Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Mikey North Interview: What's next for Gary Windass?

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog August 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Gary has been off working in the Ukraine, when he returns this time do we see a different Gary? Is his job starting to take its toll?
I think it’s getting gradually worse, it was clear to see how bad it was from the bruises last time he came home, but you get the impression more things have happened this time. Fresh injuries are appearing from whatever he’s been up to and he’s clearly troubled.

Does Sarah spot this or has he managed to convince her that the job is low risk, it’s good money, and that everything is fine?
She’s probably a little bit wary of it because she knows what’s at stake and it’s a risky job he’s doing but I think he has managed to keep it on the whole away from her mainly, no one really knows what he’s doing and how dangerous it is.

But he can’t keep it away from his mum Anna can he?
He can’t no, he’s brought some presents back for Faye and as he bends over to go in the bag to get them his shirt rides up and his mum spots the injuries on his back. There’s a lot of bruising and so Anna flies of the handle and questions him. Gary sort of comes clean for the first time about what he’s doing, but on the premise that she keeps her mouth shut and doesn’t say anything to Sarah.

So it’s not putting him off carrying on with the work is it?
I think he’d lie to call it a day but it’s hard to go back now he’s done that first job and seen the money. I think his long term plan is to get enough money for a house and then he can move out of Izzy’s to live with Sarah and have all the family under one roof, then he’ll stop.

But as he keeps returning for one more job do you think the stakes will go up?
Yeah things get more dangerous and the inevitable is going to happen I think.

How is Gary’s relationship with Sarah because they want through a rocky patch initially when Sarah didn’t want him to go to the Ukraine?
Gary started drinking a lot when he last came home, probably to block out what he’d been through in the Ukraine. He went out when Sarah was working, which Gary wasn’t too happy about, he was kind of off with her and he was very snappy with her. He went out drinking one night to unwind and that’s when he met Nicola. He confided in her about what had happened in the Ukraine but then he worked out that she was Phelan’s daughter and pulled back, he felt bad that he’d told her a lot, things he hadn’t told Sarah. He felt bad on Sarah so he went and apologised which left things alright between them but he still feels bad that he had opened up to another women. He’s been trying to make it up to Sarah this time but he’s clearly got a lot on his mind and he’s not the same Gary.

So they’re getting back on track but tell us what happens in the Rovers when Gary loses his temper? 
He is on edge the whole time in the Rovers, he snaps at Craig that day as well for no reason, he just starts on him on the street, then he snaps at Tyrone and Kirk in the pub.  Sarah tells him to calm down but he flies off the handle and goes outside. Sarah comes out to see what is wrong with him, he takes offence and he just loses it. He’s really rude to her and storms off.

What do you think is making him feel this way?
For me it’s the PTSD rearing its head from when he was in Afghanistan and I think it’s definitely elements of that coming back, that’s how I have tried to play it, him being very volatile and wanting to start on every lad that walks by. I think the pressures from this work are getting to him and brining a lot of demons back to the fore that he’s worked hard to overcome.

After refusing to talk to Sarah, Gary again finds himself with Nicola and decides to go back to hers for a drink. Why has he found that he can confide in Nicola? 
I don’t think it’s anything in particular, I think it’s just that she happens to be there at the right time. She’s the only person that he’s told exactly what happened in the Ukraine and what he had to do, which is what has triggered all of this, so that is probably one of the reasons that he feels an attachment to her. When he’s in the ginnel after he storms out of the Rovers following his argument with Sarah, Nicola happens to be there, she finds him bleeding and says she will sort out his injury for him.

They then have a few drinks and one thing starts to lead to another, will he cheat on Sarah because we know he does really love Sarah?
It’s a tricky one, he does love Sarah, things are great between them and they are so good together but I suppose in the heat of the moment he isn’t thinking clearly. This isn’t the Gary that’s been around before he went to the Ukraine, this is someone else and I think it’s taken over his mind almost, he’s gone a bit crazy. His judgment is clouded by drink, he’s just had a row with Sarah and he’s not thinking straight.

How does Gary feel when he goes home?
He feels awful that he’s confided in Nicola again and not Sarah. He goes back to Sarah’s house and while he doesn’t come clean about Nicola, he does about what’s happened in the Ukraine, about how dangerous it is and the fact that he’s not been letting on how bad it really is.

