Sunday, 27 December 2009

And the PR Award goes to…

Philip Molloy (William Grundy)

Let's hear it for William Grundy, who managed to humiliate a paying customer on the shoot the other day, causing him to flounce off in fury. Where will it end? Brian has already told William off, but imagine if he became drunk with power…

Brian: Will, I want a word with you…

Will: Just a minute Mr. Aldridge while I finish flogging this beater – that'll teach you to have two helpings of venison stew. Yes Mr. Aldridge – I'm all ears.

Brian: It's about the guns on today's shoot –

Will: What about them?

Brian: Where are they?

Will: Well, let me see. Two are tied to that big oak tree in the top field –

Brian: What?

Will: - another two are being dragged up Lakey Hill behind the Land Rover as we speak –

Brian: Oh my God!

Will: - and three of the others have been thrown into the pond.

Brian: What about the rest of them?

Will: They ran off, terrified. But I managed to bag two of them with my shotgun. That'll teach them to pay attention when I'm giving out instructions.

It wasn't so long ago that Brian was desperate to get Will back from his self-imposed exile (another thing to blame Brian for) and he was singing his praises. However, he now seems to realise that Will has a chip on his shoulder the size of the Titanic's iceberg. Watch your step Will.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

It will all end in Tears

Anne-Marie Piazza (Annette)

Of course, I am referring to the dalliance between Annette ("bury me in a Y-shaped coffin") and Leon. However, let's not be sexist about this – after all, Leon did come knocking on Annette's door, bearing a bottle of white and a bottle of red (this boy takes no chances!).

"You really do it for me" the Aussie Lothario told Annette and, sure enough, later on she did. Let's be fair, she was drunk and Leon is obviously very good at what he does. On balance, he is more culpable than her, but he didn't really have to work that hard, did he? Having told her she ticks all his boxes (meaning, presumably, that she has a pulse) he decamped in the night. Quelle surprise!

And now we have the endless hand wringing and the whole, heavy guilt thing, as Annette agonises over what she has done. Will she blurt it out to Helen, or will Helen be suspicious of Leon when she realises that he has received 4,836 Christmas cards, all from women?

The thing that scares me is the thought that we could go back to the "Helen isn't eating" storyline if she finds out and I don't think I could stand that. The old adage "let sleeping dogs lie" seems remarkably apt for this situation.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Gets on my Pip

Helen Monks (Pip Archer)

So that's got rid of them. Who else is annoying us? Well, there is of course Will, Susan and practically all of the Snell extended family, but we'll leave them for the moment, as they have to step aside for the new Whingeing Queen – ladies and gentlemen, I give you Pip Archer!

It was bad enough when Pip was just interested in environmental matters, but now she has morphed into a moody teenager. On one hand, this is great, because she stays in her bedroom a lot and isn't heard, but the downside is that her mother is worried about her and we have maternal angst about teenage angst.

A lot of the trouble seems to be that Pip (as in "she gets on my Pip") doesn't seem to have any friends at college. That's because she is a whingeing loser with an unhealthy interest in bovine animals and is a sad person. When Ruth said she will make friends, Pip bleated "But they're so different from me." Of course they are, my little cow cuddler – it's called 'normal'. Students drink a lot; they do not walk around with a cow in a halter, wondering if said cow meets the exacting standards of some forthcoming rural event at a place with a name like Much Bonking, or similar. And, if they express an interest in sex, it rarely involves the AI man or elbow-length latex gloves.

Get a life, girl! Preferably one that excludes cloven-footed quadrapeds.

I mean, Ruth is boring enough, banging on about milk yields and grass density, so it's obviously some genetic disorder. Even when she nearly got it together with Sam, I suspect the attraction was his knowledge of cattle and the small talk was bovine-related. Just think, had Sam not gone, he'd probably be enjoying threesomes with Ruth and Pip, driving them crazy with his plans to feed the cows more clover…

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Alternative Archers

Sion Probert (Wayne Tucson)

Have you noticed the influx of new characters into Ambridge? Add to this the fact that children in the village are growing up all the time and you suddenly find that the number of annoying characters has multiplied alarmingly, seemingly overnight.

Of course, there have always been characters that make you scream and foam at the mouth (Susan, Lynda, Ruth) but the numbers are increasing. I have often wished that I had editorial control over the storylines, then I realised that I had! OK, the stories wouldn't be broadcast, but I could get all the moans off my chest.

For example, take the case of Wayne; have you ever felt so annoyed as when Fallon took him back to the Bull? "Throw him out Sid!" I yelled at the radio, but Saint Sid put up with having his wife's ex (and a total lush) lurking around the place, cosying up to Fallon and saying "I never meant to hurt you darlin' " and "I'm so proud of my little girl". So why did he walk out when she was little?

Why was he not locked in the cellar and sadly (ha!) discovered when it was too late? At least he would have expired surrounded by things that he had loved for most of his life.

It was one of the worst moments of my life when it became obvious that Wayne was going to get over his illness and be restored to health. Then when he got the gig playing his blues records at the Bull once a week, I broke down and wept – would we never be rid of the man?

At the same time, Jim Lloyd (Alistair's father) made another appearance on the scene. It was bad enough when he just used to pop down for the odd weekend, but when he decided to settle in Ambridge permanently and moved into Blossom Hill Cottage, it was all getting too much – there needed to be a story to remove them both from our favourite village. And now there is:

Jim approaches Wayne in the Bull:

J: Wonderful session tonight Wayne; there's nothing like two hours of Blues to really cheer everybody up.

W: Well thank you Jim, it's nice to be appreciated. As you know I don't want to be no trouble, as long as I've got my music and I can see my little girl every now and then…

J: Yes, yes. Tell you what, I've had a good idea – you know I go over the channel to stock up on cigarettes for Lillian…

W: Yes. Have you got over the trouble with British Customs?

J: What, you mean are they convinced that three million fags are for personal consumption only?

W: Yeah, especially as you go over and stock up three times a week…

J: Oh yes, we got over that problem by me showing them an X-ray of Lillian's lungs and they were convinced. But that isn't what I wanted to talk to you about. I thought that you might want the chance to browse round the legendary record market in Calais.

W (awestruck): You don't – you don't mean the world famous "Le market des disques bleus"?

J: That's the fella. I thought it was a market dedicated to French cigarettes. But apparently they sell old records.

W: It's the Holy Grail of bluesology – I've always wanted to go. It's my dream to pick up a copy of the rare duet between Howling Wolf and Snoop Doggy Dog. If anyone has it, it will be there.

J: Capital! Well, would you like to join me on my next trip? You can nip off to the market while I'm overseeing the fork lift loading Lillian's fags.

W: I don't know, I don't want to be too far away from my little girl, my darlin'…

J: Come on, we'll be back before nightfall.

W: Well….OK then.

J: Splendid! I'll pick you up in the Riley at 9am – I've booked us in on the 11am sailing of the Herald of Free Enterprise.