Updated 18th January 2003

18 December 2002 - 6th January 2003

Emmerdale News & Gossip

Disclaimer: I am not profiting from this, its reproduced solely for the pleasure of fans. All sources are credited.

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Bar Girl Sam a Feastender( Sunday People) 5th January 2003

EASTENDERS star Kim Medcalf admits she has a passion while filming - for snacks in the Queen Vic.

Blonde Kim - barmaid Sam Mitchell - says: "I raid the bar for crisps when I'm feeling peckish."

Kim, who once worked in a pub in her home town of Bromley, Kent, isn't the only star to eat the props.

Sheree Murphy, alias Tricia Dingle in Emmerdale, said: "When it gets to 5pm in the Woolpack we start opening up the crisps behind the bar."

Radio Times 4th January 2003

Soaps by Alison Graham


The Dingle family's money worries are far from eased when Sam the Idiot Boy tries to keep Dingle body and soul together. Sam, who really should not be allowed out without strict supervision, or maybe even an electronic tag, gets involved in a Jack and the Beanstalk-type situation when he goes to town with some money with which to place a bet. He returns home with a goat.

And as the soap police withdraw from the village after the death of Louise's stalker, there's a dancing competition, which sends Emmerdale's elderly population into a frenzy.

BBC Puresoap 31st December 2002

Sheree's "thrilled" over pregnancy

Sheree Murphy and real life hubby Harry Kewell

Emmerdale's Sheree Murphy and footballer husband Harry Kewell are expecting their second child.

The couple said they were "thrilled" at the news and think the baby was conceived on their honeymoon in Fiji, the Daily Star reports. The couple married in Las Vegas in the summer.

The soap's bosses told the newspaper they were "delighted", but the news could be a nightmare for script writers.

During Sheree's first pregnancy, her character Tricia Stokes was written out of the script.
But since then, Tricia has married Marlon Dingle (Mark Charnock) and writers now plan to include the pregnancy in the soap, according to the newspaper.

" We're thrilled to be expecting a second child," Sheree told the Daily Star.
" We're really looking forward to having a baby brother or sister for TJ [Taylor J].
" It's everything Harry and I could want."

Puresoap - Soap Psychic... in Emmerdale
6 - 20 Jan: it shall come to pass

Lucky in lurve!
Laurel puts on lucky pants in preparation for a big night out.
When she stays out all night, Betty realises the pants have worked their magic!

Louise is terrified and guilty. Charity provides her with an alibi.
Scott has a one-night stand with his ex, Chloe.
Jack refuses to play debt collector for Chris Tate and resigns from his job.
Edna's fighting the sexual chemistry between her and Jarvis!

Upcoming Episode Spoilers
- through to 10th January 2003

© Yorkshire Television

Printed with kind permission of the Emmerdale Press Office

Week Beginning Monday 30th December 2003


MONDAY: Louise feels the heat of the police investigation
TUESDAY: Zak leaves Emmerdale for South America
TUESDAY 2: The Dingles try to cope with Zak's departure
THURSDAY: Steph and Nicola fight for the same man
FRIDAY: The gloves are off between Steph and Nicola

Epiosde 3341 - MONDAY 30 DECEMBER 2002 EMMERDALE at 7.00pm

The police presence in the village shows no signs of abating - but their door to door inquiries are only hindering the investigation as it becomes apparent that there is a lot of alcohol fuelled confusion over people's movements on Christmas day.

Louise is starting to feel the heat, though, and it is surely only a matter of time before the net closes in on her and the pressure to confess becomes unbearable.

She anxiously awaits the results from the forensic tests - but they prove to be far from helpful.

The penny finally drops for Lisa and she realises that Zak really does intend to leave the family in search of Jed's hidden loot.

Shell shocked that he would desert them, she berates him for his selfishness. Their heated discussion quickly escalates and Lisa storms out forbidding him to go.

Ahead of the dancing competition, Viv revels in delight as she sees Len and Edna struggle to make any progress.

Edna does not take kindly to mockery, though, and looses her cool as Viv and Bob glide by effortlessly around the hall.

In a desperate plea for help, Len goes to see Jarvis in the hope that he can fix his two left feet in time for the competition - he doesn't want suffer the wrath of Edna anymore.

But former Ballroom Champion Jarvis tells Len to mind his own business and sends him packing!

Paddy and Emily bid a fond farewell to Debbie as she goes back to her adoptive mother Pat. It won't be long before they miss her quirky ways but insist the door is always open.

Episode 3342 - TUESDAY 31 DECEMBER 2002 EMMERDALE @ 7pm

Lisa is angry and unsympathetic as Zak tries to explain that finding Jed's long lost loot is their only chance to put an end to the Dingle debts.

Tossing his argument aside, she frantically tries to make him see sense as he continues to pack his bags. In a last ditch effort to keep the family together, Lisa even gets physical with Zak, but it's all to no avail.

Sam is convinced that he is to join Zak on his big adventure and happily talks of his pending adventure as he joins revellers at the pub.

Little does he realise that Zak plans to go it alone and is happy for him to be out of the way so that he can leave without causing him any pain.

Knows that it is now or never, Zak bids an emotional farewell to Lisa before heading off into the night.

Regretting how he dealt with Len's plea for help, Jarvis tries to make amends and offers to give him dance lessons.

