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

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.

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