in Emmerdale yBernice: "I don't even feel safe in my own home."

Diane: "Nicola's home."

Policeman: "I'm arresting you for assault."

Kerry: "You're in the wrong job, you. You should be a footballer if you think THAT was assault!"

I think we need to have a special Foot in Mouth Award this week for Pearl with this 'Pearl of wisdom' (not!) from/at the reopening of the Wookpack:

Bloodpic copy1 Another week of confessions in Emmerdale yDiane: "We're back!"

 Pearl: "All guns blazing." Oops!


* The Woolie's just been redecorated, but I don't think they'd want this picture up on the wall. It looks like a load of blood dribbling down a canvas!

* It looked as if a bear was loose in the village for a moment, but luckily it was only Val's coat!

DavidMrDarcy Another week of confessions in Emmerdale y* If HD ever left Emmerdale he'd be a shoe-in for any up-coming period drama. He looks as if he's stepped straight out of a Jane Austen novel here. It's a good look; very brooding.

* Rodney suggested that they used his old fairground trunk instead of a suitcase. Can you take a trunk on a plane? They'd look a bit funny carrying it!

IMG 2346 Another week of confessions in Emmerdale y* Wasn't Halloween last week? Moira looks as if she's having a right go on Cain's neck.

* Bob and Brenda were out for the evening. Where were the kids, and who was looking after Jake when Alicia and HD were in the pub? He wasn't with Noah.

* Dom said that Gemma had never done anything as bad as throw a brick through a window before. Er, yes she has. She's a right little troublemaker.

* Just imagine if every secret got spilled as quickly as Jacob did with Priya's: there'd be some very short story lines!

Framed3 Another week of confessions in Emmerdale y* There were three shots this week that looked as if we were looking at a TV within our TV:



All through windows:

Framed1 Another week of confessions in Emmerdale y

Framed2 Another week of confessions in Emmerdale y

I've tried to get them all on one line (and get the text where I want it, but WordPress (or me) is too stupid to be able to do something so simple!



Jane Reynolds's Weekly Blog – 3rd November 2013

SunsetoverSwindon Jane Reynoldss Weekly Blog   3rd November 2013My blogs always used to start with a 'Sunrise Over Swindon' photo which I used to take from the window of my top floor rented office (where I was nearly always there in time to to capture the break of day!).

Now that I've moved I no longer have the office, but DO now live on the third (top) floor of a small block of flats in Swindon and am lucky enough to be able to look out on the most amazing sunSETS. One extreme to the other, aye, but they're giving me a whole new batch of photos to start the week with. Here's the first, and now onto this week's post:

It's been a bit of a shock to my system to have to sit and write a whole blog again. Three full days so far and I'm still at it, but that's because I've had a little extra work to do too.

My first two Soap spots have appeared on Yahoo! TV's Soap pages today (click on the link to read exclusive Soap content not featured in my Soapy Corners). It's been a challenge to post them alongside the first Soapy Corners for the best part of a year (my father had cancer and died in March so I've had many other things to attend to over the last few months), but I've managed it, and by the time I post this I'll have about three hours before I have to start all over again!

It's lovely to be back though, but I've got a lot of ground to recover in many different ways; not least that I've got to get my tax return done! If you're a regular reader you might remember that I was in a similar position at this time last year (simply because I'd got behind with my accounts), but the events of this year have left me with several large boxes of paperwork which need to be sorted before I can even start on the tax bit, so I'm a bit unsure as to where I'm going to find the time.

 Jane Reynoldss Weekly Blog   3rd November 2013'Positive Mental Attitude', that's the key to it all. I'm smiling bravely at the thought of the task ahead. *sobs* No, only joking! I'll get it done. After seeing what my father went through during his last few months I'm just grateful to be fit and well (hopefully, anyway), and am 'embracing' life wholeheartedly. Well … something like that!

My site's going to be getting a makeover fairly soon too. That's another thing on the list, but I've finally found myself an excellent chappie who's going to sort all the 'behind the scenes' stuff out and then turn his attention to the layout etc, so watch this space!

There's also a competion in this week's Corrie Corner where you can win a lovely box set of Meerkat books, courtesy of

Thanks for reading and I hope to see you next week.



Corrie Corner – 3rd November 2013

Corrie roof logo e1341149395169 Corrie Corner   3rd November 2013(You can hear me talking Soaps 10.30-11.00 am every Thursday on Swindon CLICK HERE TO LISTEN or simply use the Tunein Radio App.

It's Halloween: hairy things, scary things, sticks and stones, sticks and carrots, creepy crisp packets and caterwauling.

Apart from my Blackpool special last month (scroll down to read), this is the first Corrie Corner for rather a long while (due to my father's death earlier this year, sadly), but it's back, and back at a time when Coronation Street is on absolute cracking form.

I barely know where to start as I sit down to write this post – there's so much I want to say – but let's start with the Platts/Tilsleys/McIntyres/Prices (blimey, that's a lot of surnames for one family!) shall we?

Nick TilsleyCorrie Corrie Corner   3rd November 2013Mother Teresa would be hard pushed not to want to punch Gail in the mouth at the moment, let alone someone as unstable as Nick's been since the accident. That's assuming he could actually find her mouth, of course.

NickTilsley Corrie e1383488518549 Corrie Corner   3rd November 2013Gail's hair seems to be creeping right across her face lately, and Nick's isn't far behind. His appears to have slipped straight off his head and landed on his chin, which gives him a remarkable resemblance to one of our favourite furry animals:

Leanne's back to take him in hand though, and should start by giving him a jolly good shave. I think we'd all feel a lot better not having to look at those whiskers every day, wouldn't we?

Get on that broken broomstick and 'do one' please Grace

Sally Corrie Corrie Corner   3rd November 2013Some Soap storylines are beyond tedious, and the 'nasty teenage friend' is one of them. Owen's got the measure of Faye's BFF – as has Sally:

"It's funny your name's Grace, because you haven't got any," she pointed out in her own 'special way' after the party, where the evil little witch had stepped up her campaign of general maliciousness and – in particular – bullying of poor Simon.