As they practice in the empty village hall, Jarvis admits that he misses dancing - but swears Len to secrecy.

Meanwhile, as the clock ticks down to a good old New Year's Eve knees up in the Woolpack, Nicola and Steph find themselves fighting for the attention of the same man when Syd arrives with his friend Neil in tow at the Woolpack.

But as Steph goes to check on her make-up, Nicola seizes the moment and moves in for the kill.

Elsewhere in the village, Laurel has a fake tan disaster and the police continue to investigate the suspicious death and Louise grows increasingly anxious that the truth will out about the death.

Episode 3343 - TUESDAY 31 DECEMBER AT 8:30 PM (originally meant to air WEDNESDAY 1 JANUARY 2003)

Sam is disbelieving and feels betrayed when he awakes on New Year's Day to discover that Zak has left without him.

But he takes pride from the letter that his dad has left him and is filled with pride when he reads that Zak needs him to be there and stay strong to look after Lisa and Belle.

With a new found confidence, Sam heads for the Woolpack to celebrate taking over the mantle of being head of the Dingle clan!

Lisa struggles to come to terms with the reality of Zak's departure, however, and Cain hits a nerve when he comments that Zak has effectively dumped her.

Still on a high from his dancing lesson, Len is up and about early and grabbing an armful of old records, he makes his way to see Jarvis.

Checking that nobody spots him, he sneaks into his house to continue with his ballroom education.

But they hadn't planned on waking a hungover Edna with their racket and she is soon beating a path next door.

Nicola takes great delight at rubbing Steph's nose in the fact that she spent New Year's Eve in the arms of Neil.

But Steph isn't about to walk away without a fight and decides to throw a spanner in the works.

Betty manages to wangle Laurel a second chance behind the bar but her over eagerness is her downfall and disaster strikes - leaving Diane picking up the pieces.

Episode 3344 - THURSDAY 2 JANUARY 2003 EMMERDALE at 7.00pm
Nicola is determined not to let Neil out of her sight and insists that he join her for dinner later in the day.

But as Syd warns Neil that she can be a bit of a handful, he makes it perfectly clear that he is just out for a bit of fun and isn't looking for a serious relationship.

And Steph comes to his rescue when she ignores Nicola's words of warning to stay away and returns home slightly worse for wear - interrupting Nicola and Neil.

He's grateful for the diversion and makes a sharp exit.

Viv is revelling in the gossip following Zak's departure and speculates on why he would abandon his family.

Lisa is ashamed to find herself lying - unable to reveal the outlandish truth about Zak chasing a lost fortune.

As she and Sam retreat to the Woolpack they are greeted with sniggers and whispering - until Cain makes an unexpected yet dignified defence of his father and the Dingle family.

Laurel is upset after her disastrous efforts behind the bar and Diane is forced to let her down gently.

And Marlon decides to put Tricia under tight surveillance in a bid to make her keep her New year's resolution not to spend money they haven't got!

Episode 3345 - FRIDAY 3 JANUARY 2003 EMMERDALE @ 7pm

Following Cain's defence of the family's reputation in the Woolpack, there is a harmonious unity within the Dingle camp.

Marlon and Charity remember that they are Dingles and - not believing that Zak is on a treasure hunt on the other side of the world - call round to see if Lisa is coping.

Charity even assures Lisa that she won't press for her to pay off their debts immediately, but does make it clear that the money won't be written off for good.

Having won the first round of the battle of wits with Nicola, Steph decides to go for the killer punch and try to steal Nicola's trophy boyfriend.

She convinces him to join her for lunch and delights on being all over him - just as Nicola enters the pub.

The proceeding slanging match between the two women is more than Neil can take and he decides he's had enough - of both women!.

As the police continue to investigate the death, Louise starts to wonder if she can throw the police off the scent.

But paranoid that they may become even more suspicious of her, she drags in an accomplice to help cover her tracks.

And Tricia is suffering from shopping withdrawl as Viv flaunts a new outfit from the January sales.

Week Beginning Monday 6th January 2003


MONDAY: Louise is terrified, as the Police suspect murder
TUESDAY: Viv pulls out the stops to win the dance competition
WEDNESDAY: Len's two left feet lead to a nasty fall -
THURSDAY: It's the day of the big dance competition -
FRIDAY: Rodney is forced to swallow his pride in Emmerdale


Episode 3346

The cracks are starting to appear, as Louise is under immense pressure from the police. They suspect murder and begin to look for a motive.

Louise is terrified as they ask her to meet them at Mill cottage for further questioning. But just the thought of returning the scene of the murder is enough to make her physically sick.

As the police remove the cordon, the cottage is exactly how they left it and bitterly cold.

Blood is still on the stairs, and in her mind's eye the body is still in a dishevelled heap at the bottom - will she ever be free of his haunting image?

As Rodney opens the Antiques Barn for the first time in the New Year, he is determined to turn over a new leaf - one that doesn't includes Steph's bric-a-brac along side his quality merchandise!

But it appears Steph doesn't have the same New Years resolutions, as she has already set up a stall - selling leftover Christmas tat!

The knock-off Christmas decorations are hardly attracting the clientele that Rodney favour, leaving him determined to have her moved on! But his subtle words fall on deaf ears - forcing him to take drastic action!

