Welcome to another Friday News File. This week, Charlie’s grabbing is apparently an exclusive, Emmerdale wants to get more down south and some actresses are just desperate for more roles. And much more too! Vivian Summers shares her views on the latest soap news…

“Exclusive!” exclaimed Digital Spy in that excited cheap tabloid fashion. We then gasped in amazement at this exclusive dramatic news:

“Walford’s Charlie Slater takes Yolande Trueman by surprise when he grabs a humbug off her bum.”

Crikey, what other fabulous exclusives are we next to be treated to? “Peggy Mitchell pulls pint in Queen Vic” or maybe “scraping the barrel, here’s another pointless exclusive.”

Soap stalwart Ian Smith said last week that that he stopped Neighbours executives from turning his character of Harold Bishop gay. Shame Smith doesn’t have so much say over the show becoming nothing more than teen fodder. Ah how we recall the days when Neighbours was a happy family show.

Emmerdale star Roxanne Pallett says she is happy being single. Well that’s nice to know.. next…

Neighbours Star Furious At Fans

Aussie soap legend Ian Smith has spoken of how he was left furious when fans approached him at his father’s funeral. The 69-year-old, who has starred in such serials as Prisoner: Cell Block H and more recently Neighbours, said he was spotted while laying his father to rest.

He is quoted on AOL News as saying: “I was at my father’s funeral and people from another funeral came over and mobbed me! I told them to go away as it was so odd and tasteless. I was meant to be mourning my dad and they’d been mourning someone else. Then they rushed over calling out, ‘Harold Bishop!'”

Smith is most famous for his role of Harold in the Grundy produced soap, having appeared as the character originally between 1987 and 1991 before returning to the series in 1996. He has announced that he plans to quit the show full time in 2008, but will return occasionally in future storylines.

Martin’s Been on the Guinness

Sinn Féin MP Martin McGuinness has criticised soap operas for basing too many scenes inside pubs.

The Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister says that far too many storylines were acted out in the bars of drama serials and he feels its giving a bad impression on the young audiences that watch the shows. He feels that such scenes are adding to rising problems with underage drinking.

Soapworld’s Vivian Summers says what a load of tosh! Pubs have been seen regularly in soaps for decades, the Rovers Return has been a regular player in scenes of Coronation Street since 1960, the Crossroads Motel bar was frequently seen in that motel saga, and even in our imported soaps bars have played their part – such as Bunny’s in The Young Doctors and The Waterhole in Neighbours. I don’t believe that any such locations ever lead to boozing teens.

“Now I regard that as irresponsible broadcasting and I think something should be done about it.” He said.

I think we can see why the country is in such a mess with such MPs in power.

Hollyoaks ‘Acting’ Workshop

Don’t laugh, I know its hard to believe – Hollyoaks stars teaching people to, er, act! As unlikely as it seems its actually true. Loui Batley and Simon Lawson have decided to set up acting workshops to help the ‘next generation’ of wannabe actors.

The real life lovers – who play Sarah Barnes and Simon Crosby in the Channel 4 teen soap – plan to train 11 to 16-year-olds in the art of drama. Central Television in the Midlands started their Television Youth Workshop nearly 25 years ago, and has proved a success with many of the actors going onto greater things, others however ended up in Crossroads.

In Brief:

Neighbours has adopted the ‘filmic’ look in its new Five episodes. Not sure why any show bothers with this effect, it looks bloody awful! If its recorded on film, fair enough, but its not. Home and Away started using the ‘film’ style filter a good few years ago, and back then people complained that the sunny, bright colours had been washed out for dull grain. Not good when you’re a sunny Australian drama.

EastEnders actress Lacey Turner – Stacey Slater in the soap – has been smacked around the chops outside a supermarket after a night out clubbing claimed The Sun last week. The rag reported that the soap star was on her way home from the Destiny club in Watford with co-star Aaron Sidwell – who plays Steven Beale – when she was knocked to the floor by a gang of men in the supermarket’s carpark.

A witness told The Sun: “I saw her and Aaron walking across a nearby supermarket car park when the group of men approached them. There were a few words exchanged and suddenly one of the blokes lashed out. He hit her with a very powerful punch – it knocked her right to the ground. She looked really shaken up and had to be helped to her feet.”

A friend of the actress however denied the claims, suggesting instead that Lacey was “accidentally clipped” and that she stumbled onto the floor. Either way, Turner is said not to have been injured by the incident.

Comment Of The Week

“I can’t understand why the show isn’t more popular in the South of England,”

Said Georgia Slowe who plays Perdy Hyde-Sinclair in Emmerdale. Crossroads also suffered the same problem of not reaching the right market in the South of England. Then in 1987 it finally reached all its targets, and Southern viewers – and shortly after the programme was axed. Maybe Emmerdale should be just thankful for what they have.

And Finally, Welch Is Still Desperate

Actress Raquel Welch has stated that she still wants to make a guest appearance in Desperate Housewives. She was planning to make a guest spot in the previous series of the hit show, however negotiations fell through. The 67-year-old star insists she’s still keen to star on the show however.

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