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(Last updated 1st January 2007)

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Grange Hill:

Recommended website: http://www.grangehillfans.co.uk/

New Series improved as it progressed. The two sisters (Karen and ?) are quite good actresses.

Have not taken to new Series (2005) and I suspect it will be the last.

Amanda Fahy (Shannon) makes a welcome return to our screens in next Wednesday's "The Bill" (8th Dec) (played the daughter in a problem family).

GH caretaker seems to have now become an expert on house renovation (Ch 4 - 4.00pm weekdays).

Thought latest Series (finished today, 11th March) improved after slow start. However final episode was dreadful, definitely the worst final episode in any Series (too much Togger & Co again). The incident with Mr Green and Taylor, shows why there is a shortage of teachers.

Abigail Hart (Paula Webster) has reappeared as a character called Lara in "Eastenders".

Have not been impressed at all, with first two episodes of Series 27. The one saving grace is that Shannon appeared briefly in second episode (8th Jan). I think this will be the penultimate Series, though it will be the last I watch, unless things improve drastically. I think the idea is to alienate the long-time fans, and make it appeal to the current CBBC audience. Byker Grove is certainly better at present. Talking of the latter, why was the release of Summer Matthews singing "Little Miss Perfect", postponed ( footnote: released early March, but had little exposure).
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Heard Mr Robson has left along with Amy. I gather that London cast are not happy. To be honest at present time, I think BG is better (never thought I would say that).

Sorry to here of the death of Laura Sadler (19th June). Never really seen her in "Holby City", but she was excellent as Judy Jeffreys in GH.

The current Series has finished today (3rd April). It seems to have been directed back to a CBBC audience. Felt that Shannon has turned into a character from a comedy show, and she deserves better storylines. However she seemed contented at end of today's episode. Spencer has been very much underused, though Colin White seems to have a very posh accent for the character. Bazz and the three Year 7 girls are the only decent "non London" newcomers. Seems strange Mr Wainwright going on the school trip, when any info from the school, does not seem to be passed on. How did he even know about it ? Hope we have seen the last of Amy ? Nice to see Kathy and Martin back together.

Like Shannon, but she does not seem as attractive, and looks a lot fatter, than before. New male sixth former is also in "The Archers".

New Series (26) started today (28th Jan). Too early to make a judgement, as it featured nearly all the new characters. It was similar, (but not as good as), very first episode in 1978. Good to see Shannon again. I think most people survived the fire, but thought Tom was a year too young for University. Bit disjointed, as all the first-years seemed to be from Liverpool. Simon O'Brien (Brookside's Damon Grant) was the caretaker.

Charlie McDonagh (Lisa) appears in "The Bill" next Thursday (21st Nov), I think as the daughter of one of the officers. (Footnote: Was in one scene as school friend of daughter).

"Goodbye Charlie Bright" featuring Sian Welsh, is on Sky Movies Max, next Wednesday (6th Nov). (Footnote: Have seen film and it was pretty poor. Sian played Janet a friend of the main character, played by the overrated Paul Nicholls. Unfortunately she was not in it much, and her part was spoilt as she swore all the time. In fact if you did not know she was in film, she would have gone unnoticed.

Fiona Wade (Joanna) seems to have reappeared in ITV Childrens' Drama called 24 - 7.

Emma Wills (Vicki) has reappeared in advert for Tampons. Charlie McDonagh (Lisa) is currently filming scenes in "The Bill".

Read that filming of new Series starts in Liverpool in July. This would suggest it will be shown later in the year (2003). Old cast members still appearing include Leah, Shannon, Kathy, Amy and Mr Robson. Very pleased about Shannon and Kathy, though I thought Robson, would have wanted to retire (he would in the real world). Hoped I had seen the last of Amy. I would now presume, we will discover aftermath of fire. I expect who survives, will depend on who wants to film in Liverpool ?

See that "Stewpot" Stewart is now on an advert, planning to do a documentary on "Bananas" (actually for "Morrisons").

I read that Sally Morton (Tracy) stayed on a college to do A levels. Apparently she has appeared in two episodes of "Night and Day", which I gave up watching after the first omnibus (even though Glynis Barber is in it).

Final episode of current Series (28th March), saw fire turning to explosion at School. Not sure if we will ever discover the outcome of this ? I suspect Mr Deverell will turn up (with a new name) in next Series set in Liverpool. Got to like the character Ozzie (played by real life boyfriend of Eastenders' Janine), and thought Kathy of the younger characters, has grown a lot in stature.

Today's episode (14th March), was really adult viewing and I am sure, will receive a few complaints. Looks like Mr Deverell has a shady past from his old public school. Will Miss Carver leave with Mr Robson ? Could Briony be pregnant (though hardly likely with Matt) ?

Tonight's episode (7th March), was quite good (apart from Amy and mother), with the hostility between Ian (in his first major storyline), and Mr Deverell, probably leading to the impending "disaster". Like Shannon very much. If she had dark hair, she would like American singer songwriter, Melanie Safka.

As from next year "Grange Hill" will be filmed in Liverpool. Phil Redmond is taking over again, which suggests he has not been happy with recent Series. Not sure whether this is good idea, but I am not that keen on "Hollyoaks" and "Brookside" at present. Apparently there is a "disaster" at end of current Series (probably involving Ian or Ozzie ?).

Latest Series not being helped, by any story relating to Amy and friends.

Watched first episode of new series (25). I was very disappointed that Tracy (Sally Morton), was not in. According to Lisa, she is on a music scholarship. However, she is listed on the cast of the latest series, as a sixth-former. Thought election story was boring.

Latest Series (24th) of Grange Hill, has just finished. Not brilliant but better than some. Lesbian storyline, not as strong as papers seemed to suggest. Glad that Lisa and Tracy (two of the shows best characters), made up. They even performed a duet, but what tune was it they sang ? (Contained lines "I Believe in Love after Love"). It sounded quite good. Disappointed that Evelyn was only in first two episodes. Hope Ray recovers from his beating up ?