With the dance competition looming, Len's two left feet haven't improved and Edna is far from happy at the prospects of coming last!

Outside the hall, Jarvis hears the music and can't help but take a peak, he winces when he sees Len's lack of grace and decides to lend a hand.

Meanwhile Laurel is sick of being single - she has a big night out in mind and has her lucky pants on in anticipation, as she goes off clubbing!

Episode 3347


Busybody Viv tries to pull a fast one on Len, convincing him it would be better to drop out of the dance competition, rather than to let Edna down.

Although Jarvis and Edna don't see eye to eye, he isn't prepared to stand back and let Len be bullied.

He offers more dance lessons, determined to get him into shape before the competition - little does he know Len is a hopeless case!

Rivalry is fierce at dance practice. Viv is so determined that she is going to win, she is prepared to put money on it! Not to be outdone or made a fool of, Edna accepts her challenge and a wager is soon in place!

Steph can't believe her eyes when she sees that Rodney has carried out his promise and all of her stock has been thrown out of the antique barn!

For once, her girlish charms have no effect as her appeal falls on deaf ears. But her eviction brings worse news for Nicola - as Dale View is now home to a stack of outdated Christmas decorations.

Betty's worried that Laurels lucky pants have worked a little too well - her bed hasn't been slept in all night!

And things still aren't looking up for the Dingles who lurch from one financial struggle after another. It doesn't help matters when Cain hands Lisa the TV licence fine!

Episode 3348


Betty is intrigued by her Edna's stubborn enthusiasm for the dance contest and it is clear she is more determined than ever to win it.

Finally admitting her reputation, and money, is on the line, Edna is even prepared to put her strong morals aside to get the better of Viv Hope - putting Len under more pressure than ever!

Len thinks all the extra tuition has paid off until his confidence gets the better of him as he tries a tricky move and his ankle buckles - throwing them both to the floor!

The Dingle's financial problems are escalating and Charity continues to hold the deeds to their house to cover the debts they owe her.

Lisa swallows her pride and accepts another loan from Charity, much to the rest of the family's distaste. Cain is furious and decides to take matters into his own hand and pays her a visit at Home Farm.

Laurel is worried her mobile is on the blink when she hasn't had a call from her new man, Paul. Betty is worried she is setting herself up for a fall after their one-night-stand.

Meanwhile Emmerdale hasn't seen the last of Steph's Christmas tat as she decides to rival Rodney's trade in the form of a car boot sale!

Episode 3349


Len hasn't got the heart to tell Edna he won't be competing in the dance competition and her archenemy, Jarvis, will be taking his place!

He tentatively tries to broach the subject, but at the first mention of Jarvis's name Edna begins spitting feathers!

Cowardly assuring Edna he is fine to compete, Len tells her to get changed as they are going to the competition after all!

Len fears for his life, as he anticipates the wrath of Edna, when she claps eyes on Jarvis with his dancing shoes on.

Will Edna go through with the competition, or will her stubborn streak prevail and let Viv win the competition?

Sam has been trying his best come up with some cash to save the Dingle clan from financial ruin. But betting tips from Seth has lost him practically his entire life savings!

With his last few pennies Sam decides to try his luck again in the bookies and his luck finally changes for the better and he lands a big winner.

News quickly spreads of Sam's win at the bookies and the Dingles' all gather eagerly to see the colour of his money! But they are in for a shock…

Times are tough at the Antiques Barn as the customers seem to have disappeared since Steph left. With no cash flowing through the tills, Rodney is forced to lay Danny off.

Later in the village, entrepreneur Steph takes Danny on as a new recruit with the intention of setting up stalls for an Emmerdale car-boot sale the following day.

Episode 3350


Steph's car boot sale is a roaring success while Rodney's antiques barn is empty. He is miffed as there isn't a soul about, compared to the hustle and bustle that is gathering around the stalls in the street.

Danny and Steph are having great fun parting people with their cash, they agree to bury the hatchet and let bygones be bygones.

Rodney is forced to swallow his pride and accept that Steph did enhance his profit margins. They come to an agreement to work with each other again - with Danny in tow.

Being Farm Manager, Jack has been given the gruelling task of debt collecting on the Tate's behalf. Wilf Butler is three months behind with his rent and Chris is in no mood to be charitable.

Brian also gets a shock when he experiences Chris's mood first hand. He finds himself jobless after an attempt to negotiate a better salary!

Cain thinks he has the answers to the Dingle's prayers. Having stolen a van full of hens destined for a battery farm - he reckons that they will provide more income than Sam's offering!

The dance competition saga is still strong in the memory of Len, while Edna is forced to see Javis in a new light.


Media Guardian

Top Fifteen Programmes of 2002
December 31 2002
Section: Broadcast

1. Only Fools and Horses, BBC1, 16.3m
2. EastEnders, BBC1, 16m
3. Coronation Street, ITV1, 15m
4. Pop Idol Final, ITV1, 13.3m
5. Jubilee 2000: Party at the Palace, BBC1, 12.54m
6. World Cup: England v Brazil, BBC1, 12.5m
7. World Cup: England v Denmark, BBC1, 12.47m
8. Auf Wiedsersehen, Pet BBC1, 12.4m
9. A Touch of Frost, ITV1, 12.37m
10. World Cup: England v Sweden, ITV1, 12.2m
11. ... , ITV1, 11.6m
14. Emmerdale, ITV1, 11.3m
15. I'm a Celebrity... Get me Out of Here!...