Are you enjoying playing this different side to Gary?
I love it. This storyline ties back in with the old Gary for me, which is why I joined the show in the first place, to play that volatile guy. But I think now that you’ve seen a nicer side to him the audience are more sympathetic with him, he’s not just a violent thug that came in with the Windasses, he has a child, he has responsibilities, we’ve seen him be ther for both Sarah and Bethany. For me as an actor it’s great, I’m loving doing this whole story and it’s enjoyable doing something different.

What do you think of Gary’s relationship with Sarah, do you enjoy working with Tina and the Platts, do you think it could be for the long haul?
Yeah I do, they’ve been together for a year and a half now and it’s been probably my most enjoyable time on the show. I think Tina’s a great actress and I love working with her and Lucy together, I’m blessed to work with two of the best actresses on the show so I can’t complain at all. If it was down to me I’d have them stay together for as long as possible.

Do you think the public like seeing Gary and Sarah together?
It seems they do yes, just picking up on what people have been saying they seem to be really popular so hopefully it’s not the end for them and Gary doesn’t risk his relationship over Nicola.

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Guess the mystery Coronation Street star - day 3

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog April 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Every day for the next couple of weeks we're going to be running a series of old pictures of some of the past and present Coronation Street cast.

You may well have seen these pictures before, in which case they'll be easy for you. But for those of you who are new to seeing these pictures, I hope you find them interesting and they give you a smile too.

It's day three and this one, I think, is an easier one than the last two we've had so far. But do you know who it is?

Leave your guesses as usual in the box below.  There's no prize for getting it right (sadly) and it's just for fun - so don't ring in.

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Imogen arrives tonight - Interview with Melissa Johns

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog September 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

This week, actress and disability campaigner Melissa Johns made her Coronation Street debut as Imogen, a love interest for Kate Connor.
Radio Times online have an interview with Melissa today. She talks about life at Corrie and the visibility of actors with disabilities on TV.

She says that Imogen is "sexy, flirty, feisty and has attitude. Not every disabled person is going to be the same, but I’ve always joked about it. There’s no point crying – the tears aren’t going to fall on my arm and make it grow.

And too often, when someone with a disability gets cast in something, very rarely do they have a personality as well. Usually, it’s a case of ‘having a disability is enough. God forbid there should be something else on top!’

Here, I get to show that I’m at ease with the body I was given. It hasn’t always been that way – I’ve had some really dark moments in my life. It took me a while to feel comfortable with my body. But I now love having one arm."

You can read the full interview here.

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Sue Cleaver Interview: Eileen to discover Phelan's secret?

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog August 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Has Eileen been worried about Phelan’s behaviour in recent weeks?
He has disappeared a couple of times and she confided in Nicola that she thought he was behaving strangely but Nicola put her mind at rest and told her that she had nothing to worry about. He did have the head injury and he has seemed more on edge about work.

Does she think his strange behaviour is just down the Nicola situation?
Yes and she thinks he is worried about work, it isn’t something that is unduly worrying her. She knows he wants to build a relationship with Nicola and she knows they have both found it tricky in the beginning.

After the whole flats debacle do you think she trusts him completely?
She does trust him, her own son was involved in that development so she has no reason to think that Phelan was anything other than another victim of a scam Vinny planned. Eileen has had enough men in her life who turned out to be wrong 'uns that she wouldn’t have married Phelan.

What happens when she arrives at the house he’s renovating and he acts oddly?
She discovers from Liz that he has been to the medical centre so alarm bells start ringing. Nicola calms her down and tells her to visit the house he is renovating and gives her the address. When she turns up he is shocked to see her and she demands answers. She wants to know why he hasn’t told her about the house and why he has been to the doctors.

Does it occur to Eileen that he’s in too deep with something dodgy?
She is angry that he has kept a secret from her and that coupled with his slightly strange behaviour of light does make her wonder but he is very good at pulling the wool over people’s eyes and talking himself out of a situation and he does seem to be trying to do this with Eileen.

How does he explain having to get anti-biotics?
As ever he has a good explanation and one that Eileen has no reason to disbelieve.

Does Eileen buy his story? Does she notice anything odd about the house, or see any trace of Andy?
Eileen doesn’t really see any reason to not believe what Phelan is telling her, remember she has no idea he is a compulsive liar and conman, as Andy is in the cellar there are no tell tale signs anywhere else at the house. It does simply look like a house that is being developed.

