Soapwatch: JACI STEPHEN'S ultimate insight into this week's soaps 

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Soapwatch: JACI STEPHEN'S ultimate insight into this week's soaps 

Tears were shed; there was weeping and wailing in the streets – well, sort of. Yes, it was the last EastEnders on 16 June, the show having run out

Kym Marsh gets a lump in her armpit checked after fans voiced concern over her snapshot
Coronation Street set to air its first Covid-19 storyline with nurse Aggie Bailey
Actress Paula Wilcox is set to return to Coronation Street after 51 years


Tears were shed; there was weeping and wailing in the streets – well, sort of. Yes, it was the last EastEnders on 16 June, the show having run out of episodes while in lockdown. 

Fear not, shooting has re-commenced, and soon all will be right again with the world, just as it now is with Emmerdale. Corrie – top marks to everyone there – never ran out.

With producers scurrying to the archives, preparing to show classic episodes if the worst came to the worst (as it did with EastEnders), they’ve clearly been inspired. 

Corrie and Emmerdale have announced that, over the summer, there will be soap specials alongside regular episodes. 

Leanne is in denial that Oliver has an incurable form of mitochondrial disease in this week's Coronation Street. Pictured: Toyah comforting Leanne

Leanne is in denial that Oliver has an incurable form of mitochondrial disease in this week’s Coronation Street. Pictured: Toyah comforting Leanne 

You’ll be able to reminisce about some of the 130 weddings Corrie has seen, plus many villains and battle-axes. There will be storylines that gripped the nation and a look at some of the holidays residents enjoyed (not) away from Weatherfield (cue lots of caravans in North Wales; the budget never stretched to Sydney).

Emmerdale will be exploring family trees – the Sugdens, the Tates and the Dingles. That’s a lot of branches. Let’s hope they have a decent lumberjack lurking in the archives.

CORONATION STREET: I GOT YOU, BABE

Seeing their child suffer must be unbearably painful for any parent, and when the consultant tells Leanne and Steve that Oliver has an incurable form of mitochondrial disease, Leanne is in denial. 

Seeing her sister so distraught, Toyah rightly judges this is not the time to bring up that she and Imran are looking to foster. Let’s hope she can keep her permanently etched smirk on hold for at least this one difficult moment. Don’t bet on it.

And just out of interest, why have she and Leanne started dressing as if they descended on an M&S 1995 sale and missed out on all the bargains?

Last week was strange, with the Rovers decked out for its 8 May VE-day celebrations because of delayed broadcasts. 

As We’ll Meet Again rang out, it was a surreal moment, given that in the current crisis, none of us knows when we really will meet again.

‘The world isn’t perfect, is it?’ said Ken, to a contemplative Rita, Audrey and Norris in the Rovers. ‘But it never was.’ Little did you know then how less perfect it was all about to become, Ken. Little did any of us know.

EMMERDALE: FOLLOW THE LEYLA

Leyla dashes to meet Andrea unaware that a mystery figure is keeping track of her from a white car (pictured) in Emmerdale

Leyla dashes to meet Andrea unaware that a mystery figure is keeping track of her from a white car (pictured) in Emmerdale

How anyone in the village didn’t end up dead during lockdown is a miracle, but we’re back on track with people now able to hate each other away from home, albeit at a socially acceptable distance.

Andrea is hiding out at a hotel (has it been thoroughly sanitised? You see how we now have to worry about these things?). 

A police officer arrives to check on her, and Andrea assures them she is safe and well (another woman verging on psycho, but then Emmerdale’s cops couldn’t spot a vampire at a blood bank). 

She calls Leyla, who dashes to meet her, oblivious to a mystery figure keeping track of her from a white car (pictured). At the hotel, the figure is revealed to be Kim, and she means business; but will Leyla manage to keep her away from Andrea?

Back in the village, Harriet is having second thoughts about marrying Will, but meets Malone in the church to tell him she doesn’t want him around (text him?). Excited by the danger, she eventually succumbs to his dubious charms. 

How many times has Harriet profaned the church with her antics? Hasn’t she heard of bedrooms? Hotels? Now they’ll have to sanitise the church, too.

Moira looks as if she might be about to go on another man-eating expedition when Ricky flirts with her. 

One flutter of a bloke’s eyelashes and Harriet and Moira are pretty much anyone’s. Maybe they could take up a hobby other than sex. Knitting, perhaps.

EASTENDERS: TEARS OF A FROWN 

Listening to the cassette on which his wife reminisces with Michelle about her affair with his brother Phil, Grant’s tears roll. Ah, remember that map of tears 26 years ago? 

Grant (pictured) plays the tape of Michelle talking about her affair with his brother Phil, in an archive episode of EastEnders

Grant (pictured) plays the tape of Michelle talking about her affair with his brother Phil, in an archive episode of EastEnders

They started rolling from his left eye and somehow ended up as a reservoir beneath his nose. 

As Grant plays the tape over the pub’s speaker system, the locals are gripped: ‘Phil was a nice side of Grant,’ says Sharon. Blimey. That’s a really low bar.

In other details, note that a Campari in the Vic in 1994 was £1.25. Ever see anyone order one? No, me neither.

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