FayeAnnaCorrie Corrie Corner   3rd November 2013As someone who was bullied every single day as a child, maybe this is why I find these storylines so unpleasant, but even though she seems to be fooling most people so far, Owen's clearly got the measure of her and I just wish he'd ban her from going within a hundred miles of Fay-te worse than death (who's 'no better than she should be' either, is she?).

It's about time that little madam realised how lucky she is and started treating the lovely Anna with the respect she deserves. Grrr! (Don't they look the spit of each other here?)

'Weatherfield's top young businessman gets challenging new role'

Ches Corrie Corner   3rd November 2013Someone else with rose-tinted-glasses in the respect stakes is Dev, who's given Ches a job managing the kebab shop. This is the same Chesney that barely ever botherered going to his market pitch; usually knocked-off early; lost his stock because he trusted someone else to lock it up for him at night and would still be sat in front of the telly if Sinead hadn't forced him to go out and look for work, is it?

Yeah, 'nice one Dev', and how did young Chesney mark his first day on the job? By giving away free kebabs, of course.

Alan Sugar he ain't, and speaking of lost causes: "Ooh, ey 'up. It's Weatherfield's top entrepeneurs", Peter scoffed to Carla as Rob and Tracy opened up their emporium for another day's trading (blows with customers, mostly!).

Corrie's cats' claws are out

Tracy Rob Corrie Corrie Corner   3rd November 2013Tracy Barlow is a joy to watch. Her comic timing is flawless (as is that of ALL Corrie's actors), and we've been treated to a bumper week of cat fights, bitching, and some of the best comedy writing you'll find anywhere.

LizCorrie Corrie Corner   3rd November 2013The scenes between her, Tina and both Liz and Deirdre this week have been nothing short of magnificent, and I just LOVE Rob's continued bemused tolerance of a partner who's clearly completely off her trolley!

Maybe he's worried about getting bumped over the head like Charlie Stubbs did, but long may their relationship continue, and long may Liz reign behind the bar too. I'm so glad she's back. She plays such a good part, and her face when David moved that crisp packet along the bar was an absolute picture!

Oh, look. It's the 'Spliced Girls'!

You can always rely on (the writer) Jonathan Harvey to give us a riot of innuendoes, campness galore and hilarious lines for the Corrie women to let rip on, and after a tot – or ten – Deirdre, Eileen and Liz's drunken antics on Friday provided us with some simply perfect comic TV.

"We are Fifty … odd, feisty and fabulous. We do not need a man in our lives." Liz proclaimed to the world in drunken exuberance. Er, 'Cue new man for Liz' please.

LizDeirdreEileenCorrie Corrie Corner   3rd November 2013

A line like that can mean only one thing (the same thing it does when any Soap character makes a big announcement, of course), as it only takes someone to declare that they're happy for tragedy to strike so I don't think we'll need a crystal ball to predict that Liz's next 'Mr Right' will be walking through that door any day now!

Won't be long before Carla 'twigs'

Carla Corrie Corrie Corner   3rd November 2013I loved Carla's sexy "Mmmm" and lusty look when Peter said, "It's all stick, stick, stick with you. What's wrong with a bit of carrot?"

She'll be after him with a stick before long though. We're already seeing the first little shoots of the up-coming affair between him and Tina, aren't we? Ooh, I'm looking forward to that one.

For all you #Carchelle fans out there; I'll be bringing you a new 'Carchelle Corner' very soon, and we'll be able to dissect all the events of the last few months involving our two favourite friends in minute detail!

Aah, so much comedy this week. Far too many brilliant one-liners to list them all, but here's our first Grins of the Week since January:

Deirdre: "Why don't I make us a nice tea? I could do my stuffed marrow."

Tracy Deirdre Corrie Corrie Corner   3rd November 2013Tracy: "Mum. I feel bad enough already."

Gloria (about Liz): "It's like scrag end dressed as lamb."

Stella: "Must be like looking in a mirror then, aye?"

Rita: "I pity Amy."

Tracy: "Oh, well, I'll be sure to let her know."

Gail: "Aren't we all part of the same family?"

Gloria: "Same family, different branch."

Beth Corrie Corrie Corner   3rd November 2013

Beth: "Open 'Early Doors'. Think of all the trade you'll get."

Chesney: "I'm not sure kebabs are that popular for breakfast."

Beth: "That's what they said about cereal."

Amy: "My mum will kill me."

Tim: "No she won't."

Sally: "You don't know her mother."

Liz: "Is Steve about?"

Eileen: "Yeah. In the corner, hiding under an invisibility cloak."


* Tommy's gone to the Canary Islands. Well, it's nearly Spain (where everyone in who leaves Soapland in a hurry tends to head to – unless they're leaving feet first), and it's ironic that Tommy's gone to the Canaries, as it was his singing that led to his ultimate demise!

EileenCorrie Corrie Corner   3rd November 2013* Canaries are yellow, and from yellow to orange, yes, it's Tina and David. Those two should get together; they could buy their tanning lotion in bulk and save themselves a fortune.

* Eileen told Lloyd she'd turned into 'A sad old bag who's highlighting the programmes in the TV Guide'. Er, doesn't everyone do that? Oh dear … just me and Eileen then?

* Tina chose rice to go with the chilli David had cooked. She'd have opted for the 'gone off' potatoes if she'd had any sense, as David picked the (open) bag right off the shelf in front of him, tipped half of it into a pan but didn't add any water. Mmmm, crunchy!