BBC Puresoap 30th December 2002

Charity to give fake alibi

Emma Atkins who plays Charity

Emmerdale's Charity is to give barmaid Louise Appleton a fake alibi to cover the night on which she accidentally killed her stalker boyfriend Ray Mullan.

Charity (Emma Atkins) believe she is helping Louise (Emily Symons) in her bid to avoid a murder charge, but detectives see through the tale and charge Louise, according to the Daily Star.

" Perhaps Louise should have just told police the truth instead of covering up what happened and trying to make the death look accidental," an Emmerdale insider told the newspaper.

" She would probably have been able to plead self-defence given the ordeal Ray put her through. Now it doesn't look good at all for her."

Louise also has to face Ray's criminal friends who arrive in Emmerdale wanting answers as to how he died.

" They make it a frightening time," the insider added.

The Sun 30th December 2002

Zak & Lisa holding Belle


Mon, New Year's Eve, Thurs, & Fri ITV1

ZAK leaves Emmerdale to try to find the lost family fortune in Chile.

It's a devastating time for Lisa and Sam as Zak goes off alone. Lisa can't believe Zak is really making the trip, while Sam is shattered because he thought he was going too.

"Zak doesn't really want to go," says Steve Halliwell, who plays the reluctant treasure hunter. "But the family is in real financial trouble.

"Zak is not sure whether to believe that his father Jed left a fortune from a long-forgotten bank raid in a Santiago bank. But there's a chance it's true, and Zak is an optimist."

When Lisa realises Zak is not joking about his trip, she is dead against it, telling him he is selfish.

Zak tries to convince her the money could be their only chance to save the family, but Lisa doesn't agree and she admits to Sam that she is afraid Zak won't come back.

Poor Sam believes he will be going with Zak. "But Zak knows he has to do this alone," says Steve. "He doesn't want to hurt Sam and leaves him a note explaining that in his absence Sam is now head of the family.

"Lisa comes round a little as Zak says an emotional goodbye to her and little Belle. They might be an odd couple but I think Zak and Lisa love each other very deeply. Leaving her is hard for him."

Sam is shocked to find his father gone, but is boosted by being appointed new head of the family. He and Cain look in an atlas and trace Zak's journey.

Lisa, however, misses Zak very much and is hurt when Cain says it looks as if he has dumped her.

But Cain stops sneering as whispers begin that Zak has walked out on the family. He tells The Woolpack that the Dingles are very much united.


LOUISE struggles to stay calm as the police look into Ray's death. She is riddled with guilt and uncertainty as the questioning gets closer and closer to finding out the truth.

Terry encourages her to keep cool, but she is terrified the police will find out Ray was her stalker. Desperate to stop the police learning she had a motive to kill him, Louise and Terry decide to stage a new stalking incident.

"Louise is living a nightmare," says Emily Symons, who plays the traumatised landlady. "She really loved Ray and trusted him totally, so it was a terrible shock to find out he was the one driving her out of her mind. His rage that she was being stalked was so convincing Louise was totally taken in.

"She has not been lucky with men in her life but believed she'd really got it right, for once, with Ray."

Gossip about the killer's identity sweeps through the village and the police know Ray's shady dealings had him in contact with dangerous people. The post mortem shows Ray died of a broken neck and a policewoman tells Louise the evidence suggests his fall may not have been accidental.

"Louise is sure her guilt is written all over her face," says Emily. "She hates herself for putting on a grieving girlfriend routine, but can't change her story now and is desperate to avoid prison.

"Terry is a real friend as she tries to come to terms with everything. Louise feels awful that she was so horrible to him when she thought he was the stalker.

"She is shaking with fear as they prepare to stage another stalker incident. It's the most frightening experience of her life."

Also this week :

Seth catches Jarvis dancing with Len.
Edna is on the warpath over noisy neighbours.
Debbie gives Paddy and Emily good advice
on being parents.
Nicola and Steph fight over newcomer Neil.
Laurel causes more mayhem behind the bar.
Marlon and Tricia struggle with their New Year resolutions.

Reality bites 27th December 2002
Rupert Youngman on an unreal year for reality TV
Not since Michael Palin asked if K-K-

K-Ken was going to k-k-k-kill him in A Fish Called Wanda has a stammer used up so much heat and light.

The poor talker is, of course, pop puppy Gareth Gates, who in spite of finishing second in the Pop Idol stakes went on to have a few hits.

He also sang a cover of an Elvis track for a cartoon movie and, if The Pelvis is indeed dead, he was surely rocking and rolling in his rhinestone grave.

G-G-Gareth also became surely the first singer in history to mime the “ad libs” between songs, but actually sing on the tracks.

Meanwhile, Widemouth Will Young, the Pop Idol winner, stuck out his jutting jaw a little further and sang some pretty songs, prettily.

Serial reality TV hopeful Darius Danesh lost out again, but still had a No1 hit with Colourblind, a bland tune he wrote himself, thus explaining why the rest of them sing karaoke versions of old songs…sorry , covers.

