Next week in soapland: Callum and Ben argue in EastEnders, Fiz returns to Coronation Street, plus Emmerdale’s Robert breaks Aaron’s heart

Your full rundown of what's coming up in the week ahead

Callum on EastEnders, Fiz on Coronation Street, Robert on Emmerdale

Monday 26 August

Megan Macey (Gaynor Faye) in Emmerdale (7.00pm ITV) has followed the trajectory of so many other soap heroines: going from self-assured and respected to self-loathing and dejected. During her seven years on the show, she’s also become the grim reaper, outliving both her son (shot, with a flare gun to the chops) and her partner (blown up in the Sharma sweetie factory explosion). And it’s at Frank’s funeral that Megan now starts to question whether her future lies in the village.


I feel that she ought to have gone to prison after almost bringing about the demise of Eric Pollard in that car accident. Not because I feel a great sense of loyalty towards Pollard. No, my reason for wanting Megan behind bars is down to the fact that, had she been incarcerated, Michael Praed’s character wouldn’t have needlessly perished in that factory blaze. As a child, I witnessed him dying in Robin of Sherwood — now I’ve had to relive that nightmare.


Tuesday 27 August

It’s a pity that Evan (Jack Ryder) in Holby City (8pm BBC1) is a crazed villain because he has a very soothing speaking voice. I could imagine listening to him reading audiobooks as I drifted off to sleep. Maybe not anything by Thomas Harris or Stephen King, mind you. That’d remind me too much of his current actions, which mainly involve stalking estranged wife Chloe (Amy Lennox) via CCTV cameras he’s secreted around her flat.

And now, the ante is upped when the pair come face to face again after Evan’s sister Phoebe is admitted to the hospital. You won’t be surprised to learn that the smooth-talking sociopath takes the opportunity to play more mind games with his prey.

Elsewhere, fans of classic US medical dramas may experience déjà vu when it comes to tonight’s other plot-line as Essie grows more attached to the baby she’s been lumbered with looking after. Those with long memories may recall Susan Lewis on ER experiencing the exact same thing.


Wednesday 28 August

It’s the showdown that fans of Emmerdale (7.00pm ITV) have been dreading as Aaron (Danny Miller) discovers that his husband Robert (Ryan Hawley) may get a life sentence for committing grievous bodily harm with intent. Obviously, Aaron is both angry and heartbroken, but he’s surely lost a little bit of perspective about this whole thing?

After all, it’s quite rare for a young, handsome male character on this programme to actually end up in a prison cell. They’re much more likely to go on the run for years and become fugitives from the law. Think Adam, Andy and… oh yes, Aaron himself, back when actor Danny Miller made what turned out be a temporary exit from the soap, in 2012.

So, while it’s feasible that Robert could indeed be facing a stint of mailbag-stitching at Her Majesty’s pleasure, my money’s on him being broken out of custody at the last minute, before he heads off to the Costa del Crime to join all the other Emmerdale alumni who’ve had it away on their toes.


Thursday 29 August

Doe-eyed Callum in EastEnders (7.30pm BBC1) is so far in the closet that I’m surprised he hasn’t bumped into Mr Tumnus. Bride-to-be Whitney has no clue about her fiancé’s true sexuality, but we of course have witnessed Callum looking like the dictionary definition of a tortured soul for weeks now.

First, he was wrestling with his feelings for Ben Mitchell (hashtag #Ballum), then there were those revelations about Callum’s love for fallen soldier comrade Chris. Now, we have the pre-wedding stag night, where Callum is understandably finding it hard to cope. Hence him getting drunk and lashing out at the aforementioned Ben.

Both Tony Clay (who plays Callum) and Max Bowden (Ben) have been terrific, though I can’t help but note that show boss Kate Oates has now done this storyline three times in her years helming soap operas. See Emmerdale’s Robert and Aaron (#Robron), as well as Coronation Street’s Kate and Rana (#Kana) for further details.

EastEnders - July - September - 2019 - 5978

Friday 30 August

When parents return to work following maternity or paternity leave, you’ll often hear them saying: “It’s so nice to finally have some adult conversation.” So pity Coronation Street’s (7.30, 8.30pm ITV) Jennie McAlpine, who’s back after giving birth to her second child (who’s been given the very Corrie-sounding name of Hilda), only to be handed a school-based storyline involving Fiz’s daughter Hope.

It turns out gormless Tyrone has forgotten to enrol Hope at Bessie Street and there are no places left, so caustic grandma Evelyn (Maureen Lipman) has staged a protest and barricaded herself and others into the headteacher’s office.


Needless to say, Fiz ends up making her comeback in the midst of all this chaos, though witnessing Evelyn in high dudgeon is always entertaining for us. I just can’t work out whether the way she says, “I shall bid you good day” is more reminiscent of Percy Sugden or Bob Mortimer playing Graham Lister in Vic Reeves Big Night Out.