* Lloyd was telling Jenna that he was with Liz for a while and that he and Steve had a fight over it (while she was hiding behind the settee). That was one of my favourite-ever Corrie scenes, and a lot of people seemed to agree with me on Twitter that night! (I've tried to find it on YouTube but can't. It was 5th January 2009 if anyone's got a copy of it they'd like to send me?)

scream Corrie Corner   3rd November 2013Fiz Corrie Corner   3rd November 2013

* Nick was struggling to do his tiny little physio exercises on Monday. He still did better than I could do, and I haven't just been in a car crash and a coma!

* I'd said that baby had David's nose right from the second I first saw her. I should have put a bet on it!

* I couldn't resist putting this pair of photos up again. Ooh, I love my 'lookalikes'!

And now folks, it's Competition Time!

Meerkat Books Corrie Corner   3rd November 2013

I've got a brand new, sealed box set of Meerkat story books (RRP £35.94) to give away* FREE (courtesy of All you have to do is simply retweet any of my links to this week's 'Corrie Corner' by Saturday 9th November and I'll pick one lucky winner (in a completely fair and unbiased way!) and announce it in next week's blog.

I've also got a meerkat toy to give away (given to me at the Corrie Press Day at Blackpool in October), but I'm keeping that one under wraps until the first week of December. Keep reading to be in with a chance of winning this lovely prize – just in time for Christmas!

Here's some great/sweet meerkat trailers to take a look at too. Just click on the link to view:

Nice try, Vassily

The last waltz

The windy picnic


* UK only, I'm afraid. They're rather heavy!


Emmerdale-y – 3rd November 2013

Emmerdale logo2012 Emmerdale y   3rd November 2013You can hear me talking Soaps 10.30-11.00 am every Thursday on Swindon CLICK HERE TO LISTEN or simply use the Tunein Radio App.

'In your face' wallpaper; whose face is the odd one out; who's not cut out to run a Hotel; whose imagination ran away with them & who's run away?

So much has happened in Emmerdale since my last full post in January that it would be impossible for me to cover every great moment, but I can't not mention 'Killer Cameron', can I?

Cameron Emmerdale y   3rd November 2013You'd have thought that having this storyline running for over a year would have ended up with it becoming both tedious and unconvincing, wouldn't you, but that was simply not the case.

Right up until the very end we were totally gripped – for which we have to thank the writers, actors, producers, and the great team behind them who have all worked so hard to turn Emmerdale into the Award-winning Soap it is today; regularly beating EastEnders in the ratings and now snapping away at Coronation Street's heels!

Spot the Odd Man Out

We all remember Corrie's Charlie Stubbs, don't we? Bashed over the head by Tracy Barlow? Yeah, that's him. Well, he's alive and kicking and has just moseyed into town as John Barton's brother James.

The Black Haired Bartons Emmerdale y   3rd November 2013I'm generally always so impressed at how new family members in Soaps resemble their 'relatives', but I'm just a little concerned about this casting. I can understand how they'd have been excited to sign Bill Ward up (as he's a great actor and I LOVED him as Charlie Stubbs), but there's one teensy problem with him: he just doesn't look anything like 'The Black-Haired Bartons'!

JamesRossEmmerdale Emmerdale y   3rd November 2013His son Ross (who looks too old to be Charlie's – sorry, James's son), looks EXACTLY like a BHB (and could pass for Adam's older brother), but in my opinion you'd be hard-pressed to find a man who looks LESS like the rest of his 'supposed' family than James.

Look at 'father and son' here, then close your eyes and picture John Barton. Now look again at James Barton. See what I mean?

Where's that bottle of 'Barton Black' hair dye?

With this new trend of shaving actors' heads, you'd think he would – at the very least – have had to dye his hair and cut it short so that at least one bit of him looked a bit Barton-ish, wouldn't you? It's a shame he couldn't just have come in as a new, neighbouring farmer rather than as John's brother.

James Barton Emmerdale y   3rd November 2013Still, I'm sure my concerns will be temporary (and that once he's been there a couple of weeks I'll have forgotten all about it), but there's something far more worrying about this Brown-Haired Barton's arrival (apart from wondering how on earth he's going to get those enormous shoulders through the doorway), and that's that we can already picture the moment when he pulls Moira roughly towards him and snogs the face off her, can't we?

I don't want that! I think that she and Cain have got fantastic chemistry and – call me an old romantic – I'd like to see them married. This is a Soap though, so I'm guessing that the ring Cain 'acquired' for Moira probably won't end up on her finger after all?

Having a ring don't mean a thing!

AliciaDavidPriyaEmmerdale Emmerdale y   3rd November 2013Time will tell, and a ring on your finger doesn't always guarantee a happy ending: ask Priya. Aah, so close to the finish line, but pipped to the post when it took Alicia being shot to finally bring (back on the road to being 'Hairy') David to his senses.

We all sighed in happy relief as they shared that first kiss, didn't we, but this week's ended with Jake running away after Alicia was pushed into telling him that she wasn't his birth mother.

Has Jake packed enough sandwiches?

Jake Emmerdale Emmerdale y   3rd November 2013'Child runs away' has to be up there as one of any Soap's most tedious story lines, and – as if Alicia hasn't been through enough already, she's now got something else to worry about: a runaway son.

Jacob's crying on Friday genuinely had me in tears. He played that scene brilliantly (especially the line where he asked whether it meant that his dad wasn't his dad either), but he does unfortunately deliver some of his lines with the emphasis on the wrong part of the sentence.

Comparing him to Belle, Samson, Arthur and Amelia (all amazing young actors), Jake sometimes falls a little short (in my book) I'm afraid. He's SO much better than he was when he started though so I'm sure he'll continue to improve, but with the Emmerdale Police out looking for him he'll probably be gone for at least six months, so I just hope he filled his rucksack to the brim on his way out through the shop!

Basil? Basil?

It looked as if Deccers was about to be packing his bags too – until Megan came up with the bright idea of turning Home Farm into a Hotel. Genius … apart from just one thing: Declan.

This is a man whose people skills make Basil Fawlty look good. Imagine turning up for a lovely, relaxing weekend and being confronted by his miserable gob? You'd be out of there before anyone even had time to steal your car, wouldn't you?