How do you think Eileen would react if she found out what has happened to Andy and Pat’s part in it?
She would of course be horrified, it is completely unimaginable to think that he has kept this secret for so any months and has got on with his life as if everything was normal whilst all the while keeping someone prisoner and going to visit his prisoner behind Eileen’s back. He is taking food, medicine, basically leading a double life.

Obviously, he hasn’t actually killed anyone by his own hands, so do you think Pat might still be redeemable?
The viewers love having a baddie around so I guess that is possible but not if anyone else on the street finds out. Eileen would not keep this a secret if she knew, at some point he will have to get his comeuppance but it doesn’t look like being any time soon.

Would you like to see Eileen be the one to take Pat down?
Eileen has always been very moral, she knows right from wrong. She isn’t holier than thou and she has covered up and helped her sons over the years but this is another level altogether so it will be interesting to see what exactly Eileen does if she finds out.

There have been so many twists and turns, how have the public reacted when they’ve seen you out and about?
They all try to warn me, it’s great that the storyline has got everyone talking and fantastic that we managed to keep the secret of Andy being held captive. The audience seem to love surprises.

Are you as hooked as the viewers on finding out what it going to happen?
Yes we all want to know when and if Phelan is going to be found out. We film about eight weeks ahead and at the moment he is still up to no good. He is getting more and more desperate though as the net is closing in a bit and he has made a couple of mistakes which is not like him.

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Monday, 18 September 2017

5 Things We Want from Corrie's New 6th Episode

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog August 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

Guest blog post by Glenn Meads who is on Twitter and LinkedIn
You can read all of Glenn's guest blog posts here.
Fancy writing a guest blog post for us? All details here! 

With an additional episode, soon to be unveiled, bringing the total to six – this means three hours of Corrie a week! The set has been expanded to accommodate more characters, and storylines, and means characters can step off the street and enter another Truman show world, around the corner. Not quite, but anyone who visited the old Coronation Street will tell you, they “needed a bigger boat”, and now they have one and they're gonna use it.

So, what would you like to see from the additional episode long term? Massive changes or small tweaks to the tried and tested formula? Here’s some of my must-haves:

More comedy

I love Jonathan Harvey’s writing. Whenever I hear a laugh-out-loud piece of dialogue, which refers to something in the 1980s or is a double entendre, I look at the writing credits, and there is the brilliant Beautiful Thing writer’s name. With grim but headline grabbing plots, such as kidnapping, Phelan seemingly getting away with murder and grooming, we need more laughs. Steve's cringe-worthy proposal was classic Corrie. And as soon as we glimpsed Oliver’s proposal outfit, I was in! Sight gags work just as well as funny dialogue. More, please!

Kitchen Sink Drama

Remember when Hilda Ogden finally went through Stan’s personal belongings, or when Hayley died in her own home? I want more of this personal, intimate drama, as this is how Corrie began. Some might say it’s not contemporary in a world of Netflix. But, when do you see a character glued to their phone for 30 mins, just because we are? (Gary’s badly choreographed fall, last night aside?) So, more drama in the home, or in the backroom of the pub, please?

Breathe life into neglected characters

The Nazir Family; please do something with them. Alya was introduced to us via Gary’s bed, remember? So, I’m not saying turn her into a minx, I’m merely pointing out, that we need to see them develop. I love the matriarch, Yasmeen - get her on an anti-austerity march with Roy, please! And, can we have Kate do something more than serve chunky chips and replace the empty Pinot for hen party tables, in the Bistro? She is turning into a really boring character, and she entered the street as a feisty one. so, let's give neglected folk the kiss of life, or in the case of Brian Packham, can we just get rid? 

Have more surprises

When Ken had a stroke, it shocked viewers and yesterday when Will was the one who almost sold Michelle at a car boot sale (I’m joking, as this current Bistro under Siege storyline is boring me, sorry!) – the twittersphere was alive, so more surprises will remind us of Who Shot JR and when soaps were the kings and queens of TV. I know there are spoilers all over twitter. But, when you are shocked by a plot development, it does remind you of reading a brilliant book on holiday, you keep coming back for more. 

Lastly, can we have some small story arcs, please?

The kidnappings, cars exploding, tram crashes and all this stuff, are good at getting new folk on board and suit the BGT timeslot, but now we are going six episodes a week, you cannot have this all the time. So, a story involving Audrey feeling out in the cold, because she is single and stood in front of the mirror, crying offer audience’s genuine drama that they can relate to. And it need not be dragged on and on to have a huge impact.

