Updated 30th March 2003

1st March 2003 - 31st March 2003

Emmerdale News & Gossip

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Spoilers from 31st March - 4th April 2003


Week Beginning Monday 31st March 2003

MONDAY: Viv shares her troubles with strangers to Bob’s horror
TUESDAY: Marlon and Tricia await the results of their pregnancy test
WEDNESDAY: Bob decides to have it out with Viv’s lover
THURSDAY: Donna is rushed to hospital after a drinking bout
FRIDAY: -Viv is concerned for her daughters health as her behaviour seems out of control

Episode 3406 MONDAY 31 MARCH 2003

EMMERDALE at 7.00pm Fully Networked

Still at a loss as to how to get her marriage back on track, Viv realises that she must change and enrols for a self-help class to improve her blunt manner.

But she hasn’t planned on the councillors uncovering some deep routed anxiety that could ultimately be responsible for her rocky relationships with men.

Viv is desperate to tell Bob about her progress, but Bob is horrified to learn that his wife has decided to tell a group of strangers all about their disastrous marriage.

To make matters worse, she proceeds to tell him that she’d like him to join her for the next session!

But while everybody believes Bob will get over Viv’s infidelity, he is not so sure. He confides in Dawn that he is still disheartened and admits he doesn’t think his relationship with Viv will ever recover.

Debbie has been on cloud nine since her day at Home Farm with Charity. Emily is quick to bring her back down to earth, though, with her responsibilities at home.

Emily does her best to be happy for Debbie’s blossoming relationship with her mother, but is surprised by Charity’s sudden flexibility towards her daughter.

Newlyweds Dawn and Terry are horrified to discover that they have unintentionally given their new neighbours Marlon and Tricia sleepless nights.

But Tricia clearly has more on her plate than a sleepless night and takes Dawn aside to confide a secret.

Elsewhere in the village its Victoria’s birthday and Jack struggles to compete with the present Walter, her imaginary friend, gave her.

Episode 3407 TUESDAY 1 APRIL 2003

EMMERDALE @ 7pm Fully Networked

Its April fool’s day and Terry is far from impressed when he finds Marlon has been playing pranks at his expense.

Meanwhile Viv tries to practice her self-help techniques on passers by. It doesn’t quite have the desired effect, however, and Tricia fobs her off thinking that she has finally lost the plot.

Bob has reluctantly agreed to attend Viv’s new classes in the hope it will cure her personality defect.

As the session begins, though, he gets cold feet when all the ‘positive energy’ becomes too much. Realising it isn’t for him, Bob storms out much to Viv’s horror.

Things don’t improve when Viv arrives home only to discover that Donna has a new piercing. Will Viv’s anger management pay dividends?

Tricia’s attempts to find out is she is pregnant don’t go as planned as she mistakenly drops the test down the toilet.

Marlon gets a shock when he finds the empty pregnancy kit packaging discarded at home. Convinced it is Terry’s idea of a practical joke he goes to investigate, but is confused when his pal knows nothing about it.

When he catches up with Tricia she has had more success with the second test and Marlon is keen to find out the result. But will it be baby news or baby blues for the unsuspecting couple?

Having spent the evening with Diane celebrating Victoria’s birthday, Jack is not sure where he stands. Unbeknown to him Diane is starting to ask herself the very same question.

Later that evening they both tiptoe around each other in the Woolpack, neither bold enough to pluck up the courage to question how the other feels.

Episode 3408 WEDNESDAY 02 APRIL 2003

EMMERDALE at 7.00pm Fully Networked

Bob gets a harebrained idea and convinces himself that he could perhaps forgive Viv if he knew that Matti the limo-driver was a womaniser.

He and Terry book the unsuspecting chauffeur to take them for a “drive” while Bob gets menacing and interrogates him over his behaviour.

As they embark on the drive form hell, Matti fears for his life as Bob gives him the third degree over his love life hoping the he will admit to being a serial adulterer.

But Matti doesn’t have the answers that Bob is looking for and he is left resorting to desperate measures to understand Viv’s actions!

Marlon and Tricia sit down to re-evaluate their lives and plans for the future after the results of the pregnancy test.

All the baby talk has got them thinking and they decide a new edition to the Dingles’ wouldn’t be such a bad idea after all.

Meanwhile in the Woolpack Jack has plucked up the courage to ask Diane out on a date, but just before he can pop the question someone else jumps in before him and he is amazed when she accepts.

Episode 3409 THURSDAY 03 APRIL 2003

EMMERDALE at 7.00pm Fully Networked

Viv can’t believe her ears when Bob tells her their marriage is over and walks out the door for good.

She is distraught and quickly forgets everything she has learnt in her self-help sessions – picking up a pair of scissors and taking them with a vengeance to one of Bob’s suits!

Absorbed in her own problems, Viv hasn’t noticed the effect that her strife is having on those around her and fails to spot Donna sneak out a load of alcohol from the shop.

As the youngsters gather down by the pavilion to play spin the bottle, Donna has decided to escape the marital problems at home and is determined to drown her sorrows.

She doesn’t take kindly to rejection, however, and as the game continues she consumes more and more alcohol despite Katie’s warning to slow down.

Unconcerned by Katie’s words, Donna sinks her drink at a pace before passing out – claiming to have taken some pills.

Elaine is quick to drag Viv from the depths of despair as she informs her they have had to call an ambulance for Donna.

As the crowds gather around the cricket pavilion, Donna is stretchered into the ambulance unconscious.

Amongst the crowds Viv and Bob’s eyes meet - their own problems suddenly seeming so insignificant.

When all the panic dies down Jack finds a moment alone with Diane. Once again he plucks up the courage to ask her about her intentions for him and is surprised by the answer!

With their thoughts turning to the idea of starting a family, Marlon and Tricia think about the implications.

Marlon is worried about money as he can only just about cover Tricia’s spending habits as it is. Realising that must change, he decides he will need a pay rise if they are going to have an edition to the family.


Episode 3410 FRIDAY 04 APRIL 2003

EMMERDALE @ 7pm Fully Networked

Having been discharged from the hospital after a night of observation, Donna surfaces with the hangover from hell.

Luckily suffering from nothing more than a sore head from all the booze, Viv and Bob confront Donna about her actions, berating her for drinking heavily and telling everyone she had taken some pills.

Donna can’t explain why she told everyone she had taken an overdose, but her cry for help seems to have worked.

Viv and Bob are speaking again and have agreed to try to get the family back on track - until he finds his wedding suit torn to shreds in the bin. Will things ever go right for the couple again?

It’s payday for Mack as Syd hands over his share of the money from the building work at the Marsdens.

Knowing full well that he owes his whole wage packet to Turner, Mack turns a blind eye to his responsibilities and goes to the pub instead.

But unfortunately for Mack, Turner is lying in wait in the pub and demands to know where his overdue rent is. Not wanting to part with the cash, Mack lies and claims that he is still penniless.

Still feeling sorry for him, Edna finds out there is work that needs to be done on the village hall roof and is convinced it will be the answer to all his worries.

Elsewhere in the village Debbie has been busy all afternoon making a present. Emily is chuffed when she thinks it’s for her until Debbie reveals it’s for Charity.

The Sun 31st March 2003

Bob and Matti have it out


Weekdays ITV1

CHEATING Viv Hope wants nothing more than for her husband, Bob, to forgive and forget her fling with a limo driver. Bob, however, is not in the mood to show mercy.

He’s determined to give Viv a hard time and wreak revenge.

“Bob really loves Viv,” says Tony Audenshaw, who plays the cheated husband. “That’s why he was so devastated when he learned she’d been unfaithful.”

Terry tries to comfort his friend by insisting Viv’s limo driver lover, Matti, is a womaniser. Bob hits on an idea. He books the limo and when it arrives, he and a reluctant Terry bundle Matti into the back.

Bob then demands the Lothario tells him about his session with Viv.

“Matti the driver is scared he is going to get thumped by Bob again,” says Tony. “He admits Viv said it was just a one-off because she loved her husband. The fling didn’t count.

“Bob decides if flings don’t count then he’ll have one himself, and he bursts into the pub searching for a willing partner. But, he can’t bring himself to be unfaithful to Viv.”

Viv begs Bob for a second chance but he insists their marriage is over. The next day, they receive the news that Donna, Viv’s daughter, has collapsed - and her friends
think she’s taken an overdose.

“That puts the row in perspective,” says Tony. “Viv sobs that Donna has tried to kill herself and, naturally, Bob comforts her.

“It’s soon clear that Donna hasn’t taken an overdose - it was a cry for help and attention.”

One good thing does emerge from Donna’s collapse, though. “The scare brings Bob and Viv closer,” explains Tony. “But when Viv’s hopes rise, Bob insists that they’re not back together; they’ve got to take the future very slowly.”

Tricia is convinced that there’s another little Dingle on the way when she suspects she may be pregnant.

But the test shows up negative. When she tells her husband, Marlon, the newlyweds are disappointed but try to assure each other that it’s for the best.

“Tricia discovers she is not expecting a baby on April Fool’s Day, but it’s definitely no joke,” says Sheree Murphy, who plays the Dingle lass.

“When she first suspects she’s pregnant, Tricia confides her feelings in Dawn, who insists that she must take a test straightaway. And Tricia decides to find out the truth before she tells Marlon.

“But accident-prone Tricia drops the test down the lavatory! Dawn calms her down and they get another one, but they leave the packaging behind - only for Marlon to find it.”

Marlon thinks it’s an April Fool’s joke played by Terry. But when Terry denies all knowledge, he realises he may be a father. “He asks Tricia if they are going to have a baby but she tells him the test was negative,” says Sheree.

“They laugh and try to convince each other that it’s a relief as they couldn’t afford to bring up a child right now.

“But deep down they are both pretty upset because they both love kids and would love to have a baby of their own.”

Terry tells Marlon he should be honest with his wife. When Marlon reveals he would like to start a family, Tricia surprises him by saying that she feels the same way.

Marlon is worried about money and asks Diane for a pay rise. Diane says she’ll think about it but reckons Louise won’t agree.

So Marlon considers applying for the vacant job of village postman, thinking it will fit in with his chef hours and will bring a welcome boost in income.

Also this week:

Jack and Diane are officially an item.
Rodney realises Steph is trying to cheat him.
Emily wants to have a family holiday, but Debbie is more interested in Charity.


Radio Times 29th March 2003

Soaps by Alison Graham


"Jumping" Jack Sugden peeps out from beneath his own personal storm cloud to have yet another crack at Diane, the Middlesbrough mauler, a woman he's been clucking over for some years. Naturally this isn't quite as simple as it sounds, and there are many misunderstandings along the way.

This also goes for the curiously self-destructive Bob, who continues to rip Himself to shreds over his wife Viv's Adultery with a limo driver. Come on, Bob, at least she didn't have to pay him a tip. And Tricia thinks she might be pregnant(yes, she and just about every soap woman who still ovulates). Haven't these people heard of contraception?

ITV.com Envious Emily

Friday | 28.03.03

Foster mother Emily Kirk has a bad case of jealousy.

Emily & Debbie

She has become very attached to her foster daughter Debbie but is feeling increasingly marginalised as she bonds with real mum Charity.

At first Emily had a hard time convincing Charity to face up to her responsibilities to her daughter. And now that the pair are becoming close the kindly shop worker is regretting that she ever pushed them together.

And considering the incredible wealth afforded to Charity - who is married to rich businessman Chris Tate - it is becoming clear that she can offer the youngster the sort of treats that Emily can't compete with.

However, Emma Atkins - who plays the reluctant mum - is convinced her actions aren't designed to push Emily out of the picture.

She says, "Charity has set out to steal Debbie from Emily. It's nobody's fault. All along, Debbie has only been interested in her real mum. It didn't matter how cold and hard Charity was, Debbie was determined to win her over and she has."

This Is Bradford

Jessica lands her dream role at last


A budding young actress, who began treading the boards because she dreamed of playing orphan Annie, has finally clinched the part.

And Jessica Ramsay, nine, will also appear on television soap Emmerdale on Monday.

Busy Jessica, pictured, who attends Shirley Manor Primary School in Wyke, insisted on going to Stage 84 drama school in Idle when she was just five years old, so she could learn to sing, dance and act in order to eventually play Annie.

When she attended a recent audition for the part with Bingley Amateur Operatic Society, she reduced the panel to tears with her singing and landed the plum role, despite being two years younger than the title character.

Her ambitions were fired when she saw the musical at the Alhambra when she was four.

She said: "I thought I was a bit like Annie, she is quite strong and cheerful.

"I have always wanted to play her, so when I got the part, I was so shocked, I couldn't speak.

Rehearsals start soon, with performances scheduled for November.

In ITV's Emmerdale, Jessica, of Wyke, plays one of the children invited to Victoria's birthday

Posted Friday 28 March 2003

ITV.com Chris' love declaration

Thursday | 27.03.03


Chris Tate reveals his deep love for wife Charity tonight.
The hard-nosed businessman has always been smitten with strong-willed Charity but was aware from the start that she didn't love him back.

However, as their marriage has progressed the pair have become very close and Chris has stood by Charity through crisis after crisis. And now he wants her to know how much she means to him.

However, reeling from her confused feelings for daughter Debbie, is Charity in the right mood to reciprocate his heartfelt declaration?

Actress Emma Atkins, who plays the brassy bombshell, predicts rocky times ahead for the pair.

She says, "Don't forget, Cain has yet to find out that he's Debbie's real dad. That's going to cause real ructions. Poor Chris, he's always saying to Charity, "Is there anything else?" and there always is. There's lots more to come and I'm really looking forward to it."

ITV.com Emmerdale gets saucy

Wednesday | 26.03.03

Emmerdale Logo

ITV1 hit soap Emmerdale has won a new sponsorship deal.
The five-nightly serial drama will now be sponsored by food giant Heinz's Salad Cream alongside the tagline "it's all going on".

Winning this exclusive deal - which will net Granada £6 million over the next six months - means that Emmerdale is gaining the same level of credibility afforded to fellow ITV1 programme Coronation Street, which is sponsored by Cadbury's chocolate.

Heinz Salad Cream marketing manager James Watson says, "We are very excited about this sponsorship. Emmerdale has great viewing figures, and salad cream consumers are avid fans of the long-running soap.

"The timing for us is perfect, as Emmerdale represents an ideal opportunity for us to communicate with our Heinz Salad Cream consumers as they are sitting down to eat their evening meal."

Granada's executive director of commercial ventures, Gary Knight, adds, "Emmerdale and Heinz Salad Cream are a great partnership, and we are very pleased that such a well loved and well known iconic brand is sponsoring one of our longest-running programmes."

ITV.com Pollard's popularity plan

Wednesday | 26.03.03

Pollard forgives Sam for a breakage in front of the Employee of the Year Award Judge

Scheming Mayor Eric Pollard is desperate to retain his title.

The slimy politician relishes his role as an authoritarian figure within the village and decides to begin his campaign to get re-elected.

And in true Pollard fashion, Eric has a cunning plan to help him achieve his goal. After searching for publicity opportunities, the Emmerdale local finds out about the Business Employer of the Year award and sets about trying to win it.

However, it doesn't take long for his plan to be rumbled by eagle-eyed employee Lisa Dingle. The wise workwoman seizes the opportunity to use the competition as a way to improve the staff's lives by increasing their wages.

In his desperation to scoop the honour Pollard goes along with it. But can he hold his temper as clumsy Sam Dingle causes chaos in front of the judging panel?

BBC Pure Soap News 26 March 2003

Emmerdale's Bob has stars in his eyes

Tony Audenshaw who plays Bob

Tony Audenshaw, who plays Emmerdale's Bob Hope, admits to a mixture of surprise and delight after winning TV's Celebrity Stars in Their Eyes.
In the soap his tempestuous marriage to Viv, played by Deena Payne, has kept fans hooked.
And when they teamed up for the celebrity talent show their version of Islands in the Stream ensured you would never look at Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton in the same way again.
" It was great actually. It was nice to do something different," grins Tony, 38, during a break from filming Emmerdale.
" When you're there it's such a relief to get it over with that you think: 'God. I really don't want do that again. So it was a really nice surprise."
Tony, who lives in north Derbyshire with his wife and two children, sums up his character's appeal: "Bob's a bit of a joker. He kind of wears his heart on his sleeve. Ducks and dives a bit. Is pretty much put on by his missus. He's a normal man," he laughs. "He's every man."
Tony is a keen runner and is training for the London marathon where he hopes to get around in under three hours, which means knocking 15 minutes off last year's time. He is raising money for the Leukaemia Research Fund.
Another passion is music and he plays in a band, White Van Man.


Former Emmerdale star in car hijack

Adele Silva as Kelly circa 1998Adele circa 2000

Former Emmerdale actress Adele Silva has told how she was hit over the head by a robber who stole her car.

She was left cut and bruised after she was dragged along the road as she tried to stop the thief driving off in her silver Peugeot 205 convertible.

Adele, who played man-eater Kelly Glover in the ITV soap, was bumped from behind as she drove home.

The other driver pulled his car in front of hers and told her to get out to look at the damage. A second man hit her over the head, snatched her keys and drove off.

Adele said: "I tried to jump on his lap and take control of the steering wheel.

"I know it was probably a very foolish thing to do but I wasn't thinking."

She was dragged along the road and the thief almost hit an on-coming car in Croydon, South London, on Friday night, reports the Daily Mirror.

Story filed: 09:06 Wednesday 26th March 2003

The Mirror Ex-Emmerdale star left cut and bruised


Mar 26 2003

Ex-Emmerdale star left cut and bruised
By Eva Simpson

FORMER Emmerdale actress Adele Silva told yesterday of how she was hit over the head by a robber who stole her car.

The 22-year-old was left cut and bruised after she was dragged along the road as she tried to stop the thief driving off in her silver Peugeot 205 convertible.

Adele, who played man-eater Kelly Glover in the ITV soap, was bumped from behind as she drove home.

