The introduction of new characters invariably splits the audience. When Stella joined Coronation Street as the Rovers’ new landlady, criticism was heaped upon Michelle Collins (who plays her) for her northern accent. The truth is, it was and is fine – people just wanted her to keep being Cindy Beale, her character in EastEnders.
I remember when the Battersbys arrived on the Street, too. There was outrage among the viewing public that such an appalling family should wreck this fair and cobbled land. These days, ghastly families are two a penny in Weatherfield, along with murderers.
There will be no complaints at the arrival of Carla’s brother Rob (Mark Baylis), who is the hottest totty in the Street in a long while. Just pray that a passing serial killer or ubiquitous dangerous car doesn’t get him (oh, I forgot: the car is out for Lewis).
EastEnders introduced the brilliant Evver, but quite why they killed her off remains one of soap’s great mysteries. Still, if it provides an opportunity for the show to dispense with Ben, the decision can’t have been all bad.
Ray also looks as if he has been in Walford forever, although girlfriend Kim is, for me, a character that has never worked. I swear that if she keeps making those irritating ‘Grrrrr’ tiger noises, I will get a gun and shoot her.