Monday 8 July
Have you noticed that Robert on Coronation Street (7.30pm, 8.30pm ITV) keeps coming up with fresh excuses regarding his whereabouts when he’s secretly with Vicky? We’ve had “I was visiting some young offenders” and “I was meeting up with an old chef friend”, but I’m now hoping that his lies spiral. “I’ve joined the Avengers and they need me on a mission” would be good. Or “I’ve been asked to renegotiate the Brexit withdrawal agreement”. Michelle, who has suddenly become a pushover, would probably just nod and say: “OK, babe, but don’t work too hard…”
Tonight, the beleaguered Bistro owner dissembles once again when Michelle asks him to deliver more food to a fundraiser, just as he’s about to leave for Vicky’s. When he arrives at the hotel with emergency canapés, his mobile starts ringing. Mate, it’s time to change Vicky’s contact name to “Captain America” on your phone. You know it makes sense.
Tuesday 9 July
Once again, we’re left wondering why the sound of wedding bells doesn’t act as a warning siren for a soap bride-to-be. Honey, who’s been a regular on EastEnders (7.30pm BBC1) for many years, really should know better. But she’s on cloud nine when Linda suggests that marriage could be on the cards for her and Adam. We, of course, know that the dirty dentist is also tickling Habiba’s tonsils. But as Honey and Adam decide to get one of Jack’s flats, might this be the moment she discovers the truth?
We’re playing Holby City (8pm BBC1) catch-up, thanks to the Women’s World Cup usurping its place in the schedules. So there are two episodes this week, with the second (more dramatic) instalment airing tomorrow. Not a great deal occurs tonight, although there is a comic scene that finds Hanssen struggling to obtain a temporary work pass from receptionist Carole. Seeing the buttoned-up boss undone by his own overly rigorous administrative edicts is a joy.
Wednesday 10 July
It’s the second of this week’s visits to Holby City (8pm BBC1) and you may come away feeling that the episode’s best moment happened off screen. I’m referring to a scene in which a slightly fragile Serena Campbell discusses her night out with hilarious consultant obstetrician Fleur Fanshawe. As Serena admits, this involved them drunkenly dancing on a table in their bras, proof that “mixing shiraz with hot flushes” is a recipe for embarrassment. Hopefully, footage of this wild evening will eventually surface; I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for an iPlayer exclusive.
As for drama at the hospital, we have horrible Evan (Jack Ryder) getting attacked by a stroppy patient who seems to be modelling herself on Catherine Tate’s “am I bovvered?” teenager Lauren. As you can imagine, this performance doesn’t at all come across as either clichéd or outdated. As he dices with death, Evan still has time to manipulate Chloe into actions she may well end up regretting…
Thursday 11 July
Comedian Les Dawson once described Emmerdale (7pm, 8pm ITV) as “Dallas with dung”. And while the show has now largely moved on from its sex-and-sileage roots, there is one character who keeps Dawson’s image of frisky farming alive: Moira Dingle. “Mucky Moira”, as she’s been dubbed in the press, has always been quick to rip open the press-studs of her overalls in her years at Butlers Farm — and now we have someone else working the land who’s just as salacious as she is: newcomer Nate Robinson, or “Naughty Nate” as he should perhaps be known.
Already this week, we’ve seen Moira sabotaging Nate’s relationship with Amy. Now, after seeing Nate back in Amy’s arms, Moira fires him and lies to a newly returned Cain over what has happened. But I feel that Moira’s rash actions where Nate’s job is concerned mask deeper feelings. And I’m predicting that fans of Cain and Moira’s marriage (Team #Coira) will end up seeing Nate as a big threat.
Friday 12 July
It’s race day on EastEnders (8.30pm BBC1) and it looks as though Mitch will be edging the competition, which should please him, seeing as he isn’t the biggest fan of his son-in-law and fellow competitor Gray. It’s almost as if canny Mitch knows the soap rules when it comes to characters with professional qualifications. Basically, if your suit has a sharper cut than your neighbour’s, your hair is slicked back with wax or your name is double barrelled, then you must be up to no good.
Personally, I’d like to see the show subvert these expectations when it comes to Gray and for it to be revealed that Mitch’s rogue radar is off. So little is known about Gray and Chantelle’s marriage that EastEnders could do anything with the pair. Maybe their dark secret (because when it comes to these things there’s always a “dark secret”) is that she is coercively controlling him? Gray could be the first man in Walford with designer threads and good diction to be entirely innocent.