What would you like to see, following the arrival of the additional episode?

Guest blog post by Glenn Meads who is on Twitter and LinkedIn

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Corrie Canada Weekly Awards for Sept. 11 - 15

 Ironic Sign: No Smoking. I think it's a bit late for that.

Flip Flop award: Sarah finished with Gary for the umpteenth time and now she's taken him back for the umpteenth time.

Delusional award: Gina fancies Dev. She's convinced Dev fancies her. He doesn't.

Wedding fashion fail: All three of those bridesmaids dressed really are dire, aren't they?

Centre of the World award: Dev knows Gina fancies him but he doesn't seem to mind the admiration. It could backfire spectacularly. Just sayin'.

Too Good to be True award: Gary says it's the easiest money he's ever made and Sarah's right, if something sounds too good to be true it usually is. But he's been battered for it, and all.

Wolverine award: What on earth made that pattern of cuts on Gary's ribs? Was he tangling with the X-Men?

Frenemy award: Yep, Summer and Amy, probably not BFFs. And Summer instigates as much as Amy, I think. Could be fun to watch.

Harpy Award: Anna taking her dislike out on Nicola was unnecessary and uncalled for.

Favourite Couple Ever: Tim and Sally. Not just because he backed down and supported her campaign, either. They're just so good together.

Lines of the week:
Gail "I'm not saying a word" David "No, but your eyes are kicking me in the wotsis"
Gail about David "All the sensitivity of a grapefruit"
Tim "Give them an inch, they'll take a foot. Give them a foot, they'll chew your chuffing leg off"
Shona to David "You need to decide whether you can look at me without seeing him"
 Jude to Mary "You really are a one off"

Sally "Your illness doesn't prevent you from knowing the difference between right and wrong"
Gemma "I've got more bounce-back than a pig on a trampoline"
Rosie "There are two things I never do. One, eat carbs after 7 and Two, bluff" (brilliant!)
Gemma "Little Miss Sunshine, that's me!" (I agree!)
Rana to Kate "You could be the bridesmaid in a really bad frock. Oh wait, you are!"
Kirk "D'you have to be an idiot or can anyone apply?" (I think you've got both covered, dear)
Phelan "Every day's special for someone" (especially if he's planning on it being your last day on earth)
Phelan to Andy "You need to die so I can live"

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Consumed by Coronation Street

(This post was originally posted by Michael Adams on the Coronation Street Blog in August 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

We're all excited for the impending sixth episode of Coronation Street later in the Autumn, not only because it'll bring more action, characters and storylines but also because there's to be an exciting set expansion alongside it. The last time we were given the opportunity to see more of Weatherfield was back in 1999 - the year of my birth, when us viewers saw the exterior of Victoria Street for the first time. Given I was yet to be born I don't know how Corrie watchers of the time felt about this new addition but I for one am very excited to see what the next few months brings in terms of businesses, houses and other recreational areas such as a small park which has been teased by Kate Oates.

The exploits of Hilda Ogden amazed viewers for 23 years
Anyway, onto the main point of my blog. This sixth episode will bring a whole extra half an hour a week of Coronation Street to us and whilst that doesn't seem a lot per week, in the long run we'll be spending a whole lot more time watching our favourite soap.

Over the past year, not including extended or extra episodes, or any times that an episode has been cancelled due to that god awful football, we've spent approximately five and a half days watching Corrie. That's nearly a whole week of a year that we spend dedicated to the lives of other people.

If you think that's a lot, just wait until this time next year, when we could have spent another whole day watching Corrie once the sixth episode is added to the weekly schedules.

But what makes us so transfixed by soap operas, and especially Coronation Street? Why are we so consumed by the daily goings on of a bunch of fictional characters? Just a few things worth thinking about as I conclude this small but important post. And who knows where we might be in ten years time? Could we see a 7th weekly episode?

You can find me on Twitter, @MichaelAdamsUk.

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Steve McDonald's landmark Coronation Street episode

(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog September 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

With thanks to our friends at Corriepedia for alerting us to this fascinating fact.

Last Sunday's episode (Sept. 3 in the UK, Sept. 15/18 in Canada) was Steve McDonald's 3,000th episode in Coronation Street.

And it's quite a milestone.

The only other characters to have featured in more than 3,000 episodes are Ken, Gail, Rita,  Deirdre, Emily and Sally.

Ken and Gail have also racked up over 4,000 appearances. 