The other driver pulled his car in front of hers and told her to get out to look at the damage. A second man hit her over the head, snatched her keys and drove off.
Adele said: "I tried to jump on his lap and take control of the steering wheel.
" I know it was probably a very foolish thing to do but I wasn't thinking."
She was dragged along the road and the thief almost hit an on- coming car in Croydon, South London, on Friday night.

Adele's handbag, mobile phone and keys were in her car.
Police said the car-jacking was one of 140 reported in the last 18 months.

ITV.com Cain betrays Charity

Tuesday | 25.03.03

Cain & Charity

Cain is ready to sink low to hurt cousin Charity.
The Emmerdale badboy will reveal Charity's past as a prostitute to her daughter Debbie, straining relations between the pair to breaking point.

Debbie has been struggling to win Charity's affections and finally they are starting to accept each other. But jealous Cain can't control his bitter feelings towards his cousin and decides to stick the knife into both her and Debbie with his revelation.

To make matters worse he chooses Mother's Day to spill the beans.

But the brooding Dingle better be prepared because Charity has her own secret to tell.

An Emmerdale insider feels sorry for poor Debbie who is caught in this vicious crossfire. "Only Cain could pick such a special day to tell a young girl the mum she has only just found was a hooker. Debbie so wants to be part of Charity's life and this knocks her sideways."

And all this trouble mongering is bound to bring Cain's day of reckoning even closer: "Debbie is left wondering if her father was one of Charity's punters. The crushing irony is her father is the person who is pouring the poison. Cain doesn't know the truth, but soon will when Charity hears what he's done."

BBC Pure Soap News 25 March 2003

Heartbreak for Emmerdale s Chloe
Amy Nuttal who plays Chloe

Emmerdale's Chloe Atkinson is in for heartbreak when she discovers the true father of Zoe Tate's baby - her boyfriend Scott Windsor.

Chloe, played by Amy Nuttal, has no idea Scott has been playing away from home and happily acts as nanny to Zoe's daughter Jean.

Zoe is also in the dark about who the father is. The lesbian vet suffers from mental problems and can't ever remember making love with a man.

The village has been alive with rumours about who the father could be, particularly after Zoe surprised everyone by deciding to keep the baby despite previously insisting she would give her up for adoption.

But when the truth is finally revealed Chloe is devastated. She knows Jean was conceived when Zoe was drunk and mentally disturbed. She believes Scott, played by Ben Freeman, took advantage of her and is little better than a rapist.

The plot will see Amy taking a break from Emmerdale for a time so she can concentrate on her stage and singing career.

BBC Puresoap Predictions 25th March 2003

Soap Psychic... on Emmerdale
8 - 21 April: it shall come to pass

Take the test Tricia takes a pregnancy test. It’s negative.
Both she and Marlon are secretly disappointed.

Up the duff?

Emily rejects Debbie after she sneaks out to a wild party at the Marsden’s and Charity interferes.
Emily thinks Debbie would be better out of the village.
Danny’s caught out helping Steph.
And Edna helps Mack by letting him see the bids for the church roof job.
Plus Bob and Viv recreate their first date.

Marlon's 'bun in the oven' recipe falls flat...
© Yorkshire Television 2003

Meet the stars at auction dinner


Mar 25 2003 By The Huddersfield Daily Examiner

FILM and TV lovers still have time to book their place at a Huddersfield dinner auction tomorrow due to be attended by some of TV's best-loved soap stars.
Actors and actresses will be gathering at the Cedar Court Hotel, Ainley Top, on Wednesday to promote a new Yorkshire film, Dream Catcher, by Ken Kitson.
The romantic comedy, set in West Yorkshire, tells the story of 40-year-old Wild West enthusiast Will Case, played by Mr Kitson, who has trouble getting along in life because of his obsession.

Mr Kitson, who has played a policeman in Last of The Summer Wine for 23 years, is bringing some of his showbiz friends to the Cedar Court event.
Chris Chittle, Emmerdale's Eric Pollard, will be running an auction at the event and Coronation Street's Vera Duckworth, actress Liz Dawn, will be among the stars attending.

Memorabilia from the world of TV, film and sport will be auctioned to pay for filming costs.

Tickets for tomorrow's event, starting at 7.30pm, cost £45 and are available from Mr Kitson on 01274 468331 or 07711235989.

Week Beginning Monday 24th March 2003

MONDAY:- Steph seduces Rodney.
TUESDAY:- Nicola's "help" leads to misery for Steph.
WEDNESDAY:- Sam makes a smashing impact on the judges visiting Pollard.
THURSDAY:- Charity and Chris have a heart to heart.
FRIDAY: - Charity answers some of Debbie's awkward questions.

Episode 3401 MONDAY 24 MARCH 2003

EMMERDALE at 7.00pm Fully Networked

Steph thinks she’s struck gold when a call from London confirms the figurine that Rodney found in a house clearance is worth an absolute fortune. Convinced it won’t take much to persuade Rodney to part with the ornament, she sets about packing up all her belongings, hoping the money from its sale will secure her early retirement in France.

Thinking about her new life abroad, she proudly surveys her already abundant collection of figurines, preparing to transport them to London in anticipation of their sale. Rodney’s figurine will be the icing on the cake if she can just get her hands on it – by seducing Rodney!

Debbie is excited about going around to the Dingles’ for a family meal. Her inquisitive nature annoys Cain, as her persistent questions about the family get on his nerves. Not wanting to over step the mark, Lisa is quick to suggest she take her home when Debbie is keen to know more about her real mother – leaving Debbie more intrigued than ever.

Viv has taken her break up with Bob badly, having been humiliated in front of the whole village, she is keen to change her ways. But unsure where to start she seeks advice from Emily and is further shocked when her shy employee tells her a few home truths.

Episode 3402 TUESDAY 25 MARCH 2003

EMMERDALE @ 7pm Fully Networked

It's the morning after the night before and Steph has managed to get her wicked way with Rodney. As she creeps down the stairs at Mill Cottage, she is delighted to finally have her hands on the priceless antique. Meanwhile, Nicola’s worst nightmare has come true as she calls round to find Steph has stayed the night. A catfight breaks out as Nicola accuses Steph of using her father.

To make matters worse, Steph makes it quite clear she seduced Rodney to get her own way, which enrages Nicola even further. Fuming at Steph’s obstinance and Rodney’s ignorance to her scheming ways, Nicola decides to give Steph a helping hand with her luggage – with devastating effect.

Having been given a taste of Dingle family life from Lisa, Debbie is keen to learn more about her true family. But nothing could prepare her for the bitter news Cain will tell her about Charity’s past. Once again Debbie is devastated as she learns more about the mother she had put on a pedestal. She flees home to Paddy and Emily hoping they will scotch the rumours but is even more distraught when they don't.

Viv is determined to convince the rest of the village she is a new woman. Having invested in a self-help book she is practising her new personality leaving everyone very confused. But her efforts at being pleasant are really put to the test when Donna shows up with blue hair and asks her mother’s opinion!

Episode 3403 WEDNESDAY 26 MARCH 2003

EMMERDALE at 7.00pm Fully Networked

Being the Mayor of Emmerdale, Pollard is keen to hold on to his title and with the elections just round the corner he is keen to get as much positive publicity as possible. Obtaining an award may be just the ticket and Pollard sets about planning how to scoop 'Business Employee of the Year.'

But his employees are quick to see through his kid glove handling of them and Lisa uses the opportunity wisely to negotiate them all a pay rise. Pollard duly obliges but is forced to bite his tongue when Sam is his usual clumsy self and makes a ‘smashing’ impact on the judging panel

Sam, meanwhile, gets some unexpected news about the whereabouts of Stella the tortoise – on the other side of the world!

Over at Mill Cottage, Steph still refuses to surface from her self-imposed exile. She is mourning her financial loss and Tricia can’t help but worry as she informs Rodney that such behaviour isn’t new for her mother. And despite everyone’s best efforts to lure her out of her room, a stubborn Steph isn’t for moving – not even for food and water.

Determined to find out if Cain is telling the truth, Debbie goes to Home Farm in search of some answers. But with Charity out, Chris finds himself awkwardly entertaining Debbie.

Episode 3404 THURSDAY 27 MARCH 2003

EMMERDALE at 7.00pm Fully Networked

Charity is still determined that she will not succumb to the pressure in giving Debbie the family life she wants. But when Chris points out she is only trying to find out who her mother is, she reluctantly agrees she can visit Home Farm.

Having seen a different side to Charity since Debbie arrived, Chris is keen to have a heart to heart with his wife to discuss their feelings for one another. As he wears his heart on his sleeve, Charity’s response to his declaration is not quite the answer he expected.

Elsewhere in the village Paddy and Emily do their utmost to make Debbie comfortable and feel loved.

Meanwhile at the factory, it doesn’t take Pollard long to get back into the swing of things and drop the Mr Nice Guy attitude with his employees. With a certificate under his belt he doesn’t feel any need to carry on acting the saint. But he has got to come up with something soon as he is officially reminded that his stint as Mayor is coming to an end.

When he overhears Frances talking about Ali’s heart condition he figures his help in generating funds may be just the ticket to boost his public persona ahead of the elections.

Viv is sure that Jarvis secretly into cross-dressing as he regularly comes into the post office to buy women’s tights! Edna, who has been keeping a close eye on Jarvis’ purchasing habits, decides to investigate further. But she is more baffled than ever when she enrols Len’s help – only for him to disappear into Jarvis’ workshed to the sound of music.

Episode 3405 FRIDAY 28 MARCH 2003

EMMERDALE @ 7pm Fully Networked

It's mother’s day weekend and Charity has agreed to see Debbie at Home Farm. But before their meeting can begin, Debbie goes to lay flowers on Pat’s grave.

Charity, meanwhile, is fretting as she has just realised the significance of the meeting and hopes Debbie doesn’t expect too much. But when Debbie arrives bearing flowers and a card for her real mum, Charity is forced to think quickly as she realises she is going to have to entertain her daughter for the first time.

As Debbie is shown round the gardens of Home Farm, Charity is forced to answer some awkward questions about her time as a prostitute. She is almost relived when Debbie spots the tennis courts and begs her to play. Keen to change the subject from her previous life, Charity agrees.

Emily is disheartened as she watches Debbie and Charity. They appear to be having a ball and once again she feels rejected. Worried their bond will grow over time, she fears Debbie will not want to come home.

Jarvis' unusual antics have become the talk of the village and Betty can’t resist sending Seth to investigate. But when he doesn’t come back out she decides she check it out for herself. Edna looks on in horror as Betty prepares to make her entrance. But when her good friend does not return – she really starts to worry.

Elsewhere in the village, the Marsdens have settled in well. Emmerdale is really growing on Siobhan and she encourages Paul to apply for the postman’s job.

Soap watch Daily Record 24th March 2003


Jarvis Skelton

ACROSS at Emmerdale, there's even more exciting goings-on than murder and deception - Jarvis is a cross-dresser.

Well, maybe not. But why else would he keep buying women's tights at the Post Office?

Edna gets Len to look into it, but he disappears ... as does everyone else who tries to find out the truth. Is Jarvis a transvestite serial killer? Has he made Len into a meat pie?

As if the tension isn't too great already, there's news of Stella the tortoise and Steph seduces Rodney and is still there in the morning.

But hold on, what's that in her bag? Will Nicola spoil things?

Meanwhile, Debbie gets closer to Charity. But when it looks like they might get to the "So, you were a prostitute, then? How was that for you?" discussion a distraction is needed and they play tennis, as you do.

The Sun 24th March 2003

Steph tries to rescue her belongings from the rubbish truck


Weekdays ITV1

STEPH'S dreams of a fabulous new life in the south of France are shattered - in the back of a rubbish lorry.

Antiques dealer Steph is in her element after reaching a deal with Rodney to share the £100,000 proceeds from a sale of a valuable figurine he had found in a house clearance. The couple sleep together, but in the morning Steph dumps him, leaving him very hurt.

"Steph doesn’t care about anyone but herself," admits Lorraine Chase, who plays Tricia’s pushy mum.

"She has a real go at Nicola, which leaves her speechless - for once! Rodney is keen on Steph but she is just keen on manipulating him."

Steph pretends to leave behind the other statues she has in her collection as security when she gets ready to go off and sell the figurine, but in fact all she leaves is a case full of bricks.

Steph is all packed and ready to go, but Nicola - upset to see her dad cast aside - grabs her bags and hurls them in to the dust cart, smashing the ornament.

"Steph goes ballistic when she finds out," says Lorraine.

"She can’t believe her fortune has been snatched away. She screams that the figurine was worth a fortune and her life is wrecked. She locks herself in Mill Cottage and refuses to come out."


DEBBIE gets a shock this week when Cain callously reveals her mother Charity was a prostitute. But the lonely teenager still surprises her mum with a Mother’s Day card and bouquet.

Debbie tells a stunned Charity what she’s learnt. And as mum and daughter talk, foster mother Emily is left desperately worried that Debbie might go back to her real mum.

"The Dingles invite Debbie for a meal," says Charley Webb, who plays the troubled teen.

"Lisa wants to tell her all about the family. But when she visits again and asks about her mum, Cain tells her Charity turned to prostitution after she had her.

"Debbie is upset, but as Emily explains how difficult it must have been for Charity, she understands why she was given away."

Debbie calls at Home Farm, and although Charity is not there, she has a friendly chat with Chris.

"Emily and Paddy do all they can for Debbie," says Charley.

"But she still wants to get to know her real mother. She later gives Charity a Mother’s Day card and flowers, and Chris suggests they go for a walk together."

Emily looks on, deflated and concerned. When mother and daughter are finally alone, Debbie reveals she now knows Charity was a prostitute.

"Charity is very surprised," says Charley. "But it seems to bring them closer together. Debbie is determined to have her real mum back one day."

Also this week:

Viv thinks of a way to win back Bob.
Ali loses interest in Donna.
Chloe enjoys looking after Jean, oblivious to Scott’s unease.

Emmerdale new girl talks about her love scenes

In Emmerdale Bob, his daughter Dawn and Terry


From the Sunday Mail 23rd March 2003

Steve Hendry Exclusive

SHE may be just 20 but Julia Mallam has the confidence of someone twice her age.

Which is just as well, since the latest Emmerdale star is about to marry a man old enough to be her father.

Julia made her debut as Dawn Hope, daughter of Woolpack regular Bob (Anthony Audenshaw), a few weeks ago.

But entering the soap on the arm of Bob's best pal Terry Woods (Billy Hartman) has made quite an impact. Tongues are wagging - and not just on screen.

Playing the bride-to-be of middle-aged Terry and even puckering up to Billy held no fears for Julia, who already has an impressive television CV for one so young.

Past credits include high-profile shows like Stan the Man, Fat Friends, Peak Practice and playing Robson Green's daughter in the wife-swapping drama, Take Me.

But Julia admits she was overawed on her first day in the Woolpack.

"Billy must be the same age as my real dad," she said, laughing. "We had to kiss on the first day but he was lovely and put me at ease. I think he was probably nervous as well.

"With me being new, nobody gave me a ribbing about it but Billy had a time of it: `You've got a bit of a young one!' That sort of stuff. He got a far harder time than me."

Appearing in Emmerdale has made Doncaster-born Julia public property and she's still getting used to the idea.

"I've always been recognised in my home town because I've been doing stuff since I left school but now it happens everywhere," she says in a bluff Yorkshire accent.

"I find it a bit weird, especially when people don't say anything but just stare. At least if they say, `Oh are you so-and-so?' you can a have a laugh or whatever.

"I'm getting a bit more used to it. When I see someone staring now, I don't stare back because it's obvious why they are looking. I just smile and try not to be offensive.

"I don't think I would get recognised the same way if I was in a big movie. I've been reading all about Colin Farrell, the new Hollywood hot property.

"He commands dollars 10million a film but I bet you wouldn't recognise him if you saw him at the frozen peas. But there's me in Emmerdale for a few weeks and I'm getting it all the time.

"A man ran up to me in Sainsbury's just last week. I was with my flatmate, who's a bloke, and we must have looked quite domesticated because he stopped me in the aisle and said: `Does Terry know you're messing about behind his back?'

"I said: `Yes, he knows I've got a bit on the side.' He was laughing but I just couldn't believe he would stop me and say that.

"I've been getting all sorts of mail sent to me at work and even got an engagement card with a message saying: `Congratulations, Dawn and Terry, on your engagement.' I find that weird, to be honest. I can understand somebody writing in and asking for a signed photo or something but to go out and buy that card... It was sweet, really but I don't know why you would do that.

"Some people laugh and chat away because they feel like you've known them for years. Sometimes it's nice but sometimes you wonder: `Do they think I really know them?'"

As you may have gathered, Julia is no shrinking violet. Despite her youth, she has an opinion and knows how to use it.

She said: "From an acting point of view, I was really pleased to get Emmerdale. It was something to get my teeth into and it's good to be able to establish the character right away and get the chance to do something rather than popping up in the cafe or the Woolpack every couple of episodes.

"My very first scene was one with Tony - my screen dad Bob - and Deena Payne, who plays Viv, in the cafe.

"It was my dad finding out I'd just come home with Terry and we had a huge fight. I was terrified, physically shaking. But with it being a shouting scene, I just got it all out of my system. I really went for it and had a right go at Tony. Being able to shout and scream dispelled my nerves. I feel like I've been here for a year now."

Whether Dawn and Terry's wedding day will go ahead still hangs in the balance, with disgruntled Bob plotting to stop the odd couple taking their vows.

Emmerdale specialises in wedding day altercations and all that's certain is that nothing will go smoothly.

Julia is on a standard, six-month contract and hopes to extend her stay in the Dales, though not indefinitely.

"Some people are in a soap for 10 or 15 years but I'm only 20 and I would like to try new things," she said.

"I've only done television for the last two years and I would like to get back into theatre because I don't want to get to the stage where I think I've lost my bottle.

"But I would love to see where Dawn goes and whether she ends up married, having a baby or an affair or whatever. I would like to take the character further." Julia has been with her student boyfriend Craig for two years. He's supportive of her career and even Dawn's fling with Terry.

"He knows it's all make believe," she said. "He thinks it's a laugh."

