Kim Durham (Matt Crawford)
Well, Matt badly let down five million listeners when James, who had just learned that Leonie was pregnant, came looking for advice and guidance and Matt persuaded him to tell Leonie that he wanted her to go ahead with the pregnancy. Matt didn't actually tell James to go ahead in so many words, but he did say that, if he had his time again, he might have done things differently and that James isn't getting any younger. Let's face it, mentally at least that would be impossible. This is no time to get all sentimental – just think, he could have steered James into fleeing the country or similar and we would never have heard from him again, but Matt blew it. Big time.
Another story that brought a lump (of vomit) to the throat was Tom's proposal to Kirsty on Christmas Day. There was one cracker left and Tom asked Kirsty to pull it with him. She does and – blow me down – there's a ring inside! Who'd have thought it? Tom asks Kirsty to marry him and she says 'yes' immediately. I would have thought she'd have wanted to think it over for a decade or two, but there's no accounting for women.
This romance is transferred to the Robin Hood panto, where the leading couple take five curtain calls and Lynda says that they are her best-ever leads. You might have a hard job not appearing next year Tom, although I suppose there is a faint hope that Lynda will be so besotted with Leonie's new baby that she will forget to stage a Festive extravaganza. That's the least the scriptwriters could do for inflicting the James and Leonie story on us.
There is Christmas spirit galore over at Keeper's Cottage, when Darrell emerges from the cider shed to wish the Grundys a Merry Christmas. Before he knows it, Darrell has been invited to lunch and been given a present. He protests that he is in no fit state, but Clarrie runs him a bath, goes over his body with the nit comb and rubs him down with Jeyes Fluid. Later on in the day, Clarrie remarks to Eddie that Darrell seemed a bit quiet over the meal. Darrell seems uncomfortable with accepting hospitality – or perhaps he just couldn't stand the Grundys' company any longer – as during the afternoon, he thanks them and takes his leave.
On Boxing Day, Ed is at work with Rosa and he tells her that her Dad spent the day at Keeper's Cottage. She isn't interested but when Ed tells her that, when Darrell was nicked for shoplifting, it was because he wanted a present to give Rosa, this obviously affected Rosa as, later in the day, Ed sees her scooter outside the gate at Keeper's. However, that's as far as she gets as, just like when he was in hospital following the overdose, she cannot bring herself to go and see him. Honestly, she must have wasted a small fortune in petrol going to see him and chickening out at the last minute.
There is a surprise for George – after the family have seen him in the Nativity play, he is taken to a farm to choose a puppy. It seems that Emma visited the farmer, who had promised first pick of the litter to another family, to try and get him to change his mind. He did so after hearing that George's previous dog Baz had died "in an accident". That was no accident – dead-eye Ed Grundy only hits what he aims at - but it does the trick and the man relents. Presumably he made Emma promise never to come near him again as part of the deal.
Anyway, George picks out a bitch and names her Holly and the family return triumphantly to Ambridge View, where Holly promptly makes a puddle on the floor, leaving Susan distinctly unimpressed. George says it's going to be the best Christmas ever. On Boxing Day, Holly continues to wreak havoc, soiling Susan's brand new Pashmina. "It's ruined!" she wails, prompting George to worry about whether she will want to take Holly back. Susan reassures him that Holly is now part of the family, but you can hear the regret in her voice.
The Helen/Rob story took another twist when he rang her on Christmas Day, saying that he'd like to see her on Friday. Helen has already learned that Jess has returned early to Sussex and she thinks this might be a hopeful sign, telling Kirsty "If I'm right, this could change my whole life."
Friday arrives and the couple meet. Rob's opening remark is that it's all over between him and Jess and "She's out of my life for good." Instead of ripping his clothes off, Helen is cautious, asking "So what happens now?" His reply is that that's up to her, but ever since he first met her, she's been the only one he's wanted – we'll gloss over the few weeks when he dumped Helen and went back to his wife. Rob also says he is going to divorce Jess and Helen is incredulous, saying "Why should I believe you?" The week ends with Rob saying "I know I don't deserve it, but please, give me another chance."
You're on your own here Helen, as I think I could guess what would be the advice from Tom and Kirsty (the only other people who know of Helen's affair). My advice – assuming you still want Rob - would be to tell him to get divorced first and then you'll see how things go from there; that'll teach the cheating swine a lesson.