The first character to mark 1,000 episodes was Annie Walker in 1973 followed just a few weeks later by Elsie Tanner with 1267.

A full list of all of these milestones is halfway down this page:


Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Guess the mystery Coronation Street star - day 2

Every day for the next couple of weeks we're going to be running a series of old pictures of some of the past and present Coronation Street cast.

You may well have seen these pictures before, in which case they'll be easy for you. But for those of you who are new to seeing these pictures, I hope you find them interesting and they give you a smile too.

It's day two -  who is this dapper chap in the hat?

Leave your guesses as usual in the box below.  There's no prize for getting it right (sadly) and it's just for fun - so don't ring in.

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Sunday comments September 17

Mary told Angie the whole truth and begged her not to tell Jude. The sad thing is she believes she'd be blamed by Jude. But he's outside the door and he heard it all. Norris had a good chat with him later and so did Mary. Now he knows why Mary didn't keep him when she gave birth. Her mother is to blame. It's a lot to get his head around, to be sure but he doesn't hold it against her. He understands and it seems he does love her. She's a lucky woman.

Mary couldn't face any more lies so she finally admitted the truth about the contest and marriage, too, to Norris' relief. Everyone was amused but when Jude said he was glad they came for the wedding, he meant it in every way. He even had a great wedding present. He thinks they should move back to Manchester. Angie doesn't look as if she thinks it's such a great idea.

Sally and Gina make up their differences but it doesn't last too long. Sally puts her foot in it by expressing her concern that Gina's bedroom is "chaotic". Later, a box of Gina's junk turns up in the back room of the corner shop, getting in the way, outing her lie that she had sold it off. She has a quiet go at Gina in the factory but Gina gets right back in her face calling Sally patronizing. All of this back and forth between them is very sister-like isn't it? It's very good. When Gina goes to fetch her box of stuff from Dev's, she gets a nice surprise. Dev offers her a part time job in the shop. Naturally she takes the opportunity to hug him and tells Sally she thinks Dev fancies her. Dev is given a heads up by Gemma later on when she tells him that Gina fancies him. He seems to know. He doesn't seem to mind the admiration. Could backfire on him.

Sally accuses Gina of using her bipolarity as an excuse. Gina tells Sally she wants to use the laptop to sell more of her things but in reality, she's looking up those dodgey payday loan companies, using Sally's name as a guarantor, obviously getting herself deeper and deeper in debt. Oh, this isn't going to end well, is it?

Sally finds out that the mayor has resigned and there will be a by-election. She walked away leaving the whole box of cakes with Brian but managed to get them out of his greedy fingers before he scoffed the lot. Sally is determined to join the campaign. Her head is already encompassed in that chain of office. Gina thinks she's being overly ambitious and her family will suffer.

Sally's definitely going to run for Mayor but Tim isn't too happy about it, not after the fiasco when she was councillor. But then, the fiasco is living under his roof so it should be ok, right? He even put his foot down. She said she wouldn't do it without his support and he didn't give it. Will she back down or will she push and push until he gives in? No. She didn't have to. He backed her anyway. Gosh I love these two!

Weatherfield County wants a mascot, a big bee. All idiots may apply. The attraction is free match tickets. Who wins? Tim doesn't because he backed down to support Sally's campaign. Funny scene with him and Steve at the bar later, talking about it and him complimenting Steve's hair.

Sally's immediately in campaign mode and if it's anything like last time, it'll be a great laugh. And this time, we have a resentful sister glaring at her back. She not-bribed her coworkers with a free drink but had to start her speech before the reporter got there and when the reporter did walk in, it was just in time to witness Kirk in all his glory as the new County mascot, the Buzzer Bee, totally undermining her launch!

Sarah has been going to a parental support group in order to help Bethany and Gail wants to go as well. Probably not a bad idea on the surface of things but we all know Gail. And Sarah is still worried about Gary. She did finish with him but is fretting because he hasn't called from Ukraine. Why would he? Because he's actually just got back and has come to the support session to see her.

We'll find out soon enough but first we hear how Sarah feels guilty about what happened to Bethany. She doesn't think she's been a very good mother and support for her daughter, she didn't give her the stability she needed. Gary tells everyone she's much better than she thinks and she's her own worst enemy. She'd never let her kids down. He says he loves that she always bounces back stronger. He walks her home and after she goes inside, he takes a call from Joe with the offer of another job for more money. Tempting. She softens and takes him back. Again.

