The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - SEVEN DAYS -

Soap is never more bor­ing than when a group of guys talk sport. Corona­tion Street does it with golf; it’s al­ways football in EastEnders.

On Mon­day, Al­fie tries to get ev­ery­one in­ter­ested in join­ing the Queen Vic football team. At least there’s some hu­mour this time round, and a twist when Kat takes over the job of re­cruit­ing – and ends up with too many join­ing. The tri­als be­gin in earnest on Tues­day, with Mo declar­ing she’s the team physio (be afraid, be very afraid, lads). As they pre­pare for their first match on Wed­nes­day, Kat en­joys some flirt­ing with Max, Ray, Derek and Jack.

Did I not say, a few weeks back, that I thought the show was hint­ing at a pos­si­ble li­ai­son be­tween Derek and Kat? When Al­fie crashes out drunk, Kat is seen rear­rang­ing her skirt, clearly hav­ing scored with one of the men with whom she has been flirt­ing. But which one? Let’s look at the can­di­dates: Max – he has form, but would he risk los­ing Tanya again? Ray – a dis­tinct pos­si­bil­ity. The only prob­lem is, the man keeps tex­ting Kat, and I’m not sure Ray even knows what the al­pha­bet is, let alone how to send a text. Derek – per­ish the thought (not un­less chlo­ro­form is in­volved); Jack – he’d be my choice.

On Thurs­day, Kat is feel­ing guilty and tells the mys­tery man to leave her alone, but on Fri­day she finds him ir­re­sistible (surely not Derek then).

There is the begin­ning of a beau­ti­ful friend­ship on Fri­day, when a drunk Shirley finds her­self on the roof of the pub­lic toi­lets (as you do). It’s left to Jean, who is star-gaz­ing through her tele­scope (quite when she turned into Patrick Moore is any­body’s guess), to coax her down. Also on Fri­day, Janine and Michael de­cide upon a name for the doll... I mean baby.

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