The new series of Grange Hill has just started. The trouble with the first episode, was that far too many new characters were introduced. Best of the newcomers are Vicki (the runner) and Shannon (the bogus prefect).
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TV and Soaps:

The Vicar of Dibley was quite enjoyable over Xmas (first episode better than second). Geraldine's new husband was a doctor in series called "Golden Hour", with Zoe Telford.

In "Corrie", wife of new joint factory owner, was the Chairman's wife in the early days of "Dream Team". The dreadful Janice Battersby's new boyfriend was in "The Knock" and "Fifty Five Degrees North".

Please get rid of Jamie in "Corrie". His affair with Frankie is a right turn-off.

Have just watched DVD of "Gangsters". I can remember original play and Series 2 (clashed with Series 1 of  "The Professionals"), but Series 1 must have eluded me. The saving grace of a poor Series 2 was Chi Mi. Elizabeth Cassidy was absolutely dreadful.

Whose "brilliant" idea was it to bring Janice Battersby back into "Corrie" ?

Sorry but I cannot stand Adam Barlow in "Corrie". Other horrors are Sarah Lou and Jason.

Getting tired now of "Deal or no Deal". "Countdown" is getting more interesting again, with Final (won by young Connor) followed by "Champion of Champions".

Noticed that the (awful) Amber's mother in "Corrie" is played by the policewoman in "A Thin Blue Line".

Felt really sorry for the lovely Lucy, who only won £5 on "Deal or no Deal". She was on for 50 programmes.

I know it is not politically Correct but David Platt deserved all he got from Gail's (ex) boyfriend in "Corrie". Colud not believe that she stood up for her son, after argument at table.

Must say I thought WPC Golding in tonight's "Corrie" (27th) was really nice. Hope this is not the only time she appears.

Nice to see Lucy Jo Hudson back in new Sunday night programme "Wild at Heart". In new series "Eleventh Hour", Patrick Stewart's assistant played policewoman in "City Central".

Some dreadful acting from Tina O'Brien in tonight's "Corrie" (23rd Jan). Cannot stand Gail's boyfield (Tim Healy's partner in that awful show about a downmarket hotel), but I sympathise with him as far as David Tisley (as bad as his sister) goes.

See one or two familiar faces have appeared in "Corrie". Eastenders "Tricky Dicky" is chasing Liz McDonald ( a pair well matched, like Tracy and Charlie), and a former policeman from "The Bill" (also in "Playing the Field") is latching on to Emily.
(Hot news: Turns out to be Ernie Bishop's killer).

Liked "Eggheads" but probably went on too long (about 10 editions). Not keen on "Deal or No Deal". Gets boring after a while. Struggled with Des Lynam for a while on "Countdown". However, this was probably due to a poor standard of contestant until the young boy came along. This aspect has much improved however. Perhaps they should have started with proposed "Champion of Champions". Thought Irish girl, was unlucky when losing the other night. The standard of contestant on "The Weakest Link" is also declining.

Ian Redford, who plays the Harris grandfather in "Corrie" played the hero in 1976 TV "Thriller", "Sleepwalker".

Rory Lewis (Eve from "Byker Grove") appeared in "Grange Hill" (2000) as Dil's younger sister.

I see that Danny, Sally's old boyfriend (later in "Doctors") has reappeared in "Corrie" as Cilla's older son.

Noticed Eileen/Gail's new boyfriend in "Corrie". He used to play Tim Healy's partner in an awful "comedy" series about a downmarket hotel. Cannot remember title. Also Vickie Binns, who played policewoman's daughter in "Emmerdale" is now new kennelmaid/bakers' daughter. Surprised that most insignificent member of "Harris" family (the son) is still in programme. Could it be because his parents are actors ? Absolutely detest Janice Battersby, who I undertand is likely to be axed.
Cannot believe Violet is supposedly only 17. She looks a lot older than that.

"Corrie" a bit weak at present. The awful Charlie has ruined Shelley's character. Do not like new factory girls. Butcher's war also stupid.

After the sad news of Richard Whiteley's death (26th Jun), not sure what is happening to "Countdown". It might be better laid to rest. Was 1st July the final episode ?

Sorry about update but have not seen much "live " TV recently. Quite like quiz show "Eggheads", but cannot stand the programme about re-designing houses that was on C4 after "Countdown" (co-hosted by Scottish journalist). "Corrie" not so good at present. Not keen on new "Doctor Who". However, Billie Piper can act (which is more than can be said for the very "overrated" Jennifer Ellison).

Network DVD are starting to release many "golden oldies" TV programmes. Check www.networkdvd.co.uk  BBC releases seem to be slow these days.

Think Jim Fenner saga should have ended after previous series of "Bad Girls". The story has dragged on too long. Disappointed Eva Pope is no longer in the show.

Will review "Corrie" when story of "Killer Katy" concludes. I feel sorry for Lucy-Jo Hudson, who is having to handle some very difficult scripts at present.

Is "Scooter" from "Corrie", Nat's policeman boyfriend, from "Byker Grove" ?

Violet the barmaid from "Corrie" appeared in Grange Hill. She was in Ray's cafe, when a drunken Joanna sang "Everybody Hurts" (1997).

Ned Glover from "Emmerdale" has turned up as manaager of Weatherfield Town" football club in "Corrie".

Don't like Charlie from "Corrie". He is not a very good actor either. The new barmaid Violet is nice. Not keen on current storyline with Katie (have since learned Lucy Jo Hudson is leaving the soap with a "bang", which is a great pity).

Good to see Suranne Jones has now left "Corrie" but her final scenes + Xmas "Corrie" as a whole, was disappointing.

Thought "Vicar of Dibley" Christmas Day special was quite funny.

Good to see Jill Hallfpenny doing well. She was good singing "Fairytale of New York" on "Eastenders" special, but not keen on her co-singer Shane Ritchie, who seems to want to steal the show.

On seeing a video of Spice Girls' "Mama", Claire's mother from "Corrie" was on it.

Quite enjoyed latest Series (16) of "Byker Grove", which concluded today (11th Nov). Think Sadie is lovely and Sammy Dobson (Sarah) is very talented. Don't like Dom (related to Robson Green and formerly in "Dream Team"). He definitely overacts. Robert seems very out of place. Could be the actor ?

