Caroline Fitton: The ultimate insight  into the week's soaps

The complex can of worms that soap characters' social networking habits can open is neatly illustrated this week. When Coronation Street garage mechanic Tyrone proudly posts a scan of his unborn baby boy on the internet, little is he aware that the baby is probably the offspring of his boss Kevin, the garage owner, with whom his wife conducted an illicit affair.

This social networking site is called Face-up-to-it-Book, existing for those who need a reality check. There's another one they could use after the baby's born, Bebo or Peepo, and perhaps they should call the baby Skype.

Also making practical use of online trickery, Corrie's facially challenged Kirk nicks Jason's identity to arrange a date. It works for five minutes, so it proves worth the effort overall.

Coronation Street

It's a torrid teen week for Sophie and Sian, who go through the motions of dating boyfriends Ryan and Lee

Strangely, EastEnders hasn't dipped into using the online world much, though Max is forever tapping away on the laptop that is secreted in his briefcase  -  I don't think I want to know just what sites the serial adulterer may be accessing.

Emmerdale's village net-caff was once bang on trend, girlfriend (as Gok Wan would say), but its main function these days appears to be for silver surfers Pearl, Betty, Doug and Edna to dream of foreign cruises.

But hey, it's still the only net-caff in the village  -  the global soap village that is. (PS this was not sent via my blackberry, gooseberry or goji fruit.)

Jaci Stephen is away


Amira and Chelsea both use pregnancy tests in the beauty salon this week, with an inevitable mix up between positive and negative



What a treat to see veteran actor Martin Jarvis in Walford. As reporter Harvey Freeman he's been playing Peggy off against Pat in the council elections.

He's already told a smitten Peggy that she's got a 'diamond smile', and proceeds to drop off his calling card with abandon. With a liberal stretch of the imagination on Monday, he then informs Pat that she 'has a touch of the Anne Bancrofts' about her.

If things carry on like this, I could actually find myself really enjoying EastEnders. Laid up in hospital, Jack's monitors bleep away, yet curiously he's allowed use of a mobile phone. Have the rules changed?

Despite being possessed of communication skills that are on a par with Ozzy Osbourne's, on Monday Jack manages to tell brother Max that he still wants to be with Ronnie. She, meanwhile, has fallen into the amorous arms of Dr Steele.

The decorating process at Syed and Amira's flat has been like watching paint dry. Their bedroom has taken the best part of two weeks and it's still not finished!

Events have provided a very handy euphemism for Syed and Christian, however.

'Just checking on the decorating' took on a whole new meaning, and 'I just want it to be perfect' has never sounded quite so insincere.

So when Amira and Chelsea both use pregnancy tests in the beauty salon this week, there's an inevitable mix up between positive and negative.

As the Masood party machine goes into overdrive to prematurely celebrate an impending baby, Amira leads Syed to the bedroom, where the second, or was it third, layer of wallpaper has been stripped away revealing sneaky Lucy's graffiti. Cue those ending drumbeats.

And is I da only one findin' Fatboy an' his Ali G-speak a bit of a cliché? Is it cos I is biased? 



When Kevin saw the scan of Molly's baby, no wonder he reacted so melodramatically  -  he inevitably recognised that same distinctive scowly top lip as his own, although there was no discernable spanner, so all could end up being well.

His suggestion that Molly shouldn't keep the baby went down like a lead balloon with extra lead weights on. Offering to check the brakes on Tyrone's car on Monday, he becomes distracted and neglects to finish the job properly, while later, in a country lane, Tyrone and Molly have a crash.


'‘I have a Shrugalero emergency.’       Donna Freedman, Neighbours


‘The Mitchell name in this community is very respected.’                                      Peggy Mitchell, EastEnders

Cut unconscious from the wreckage, Molly recovers sufficiently on Friday to accuse Kevin of deliberately causing the accident.

Her scheme is to relocate. Call for Kirsty and Phil, they may be in time before the series has its election rebrand  -  Repossession, Repossession, Repossession.

Speaking of repo, having been back on leave, Gary returns to army training camp. Alas, when a warrant officer comes to call on Monday, Anna discovers that, in reality, he has absconded.

By Friday there's still no sign of him and he faces a court martial. Hey, they could send Chesney, no one would spot the difference. And it's a torrid teen week for Sophie and Sian, who go through the motions of dating boyfriends Ryan and Lee, but their own fledgling romantic bond is back on track by Friday.

And sleazy Lloyd hooks up with a stripper called China. Class. Or typecasting. 



They're finding it hard to shake off the heavy winter in the Dales, what with death and incest chez Wylde, and psycho Sally stalking Ashley and Laurel.

Now Olena's pending deportation is causing consternation at the Dingles, with Eli, Sam and Zak all doing their raging bull impersonations  -  in Sam's case perhaps more a bullock.


Troubled Aaron, who heads down a slippery suicidal slope this week.

Another ailing semi-Dingle is the troubled Aaron, who heads down a slippery suicidal slope this week.

When Jackson pays an unscheduled and ill-advised visit to the Woolpack on Wednesday, Aaron punches him in the face, and is later arrested for assault.

Mistaking his actions for homophobic thuggery, Paddy enlightens Chas that her son is gay, but Aaron is inconsolable.

He locks himself in the garage on Thursday and switches on a car engine. Smoke billows out from the garage, but these jaded villagers have seen so much smoke resulting from so many fires over the years  -  a barn here, a church there  -  will anyone take it seriously?



As both Carmel and Michaela McQueen get busy planning their forthcoming weddings, let's hope against hope that the two big days both come to spectacular fruition  -  what extraordinary sartorial creations these two girls would inevitably unleash onto a waiting world.


My Big Fat McQueen Wedding. Carmel and Michalea get busy planning

It would all be worthy of its own spin-off programme: My Big Fat McQueen Wedding. Things are less cheery for the two prospective grooms, however.

Zak's plans to join the army on Tuesday don't bode well for the long-term future of his and Michaela's union, and when Ravi declines to be his best man, Calvin makes the potentially unwise choice of Malachy for the job.

Now that really would be a best man's speech worth hearing Frisky Laura has a busy week, appearing as a Playboy bunny on Monday, spending the night with Charlotte on Tuesday, then the night with Zak on Thursday. If she has a bad hair day on Friday I think we'll know why.


What would you call a cross between a shrug and a bolero? Budding designer Donna calls it a Shrugalero



What would you call a cross between a shrug and a bolero? Budding designer Donna calls it a Shrugalero  -  just remember, you heard it here first.

Starting student life this week, she finds that uni and clothes manufacture don't mix too well, so it's all hands on deck as the Shrugalero design templates go missing at the end of the week.

An impromptu production line of Susan, Rebecca, Paul et al to the rescue!



Having dreamt up an imaginary friend called Rabbit – in reality, the ghost of his dead daughter – Miles is spotted acting even more oddly than usual. Reporting him to the mind police, Marilyn, Alf and Rachel watch as Miles undergoes therapy to see if Rabbit is real.

It seems that the drugs do work and, hey presto, the Rabbit disappears. Elsewhere, Xavier thinks Hugo may still be alive – he thinks right – while Aden and Justin have cause for worry as Charlie comes close to finding their dead father Larry where they buried him in the bush.

These scenes are all filmed in a swirling smoky half light – just in case the acting fails to convey the correct angst and intensity.