Not a lot has happened over the past seven days, although today is the day that Emmerdale reaches its 5000th edition, although the current state its in, I’d rather watch episode one again. Mike Watkins casts his view over the latest soap news.

Starke Reality

For months – in fact since they first set foot on the Weatherfield cobbles – the Morton family proved to be as popular as an invite to a Michael Barrymore pool party. Therefore, it came as no surprise to the ‘internet massive’, who populate forums, when the dire lot were axed a few weeks ago.

Michael Starke however was a little more surprised about his forthcoming Coronation Street departure. He told the Liverpool Daily Post that he only found out his on-screen family had been ditched when he read a newspaper.

Sinbad – sorry, Jerry Morton, (although there is no difference between the former Brookside character and his Coronation Street counterpart), played by Starke, was often seen eating.

That was about the extent of his storylines.

Top Tabloid Trash Stories

Kym Marsh shared her joy that she is to celebrate her 32nd birthday with her Coronation Street co-stars. Next week we’ll learn that she is going to share lunch with some of them at the Granada canteen.

Hollyoaks’ Jennifer Metcalfe has revealed that she would be willing to film a lesbian sex scene. “I’m not going to do it for the sake of it, obviously it has to be integral to the script, but if it felt right and the time was right in my career then yes, I would do it.” She told the Daily Star. Yes, I think that’s called ‘ACTING’ love, you must have heard the word before. Then again, it is Hollyoaks, so maybe not.

Which sexy soap star do you prefer? Rob James Collier or Rob Kazinsky? Asked one site this week. Call me old fashioned, but isn’t it about acting ability, rather than who you’d want to shag. Seems to me we’re getting more and more of these shallow type features as the years go on.

Hollyoaks star Roxanne McKee suggested that she might leave the soap when her current contract ends. Let us know when you decide, and then it will be actually a news story.

What Is A Soap?

After last week’s issue of whether Doctors or Hollyoaks would be the first to record their episodes in HD, lets look at what a soap opera is: A soap-opera is, more often than not, a continuous serial that airs five days a week.

Of course there are many styles of soap, and in the UK the only “true soap” for years was Crossroads, with Coronation Street and Emmerdale Farm being at the time the more expensive twice weekly ‘continuous drama serials’ – today of course they’re all considered soaps, although only Emmerdale has embraced the format Crossroads once used.

New Feature: The Antony Cotton Acting Watch

A bit like CrimeWatch, if you see any sign of acting from Mr Cotton, we want to hear about it. Hugging a cushion does not count.

Obviously its quite a rare sight, so must be treated with priority. Any sightings, no matter how brief, email here.

Bissix Bye Bye

Seems it was only five minutes ago we were trumpeting the return of Gemma Bissix to EastEnders after her successful stint in Hollyoaks. However the actress is to depart the BBC One series when her contract ends.

A BBC source told The Mirror: “Clare has been working her way round the men of Walford for the past few months but what she had thought was a masterplan to bag the man of her dreams soon gets out of hand. She is forced to flee as it is clear she is not welcome in Albert Square anymore.”

If this was a story in the main headline section SoapWorld would now add a bit about the background to the story, which some other sites seem to be copying more and more lately. I’m glad we lead where the gutter dimwits follow.

So anyway, Bissix was first seen as Clare back in 1993 when she arrived in Walford with her mother Debbie, who later married, video store manager, Nigel Bates. After five years, in which time we’d seen the death of Debbie, both Nigel and Clare departed Albert Square.

Bissix returned as Clare in February of this year, but long term EastEnders fans were disappointed that the character had been totally transformed from the ‘Clare-of-old’ into pretty much her Hollyoaks persona – the evil and villainous Clare Devine.

Landmark For Emmerdale

Last year ATV Today went to town celebrating Emmerdale’s 35th anniversary. In fact our SoapWorld was the only publication to do several special features and trumpet the landmark in style.

This week, as the soap reaches its 5000th episode, there is no celebration. ITV on Monday did, in its own unique way, hype up the show as if it wasn’t on the skids. All the documentary proved is how good Emmerdale once was. And how awful its become lately.

“Here’s to 5000th fantastic episodes” Matthew Kelly toasted. We’re not sure what 5000 episodes he’s been watching, but fantastic isn’t a word I’d use for Emmerdale episodes at the moment. Maybe “dire”, “awful” and “embarrassing” but not “fabulous” or “fantastic.”

Meanwhile new producer Anita Turner told Digital Spy she will continue: “using the brilliant cast we have to its best potential.” Oh dear. More Madge from Neighbours and all the ‘has been ex-sitcom stars’ remain to keep Emmerdale at the forefront of pantomime.

Lovely.

The Bill In Legal Trouble?

George Galloway is apparently taking legal action against The Bill, claiming that Thames TV based a corrupt MP on him.

A source ‘close to Galloway’ told the Daily Record “The legal action is based on an episode of The Bill where a politician with uncanny similarities to George turned out to be venal and corrupt – and that there was a clear inference.”

“The viewers will have seen a man about the same age as George, playing an east London MP with links to Iraq and Rock Against Racism, being charged with smuggling. The conclusions are fairly obvious, you would have thought.”

Ah but did the character act like a pussy on National TV? See now that would have proved it for certain, wouldn’t it.

Blanche Is Back

Good news this week for Coronation Street as Maggie Jones, who plays the wonderful Blanche Hunt, retuned to work after recuperating from a fall. As Deirdre Barlow’s cantankerous, outspoken, interfering and often-offensive mother, the 73-year-old actress is one of the very few highlights to an episode of Corrie.

Jones injured her arm, shoulder and knee when she fell in her room at the Marriott hotel, where she regularly stays while in Manchester to film for the Granada produced soap.

An onlooker told the Mirror that Maggie “looked quite frail” and that she was helped to a taxi for the short journey to the Quay Street studios.

Quote Box

“I go to bed hungry every night” said EastEnders’ Samantha Janus.

The 36-year-old, who plays Ronnie Mitchell, said the reason she doesn’t nibble much is because of the type of actress she is: “I’m not a character actress.. ..I’m known as a femme-fatale actress who’s got older. If I let myself go and put on weight, no one would employ me. I’d love to think it wouldn’t matter, but I have done it – and I didn’t get any work. This is the way I make my money and support my family and I have to do it properly. And if I don’t do it, I don’t have an income.” She told The Sunday Mirror.

And Finally..

Amazingly there is no news from the world of Roxanne Pallett this week. I know, its quite shocking isn’t it?

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