Having started out in amateur drama, she joined the National Youth Music Theatre when she was 15 before switching to the National Youth Theatre at 16 and concentrating on acting.

Julia was all geared up to go Manchester University to study English and Drama when she went to an audition for a new TV drama. She went for the experience... and got the job as Robson Green's daughter in Take Me.

"I never thought I'd get it," Julia said. "I was just excited to get the audition. I only found out I'd got the part two days before I went to uni. They weren't best pleased but I couldn't pass up the opportunity.

"I was thrown in at the deep end. It was my first big job and I had a lot meaty scenes but Robson Green was really nice, took me under his wing. It was great. Everybody working on the production was amazing. I enjoyed it all the more because it was my first one."

The TV work has flowed ever since but she has resisted the temptation to take the money and run, holding out for jobs of good quality and serving behind the bar of a local pub whenever she has struggled to make ends meet.

Even so, she hasn't ruled out a return to university and has in fact applied for a place.

"If I do finish Emmerdale after six months, I will probably go because I still have the desire to do it. I've always been quite academic and I get quite restless anyway," she said.

"If Emmerdale renews my contract I'll defer my place but, if they don't, I don't think I could sit around and do nothing.

"The money I've earned on Emmerdale would pay me through university.

"Most of my friends are at college and sometimes I think it would be a real laugh to go, too.

"It would be nice to have a student life. It could still happen."

Norway now has an official fan club 21st March 2003 Media Guardian


Actor John Thaw's legacy is still being felt by the UK's television industry as he remains one of the country's biggest exports. The Inspector Morse series and the adaptation of Goodnight Mr Toms have been sold to more than 200 countries in the past five years.

Thaw, who died of cancer in February 2002, was one of Britain's best-loved stars.
The only programme to have had a bigger impact was the one-off special Mole's Christmas, which was bought by more than 213 countries.

Statistics released by the British Television Distributors Association (BTDA) show that revenue from TV exports rose 6.6% to $666m (£425m) despite difficult trading conditions.

The US is the most voracious buyer of UK products, buying up $232m (£148m) worth of programmes, an increase of 16.4% on 2001.

The biggest seller of 2002 was a wildlife documentary called Bug World. The Granada programme was sold to 72 countries.

Other popular exports from last year included the Worst Witch, Taggart and ITV1 drama Bob and Rose.

The BBC's Natural World series was exported to 44 countries.

The rural goings-on in Yorkshire soap Emmerdale have proved a surprise export success, becoming a ratings winner in Norway where it even has its own fan club.

Heartbeat, another distinctly British drama, is Norway's top-rated show.

The French proved they did have a sense of humour when it bought the comedy Carry on Don't Lose Your Head - a parody of the Scarlet Pimpernel.

Despite an overall increase in the export sales figures there was decline in the number of ready-made programmes sold.

The drop has been blamed on the number of co-production deals where networks buy up a concept but adapt it for their own market.
The BTDA represents more than 30 of the UK's distributors including BBC Worldwide, Granada and Carlton.

From Pure soap news 21 March 2003

Emmerdale's Cain Dingle is set to sink to new depths

Cain Dingle played by Jeff HordleyDebbie played by Charley Webb

The lout, played by Jeff Hordley, will tell his own daughter that her mother was a prostitute.

Cain makes the revelation to devastated Debbie Jones (Charley Webb) on Mother's Day just after she discovers her real mother is Charity Tate, wife of disabled businessman Chris Tate.

Cain tells the secret after a plan to blackmail his cousin Charity (Emma Atkins) backfires, according to the Daily Star.

But Charity hits back with her own revelation, that he's the father of schoolgirl Debbie.
An Emmerdale insider told the paper: "Only Cain could pick such a special day to tell a young girl the mum she has only just found was a hooker. Debbie so wants to be part of Charity's life and this knocks her sideways.

" She is left wondering if her father was one of Charity's punters. The crushing irony is her father is the person who is pouring the poison. Cain doesn't yet know the truth, but soon will when Charity hears what he's done."

Charity's life has been transformed ever since Debbie arrived in Emmerdale as the foster child of vet Paddy Kirk and his wife Emily.

An old photo in Debbie's purse led to the discovery she was the child Charity, then just 13, gave up at birth for adoption.

Emma told the paper that she loves playing Charity: "Just when you think that it can't get any worse for her, it does.

" Every few months her husband Chris says, `So you lied to me again!' as more skeletons fall out of the closet.

" Now she's going to be a reluctant mother and I'm enjoying the challenge."

Pure Soap - Did You See 21 March 2003

Did You See... last week in Soap
Nadia Sawalha sounds off from her sofa
14 - 21 Mar the week gone by
Terry Woods soon found someone else after Louise gave him the push. One minute he was breaking his heart, the next he was marrying his best mate's daughter!

Wedding bells

Everyone's wondering what Dawn sees in him. Is it his mature good looks, his worldly wisdom - or does she just need someone to help her with her history homework?
…or rebound romance?
Louise, meanwhile, reckons Tezza isn't over her yet. What she really means is she misses having her Number One Fan adoring her from afar. Rebound or not, I reckon it's about time he had some romance. His love life's been about as lively as a church jumble sale!

Terry and Dawn got married

... Emmerdale's wacky wedding! It was a soap classic, from Joan Collins lookalike Viv out-bitching nasty Jean to Bob lamping the limo driver! Never mind 'Morning Has Broken' - Terry and Dawn should have gone for 'Fight The Good Fight' as one of their hymns!

Who can forget these rebound romances?

... Emmerdale's Nicola didn't realise Carlos was on the rebound from her sister Bernice. She found out the truth on her wedding day - and so did Bernice's husband Ashley!

The Reformer 20th March 2003

It’s all childs’ play to top comic Des


COMIC Des Clarke has become the new face of Saturday morning children’s television.
The King’s Park comedian and Beat 106 breakfast radio show presenter (pictured) landed the job on ITV1’s SM:tv last week and made his first appearance on the show last Saturday.

Des (22) will feature on the show every Saturday morning along with its main hosts Tess Daly and former Big Brother star Brian Dowling.

SM:tv was the kids show which catapulted Ant and Dec and Cat Deeley to prime time television stardom and it is hoped Des will follow in their footsteps on the hit show.

Last Saturday morning Des made his debut on the programme and wowed audiences with his stuttering maniacal style loved by comedy fans around the country who have seen Des do his stand-up routine. Later in the show Des featured in SM:tv’s Emmerdale spoof Eminemmerdale where Des played rap star Eminem.

SM:tv is not Des’ first television appearance. He has featured in a comedian’s special of The Weakest Link with Anne Robinson and on the BBC’s Live Floor Show.
Des will continue to present his breakfast radio show on Beat 106 while working on ITV’s children’s programme.

The King’s Park lad’s rise to fame has been meteoric. He came second in all three of Britain’s major stand up comedy competitions, Channel 4’s So You Think You’re Funny, BBC’s New Comedy Awards and the Daily Telegraph Open Mic Award.

Catch Des on SM:tv every Saturday on ITV1 at 9.25am.

ITV.com Bob's gone!

Wednesday | 19.03.03

Bob & Terry fight over Dawn

Barman Bob has got to the end of his tether.
The pressure of Dawn's wedding and Viv's infidelity has taken its toll on the normally happy-go-lucky local, and his reaction was violent.

After his antics at his daughter's wedding - where he tried to sabotage the ceremony and then came to blows with the limo driver who bedded his wife - he vanishes. And his stunned loved ones are left fearing for his safety.

But now Bob has got in touch with his inner brute, will limo driver Matti be the only person to feel the force of his fury?

An Emmerdale spokesperson admits, "Bob has found it bitterly difficult to swallow the idea of Terry marrying his daughter and their friendship has been sorely tested.

"He is stunned to learn about Viv's fling with Matti. He certainly hadn't expected to see him at the church and have the chance to deliver instant revenge!"

The Mirror How Emmerdale's William Rebuilt His Dreams Of Fame


Mar 19 2003


By Claire Donnelly

Steven Butler as played by William Snape

AS the child star of hit film The Full Monty, William Snape seemed set for a long and glittering showbiz career.

At 12, he caused a sensation in the Oscar-nominated movie and was bombarded by directors believing he was the next big thing.
Between auditions, William spent his time being mobbed by fans and enjoying the celebrity circuit.

But the bubble burst for the Sheffield-born schoolboy as he struggled to get his next big break.

William - known to friends and family as Wim - was involved in a horrific accident. His family feared he would die and doctors were amazed he did not lose his leg.
Now 17, he is hoping to make his mark again after joining ITV soap Emmerdale as farmer Stephen Butler.

Speaking of his ordeal for the first time, he reveals the truth about his accident and tells how his faltering career left him depressed and disheartened.
He says: "It was weird going through years of people saying that I'd been in a great British film and that surely I'd be doing this and that.

" I thought I was going to be doing big things. I was getting sent scripts and going for auditions but just not getting them.

" It did leave me feeling down. Then the accident made things worse. I had to learn to walk again and spent seven months getting better. Doctors told me if it had happened 10 years ago, I would have lost my leg.

" It's not 100 per cent now but it doesn't stop me doing anything. I still play football with my friends.

" Emmerdale is a great opportunity and I'm determined to make the best of it. It's just what I wanted and I feel very lucky."

Lady Luck has certainly been a fickle mistress to William.
Plucked from obscurity to play Nathan, Robert Carlyle's son in the 1997 film The Full Monty, the Sheffield-born youngster found himself catapulted in to the spotlight.

" It all happened very quickly," he says. "One minute I was at school, the next I was in Hollywood.

" The casting director had come into school, looking for someone to be in the film.
" She said it was going to be a low-budget film that might not even make it to the cinema.

" I wasn't liking school much and it sounded like good fun.

" I went through seven auditions and the last one was nerve-racking because Robert Carlyle was there.

" But we got on and felt really comfortable with each other." Amazed he got the part -

" when my mum and dad told me, I ran round screaming" - he loved every minute of filming.

" I decided then that I wanted to be an actor," he says. "I just knew this was the life for me."

Although William's mum Jenny, 49, who lives with his brother and her boyfriend near the young actor, warned him not to be disappointed if the film wasn't a success, when it was released in America, the team realised they had a huge hit on their hands.
William flew to LA for the premiere and was inundated with offers. "There was an after-show party and every actor had their own table and at each there was a queue of about 15 agents, casting directors and managers wanting to sign us up. It was mad."

Back in England, William who lives with dad Duncan, 50, and a stepbrother and sister, found himself thrown into the showbiz world. "I enjoyed it all," he says. "I went to the BAFTAs and met everyone - Sean Connery, Billy Connolly, Dame Judi Dench. It was overwhelming.

" At the comedy awards, I remember standing at the urinals with Ewan McGregor and Chris Evans. It was like another world."

The film made William a rich boy, too. Producer Uberto Pasolini gave the cast and crew a share of the profits, estimated at £100,000 each.

BUT away from the hype and applause, things weren't so much fun. Some of his friends at Dobcroft Junior School resented William's success and when he moved up to Silverdale School, things got worse.

" At first, I tried not to tell people too much about the filming but it was hard explaining where I'd been for six weeks.

" It's strange because you soon know who your friends are - a lot of the people I auditioned with were my friends from school... and they're not now. No one said anything to my face but people would keep their distance.

" For the Year Six ball - at the end of primary school - I hired a limo for all my friends, thinking it would be a laugh.

" I wasn't trying to be flash, I just thought it would be fun. But my mum told me that some girls were saying: `Look at him, coming to a little party in a car like that, he's such a show-off.'

" It was difficult starting a new school because they all knew me but I didn't know them. You'd hear people saying, `The Full Monty kid is at our school'. Every time I walked down the corridor they'd sing tunes from the film."

Soon, the attention from fans became too much to bear, too.

" I couldn't go into town," he sighs. "There were loads of people recognising me. One day, this group of girls started pulling hairs out of my head. One was saying: `I'll keep it for ever!'"

Still trying out for parts - "it became a routine: audition for something, then get the rejection" - William began to wonder if he'd ever make it.

Then at 14, the accident happened and everything changed.

Leaving school one afternoon, he was hit by a car as he crossed the road. His leg was so badly broken, William needed two operations and 18 steel pins to get him back on his feet.

Fidgeting nervously, he says: "One minute I was walking out, the next thing I knew I was flying through the air. I remember seeing red and landing on my head. I was in a lot of pain. I spoke to people later who saw it happen - they said I'd flown so high up, it looked like something out of a film.

" I came round but when I tried to stand, my leg was broken. It couldn't support my weight and I collapsed.

" There were also cuts all up my arm but just a tiny bump on my head - it's a miracle I didn't have head injuries.

" They took me to hospital and put me under anaesthetic so they could manipulate my leg and put it in a cast.

" But overnight it really swelled and the pain was unbearable. They took the cast off and rushed me into the operating theatre, where they put in four steel pins.

" They realised that wasn't really working so I had to have another operation where they put in 18 pins.

" I've got scars all over my legs and the pain was excruciating. I was on every kind of drug - they gave me morphine on demand.

" After three weeks, I couldn't even sit or stand up. When I did, I vomited - it was a combination of the tablets and being laid-up for so long.

" Then for seven months I had to clean out the holes where the pins were, to make sure there were no germs there that could cause infection.

" It was a nightmare, really. It's not the type of thing you ever think could happen to you. It was awful for my parents. My dad and brother were in Surrey at the time and one of my sister's friends called them and said: `Will's been in an accident, he might not have much longer. Come back.' They made it there in about an hour.

" After things stabilised, I had to learn to walk again and needed physiotherapy every day... But I got there in the end."

STILL keen to pursue his acting career, William enrolled on a drama course in Chesterfield, Derbys, before starting a full-time course in October last year.
But just two months later, he got the big break he'd been waiting for.
Trying out for the part of Emmerdale's Stephen Butler, he approached the audition in Leeds with some scepticism. But by the time he got back to Sheffield, they'd offered him the job.

His first scenes were aired in January and William has since become a regular on the show. He now gets stacks of fan mail, though he's currently single, and says he couldn't be happier - especially because few people recognise him on the street any more.

Dressed in faded jeans and a white Lacoste T-shirt, William looks like any other Yorkshire lad - the only sign of his TV star status is the expensive- looking Burberry bag he slings over his shoulder as he gets ready to leave.
Smiling broadly, he seems to have finally found the success he deserves.

" Everyone has been so kind to me," he explains. "The cast are great and have made me really welcome - they are some of my best friends now.

" I'm just pleased that I've been given this chance.

" Acting is a tough business - I've learnt that the hard way - but I feel like things are working out for me."

ITV.com Awards shortlist Corrie and Emmerdale

Wednesday | 19.03.03

Corrie's Richard Hillman

ITV soaps dominate the shortlist at the Royal Television Society.
Both Coronation Street and Emmerdale are contenders for the coveted Best Soap gong. The BBC drama EastEnders is absent from the list.

The nomination for Corrie comes hot on the heels of their BAFTA nod and confirms that the Street has regained its place as the nation's favourite soap.

A Corrie insider said, "These accolades are wonderful. The show is on top form at the moment and such awards are a great recognition of the hard work that goes into making Corrie so good."

Emmerdale's nomination is proof that the five-nightly show is going from strength to strength. And that it's combination of sizzling drama mixed with comic charm is a big hit amongst critics and viewers alike.

The other nominee in this category is daytime soap Doctors, which also made the BAFTA shortlist.

Ananova - click here to see more photos all at full size

TV stars watch Ross picks up his entertainer prize

Amy Nuttall attends the ceremony

Jonathan Ross has been named TV's top entertainer after landing a major broadcasting award.

The presenter fought off competition from Graham Norton and Ant and Dec to collect the trophy for Best Entertainment Performance at the Royal Television Society Awards in London.

The broadcaster collected his title for his appearances on his own BBC1 chat show Friday Night with Jonathan Ross as well as being a panelist on sports quiz They Think It's All Over.

He quipped: "I'm so used to seeing Graham Norton coming to get this award on my behalf. I'd like to thank everyone I have ever worked with in television - I've made some good shows and I've made some f***ing dreadful shows."

Channel Four's Phoenix Nights 2 was named Best Sitcom, beating BBC2's The Office.

But The Office's creator and star Ricky Gervais landed the Best Comedy Performance title.

Gervais joked: "So I get Best Performance but Phoenix Nights gets Best Sitcom - that means everyone else involved in The Office is just dead wood."

Coronation Street - currently enjoying huge ratings for its serial killer storyline - won Best Soap title.

Executive producer Kieran Roberts paid tribute to the "crews and wonderful actors who work very hard in Manchester to make Coronation Street week in, week out".

Other television stars who turned up to the ceremony included Amanda Holden and the cast of Cutting It, Emmerdale actress Amy Nuttall and GMTV presenter Kate Garraway.

Story filed: 07:22 Wednesday 19th March 2003

Gervais gong-crazy again 19th March 2003


Wyndham King

Cheese-gobbling giggler Ricky Gervais has bagged yet another gong for the all-conquering The Office at the Royal Television Society Awards.

The comedian was bestowed with the best comedy performance prize at the snooty-sounding do at London's Grosvenor House hotel. Which isn't that snooty really; more like the British telly Oscars, except with underdressed mopsies from Emmerdale posing for the paps on Park Lane.

One such babe was the yawnsome rural Yorkie soap's Amy Nuttall, who plays a libidinous farm-hand in the show or something. Perhaps.

Nuttall managed to outskimp even the notoriously unclothed Amanda Holden at the bash - and there are gobbets of drool from Daily Star caption writers all over that paper today to prove it.

Back to The Office, however, which missed out on the top comedy award to the second series of Peter Kay's superb Chorley-based club chaos, Phoenix Nights.

Gervais, though, is destined for a new telly lease of life with Jonathan Ross, who won the best entertainment performance gong.

Wossy and Gervais are great mates and are currently busy working on a pilot for a new comedy.

Meanwhile, Gervais' mucker Martin Freeman (Tim from The Office) can be seen indulging in some DIY-shop based slapstickery in a new ITV1 comedy, Hardware, which starts on Sunday, March 23.