See that John, the airport man who conned and caused Diedre to go inside in "Corrie", re-appeared as "accused" (he was not guilty) in today's "Courtroom" on C4 (8th Nov).

Noticed in tonight's "Corrie" (25th Oct), that Dev was being questioned by detective played by the caretaker's son, from "Brookside".

Some character resemblances in current iprogrammes include: New "Corrie" barmaid looks like Denise Welch's niece (later in "Crossroads"). New "Byker Grove" heartthrob resembles Liam and Kylie looks like Brigid.

Storyline in "Corrie" at present regarding Karen McDonald is a big turn-off. Sorry, but Suranne Jones cannot act. She is on a par with the equally dreadful Liz McDonald. I must be in the minority at present, but Tina O'Brien is not much better, and she is in line for forthcoming "most popular actress" award. Like Shelley, but she is a "sucker" with men.

Did not recognise the excellent Geordie actress Jan Graveson (formerly down-and-out Disa n "Eastenders"), who now plays Hayley's mother in "Byker Grove". She used to have dark hair.

A new Series starting next week, called "Steel City Blues", stars amongst others, Claire Buckfield and Vicky Hawkins ("Byker Grove" and Century Traffic girl).

Saw "Bad Girls Most Wanted" (23rd Aug). Was (very) surprised by the popularity of Darlene Cake, and never liked Nikki Wade. Felt "Big Al" (Pauline Campbell) deserved a place as did the character with a brain tumour, played by Lara Cazalet. Her acting performance was generally acknowledged by the critics, as the best in the Series.

Sorry but it seems there has been a continuation error in "Corrie" (20th Aug). Katy's A Level results were not that bad as only a year ago, she sat her GCSE's.

After seeing "Family Affairs" for first time in a while, I notice that the talented Rosie Rowell, plays one of the main characters. Also Tony O'Callaghan (The Bill), Gabrielle Claister (Brookside) and Jan Harvey are in the cast.

See that Amanda Barrie ("Bad Girls") and Tina O'Brien ("Coronation Street"), who play two of the worst characters in their respective programmes, have been nominated for Best Actress in Soap Awards. No comment, but the readers of  "TV Quick" the sponsors, would not be interested in the cast/actors, or they would buy another magazine.

In today's "Courtroom" (29th Jun), Robert Fyfe (Howard from LOTSW), played accused (sentenced to life). Also Alexa Gibb (Nat from BG), was in tonight's "Holby City" (have not seen yet).

Verger Alice from "The Vicar of Dibley", appeared in Phil Redmond's new series "The Courtroom" (28th Jun), as a woman accused of murdering her baby (sentence reduced to equivalent of manslaughter)..

Saw "Eastenders" for first time in a while (25th Jun). Notice Ivan Kaye ("Sam Saturday") is new doctor. Elaine Lordan is looking old now. Michael Higgs acts just like he did, as Eddie Santini in "The Bill". Jessie Wallace is nothing outstanding as an actress. One of Turk family also used to be a detective in "The Bill".

Disappointed that Danielle Brent (see below) has not been in 2nd and 3rd episodes of new "Bad Girls" series (footnote: back for episode 5, but bad news is that awful Footballers' wife is in episode 6).. Like Dr Helen from "Doctors".

Watched and enjoyed first episode of new series of "Bad Girls" (14th Apl). Though emergence of new coloured prisoner at end, spoiled programme slightly. Pity that "twist in tale" regarding new governer Eva Pope, was given away in that day's papers. Thought Danielle Brent (Gina from "Hollyoaks") looked really smart. Surprised that Jim Fenner could get away with so much, but hopefully he will not get out of it, this time.

Saw an episode from the first series of "Press Gang". In the cast were a very young Lucy Benjamin and Kevin (Zammo's pal from "Grange Hill").

See Ollie Simpson from "Brookside" has emerged as new doctor in "Doctors". Mandy Jordache has also put in an appearance. Gina Patrick (from "Hollyoaks") and Eva Pope (Tanya from "Corrie"), are new inmates in the forthcoming series of "Bad Girls", as well as absolutely.awful blonde (Zoe Tucker ?) from "Footballers Wives".

I see Pete Whiteley ("Emmerdale"), has re-emerged as detective in "Corrie" (5th Apl), chasing Dev's "hot" watches.

Don't like the way Fred Elliott is treating Shelley at present, in "Corrie".

Quite like the new love interest of Mike Baldwin/Fred Elliott in "Corrie". Where have I seen actress Pauline Fleming before ? Not sure, but I think it was in a North East-based programme.
Footnote: Was Jackie Corkhill's sister in "Brookside".

Why have "Corrie" brought back Liz McDonald ? Although rated highly by readers of a magazine, that does not show programme casts, I still think Suranne Jones and Tina O'Brien are poor actresses.

Saw recently re-run of "Harry's Game" and noticed that Jim McDonald (Charles Lawson) was one of the leading IRA men.

Not that bothered about latest "Corrie" hitlist, though I think "Rovers" handyman is quite a good character. Pleased that Nick Tilsley (as much to blame as Todd for gay kiss) and Angela Nelson are going. Terrible news about Liz McDonald returning though.

Andrea Mason, formerly a WPC in "The Bill" (she disappeared out of this series, for no reason), has reappeared as the defence counsel in Rita's trial on "Corrie" tonight (2nd Feb). Bethany's "other grandmother", used to run canteen in "Oh Doctor Beeching".

Read that there are going to more stories for the older cast of "Corrie" and less of the younger characters. I would not think that Nikki Sanderson (Candice) one of the better young actors, has had a major storyline yet, unlike the overrated Tina O'Brien. Rita is "past her sell buy date", with
Blanche, the best of the older generation. Cilla is a dreadful character.

Saw part of Eastenders Xmas Special (24th Dec), and thought Jill Halfpenny was quite impressive singing "Merry Christmas Darling".

Watching a part of "Doctors" today (25th), saw an inter-soap kiss between Jim McDonald and Trish Mcdonald. In a recent episode (11th), Charlotte McDonagh (Lisa from "Grange Hill"), played a good part as a swimmer suffering from a skin disease.

