JACI STEPHEN’S ul­ti­mate in­sight into the week’s soaps

The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - SOAP WATCH -

nd so, to the end of another year in soa­p­land. They seem to come around so quickly. What will linger in the mem­ory, as 2014 draws to a close? EastEn­ders will be re­mem­bered for Lucy’s mur­der and the show’s trans­for­ma­tion into CartEn­ders, as the Carter fam­ily sought to achieve world dom­i­na­tion. Ex­pect to see a whole bunch more of them land­ing in the New Year.

The re­turn of Stacey and the res­ur­rec­tion of Nick pro­vided a fris­son of ex­cite­ment, and Ron­nie man­aged to make it through the year with­out storm­ing off to Ibiza ev­ery month.

Corona­tion Street’s year be­gan with the as­sisted sui­cide of the much-loved Hay­ley and dis­tress­ingly wit­nessed the equally loved Tina mur­dered by Rob. It also saw the ar­rival of the first Mus­lim fam­ily, the Nazirs, who aren’t quite yet on the scale of CartEn­ders, but are steadily in­creas­ing in num­ber.

Em­merdale’s year was dom­i­nated by Andy’s torso (for me, any­way). Ev­ery chance it got, the show re­vealed a half-naked Andy, most no­tably dur­ing his re­la­tion­ship with Ber­nice. Let’s hope somebody bought him a shirt for Christ­mas. On sec­ond thoughts, let’s hope they didn’t. Ni­amh feels ex­cluded and strug­gles be­ing away from the chil­dren over Christ­mas, while Ni­cola con­tin­ues to stir things up and makes her­self at home with Paul – and he tells her to stay as long as she needs. But who kisses who on New Year’s Eve?

Mean­while, Ray re­fuses to help Mondo move away, while lit­tle Juliet ( be­low) is up­set by her fa­ther’s plans. How­ever, after Mondo’s quick think­ing saves Juliet’s life, he has sec­ond thoughts about leav­ing and makes her a prom­ise. How­ever, a row soon breaks out be­tween Mondo and Decco.

It’s been a Christ­mas pe­riod filled with health fears for Dolores, but she is re­luc­tant to share with Pete, who has some shock­ing news of his own as Neil goes AWOL in Paris. Nei­ther have much to cel­e­brate as they ring in the new year to­gether.

Else­where, love is still bloom­ing for Damien and Caoimhe, while Rob­bie makes a move on Carol after Dan re­fuses to get back with her. Dan, mean­while, does not get the re­ac­tion he was hop­ing for when he tries to help Jen­nifer.

Charlie ap­pears to be back to him­self, much to Cass and Bela’s de­light. Bela re­mains con­cerned about Yvonne fol­low­ing her split with Dan. Talk about up­set­ting the ap­ple Carters. It was in­evitable the ever- ex­pand­ing clan were go­ing to dom­i­nate the fes­tiv­i­ties, and this week Mick ( be­low, with Stan) and co are still reel­ing from the events of Christ­mas Day. Will their lives ever be the same again? Will ours? Not un­til all the CartEn­ders get wiped out in a bus crash, I fear.

Kim re­turns with a few se­crets of her own. Here’s another character I couldn’t give two hoots about; I don don’tt care what we do know about her, let alone what she’s been keep­ing quiet. She’s shocked by how much has changed in her ab­sence. My only hope is she’s changed in her ab­sence.

There are more pieces added to the Lucy jig­saw, which is turn­ing into the largest puz­zle ever known to mankind. Is Emma about to un­cover the truth and, if so, what might she do about it?

On New Year’s Day there’s yet another tease about the iden­tity of Lucy’s killer. Is he or she about to be ex­posed to one (u (un)lucky character? Will all fi­nally be rev re­vealed? Don’t be daft. There’s still a verita itable herd of cows to go when it comes to m milk­ing the story of Lucy’s mur­der.

Also on New Year’s Day, Ron­nie and Ch Charlie are due to tie the knot but, quelle su sur­prise, there’s a last-minute hitch that me means the day might not go ac­cord­ing to pl plan (Don’t tell me – Ron­nie finds a late deal fo for a cheap flight to Ibiza). In an hour-long sp spe­cial, lives are changed for­ever. Again. H Happy appy New Year?ea I doubt it.t.




TO THE NEW YEAR Re­mem­ber th­ese plots that had us hooked?

Fear­ing Melanie Healy is plan­ning to leave him, Ian Beale ma­nip­u­lates her into mar­ry­ing him by pre­tend­ing his daugh­ter Lucy has can­cer, and they get hitched. But Mel dis­cov­ers the truth at the re­cep­tion and dumps Ian (above).

Emo­tions are raw on the first an­niver­sary of the plane crash that left four main char­ac­ters dead and Chris Tate paral­ysed. Chris’s fa­ther Frank and Eric Pol­lard (above) un­veil a plaque in mem­ory of the vic­tims, while Jack Sug­den de­scribes the dev­as­ta­tion he wit­nessed.

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