Soap Psychic... on Emmerdale
25 March - 7 April: it shall come to pass

Speaking out Steph tells everyone in the village exactly what she thinks of them, leaving them stunned.
But her plans to flee are ruined.


I hate you all!

Tricia thinks she might be pregnant.
Diane and Jack are back together.
Viv battles to save her marriage.
But Bob gets drunk and asks everyone and anyone to sleep with him.
Then Donna has a crisis – they think she’s taken an overdose - and Viv and Bob rally round her together.

The village see Steph off, but things don't go plan.


Dawn & Terru

Dawn's Doubts

Tuesday | 18.03.03

It's Dawn Hope's wedding day but she's having serious doubts.
The stunning 19-year-old was overjoyed when boyfriend Terry Woods popped the question but those close to her have made strong objections.

Wilful Dawn made it clear to her anxious father Bob and mum Jean that she loves Terry - despite their huge age gap - and will wed him no matter what.

But now she is starting to feel isolated. Her pre-wedding jitters are intensified by the erratic behaviour of her dad and with no one to turn to she considers cancelling the nuptials.

Emmerdale star Julia Mallam, who plays the anxious bride, explains, "The night before the wedding Dawn admits to Terry that she's plagued with doubts. It's not marrying Terry that worries her. She genuinely loves him. It's just the lack of support from her family."

And Bob's attempts to scupper the wedding could mean he loses his daughter forever.

Julia adds, "You can't blame her for being furious - as far as she's concerned, he hasn't been a proper dad to her the past 19 years, so he's got no right to start laying down the law now."

ITV.com Broken-hearted Bob

Tuesday | 18.03.03

Emmerdale's Bob Hope is set to have his heart broken.
Bob has been busy trying to sort out his daughter's love life but a revelation is about to destroy his own marriage.

The Woolpack barman's wife, Viv, has been hiding a terrible secret. But the village gossip let it slip to Bob's ex-wife, Jean, who is back for daughter Dawn's wedding.

Shockingly, last year at Tricia Stokes' hen night, Viv enjoyed a passionate encounter with their limo driver Matti.

Although some of the village women know all about the affair, it has remained a secret - until now. Jean takes great delight in spilling the beans to horrified Bob.

Tony Audenshaw, who plays the unwitting husband, says, "Bob doesn't believe Jean at first. He thinks she is just being vindictive. But after a while, he knows she is telling the truth - he can just tell."

"Bob is very, very angry and upset. He thought he was in a happy marriage - but now he feels a fool, thinking about how everyone else knew about this when he didn't."

Can one of the Dales' happiest marriages survive such a devastating blow?

From The Newswires

Emmerdale star's on song


Amy Nuttall as Chloe

SOAP star Amy Nuttall is about to reveal her true hidden talent - her voice.
Amy, who plays Chloe in Emmerdale, is best known for her acting and sultry poses in men's magazines. But she is a trained singer and will soon take to the stage on her own concert tour.

Amy will perform songs from the musicals and the stage show will include a date in her home town Bolton this summer.

And she will be joined on stage for part of her performance by pupils at Bury Grammar School for Girls where she was once a pupil.

But Amy said soap fans can be reassured she is not preparing to quit Emmerdale to follow in the footsteps of actors-turned-singers like Kylie.

Amy, 20, said: "I love being in Emmerdale but this is just something else and I'm lucky that the schedule allows me to do it side-by-side.
" It'll be brilliant to get up there and I can't wait
" But I'm not leaving Emmerdale - I'm just lucky I can juggle the two things.
" For the future in terms of music I'd like to do my own thing - I'm not a classical singer but I'm not pop either.

" I'd like to think I'm a mixture of Eva Cassidy and Norah Jones. But I don't want to give up acting, I love Emmerdale too much and I've got some good storylines coming up. Later this year it might come out about Zoe and Scott's baby so that will be exciting."

At the age of 16 Amy auditioned for the Phantom of the Opera and was offered the role of first understudy on the Millennium tour.

Leading role
She stepped in several times and became the youngest actress ever to play the leading role of Christine in the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical.

It was there she met Peter Karrie who plays the Phantom and who will be joining Amy in the concert tour, based around the musicals.
They will perform at Bolton Albert Halls on July 5 and at the Alhambra theatre in Bradford on September 11.

Other dates are planned for Liverpool in September and possibly at Manchester Opera House later in the year.

Amy said: "It'll be great to perform in Bolton as it's my home town.
" I've always loved musicals and when I was younger it was my only dream to end up on the stage.

" I love Emmerdale to bits but the buzz you get performing to a live audience is fantastic so I can't wait."


Pure Soap 17th March 2003

Emmerdale fails to make BAFTA shortlist

Leah Bracknell who plays Zoe

Emmerdale has failed to make the soaps shortlist for the BAFTA television awards for the second successive year.

The shortlist is the same as 2002, with EastEnders battling it out against Coronation Street, Doctors, and Hollyoaks.

Over the past year all the major soaps have tried to win viewers with dramatic storylines.
Coronation Street has been dominated by the murderous villainy of Richard Hillman (Brian Capron). Over at Albert Square, viewers were gripped by the tragic death of Jamie Mitchell (Jack Ryder).

Hollyoaks has featured a bonfire party that got out of hand and a guest appearance from Boy George. Doctors has built up a loyal following among daytime soap fans.
Emmerdale fails to make the shortlist despite featuring a number of shock storylines. Perhaps the most surprising was the revelation that schizophrenic lesbian vet Zoe Tate (Leah Bracknell) had become pregnant.

In other categories, Asian comedy The Kumars at No 42 has proved it's streets ahead with three nominations in the shortlist.

The BBC2 show, where celebrities are subjected to an unscripted grilling by the Kumar family - granny Sushila, mum Madhuri, dad Ashwin and son Sanjeev - has proved a hit since it was launched in 2001.

Anne Robinson will host the awards ceremony on April 13.

Five nights a week Corrie on cards

Coronation Street could be broadcast five nights a week.
The soap, which is currently on air four times weekly, is stepping up its ratings battle with EastEnders.

Street producer Kieran Roberts told the Daily Star: "It's entirely up to ITV. If it wants five a week, we'll supply five a week. We wouldn't stand in the way of an extra half-hour if ITV wanted it."

Mr Roberts, who joined the Street 15 months ago from Emmerdale, is one of the bosses credited with transforming the soap's fortunes.
The saga involving serial killer Richard Hillman (Brian Capron) has proved a massive ratings success.

Mr Roberts told the paper: "I probably avoid getting too close to my actors. Who knows which of our characters that I think is irreplaceable might come to the end of the line in terms of their story?"

Mr Roberts is confident the soap will carry off a string of awards, which is a far cry from when he took over.

He added: "A lot of people felt Corrie was in crisis. There were times when EastEnders appeared to be on top and there were certain awards ceremonies where it was very much on top.

" I remember coming back from the Soap Awards when it got 10 and we got one. I shared the sense of despondency.
" Now the viewing figures have arrived and hopefully the awards will this spring."


Jacob's ladder to TV stardom

BABY Jacob Hughes has taken his first steps on the road to a lifetime of stardom -- providing he doesn't get cold feet.

Mum Michelle Hughes's bundle of joy had his star quality spotted when she took him to an audition for ITV soap Emmerdale last July.

Jacob, now 13 months old, has been starring alongside James Nesbitt and Helen Baxendale in the station's hit comedy Cold Feet -- and stole the show when the series' last ever episode was screened on Sunday night.

The show's casting director saw the tot's tape and decided he was perfect to play Matthew, the baby son of Rachel, who died in a car crash in last week's episode, and Adam.

And despite being a star Jacob has not seen himself on television yet as he has always been in bed. But Michelle and Jacob's dad Martin, 33, who live in Shaw Brow, Whittle-le-Woods, have taped the series for him.

The money earned by his acting debut is also waiting for him in his own bank account for when he is old enough to spend it.

Now the tot's life in acting has been put temporarily on hold now Michelle, 29, has returned to work at Warrington Social Services.

Michelle had mixed views when friends and family first suggested Jacob went to a modelling agency.

She said: "I didn't know if I agreed with it, but decided there was no harm in looking into it."

Michelle and Martin discovered Tuesday's Child agency in Macclesfield was looking for brown-eyed brown-haired babies and although Jacob only had a little hair they put him forward.

He was invited to an audition for Emmerdale where they took a video, but the show needed a baby that could crawl.

Then out of the blue the casting director for Cold Feet called and said he had seen the video and was interested in using Jacob.

He was one of five babies used for the show and spent 13 days filming in Manchester last September.

Michelle said: "I've always watched the show and was really shocked when they called, but the whole family is proud. I don't know if we'd do it again because I'm back at work now, but it was a good experience.

"Jacob loves cameras and is all smiles as soon as he sees one. It has also given him quite a bit of confidence because he was mixing with new people.

"He didn't know anyone there but he never flinched and he took a real shine to Jimmy Nesbitt."

His grandmother Maureen Hughes, who lives in Fishwick Lane, Higher Wheelton, and works for Blackburn with Darwen Council, said: "He was brilliant for a baby that young and gurgled in all the right places. It's up to his mummy and daddy whether he does anything else, but he's a natural."

MEDIA GUARDIAN 17TH MARCH 2003: Fame show's popularity has double edge for BBC

Management split over accusations of commercialism

Matt Wells, media correspondent
Monday March 17, 2003
The Guardian

Celebrity Fame Academy may have been the must-watch TV of last week, but concerns about its effect on the BBC's image as a public service broadcaster has led to a split at senior levels of the corporation.
Almost 14 million people watched on Friday night when the powerful voice of the Casualty actor Will Mellor beat the idiosyncratic performance of the TV presenter Ruby Wax to the winner's title - a ringing endorsement that ought to be enough to earn a commission for a second series of the non-celebrity version. But its return is far from guaranteed.

Lorraine Heggessey, controller of BBC1, has been delighted at the show's success, which has been mirrored by favourable press coverage.

But Greg Dyke, the BBC director general, and some BBC governors are concerned that critics of the corporation would use its return to undermine his case for a renewal of the BBC's royal charter, the issue that will define his term as director general.

The stakes were raised when John Whittingdale, the shadow culture secretary, cited the programme as an example of Mr Dyke's overly commercial instincts during a Commons debate on the communications bill two weeks ago. Some fear that a new series in the autumn would merely inflame those who would undermine the case for a universal licence fee, at a time when the debate about the BBC's future would be intensifying.

The problems hark back to last autumn, when the first series of Fame Academy took to the air amid shrieks of derision. It was said to be derivative - an amalgam of such programmes as Big Brother, Popstars and Pop Idol.

Rivals claimed it had no place in the BBC's public service canon, and was the highest-profile example of Mr Dyke's damaging commercial instincts.

Ratings for the first few shows were poor and its image was not helped by some shoddy production, ill-judged choice of presenters, and a format that guaranteed the worst singers were given the highest profile.

The press quickly dubbed it Lame Academy - a moniker that stuck.

But viewers soon warmed to the format, and ratings for later programmes picked up, although press coverage never really caught up with the changing public mood.

This time, ratings have been rock solid, with the programme getting 7 million or 8 million viewers on its weeknight outings at 7pm; last year, the midweek update shows only got 3 million or 4 million viewers in a slot that is usually dominated by Emmerdale on ITV1.

So the BBC finds itself in the position where it has a mainstream entertainment hit on its hands - something that it has been trying to develop for years - but one whose middle-of-the-road success may actually count against it.

A production insider said: "While the production team felt the increased popularity of the initial series followed by the massive popularity of the Comic Relief special would have secured a second run, Lorraine Heggessey is so politically astute that she knows full well that if the governors are against it, then she's not going to go the wire on it."

The BBC said last night that the fate of Fame Academy was still to be sealed. A spokesman said: "No decision has been made about the show's future yet."



Louise's honey trap

Monday | 17.03.03

Terry's true feelings for Dawn are about to be tested.
Not long ago Louise was the object of his affections but after she rejected him, Terry left on holiday and returned engaged.

Now, Dawn's frantic parents - Bob and Jean - are trying to scupper the marriage plans and believe that Louise Appleton may be just the person to help them.

Believing that deep down Terry still loves Louise, Bob begs the Woolpack landlady to test his resolve by setting a honey trap.

Louise has doubts but she has been left unnerved by the speed at which Terry has transferred his affections from her to Dawn and wants to find out the truth about their relationship.

In the past Louise turned to Terry for support in her hour of need. When she found out that rogue fiance Ray Mullan was the man stalking her and their violent confrontation ended in his death, Terry helped the stunning blonde to cover up the killing.

Will he be able to resist the charms of the woman he broke the law for?

Radio Times 15th March 2003

Soaps by Alison Graham


Are we the only ones to feel that the proposed marriage between (very, very) young Dawn and Terry is icky, to say the least? He's old enough to be her dad. Thus we have considerable sympathy with Dawn's actual dad, Bob, when he does everything he possibly can to halt the wedding this week.

Dawn and Terry's relationship has fallout elsewhere, when Dawn's toxic mum, Jean, finds out a particularly juicy titbit about Viv, something she simply cannot keep to herself.

THE SUN EMMERDALE 15th March 2003

Tery and Dawn on their wedding day

Weekdays ITV1

IT'S no surprise that tears are shed in the Dales on Terry and his young bride Dawn’s wedding day.

As one marriage begins, it could be the end of another. Fists fly when father-of-the-bride Bob accuses Viv of cheating on him.

“Bob doesn’t know if he’s coming or going,” says Tony Audenshaw, who plays Viv’s harassed hubby.

“He’s so wound up about Dawn and Terry he doesn’t think about his own marriage. His ex-wife Jean is out to cause trouble and she tells him Viv slept with limo driver, Matti.”

Bob thought it was Steph who had been steaming up the windows on Tricia’s hen night, but when he asks Diane, the look on her face tells him the truth. “He is absolutely shattered,” says Tony.

“He loves Viv and has been totally faithful to her. And he is also desperate to stop Dawn marrying ‘Mr Wrong’.”

But Dawn’s mind is made up. And she is thrilled when Jean books a limo for her. Jean is so keen to cause trouble between Viv and Bob she deliberately hires rent-a-car Romeo Matti.

As the service starts, Bob rushes in and demands the wedding be stopped. Dawn stands up to him and Terry tells Bob his own marriage is an example of how a couple can find happiness.

“That tips Bob right over the edge,” says Tony. “He just blurts out that his own marriage is nothing to go by because Viv slept with the limo driver.”

As Jean smirks in triumph and Viv pleads with her husband, Bob belts Matti and storms off.

Next day, Terry pleads with Bob not to leave the village.
“He agrees but can’t find it in himself to forgive Viv, even though he does still love her,” explains Tony. “Bob suggests they separate for a while. Jean asks Bob to go to Spain with her but he turns her down.

“He might not know what is going to happen to his marriage, but he is never going back to Jean!”

Also this week: Mack tricks Edna into feeling sorry for him. Jarvis warns her she’ll never be rid of him. Andy and Stephen are surprised to see Wilf back at work on the farm. The villagers enjoy a barn dance.

Spell of the greasepaint


Actors playing traumatic roles deserve sympathy - and therapy
Mark Lawson
Saturday March 15, 2003
The Guardian

The film director Mike Leigh, whose work is created through improvisation, says "come out of character" to signal to his cast that a working session is over. This division is especially necessary on occasions when a performer is so impressively impersonating a thug that he's about to be arrested or is so deep into the pretence of being a doctor that she's on the verge of carrying out surgery. Actors in Coronation Street and Emmerdale Farm, however, are apparently having difficulty in switching back when the director clicks his fingers. Granada, producer of these soaps, is offering therapy and counselling to cast members who are required to act out unusually traumatic storylines.

An actor whose character was sexually assaulted might undergo a form of rape counselling. A "daughter" who has just said farewell to her "mother" at an off-duty crematorium that is filled with extras dripping glycerine down their cheeks will be encouraged to explore her feelings of bereavement with a therapist.
As a recent report questioned the benefits of therapy for those who face knocks in real life, MPs and pundits from the common-sense lobby have quickly mocked the idea that a script could send you to a shrink. But the idea of these greasepaint debriefs touches on the bigger question of what acting does and what it might do to you.

Theatrical legend is heavy with stories of performers unable to leave their character at the dressing-room door. Daniel Day-Lewis abandoned stage acting after believing that he had seen his own father's ghost while playing Hamlet. Robert Hardy admitted that, while playing Churchill, he took to delivering booming speeches at his family. And there are at least two actors who enter into their roles so totally that, if they ever portray Hitler, it would be unsafe to allow them anywhere near the borders of Poland.

The opposite view - that the adopted personality should be hung up as easily as the costume - was most memorably expressed by Laurence Olivier when Dustin Hoffman arrived on the Marathon Man set. Required to portray a man driven crazy by lack of sleep, he had absented himself from bed until his mind was so fuzzy he struggled to remember his lines. Olivier is supposed to have drawled: "My dear boy, have you ever considered just acting?"

That made Hoffman look small, we like to think, and yet Olivier was the kind of actor who never lost himself in a part: he was always signalling his presence through technique or cosmetics. Perhaps he needed to get closer to the role.

There are two defences of therapy for actors: one flattering, one not. The happier excuse is that the most authentic art draws on personal suffering. The best novels about divorce are not written by bachelors or newlyweds; the greatest paintings representing psychosis come from the actually mad. In this analysis, acting should be no different.

Less of a compliment is the possibility that it's soap opera actors who are especially affected because there's such a thin line between the performer and the part. Although soap operas have large budgets, very little is spent on make-up. Because the production of such series is so intensive, producers choose actors who closely resemble the role.

Performers may then be required to remain in character five days a week for up to 30 years. An actor with a main role in a soap can spend more hours of the day as the name on the script than as the name on his or her chequebook. With your personality so routinely split, perhaps it can be understood why rape or bereavement that happens under the arc lights may have the feel of something that occurred under street-lights.