Thought the "Corrie" cast were good performing "Grease" at the only part of "Children in Need"  (21st) I saw (especially Candice). No comment on the return of Bet Lynch and Liz McDonald.

Catching up on "The Bill", I see Leanne (from "Brookside") is now a regular. Saw a recent "Casualty" episode, in which it was good to see Nina Fry (Robyn from "Grange Hill") again. Also saw Lennie (from "Eastenders"), Mick and his first wife (Colin Jackson's sister) (from "Brookside"), Finn from "Hollyoaks" and Holly Davidson ("The Bill" and "The Brokers' 'Man"). Like Katy Carmichael, but I think Lucy is gettiing ott in "Corrie". No comment on soap nominees for British TV Awards, but they are certainly not my choices..

Sorry for delay, but a hectic month has left me watching little television. Read that Peter Barlow is leaving "Corrie". I still think his two "wives" are the best females in the programme. I also like Katy, but no fan of Tracy. I also think Tina and Allie, from "Bad Girls", are good characters.

See Effie McKinnes (from "High Road") is now appearing regularly on a programme for small children on BBC 1.

Nanny Claire from "Corrie" used to be John McArdle's daughter in "Merseybest". Don't like Angela Nelson. Melanie Hart from vintage "Family Affairs" is currently advertising Yakult.

Cannot see the fuss about Corrie's Karen McDonald. She is not particularly attractive, smokes too much, and Suranne Jones is a very wooden actress.

Strange that the main episode featuring the Nelsons in "Corrie" (14th April), was on same night as "Danielle Cable-Eyewitness". Have not seen "Emmerdale" much lately, but I cannot stand Viv and Bob(what an original name !) Hope.

Actor who played Alan Morgan in "High Road" is regularly on NetworkQ advert in "Millionaire" breaks at moment.

Janice Battersby's current boyfriend in "Corrie", was also a policeman in "Dangerfield". Saw David Neilsen (Roy Cropper) in old episode of "Secret Army". He was playing a German officer.

Peter Barlow should have had a bogus urgent phone call during funeral ceremony (without saying anything beforehand), to give more credibilty to his "escape" for his wedding with Lucy.

Quite like Lucy-Jo Hudson (Katy) from "Corrie". Sorry to read that Katy Carmichael (Lucy) is leaving.

Saw two episodes relating to Richard's confession in "Corrie" (24th Feb). Thought first programme was good, but second was slightly disappointing. The two best actresses on the show at the moment, are both girlfriends of Peter Barlow.

Prunella Gee is NOT acting well as Maxine's mother in "Corrie".

See it was the end of Maxine in "Corrie" tonight (13th Jan). Tracy Shaw's acting in her final few episodes was dreadful. See one of my favourites, Claire Wilkie is in new-look "Crossroads".

Can't help feeling, that I have seen something like tonight's Corrie episode (6th Jan), before (Ken + Diedre).

Read that Kimberley Walsh, from popstar group, "Girls Aloud" is sister of Sally ("Emmerdale" and "Old Curiosity Shop").

Surely Steve McDonald in "Corrie", must have realised straight away, that Vikram's car was obtained on credit.

Sorry to see Cass Rickman killed off in "The Bill". Like Suzanne Maddock very much, going back to when she was Geoffrey's garage mechanic girlfriend, in "Hetty Wainthropp Investigates".

Mother from new "Corrie" family, used to be in "Reckless". Does Eileen's elder son, still compete as athlete ?"

Is the actor who plays son in new family in "Corrie", related to David Fleeshman / Sue Jenkins ?
Not surprised that "Corrie" would not give Tracy Shaw a payrise, after her dreadful piece of "acting" in tonight's episode (27th Oct).

Saw Claire King in "Doctors". Is she a "casualty" for next Series of "Bad Girls" ?

Simon McCorkindale currently in "Casualty", has been in "Hammer House of Horror" and starred with John Mills in the final "Quatermass" story.

Not surprised that "Brookside" is likely to be axed. I have not seen it for a while, but it has still got to be better than "The Simpsons". There seems to be a growing infiltration of American programmes (not a fan of any) on British TV. Don't like the new-look Maria at all. This actress, along with Emma, are not very good. Saw part of "Holby City" and it seems to have attracted a lot of "not-very-good" ex-soap stars, including Jeremy Edwards (Hollyoaks), Patricia Potter (Brookside), Rocky Marshall (Family Affairs), the former Corrie barmaid (can't remember name), and Luisa Bradshaw-White ((Grange Hill + others).

Read some disturbing news: Liz McDonald is returning to "Corrie". Katy Carmichael (Lucy) is currently in Diet Coke advert.

Saw Danny, Sally's old boyfriend in "Corrie", as a clergyman in today's "Doctors" (26th Sept).

Prunella Gee (Maxine's mother from "Corrie"), was a regular panellist on the original "Call My Bluff" series. She also appeared in "Hammer House" story, "Witching Time".

Lucy Benjamin actually got the sack from "Eastenders". Not surprising as she is not a good actress. Neither is Jennifer James (Geena), who I am glad to say is leaving "Corrie".

Read that Katy Carmichael (the best character from "Liverpool One"), is going to be the new romance in "Corrie", for Peter Barlow.

I am very surprised that the excellent Sally Lindsay (Shelley from Corrie), has not been nominated for Soap award. It is particularly annoying when you see, some of those that have eg Tracey Shaw and Tina O'Brien.

Heard that Lucy Benjamin is leaving "Eastenders". This is no great loss, as I do not rate her character Lisa, or her acting, very much. Is she related to Christopher, who was a good actor ?

Richard's wife in Corrie used to be in "Soldier Soldier". She was wife of Sergeant who was killed.

Saw Corries' Emma (Angela Lonsdale) and Eve (Melanie Kilburn) in "Preston Front" (UK Drama). Angela was actually smoking !!!

See actress who played Melanie Hart in vintage "Family Affairs", is now appearing regularly, on adverts relating to products sold in Chemist Shops.

Think the two Scottish sisters in "Doctors" are excellent. They are much better than a lot of Scottish actresses, including the awful Daniella Nardini.

Only knew "High Road", was still going in Scotland, when I read article in paper. This was one of the best soaps, when networked, and it is disappointing, to say the least, that ITV dropped it, especially when you see some of the programmes, they do show.

