Nick Berry’s EastEnders Return Reminds Us How Much Better The Soap Used To Be
EASTENDERS is a waste of the licence fee. If Aussie soap Neighbours (now broadcast on FIVE) had been given the EastEnders prime-time slot four times week, it would get comparable viewing figures. The BBC should do this – it should shuffle the TV shows around until the viewers decide what they want and when they want it. EastEnders is ideal daytime telly fodder, up there in the reality stakes with Murder She Wrote and Diagnosis Murder, Doctors and Animals At Work, which are all broadcast on BBC1 at lunchtime.
Granted, pre-schoolers will be challenged by the EastEnders pre-watershed moments of slaps, rapes, beatings, rapes, drugs, more beating, broken homes (the show’s writers and producers cannot create single cohesive family unit with a mum and a dad), threats, abuse, violence and Phil Mitchell’s garage mafia, but such dystopian slice-of-live stuff is as truthful at 7:30pm as it is at 7:30am.
The latest plot is for Nick Berry is to make what the Sun calls “a sensational return to Albert Square after 21 years away“. Once again the show is admitting that all its best characters and plots are in its past. We have already seen the return of: Barbara Windsor (Peggy Mitchell), Jessie Wallace (Kat Slater), Letitia Dean (Sharon Watts) and most authentically Leslie Grantham (Dirty Den), who managed to make it all the way back from the dead. The best soap operas are all about the characters. The storylines reach highs – who shot Phil?; Whose Michelle’s baby’s dad?; Tiffany’s death – but a show on the magic box four times a week cannot only rely on sensation and big moments to, as the old advert claims, get us all talking about it.
As the Sun explains:
Nick, 48, who played Simon Wicks, is being lured back with screen brother David, played by Michael French. The characters are set to be part of a shock storyline that sees mum Pat Butcher DIE…The stars would join Sid Owen and Patsy Palmer, who are also set to return after taking leave from playing Ricky and Bianca Butcher.
And what of Nick Berry? Well, enjoy this:
Nick, who has retired from acting…
As we thought – everyone in new EastEnders just plays themselves…