This week's documentary about the departing ITV1 series Cold Feet showed the actress Helen Baxendale in tears while rehearsing the death of a woman of her own age and appearance who she's embodied for five whole years. Imagine what an odd job that must be.

Still, the instinct is to giggle at Granada's initiative. You do wonder if the TV company should simply hire actors to play counsellors, thus both reducing Equity unemployment and freeing up the therapy professionals for train crashes and other tragedies.

Yet, while it's easy to deride actors for their sensitivities, there is something spooky about the business of spending days pretending to be someone else.

That fine actor James Hazeldine died recently. He collapsed after playing Sigmund Freud in a role which required him to faint and then say: "How sweet it must be to die." Those were almost the last words he spoke on a stage. The real Freud could have said a lot about the oddities of such pretence

Media Guardian 14th March 2003

Battle of Britain boosts Five


Channel Five enjoyed its biggest ever audience for live coverage of a football club game last night, with nearly 4.5 million viewers tuning in for the battle of Britain Uefa Cup clash between Celtic and Liverpool.Live coverage of the 1-1 draw at Celtic Park attracted the sixth biggest audience ever to Five, with 4.4 million tuning in between 7.45pm and 10pm, according to unofficial overnights.

Only three England football internationals and terrestrial premieres of movies The Rock and Independence Day have attracted bigger audiences since Five launched nearly six years ago.

Last night, the audience for Celtic v Liverpool peaked at 5.4 million viewers at 9.30pm and overall the live football attracted an 18% audience share.

Five's coverage helped push ITV1 into fourth place among the terrestrial channels between 9pm and 10pm last night.

ITV1 documentary Maggie: the First Lady was watched by just 2.8 million viewers and attracted a 12% audience share.

As well as Five's football, Maggie lost out to BBC1's Enforcers: Car Wars Special documentary, which attracted 6.9 million viewers.

It was also beaten by Channel 4's Secrets of the Dead: Titanic's Ghosts, which was watched by 2.9 million viewers.

Earlier in the evening, Comic Relief Does Fame Academy was watched by 7.1 million viewers between 7pm and 7.30pm.

Fame Academy had a 32% audience share during that period, but still lost out to ITV1's Emmerdale, as the Yorkshire-set soap attracted 8.4 million viewers and a 38% audience share.
BBC1 put on an extra half hour of Fame Academy between 8.30pm and 9pm, which won its slot with 7.1 million viewers. The Comic Relief show got the better of ITV1's The Bill, which was watched by 6.2 million viewers.

At 7.30pm, BBC1 offered an action-packed edition of EastEnders, with Natalie spilling the beans to Barry about her affair with Ricky, and Barry's dad Roy having a heart attack.
EastEnders was watched by 13.1 million viewers - still a big audience, but less than the soap was getting earlier this week and also well below the 15 million-plus audiences Coronation Street is enjoying with its Richard "Dick Dastardly" Hillman storyline.

Kevin Laffan - creator of Emmerdale
Photo thanks to Emmerdale.net
Kevin Barry Laffan, playwright and television scriptwriter: born Reading, Berkshire 24 May 1922; married Jeanne Thompson (three sons); died London 11 March 2003.

ITV.com Emmerdale Creator Passes Away

Thursday | 13.03.03

The Emmerdale Village and logo

Beloved Emmerdale creator Kevin Laffan has died – he was 80.

An integral part of the rural soap, writer Kevin penned 262 episodes of Emmerdale after coming up with the idea in 1972.

Laffan is credited with making the soap the hit it remains 31 years on, after his vision won the programme – which was originally scheduled to run at lunchtime for just 13 weeks – a permanent slot.

The elderly writer had undergone heart surgery two weeks ago but sadly passed on after suffering a bout of pneumonia.

Original cast member Shelia Mercier, who played Annie Sugden, paid an emotional tribute to Laffan.

She says, “He was a wonderful person. He was a prolific writer who created one of the most popular programmes on TV.”

An Emmerdale Spokesman added, “Without his creativity, Emmerdale would not be where it is.”

The Independent

Kevin Laffan
Creator of the long-running ITV soap opera 'Emmerdale Farm'
15 March 2003 © 2003 Independent Digital (UK) Ltd

As the creator of the rural soap opera Emmerdale Farm, Kevin Laffan was responsible for television's second most enduring serial, after Coronation Street.

The matriarchal Annie Sugden faced life without her farmer husband, Jacob, who had died after spending much of his later years in the Woolpack pub, drinking away any profits. She aimed to make a go of the ailing farm by reuniting her two feuding sons, Jack and Joe, and accepting investment from an outsider, Henry Wilks, who had made his fortune in the Bradford wool industry and was bringing his business acumen to the Yorkshire Dales.

When Emmerdale Farm became simply Emmerdale and many of the trials and tribulations of the farm were replaced by raunchier storylines in the nearby village, Laffan voiced his objections. As the serial celebrated its 25th anniversary, in 1997, he said in an interview:

I'm against sex and violence. Families try not to quarrel and the drama lies in their trying not to. But, of course, it does break out occasionally – that's the climax. With sex, once you say a couple can get into bed together, what do you do next? You have to have the blanket going up and down. Then they do it without the blanket, and so on. The business, instead of the relationship between the people, becomes the drama.

Laffan had been born in the less rural surroundings of Reading in 1922, the son of a crippled Irish travelling photographer. After starting his career as an actor, he became artistic director at the Everyman Theatre, Reading, for seven years and, under the name Kevin Barry, wrote plays that included Ginger Bred (1951), The Strip-Tease Murder (with Neville Brian, 1955), Winner Takes All (1956) and First Innocent (1957).

Later, as Kevin Laffan, he enjoyed a West End stage hit with It's a Two Feet Six Inches Above the Ground World (1970), which was turned into a 1972 film with the reworked title It's a Two-Foot-Six-Inch-Above-the-Ground World. The screen sex comedy, starring Nanette Newman and Hywel Bennett as a Roman Catholic couple who adopt birth control, was later retitled The Love Ban.

By then, Laffan was establishing a reputation as a writer for television. He scripted the six-part Bud (1963), which featured the music-hall comedian Bud Flanagan playing a fictionalised version of himself, retired and trying his hand at a string of other jobs. He also wrote the ITV serial Castle Haven (1969), set in two large Victorian houses that had been converted into unfurnished flats in a Yorkshire coastal town, with the action revolving around the residents. Although now almost forgotten, it featured Roy Barraclough, Kathy Staff and Jill Summers, all of whom went on to find fame in other soaps.

Laffan's television plays included Decision to Burn (starring Anthony Hopkins, 1971) and The Best Pair of Legs in the Business, first produced for the small screen in 1968 but remade four years later as a feature film, with Reg Varney recreating his original role of an ageing holiday camp drag artist.

At about the same time came a phone call offering Laffan the chance to script a new, lunchtime serial, when ITV was looking for daytime programming in the wake of the Government's decision to relax restrictions on broadcasting hours, but the writer was not keen. He recalled:

Donald Baverstock, Yorkshire Television's director of programmes, phoned me and asked if I would like to write a farming serial. My first reaction was, "No, I wouldn't." I was a playwright at heart and my agent told me it would ruin my reputation. People are very funny. They think that, if you write a soap, you are going into the gutter. It's just a snobbish thing, really. Anyway, in the end I agreed. I was asked to write a three-month serial, so I wrote it as a 26-episode play and left the end open so that it could continue.

Laffan had worked on a farm near Walsall in his teens, although it was only for six months as a "fill-in" job in between work as an actor in repertory theatre. In writing about farm life, he was much more concerned with the characters than the job. "I was intrigued by the idea that farming was a way of life, as opposed to simply a way of earning a living," he explained to me. "I was interested in the mental attitude that set the two apart."

Emmerdale Farm, featuring the stage actress Sheila Mercier as Annie Sugden, began on 16 October 1972, at 1.30pm, with Jacob Sugden's funeral, a novel idea to bring together and introduce all the serial's characters in the fictional village of Beckindale. The Monday and Tuesday episodes were popular enough with mothers, pensioners and shift workers to earn the programme an extended run, until it eventually won a teatime slot and, in some ITV regions, was screened at 6.30pm.

Laffan stopped writing for the serial after 12 years but remained a consultant. In 1988, Emmerdale Farm was finally given a networked evening slot across the whole country and, the following year, its title was shortened to Emmerdale. The affairs, business and otherwise, of the newly arrived Tates at Home Farm became the centre of attention for many years, as the storylines' emphasis switched to the village, which itself was renamed Emmerdale in the year after the 1993 Lockerbie-style plane crash.

Laffan's other big television success was Beryl's Lot (1973-77), a comedy-drama inspired by the real-life story of the novelist Margaret Powell, a cook who married a milkman, prepared to take O and A levels as she approached 60, then had her first book published. For the television series, Carmel McSharry starred as a charlady in her forties, with a milkman husband and three children, and was seen starting evening classes in an attempt to improve her station in life.

Later, Laffan and Peter Jones wrote the sitcom I Thought You'd Gone (1984), in which Jones and Pat Heywood played the parents who moved to a smaller house in the country in the belief that their grown-up children had all finally left home. Of course, they were soon back. Laffan also contributed scripts to the espionage series Man in a Suitcase (1967, 1968), Kate (starring Phyllis Calvert as an agony columnist, 1970), the courtroom drama Justice (1973) and The Inspector Alleyn Mysteries (1993). His other stage plays included The Superannuated Man (1967) and Zoo Zoo Widdershins Zoo (1969).

Last year, Laffan was introduced to the Queen on the set of Emmerdale as it celebrated its 30th anniversary in her Golden Jubilee year.

Anthony Hayward

Kevin Barry Laffan, playwright and television scriptwriter: born Reading, Berkshire 24 May 1922; married Jeanne Thompson (three sons); died London 11 March 2003.

Kevin Laffan

The creator of Emmerdale Farm, he disliked its descent into 'sex and sensationalism'

Dennis Barker
Thursday March 20, 2003
The Guardian

Kevin Laffan, who has died aged 80, strove to strip the public of its sentimentality about farming and country folk by creating a television series, Emmerdale Farm (later Emmerdale). It became Britain's longest-running television soap opera, aside from Coronation Street.

The series was launched in 1972, and Laffan, who wrote its first 262 episodes, was keen to stress that farmers were fundamentalists. "They accept all the facts of life - and 'all' encompasses much more than the limited and boring gymnastics of procreation."

But though he nailed his colours to the mast of realism, by the time of his departure in 1985, Laffan had become disenchanted with the successful media monster he had created, attacking its "sex, sin and sensationalism". He reasoned that it had become too dependent on the cliche of explicit sex and was supported by one member of the cast who called the programme "Dallas with dung".

The man who had started by writing what he called "a 26-episode play" for Donald Baverstock, director of programmes for Yorkshire TV, had a stated scorn for pornography - though long after Emmerdale, in 1994, he was to write a raunchy play called The Missionary - And Other Positions, followed a few years later by the novel Virgins Are In Short Supply.

Emmerdale Farm soon became known as the small screen's answer to radio's The Archers, though its characters were more gritty. Laffan, who was keen on dominant women, created a memorable heroine in Annie Sugden, the wife of the ne'er-do-well pub landlord, who took over the village pub after her husband drank himself to an early grave. The first episode opened with his funeral.

Though this apparently sombre concept was not popular with all the executives of Yorkshire TV (especially as the setting was a mythical village in the Yorkshire Dales), Laffan stood firm. He was an advocate of the view, just permissible in 1972, that a writer's opinion was sacrosanct.

Like most genuinely creative writers, Laffan's characters were what set the show apart: not only was there Annie Sugden (played by Sheila Mercier), but Jack, the returning son who wanted to get his hands on the family farm, his jealous sister Peggy Skilbeck, and others who had their eyes on Annie's assets.

His programme was initially thought of by the schedulers as a filler for the Monday and Tuesday slots of the newly launched daytime programming - until then, watching television had been largely an evening activity. It was not until 1988 that it got its primetime, nationally networked, evening slot for five nights a week.

Laffan became a consultant after he left in 1985, and met the Queen on the set when the programme celebrated its 30th anniversary last year.

But Emmerdale was far from being Laffan's only work for television. Beryl's Lot, which began in 1973 and ran for four years, featured a milkman's wife striving to improve herself in middle age. With Peter Jones, he wrote the 1984 show I Thought You'd Gone, about a middle-class family faced with constantly returning grown-up children. He contributed episodes to Man In A Suitcase (1967 and 1968), Kate (1970), Justice (1973) and The Inspector Alleyn Mysteries (1993).

He also wrote many stage plays (under the name Kevin Barry), including Ginger Bread (1951), The Strip-Tease Murder (1955), Winner Takes All (1956), First Innocent (1957); and later The Superannuated Man (1967) and Zoo Zoo Widdershins Zoo (1969).

Laffan was a prolific writer, inspired by a sad but picturesque past. He was born in Reading, the son of an itinerant Irish photographer, and boasted that as a boy he had leapt off the bailiff's lorry carrying his family through the gates of a Walsall workhouse in the Black Country, and was given a home by an elderly actress. She told him: "If you want to be serious, make them laugh" - advice, he said, he had never forgotten.

He is survived by his wife and three sons.

· Kevin Laffan, writer, born May 24 1922; died March 11 2003

BBC Puresoap 30th March 2003

Emmerdale creator dies

Kevin Laffan, the man behind hit soap Emmerdale, has died at the age of 80.
He personally took charge of the northern soap and launched it on a successful path, writing the first 262 episodes.

The rural saga was only supposed to run for 13 weeks, at first, but Laffan gave it a such a successful start in life that it is still going strong 31 years later. The first episode ran in 1972.

Mr Laffan died of pneumonia.

Upcoming Episode Spoilers

© Yorkshire Television

Printed with kind permission of the Emmerdale Press Office

Week Beginning Monday 17th March 2003

MONDAY: - Bob discovers Viv’s infidelity
TUESDAY:- Dawn and Terry’s wedding runs far from smooth
WEDNESDAY: Viv is frantic as Bob goes missing
THURSDAY: – Bob and Terry come to blows
FRIDAY: - Jean asks Bob to come back to Spain with her

Episode 3396 MONDAY 17 MARCH 2003

EMMERDALE at 7.00pm Fully Networked

Dawn is wracked with pre-wedding jitters ahead of her big day – but she isn’t alone. Her dad, Bob, is frantic at the prospect of giving his daughter away to Terry, a man more than twice her age.

Despite his best efforts to spilt up the bride and groom, he has seemingly failed and the wedding is full steam ahead with a church rehearsal later in the day.

But Bob’s concerns for Dawn are forced to take a back seat when Jean, who has been relishing the news of Viv’s infidelity, decides now would be a good time to spill the beans!

Terry, meanwhile, is having a few last minute problems himself after being let down by his best man he is struggling to fins someone who will do the honours.

But with the clock ticking, he gets a surprise when an unlikely candidate jumps at the chance to step in to the role.

Still unconvinced that Terry is getting married for the right reasons, Louise decides to challenge him about his feelings for her.

But how will he respond to her plea from the heart?

Elsewhere in the village Betty revels in gossiping about Edna’s new lodger, Mack, and delights in enlightening the rest of the village about their unlikely friendship!

Episode 3397 TUESDAY 18 MARCH 2003

EMMERDALE @ 7pm Fully Networked

Blissfully unaware that her secret is out, Viv is growing concerned that Bob has seemingly gone walkabout just hours before the wedding and can’t understand why.

Aware that she was the one who let the cat out of the bag, Jean enjoys toying with Viv and refuses to tell her the real reason for his vanishing act.

Bob, meanwhile, is desperate to get to the bottom of his wife’s infidelity and looks to Diane for answers. He is shattered when she confirms the rumour and grows annoyed that he appears to be the only person who didn’t know.

As Dawn and Terry arrive at the church for their wedding, Bob is still nowhere to be seen. Dawn is troubled by his absence but refuses to let it spoil her big day.

With no one to give her away, Dawn will not be deterred from walking down the aisle alone - looking every inch the radiant bride.

Trouble is stirring outside, however, as an outraged Bob finally arrives – determined to not only stop the wedding but also give Viv a piece of his mind!

Donna’s desperate pleas to stop Bob ruining the wedding fall on deaf ears and all hell breaks loose as he marches into the church.

But the trouble doesn’t stop there as Jean has treated Dawn to a stretch limo – driven by the driver who bedded Viv!

Else where in the village, Jarvis offers a word of friendly advice to Edna about not trusting Mack – but Edna is in no mood to be told who she can and can’t have living under her roof.

Episode 3398 WEDNESDAY 19 MARCH 2003

EMMERDALE at 7.00pm Fully Networked

Viv is still reeling from the news that her marriage could be over and, realising that Bob hasn’t come home, is petrified he may have gone and done something stupid.

To make matters worse, Jean makes sure she is the first to rub salt into the wound leaving Viv distraught.

But her anguish turns to rage when she discovers that it was Steph who was responsible for letting her secret slip. As the insults fly, Viv berates her for ruining her marriage but Steph shows little remorse.

And Donna isn’t exactly sympathetic to her mum, and accuses her of wrecking a relationship with the one man who truly loved her.

Meanwhile Dawn is panicking about Bob’s whereabouts. Her mobile keeps ringing but the caller can’t bring themselves to speak.

But when Terry answers her phone he is confused as he distinctly hears animal sounds in the background – Dawn suddenly has an idea where Bob may be.

Edna takes further pity on Mack when she hears he is going to sell his tools to keep his head above water, insisting he stay on with her until he gets back on track.

Times are hard for Wilf Butler and, despite his best efforts he has decided to call it a day and quit the farm. Jack can’t help but feel disappointed as he had gone out of his way to help the Butlers through a difficult time.

Episode 3399 THURSDAY 20 MARCH 2003

EMMERDALE at 7.00pm Fully Networked

Dawn’s theory of where to find Bob proves to be right and Terry finds him at the zoo – searching for answers in the bottom of a bottle of whiskey.

Unshaven and still in the same clothes as the day before, Bob is miserable as his world has fallen apart. And Terry’s arrival on the scene doesn’t help matters.