Read that Tracy Shaw wants to leave "Coronation Street" to take up new challenges. The difference with other actors going on "to better things" is that they were intelligent. After Helen Adams, Tracy is thickest person on TV.

Saw "Heartbeat" for first time for ages (9th Dec). Nice to see Sally Walsh again. In this, she was having an affair with former detective from "The Bill" (Sean Scott).

Saw parts of Coronation Street "Stars in their Eyes". Dennis was quite good as Joe Cocker. Karen was ok as Madonna (felt she could have done a better song). She seems a lot brighter than her character. Vera sounded nothing like Peggy Lee, but she should have performed a song, more associated with her, like "Fever", "Till There Was You" or "Folks Who Live On the Hill".

Just read that Lisa Faulkner is having difficulty getting work in America. To be fair, I have not really seen her in Holby City, but if her Brookside performance is anything to go by, I am not really surprised.

I read that Emma Harbour, one of the better actresses in Trainer, is going to appear in Coronation Street as a rape counsellor.

On seeing old episodes of Casualty, I have got to say that I liked Rebecca Lacey, who played Dr. George Woodman. Also on watching vintage Tenko, I was disappointed that the best character from Series 1, Nurse Nelly, did not appear in later Series. She was much better than Louise Jameson and the dreadful Australian, Claire Oberman.

Probably worst ever soap was Sky/Channel 4 production, Springhill. It was far too religious orientated, but was not helped by the main character, who was played by that dreadful Liverpool actress Gilly (can't remember her second name), who was Aveline in Bread. Quite liked the repeats I have seen of London Bridge, which I think was only shown in London, the first time round (early 90's).

I liked Sara Malin as Lynne Hickson, in "The Knock", but I cannot say I like her character "Bev Mansfield" in "Emmerdale". In the same vain I liked Clare Wilkie (a lot), in "Eldorado" and "Berkeley Square" but not as "Sandra De Marco" in "Eastenders".

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Likes and Dislikes:

Would like to see again: Would like to see less of:
Amanda Burton, Michelle Collins, Lisa Faulkner, Amanda Redman, Carole Vorderman.

Programmes that deserved another Series:
Berkeley Square, An Independent Man (George Cole).

Programmes that did not deserve another Series:
Sunburn, Harbour Lights.

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Whatever Happened To?:

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Odds and ends:

Just seen video of old CBBC serial called "Smokescreen". It starred a young Sally Walsh, who is
a much better actress than the majority of the current "Emmerdale" cast. To be honest I have given up watching this, and also "Eastenders".

After seeing first two episodes of "Byker Grove" (Series 16), it pains me to say, but it is now much better than "Grange Hill". The "new" youth leader used to be in "Crossroads" and Leanne's mother has been in "Corrie". Chelsea Halfpenny is quite a good young actress, but one of Stumpy's pals (don't know his name?), seems out of place with his posh accent. Like Laura, but her character is getting a bit nasty. Surprised that very few of lads at club, can play football.

Cannot stand "Direct Payment" advert. The people who talk on it are so artificial. Also Michael Winner would almost put people off "Esure".

Saw first final of "Beat the Nation" (2nd July). Though winner deserved victory, but Steph was next best (thought she might win), but was knocked out in first round, as she was a bit slower than others on buzzer.

Watched today's "Weakest Link" (20th May). Adele and Tracey were easily the best contestants, but were unfairly voted off.

Saw "Celebrity Stars in their Eyes" (8th May). Amy Nuttall was easily the best, but she seemed to be a trained singer. Roger Black was quite good as James Taylor. No comment on Bev Callard.

Have eventually seen all of AW Pet Series 4. Started well, but very weak in middle. Improved slightly last two episodes. Would like to have seen more of blonde civil servant, who was only in episode 1. Thought funniest moment was when Oz introduced himself as Journal ballet correspondent (liked his Cuban girlfriend).

Have reduced my viewing of "Countdown" as it is on too much, and also at wrong time. Cannot say I like latest eight-times-champion Nick (30th April). He is so miserable, and if wants to be a sports journalist, he should develop more personality.

Saw "Beat the Nation" today (before Cheltenham) (16th March), and thought winner was very lucky. The girl was by far the best but drew "short straw" with some questions. The shortcomings of  "the winner" were shown in final round. Sorry but I think Lorraine Kelly must be one of the worst people on TV. She really "grates" on me. I think of Ronni Ancona, all the time, I hear her voice. Not a fan of "Footballers Wives", but the new manageress (don't like the actress), was once a nasty prisoner, who died in "Bad Girls" (footnote: also in "Family Affairs")..

Have sat through the whole two DVD's of "Citizen Smith". I like the programme, but it is inexcusable to me, that one of the funniest scenes on television, Tucker miming to the Beatles "Till There Was You", was edited out of an episode.

Quite enjoy "Didn't They Do Well", but think that two many points are awarded on round 3, which is slightly alien to the rest of programme, anyway. Because of this, the best couple do not always win.

Quite like new quiz show "Beat the Nation". However, I think if the winner does not get jackpot, they should get a consolation prize, as well as being invited back. I also think the quickest on the buzzer (Rounds 1 and 2), is not necessarily the best contestant..

Did not see finish of "I'm A Celebrity", but I was certainly put off by Kerry McFadden's whinging at start. She seemed to smoke a lot, which is why I would been pleased to see her go.

Was a bit annoyed on New Years' Eve, as local cable transmission broke down, until well after midnight. I wanted to watch "Missing Presumed Wiped" on BBC4.

Craig, who won "Weakest Link" on 31st Dec, is a fomer "Countdown" champion. Saw him win his 6th and lose his 7th game, when programme was recorded in Newcastle (June 2001).

Thought "Only Fools and Horses" on Christmas Day, was better than last year. Quite enjoyed the "Posh and Becks" Big Impression. Wonder why the pair have not tried, "Richard (W) and Carol (V) ?

