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Saturday, 16 June 2012

Coronation Street Weekly Update - Jan 4 2000

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This week's update written by Barry Smith as Glenda was away

Audrey breaks the news of Sergei's proposal over breakfast to Alma and Alma is shocked to hear that she didn't immediately say no and is still contemplating it. Alma thinks he's only a gold-digger and tells Gail who also tries to talk her mother out of it, but Audrey is feeling old and unloved and feels that if there's a chance at happiness with someone to look after her, then maybe she should take it. 'Let me find what pathetic bit of happiness I can, where I can' she says. Sergei has made Audrey a special luch, but she's been busy at work all day and so doesn't arrive home until the evening. She finally seems to have realised that she can't say yes and tries to talk some sense into Sergei, but then the Liverpool police turn up with an Immigration Officer and cart him away.He has been lying to Audrey, his ship left the previous day and he has overstayed his welcome. It looks as though Fred was right all along and Sergei only wanted to marry Audrey so he could stay in the country.

Linda has moved out and is sleeping on Nita's couch and Mike is distraught without her, it really seems he's got it bad and Linda is more than just a trophy. Linda returns to the flat to pick up her costume for the New Year's Eve party and Mike tries to smooth things over, but she tells him he's selfish and leaves. He goes to see her later at the factory, which is being used as a changing room, and pleads with her to reconsider, but she tells him it's over. Over a maudlin pint in the Rovers later on, Mike tells Mark how much Linda means to him and as he can't bear to face her again, asks Mark to close the factory and lock up for the night. Linda is still there and Mark has a go at her about his dad, but they end up in a clinch and as midnight strikes to welcome the new year, they are making love on the factory floor. Mike returns to the factory, unaware of what has gone on between Mark and Linda, and declares that he wants the two of them to be his partners, his son in the business and Linda in marriage. They go back to the flat for champagne and Linda stops the night, but she still hasn't given Mike an answer. He thinks she's just playing him along, so he gets a real shock when she announces that she's moving back to Nita's to think things over. Meanwhile Mark is very pleased at the news as he doesn't want her to marry him as he keeps telling her. It seems to me that the young lad is a little jealous.

Leanne is desperate for money to pay off her ever-increasing debt to Jez, who is really piling on the pressure and she manages to get 20 quid out of Janice, but it's not going to be anywhere near enough. Steve advises her that Jez knows some very nasty people and she'd better sort things out quickly, but she's way out of her depth. If Leanne can't pay in cash, then Jez tells her she can pay in kind and tells her to leave the door open at the Rovers when she locks up after New Year's Eve. She refuses, but Jez won't take no for an answer, even threatening to hurt Toyah and she evetually tells him where Natalie keeps the takings. She later relents and tries to get out of it by sleeping with Jez, but it's too late, his men have already been despatched and he can't stop them now. The burglars are already in the pub when Leanne locks up and she screams the house down as she catches them in the bar. Natalie and Vinny both hear her, but Vinny's outside (he's been acting rather secretively, wrapping up a present and sneaking off) and Natalie is grabbed by one of the burglars while the other chases after Leanne and hits her with a baseball bat. The burglars flee empty handed, punching Vinny and knocking him over in the backyard on their way out. 'Oh please God, not again!' cries Natalie as she cradles Leanne's head in her lap. Leanne is still unconcious the following morning and the hospital are running tests, but pretty soon she comes round and is given the all-clear, though she needs plenty of rest and will be kept in for observation for a couple of days. Les is convinced that his daughter has thwarted a robbery and is a heroine and quickly sees the opportunity of some free beer from Natalie, who surely must be grateful. Toyah meanwhile asks her sister if she recognised her attackers, knowing that there's more to this than Leanne is saying, but Leanne acts dumb, unaware that Jez is lurking in the corridor. Vinny tells the police that when he would normally be checking the toilets before closing up, he was with a woman friend in Salford. When the police have gone, Natalie is livid at the idea of sharing her man and Vinny explains that it was his daughter's 18th birthday and he doesn't see her and her mother very much. Natalie is still mad, but now because he hadn't told her about his daughter before. Women eh, never satisfied.
Things are hotting up for the Millennium Street Party, but Roy still hasn't got permission from the council to close the road off. In a hark back to Ken's older, more militant days, he tells Roy that if they can't get permission sorted out, then they'll just Reclaim the Street and he sorts out some traffic cones from Freshco. Everyone's mucking in to get the Street set up for the party. Ken's put up a photo-montage in the pub full of Street faces from the past (does Tyrone really look like Uncle Albert?), there's an awning going up in case it rains, a stage for Les to run his disco/karaoke from, stalls selling food and sideshows and Emily keeps all the volunteers supplied with mugs of tea and Tunnock's Tea Cakes.

