Kim Durham (Matt Crawford)
I fear it cannot be long before Lilian's clandestine dalliance with Paul will be out in the open, as we now have Sherlock Crawford checking up on her 24/7. First of all we had Matt checking Lilian's phone while it was on charge - I hope to God she deletes the hundreds of voicemails from Paul – then he was checking her diary.
Whether or not she does, Matt's suspicions are aroused and he follows Lilian to an evening exhibition of designers. Lilian is annoyed at being checked up on and even more so the following day, when Matt turns up unexpectedly as Lilian is being shown a patio by Eddie Grundy that he has done for Mrs Nicholls. "It looked like you were checking up on me" she snaps – not much gets past her, does it?
However, Lilian finds the time to meet with Paul, who says that he has had an awful week and proceeds to lie through his teeth about how ex-wife Celia is trying to control the children's minds. Lilian is all sympathy and I can't help but think that, when she finds out exactly what Paul's character is like (and, this being The Archers, she's bound to sooner or later), she won't be a happy camper. I look forward to the day.
I can only suppose that Matt doesn't voice his suspicions to Lilian because he needs her to be the token boss of AmSide until he's allowed to be a Director again. After that, I'd watch out Lilian.
Elsewhere on the romantic front, we had Helen going out for a meal with Jonathan and risking him trying to slit his wrists with a fish knife as she told him all about her life. Jonno is interested in what had become of Henry's father and Helen tells him she just wanted a baby. Jon assumes that Henry must be the result of a one-night stand, but Helen tells him about the donor fertilisation.
To say that he is taken aback is a wild understatement and he grows distinctly cooler towards Helen, even refusing to go in for a cup of coffee. Perhaps he's worried that Helen might suddenly whip out a test tube and say "I'd like Henry to have a sibling" but it is an interesting insight into Jonno's moral values. It seems that a one-off shag is perfectly acceptable behaviour, whereas donor insemination is somehow unhealthy or unnatural. I wonder if good old Jonno will be around much longer – and Helen spent good money on a haircut.
The logistics of Clarrie's surprise birthday party continue to become ever more complicated, as they plan to bring the seaside to her. Why, for God's sake? Drive her down to the station and get on a train to the coast – it's not that difficult, honestly.
I fear that there will soon be internecine strife within the Archer family at Brookside. Josh is still keen to buy into the eggs business and is pleased when Neil offers him a 30% share for £1,200. Josh has saved up £700 and prepares an all-singing, all-dancing business plan to convince his parents to lend him the rest of the money. He has it all worked out – how he will repay it with interest within two years, using the extra profits generated by his plan to put the hens out to pasture. David and Rooooth are suitably impressed and, when Josh leaves them alone to discuss it, David says "we appear to have given birth to the next Alan Sugar."
So, that's one way to raise funds – present a logical, well-ordered and well-thought out business plan to attract potential investors. Then there's what we might call the Pip Solution, as she bursts in after Josh has gone and tells her parents that she needs to borrow the Land Rover tomorrow. When they decline, she then says "I need you at least to lend me the money - £800." David says "No – if you can't afford the car you will have to find a cheaper one and that's that."
Pip is not best pleased and how do you reckon she will react if they lend Josh the £500 (or maybe more, as Rooooth said "I don't like the thought of him putting all of his savings into the business)? It's a toss-up between her saying "Yes, I can see the logic behind giving Josh the money and not me – I'd have done the same in your position. I must re-think my expectations", and going apeshit. I know which my money is on and I can see Josh getting mugged if he's not careful. The sooner Pip goes off to her work placement in Yorkshire, the better, although heaven only knows how she's going to get there.
Finally this week we had the unusual step of people trying to massage Tom's ego – unusual because this is something he excelled at himself in the past. Peggy is pleased that the Bridge Farm herd is to be sold (although we are sweating over a single possible TB reactor – there's always one that spoils it for everyone, isn't there?) and she tells Tom that he reminds her of Brian. My immediate thought was "you vindictive cow" then I realised that she meant it as a compliment. The same day, Tom is talking to Kirsty (who, if she isn't careful could have a full time job as Tom's sounding board) and, when he is less than upbeat about the future, she asks "What happened to the old, arrogant Tom Archer who wanted to take over the world?" Talk about a back-handed compliment! Sadly I reckon he's still lurking in there somewhere, Kirsty and I'd run away now if I were you.