Megan Emmedale Emmerdale y   3rd November 2013If that wasn't enough to put you off the place, that psychedelic 60's wallpaper would definitely finish the job. Even the delicious Megan standing in front of it wouldn't be enough to distract you from its gawdiness. I just hope they get a good designer in to put it back like it was before it had its most recent make 'under'.

Yes; with Megan front of house they might just get away with it (as long as Declan and Robbie are kept well out of the way of the guests!), and it opens up the exciting possibility of (at last) bringing a Housekeeper and a few staff in. How that place has run all these years without any sort of hired help (apart from Sam outside in the woods and Nicola putting in the odd half day when she can spare the time) is beyond me.

Yes, bring it on. 'Macey's Manor House' has a certain ring to it don't you think? (Actually, Macey's bad-mannered House is probably nearer the mark!)

Nice try, Kerry

JoanieEmmerdale Emmerdale y   3rd November 2013Some wonderful, wonderful acting from Kerry (as always) this week, when the frightening 'Scarlet Gingivitis Syndrome' that Kyle could have inherited didn't quite ring true with his Grandma. "You just made that up!" Joanie gasped as Kerry blurted out the first disease she could think of in her attempt to help Amy try and maintain some sort of access to her son.

KerryEmmerdale Emmerdale y   3rd November 2013"Nooo. Me gran 'ad it an' her back end went and everything," Kerry exclaimed in desperation, but it wasn't enough to convince Joanie and she sped off up the road, leaving Amy distraught and Cain stood there looking bemused – having realised he'd just been holding his little boy's hand.

Will it be 'Daddy Dan', or won't he be 'The Man'?

Aah, I'd love to see Cain and Moira have a baby, but will Ruby be hearing the patter of tiny feet, I wonder? My idea scenario would be that either Dan's little swimmers fail to cross the channel and that it affects Ruby and Ali's relationship so much that they split up, OR that Ruby does get pregnant but Ali gets jealous of the baby … and they split up.

Why do I want that? Because I want Ruby to get together with Vanessa. During the stress of it all, Ruby needs someone to talk to, the two of them grow closer, one thing leads to another and before we know it we have … '#Rubessa'!

KerryDanEmmerdale Emmerdale y   3rd November 2013Just my writer's imagination working overtime again perhaps, although I do happen to do rather well with my predictions. I'm going to watch and hope on this one. Look at what a wonderful coupling Dan and Kerry are, and you read that first, right here on this blog (when both characters had barely made their first appearances), so might we get to see this 'come to pass' at some point too?

Vanessa's been on the shelf for far too long

I hope so. I think they'd make a good couple (no offence to Misery Ali, but it's hardly champagne and fireworks round at theirs every night, is it?), and even if they don't get together, I DO hope that Vanessa gets a proper love interest soon. Almost all of us know what it's like to love someone who doesn't love us back, so – unless Rhona suddenly realises that she DOES love Ness after all – they need to get the vet a girlfriend, and fast.

Not a huge selection for the return of my Grins of The Week (surprisingly), but I'm not worried about it. Emmerdale's humour is second only in brilliance to Corrie's, and we certainly haven't gone short on laughs over the last few months while Emmerdale-y's been away.

IMG 2258 Emmerdale y   3rd November 2013Nicola: "I have to be in Southport at seven am."

Jimmy: "Driving job?"

Nicola: "No, Jimmy. They're awarding me the freedom of the City."

Eric: "Yes, I'm back!"

Val: "Yeah. Look at our faces lighting up (!)"

Victoria: "Come on Ashley. Man up and put your frock on."

Declan: "Do I look stupid?"

Charity: "Do you really want to hear the answer to that?"


Robbie Emmerdale Emmerdale y   3rd November 2013* Why did Robbie have a big dirty mark under his chin this week?

* Talking of chins: I was SO relieved when Ashley finally ditched that awful beard!

Moira Emmerdale Emmerdale y   3rd November 2013* I'm sure that as Alan Turner (who was something of a connoisseur when it came to the fairer sex) looked down on the villagers attending his wake, he (like a lot of other people!) would have truly appreciated Moira's magnificent 'frontage' making an appearance to mark the occasion.

* Cain said that nicking those cars was 'A victimless crime' as they were all insured. I don't know about you, but I've got a lot of stuff in my car that I wouldn't be very happy to lose.

JamesEmmerdale Emmerdale y   3rd November 2013 You can replace a car, but what about all the personal effects that might be in there? You can't replace those, can you Cain? Hmmm? No, so 'Think on' next time, please!

* Notice how James Barton walks like John Wayne (as if he's wet his pants)?


Queen Vic Corner – 3rd November 2013

EastEnders logo e1337598881632 Queen Vic Corner   3rd November 2013You can hear me talking Soaps 10.30-11.00 am every Thursday on Swindon CLICK HERE TO LISTEN or simply use the Tunein Radio App.

Lingering looks; good looking lads, Halloween horrors and carrier bags. Corks are popping, but someone's popped their clogs. Oh dearie me. Whatever next?

 Not only is 'Queen Vic Corner' back for the first time since January, but last week was pretty-much the first time I'd seen EastEnders since Tanya left. Ian opening the restaurant was the thing that really finished me off, and the thought of having to start watching again filled me with gloom.

KatEastenders Queen Vic Corner   3rd November 2013Alfielingeringlook Queen Vic Corner   3rd November 2013After having watched only the first three minutes of Monday's episode it felt as if nothing had changed – even over the best part of a year. Ronnie, Roxy, Alfie and Kat's lingering looks … 'Oh, just shoot me now', I thought to myself in despair.

Groundhog Year

It would seem that they're due to be reunited (again?) quite soon. I stand by what I was saying at the beginning of the year: Kat and Alfie used to be one of my favourite Soap couples, but after so many breakups it all feels so unrealistic and the thought of putting them back together YET AGAIN just seems 'beyond tedious' to me.