Have only started watching "The Weakest Link" on a regular basis since C4 changed their afternoon schedule. Could not believe in one edition (where the maximum £1000 was reached), that the only two contestants to hesitate over their answers in Round 1 were classed as the two strongest links. The supposed "strongest" was (quite rightly) voted off, and the other was introduced to start round 2, as the second strongest. Feel a bit sorry for any of the younger girls, as they rarely know questions relating to anything before 1990.

Sorry to say I do not  like the new "Countdown" champion, Chris Cummings. Do not like new time of programme, and it needs a rest. Quite like the girl who inroduces "A Place in the Sun", that is on after "Countdown" (since learned to be Amanda Lamb), though the couples sem to be overbearing.

John Harrison won the 2003B "Fifteen to One" Grand Final today (19th Dec). Unfoirtunately it seems that the programme has now ended, after a 16 year run.

See the talented Sally Walsh is appearing in a new series "Between the Sheets" (17th Nov). The only trouble is that it is written by Kay Mellor, and stars her daughter Gaynor Faye. Footnote: Disappointingly she was only in the first (which I did not see) and last episode.

Just seen final episode of latest "Byker Grove" series (13th Nov). Think girl who plays Sadie is a talented actress/singer. To be honest I thought Emma (Holly Wilkinson/Summer Matthews) looked better two years ago. Where has Cher disappeared to ?

After watching today's sad episode of "Byker Grove" (7th Oct), re. Ben's funeral, it was good to see some old faces again. Stella looked really smart. I see the main character in "Quayside", has emerged  as a Metro driver. Quite like Eva's friend with the ginger hair. Cannot stand Stumpy,

Saw "The Picture of Dorian Gray" at the Theatre Royal (25th Sept).. I went because the lovely Clare Wilkie was in it. It was well acted but felt it was about 30mins on the long side. I
understand Clare is staying with relatives in Washington. Also starring was Elizabeth Power  (Arthur Fowler's mistress in "Eastenders" and former Mrs. Michael Aspel).

Watched the first two episodes of the new series of "Byker Grove" (9th/11th Sept). Pleased to see Emma and Laura were still there. However, disappointed at disappearance of Stella and sister. What has happened to Sarah ? Pleased to see Cher again. Thought Ben would have left programme by now. I think the actress who played Tina, is now in "Teachers" (saw brief glimpse of prog).

In recent "Stars in their Eyes", I saw (the Awful) Suranne Jones try to imitate Catherine Zeta Jones. Forgive my ignorance but I was not aware Mrs. Douglas had made a record.

The latest series of "Big Brother" went by relatively unnoticed. Hope this is the end of it ?

Just seen DVD of  vintage "Invisible Man" stories. Recommended. It contains three Volumes (18 episodes). A Volume 4 advertised to be released on 9th June, does not appear to be out yet.

Congratulations to John Davies on winning today's (27th June) "Countdown" final. He was always the favourite. However, the standard in this, has been poorer than other Series. I think this programme deserves a rest, as does "Millionaire", for which at the present time, they are showing highlight editions.

Looking at current advert for British Gas. There are two "Thief Takers" in it.

Though series is ok, I do not like dark lady policewoman (an unknown actress to me), in "M.I.T".
Her name is Spiro. Is she related to the second (and much poorer) Mrs Jack Sugden from "Emmerdale" ?
,
Watching "Millionaire" (24th May), thought one contestant was really unlucky with questions. The one relating to "Mandarin" was hard, but the comedian who managed Suede (sorry I know nothing about them), was a stinker.

Just seen DVD of "Die another Day". Better than previous Pierce Brosnan efforts, but storyline is nowhere near as strong as early Bond films. Like blonde lady villain .

Watching the "Major" on "Millionaire" (21st April), it was apparent he was assisted. There is no way someone with £50k debts, would risk a high value answer, when they had no idea. I think he knew answers to questions relating to artist and Anthony Eden hat, though. Did not know Craig David answer, and it appears as if his wife was the only one that did.

Like current champion of "Countdown" (24th Mch). Her name is Beth Sutton.

Saw video of film on TV advertised as "thriller (?)" called "Auturo's Island". Absolutely dreadful.

The standard in the current series of "Countdown" is poorer than normal. Like new girl in Dictionary Corner (Alyson Herd). What has happened to Tanya Styles ? Not keen on Susie Dent.

Current "Countdown" champion (25th Feb), John Clarke is veteran champion from "Fifteen to One".

Have just seen film "Ring of Fire". Was impressed by performance of leading actress, but as it did not show cast at end (an annoying habit), I don't know who she was ?
Surprised at outcome of "Countdown Champion of Champions" (24th Jan). Almost certain that it would have been a Julian v Chris final. Chris should have got "pensive", and if he had, would have won..

Saw Christmas "Only Fools and Horses" eventually. Was not impressed. Was that Diedre's old husband, Samir, playing "supposed" illegal immigrant ?

Pleased to see Cilla Black is finishing with "Blind Date", though it has never been a favourite. Even worse would be Lisa Riley introducing it.

Richard and Carol's horse "Mare of Wetwang" was not very impressive at Newcastle, today (15th Jan).

After seeing first two episodes of "Reilly Ace of Spies" on video, did not know the lovely Jeananne Crowley (Nurse Nelly from "Tenko"), played his wife.

Not seen much of Christmas telly, but some shows will be seen shortly on video. Alistair McGowan's show was disappointing. Quite a good impersonation of David Bowie, by Boy George on Celebrity "Stars in their Eyes".

Saw "Millionaire" for first time for a while (21st Dec). Would have struggled. Thought collective noun for whales was "School". Do not know release dates of any Julia Roberts films. Never heard of "hackles" in relation to dogs.

As expected Julian won "Countdown" final (20th Dec). However, his winning score was "only" 112.

Record score of 146 was set up in "Countdown" semi-final today (18th Dec), by previous holder. However, I still feel he is too clever by half.

Sorry to see Michael Penrose, get knocked out of "Fifteen to One" yesterday. He was very unlucky with his choice of questions, and was better than all the finalists. On today's programme (6th Dec), I am sure 10 (to power 5) is 100,000 and not 10,000 as stated. However, it made no difference to result.
Saw "Millionaire" (23rd Nov) where Chris Brown won £64,000. However, surely his base Consett, is in Durham, not Northumberland. Thought previous girl contestant looked like "Brigid Jones".