Pop Idol went on to become Popstars: The Rivals, a hunt for five girls and five boys.

The search is over, and Girls Aloud and One True Voice have emerged (briefly) from the mess.

The show also saw Pete Waterman and Louis Walsh affect a mutual distaste for each other. It was weak stuff and led to accusations of it all being a put-up job.

If it was, then the hit-makers were better actors than the bunch who won the Soap Stars contest.

They appeared in Emmerdale for a few episodes as a family. They soon broke up on-screen, and then fell back into oblivion off it. Where are they now? Answer: Where are who?

But the reality TV movement began and ended with Big Brother.

A girl called Kate won the prole version of the show, beating a bunch of vain, posturing prigs and braggarts.

A whiny boy called Alex took an obsession with hygiene to new heights, while a girl called Jade took stupidity to new depths – and both opened the door of the house with a ‘career’ in showbiz ahead of them.

Thankfully, by the time they had closed the door the public had forgotten who they were and a lifetime of richly- deserved obscurity awaits.

The celebrity version was even poorer. Les Dennis and a few others went through the motions, but the viewers soon began to lose interest.

Newcomer to the Reality TV scene was I’m A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here, which transported eight D- listers to the Australian jungle and showered them in poisonous spiders.

Sadly, all survived to tell the tale (at excruciating length) to anyone who would listen. And for a few days in the autumn the papers were full of a tiff between Darren Day and Tara Palmer-Tomkinson.

Reality TV is a good idea, but if you turn the telly off, it is all around you. Who needs untalented losers when there is a perfectly good bathroom mirror only yards away?

Oh, and Fame Academy was bloody awful.

Jim Shelley on last night's big TV battle (Daily Mirror)
WHEN it comes to their Christmas Day extravaganzas, to be honest, I don't know why the other soaps bother.

The emotionally gruelling EastEnders Experience is now as traditional a part of Christmas Day as The Queen's Speech or Del and Rodney. But even then, few can have been as dramatic and draining as yesterday's episodes.

You might have thought Little Mo and Billy getting married, Anthony's menage-a-trois with Zoe and her muvver Kat, and Laura being chucked out for getting herself pregnant (by Garry) would have been enough.

EAST GOES WEST: Sonia comforts Jamie on his deathbed

But these were in fact just minor diversions unfolding against the backdrop of Sonia's beside vigil with Jamie.

Yes, Jamie finally pegged it! On Christmas Day! Have they no heart?

Jamie started to realise something was up when everyone - including the two tormentors in his life, Phil and Billy - were being nice to him, kissing him on the forehead as if he were an Italian gangster, albeit one in a casket.

"There's no 'ope," sobbed Phil.

"There's always 'ope, darlin'," cooed Peggy, but Phil was right.

Phil hugged Billy. Sonia hugged Phil. Robbie was almost sensible. Even Jamie worked out there was obviously something wrong.

Suddenly, Jamie was endlessly making speeches, cramming in the dialogue while he could, asking Sonia about Jesus ("do you fink Jesus was a real bloke?" Sonia: "I hope so"), talking about his mum dying and appearing as a star.

A dream about marrying Sonia polished him off.

As an antidote to Jamie's deathbed, the beautiful spite of Ian and Laura's marriage breaking up was like light relief, with Ian in the unaccustomed position of being the Good Guy for once.

"Do you really think I want to have a baby with you ?" he sneered, looking up into the sky and the rain running into his tears.

It was all about Jamie, though.

The real brilliance of his demise - written by Tony Graham (the 6.20pm episode) and Carey Andrews (the 9.05) - was Phil and Sonia's dilemma as to whether to tell Jamie he was dying, a quandry we could all relate to. (Would you have told him? Would you want to know ?)

By half past nine, as Billy and Little Mo reached the altar, a gospel choir broke into a melancholic version of Stand By Me. Sonia declared: "I luff you," and Jamie flat-lined.

One last outburst of primeval panic from Sonia and he was gone, leaving a nation sobbing into their paper hats.

It wiped the floor with Coronation Street's tame 70-minute special which, if anything, was less eventful than its recent Richard- orientated fare. Making a bid for the Worst Dressed Character In Soap, Tracy Barlow turned up to pull Dev's Christmas cracker - much as her mother had done last year.

"Makes you wonder if the Christmas Fairy isn't casting a spell," Dev said - "isn't" being the operative word.

Richard, snaking his way in to the ailing Emily's affections, was, as ever, excellent, but he was (disappointingly) thwarted in his intention of polishing Emily off with a pillow when Mrs Thatcher/Rita turned up.

You can't help thinking Emily would never have lived to tell the tale if she'd been in Albert Square.

Events in Emmerdale at least showed they're getting the hang of how to do Christmas. (Copy EastEnders.) It was well disguised but it always pretty obvious Louise's stalker was Ray. It wasn't going to be the chief suspect Terry and there weren't any others. (Seth Armstrong? Zak Dingle? I don't think so.)

Ray is one of those soap bad boys who was (supposedly) mysteriously transformed into a nice guy, but had been a night club gangster, stolen cars racketeer, illegal immigrant smuggler.

After Louise had worked out it was him by picking up her own message on his mobile, Ray did his best to put some excitement into Christmas, with a mix of Othello, Cape Fear and Halloween.

