In recent months, there have been numerous soap villains on the box who have been getting away with far too much in recent weeks.
Whether it’s their bad manners, shady dealings, blackmail, or even murder, it has been quite unpleasant to see these characters walk around like they’re a chosen saint one minute, and then behaving like they’re the devil’s spawn the next.
Here at On The Box, we’ve selected five soap characters we feel deserve their comeuppance this year.
In absolutely any way possible.
5. Phil Mitchell
There have been many villains during EastEnders‘ 28 year run, some nastier than others. But while Phil Mitchell has been more anti-hero than villain these past few years, he’s still done things in the past that have made us viewers really red in the face.
His treatment of other Square residents haven’t exactly earned him a nice word of mouth, as well as the fact that he has several times jeopardised Lola’s chances of getting baby Lexi back, covering up his son Ben Mitchell’s murder of the much loved Heather Trott.
Seriously analysing Phil Mitchell really puts his character in perspective. You’ll see someone who’s traumatised, lonely, and mentally damaged from years of feuding, manipulation, violence, and abuse.
But to many mainstream soap viewers, he is summed up in one word: bully.
4. Kylie Platt
Kyle started off in Corrie as a bit of a wild child, but ultimately grew more mature and wise, eventually settling into a marriage with former wild child David Platt. But it seems her crazy antics have cost her a huge deal.
Kylie ended up having a one night stand with Nick Tilsley, following an argument with David, as well as Nick being jilted at the altar by Leanne (They’re together now).
Now Kylie’s pregnant and the child could either be Nick’s or David’s. It’s a classic soap dilemma, and one that had Corrie viewers hooked instantly. Whoever the father is, Kylie’s life is sure to unravel in the worst possible way.
3. Will Savage
In a way like Kylie, Will entered Hollyoaks a very different character: Geeky, shy, and very insecure. However, during his tenure, his character has taken many dark turns that have ultimately made him a weirder, psychotically disturbed character. He has deceived his family, and manipulated many more. Including most recently Texas Longford, who he’s trapped in a web of lies, which are only getting deeper and deeper.
With an upcoming wedding on the horizon, it stages the perfect opportunity for Will to get his just deserts. But with the events that will transpire following his wedding, will the village see the true Will manifest, and turn him into an village outcast? And will that includes his family too?
2. Karl Munro
I always knew Karl would be a sly character, but I didn’t know it would take this long to reach this low.
As his obsession of winning back Stella grew, he resorted to burning down The Rovers Return in order to make some form of play back into Stella’s good books.
This led to a tragic turn of events, where Sunita Alahan (Karl’s ex mistress) caught him in the act of torching the cellar of the Rovers, threatening Karl’s Grade A plan in the process. A scuffle later and Sunita is out cold surrounded in flames, as Karl escapes into the street, leaving Sunita to die.
Karl then somehow stoops even lower by turning off Sunita’s life support, killing her in the process. This dreadful act has sadly – but not surprisingly – lead Karl & Stella getting back together. But, as ever in soaps, an act like this will ultimately come back to haunt Karl when the time is right. And in true soap fashion, it may just be at the wedding altar.
1. Cameron Murray
Carl King may not have been the nicest villain on Emmerdale Farm, but he surely didn’t deserve a gruesome end by Cameron Murray of all people.
Since smacking Carl in the head with a bloody brick, Cameron has resorted to new lows in order for his grubby secret to stay hidden. So much that he murdered again. Alex Moss was the next character to meet Cameron’s deadly hands, and ended up in a muddy grave in the Emmerdale woods.
Serial Killer stories rarely end well for the killer themselves, so it’s obvious to note that Cameron Murray will finally meet his maker when the time is right. Whether it’s this summer, Christmas, or maybe even 2014, if the writers can make this storyline as exciting as when it commenced, we’re in for an absolute treat.
While I’ve never been one for high-minded cultural criticism, the Christmas TV schedules can give us an interesting insight into the society we live in. Christmas and TV have gone together perfectly since forever, and the festive season is always a time of huge films, soap opera deaths and speech-giving monarchs. We crave that familiarity and tradition at Christmas, to such an extent that it’s easy to predict what sort of stuff is going to be on even before that Christmas Radio Times comes through the door.