Gary is later evasive when David starts asking questions about the job but before he can tell Sarah, she gets called in to work. Gary follows her over to the pub late so they could have a chat. Sarah is not pleased when Gary tells her he's taking another job but she doesn't dump him this time but she does tell David about it and he thinks there's nothing wrong with trying to provide for your family. She backs down and accepts it. Later, after a water fight with David and the kids, He avoids getting intimate with Sarah and when he changes to a dry tshirt of David's, reveals to the viewer that he's covered in bruises and cuts. In fact, it looks like he's been stuck by Wolverine or something else with claws for fingers.

How's Gary going to put Sarah off until he leaves? Those wounds won't have healed in a few days. Izzy is really angry that Gary's going back to Ukraine, for Jake's sake. Anna didn't know any of the possible danger with this job so Gary had to defend himself again.

David and Shona followed up that snog and had a passionate encounter on the floor of the cafe. At least it wasn't on a table! Gail wasn't too pleased to see Shona and David looking cozy on the sofa. David admits he wants more but there are conditions, never mention Clayton in front of his kids or talk about him. She didn't agree so much, just kind of avoided it. When she nipped back to Eileen's to get a DVD, she told Todd she was going to keep the money in a trust for Clayton but he isn't allowed to tell anyone, as a client-lawyer confidentiality.

Meanwhile, Shona has a meeting with Todd so she can arrange a trust account for Clayton with most of her scratch card winnings. Todd is going to set it up with a condition that he doesn't get the money for 2 years after he gets out of the youth jail and he has to keep his nose clean. Shona also wants a drug free Clayton as well. She later joins the paddling pool party at the Platts'. She tussles with David and pushes him in the pool at one point which actually makes Gail crack a smile for a minute. She can tell that David actually seems happy. David even asks her to stay over. That's a big step for someone who's lost their spouse.

Will continues to undermind Robert with Michelle and went a bit far at one point.  He keeps saying things to her that make it seem like Robert is to blame for all the upset with Rich. He's very insidious but she continues to defend Robert, much to his annoyance so he had to suck up by apologizing for talking trash about Robert to her. Robert is seeing good reviews for the Bistro in the paper. The only problem is, the owner is called Nick in the paper so Robert thinks he might have to change the name of the place after all and do a refurbishment along with it. Will offers to do a bit of design work for Robert who fancies an Art Deco vibe. Robert is touched but Michelle doesn't seem to be so much. Will brings some designs to Robert but he has a meeting and leaves Will in the office on his own. Will finds one of Michelle's scarves, sniffs her perfume from it, and nicks it. Robert has found out he has a court date on September 6 and decides not to go ahead with the re-design after all.

Yasmeen has met Nicola in the cafe and Nicola introduces her youth centre project, with a builder doing it for cost. But Yasmeen finds out the builder is Phelan and she tells her about the failed project that left a lot of people out of pocket. She confronted him and he kept to the party line, that he lost money, too. A lot. She lapped it up and called him a survivor. But then a few days later, Nicola got another load of aggravation from Anna who has  found out who Nicola is and she's shocked. She also spit out a lot of aggressive attitude at Nicola which was, frankly, uncalled for.

Meanwhile, Andy's still living in the dank cellar with bugs, rats and nightmares, with a lightbulb that barely works. He's got an injured arm, too, and it's getting infected. All Phelan can do is continue to use Andy as a sounding board, wittering on about his reputation. All Andy can do is flatter him and hope he brings antibiotics or something. Phelan takes some tools and heads to the back garden, digging what looked very much like a grave.

Phelan was sly trying to find out what Andy's favourite meal was. Chicken Caesar. Is that supposed to be his last meal?Phelan wasn't happy that Andy couldn't eat the caesar salad he'd made for him. He's quite ill. I guess if Phelan wants him dead, he can do what he does best, just wait for him to die. But No, he tried to take more direct action. It's interesting that he had to cover up an unconscious Andy's face so he couldn't see it when he was going to club him with a shovel. He couldn't quite bring himself to do it when Andy woke up and looked at him, cowering and begging for help. He shouldn't have told Phelan he was allergic to pennicillin. Very tempting, what? It was very creepy, Phelan deciding to let Andy die in the dark.

Seems like Kate's dire predictions are coming true and she's feeling like a third wheel with Luke and Alya all loved up. Kate's feeling down so Rana offers to take her on a night out on the town which started at the Rovers as they all do.