"I don't know what you're so upset about!" he complained. "You should be pleased that someone loves you so much." "You sent me a wreath!" Louise felt obliged to mention.

After an impressive car-crash, Louise ran back to a blacked-out, doom-laden village, eerily empty of residents. (The residents had all gone to the Tates' after a power-cut.)

Ray raised himself from the dead and, covered in blood, staggered into the living room like some kind of Irish zombie.

But whatever he did, whatever he had done, the day belonged to the more mundane, more moving effect of Sonia and her tears.

Newly Added 18th January 2003


Sheree: Carribean Christmas

Sheree: being dumped made my Crimbo
By TV Plus reporters

Emmerdale favourite Sheree Murphy was once dumped by a boyfriend at Christmas - but said it was her best festive season ever.

"This relationship I was in ended and I couldn't face staying around at Christmas when everyone else was having a good time," said Sheree, 27, who plays dizzy Tricia.

"My friend was singing on a cruise ship, so I went to the Caribbean for three weeks. I was sipping cocktails, having Christmas dinner in the blazing heat. It was great."

These days though Sheree's a homebird and is married to super-rich Leeds United striker Harry Kewell. The couple have a baby son, Taylor.

"I do like a traditional Christmas at home in Yorkshire, and that's where I'll be this year," she told TV Plus. "Harry has to leave at 4pm on Christmas Day to play a game. It's a shame but I'm used to it."

However, the actress will be surrounded by family when her husband has to go to work.

"We had Harry's family over last year from Australia so it's my family's turn this time around," she said.

"He's from Sydney but I've not been over there yet. I've always wanted to go, always, even before I met Harry. Now I'm married to an Australian and I've never even been, but I'll get there eventually."


Emily swaps sun for snow
By TV Plus reporters

Emily: Home or away?

A log fire, snow and Christmas lights twinkling in the dark... or a sun-drenched beach in Australia?

That's the tough choice faced by Emmerdale's Emily Symons every year, who has swapped a life in Sydney for the cold climates of Yorkshire.

Emily, 33, shot to fame as dippy Marilyn in Aussie soap Home And Away.

She now plays Woolpack landlady Louise Appleton, currently at the centre of a terrifying stalker plot. She talks to us about her festive season.

The Christmas that really stands out in her mind is the first one she ever spent in the UK.

"I didn't really know anybody and was doing my first panto, I was really nervous," says Emily.

"A girl I went to school with was over here and she invited me to spend the day at her parents'.

"They live in this glorious house, they were the kindest family and it was snowing. It was my English Christmas fantasy."

A Jason Donovan mug was one of the gifts given to Emily on that first ever Christmas Day in Britain.

She says she was overwhelmed by Christmas in the cold climate of Yorkshire.

"There was a Christmas tree, with all the presents under it. I was given cards and a Jason Donovan mug, and there was a beautifully-dressed table with a three-course lunch. We all sang carols, it was magical really."

The hectic pace of Emmerdale means Emily Symons misses out on having Christmas at home down under.

"My last memories of Christmas at home would be getting up in the morning and making sure my brother didn't get as many presents as me.

"Then I'd wake my mum and dad up, open the presents and then my mum used to cook a lunch for all of the rellies. And we'd go in our next-door neighbour's pool for the afternoon."


What's on Emily's Christmas list?

Emily Symons has no hesitation as to what will top her Christmas list this year.

"I want a Joseph coat," she says excitedly. "A long, really woolly one, and Tiffany diamond earrings - all the things I can't afford.

"But no, in real life, I really like kind of boring presents, like lovely jamees (pajamas) and slippers, and books. Although the diamond earrings would make a nice change and they'd definitely make my day special."

Before Emily found fame as Emmerdale's Louise, she was married to Flathead in Home And Away. She played dizzy beautician Marilyn on and off for 11 years.

"The main difference between both soaps is obviously the temperature," she says. "And in Emmerdale, the pace is much faster. In Australia we had a rehearsal day, we don't have that here. They work so fast."

So what made Emily kiss the sun-drenched shores of Australia goodbye and move to Yorkshire?

"Everyone over here is weather-obsessed," she laughs. "It's beautiful here. I don't mind the cold. I really love the Sunday woolly jumper thing where you come in, light a log fire and have a hot drink.

"I'm half English, my dad's English. I didn't know what to expect when I came to Emmerdale, but the cast have been more than friendly and kind."

And Emily says she has no plans to move back to Sydney because she loves Britain so much.

"I'm very happy here," she says. "I say never say never, because nothing I plan works out, but I don't know where I'm going to end up."

The 33-year-old actress is now getting her teeth into a meaty Christmas storyline.

Her character Louise has a stalker and things are due to get dark and intense...


Christmas Ratings

BBC dominates Christmas viewing
Seven of the top 10 Christmas Day television shows were screened on BBC One, according to figures released on Boxing Day.

The BBC also had the lion's share of viewing of an eighth, with 6.5 million choosing to watch the Queen's Speech on BBC One instead of ITV1.

The most popular Christmas show was the final Only Fools And Horses, which had 16.3 million viewers.

The 90-minute special, screened at 2140 GMT, pulled in 68% of viewers.

But it still had four million fewer than the episode screened last Christmas, which was the first new episode for five years and shown in an earlier time slot.


