Monday 29 July
The other week on EastEnders (8pm BBC1), I witnessed Phil saying to Sharon, “You want me to wear a papoose, I’ll wear a papoose”. Much as I like the thought of Phil turning over a new leaf and becoming this caring, sharing Athena-poster father figure, I just can’t imagine him with a baby sling attached to his body. Phil has the face of a raging newborn anyway. So just imagine another miniature Phil head strapped so close to his own. He’d be like a bald, angry Zaphod Beeblebrox.
Before Sharon can envisage such horrors, though, she has to read the DNA results and discover whether Phil or Keanu is the father of her unborn child. Now, letters such as these are always fun in soapland. In the real world, you’d read them, rip them up, burn them and scatter the ashes in the Thames. But on EastEnders, the recipients often just leave them lying face up in a pedal bin for all to see. We’ll see tonight which course of action Shazzer takes.
Tuesday 30 July
If Holby City (8pm BBC1) were a documentary, I guarantee that nobody would choose to be a patient. Such is the doctors’ recklessness, it’s a wonder that they haven’t done a storyline where someone comes in with a migraine and leaves with a leg amputated. Take this evening’s episode: Cameron (Nic Jackman) is drunk at work, Sacha is quoting from Bertolt Brecht when he should be focusing on the major surgery he’s performing, while a gowned-up Dom enters theatre with the line, “How can I have two mums?” Just think about your work, people!
Now, speaking of operations, it looks as though Phil on EastEnders (7.30pm BBC1) will be needing urgent medical attention. He’s about to be left for dead. Again. Having already taken two bullets and been involved in countless car crashes during his years in Walford, he must now have more bionic limbs than the Six Million Dollar Man. I’m looking forward to seeing him recover and start running at 60mph.
Wednesday 31 July
Kate on Coronation Street (7.30pm, 8.30pm ITV) reveals her plan to travel the world in tonight’s double bill. And, surely, if anyone deserves a break away from Weatherfield, it’s Kate — all she’s done during her time in Corrie is cry. And we’re not just talking the odd glistening eyeball. It’s been body-racking sobs for four years. The abuse she endured from Caz, her brother Aidan’s suicide, the death of Rana… any more anguish and the make-up team will be running out of tear sticks.
Soaps are often accused of rinsing storylines until they’re threadbare, but how’s this for an innovative plot strand on Hollyoaks (6.30pm C4)? Scott (aka local drag queen Anita Tinkle) is having a romance with dashing doctor Levi who, wouldn’t you just know it, has an aversion to drag queens, yet is unaware of his boyfriend’s alter ego. I’m thinking of it as a kind of classic Superman/Clark Kent quandary, but in high heels. And now, it seems, the truth is about to come out.
Thursday 1 August
It’s summer stunt time on Emmerdale (7pm, 8pm ITV) and while the show’s bosses would no doubt like us to consider the lives in potential danger as the local sweet factory is set ablaze, I can only think about one thing: the chance to get hold of some cheap misshapes. So what if those caramel crunch bars are a little bit melted? They’ll still taste OK. And surely this is the perfect time for the Sharmas to branch out and create some “fiery” chocolate treats? Mmmm.
But if you’re going to insist that I offer a tease as to who is on the premises at the time of the inferno, then look no further than poor Tracy Metcalfe (Amy Walsh), who’s waiting in the storeroom for an illicit bunk-up with Billy Fletcher, not realising that the building is about to burn down. As for who’s responsible, the finger of suspicion is pointing in the direction of Kerry and Amy, whose guilt will grow in the weeks ahead as they try to cover up their inadvertent crime.
Friday 2 August
Eileen on Coronation Street (7.30pm, 8.30pm ITV) sure knows how to pick a wrong ’un. Take her latest squeeze, builder Jan (Piotr Baumann), who is now being accused by Seb of being a ruthless people trafficker. So, well done, Eileen. A year after discovering that Pat Phelan was a serial killer, you’ve now found out that Jan has a dark side, too. I can’t help feeling that this situation wouldn’t have arisen if Eileen had taken a few precautionary measures before date number one. She should have done a complete check on Jan: credit rating, DBS disclosure, cycling proficiency result, swimming badges, the lot. Oh well, you live and learn. Except, in Eileen’s case, you don’t.
Stuart and Rainie on EastEnders (8pm BBC1) are out on their second date. But I don’t think Stu has quite got the hang of this romance lark, seeing as how he takes Rainie to a narcotics anonymous meeting. How will he top that? A graveyard at midnight? A picnic at a disused morgue?