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Soapwatch: CLAUDIA CONNELL’S ultimate insight into this week’s soaps

Lockdown has had a profound effect on many of us, but do spare a thought for the poor residents of Soapland, some of whom have undergone entire personality transplants.

Take Kush Kazemi. Earlier this year he was the amiable, if slightly dim, market trader who slipped customers a free pair of tights if they purchased some tat from his stall. The most rebellious thing he ever did was skip a gym session. Now he’s a gambling addict who steals from children and bets the roof over his family’s head in a game of cards.

The speed at which characters transform from Mr Nice Guy (or Girl) to all-out baddie – and vice versa – has always been impressive in soap.

The grown-up Jamie Tate arrived in Emmerdale as a devoted family man. In the space of a year, he’s gone from kindly village vet to Al Capone, cheating, threatening and blackmailing his way around the Dales.

But none of the above is as alarming as what is happening to Coronation Street’s Tracy Barlow. She’s actually being nice to people. That really is taking things too far.

Jaci Stephen is away

EASTENDERS: KAT’S GRAND THEFT AUTO

It’s time for Kat (pictured) to pull off the robbery she has roped Phil, Shirley and Ben into in EastEnders

The time has finally come for Kat to attempt to pull off the robbery she has roped Phil, Shirley and Ben into. And just for good measure Kush is their getaway driver. 

What could possibly go wrong? Will the group pull off their plan to steal classic cars? Suffice to say, Ocean’s 11 it most certainly is not.

Denise decides the time has come to tell Raymond that she is his birth mother. She’s just about to drop the bombshell when Kim walks through the door. 

Kim is shocked to meet her nephew and tells Denise that she should try to salvage her relationship with Jack as they clearly still have feelings for one another. Never mind Jack, what about Vincent? 

It’s been more than two years since Kim’s husband was bundled into the back of a car and has never been mentioned since.

Suki plans to turn the Slaters’ home into flats and when she sees that Ian is having financial troubles, she hits upon a scheme that could benefit both of them. Balvinder Sopal has been brilliant as Suki, the manipulative matriarch. 

EastEnders was in desperate need of a good female villain and she’s filled the hole just perfectly.

CORONATION STREET: PETER’S PIE-EYED

Peter Barlow (pictured) turns to alcohol after having his taxi stolen and being beaten up in Coronation Street

Peter Barlow (pictured) turns to alcohol after having his taxi stolen and being beaten up in Coronation Street

Considering who his family are and the fact his girlfriend has a glass of red wine permanently superglued to her hand, alcoholic Peter Barlow has done well to stay off the booze for 18 months. But when a thug steals his taxi and beats him up, Peter seeks comfort in the bottle. 

He refuses Abi’s help and by the end of the week he’s admitted to hospital after Johnny and Jenny find him collapsed in the bar (pictured). Will Carla support Peter through his latest relapse? Well with Leanne’s relationship with Nick under strain, I wouldn’t put it past Peter to bounce back to her again instead.

Leanne and Steve aren’t getting on any better either. Imran tells her that they cannot go ahead with Oliver’s appeal unless Steve changes his mind and supports her but, despite her pleading, he can’t be swayed.

Speaking of relationships, we all know it’s only a matter of time before Billy finally succumbs to the utter mystery that is Todd’s irresistible charm. And in the coming week Todd ramps up his attempt to see off Paul and win back Billy.

At Underworld, Todd switches some of the packages around and lands Paul in trouble. Later when Billy is working late, Todd plies Paul with alcohol and suggests he dresses up in his boyfriend’s religious robes – a stunt that doesn’t go down well when Billy returns.

EMMERDALE: BELLE ON A KNIFE’S EDGE

In Emmerdale, Belle (pictured) stops taking her medication and starts imagining hearing her mother's voice before thinking she is being chased by Jamie through the woods

In Emmerdale, Belle (pictured) stops taking her medication and starts imagining hearing her mother’s voice before thinking she is being chased by Jamie through the woods

When her mother was alive, Belle often didn’t see her for months as she was either visiting Granny Clegg or holed up in Scotland. 

Now Belle, who hasn’t been taking her medication, hears Lisa’s voice telling her that she must protect the family, and so heads to the woods with a knife, hallucinating that Jamie is following her.

Moira’s decree nisi arrives and she breaks down. When she and Cain get locked in a barn by Mackenzie, they have a chance to talk. 

Will Cain finally forgive Moira? Cain wouldn’t forgive someone spilling his pint, let alone adultery. Don’t hold your breath!


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