The only thing that might rescue this one for me is knowing that there's a new couple coming in to take over the Vic. The thought of those two behind the bar again is enough to turn anyone to drink, although I'd be more than happy to nip in for a drink while Alfie's still in charge.

Fill your boots!

AlfieEastenders Queen Vic Corner   3rd November 2013Within five seconds of walking in (after another holiday?) he'd announced that it was "Drinks all round" and later on was giving free champagne away to everyone! That place must make one hell of a profit if he can afford to go giving so much stuff away 'on the house'.

'Oh, here we go; she's moaning about EastEnders again' you might be thinking, and you'd be right … except that (as the episode went on) I soon found myself laughing out loud and getting quite into it.

My heart sank when Ronnie appeared though. I'd thought were well shot of her miserable face, and had been aghast to read that she was coming back. I'd even delayed starting watching it again by a week so as to be spared her and Jack's turgid goodbyes (and having to see him again too; his character always bored me rigid), but I actually thought she was great.

You're 'avin a larff? Actually, yes!

CardgameEastenders Queen Vic Corner   3rd November 2013Her and Roxy have great chemistry together, and the scenes where they were playing cards with Phiwl were very funny indeed – as was a lot of this week's content – namely Monday and Tuesday's episodes; written by Katie Douglas. More of her please!

The lack of humour in EastEnders has always been one of my biggest complaints about the show. Sharon Marshall's episodes are always full of one-liners, but I've barely managed to raise a smile over the last couple of years (apart from when I see Billy Mitchell's strange orange-y hair), and there have been weeks which haven't even had ONE line funny enough to use in my Grins of the Week. No danger of that THIS week though, and what a week to start back.

Dracula's younger brother

KatMichaelEastenders Queen Vic Corner   3rd November 2013Michael. Ah, Michael. What a guy. Deeply flawed and extremely complex; it's sometimes difficult to watch him (as his character often seems completely implausible), but it's equally hard to take your eyes off him, and he was at his psychopathic worst this week.

Chilling to the end; I thought he was actually going to take a bite out of Kat's neck when he stood behind her and kissed her, although that would involve eating, and Michael's never seemed to do the whole 'eating' thing.

"Do I look like I eat chips?" he asked Kat in astonishment. It got me thinking: what would he eat? The only thing that sprung to mind was something 'Washed down with a nice Chianti … fufufufufufufh'!

All change!

PeterEastenders Queen Vic Corner   3rd November 2013I've been shocked at the change in Alice. I'd barely have recognised her; she just looks like Lucy in a bad black wig now, and talking of changes: I'd been gutted to read that the original Peter was being replaced with a new 'pretty boy' actor (eye candy for the teenage girls, I guess?), but now that I've seen him I think I might just manage to get over it.

Raaar. He's such a good looking lad, and has THE most gorgeous voice that I'm completely smitten, which is quite a result (!), but I digress …

Aaand back to Michael.

The knives were out for Michael

The scenes between him and Janine were toe-tingling. Since my two favourite actors (Tanya and Zainab) left, there's now only two left who I really enjoy watching (well, three now, if you include Peter!) and one of those is Janine. She's a superb actress, and I'm jolly glad that it wasn't her who got stabbed!

JanineEastenders Queen Vic Corner   3rd November 2013"The one night with Alice was infinitely more fulfilling than the endless times I've had to labour over your carcass," Michael taunted. Talk about 'twisting the knife', but Janine took her final revenge as she plunged an actual knife into his bony back and he fell to the floor.

I'd half expected him to jump up (in an a lá his namesake/separated-at-birth brother Michael Barrymore sort-of way!) and wrestle her to the ground, and – let's be honest – it took Alice that long to open the door to the Police it's a wonder they hadn't turned each other into a pair of patchwork quilts.

If only there had been a clue …

I'm assuming that his idiotic throwing away of the white carrier bag (AS IF someone as calculating as Michael would literally just drop a VITAL piece of evidence like that on the ground!) will end up being of vital importance now, although the fact that they focussed on it blowing away means that'll it'll probably be a while before it's discovered and the (presumed) charges against Janine can be dropped?

AliceMichael Queen Vic Corner   3rd November 2013"Life is death, Alice. It has to end that way. All we're doing is moving it forward a little," Michael had explained (as he'd tried to 'rationalise' his murder plot to his unwilling cohort), but it was HIS demise that came a little more prematurely than he'd enivsaged.

Was he doing it all for Scarlett, or was The Grim Reaper's Apprentice just completely barking? We'll never know now, but I'll certainly miss his creepy visage around the Square.

Looking on the bright side:

So. What a week for 'Queen Vic Corner' to come back on. High drama and even a few laughs, but is it a one-off, or has EastEnders turned a comedy corner? Let's see what I'm able to write next week, but for THIS week I'm very pleased to be able to give you some EastEnders Grins of the Week!

Billy: "You ain't got any of them protein shakes, 'ave ya?"

Denise: "Second shelf down, between the caviar and the quail's eggs."

Janine: "I'm here to invite you all to a very special occasion this afternoon."

JanineDavid Queen Vic Corner   3rd November 2013David: "What? You're leaving town?"

Fats: "You must have been born with a beer pump in your hand. It's just too natural." (Ooh, missus!)

Kat: "Do I take that as a compliment?"

Michael: "Tam … Tam … That's what they call you, innit? Is that a term of endearment?"


MichaelEastEnders Queen Vic Corner   3rd November 2013* There's always usually a blindingly-obvious link between the acting and the background songs in EastEnders' Appropriate/Inappropriate Music in the Background, but it was a little bit more subtle this week.

Michael turned on some Classical music: Schubert's Schwanengesang, (which means 'Swan Song': 'a final gesture, effort, or performance given just before death or fabled to be sung by a dying man'.) Well, they got that one right, didn't they?!