Bob’s pent-up anger towards Terry finally surfaces in all its glory and the two end up coming to blows in full view of the park’s visitors.

After being thrown out by security, Terry takes Bob home but he is in no mood to be sweet-talked by Viv. Instead he quickly gathers together his belongings and walks out as quickly as he returned.

Mack has settled in at Edna’s and is helping out where he can with domestic chores. She is starting to enjoy his company and likes the idea of having a man about the house - but Jarvis isn’t so sure.

Convinced Mack is not as straight as he makes out, Jarvis starts to wonder if Mack isn’t looking to take advantage of Edna and decides to serve up a friendly warning in his direction.

Rodney’s two favourite ladies cause a bit of turbulence at Mill Cottage as Nicola and Steph find themselves at each other’s throats once again.

He tries in vein to smooth it over, but to no avail – it is clear they are never going to see eye to eye.

Episode 3400 FRIDAY 21 MARCH 2003

EMMERDALE @ 7pm Fully Networked

Having done enough damage to last a lifetime, Jean finally decides to jet back to Spain.

But not content with the chaos she has already brought to the village, Jean is determined to take Bob with her and leave Viv all alone.

With his world upside down and feeling as though he can never trust his wife again, will Bob be tempted by the escape route that Jean is offering?

Viv, meanwhile, cries into her corn flakes and is left to wonder if she will ever see her husband again.

She is desperate to make amends but Bob is flatly refusing to even see her, never mind listen.

Steph thinks she’s hit the jackpot when she finds a rare figurine in one of Rodney house clearances.

Not wanting to give him a cut from the spoils, she makes arrangements to sell it on the quiet for a fortune, but her suspicious behaviour isn’t going unnoticed.

Seeing Debbie in a different light since she has discovered she is a Dingle, Lisa invites her over for some tea and a chance to look at some family photos.

Debbie is pleased when Emily encourages her and realises that while Charity may never want her, she will never be short of family ever again.

Back at the Woolpack the rest of the villagers are letting their hair down as Jarvis teaches them all how to line dance!

Teletext Pick of the Week 13th March 2003

Pick of the day: 17 March 2003

Dawn and Terry

Yes, it's another wedding in Emmerdale but this time it isn't a double one. Dawn is about to marry Terry, a man twice her age and not to Bob's taste.

Despite his best efforts to split them up the wedding rehearsal is almost upon them. This being soapland Terry also has his fair share of problems. His best man has blown him out. With the clock ticking an unlikely candidate offers to help.
ITV1, 7pm

The Sun 15 March 2003

What a soap-er year!

The biggest night of the year for soap is approaching and you can help pick the winners at The British Soap Awards 2003 and win a 28" widescreen in the process.

The TVmag is the only newspaper magazine with a direct voting link to the awards via the form opposite. So your votes will help decide who'll leave the star-studded ceremony, hosted by Des O'Connor and Melanie Sykes in May, with a gong.

It's been an amazing year, with Coronation Street going all out to reclaim the Best Soap title, won for the past two years by EastEnders.

Not surprisingly, Brian Capron's performance as killer Richard Hillman has earned him a Best Actor nomination, with Helen Worth, who plays Richard's tormented wife Gail, up for Best Actress.

EastEnders won't surrender the title without a fight.

Copper Kate's undercover campaign to discover exactly what Phil did to Lisa has been gripping, and Steve McFadden, who plays Phil, is nominated for Best Actor.

Hitting out ... Louise fights for her life while Richard goes on a killing spree

Other captivating moments include Jamie's death, Anthony's love triangle with Zoe and Kat, and Trevor's fiery exit.

Emmerdale is on a high after the ratings success of Louise's stalker storyline and the killing of her lover-turned-tormentor Ray.

But the Dales have also witnessed the tragic death of Angie, the love story of Andy and Katie, and Zak's emotional exit to search for treasure in South America.

Brookside gave us spectacular scenes with the police helicopter crash on to the Close.

And young Raymond Quinn, who plays bully-killer Anthony Murray, has gone from strength to strength. It's no wonder he's up for Best Actor.

Crossroads returned in January with Jane Asher launching her soap career with an unforgettable naked entrance.

Lately, Roger Sloman has been providing laughs with a double performance as Rocky and his troublesome twin brother, Hilary. Roger is nominated for Best Actor.

Doctors has had a lively year with the Riverside Practice forced to change with the times.

Christopher Timothy has been in fine form as Dr 'Mac' McGuire, who had a heart attack after discovering his wife was having an affair with their vicar.

Hollyoaks has packed in some high drama, and the serial killer is still at large.

Boy George gave a surprise boost to the New Year at The Loft, and Sarah Dunn is up for the Best Actress award for her portrayal of troubled Mandy.

And in Family Affairs there's been plenty of action, with Kelly's death being the biggest shock of the year.

Tension ... Family Affairs' tragic Kelly

Former Soldier, Soldier star Rosie Rowell is among the show's leading candidates for an award, thanks to her superb acting as complex Eileen.

Click here to post your votes

Vote and win

This Is York 15th March 2003

Stone me if it isn't John Wayne's hat

by Evening Press reporter

MAYBE it's appropriate that a memento of one of the craggiest of Hollywood's legendary stars should have ended up "set in stone" in North Yorkshire.

For a hat once owned by John Wayne is showing its own True Grit after taking pride of place in the petrifying well at Mother Shipton's Cave, in Knaresborough.

The headgear - a straw hat, rather than "The Duke's" trademark stetson - is among a range of objects turned to stone due to the high mineral content in the water at the tourist attraction.

Its owner, Adrian Sayers, said the item had come to Knaresborough via the family of his wife, Liz.

"Liz's great-grandfather was given the hat from a friend who met John Wayne on a ranch in America," he said.

"It was his own straw hat, not a stage prop.

"As soon as I saw it I knew it had to be hung in the well for all to see."

Also petrified for posterity is a handbag which once belonged to detective story writer Agatha Christie, while the latest celebrity headwear to arrive at the cave is a green knitted hat, belonging to the Emmerdale character Seth Armstrong, played by Stan Richards.

Updated: 09:57 Saturday, March 15, 2003

BBC Pure Soap - Did You See 14th March 2003

Did You See... last week in Soap?
This Week's Lows
The new Emmerdale family - the Marsdens. He's a truckie. She's a tough 40-something. The kids are stroppy teenagers.
New kids in town

Frances & Ronnie

How long will they last? I'd be surprised if they finish unpacking those boxes. Even they know they're not staying long - look at the size of that mini-me removal van!

The Marsdens - Frances, Ronnie, Ali, Elain, Paul & Siobhan
Ronnie never lost an opportunity to cop a feel
© Yorkshire Television 2003

Did You See... last week in Soap?

This lot could do with thinking of others for a change…
Mack the Emmerdale builder. Since when did he become such a monster? And why does he stay in a village where two builders are chasing zero work and everyone hates him, when he could be earning more than Robbie Williams somewhere else? We need to know!


Viv's Jealousy

Friday | 14.03.03

Viv, Jean & Bob

Emmerdale's Viv Hope is concerned now Bob's ex-wife Jean is back.

The gossipy postmistress is worried that the former lovers' united disapproval of their daughter's forthcoming marriage will rekindle their long-dead romance.

As preparations intensify for young Dawn's nuptials to much-older Terry Woods, the ex-spouses begin to carefully plot a way to ensure their child comes to her senses. Leaving Viv paranoid that she is being deliberately left out.

However, maybe Viv should be more worried about her past re-emerging. On the eve of her own wedding to barman Bob, Viv enjoyed a cheeky encounter with a limo driver which has remained a secret.

But with village bad girl Steph Stokes in possession of the damning piece of information it can only be a matter of time before the truth is out.

Will Bob and Viv's marriage be able to survive the scandal?

ITV.com Beckindale Women Bond

Thursday | 13.03.03


Matriarchs Lisa Dingle and Frances Marsden are starting to bond.

The feisty females initially crossed swords as they attempted to get to know each other better but both are now thawing out.

Frances was infuriated when Cain Dingle lashed out at her daughter Elaine turning a sociable drink into an awkward silence. However, after Lisa took her on to work at Pollard's factory, they are getting better acquainted.

In fact, it's Lisa that Frances turns to as she battles her terror over a health scare. Unable to confide in husband Ronnie and unwilling to discuss it with daughter-in- law Siobhan, Frances talks the problem over with kindly Lisa.

Lisa is no stranger to health problems herself, having watched husband Zak battle testicular cancer recently, and gives the newcomer some sage advice.

With their bad first impressions behind them, the pair form a friendship which could prove to be a port in a storm for both.

Daily Mirror:
Mar 12 2003

By Stephen Moyes

THE man behind Emmerdale has died at the age of 80.

Kevin Laffan wrote 262 episodes of the soap after dreaming up the idea of a show set in the Yorkshire Dales 31 years ago.

He had a heart operation two weeks ago but died of pneumonia.

Actress Sheila Mercier, who played Annie Sugden in the serial, said: "He was a wonderful person.

"He was a prolific writer who created one of the most popular programmes on TV."

Emmerdale was originally intended to fill a lunchtime slot for a 13-week run. It now regularly attracts 10 million viewers.

It became the first five nights a week TV soap in Britain and now boasts the second longest run after Coronation Street.

Mr Laffan, who lived in Wimbledon, met the Queen on the set last year.

A spokesman for the show said: "Without his creativity, Emmerdale would not be where it is."

ITV.com When Ali met Ollie

Wednesday | 12.03.03


Ali Marsden wants to win a bet and a girlfriend.
Since moving to the village the cheeky newcomer has been on the lookout and thinks Ollie Reynolds is the girl for him.

And it seems he will stop at nothing to win her heart, despite being aware she is in a long-term romance with local lad Danny Daggart.

However, his twin sister Elaine is unconvinced that her romeo brother can charm Ollie into a date and lays a bet down. This prompts her brother to pull out all the stops to get Ollie to agree to go out with him.

When she initially turns him down, Ali decides to reveal his secret to her and tells all about the heart defect which could kill him.

Ollie relents but when Danny finds out what he's been up to, Ali will have another reason to worry about his health.

18 - 31 March: it shall come to pass
Truth hurts
Bob’s ex, Jean, tells him about Viv’s fling with the chauffeur. There’s a huge bust-up at Terry and Dawn’s wedding. And Bob punches the limo driver.
Steph’s dreams of making a fast buck and fleeing Emmerdale are shattered.
The figurines she planned to sell are broken.
Cain maliciously tells Debbie about Charity’s past as a prostitute. The girl’s shocked.

And it’s Mother’s Day – very confusing for poor Debbie.

Jean & Bob


Mack the strife

Tuesday | 11.03.03


Syd Woolfe finds out the truth about Mack's bad ways.
Syd has always been close to Mack. But his so-called mate is taking advantage of Syd's friendship to solve his money problems.

Mack is already being chased for rent by Mr Turner and is now using Syd's home as a doss house and messing up his contracts at work.

And actor Nathan Gladwell, who plays sexy Syd, thinks the betrayal has come as a complete shock to the benevolent lad. "Syd doesn't understand why his best mate would suddenly be trying to do one over on him," he says.

"At first, he didn't believe it. He knew things were happening but this guy has been like a father to him since he was 16 and is a close friend of the family.

"Mack has shown his true colours and in the end, when the going got tough Mack didn't care who he hurt - mate or not."

Luckily in real life the Nathan and co-star Rob Dixon are the best of friends.

Nathan laughs, "He's hilarious with a dry and cheeky sense of humour."


Chris Tate


Tate Tangles

Tuesday | 11.03.03

Chris Tate is struggling to hold his troubled marriage together.

Rocked by the revelation that wife Charity has a secret daughter, the disabled businessman is trying to support her through the ordeal.

However, their relationship is suffering as Charity tries to come to terms with the reappearance of daughter Debbie and is shutting Chris out.

And with Charity hiding the fact Caine Dingle is Debbie's real father, actor Peter Amory - who plays the hard-nosed Tate - thinks that things can only get worse between them.

He says, "If he is struggling with the fact she has a daughter, God only knows how he will react when he finds out who the father is!

"Things are rocky right now, but the weeks ahead are going to prove even harder. Chris has always wondered whether or not Charity really cares for him and I think he is about to find out."

Guardian Ltd

The explainer

Jason Deans
Tuesday March 11, 2003
The Guardian

Granada and Carlton's merger is expected to be referred to the competition commission this week, so it is not the best time for the ITV network to announce


an increased share of the advertising market.
Latest figures from media buyers show that ITV pushed its share of advertising revenues back up to 51% in March, due to £2m worth of new bookings.

April is still in positive territory, thanks to Easter, but the word in the media buying community is that May will bring a decline. The network is up against tough comparative figures for the same period last year, when pre-World Cup bookings saw ITV record its first month-on-month rise in advertising spend in two years.

The picture is rosier on the ratings front. The leading commercial network has started 2003 with a bigger share of peak time viewing than last year. In the first 10 weeks, it took a 32.8% share of viewing between 7pm and 10.30pm, compared with 31.5% for 2002.

Last week ITV did even better, posting a 33.6% share in peak time. This evening period attracts the lion's share of ITV's advertising revenue.

ITV's peak-time renaissance has much to do with one of the channel's traditional strengths: drama.

Coronation Street has hit a rich vein with the murderous antics of Richard Hillman, topping 15m viewers last Monday night and averaging 14m across five outings last week. That warhorse A Touch Of Frost returned last Monday night with 11.4m viewers and another veteran series, Heartbeat, weighed in with more than 10m on Sunday.

Emmerdale is averaging more than 10m in its five nights a week, 7pm slot and another long runner, The Bill, won both its peak time slots last week with an aggregate audience of 8.5m.

Completing the ITV drama roll of honour for last week, quirky comedy drama At Home with the Braithwaites began its fourth series on Wednesday with 7.7m viewers, while Rachel's death in a car crash brought 9.4m to a weepy episode of Cold Feet on Sunday.

ITV.com: The Marsdens Move In

Monday | 10.03.03
The Marsden's van breaks down

Emmerdale's newest residents crash into the village in style tonight.
The Marsdens get off to a shaky start when their moving van overturns as they arrive at their new home causing chaos.

However, the family soon finds that living in a small community has its advantages as the locals rally round to help them.

And in return the newcomers ingratiate themselves at the Woolpack.

The Bill veteran, Ray Ashcroft, plays patriarch Ronnie Marsden. He explains how the truck disaster proves to be a great introduction to the village. "The Marsdens are a very sociable family so it doesn't take them long to start making friends with some of their new neighbours - especially after Ronnie buys everyone in The Woolpack a drink to thank them for their help."

And it won't take long for the Marsdens to make an impact on the dales. With a six-strong family - including dad Ronnie, mum Francis, eldest son Paul and his wife Siobhan, and young twins Alistair and Elaine - there will plenty more drama to come.

Upcoming Episode Spoilers

Meet Emmerdale's New Family The Marsdens

Frances, Ronnie, Ali, Elaine, Paul & Siobhan

© Yorkshire Television

Printed with kind permission of the Emmerdale Press Office

Week Beginning Monday 10th March 2003


MONDAY: - The New family arrive in Emmerdale creating quite a stir
TUESDAY: - Scott looses his temper over Mack and Syd’s behaviour
WEDNESDAY: Syd discovers Mack’s duplicity and sack’s him
THURSDAY: – Frances gets the results from her mammogram
FRIDAY: - Terry asks Bob to step outside when he discovers his master plan to sabotage the wedding

Episode 3391 MONDAY 10 MARCH 2003

EMMERDALE at 7.00pm Fully Networked

The road to Emmerdale is far from smooth for new arrivals – The Marsdens - as their removal van becomes ditched in the middle of village.

Ronnie Marsden is forced to abandon his vehicle and transport his family’s belongings on foot, while the villagers start to gather - intrigued by the newcomers.

With the road blocked, Ronnie is quick to make acquaintances and is grateful when Jack arrives on the scene to offer a helping hand.

It is abundantly clear that Ali, his youngest son, is not going to be much help and seems far more interested in the local girls.

Meanwhile at the former Reynolds old house, Frances Marsden is fuming to find Syd and Mack are still working away on their new house and makes it clear she won’t be letting the matter lie.

As a frantic Frances heads off with her eldest son Paul to track down her possessions and assess the damage, Mack and Syd waste no time trying to charm Frances’s daughter Elaine and Paul’s wife Siobhan.

After an eventful day, Ronnie’s suggestion to go to the pub infuriates Frances as she reminds him it’s their 25th wedding anniversary and she was going to prepare them a meal…

Episode 3392 TUESDAY 11 MARCH 2003

EMMERDALE @ 7pm Fully Networked

Getting up for work, Scott is annoyed to find the house is littered with the remnants of Mack and Syd’s previous night’s drinking binge.

When Syd emerges with a hangover he is no mood to battle with Scott and meekly apologises for the mess, promising to clean it up at the first opportunity.

When Syd arrives he sees Mack is already at work and berates him for letting him oversleep when they have such a big job to finish.

To make matters worse, Frances is piling on the pressure to complete the house - but the pace is slow as they nurse their sore heads!

Even the Woolpack can’t offer a hangover solution for Mack as Turner delivers a sobering blow - collaring him for the rent he owes from his time at the B&B.

Keen to befriend her new neighbours, Frances invites the Dingles over for a drink.

The atmosphere is tense, though, and Cain is unnerved by Elaine’s persistent questions about the previous owners to the house.

Paddy and Emily worry about Debbie and her growing obsession with Charity. Vowing to offer their unconditional support, they hope she isn’t setting herself up for another fall.

Meanwhile Charity is annoyed as social services have asked her to take a DNA test. Chris offers his support, but Charity refuses to let him get involved – making him feel more distant than ever to her needs.

Episode 3393 WEDNESDAY 12 MARCH 2003

EMMERDALE at 7.00pm Fully Networked

Living conditions aren’t getting any better at Pear tree Cottage and Scott is livid. To make matters worse Mack makes a suggestive comment about Chloe, which pushes Scott over the edge.

