Welcome to the eighth – and final edition in this, the third ,series – of the Friday News File, we’ll be back with more in August. Also a quick note about TV Weekly, we didn’t present an edition this week as we felt that mocking the talentless and ridiculous was possibly in bad taste – as its usually ITV that’s at the heart of much laughter – with the death of Emmerdale’s Clive Hornby. So we’ll give you a bigger one – oo-er missus – this coming Monday. But for now, lets take one last romp through the latest news from the world of soap.

EastEnders Most Complained About BBC Programme

Yes, it seems Britain still has a load of old Mary Whitehouse-like complainers out there, who still after decades of television viewing have yet to discover there is an ‘off’ switch or even that novel idea of turning over and watching something else.

‘Enders received around 5,500 complaints, more than twice that of any other BBC programme, according to the broadcaster’s annual report. As a television writer – who worked on the Kenny Everett sketch show once commented: “To get a complaint is a great compliment. It means you’re doing something right. Only start to worry when no one complains, it means no one is taking any notice.”

Pointless Coronation Street Cliffhangers.

Its been going on years, but do Coronation Street producers actually think that viewers still believe in such plots as “Rita sells the Kabin” which was recently one of the big ‘cliffhangers’ to end an episode.

As the years go on these plots we know are less and less likely to become anything other than a brief filler story. I think possibly the first time viewers had the ‘it really won’t ever in a million years happen’ feeling was when Corrie contained a storyline which proposed the Rovers Return would be turned into a trendy theme bar, expanding into the Barlow house. As if. There is more chance of Emmerdale managing a year without a disaster. And of course the whole thing about the cobbles being replaced was another pointless plot a few years ago.

While other soaps can do this kind of storyline with often the changes being possible, we just know that over at Granada there is this mis-placed ‘tradition’ where things more often than not must not change, and while in the 1970s and 80s things did change over at Weatherfield today we just know it really isn’t going to happen, so why bother? Are storylines that lacking that we need these filler nonsensical plots?

In other Corrie news The Sun reported that mainstay Coronation Street ‘background artists’ are being pushed aside in favour of younger and better looking ‘extras’.

A Granada Manchester insider said producers now felt the Rovers Return should reflect pubs across the country: “We need to get the balance right otherwise the Rovers would be full of pensioners. Pubs across Britain – even local ones – just aren’t like that.”

Well they’ve got one thing right, there aren’t many pubs like the Rovers around anymore. But I’m not entirely sure that the few backstreet pubs that remain are full of young people either..

Kym Marsh and Hollyoaks actor Jamie Lomas are..

..insert your own witty joke here. No, a report in Now magazine has it that they are very much ‘in love’ apparently.

Marsh, Coronation Street’s Michelle Connor, began dating Lomas after they got acquainted at this years British Soap Awards.

“There was an instant spark between them,” said a source. “Kym gets butterflies whenever she thinks about Jamie and that was something she didn’t really expect to feel again so soon.”

Marsh’s former ‘mr-lover-lover-man’, Jack Ryder, is apparently distraught because he was hoping they would one again act badly together. He can console himself in new found work. The one-time EastEnders actor is to join The Bill so reports claim.

The 26-year-old, who played Jamie Mitchell, hasn’t had a major television role since quitting the BBC soap. He was lined up to appear in Family Affairs, but backedout when the Thames TV produced soap was axed by Channel Five. More recently he had been lined up to star in the ratings disaster that was The Royal: Today, but again he decided to quit the part before filming began.

Feature: The Antony Cotton Acting Watch

Two weeks have past since we last looked to Cotton for some acting. There has been gurning facials, ‘slapstick’ unhappy pouts, but acting, not a dot. Sean Tully, the next Elsie Tanner or Corrie legend? There is more chance of Ken Barlow getting an interesting storyline.

We’ll be keeping an eye on Cotton, and when we return we’ll hopefully have more reports on those elusive acting skills.

Top Trash Newspaper Stories:

  • Ex-model, turned ITV2 personality, Katie Price (otherwise known as Jordan) may find her sister Sophie starring in Channel 4’s Hollyoaks.

  • Former Emmerdale star Hayley Tamaddon discussed how she decided to lose weight after being taunted about being a lardarse. Who is she again?

  • Digital Spy noted that ‘Neighbours star Natalie Blair has admitted that she is “itching” to leave the Aussie soap.’ Has the show really become that bad?

  • Gareth Gates reveals that he once auditioned for a part in Emmerdale. Really? Wow.

  • The BBC has been ordered to reveal the annual staff costs for EastEnders under a Freedom of Information request. Well they’ve nothing to worry about really, compared to the big wigs at the top and Jonathan Ross they’re no doubt on penunts.

  • Former Coronation Street star Suranne Jones says she is waiting for a role in the West End. Well makes a change from reading about Roxanne Palletts sex life I suppose. Speaking of which..

  • Roxanne Pallett says her Emmerdale character is too proud to get help for her abusive marriage. Personally, she maybe should have just asked for Andy’s shotgun and ended the life of the dire writers who devised such an unbelievable pile of cow dung.

New EastEnder

Former Shameless actor Chris Coghill is the latest well-known face to join EastEnders.

The 34-year-old, will play Bianca Jackson’s partner Tony King and a major storyline is just around the square for all the Jackson family. Bosses at the BBC soap have decided to tackle sexual abuse which will see Tony sexually abuse his 15-year-old step-daughter Whitney Dean – played by Shona McGarty. It soon transpires that his maltreatment of her has been going on for some time, however ‘Enders viewers will only learn of this when he arrives in Albert Square fresh from prison.

Speaking of his new role, Coghill said: “This is the most challenging role I have had to play. But I hope by EastEnders tackling the sensitive issue of child abuse it can raise awareness.”

John Grounds, NSPCC’s director of communications, said of the EastEnders abuse storyline: “Programmes like EastEnders are increasingly helping to raise awareness of the hidden nature of sexual abuse. The NSPCC’s work with the BBC on the forthcoming EastEnders storyline is aimed at ensuring the portrayal of child abuse accurately reflects the damage it can do to the victim, their family and the wider community.”

The Jackson family – headed by Bianca, played by Patsy Palmer, returned to Albert Square in April after several years away from Walford.

Quote Box

Even Eldorado repeats would be a step up from current Emmerdale.”

User ‘Gloworm’ on the Digital Spy Soap forum. Speaking in the ‘Hollyoaks is now better than Emmerdale’ thread.

And Finally..

The cast of Emmerdale are apparently concerned about the switch to High Definition production.

A Yorkshire Television insider was quoted as saying in Now magazine: “The HD format of the show promises to show every wrinkle, every blemish and every eye-bag. The women especially are worried they are going to be made to look awful!”

Now if only the cast were so concerned about the quality of their scripts and storylines..

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