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Issue #1: Welcome Scoopers

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Welcome to Digital Spy’s latest column with me, Kris Green, and my trusty trowel …er…sorry… scoop that they’ve handed me for gathering all the gossip, turning up the titbits and fashioning all the feedback that I hope will collect in this corner of the site.

Every fortnight I’ll be taking a look at the trials and tribulations in the world of soap and drama as well as filling your good selves with hearty helpings of whatever tasty morsels happen to land on my desk from wherever. I shall endeavour to bring you both the meat and the bones… from the latest signings to forthcoming soap storylines, from readers' queries to fresh-as-a-daisy gossip. Soap Scoop will attempt to fulfil your every need (soap related, that is!).



EastEnders

Producers gave us all something to look forward to when they unveiled their four latest signings. I for one am looking forward to seeing what these fresh faces have to offer along with the storylines in which they'll feature. Kara Tointon looks very promising as she heads to Walford as Dawn Miller while, at the same time, Mark Wingett will appear alongside Kara in the French specials which are to be filmed over the next few weeks and aired in September. This new blood is probably the tonic the show requires. Although ratings have increased recently - notably over the past couple of weeks which has seen Zoe Slater (Michelle Ryan) leave - they're nowhere near the high ratings it once had.



This is the scene when Sharon Watts finally discovers the whereabouts of her father's body - well, not exactly. Ironically, in last Thursday's episode, Sharon cockled over his grave after her high heel became stuck in the uneven concrete.

Newspapers reported that this would be how Den's body would be discovered. I find it rather convenient - if not highly coincidental - that in the same week that such a dramatic storyline is unearthed by the tabloids, the exact incident described unfolded right before our eyes two days later. I'll leave it for you to draw your own conclusions, but we won't have to wait that long to find out. The episodes featuring Sharon's wedding were filmed this week and are due to be aired at the end of August.



Did you read the article last weekend detailing Alfie Moon's exit storyline? According to a Sunday tabloid, Alfie finally decides to make a go of things with Kat when her sister, Little Mo (surprise surprise), discovers she's carrying his baby. I'm sure you agree that as much as the whole 'I'm having your sister's love child' scenario would be compelling viewing and ensure a sensational, explosive exit from Walford, I am reliably informed that it is, and I quote: "utter b*llocks." What will they think of next?



Actor Derek Martin - better known to you and me as Charlie Slater - is to appear in an episode of Little Britain. Reports indicate that he'll feature with Fat Fighter's Marjorie Dawes. Although no date has been set for the third series of the comedy, early indications are pointing to an autumn airing.






I was fronted with the terrible news, on Wednesday, that Tracy-Ann Oberman aka Chrissie Watts is quitting Walford. I can't be the only one to think that she has been the saviour of the soap... Tracy-Ann is a fantastic actress who plays a terrific part and surely there was room for even more sensational plot development for her character? I'm not for one minute suggesting that they should have turned it into the Chrissie Watts show, but... However, there's still life in the character yet and I'm confident that, in the coming months, we'll see some of the best storylines and acting to come out of Elstree for a long while and it's nice to know that 'the door has been left open for her to return'.



Hollyoaks

A Hollyoaks-related question was submitted to Mr Wilkes' delightful column, Tube Talk, last week and, not surprisingly, it landed in my inbox:

Katrina asks: "Where did you find out that the Hunters are leaving? This is now June 2005 and they are still in. If they are to leave could you tell me? Thank you."
Thanks for your question, Katrina. I presume the story you are referring to is the Hollyoaks cast massacre which we reported on back in March last year. Of the cull, only six cast members on the list of 14 actually survived, including the Hunter family, even though they were scheduled for the axe. They were: Gemma Atkinson (Lisa Hunter), Alex Carter (Lee Hunter), Katherine Dow-Blyton (Sally Hunter), John Graham Davies (Les Hunter), Kelly Greenwood (Zara Morgan) and Ben Gerrard (Cameron Clark). There are currently no plans for any of these characters to leave. Somebody must have had a change of heart.

I hope that clears things up for you.



Family Affairs

SCOOP OF THE FORTNIGHT

Five's flagship soap recently announced the signing of ex-EastEnder Jack Rider. A spokeswoman for the soap told me at the time that Jack would be the first in a long line of new signings and, today, I can exclusively reveal that Family Affairs is on the verge of signing an ex-Hollyoaks cast member. Who? I hear you cry. Well I'm not going to give too much away right now apart from the fact that it's a male actor - well that whittles it down to a few... Rest assured, you'll see it first on DS!

An insider also told me: "Charnham will see the arrival of a couple of gorgeous and sexy young females who are set to spice up everything - and everyone."



Coronation Street

Is it just me...
...or is the Shelley/Charlie storyline becoming excessively tiresome? I could understand it spanning a couple of months or so, but to my knowledge it's scheduled to continue at least until October. Don't get me wrong, the acting and plot structure are second to none and I'm sure we've all enjoyed the scheming and manipulative ways of the Street's devious brickie. Maybe the moment is fast approaching when they should call time on the whole Shelley charade.



Great news that 'Office' favourite, Finchy, has joined the cast of Coronation Street - It's unfortunate he's preparing to elongate the Shelley plot by playing the role of her psychiatrist, Zach. If past guest appearances are anything to go by, this one should be fantastic. He'll be joining the ranks of Peter Kay and Sir Ian McKellen - both of whom gave impeccable peformances.




Is it just me... (take II)
...or are twins Jessie (Zaraah Abrahams) and Joanne (Nailah Cumberbatch) a complete and utter waste of space? I have asked myself more than once what on earth the powers-that-be were thinking of when they decided to pipe these two nonentities aboard. If anyone can produce a cast-iron reason for their inclusion I would be pleased to hear from them. If there ARE many more who think the same as me, I'm actually tempted to offer odds of 10/1 that the Terrible Twinnies won't be here in six months' time.

Meanwhile...



Is it just me... (take III)

...or does new cabbie Lloyd Bowen (Craig Charles) look the spitting image - albeit older - of Jason Grimshaw (Ryan Thomas)? He could almost be taken for his dad. In fact, if they'd been cast as father and son it would have been a very
convincing pairing.



Emmerdale

Actress Lucy Pargeter recently gave birth to 7lb 7oz baby Lola Grace Coleano. Sources tell me that despite a high publicity drive before the birth, there was an apparent disappointment with the subsequent exposure she received in the Press. At least I can rest easy in bed at night having announced the birth in the Digital Spy columns the following day.




Well, there you have it. That’s me done for this first week, so I’ll put the scoop back into its bag for the next 14 days.

Meanwhile, if you have any comments, questions or criticisms, let’s be hearing from you. I intend this to be as much your column as mine.

You can send me an e-mail by clicking on my name at the top of the page.

See you all in a fortnight. Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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