He is quickly tiring of Mack treating the place like a doss house and angry with Syd for not throwing him out like he’d promised.

But when Syd finds out where Mack’s loyalties really lie, he takes swift action and his building buddy soon finds himself between a rock and a hard place.

Frances is keen to find a job in Emmerdale, but she soon finds out there are little or no vacancies to choose from.

Viv points her in the direction of Pollard’s factory in the hope that Lisa is feeling in a charitable mood.

Having waged a bet with his twin sister Elaine, Ali is keen to convince Ollie to come on a date with him. But when she declines his offer, he decides to try for the sympathy vote telling her he could drop dead any minute.

Bob’s efforts to sabotage his daughter’s wedding to Terry is getting nowhere and he still hasn’t managed to convince her to call it off.

Meanwhile at Home Farm, Debbie’s meeting with Charity is a huge let down. Despite her best efforts, her real mother remains defiantly cold towards her and she is heart broken.

Episode 3394 THURSDAY 13 MARCH 2003

EMMERDALE at 7.00pm Fully Networked

Frances has been on edge for a couple of days but Ronnie puts her anxiety down to starting a new job.

Little does he know she is expecting test results from the hospital at any time after a health scare.

At work, Frances’ worry is evident and she is relieved when Lisa offers a sympathetic ear, telling her about her experiences with Zak’s cancer battle.

Touched by Lisa’s story, Frances agrees to pluck up the courage to tell Ronnie the results of her test.

Jealous of all the male attention Ollie has been getting, Donna decides to stir up a bit of trouble, telling Danny that Ali has been after his girl.

Danny doesn’t take kindly to the news and, unaware of his heart condition, gets physical with Ali. But when Ali hits the floor and lies motionless, panic spreads as Elaine confirms that he has a heart complaint.

Jean has returned to Emmerdale for Dawn’s wedding with nowhere to stay.
But when Bob offers to do the decent thing and put her up for the night, Viv is outraged by the idea of sharing the same roof as his ex wife!

Still desperate to stop the wedding, Jean and Bob put their heads together in an attempt to throw a spanner in the works.

Having been thrown out on his ear by Syd and Scott, Mack has spent the night in the back of his van.

And as Diane refuses his plea to stay at the pub – it becomes clear that he has burnt his bridges in the village.

Episode 3395 FRIDAY 15 MARCH 2003

EMMERDALE @ 7pm Fully Networked

Bob and Jean are still busy masterminding their plan to stop Dawn from walking down the aisle with Terry.

They are convinced that if they can make it obvious that Terry is still in love with Louise, Dawn will be sure to call the whole thing off.

Louise is disgusted to learn of Bob’s underhand plan but, to prove a point, she reluctantly agrees to play along.

Meanwhile, Terry heads out to celebrate his stag night, while Dawn marks her last few nights of freedom with the girls.

Meanwhile Jean and Steph get well aquatinted over a few bottles of wine. As they gossip, Steph lets slip that Viv had a one-night stand with a limo driver!
Jean revels with delight as she realises she has some dirt on Viv.

Edna finds a homeless Mack alone in the church. Sensing her concern he tells her he came in to find sanctuary from the cold.

Unable to watch him suffer, she offers him her spare room for a couple of nights and Mack is quick to accept her gracious offer.

Paul calls round to check on his mum after her health scare and berates her for bottling up her problems. He insists that Frances shouldn’t shy away from relying on support from her family.

Ali apologises to Donna and Ollie for frightening them the previous day. Donna is intrigued to hear more about his illness but Ollie demands that he doesn’t ever scare them again.

8th March 2003: Radio Times Soaps by Alison Graham


A new family arrives to move into the old Reynolds house. They're the kind of cheery riffraff you'd expect, and are a classic soap family - salt-of-the-earth mum and dad, with attractive, hormonal teenage children, a boy and a girl. They're called the Marsdens (see below), but really, they're readily interchangeable with just about any recent soap brood, so names mean little.

And the days to Terry and Dawn's wedding are ticking inexorably by. This week, poor Bob, the father of the bride, feels compelled to agree to give her away. Bob, get her to Leeds railway station and put her on the first train out of Yorkshire. You know it makes sense.

The Sun 8th March 2003

Meet The Marsdens


Weekdays  ITV1

NEW family the Marsdens move in to the village and quickly have the residents rallying round.

The newcomers’ removal van slides into a ditch and head of the family Ronnie recruits the locals to help shift their furniture. He thanks his new neighbours by getting the drinks in down at The Woolpack.

The Marsdens have three children - 17-year-old twins Alistair and Elaine, who live with them, and older son Paul, who lives in Hotten with his nurse wife Siobhan.

“Ronnie is an easy-going guy,” says ex-Bill star Ray Ashcroft, who plays him. “He’s a lorry driver who works hard for his family. They mean the world to him.

“His wife Frances is not too impressed when Ronnie decides he’s buying drinks all round, though. She was planning a nice meal to celebrate their silver wedding anniversary.”

Frances has a secret she’s keeping from her husband - she fears she has breast cancer and is waiting for the test results. She gets a job at the factory and opens up to Lisa about her worries when she gets the all-clear.

Lisa explains how Zak’s illness brought them closer and says Frances should talk to Ronnie. “He is shocked,” says Ray. “He admits he’d be totally lost without her.”

The family soon get into the swing of village life with would-be stud Alistair quick to check out the girls.

“He is being a natural charmer,” explains Danny Tennant, who plays him.

“He definitely doesn’t think it will take him long to get a date. He’s so confident, he bets his sister he will be first to get off with someone and sets his sights on Ollie - which doesn’t go down too well with boyfriend Danny.”

Bob is so keen to stop his teenage daughter Dawn marrying Terry that he agrees to fight dirty. But the plot blows up in his face.

Bob decides to go ahead with a sneaky scheme dreamed up by his ex-wife Jean, and appeals to Louise to seduce Terry.

But she is horrified by the idea and immediately tells Terry about it. Terry confronts his old friend and tells him he can’t believe the lengths he’s going to just to stop the wedding.

And Terry insists that it wouldn’t have worked anyway because he truly does love Dawn.

“Bob is at his wits’ end with worry as the wedding preparations are stepped up,” says Tony Audenshaw, who plays the frantic father.

“He thinks Dawn is throwing her life away for a man who really loves someone else. He pleads with Dawn again to reconsider but she refuses to listen.

“Dawn asks Bob to accept the wedding and to give her away. With a heavy heart, he agrees.”

But Bob confesses to Viv that he is worried Dawn is only marrying Terry to find the father figure she missed as a child.

And Jean urges Bob to prove to their daughter that Terry is really in love with Louise.

“Bob can’t see any other solution, so he questions Louise about Terry,” says Tony.

“She denies they ever had a fling and is even more outraged when Bob suggests that she seduce Terry to show Dawn who he really wants.

“When Terry has a go at him later, Bob sees that he’s running out of friends fast. But he still can’t stand the thought of his little girl becoming Mrs Terry Woods.”

Also this week:

  • Paddy and Emily worry about depressed Debbie.
  • Ashley is impressed by the strength of Dawn’s reasons why she wants to marry Terry, but her man has little to say in comparison.
  • Steph tells Jean that Viv slept with the limo driver.

Daily Record Soap Watch 8th February 2003


COMPARED to Corrie, Emmerdale is short on any violent shock plots but it is long on detail.

And that will be a respite from the scary business of watching Richard trying to count how many times Gail cries on every episode.

It doesn't get much more frantic than the Marsdens' removal van getting stuck in the middle of the village and Frances inviting the Dingles over for a drink - a bad idea.

Oh, and Donna stirs up trouble by telling Danny that Ali's been after his burd. Danny obliges by knocking Ali over, unaware Ali has a dodgy ticker.

Would Ali be sly to milk this, or is Emmerdale playing a wee surprise?

top villain (Belfast Telegraph) 8th March 2003

By Fiona McIlwaine Biggins

CORONATION Street's serial killer Richard Hillman is Ulster's top soap baddie - ever.
In a straw poll carried out by the Belfast Telegraph among shoppers in Belfast, 'Tricky Dicky', played by actor Brian Capron, was unquestionably the vilest villain of all time.
Eight out of the 12 local people we spoke to, and all but one of the women questioned, voted Gail's murderous husband - who has killed his former wife Patricia and hairdresser Maxine Peacock - into first place.
Ulster soap fans placed EastEnders' wife beater Trevor Morgan, played by Alex Ferns, in second place, followed by fellow Albert Square badboy Phil Mitchell and Jeff Hordley, who plays Cain Dingle in Emmerdale.
Heather and Sarah Rafferty from Belfast's Shore Road said: "Richard Hillman is definitely the worst villain yet - he's really bad."
And 23-year-old Niamh Matthews and Robert McClelland, both from Belfast, put "mad man Hillman" in the top spot. But half of the men questioned in the poll picked other soap sadists as the worst TV villains.
Marc Boyd, (15), from Templepatrick, cited little Mo's husband Trevor Morgan from EastEnders as the greatest soap baddie - while Ballyclare man Nevin Officer was adamant that Cain Dingle from Emmerdale was his choice.
However, Frank McQuillan from Mountainview in the city, said: "Some of these soaps are worse than the shows after the nine o'clock watershed - sometimes they're a bit too much."

Pure Soap News 8th March 2003

Mum Frances is so smart
Mum Frances is so  smart
The Marsden family is arriving in Emmerdale, and it's obvious from the start that mum Frances is the smart one, says the Daily Star.
Within a few minutes she's heard to say: "I think we've made a mistake."
Son Alistair could be forgiven for thinking the same thing, as it's not long before he gets a smack in the face from Danny who's cheesed off because Alistair has been trying to win sympathy from Ollie because of a heart condition.
But that's true...and the writers could introduce a life-threatening situation into the soap at any moment.
And then to cap it all terry gets the offer is been dreaming of for ages when Louse asks him: "Would you like to come to bed with me?"
Is there a catch or is it a set-up?
Meanwhile, says the Daily Star, Debbie is settling in with Paddy and Emily and there is an announcement that Cain is going to live with them.



Full article here

I've just put the Emmerdale bit here.

Ant & Dec's show didn't fare much better in this respect, offering Frank Bruno and two birds from Emmerdale. Takeaway harks back to an age of 3-2-1, The Golden Shot and Mr & Mrs. On Saturday, they even had to explain what one of the prizes - a Teasmade - was.

Almost as crazy as Ant & Dec believing they were locked in a cage with two gorillas rather than two men in gorilla suits, or appearing in Emmerdale wearing what looked like face masks from Bo'Selecta.

ITV.com Betty's Back

Friday | 07.03.03

Betty's return from Australia provokes insecurity in paranoid partner Seth.


The gossipy pensioner has been down under visiting friend Kathy Glover and has come back a changed woman causing him to panic.

He may have been propping up the Woolpack bar ever since she left, but Seth really wants to make a good impression of his lady now she is back in his arms. But she has other ideas.

As Seth lovingly prepares a special welcome home dinner for Betty, she is busy trying to catch up on all the village gossip.

Hurt by her disinterest, Seth begins to fear that he has lost the love of his life for a second time. And his worries are confirmed when his long-term partner starts dropping heavy hints about moving away from Emmerdale - to Australia.

Can he persuade her to stay?

Emmerdale a big hit in Finland (Pure Soap) 7th March 2003

The coming and goings of the fictional Yorkshire village of Emmerdale have proved a surprise big hit in Finland.
An astonishing 700,000 people - that is one eighth of the country's population - tune in four nights a week to watch the show.
Favourite character is poacher-turned-gamekeeper Seth Armstrong, played by Stan Richards.
There is even a branch of the Emmerdale fan club in Finland.
Seth is certainly one of the most recognisable and enduring Emmerdale characters with his woolly hat and huge handlebar moustache.
He first appeared in 1978 and has regularly given the regulars of the Woolpack the benefit of his opinions since then.
Since the death of his wife Meg in 1993, he has found new love with old flame Betty Eagleton.
It is a romantic touch that obviously finds favour in the land of a thousand lakes.

ITV.com Charity's Adoption Turmoil

Thursday | 06.03.03

Charity and Debbie aren't the happiest mother and daughter on-screen.

Debbie & Charity

Unable to cope with the guilt of her decision to have the youngster adopted, Charity is pushing her distraught daughter further away.

Actress Emma Atkins, who plays the confused Charity, hopes that the way Emmerdale has tackled the storyline reflects the experiences of those who've really been through it.

She says, "It is an all too real storyline for some people who have given their children up for adoption, only for them to then want to get in touch.

"Mothers who give up their children for adoption do it for a variety of reasons and I wouldn't ever sit in judgement on the rights and wrongs of doing that.

"One of the reasons that this particular storyline has worked well is the amazing performance of Charley Webb, who plays Debbie. She has been amazing, simply stunning and I have grown very close to her, she's a great actor and a lovely girl."

ITV.com Mack turns bad

Thursday | 06.03.03

Emmerdale's Mack is changing from good man to bad guy.


Gruff Mack initially melted village hearts when he fell for Woolpack landlady Diane, but since they split his dark side is out.

First, he ran into money trouble with landlord Alan Turner after failing to keep up with his rent. Then he treated lovelorn Nicola badly by seducing her and then brutally dumping her. And she won't be the only one fooled by the rogue handyman - best friend Syd is also in for some nasty shocks.

Rob Dixon, who plays Mack, says, "Mack hasn't dealt well with all the changes and first he walked all over Nicola, knowing full well the damage he was doing. Now he's making a fool out of Syd - the one person who has always been there for him and been a great friend.

"Circumstance has brought the worst out of him and he is becoming a desperate man. The trouble is, I think there is probably worse to come!"

Sky News 5th March 2003

Freda AKA Lyn Paul

visit Lyn Paul online at www.lynpaulwebsite.org

Did you realise that in Emmerdale recently the role of Freda Danby, who of course was the dancing partner of Jarvis Skelton, was former New Seekers singer Lyn Paul?
So successful was the character that bosses are secretly planning to bring her back.
Lyn of course scored numerous hits with the band before going solo and appearing in the musicals Blood Brothers Taboo.

BBC Pure Soap 4th March 2003

Soap Psychic... on Emmerdale

11 - 24 March: it shall come to pass
New recruit
New mum in town, Frances Marsden, gets a job at the factory thanks to Lisa, despite them initially not getting on.
Terry and Dawn tie the knot – but it’s chaos!
Bob won’t give his daughter away. She runs off, distraught.
Then Bob interrupts the service and lets everyone know about Viv’s fling with the chauffeur!
Cue a Bob and Viv bust up outside the church!
Mac’s still conning Edna.

Celebs slam dunking for Everyman Campaign

Mar 4 2003
More than a dozen celebrities will take part in this year's annual charity basketball event in aid of The Everyman Campaign.
Celebrities confirmed for this year so far include, Dane Bowers, One True Voice, DJ Spoony, Timmi Magic and Mike B (Radio 1's Dreem Team), So Solid Crew's Megaman, Tiger S, Neutrino, Lisa Mafia, Thug Angel, girl band Charli who supported Blue on their recent tour, Judi Shekoni (Precious, Eastenders), Adele Silva, (Emmerdale), Jakki Degg (Model), Lisa Kay and Kate Baines (Hollyoaks).
Previous celebrity players include, Dane Bowers, Liberty X, Sara Cox, Ralf Little, Kris Akabusi MBE, Olympic high jumper Ben Challenger, Teri Dwyer, Troy Titus Adams, Katy Hill, Trey Farley and cast members from The Bill, Casualty, Brookside, Big Brother, including 'nasty' Nick Bateman, among others.
The Dunk 'n' Funk event, on Sunday, March 30 at the Crystal Palace National Indoor Arena, in association with text service Motorflirt, combines sports, music and TV stars to help fight testicular cancer.
There will be entertainment including celebrity 'Shoot Outs' and audience participation with the chance of shooting some hoops alongside your favourite stars.
A special prize will go to the top mum who wins the Mothers' Day Shoot Out.The campaign, run by the Institute of Cancer Research, began in 1997.
Testicular cancer is the most common cancer amongst men aged 20 to 35. Cases of the cancer have risen by 70 per cent in the last 20 years for reasons still unknown.
If caught early, the disease can have a 96 per cent cure rate.Tickets are on sale priced £8 for adults and £5 for children.
Please call 0115 912 911, doors are open at 10.30am with tip-off at 12 noon.

Showbiz pressures split soap couple Pure Soap

Pure Soap News

Coronation Street star Shobna Gulati has revealed she is as unlucky in love as her soap character, with her real-life romance coming to an end.
Mother-of-one Shobna, who plays shopgirl Sunita Parekh, admitted that fame had ruined her four-year relationship with ex-Emmerdale star Gary Turner.
The split happened after Turner, who played chef Carlos in the Yorkshire TV soap, left Emmerdale and moved to London, while Shobna stayed in the north to concentrate on Corrie.
Shobna, 29, said: "It can be hard finding time to see each other."
But she added that the split was totally amicable and the pair were determined to remain the best of friends.
Friends of the star thought the celebrity couple would marry in the near future and said the break-up had left Shobna "very tearful".
Shobna's on-screen character has had her fair share of relationship disasters.
Sunita's love-life took a turn-around when she snared sugar-daddy businessman Duggie Ferguson.
But the relationship ended in tears when evil Richard "Tricky Dicky" Hillman left Duggie for dead after he fell from a landing in the doomed flats.
Then, after despairing that she would never find love again, she became involved with Irish heart-throb Ciaran McCarthy, only for him to be arrested for going AWOL from the Navy.