On New Year's Eve, most of the Street dress up (see below) and have a whale of a time. Gwen has had to drop out of her stage appearance with Janice, Linda and Hayley because of food poisoning and Deirdre is roped in at the last moment to become the 4th member of the fake ABBA tribute band 'FABBA' to perform a lovely version of 'Waterloo'. Rita is roped in to sing 'On The Street Where You Live', Tyrone, who can't get his astronaut's helmet off, wins the fancy dress competition and he also gets an absolute smacker of a kiss off Toyah at midnight (once he's got rid of his helmet). Fred is happily selling his reindeer stew to the party-goers, but when Ashley tells Maxine what it is, she tells everyone else and Fred is dragged over to the stocks and pelted with wet sponges. Audrey takes special delight in soaking Fred as Maxine tells her it was Fred who told the authorities where Sergei was. As Fred is released from the stocks, another victim is sought and Les is locked into them, but when Janice asks Roy to let him out later on, he claims to have lost the key, though he has it all the time.

Kevin decides to have another go at getting Alison back and heads off to Morecombe with her engagement ring on New Year's Eve. Alison is still adamant that she will not come back with him, but when he asks her if she still loves her, she can't deny that she does and although she says no to his marriage proposal, she agrees to come back with him and try again. Once Alison has settled back into their flat, Kevin suggests they ought to tell her mam about the baby, but alison thinks not and would rather they keep it to themselves for the moment.

Martin is still infatuated with Rebecca and goes to see her in her new nurse's flat and they drink to the future, but her husband, Jerry, turns up and thinks there's something more going on and Martin throws him out. Martin tries to ring her on New Year's Eve, but he can't get through to her, so he slips away from the party and goes to see her, but Rebecca sends him away saying 'We've got one marriage on the rocks, we don't need two'. The following morning Gail tells Martin that she thinks they should take the opportunity of the New Year to wipe the slate clean, forget what's happened between them recently and make a fresh start. She must be joking!!!

At 2 in the morning, just as Curly is in the kitchen mixing up something to try and help him avoid too bad a hangover, there is a knock on his back door. He thinks it's just the lads and shouts at them to go away, but the knocking persists and he opens it to see Raquel, his estranged wife. Curly hopes that she has returned for him, but although she says she still cares for him, she says she doesn't love him the way he wants and she can't some back. Her first bombshell is that she and Curly have a daughter (Alice Diana Watts - b 23/7/97), although she didn't know she was pregnant when she left and she didn't tell him about it because she didn't want him chasing after her to Kuala Lumpur. Curly is over the moon that he's a father, but very annoyed that she hadn't told him about her, especially as she returned to England to have the baby and stayed with her sister. In his anger, he makes cruel insinuations, asking if she's really his, but Raquel assures him there was nobody else and that she's told Alice all about her father and she's looking forward to meeting him. On a visit to the bathroom, she takes a look round her old home and sees that very little has changed, her old dressing gown is even still hanging on the back of the bedroom door (it really must be hanging if it's been there for over 3 years).

As they look at the star that Curly bought for her, he says he's prepared to forgive and forget and that they can start again, but she drops her second bombshell when she tells him there's someone else. When she was in hospital having Alice, she befriended a French couple, the wife of which was dying of cancer. She's been working as a nanny looking after their 2 children as well as Alice and now lives in a chateau, 'a real one, detached and everything', in the Loire valley (she even speaks fluent french and knows a bit about wine). The wife died 2 years ago and since then she's helped put Armand, the husband, back together again, got him loving his children again and the pity she felt for him when his wife first died has blossomed into love. Curly realises that the next thing she'll be asking for is a divorce, which she duly does and she knows he'll give her one, because he's a nice bloke who still loves her and wants her to be happy. She finally drops her third bombshell, announcing that she's pregnant and needs to be married in case the child is a boy, for inheritance purposes. Curly opines 'Why can't it be me, why can't it ever be me', but as Raquel predicted, Curly agrees to the divorce and seems to be finally accepting that it's over. She says she wants Alice to get to know her real father and that he can come over to France any time and that when she's older, she can come over and stay with him during the holidays and they set the first visit for Easter. As dawn is starting to break, she says goodbye and leaves by the back door with tears in her eyes.

Finally, Blanche has announced that she's put her flat up for sale so she can move up north to be with Deirdre and Ken. They don't seem too pleased about the prospect, but predictably, Blanche acts the martyr and they are forced to concede.

So who was who at the Millennium Street Party?
Linda, Janice, Hayley and Deirdre - FABBA; Les - Elvis; Tyrone - Astronaut; Spider and Toyah - Adam and Eve; Ken - Sherlock Holmes; Emily - Florence Nightingale; Martin and Gail - Laurel and Hardy; Sarah-Louise - Baby Spice; David - Dracula; Curly - Tommy Cooper; Jim - Long John Silver; Steve - 40's Spiv (actually he looked alot like Dave Smith, the bookie from the Street in the 60s); Fred - Henry VIII, Ashley and Maxine - Anthony and Cleopatra; Roy - Edmond Arkwright (inventor of the bevelled flange, which revolutionised the cotton industry, apparently); Danny and Sally - clowns; Norris - Genghis Khan (maybe, it wasn't made entirely clear); Blanche - Carmen Miranda (who had the cheek to say of Deirdre - 'What on earth does she look like at her age'); Burglars - Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher.

That's all for this week.

Barry Smith

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