Welcome to the second edition of the Soap File for 2009. Critic Vivian Summers casts her spell, we mean views, over the past week or so in Soap Opera.

This week’s issue is brimming with stories from the world of soap that just demanded our attention and comment – so normal service is truly resumed.

Criminal Lookalike

Every now and again a channel desperate to fill slots, or a magazine desperate to fill up space, does something on people who look like soap stars, Hollywood stars or reality television stars. Usually they don’t actually look anything like the person they are meant to but it’s all just “filler” stuff. However, it’s not every day that you hear a soap “lookalike” is involved in criminal activity.

According to The Daily Express someone who looks like Corrie’s Deidre Barlow is being hunted by police. The paper reports that the Deidre lookalike stole a bag containing money from a man who was lying unconscious on the pavement.

Police are describing the incident as a “terrible story” which aptly describes all the current storylines in Coronation Street at the moment!

New panto villain wanted for the Dales

The Sun and Digital Spy inform us that new Emmerdale producer Gavin Bylth is searching for a new “bad boy” aka panto villain for the panto soap.

Gavin replaced previous producer Anita Turner who gave us such storyline gems as someone catching crabs and…..well that’s actually probably the best of a bad bunch. Turner was with the soap for just a year before deciding to “move on”….or she was sacked. After all there were constant stories in the press about how unpopular she was with the cast and crew and these stories didn’t ever go away.

Anyway Gavin is looking for a new panto villain to sulk around the village and plot revenge on various residents and maybe even kill one or two residents – so he’d be another typical Emmerdale villager then. There’s few Emmerdale residents who haven’t broken the law in some way or killed someone.

Bubble’s Awards

No dears not Bubble’s from Little Britain but All About Soap magazine’s 8th annual “Bubble Awards” although we suspect Bubble’s from Little Britain would come up with better categories than the soap magazine.

Among the all important categories that soap stars are battling out is “Celeb Style” award. Obviously the most important award of the night and far more prestigious than “Best Soap” award! But then again with categories such as “Killer Secret” and “I’m A Survivor” what do you expect? Just in case you were wondering who’s up for the “Celeb Style” award Corrie actress Michelle Kegan, chavy Tina and EastEnders actress Kara Tointon, tragic Dawn, are battling it out for that all important award.

Of course you could just wait for our own soap & drama awards voting for which will take place later this year. Our categories are less pointless than the “Bubble Awards” and we even give you the chance to vote for “negative” awards allowing you to really vote honestly.

Cotton Watch:

Yes it’s back, Cotton Watch!

This week’s second Friday episode saw Sean Tully in The Rovers Return, which is looking terrible these days incidentally, wearing an awful yellow and pink stripped top which made him look like Bagpuss. Of course no acting was forthcoming from Cotton during his Rovers scenes but his Bagpuss style top did make us chuckle.

If you spotted some acting from Cotton then get in touch with us! But remember: hugging a cushion, pouting or flapping arms about does not count!

Quick Ones:

Pointless: Digital Spy feel it’s very important to tell us that EastEnders actor Don Gilet is hilarious according to new Enders actor Rolan Bell. Bell made the comments about Gilet during an interview with the website but Digital Spy felt it was such an important revelation that they dedicated an entire article to it. Maybe it was a slow news day or maybe Digital Spy didn’t have stories they missed three months ago to report on….or maybe one of Digital Spy’s writers actually felt it was a really important story.

Silly Voters: As you probably read on our site the readers of The People voted Steve McDonald their favourite soap character – well these voters do read The People so what do you expect? Obviously the readers of The People feel that having a baby with Toxic Tracey, having a relationship with Michelle “Jet Black Hair” Connor and having an affair with Loud-Mouth Becky makes you a great soap character these days. In fact according to The People readers it makes you a better character than Dot Cotton or Blanche Hunt or a dozen other characters we could mention!

We couldn’t possibly comment on who we’d vote for in such a category but here’s a hint: it wouldn’t be Steve McDonald.

Sinking Feeling: Actress Louisa Lytton wouldn’t mind returning to EastEnders now she’s quit The Bill. The actress quit the police drama series last year which was probably a wise move on her part now ITV have decided to axe an episode of The Bill per week and move it to a 9pm slot. Expect plenty more announcements of departures from The Bill over the coming weeks as people try to jump from the sinking ship. Lytton said “I’d like to play an older Ruby, to go back, minted and own half the Square”. Problem is, love, the viewers don’t want you back.

Villagers of Goathland have gathered almost 10,000 signatures to try and get ITV to change their mind about axing Heartbeat, which is partly filmed in the Yorkshire village. I’m sure we could find more people who will be glad to see the back of the 1960’s drama that has been stuck in the 60s for 17 years! It must have been 1969 for the past five years or so and the amazing thing is they’ve had several Christmas’ during that time too….1969 must have been one strange year.

Selling off Corrie!

Cash-strapped ITV might be forced to sell Coronation Street off to an independent producer as the broadcaster looks of ways to cut costs. ITV has been waving its axe about of late dropping it on shows such as Wire in the Blood, Heartbeat, The Royal and an episode of The Bill per week but this axe-waving hasn’t been enough. So ITV may sell off its flagship soap and even close down its Leeds studio’s to save money.

We have just one or two tips for ITV on how to save money – get rid of crap management and axe panto soap Emmerdale…or at least cut back on episodes. Six a week is five too many.

Silly Storyline of the Week:

Coronation Street has taken rather a bashing so far but they really don’t make it easy on themselves. This week’s silly storyline of the week goes to Coronation Street for its “Fred’s Hat” story. Trainee butcher Graham has been speaking like dearly departed Fred Elloit whenever he puts on Fred’s hat which leads Ashley, who didn’t notice his wife’s month’s long absence, to believe Fred’s hat is possessed by his spirit. Oh dear.

Marathon Run

Yes we are actually going to have a nice piece in this week’s edition just to prove we aren’t all bitch and catty remarks. Several Hollyoaks actors are planning to run in this year’s London marathon and we’d just like to wish them all the best of luck with the training involved and the actual marathon itself.

We’d also like to end this edition of The Soap File by saying our thoughts are with Bill Roache following the death of his wife, Sara.

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