Review: Murder and controversy in and out of the soaps


The plots of two of Britain’s leading soaps are looking remarkably familiar, not for the first time, but it is off-screen in New Zealand where the real drama is to be found.



Can it really be coincidence that in both Emmerdale and Coronation Street two unsavoury philanderers have recently each killed one person through recklessness if not by accident, and then committed a follow up murder to cover their tracks?

Sleezebag Karl played nookie with the hair-brained Sunita, who abandoned her cornershop owner husband for what? Realising her mistake, the two parted company on frosty terms, but Karl having found a younger man in the bed he once shared with the new landlady of the local watering hole hatched some crazy plan to burn it down, was discovered by Sunita, and abandoned her in the burning cellar.

Although the fire brigade turned up to save her, she was taken to hospital unconscious, and as a lady firefighter lost her life in the fire, Karl realised that if Sunita woke up, that would be the end of the road. Last night he ensured she didn’t wake up, having previously framed her for setting the fire, but it may be that he doesn’t have the stomach for it.

Over in Emmerdale, it looked like the local vicar was being lined up for a descent into serial murder as his world collapsed round his ears. Alas, the show’s scriptwriters appear to have had a change of heart, well, change of character anyway. Cameron Murray is an even bigger sleazebag than Karl, having first dumped his wife and kids in Jersey to move in with the local lady garage owner, and then taken up with her aunt.

Having killed another local sleazebag Carl King, sort of by accident, he leaves his mistress to take the can, then confesses to a local farm labourer, whom he then murders and buries in the woods, framing him for a set up burglary into the bargain in order to cover his tracks. It seems unlikely that he will have any further qualms about killing, in fact, recently he came within a whisker of terminating another local sleazebag. Another one? Yup. And such a tiny hamlet at that.

Back to Coronation Street, sort of. William Roache is not only a veteran actor, he holds the world record of the longest continually serving soap star. On April 25, he will be 82 years old, and is currently in New Zealand where he is promoting a Coronation Street stage show, but, if he is not more careful when he opens his mouth, he may return home to find his character has been Karl’s next victim. At present, a current member and former member of the Coronation Street cast are both facing serious sex charges. Whatever the merits or otherwise of either case, it was probably not a good idea for him to claim on TV that sex abuse victims are on the receiving end of bad karma. Roache follows some lunatic “pure love” cult, and that combined with his age...Although he has now apologised for this comment, the damage has been done. However, check out what he actually says about historical allegations of sexual abuse. Does this or does it not make sense?

[The above was first published April 4, 2013; the original wasn’t archived. It was linked to a YouTube video which has since been deleted, so I have substituted a link to my article about the William Roache total acquittal.]

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