Only Fools And Horses - 16.3 million - BBC One

EastEnders (2105 GMT)
- 16 million - BBC One

Coronation Street -
13.3 million - ITV1

EastEnders (1815 GMT)
- 12.4 million - BBC One

News (1800 GMT) -
10.8 million - BBC One

Emmerdale - 10.3
million - ITV1

Queen's Speech - 9.3
million (6.5 million - BBC One, 2.8 million - ITV1)

Chicken Run - 9.1
million - BBC One

French And Saunders -
8.7 million - BBC One

My Family - eight
million - BBC One
Figures will rise when
video recordings are taken into account.

BBC One controller Lorraine Heggessey said: "It is no surprise Fools And Horses remains the UK's most popular Christmas treat.

"The script and performances were terrific. Del Boy and Rodney are national treasures."

EastEnders was the second biggest show of the day, according to unofficial overnight figures, with 16 million tuning in to the later edition to see Jamie Mitchell's death.

Coronation Street, 2000's top Christmas show, was in third place, with fellow ITV1 soap opera Emmerdale in sixth position.

An ITV spokesman said: "ITV's soaps were on top form, with Emmerdale and Coronation Street attracting bigger audiences than last year.

"There is much more for viewers to look forward to next year."

The Queen's Speech had the seventh biggest ratings.

Reversing the trend of falling viewing figures, 9.3 million watched - 600,000 more than in 2001.

Of those watching the speech, the first to have been given a trailer, 6.5 million were watching on BBC One, - 700,000 more than in 2001.

BBC One attracted 44.6% of peak-time viewers - from 1800 GMT to 2230 GMT - down 6% on 2001. ITV1 pulled in 32.7%.

Across the whole day, BBC One attracted 38.8% against ITV1's 24.2%.

Ms Heggessey said she was thrilled.

"But we do not measure our success in ratings alone," she added.

"It is about offering the best family Christmas in a rich and varied schedule with great British comedians and entertainers that viewers of all ages can enjoy together."

Only Fools and Horses was UK's most watched (Irish Examiner)
Only Fools And Horses was again the biggest show on the box in Britain, with 16.3 million tuning in to see Del Boy and Rodney’s final scam – although it was down four million on the previous Christmas.

The show pulled in 63% of viewers for the 90-minute special, screened at 9.40pm, and led the BBC’s domination of TV viewing, which saw it take much of the top ten shows.

The BBC said last year’s outing of the Peckham pair may have fared better due to the earlier time slot and the huge sense of anticipation, as it was the first new Only Fools for five years.

EastEnders was the second biggest show of the day, according to unofficial overnight figures, with 16 million tuning in to the later edition to see the traditional seasonal misery. Among the grim treats for viewers was Jamie Mitchell’s death.

Coronation Street – the most watched show at Christmas two years ago – was in third place with fellow ITV1 soap Emmerdale in sixth position.

The BBC has traditionally won the battle to grab viewers who are slumped in front of the festive TV. BBC1 pulled in 44.6% of viewers in peak time (6pm to 10.30pm) – down 6% on last year – compared with ITV1’s 32.7%. And it had 38.8% of viewing for the whole day, against ITV1’s 24.2%.

The final Only Fools saw the Trotters – played by David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst – heading to France to scatter the ashes of Uncle Albert. On their return the duo manage to pick up an illegal immigrant.

Viewing figures will rise when video recordings are taken into account.
Top ten programmes:
1. Only Fools And Horses – 16.3 million (BBC1).
2. EastEnders (9.05pm) – 16 million (BBC1).
3. Coronation Street – 13.3 million (ITV1).
4. EastEnders (6.15pm) – 12.4 million (BBC1).
5. News (6pm) – 10.8 million (BBC1).
6. Emmerdale – 10.3 million (ITV1).
7. Queen’s Speech – 9.3 million (BBC1 – 6.5, ITV1 – 2. .
8. Chicken Run – 9.1 million (BBC1).
9. French And Saunders – 8.7 million (BBC1).
10. My Family – 8 million (BBC1).

Your'e a plunger Rodney
Queen's special message is 9.3m viewing hit Xmas Only Fools is 4m down
By Nicola Methven, TV Editor

THE TV audience for the Queen's traditional Christmas message increased for the first time in more than a decade.

But Only Fools And Horses attracted four million fewer viewers than last year, figures revealed yesterday.

It was still Christmas Day's top show - for the second year running - with 16.3 million viewers switching on.

The BBC admitted that last year's outing of Del Boy and Rodney Trotter may have fared better because of its earlier time slot and the huge sense of anticipation - it was the first new Only Fools for five years.

A combined audience of 9.3 million - up 600,000 on last year - watched the Queen's 3pm address to the nation on both BBC1 and ITV1.

The boost will delight the Queen as she comes to the end of her Golden Jubilee Year, in which the celebrations for her 50 year reign were tinged with sorrow at the deaths of both her sister Princess Margaret and her mother.

The speech made it to No7 in the Christmas Day Top 10 list - despite being down on the 10.1 million viewers who watched on Christmas Day 2000, and a huge drop from the 17.9 million who tuned in 10 years ago.

Only Fools - the second of three comeback specials starring David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst - helped the BBC to a resounding victory over ITV in the battle for festive ratings.