Norris showed Gemma some wedding photos. She's still feeling bad that she let Mary's secret out but he tells her that Mary and Jude talked and Mary's not angry at Gemma but things are still awkward between Gemma and Rita.

Gemma discovers that someone set up a dating profile of her which has been attracting men to the kebab shop all day, men that don't think she looks anything like her profile photo and leave disappointed. Turns out those two miscreants from the other week are behind it, that's their idea of revenge for her dobbing them in. I guess if that's the worst they could do, they haven't got a lot of brain cells between them. This is proven later on.

Norris finds out that Gemma turned in her former friends and tells Rita. He hopes Rita can help and maybe that will mend fences with Gemma who's still kipping at Yasmeen's but Rita seems reluctant at first.

Rosie offers to help Gemma and, dressing up in a power suit and wearing serious looking spectacle frames, she pretends to be a solicitor. Rosie threatens Zoe and Roxy, Gemma's "mates", with legal action by accusing them of cyber-terrorism, invasion of privacy, fraud and all sorts. She sounds very up on all the terms after only a few days working in the law office and very believable, I must say. She insists they apologise to Gemma and never darken her door again! This was absolutely brilliant! Rosie is so daft and silly but she's got such a big heart. It turns out Rita was the one that asked Rosie to help Gemma and when she finds out, Gemma forgives Rita and all is well but Jenny still doesn't trust Gemma and lets them all know it.

Gemma moves back into the flat in time to catch Rita having put on the washing machine without anything in it. Rita brushes that off but this is happening more often. Gemma's really worried about Rita and trying to convince Rosie there's a problem. And reminder lists kind of made the point.

Jenny convinces Maria to go for a bridesmaid dress fitting. I'm confused, I thought Maria was Eva's bridesmaid or are the two brides sharing the attendants? They enlist Rita's help with a very long list and Rita hands it over to Gemma when she comes to thank Rita for her help. Rita and Norris convince Jenny to reinstate Gemma as bridesmaid, too, which she does with gritted teeth.

Gemma had promised to go see Chesney but the fitting is going to clash with that. The dresses chosen by Jenny for Gemma and Kate were not well received by the girls. The colour is pretty sludgy, too. Eva's choice for Maria wasn't a lot better though Gemma liked it. all three looked pretty dreadful on the women but Jenny's quite pleased with the ones she picked out. Rita finally arrives and in the course of looking for something, kicked over a cup of coffee on Gemma's shoe, ruining it but Gemma took the blame.

Later, before Gemma goes off to see Chesney, she catches Rita setting the table for an extra place for her long-dead husband, Len. That really catches Gemma off guard and the idea of Len drifted away from Rita probably as quickly as it landed, Rita then getting distracted by Jenny's wedding lists again and complaining about being tired. Gemma tried to get Jenny to listen to her concerns about Rita but she wasn't having it. Jenny was too angry about the ruined shoes.

Chesney's back and safe and very apologetic but Sinead's not very sympathetic and nearly beat him about the head and ears. I guess she doesn't believe in handling him with kid gloves! She kind of made it about her, though, until he shouted that he thought he was going to die. They all keep telling him not to feel how he feels and they need to acknowlege he's a mess and get him help. Chesney is feeling so down about himself that he can't see that Sinead would not leave him again. Why would anyone want him in the shape he's in? Because that's what you do, you stick by the one you love.

Chesney has been to the doctor and is recovering slowly. Sinead has been very protective of him but since he seems to be a bit more chipper, she's said Ok to a visit by Gemma except Gemma got held up with the dressing fitting and the business with Rita and Sinead wouldn't let her come visit after all because Chesney was sleeping again. Gemma doesn't know where to turn. Luckily, Rosie came along and Rosie is taking Gemma under her wing. These two could be good friends, couldn't they? I'd like to see more of them together! Gemma told Rosie about Rita's memory loss and confusion and how upset she is.

Summer and Amy are left to their own devices for a few hours, first in the salon. Amy wants more of a hair do than David is willing to do so Summer offers to do it for her. I think these two could be a lot of fun to watch. Summer is just as much of an instigator as Amy. Anyway, Summer loaded up on every corrosive cleaning product in the shop that she reckons will give Amy highlights and a new colour. Why didn't they just go to the drugstore and get a kit? It would have been cheaper for starters. I suppose you can't expect sense out of kids that age. Summer ruined Amy's hair, of course.

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter
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