We live in a time when more people shop online than go to church on Christmas day, and ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’, rather than ‘Peace and Goodwill to All Men’, is the slogan of the period. You don’t need to look through rose-tinted glasses to see that our national traditions are slowly dying. Everyone’s heard their Grandad’s story of only getting a tangerine for their sole present – compare that sort of Christmas to today’s, where legions of kids will wake up to ipads in their stockings on the 25th.
The point is, Christmas is changing, and we look to our televisions as an immovable anchor in an unrecognisable world. The Euro may be tanking, but Doctor Who will still be on. Kids are growing up too fast, but doesn’t the Queen look good for her age? And so on.
I always hate people doing ‘back in my day’ stuff, and I’m not saying that change is bad. If our traditions never changed then we’d still all be gathered round the TV on Christmas Day to watch The Black and White Minstrel Show. It’s just a fact that despite all the excitement and rumours that surround the Christmas schedule, it’s always the same basic formula, and we need it, even if we don’t realise it.
Just look at Eastenders, (or any soap) for example. There’s always a huge fuss made over a shock death, a shock return, a shock affair – it has pretensions of being new and exciting, but it’s just the same Christmas episode that we’ve seen for the past 10 years. We like to think we’re watching something new and daring, but what we want (and what we’re getting) is enjoyable, predictable entertainment.
Christmas isn’t a time to start watching The Wire – we don’t want to have a copy of SparkNotes at hand to comprehend our festive shows, we just want to sit in a Turkey coma with a glass of sherry, and be entertained.
Christmas should be a time for heritage and tradition, and nowadays, the best place to find it is in the TV guide. On Christmas Day in 2050, God knows what presents kids will be opening, and what their ideas of ‘Christmas traditions’ will be. It’s a worrying future, but we can rest easy in the knowledge that The Snowman will still be on the telly, and at least one aspect of Christmas won’t have changed.
According to John Altman, who has played Cotton on and off since 1985, his character nearly had a gay relationship in the 1980s.
But he claims Julia Smith, Albert Square’s co-founder wrote Altman out of the soap after he quarreled with a potential plot which would have seen Lofty Holloway and he start a relationship.
Altman told The Guardian: “Julia wrote me out for about a year when I protested that Nick wasn’t the kind of man who would start a gay relationship with Lofty, another straight character.”
Amongst other storylines over the years, viewers have seen him twice commit murder, succumb to a heroin addiction, and attempt to poison his own mother.
He was later voted one of television’s all-time most villainous characters in a Channel 4 poll.
Ahead of the second series of BBC2’s acclaimed 1950s newsroom drama The Hour, OTB met with Lisa Greenwood who stars in the show alongside The Wire’s Dominic West and Skyfall’s Ben Whishaw as cheery secretary Sissy Cooper. We talked 1950s, Malcolm Tucker and being recognised by the public…
Hi Lisa, how are you?
I’m fine thanks, yourself?
I’m great thanks. You’ve just finished series 2 of The Hour, what was it like returning to the 1950s?
It was great. We filmed in Hornsey Town Hall, which if you haven’t been to it, is just like stepping back in time every time you go into it. It’s completely converted into the ‘50s basically. The newsroom and main rooms were all in there. It’s quite easy with the hair and makeup as well it really helps. Read more
For the many fans who expected Poppy Meadow’s return to be short lived, it can now be confirmed that she will be staying in Walford for the foreseeable future.
Actress Rachel Bright, who reprised her role as a nail artist this year to help with the preparations for Janine Butcher’s wedding, has now signed a long term deal with the soap.
In the upcoming weeks, the beautician will resume her employment at the local beauty salon, with producers setting up a romantic future for her.
In the meantime, in a linked move, Poppy’s sister Tansy will make a one-episode appearance for a brief guest spot. Actress Daisy Wood-Davis will be playing Tansy, although some eagle eyed viewers might remember her from her first appearance in January 2011, when she was introduced as the best friend of Jodie Gold (Kylie Babbington).
Jo Joyner – the best actress in Eastenders* – has announced that she will take “a break” from the show in 2013.
Over the last few years Joyner aka Tanya Branning has had her marriage ruined buy her daughter-in-law, attempted to bury her ex-husband, lost a new husband and survived cancer.
We reckon she’s allowed some time off after all that, and is making the most of the opportunity when her contarct with the BBC One sopa expires next year.
According to the Daily Star newspaper, Jo told a friend: “It’s been pretty full-on and the rest of the year is going to be even more dramatic because the Brannings have got some amazing stuff coming up. I want to spend some quality time with my family so it’s time for a break.”
