Gloria has already proven herself to be a fantasist of the first order. But the Walter Mitty of Weatherfield comes unstuck next week after the Rovers is awarded Pub of the Year by Lancashire Leisure.
Knowing that the contest has been a farrago of forged compliments slips and exaggerated claims, Lewis calls up the features editor of the Gazette with assurances that the night is sure to go with a bang:
“What can I promise you? Fireworks,” he tells his contact.
And indeed, once the testimonials are read out to the assembled crowd, it’s not long before the regulars smell a rat. Norris, for one, is up in arms after a glowing recommendation, supposedly written by him, is quoted. “This is a charade!” he protests.
But Gloria is not quite ready to relinquish either the plaque or the £5000 worth of vouchers that have been promised her. In the end though, she departs shamefaced and with a triumphant Lewis branding her “an out-of-control buffoon.”
Lewis, though, has not slaked his thirst for revenge. Still annoyed that scheming in certain quarters has resulted in the end of his relationship with Audrey, Lewis now plots to thwart Gail.
Feeling guilty that Lewis has pawned his late father’s watch in order to pay Audrey, Gail buys back the timepiece, unaware that this is all part of Lewis’s plan to get one over on those who have wronged him.
Maria is another Street resident with a scheme, although hers involves preventing Marcus, the object of her affection, from moving to London with Aiden, who’s been offered a promotion:
“Sweetheart, the man’s gay,” says Audrey.
“In my head, I know it’s ridiculous,” replies Maria. “I am in love with Marcus. I can’t help it.”
After learning that Maria has been instrumental in stopping Aiden from advancing his career, Marcus is annoyed: “That’s how mates behave, is it?” he yells. “Scheming and manipulating?”
But it isn’t long before Marcus and Maria are kissing and making up. Only this time, their passions lead them to the bedroom. So will Marcus leave with his boyfriend? Or is it time to face up to his feelings for his female flatmate?
Back at the Rovers and Stella wants to wipe away memories of recent humiliations by putting together a five-a-side football team. It’s also the perfect opportunity to save face after Carole from the Weathefield Arms steals the Pub of the Year crown out from under her.
“This isn’t about PR any more,” states Stella. “This is personal.”
Steve is keen to join the squad but cries of “Who ate the all the pies?” and a dig from Rob that he’d be better suited being a Mr Blobby-style mascot don’t bode well. With Lloyd as manager, it’s his decision as to who makes the final cut. But it seems friendships will be put to one side when it comes to team tactics.