* I see Amy's acting skills haven't improved while I've been away; still sat there like a stunned mullet.

* Why, oh why did they have to put that crack of thunder at the exact moment Alice said she'd agree to help Michael kill Janine? It was SO fake (THERE WAS NO STORM!), and completely ruined the dramatic tension of the scene. (You can go too far, guys. The 'Moon' moon? Know what I'm saying? Kills the moment – every time.)

TiffanyEastenders Queen Vic Corner   3rd November 2013* I might be a bit behind, but was it meant to be Whitney's first day in that job? If so, why was she already on her own doing playground duty, and is that a different Liam, or has he just slimmed down?

* I LOVE Tiffany. That girl just gets better and better.

Champagne.Eastenders Queen Vic Corner   3rd November 2013* Why do people in Soaps always put bottles of champagne on a table/bar etc without a 'condom' on? It'd be the temperature of a Chinese laundry in five minutes flat.

* Who was the dark-haired woman that AJ's tongue was hanging out over? Hope I'll get to find out next week.

* Where was Bobby when they were watching their horror film (then all decided to go out instead)? Home alone?

* How would that new postman have known Janine's name (to know that she didn't have any cards)?



Jane Reynolds's Weekly Blog – 14th October 2013

Well hello!

Just a quick introduction to my Emmerdale and Coronation Street special reports – in what is a massive week for both Soaps. Do not even think of moving from your TV screen between the hours of 7.00-9.00 on Wednesday night as you're in for an absolute treat!

This blog has been off-air for a while now (many of you will know why) but will be back in action very, very soon. I'll hopefully see you then, but – for now – here's what I was doing on Thursday and Friday last week:

Seige 'Mentality'. Yes, Cameron's back …

The Emmerdale 40th Anniversary Press Event took place last year on the most perfect of Indian Summer afternoons in teepee-style tents on the hill overlooking the village. A year later and things couldn't have been more different …

Emmerdalesiege Seige Mentality. Yes, Camerons back ...As our coach arrived on a cold, windy, dark and drizzly Thursday afternoon I'd expected to see those same tents – all cosy and welcoming, and smiling waiters on hand to escort us inside to partake of a lovely warming cuppa, but there was nothing except a big empty space.

We continued down the road to encounter an extremely unexpected scene: a creepy silence, the village draped with 'Do Not Cross' tape and the place crawling with policemen and women who hurried us urgently from the coach to the relative security of the village hall.

Surreal? Oh yes, and before we'd even finished our tea and biscuits a copper ran in and told us to get out fast and follow his officers – as the hall was 'no longer safe'.

Part of the Action!

A police helicopter roared overhead and police sirens wailed as we were immediately split up into groups and hurried urgently into various locations throughout the village (I was in the B&B), where we found chairs and a TV screen had been set up for us. A policewoman stood guard on the door (one of the crew; the lovely – and very convincing (!) @RachBoggon), the television came on and we were treated to a screening of this Wednesday's hour-long seige episode.

Seigepack Seige Mentality. Yes, Camerons back ...During the first 'ad' break we were brought an emergency pack (containing assorted plasters and bandages, a bottle of water and a packet of biscuits) by another policeman; in the second, we saw a 'live' local TV news report from the village (with an 'on the spot' interview with Bob), and at the start of the third break there was a sudden pounding on the door.

The policewoman opened it gingerly and one of the cast pushed past her, desperate to know if we'd seen her partner (who was one of those holed-up inside the pub). Once she'd realised that her partner wasn't with us she attempted to leave. The policewoman tried to stop her, but she ran back out into the street and the door was slammed firmly shut behind her for our safety.

An Hour of Tingling Tension

I'd wondered what on earth they could possibly come up with which would top last year's flawless live episode, but – believe me – they've managed it. The hairs on the back of my neck were on end the whole way through, and there wasn't one person on that screen who you didn't actually believe was as scared as they were supposed to be.

CameronEmmerdale Seige Mentality. Yes, Camerons back ...Cameron's minute-by-minute loss of control (and his grip on reality) is the most convincing performance I've ever seen from a 'Soap Baddie', and you couldn't take your eyes off Debbie and Chas for a moment either as the drama unfolded.

There was an actual gasp from us all (well, mostly me, but I do tend to get a bit involved!) after the second gunshot rang out and we saw what had happened, and I was left totally desperate as the end credits rolled because it's poised on such a knife-edge that I simply cannot WAIT to see what happens next!

As is now usual with Emmerdale these days, interspersed between scenes of totally gripping drama you'll see the most exquisite comedy moments/one-liners (and you know how I love my one-liners!), and this episode will have you both on the edge of your seat with tension and then suddenly laughing out loud. It's a testament to the wonderful writing, acting and professionalism of all involved that is giving Emmerdale its ever-increasing success in the ratings.

The Aftermath

Emmerdalepressday Seige Mentality. Yes, Camerons back ...Ok. Back to our own day of drama.

Once the policewoman assured us that we were safe we were asked to leave the safe house and congregate outside the Woolie where the cast then emerged to rapturous applause from us all.

I walked back down to the village hall with Cameron and asked him if his weight loss over the last few months had been deliberate (as I doubt that anyone in 'real life' who was going through even half of what he's been up to would barely have been able to eat or sleep!).

He said that it was more to ensure that he'd be able to sustain the level of fitness required to cope with such a demanding role, but that it certainly added to the whole demeanour of a character in that situation. Deliberate or not; to me, it just added to Cameron's credibility as a man whose life had turned from heaven to a living hell. The thing with Cameron too, is that you can't help but like him and feel a bit sorry for him. Everything he did, he did for what he felt (at the time) was the right reason, and all for love.

Men can be made fools for love. This is a classic case. Cameron didn't intend for this all to happen. It was like a house of cards: once one started to fall the whole lot came tumbling down, and what you'll see in the next couple of weeks is a man who simply runs out of options and – in desperation – goes down a path that he could never even have envisaged in his worst nightmare.