But fear not Tanya fans, the 34-year-old actress has vowed to return to the soap. An EastEnders spokesman confirmed: “Jo will be taking a break from filming in 2013 but will definitely return.”
June Brown – who plays Square stalwart Dot – will also be taking six months off to writer her memoirs, reports revealed yesterday.
The chain-smoking busybody first joined the cast back in 1985 and has become one of the most popular characters on set, but the 85-year-old has admitted to feeling exhausted by her hectic schedule.
A source told the Daily Mirror: “Some friends on the set feared she may be considering a permanent exit but EastEnders bosses are determined to keep her and they have offered her six months off which she has taken.
“She has admitted the filming can be exhausting and she feels some time off is long overdue.”
Just make sure you all come back girls…
*in our humble (but expert) opinion
The new piece of scheduling actually began last Friday, but the change was made permanent this morning. It’s thought that with TV fans increasingly watching the Albert Square serial on catch-up television and second viewings later in the evening, the BBC are looking to free-up some time on Sunday afternoon. But some fans have complained that the Sunday omnibus – which has been running since the show’s debut in 1985 – was part of their weekend routine.
“Viewers now catch up on EastEnders through a variety of means such as the PVR, our BBC3 repeat or on iPlayer,” some BBC spokesperson told Radio Times. “We’ve therefore decided to move the omnibus slot to later on Friday nights. This slot is closer to the original transmissions and will be more consistent as it will not need to be moved for sporting commitments.”
Ratings figures show that 477,000 viewers tuned in last Friday night, compared to nearly 800,000 on Sunday 1st April. So what do you think? Will you miss lazy Sunday afternoon’s in Walford or is it time for a change?
Sonia Jackson will be the latest loose woman to join the aptly named chat show, Loose Women.
Following a successful stint in the Celebrity Big Brother house – which saw her popularity amongst viewers reach an all-time high – Sonia (Natalie Cassidy) will make her first Loose Women appearance on Friday.
The 28-year-old former Eastenders star said: “Ever since Celebrity Big Brother people have been tweeting that they’d love to see me as a Loose Woman and now it’s happening.
“I can be very opinionated.”
After two of the regular panel members, Jane McDonald and Janet Street-Porter, became the victims of a rather nasty (and suspicious) double dose of the shingles, LW bosses have been trawling the streets for suitably “Loose” replacements.
Friday’s LW episode will represent Sonia’s first on-screen appearance alongside former CBB housemate Denise Welch since she left the house earlier this year.
An inside source has suggested that the topic may be: “Did my trumpet playing drive my husband to violence?”…but this is unconfirmed.
Thanking fans for their support on Twitter, the 28-year-old said: “So excited about Friday, my chance to get loud and loose!”
ITV2 has announced new supernatural drama Switch, which will follow the lives of four young witches living in London town.
Eastenders star Lacey Turner will lead the cast as an “immaculately dressed” career girl by day and a secret ‘Witch of Camden’ by night.
She will be joined by Nina Toussaint-White (Doctor Who), Hannah Tointon (The Inbetweeners) and Phoebe Fox (Black Mirror).
The show has been written by Chloe Moss – who previously worked on Prisoners’ Wives – and Tim Price (Secret Diary of a Call Girl) and promises to be a “vibrant, colourful, romantic and energetic drama”.
Recent RTS award-winner Laura Mackie, of ITV’s Drama Commissioning team, said: “Switch is a contemporary series about friendship with a spell-binding twist. Chloe and Tim have created four fun-loving, free-spirited characters and we’re delighted with the direction the series takes.”
During the series, the so-called ‘Witches of Camden’ fins support in each other as they struggle to cope with the pressures of modern London life. As if working out to order double mocha-choca-ccinos isn’t hard enough, these girls also have sworn enemies in the shape of the ‘Witches of Kensington’ to contend with!
Executive producer Rob Pursey (Being Human) added: “We’re delighted to be working with ITV2 and with Tim and Chloe to create this really exciting new series. Switch is an upbeat, funny drama about four young witches trying to make their way in the big city.
“They want to live a modern life, not one based on their mothers’ old-fashioned rituals.But modern life presents serious problems, and our girls can’t help casting the occasional spell to try to sort things out…”
Produced by Being Human‘s Philip Trethowan and executive produced by Touchpaper’s Rob Pursey, six 60-minute episodes of Switch will go into production in London, Cardiff and Bristol for 11 weeks from April 2012.