Soap sweethearts find true love

Pure Soap news 4th March 2003

Chloe Scott

Real life soap sweethearts Amy Nuttall and Ben Freeman have both found 'the love of their lives', and have put last year's relationship difficulties firmly behind them.
The glamorous Emmerdale duo spoke about their mutual devotion after returning from a romantic break in Disneyland Paris.
There they took time out from their busy schedules to enjoy some intimate time together - and to insist a strain on their relationship late last year is now firmly behind them.
Amy, 20, who plays Chloe Atkinson played down the young lovers' much-reported problems in an interview with OK! magazine.
" Like any couple, Ben and I have had our ups and downs and disagreements. But despite what some tabloid stories may claim, we've never actually been driven apart."
Ben, 22, who plays Scott Windsor, was similarly positive about their prospects, but has, however, scotched rumours the couple are soon set to walk down the aisle
" I'm very happy as we are, I don't think there's any need to rush - there is no need to rush into things too quickly."
Amy agrees. On the subject of marriage, she said:
" We're still young, so there's no need for that yet.
" Settling down and having a family is further down the road. I love Ben, but we don't have to race the clock. Time is on our side and we enjoy that."

ITV dominance turns back the clock (The Guardian)
Jason Deans
Tuesday March 4, 2003

A Touch of Frost: watched by 11.4m viewers

ITV rolled back the years last night with A Touch Of Frost and a double helping of Coronation Street, bringing ITV1 nearly half of peak time viewing on all channels.Monday night's ratings figures for ITV1 brought back memories of the mid 1990s, when plain old ITV, as it was then, regularly clocked up audiences of more than 10 million viewers for its peak time shows.
Last night the only ITV1 programme to fall below the 10 million mark was Tonight With Trevor McDonald, which was up against BBC1's EastEnders.
Coronation Street led the way, with the continuing fallout from Dick "Dastardly" Hillman's admission of his murderous ways bringing big audiences to both editions of ITV1's flagship soap.
The 7.30pm outing of Coronation Street was watched by 15.3 million viewers, while 14.5 million tuned in again at 8.30pm for a second helping of the latest goings on in Weatherfield.
Both editions of Coronation Street attracted more than half the available TV viewers, with the 7.30pm instalment clocking up a whopping 61% audience share.
BBC1's Celebrity Driving School provided very meek opposition at 8.30pm, attracting just 4.8 million viewers.
On Friday night the BBC1 Comic Relief special launched in the same slot with 9.3 million viewers.
David Jason returned to ITV1 at 9pm for a new instalment of A Touch of Frost, with his grumpy police detective investigating the death of a security guard in a two-hour drama.
A Touch of Frost was watched by 11.4 million viewers and attracted a 47% audience share.
It hammered BBC1's movie repeat, Under Siege 2, which could muster only 3.9 million viewers between 9pm and 10pm.
ITV1's 10 million club was completed last night by Emmerdale, which was watched by 10.7 million viewers - also a 47% audience share - from 7pm.
BBC1's Holiday attracted 5.9 million viewers in the same slot.
EastEnders provided BBC1's only peak time success last night, watched by 14 million viewers between 8pm and 8.30pm.
The BBC1 soap was up against ITV1's Tonight With Trevor McDonald, which attracted 4.1 million viewers.
Overall, ITV1 had a 44.9% share of viewing in peak time, between 7pm and 10.30pm.
BBC1 had a 23.3% share during the same period.

3 March 2003

Corrie killer tops TV villain list
Coronation Street killer Richard Hillman has been voted the top soap villain of all time.
His crimes shot him to the top of a list which included EastEnders wife beater Trevor Morgan and Brookside husband from hell Trevor Jordache.
Tricky Dickie was even voted a bigger soap baddie than JR Ewing from Dallas in the TV Times poll.
Hillman, played by Brian Capron, murdered Maxine, bludgeoned Emily with a crowbar, killed ex-wife Patricia with a shovel to the head and left business partner Duggie to die.
An audience of 17.5 million tuned in last week to see him finally confess his crimes shocked wife Gail.
But his reign of terror has not ended yet - Hillman heads back to Weatherfield this week and takes his family on a terrifying drive which ends with their car plunging into a canal.
The poll, in which a panel of TV Times experts voted, rated soap baddies according to the wickedness of their crimes.
In second place was Dallas oil baron JR, played by Larry Hagman, who became the first TV villain we truly loved to hate.
EastEnders hard man Phil Mitchell was third, followed by Trevor Jordache, who ended up buried under the patio in Brookside Close.
Only two women make the list: Emmerdale's Kim Tate, who taunted husband Frank into having a heart attack then watched him die and Cindy Beale, whose crimes in Albert Square included hiring a hitman to kill husband Ian.
The others on the list are Coronation Street's Alan Bradley, who terrorised wife Rita and met a grisly end underneath a Blackpool tram, Brookside bad boy Barry Grant, who had an affair with best mate Terry's girlfriend Sue then killed her and her baby boy, and Emmerdale psychopath Graham Clarke, who murdered his first wife then pushed girlfriend Rachel off a cliff.
TV Times's Great Soap Baddies:
1: Richard Hillman (Brian Capron) - Coronation Street
2: JR Ewing (Larry Hagman) - Dallas
3: Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) - EastEnders
4: Trevor Jordache (Bryan Murray) - Brookside
5: Kim Tate (Claire King) - Emmerdale
6: Trevor Morgan (Alex Ferns) - EastEnders
7: Alan Bradley (Mark Eden) - Coronation Street
8: Cindy Beale (Michelle Collins) - EastEnders
9: Barry Grant (Paul Usher) - Brookside
10: Graham Clarke (Kevin Pallister) - Emmerdale

3 March 2003

Davids Dunn Talking (The Mirror)
Blackburn 1 - Man City 0: Rovers ace is all action now

By David Anderson

ON THE evidence of David Dunn's last two games for Blackburn, that kick up the backside from Graeme Souness appears to have done the trick.
Dunn has scored two decisive goals - against Chelsea and Manchester City - to take Blackburn to the verge of a UEFA Cup place.
The midfielder is once again being glowingly compared to his boyhood hero Paul Gascoigne - and for his ability rather than his rotund figure.
But the wily Souness, who put Dunn on the transfer list in January because he was so angry with his attitude and commitment, still has his size nine pointed at the 23-year-old's posterior.
The Blackburn manager will not publicly admit that everything is hunkydory again with Dunn in case he lapses back into his old, bad habits.
Souness claims he will only believe his rollicking has worked if in five years Dunn has fufilled his vast potential and blossomed into one of the country's finest midfield talents.
" We've seen him play two games and score two goals so, yes, so far so good, but I'm not going to get carried away with it," said the sceptical Scot.
" If in five years' time you come back and say what a good player he is, then that will be the time when you can say it's worked. He still has to work hard and the only thing that will really move him on now is playing games."
Dunn claims injuries rather than attitude have been the reason for his inconsistent form. Dunn, whose girlfriend is Emmerdale actress Sammy Winward, gets annoyed by claims that he has become distracted by his Footballers' Wives lifestyle.
The England hopeful had just returned from a month out with a calf injury when he scored against Chelsea last week and he feels he just needs to get his match fitness back.
" These last couple of months with injuries and what's happened have probably been the hardest part of my career so far," he said. "I've had more injuries this season than at any other time since I've been at the club and it's been frustrating and disappointing for me.
" I think the manager knows that I feel I'm quite a mentally-strong person and maybe that's why he thinks he can have a go sometimes. It gets a little bit annoying that every time I pick a paper up there's something about me and the manager. He thought I had the hump with him, but it doesn't matter at all what happens between me and the manager off the pitch.
" The important thing is when I go out on the pitch I do my best for the club and give 100 per cent. There's no getting away from the fact that I was injured and that I was not as fit as I should have been, but how can I get fit when I can't train?
" I've had a couple of weeks now to work on it and I've not felt my hamstring or calf recently. I feel quite fit now, even though in the last 15 minutes I was blowing a bit."
Dunn's goal on 13 minutes, when Carlo Nash failed to hold Egil Ostenstad's cross and he nodded home the loose ball, settled a largely-disappointing encounter at Ewood Park.
Kevin Keegan felt his City side did enough to deserve a point and the improving Robbie Fowler went close several times to scoring his first goal for his new club, only to be denied by a combination of the rock-like Brad Friedel and Henning Berg.
City's backline looked more solid after being minced by Arsenal last weekend and that was further bad news for Steve Howey and Richard Dunne.
The two centre-halves were the fall guys for that drubbing and Keegan has warned that they could be on the sidelines for some time.
" I have been very loyal to Steve Howey," said the Blues boss.
" He has played almost every game since I've been here, but I'm going to look at a couple of other options now in his position and in Richard Dunne's position.
" Don't be surprised to see one or two youngsters coming in and one or two others."

Upcoming Episode Spoilers

© Yorkshire Television

Printed with kind permission of the Emmerdale Press Office

Week Beginning Monday 3rd March 2003

Episodes #3386-3390


MONDAY: - The pressure is on to get to Zoe to sign the adoption papers
TUESDAY: - Zoe makes a life changing decision over Jean
WEDNESDAY: Debbie is distraught as Charity rejects her once more
THURSDAY: - Emily is frustrated as she can’t help Debbie
FRIDAY: - Debbie goes missing, both Charity and Emily panic as they send out the search party for her


EMMERDALE at 7.00pm Fully Networked

Zoe is beginning to feel the pressure to finalise the details of giving baby Jean up for adoption.

Determined not to let the proceedings interfere with her day to day life, Zoe requests that adoption agency worker Lila visits her at work with all the documents.

But the prospect of signing away custody suddenly becomes a daunting task as Zoe realises she is not as strong willed as she thought.

Respecting Zoe’s concern for the future of her child and realising that she hasn’t yet come to terms with giving up her baby, the agency offer her the chance to visit baby Jean one last time.

But when Jean begins to cry, Zoe is forced to make the biggest decision of her life - pick her up and soothe her tears or walk away for good.

Meanwhile the path of fostering is not running smoothly for Paddy and Emily either, as they are subject to criticism over their care of Debbie.

To make matters worse, Emily is disheartened to hear that Debbie has not been placed with a family but in a care home.

Tricia’s rose tinted view of married life is quickly tempered as she and Marlon arrive back from honeymoon to return to the grind of everyday life.

And a comment from Viv confirms Tricia’s theory that Marlon’s behaviour isn’t up for scratch for a newly wed – as she expects everything to be extra special.

Meanwhile, Bob is doing his best to bond with Dawn, while secretly trying to sabotage her wedding to Terry.

Lisa is shocked to discover some the truth about Debbie’s relationship with Charity. And she is further annoyed to find out Cain used this knowledge to blackmail Charity.


EMMERDALE @ 7pm Fully Networked

Unable to give up her own flesh and blood, Zoe is excited as she plans the homecoming of baby Jean.

Secretly relieved at Zoe’s decision, Chris welcomes the baby into the family fold - keen to help Zoe make plans for her future.

Although they may never know the identity of her father, they both agree that Jean is a Tate and should never be treated any differently.

However, still troubled by Debbie, Charity is riled by the new arrival in the Tate dynasty.

News of the new Tate addition soon spreads to the village and Scott is terrified that Zoe’s change of heart will serve as a permanent reminder that he is the father of her child.

Having remained anonymous thus far, Scott grows increasingly convinced that Jean’s constant presence will ultimately trigger Zoe’s memory of that fateful day.

Emily is still struggling to come to terms with Debbie's absence. Despite warnings by social services, she is desperately keen to go to Pat’s funeral to lend her support to Debbie.

Marlon is troubled by Tricia’s strange behaviour since returning from their honeymoon. And he is even more confused when he stumbles across something in Tricia’s magazines - leading him to believe they are incompatible.

Elsewhere in the village Rodney becomes the proud new owner of Mill Cottage, while Nicola is quick to try to manipulate her father into allowing her to move in.


EMMERDALE at 7.00pm Fully Networked

Despite a troubled night with her baby daughter, Zoe grows increasingly comfortable with Jean as the bonding process begins.

Not everyone is as comfortable, however, and things gets awkward for Scott when he and Chloe bump into Zoe and Chris out walking the baby.

Despite his fear of being revealed as the father, Scott feels compelled to look at Jean to test if he has any paternal feelings towards her.

He is relieved when he feels nothing, but that is more than can be said when he discovers that Chloe is considering applying for the job of nanny – looking after Jean!

With her adoptive mother gone, Debbie again finds herself drawn to Home Farm in a desperate bid to search answers from Charity.

Although alarmed by Debbie’s arrival, Charity manages to remain composed and tries to set Debbie straight – forcing herself to be blunt to the point of being cruel in order to get the message over.

Charity tries to convince Debbie that she has misconstrued ideas about their relationship and it is going nowhere.

Dishevelled and distraught, Debbie fleas from Home Farm, filled with self-loath as the sounds of Charity’s voice rings in her ears.

Tricia is still frustrated with married life. And as she sets about changing the utility bills into her married name, she can’t help but notice that she doesn’t feel any different to when she was single.

Marlon’s bizarre behaviour can’t be helping, though, as he seems to be suffering from post honeymoon paranoia - convinced that Tricia has already gone off him.


EMMERDALE at 7.00pm Fully Networked

As Emily grows frustrated over Charity having the final word on where Debbie will live, Paddy delivers the troubling news that Debbie has run away again.

Desperate to help the troubled teenager, Emily makes an emotional plea to Charity, begging her to let Debbie stay in the village.

The guilt is unbearable for Charity, who struggles to get the image of Debbie’s tear stained face out of her mind.

Realising the hurt she has caused having rejected her, Charity starts to face up to some painful truths.

Meanwhile Viv and Steph arrive at Home Farm on the pretext of congratulating Zoe on the baby.

But it soon becomes apparent that they are just there to pry as they try to establish who the father is.

Zoe has more pressing matters to deal with, however, and surprised to learn Chloe has applied for the position of nanny.

She agrees to interview her but strongly doubts she will be the best candidate – given the time they previously spent together.

Mack does a spot of DIY for Edna, but all doesn’t go as planned and Mack soon becomes a cropper.

With his wrist out of action from the fall, Mack is quick to tell Syd he’ll have to put his feet up for the afternoon and makes his way back to the pub.

Scott is quick to accuse Mack of being a fraud as he knocks back the pints, but Syd won’t hear a bad word said against his friend.


EMMERDALE @ 7pm Fully Networked

Feeling as though she is carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders, Charity is wracked with guilt as Debbie is still missing.

Chris is quick to reassure Charity that if Debbie is any thing like her mother she will be fine – she is a survivor. The words of comfort help, but Charity simply worries more and resolves to help Emily look for Debbie.

Their search for takes Charity back down memory lane to a time she’d rather forget as they visit the council house – once the home to Charity and also where Debbie had lived until Pat became ill.

As the memories come flooding back, Charity becomes more moved by Debbie’s plight.

Meanwhile at the Dingles, Cain is annoyed to find Debbie hanging around the animals. Not wanting to entertain her, he offers to give her a lift home.

But Debbie tearfully admits she has no where to go - with Pat dead and social services taking her away from the village – not even her real mother wants her.

Cain insist she returns to the village – but how will Charity react to her daughter now?

Betty is back from Australia, having been to visit Kathy and is keen to catch up on all the gossip.

Seth is determined to make a fuss and attempts to cook a welcome home meal. But as Betty recounts her travels in Oz, Seth worries that she hasn’t missed him much and may be considering moving to Australia!

Sick of chasing Mack for the rent arrears, Turner’s patience has finally run out – and so has Mack’s time at the B&B!

Meanwhile Zoe’s search for a nanny is proving tougher than she thought as her illness becomes an issue yet again.

Soap watch Daily Record 2nd March 2003

OK, so who of us really thought Zoe would give away her baby? And did the writers really think we were that gullible? Course not - we knew, and they knew we knew. And so on.
So of course we were just waiting for mum and baby Jean to go home and for Scott to start sweating because he knows that in soaps, people's memories always come back. Eventually.
Until then, who better to apply to be Jean's nanny than Chloe? Events could only come together more perfectly if, when Scott looks at the child for the first time, a tiny wee hand shoots out and grabs his wrist...
Meanwhile, Lisa discovers Cain's blackmail of Charity, and Charity's take on the "you need to be cruel to be kind" speech to Debbie misses out the kindness angle, causing the lass to run away in tears (just for a wee change, eh?)
With all that gloom, who better to add comedy than Tricia and Marlon, who, back from honeymoon, get into a misunderstanding so brainless you wonder how they managed the words "I do" in the right order.

1st March 2003

Heinz Salad Cream is to sponsor ITV's Emmerdale in a £6m six-month deal that aims to capitalise on the revivals of the 30-year-old TV show and the iconic condiment brand.

Ding(le) dong, we're your new neighbours

From Pure soap 28th February 2003

The madcap Dingle family are in for some excitment when their new neighbours - the Marsdens - arrive in Emmerdale village.

The new family are set to make a dramatic entrance on March 10, and things don't go exactly smoothly from the start.

First their removal van breaks down on the edge of the village, then they find lazy Syd and Mack still haven't finished their new house!

Added to that they'll discover their noisy neighbours are Emmerdale's demanding Dingles.
Still, Marsden Dad Ronnie should be able to sort the Dingles out - actor Ray Ashcroft, who plays the part, used to star in The Bill after all.

Emmerdale has him as a trucker, a bit of a ladies man, and a keen Leeds United fan. Ronnie is married to Frances, played by actress Sandy Walsh.

Eldest son Paul is played by At Home With The Braithwaites star Matthew Booth, and is married to Siobhan, played by ex-Hollyoaks pin-up Abigail Fisher.

The Marsden family also has a couple of troublesome teens, played by Danny Tennant and Samantha McCarthy, who promise to generate plenty of storylines in the future.

All in all March promises to be an exciting time in the lively village of Emmerdale.

25th February 2003: BBC Puresoap Psychic

Zoe introduces baby Jean to the village

4 - 17 March: it shall come to pass (Pure soap psychic)
Baby love When Zoe decides to keep baby Jean, she’s surprised when Chris supports her decision. But Scott’s appalled by the news.
A new family move to the village.
You’ll recognise dad Ronnie Marsden as The Bill’s Ray Ashcroft (DS Geoff Daly).
He’s joined by wife Sandy, son Ali and his twin sister Elaine, son Paul, Paul’s wife Siobhan. A real brood!
Let’s hope they have a better reaction than the Soapstars’ family.

Pure Soap - Emmerdale BBCi Best Link

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