A lot of people who wouldn't normally watch a Soap will ghoulishly tune in for a live episode in the hope of seeing it all fall apart. Emmerdale set a standard last year that I can't see ever being bettered (TOTALLY on location, don't forget), and all I can do is to urge you to tell everyone you know to get themselves in front of their screens this week (and beyond) as you won't see finer acting/drama anywhere on your TV screen to better this.

And Breathe …

TeatimeEmmerdale Seige Mentality. Yes, Camerons back ...After our dramatic afternoon, we returned to the village hall to attend a press conference and then conduct interviews with cast members before being given a very welcome drink and a meal (we thought it was going to be fish and chips wrapped in 'yesterday's newspaper' but it was tasty chicken and chips etc – wrapped in yesterday's newspaper!). I had a good chat to my 'mates' Rishi and Dan and we got back onto the coach to leave the village at about 7.30.

Many of the group were booked in to a local hotel, but I'd been in Leeds since Tuesday and was staying at a place in town so decided against going for a drink and got dropped off at my hotel, where I did a bit of work, got everything ready for my very early start the following morning and then went to bed. Tomorrow was another day … *

As you'll know if you've read my 'Emmerdale-y' Soapy Corners: I don't do spoilers. I simply give you my observations of the week gone by, so if you're looking for in-depth cast interviews etc, then there's many great Soap sites on the internet whose journalists were there with me and who'll be writing or broadcasting about it throughout the week.

Tellyspy (who I was representing on the day) have got all the gossip and lots more on the actual interviews etc if you'd like to read more of the nitty-gritty stuff. Just click here.

The Emmerdale team once again gave us a fabulous day out. They always go 'above and beyond' in order to make it a real experience for us and I – for one – am extremely grateful and have got some great memories of it all. What's coming next though? Well; whatever it is, you know it's going to be good, as this Soap just carries on getting better and better.

'Emmerdale-y' will be returning very soon. Watch this space!

* Click on Corrie Corner (right) to read about my Corrie day in Blackpool

A Corrie Day Out at the Seaside: 11th October 2013

My day started at 6.15, and by 7.05 I was sat in Gregg's in Leeds Bus Station with a bacon bap and a lovely cup of coffee, which set me up a treat for the day ahead. I caught a bus to the hotel where I met up with the rest of the Soapy press (most of whom had spent the night there) and our merry little band then boarded the coach for our day out at the seaside.

CorrieTripTower1 A Corrie Day Out at the Seaside: 11th October 2013Luckily, the drizzle had stopped by the time we arrived at a very breezy Blackpool, and we were welcomed off the coach by SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer before entering the venue for a quick coffee, quickly followed by a short escorted walk through the Pleasure Beach by Wallace & Gromit to partake in a trip on their 'Thrill-O-Matic' ride!

Having never seen the shows/films I'm afraid I couldn't exactly say that it was the highlight of my day. That was yet to come …

Tears, and many more to come

Back inside the venue, after an introduction from Coronation Street's Senior Publicity Manager (Alison Sinclair), the Producer, Stuart Blackburn (Emmerdale's producer until January 2013) gave us an insight into what's coming up, and said of Wednesday's hour-long episode: "I defy anyone to watch it and not come out sobbing".

 A Corrie Day Out at the Seaside: 11th October 2013Boy, was he right! I had my hankie out and had to force back the tears (at one scene in particular) and know for a fact that when I watch it again on Wednesday (on my own and in front of my own TV) I'll be blubbing like a baby. I'm filling-up even just thinking about it.

The Roy and Hayley storyline is being handled with real sensitivity and has never once crossed the line into overly-sentimentality, which is a testament to both the writing and the extraordinary performances we're seeing from both characters. It's so tremendously moving, and half the country will surely be in bits when they screen Hayley's final scene.

Few of us haven't been touched by the death of a loved one, and it must be a huge challenge for a Soap to follow a much-loved character's decline (as opposed to the instantaneous moment of being hit over the head with a metal statue or run over by a tram, for example!), but we know we can rely on Corrie to get it just right.

More tears still, as a family is torn apart

As well as Roy and Hayley's Blackpool trip, back in Weatherfield it's the day of baby Lily's christening and (as is always the way when you get the Corrie crowd inside a Church) there's the usual delightful mix of comedy and drama as the 'Who's the daddy?' storyline comes to a head.

Kylie A Corrie Day Out at the Seaside: 11th October 2013I've always loved Kylie's character, but we've seen more and more of her (previously hidden) vulnerable side over the last few months, and I'm so full of admiration at Paula Lane's acting skill for having turned Kylie from a self-centred 'good time girl' into a very real person whose concern for her children now takes precedence over any thought of herself.

It's cracking stuff, and although the christening is a huge contrast to Roy and Hayley's storyline, it's none-the-less heart-rending to watch as – yet again – a family is torn apart by both revelations and the discovery of the secrets and lies which went before.

Stormclouds are brewing, and not just in Blackpool

RoyHayley A Corrie Day Out at the Seaside: 11th October 2013After a 'proper' northern dinner (not lunch: we have dinner at dinner time up here) of fish, chips, mushy peas and bread and butter, we did our interviews with the cast. Here's Hayley and Roy giving us the inside story about filming their scenes in Blackpool.

You can read about all the day's interviews on the Tellyspy site, or in any number of articles written by the many journalists that were present (including Glenda from the Coronation Street Blog whose report is here). There's a lot of BIG stuff coming up, and there's dark days ahead for more than one character on the Street …

Blackpoolclouds A Corrie Day Out at the Seaside: 11th October 2013Our hectic day continued with a trip along the prom on a vintage tram, and our luck held out with the weather as it stayed dry – despite angry clouds threatening over the sea to our right.

The tram dropped us off at the Tower Ballroom and (without wanting to give anything away) it was the absolute highlight of my day to find it not only open, but hosting a tea dance!