Eight of the top 10 shows on Christmas Day were screened on BBC1.

The second episode of EastEnders, in which Jamie Mitchell died and Little Mo married Billy Mitchell, came in a close second with 16 million viewers.

ITV1 soaps Coronation Street (13.3 million) and Emmerdale (10.3 million) also proved popular with viewers. Corrie, the most watched show at Christmas two years ago, was in third place with Emmerdale in sixth - but elsewhere ITVs programmes were struggling.

BBC1's family film Chicken Run proved a hit with 9.1 million viewers.

But the same couldn't be said for Cilla Black's Celebrity Blind Date, which managed just 3.2 million against the news on BBC1 with 10.8 million. Chris Tarrant also suffered a ratings slump this year with a mere 4.9 million people watching his celebrity Who Wants to be A Millionaire, less than half of last year's audience.

BBC1 controller Lorraine Heggessey said last night: "I'm thrilled that viewers decided to spend Christmas with BBC1, but we don't measure our success in ratings alone. It's about offering the best family Christmas in a rich and varied schedule with great British comedians and entertainers that viewers of all ages can enjoy together."

An ITV spokesperson said: "Both Emmerdale and Coronation Street attracted bigger audiences than last year. It's great to see them finishing the year so strongly."

Billy and Little Mo marry in EastEnders 2 at 9.05pm

Corrie serial killer Richard sneaks up on dozing Emily

Ian Beale pours wine for pregnant love rat Laura

Hugh Edwards reading the 6pm news on BBC1

BBC Puresoap 24th December 2002

Soap Psychic... in Emmerdale
31Dec - 13 Jan: it shall come to pass

All's fair...
Nicola and Steph both take a shine to Syd's mate Neil. Nicola moves in for the kill while Steph's in the ladies. (You don't get that in Big Cat Diary!) Steph's livid!

I saw him first!

Laurel puts on her lucky pants, goes out on the razz - and pulls! (Betty's shocked she's been a dirty stop out!)
Andy and Katie open a joint post office account, (Bless!)
Chris makes Jack collect rent from a struggling farmer.


Steph and Nicola - Will Steph's plans go down the drain too?

Will Steph's plans go down the drain too?
© Yorkshire Television 2002

BBC Puresoap 21st December 2002

Louise to show her vulnerable side
Emmerdale's Louise Appleton is facing more heartache in 2003.

Emmerdale producer Steve Frost told Inside Soap that viewers will see the more vulnerable side of Louise, played by Emily Symons, who has been hounded by a stalker.
Mr Frost told the magazine: "What we really want to see in the aftermath of the whole stalking storyline is the breakdown of Louise - to really get that mascara running and the hair ruffled!"

The Dingles also face a bleak New Year, but it will give Lisa a chance to show her fighting spirit.

Mr Frost added: "Rather than being crushed by Zak's absence, Lisa will take on the mantle of head of the family. Cain Dingle will also be central to the action - following Angie Reynolds' death, he's a real loose cannon, trapped in a world of pain.

" But there will be a new love interest for him, which will be a long-running story. And of-course, Zoe Tate will be having her baby, but we'll hold off from revealing to her that Scott Windsor is the father - we want to wait for the right moment for that one!"

Mr Frost also revealed that a new family is set to arrive in the village in the spring and he's keen they make the right impact.

He added: "Obviously, the Soapstars family didn't do as well as we hoped. So we are nervous, because bringing a new family in is always very difficult, and there's a lot riding on this one.

" But we've done plenty of groundwork, and spent lots of time on the casting process. I really want to keep the heart, warmth and comedy of the show alive, so we'll be bringing new characters in to sustain that, rather than change it."

Girls Aloud Guru Helps City Singer With Album
From the Evening Express

16:00 - 21 December 2002

A special Aberdeen pupil could follow in the footsteps of an all-girl pop band racing to take the Christmas number one spot.

Pop guru Louis Walsh - the manager behind Girls Aloud - is to help Jenna Cameron with her own album.

Jenna, 13, who is fighting a rare liver cancer, is busy putting together her first album.

Earlier this year she released a single which raised thousands for children with leukaemia.

As she makes preparations for her album, Jenna is hoping to get a helping hand from the cream of the country's record industry.

And they don't come much bigger than Louis Walsh.

The Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow Trust approached Louis asking for help.

And his company, which is behind some of the biggest names in the UK music industry, could soon help make Jenna's dreams come true.

The Louis team have written back saying they would be happy to help.

Jenna's mum, Susan Evans, of Hilton, said she was delighted.

"They said they would help in some way, but we don't yet know what they are going to do. They may just give us advice on the album, but even that would be a huge bonus.

"Louis Walsh is a big name in the industry."

Louis has only one thing on his mind this week - he'll find out if Girls Aloud have sold enough copies of their single Sounds of the Underground to secure the Christmas number one slot.

Louis, who is behind Westlife, Boyzone and Samantha Mumba, was one of the judges on ITV's Pop Stars: The Rivals, which created Girls Aloud.

The show produced two rival groups - a girl and boy band. They are competing in the race to top the Christmas chart.

Meanwhile the Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow Trust is holding the North-east's very own Pop Idols contest in March next year.

Jenna will be one of the judges to select the final groups who will perform in front of the cast from TV soap Emmerdale in June.

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