Saw film "Who Dares Wins" only got 1 in TV ratings. It has a much stronger storyline and more believable action, than recent Pierce Brosnan James Bond films.

Thought "Millionaire" contender (16th Nov), was unlucky with £500,000 question. However, the preceding and following contestants, were given difficult questions from start.

Victoria Hawkins (Claire from "Byker Grove") is now giving traffic updates on Century FM.

Quite enjoyed final episode of Series 14 of "Byker Grove" (7th Nov). There did seem to be a few loose ends, however. Looks like two of the better characters, Stella and her sister are leaving, although I think Stella, Emma, Sarah and Ben are probably too old for a youth club, now. Wonder if Holly Matthews (Emma) is releasing a record ?

See "Countdown" record score of 138 was achieved today (25th Oct). However, I feel the lad, who now has the highest aggregate for the eight games, is too clever for his own good.

Ben's father in "Byker Grove" is now being played by a third different actor. Quite like Sarah, one of the newer characters. See programme is produced by BBC Scotland !

Nice to see Laura (Louise Henderson) back in "Byker Grove". She lives near Heaton Manor School. Did not know Holly Wilkinson/Matthews (Emma) had ran Great North Run, with Angelica Bell. She is not, however, listed in results.

Did not know, until now, that Holly Wilkinson ("Byker Grove's Emma), had been in an episode of "The Bill" called "Cover Story" in November 1999.

Saw an old film called "Brotherly Love". A good cast (apart from Suzanna York), but a poor film.

Saw old edition of "Our Friends in the North", and saw Jake from "Byker Grove".

Bad editing in today's "Countdown" (25th Sept). Carol did not get numbers game at first, but had done so, according to board, when show finished. Obviously occasion when she did this, was edited out.

Two ex-soap stars appeared in "Byker Grove" today (24th Sept). Mr Hart from "Family Affairs" was father of "Purely Belter" actor, and one of the "Dream Team" footballers, was Tina's brother. Wheelchair race was at Quayside.

I see Lightfoot Stadium, was featured in "Byker Grove" today (19th Sept), in a story relating to Wheelchair Athletics.

I will always think of Clive Owen in "Chancer", rather than the new James Bond.

On tonight's "Millionaire" (14th Sept), thought publican had some really hard questions. I was convinced (like him), that Augusta was in Georgia.

Just seen a film starring David Hemmings called "Blow Out". It is the worst film I have seen, with absolutely no storyline. Saw "Billy Elliot". Quite good but slightly overrated. I think his brother, used to be in "Dream Team".

Wife of Irishman on tonight's "Millionaire" (7th Sept), looked very much like Heike Dreschler. Have to admit I have never heard of "High Five".

Just seen Paula Hunt (Alex from "Bugs"), in Bingo advert.

New Series (14) of "Byker Grove" started today (3rd September). The awful Nicki is still in, but so is the gorgeous Emma. Holly Wilkinson (now called Matthews in the cast), appeared with Matt and son of Club leader, in interview before and after programme.

Saw the excellent actress (sorry don't know name), who played MP's secretary in AW Pet 3, in programme with Rick Mayall. She was dressed in green.

Like tune on Hyundai advert. Something like "I'm Sticking Like Glue".

Worst advert of the moment is from Barclays, with the American talking.

Never really watched latest series of "Big Brother", but I am really pleased the awful, Jade, did not win.

Just seen and enjoyed Golden Oldie film, "Cry Terror". The Chief of Police used to be in "The Whirlybirds".

The result of "Countdown" final (28th June), was no great surprise, but was more one-sided than I expected, with the two best players from the Series. The one lady quarter-finalist and the current seven-times lady champion going to the next Series, are both let down by their numbers game.

Pleased that "Countdown" champion, a Scottish baker, was beaten today (6th June), by lady contestant, as he was very "cocky" and getting on my nerves.

Not a great fan of Royalty etc, but one of my favourite actresses Juliet Aubrey played Queen Mother, in "Bertie and Elizabeth".

Just seen video of "Brigid Jones' Diary", which I enjoyed. The female star was good, but a complete unknown among an established cast, as far as I was concerned. In main song, I keep thinking Gabrielle sings "Valerie" and not "Out of Reach".

Like Alistair McGowan a lot, but I am afraid his impersonation of Kilroy is not very good.

Saw old advert for "Mates". Was that Gina McKee ("Our Friends in the North" & "The Forsyte Saga") playing the shop assistant ? Again seeing old "Campari" advert, was well known TV actor, Jeremy Clyde, the other half of Chad (Stuart) and Jeremy, who had a hit many years ago, with "Yesterday's Gone" ?

On seeing episodes of "The Protectors" on Granada Plus, although Nyree Dawn Porter was good in "The Forsyte Saga", she is absolutely DREADFUL in this. She is well out of place, and certainly no action woman.

Did not know Debra Stephenson (former "Bad Girls") won "Opportunity Knocks" as an impressionist (in 1989). Included in her act was Cilla Black.

Not seen all of "Auf Wiedersehn Pet" yet, but theme tune is poor compared to original Series 1 and 2. Did see Oz give "Butch Dingle" a punch.

Saw end of Alistair McGowan's "Big Impression" (19th April). What an excellent impersonation of Richard and Judy, with Ronni Ancona.

Congratulations to Matti Watton on winning today's (12th April) Fifteen to One Grand Final. He was also second on the Finals Board with 413 points.

Amy Phillips (Jessica Arnold from "Grange Hill"), appeared in later editions of "Rescue Me". Although the best actress in GH, her later rolls have been in dreadful shows, including "Knight School" and Harbour Lights".

I see old pairing of Claire King and Paul Opacec have repeated their "Emmerdale" romance, in "Bad Girls". Former "Grange Hill" star, Jade Williams has also appeared in programme.

Just seen video of "The Jump". It was a good story but spoilt by the dreadful acting of leading character "Donna", played by Susan Vidler.

Sorry but I think the whole business with the Oscars and some of the ott performances of some of the winners, is a right turn-off.