All will become clear after Wednesday's episode airs, but it was pure joy for me to sit (very briefly, because we were running late and only had about ten minutes in there) in that beautiful building. I felt as if I'd gone back to my childhood for a moment – seeing the dancers and listening to the wonderful sounds of the Wurlitzer organ!

Wurlitzers and Whirls

Towerorgan A Corrie Day Out at the Seaside: 11th October 2013Experiences like this are something money just can't buy, and I think we all felt a little bit special ourselves when the organist turned round and announced that we were "The Corrie Press", and a couple of hundred pairs of eyes turned in our direction!

Towerbalcony A Corrie Day Out at the Seaside: 11th October 2013The picture to your right here is taken looking upwards at the exact spot from where something happens in Wednesday's episode. You'll know it when you see it!

Sadly, we then had to make a swift exit as it was going to be a race against time for the coach to get through the traffic to Preston in time for everyone to catch their train back to London, but they made it with a couple of minutes to spare and that left just three of the Press team, the driver and me on the two-hour coach journey back to Leeds.

That was fun too. We stopped at a Tesco (not sure where!) to drop one of the girls off, and the driver managed to get the coach parked so that we could all quickly nip to the loo and then grab a takeaway coffee! We spent the rest of the journey back in a lovely warm coach as the light faded and the drizzle … drizzled; chatting about all things Soap and TV-related.

It was a nice end to a great day, and after dropping my bag in my hotel, walked the short distance into the City centre where I WAS going to have a meal, but ended up back in my room with some Nando's, wine and the footie on TV!

I returned to Swindon on Saturday afternoon with some very special memories of a great couple of days and would like to thank both the Emmerdale and Coronation Street Press Teams for the tremendous effort they went to in order to make it so much more than just a round of interviews.

If you haven't seen it already, take a look at Hayley's (heartwarming) Video Diary.

Click on 'Emmerdale-y' (right) to read about The Woolpack Siege

PS 'Corrie Corner' and 'Carla/Carchelle Corner' will be back very soon. Watch this space!

An 'Emmer-Day Out' – 17th May 2013

IMG 1747 2 An Emmer Day Out   17th May 2013The only thing that was missing from our perfect 40th Anniversary Live Episode Press Day on location last September was a chance to take a look around the studio.

On Friday 17th May I was amongst the lucky journalists to 'Experience Emmerdale from Writing to Wrap' as Telly Spy's Soapy correspondent at the ITV studios in Leeds.

It was nice to see some familiar faces from last year too (especially Daniel Kilkelly from Digital Spy), and as soon as everyone arrived we were ushered straight into the Woolpack. This is what you DON'T see on screen. Just look at all those cameras!

IMG 1748 An Emmer Day Out   17th May 2013

There was the usual excellent Emmerdale hospitality on offer (and here's me pulling a pint. I know: I'm no Priya, Alicia or Chas!), and we were soon tucking in to lunch and a glass of wine while chatting informally to some of the cast.

I was SO pleased to finally get meet those lovely ladies Kerry (who was sporting some very convincing make-up!) and Vanessa, then Moira joined us for a short time (before having to leave to get back on set). I grabbed a few words with both Eric and Cameron before David came and joined Daniel and I for a natter. David's such a friendly guy and clearly loves being involved in all the PR stuff!

We then had a chance to do some 'proper' interviews. Katie, Alicia, Cameron, Dom, Debbie, Laurel and (a rather wistful-looking) Gennie gave up their time to chat with us but – as usual – nobody gave anything away that they shouldn't – gossip-wise!

It had only been announced that week that Gennie was leaving, but we'd also just found out that Nikhil was also quitting. He arrived later in the afternoon and told us that (like with Gennie) it had felt like the right time to go.

Anyway: the day had been entitled, 'Experience Emmerdale from Writing to Wrap'.  We'd all expected to be shown around the studio, maybe meet with a couple of the writers and presumably watch a scene being shot.

IMG 1754 An Emmer Day Out   17th May 2013After the cast interviews, Emily Ogden (Emmerdale's bubbly Publicity Manager) rang the bell behind the bar and as we turned to look, Bob Hope suddenly walked in to announce our 'task' for the day.

It was actually US who were going to write a scene, film it and then have it judged (Apprentice-style: Vanessa was a 'mole') by John Whiston (Executive Producer) and Kate Oates (Emmerdale's new Producer) at the end.

None of us were expecting THAT, but they'd already organised it into teams Chas and Dave. I was on Dave's team, and we had to write a 30-second cliffhanger involving David, Priya and Alicia. We'd all been allocated our roles. I was the sound recordist and didn't have a great deal to do at first, so spent the time chatting to the sound crew and being shown the ropes.

 An Emmer Day Out   17th May 2013Climbing up onto the microphone platform (I've spent an hour on Google but can't find the proper name for it, but here's a photos of one) was the toughest part – as it wasn't a very lady-like manoeuvre for an old bird like me (!), but once perched on my seat I had a chance to get to grips with it and practise moving the microphone around to best effect.

The guys (Chris, Rob and Boe) were lovely, and Chris showed me how the sound editing room worked too. It was fascinating, and I only wish I'd taken some photos. The official photographer (who bore more than a passing resembance to The L Word's Shane!) was snapping away the whole time, so there'll be lot of shots appearing online very soon, no doubt.

IMG 1771 An Emmer Day Out   17th May 2013We've been sworn to secrecy as to what we wrote/filmed, but after viewing both scenes the judging panel awarded 'Team Dave' the winners, and here's my Award for being part of the winning team.

Having to do it ourselves taught us so much about the process – and really brought us together as a team. We all had a great time, and watching the scenes in the Woolpack in Friday's episode when I got back home on Saturday night felt very surreal – having been there in person only the day before.

They're such a genuinely friendly crowd at Emmerdale and they really go out of their way to make you feel welcome. Thank you to everyone who was involved in giving us such a memorable day, and I can't wait for the next Event!