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

Soap­watch has just cel­e­brated its 20th an­niver­sary, so I’m pon­der­ing how much has changed in the two decades since I started writ­ing about what re­main TV’s most pop­u­lar dra­mas.

I’ve seen births, mar­riages and deaths; stolen ba­bies, mur­ders and ex­plo­sions; car, bus and train crashes; hold-ups, rob­beries and kid­nap­pings (most of the lat­ter in Em­merdale – they re­ally love their car boot body sales). Florists have made a for­tune from funerals; cops have learnt noth­ing about how to track down the right crim­i­nal, nor about how to or­der a drink (they’ve clearly not watched enough In­spec­tor Morse). Doc­tors, on the other hand, have con­ducted most of their di­ag­noses in the pub in­stead of their surg­eries.

Still, no­body in EastEn­ders has a wash­ing ma­chine, and no­body, any­where, has a dish­washer – not even Corona­tion Street’s Gail, who was mar­ried to a kitchen fit­ter, for good­ness sake (one of many men she saw off). And Em­merdale’s Lisa has yet to use a hair­brush.

Also, I still have the hots for Em­merdale’s Cain Din­gle. Maybe most things never change.

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