Thank goodness "Pop Idols" has finished. Did not see any of it, but heard bits. I heard a dreadful version of "Night Fever", though I don't know who sang it, on the night that Zoe Birkett was elimated. She certainly was better than that performer, but I think her sex was against her in the final countdown. Heard Will Young's record for the first time this morning (11th Feb). To be honest it sounds like Gary Barlow's "Forever Love". No further comment.

As I expected 18-year-old (?) No 1 seed won Countdown Final on Christmas Day, although very narrowly. The new series goes on until June. I was hoping that they had reverted back to 13 week Series, which I think is fairer to the contestants.

Thought Christmas Day "Only Fools On Horses" was good in parts, but took while to get going. Quiz part was very funny. Did not realise actor who played Pub Landlord (who also played racist Petrol Station manager, in "Brookside") had died.

I see Daphne Fowler retained her "Fifteen to One" title at end of current series (21st Dec).

Actress of the future: Alexa Gibb, who plays Nat, in Byker Grove. She also performed well singing "Upside Down" on Night Fever.

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Videos wanted:

:WANTED the following tapes etc (would also like to see on TV again).
Video Tapes of the following TV programmes.
A for Andromeda / The Andromeda Experiment (BBC b/w).
Adam Adamant Lives (BBC).
Adventures of Aggie (ITV b/w).
Adventures of Charlie Chan (ITC 30mins b/w).
Adventures of the Scarlet Pimpernel (ITC 30mins b/w).
All Gas and Gaiters. (BBC b/w).
Angels (pre 1978). (BBC).
The Avengers (Ian Hendry / not "The Enforcers").
Badger by Owlight (BBC Serial).
Barriers (ITV Serial).
Ben Hall (BBC).
Billy Bunter (BBC).
Callan (ITV) (Not colour Series 1).
Capitol City. (ITV).
The Cedar Tree. (ITV).
Colonel March of Scotland Yard (ITV b/w).
Compact. (BBC).
The Count of Monte Cristo (ITC 30mins b/w).
Crossroads (pre 1980) (ITV).
Crown Court (ITV).
Dial 999 (ITV b/w).
Dixon of Dock Green (BBC)..
Doomwatch (BBC).
Educating Evans (BBC b/w).
The Expert (BBC).
Fabian of the Yard (BBC b/w).
Floodtide (ITV Serial/ Series 2).
The Four Just Men (ITV b/w).
The Frog (Francis Durbridge BBC Serial b/w)
(+ any other Durbridge stories).
Gangsters (BBC / all episodes).
Ghost Squad (ITV).
Harpers West One (ITV).
International Detective (ITV b/w).
Ivanhoe (ITC 30mins b/w).
Journey to the Unknown (ITV).
The Knock: (ITV) (Episode from final Series, featuring Martine McCutcheon).
London Bridge (ITV).
The Mad Death (BBC Serial).
Mickey Dunne (BBC).
Mr Big (BBC comedy).
Mysteries of Edgar Wallace (ITV).
No Hiding Place (ITV).
Potts / Potts and the Phantom Piper (BBC Serials b/w).
The Range Rider (BBC) (b/w).
Sanctuary (ITV).
Scales of Justice (ITV) (b/w).
Scorpian (BBC Serial).
Scotland Yard (ITV) (b/w).
Sherlock Holmes (Douglas Wilmer) (BBC).
Softly Softly (Task Force) (BBC).
Special Branch (ITV).
Stranger on the Shore / Stranger in the City (BBC Serials b/w).
Sword of Freedom (ITV b/w).
Target (BBC).
Telford's Change (BBC).
Vendetta (BBC).
Waterfront Beat (BBC).
Wells Fargo (BBC b/w).

Films: Coast to Coast (Lenny Henry).
          The Man from Hong Kong.
 
 

E-mail Les if you can help with any of these.

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Les's letters:

Here is unedited version of letter which won Satellite Times competition in October 2000. (Prize was blank video tape).

Dear Sir,
I am beginning to lose patience with the Golden Oldies Channels (UK Gold, Granada Plus, UK Drama) as they seem to be recycling the same programmes over and over again. Considering the wealth of excellent vintage TV progs that do not seem to have been repeated on Satellite TV, it annoys me that it seems to be the same select few that are shown. UK Gold are the biggest culprits as they have recently gone round-the-clock and also have a second channel, but no significant amount of "new" old progs have been shown. The only new ones that seem to be introduced are fairly recent progs shown on the Terrestial channels. To make matters worse they are starting yet another re-run of Juliet Bravo. The later Angels episodes are having about there fourth re-run, but I have never seen any of the early episodes with Fiona Fullerton etc.
Granada Plus started well repeating Manchester-based progs such as Crown Court, Travelling Man etc, but dropped them within six months. It was nice to see the Professionals on the first re-run, but it seems to be shown everyday now.
The only new progs on GP recently have been inherited from UK Gold such as Taggart, The Sweeney and Minder.
Even Sky Soap, ceased to broadcast just as the High Road episodes originally not shown in England, were due.
Carlton Select also ceased to broadcast and UK Drama which started with an excellent line-up has added virtually nothing new, and is now showing the original progs for the third/fourth time in some cases. Bravo probably the best of the original Oldies Channels, has now gone completely new wave, apart from the occasional overnight film. If TCM can show endless Black and White films surely there is room for at least one nostalgic TV Channel ?
As things stand at the moment I only watch the Sports Channels and Discovery / History when 4 years ago UK Gold, Granada Plus and Carlton Select were the "popular" channels. Is it worth the subscription ?
Les V
(Newcastle upon Tyne)
NB. I have written to both channels. Granada Plus never answer and UK Gold say that those shown are popular with viewers.

Email to Professionals website (July 2000):
To Jack Yan,
I read with interest your review of the New Professionals Series. I agree with most of your comments, especially those relating to Lexa Doig. I think my favourite episode (there were only about six), was "Souvenir" probably because it saw the long-awaited comeback of Trainer's Audrey Jenkinson. I think the episodes were slightly better as the Series developed. My favourite episode from the original series was probably "Close Quarters" and the worst most definitely "Blind Run".
(Reply received March 1st 2002, which was actually first comments re site. Jack's favourite episode is "Man Without a Past").

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