With the political conference season at an end and the winter Westminster wrangling in full swing, it’s no wonder that so many people turn to any other sort of TV rubbish.
That you? Me too, for the odd hour or so.
And if you are hooked on soaps don’t you worry. And don’t feel you need to hide this viewing habit as though it’s a weakness and only for cigarette-smoking idlers. Nothing of the kind.
I had a doctor who swore by soapland for relaxation and stress-busting – especially Corrie.
In fact, when The Street reached its 10th birthday in 1970, I did a series of interviews with original cast members, which we called The Survivors.
Now, so many years later, it has an army of followers and generations of fans who can’t remember life without it? Daft really, isn’t it?
And through all those soapy decades, the most forgettable actors have come and gone but others really have stood the test of time – survivors indeed.
Remember Brookside? The Liverpool-based saga proved to be a stepping stone for so many of our finest actors and actresses.
The most famous pair was Sue Johnston and Ricky Tomlinson, who played Bobby and Sheila Grant. Thirty years after their onscreen pairing in Brookside Close, the pair were united once again – on a saggy sofa more – as Jim and Barbara Royale.
My other ongoing favourite is Emmerdale. It was my dad’s favourite soap when it was first screened under the name Emmerdale Farm.
Goodness knows what dad would have made of it now. Despite Moira’s best efforts, there’s plenty of blokes but not a farm in sight. There’s murders galore, infidelities by the dozen, fractured relationships – you name it. Do we watch these things because we’re glad we are not part of them?
Finally, I well remember Doris Speed (Corrie’s early Annie Walker) telling me an alarming story all those years ago about an elderly lady who knew she was dying and asked to be heaved downstairs to see The Street “just once more before I go”.
With a shake of the head, an amazed Doris could only say: “She was off to meet her Maker and she wanted to see us again …”
The power of the soapsuds, eh!