From 36D to P45?

Coronation Street – Friday 22 November – 7.30pm & 8.30pm

Anna continues to be suspicious about the effect Grace is having on Faye, but she defends her “best friend” to the last. When Tracy offers the girls money to mind Eccles and Amy, they invite Simon to come along. Tracy has given the girls the key to Deirdre’s and no sooner are they inside than Grace turns nasty. Herself and Faye proceed to wreck the house, going through Tracy’s clothes and breaking an ornament. While Faye seems uncomfortable, she does whatever Grace tells her.

Things take a sinister turn when Grace begins to attack Simon. He subsequently arrives in the Bistro very upset in one of Amy’s dresses with bruises on his arm and smeared in make-up. Leanne is devastated, but an unhelpful Gloria tells her “it was hardly assault love.” It’s unwelcome attitudes like hers which make victims afraid to speak up. Luckily Leanne and Peter deal with the issue in the serious and sympathetic manner it deserves.

The scene between Peter and Simon is heart rending. His animal socks and bed time story, his talk of being scared and afraid, and Peter’s gentle reassurance, accurately, sensitively and delicately portray the pain, emotion and effect of bullying on the child and parent alike. It’s a pity Carla only has wedding napkins on her mind, as this only serves to make concerned Tina a more appealing prospect in Peter’s hour of need.

“Speak of the devil” says Anna as Faye arrives home, but Tracy and Leanne are not far behind, and it’s excruciating to see Anna and Izzy attempt to defend Faye. When Faye is summoned and calls Simon a cry baby, rather than attempt a discussion on the matter, Anna throws Leanne and Tracy out. Despite this however, she doesn’t appear convinced at Faye’s innocence as she listens to her blame Simon and absolve Grace completely. If Anna had doubts at all, she had no right to treat Leanne in particular so badly. It’s shocking to find there is video evidence of the bullying when Faye gets a text, presumably from Grace.

Katie’s friend Steph lands herself a job in the Bistro with an immediate start, and proves she can cope with a baptism of fire, including a trademark icy put down from Gloria.

Brian intercepts the post and tears up the letter advising them of their withdrawal of his and Julie’s fostering application.

It’s Steve’s first night in college and there continues to be ample opportunity to mock him. Again we are presented with an apparently acceptable mode of bullying while another is condemned outright. His effort at self-improvement is described as skiving, and he’s told by Michelle that he’s way out of his depth. “There’s no shame in wanting to better yourself” he rightly tells Lloyd who simply compares Steve’s brain to a scrunched up ball of paper. Steve hits the nail on the head when he describes Liz and Michelle as “two harpies”, but as he departs with his stationery in hand, there is a momentary reprieve where both ladies appear to feel guilty for their behaviour. Michelle admits to being jealous as she hasn’t the guts to go back to school, and Steve replies “here comes the fat joke”. It thankfully doesn’t follow, and we think, at last, an end to Steve’s abuse at the hands of his loved ones. Not so, however, as he returns to more sneering and laughter at his expense, and in classic school bully style, Lloyd robs his copybook and shows the pub its contents.

Things go from bad to worse for Steve when he finds out Tracy left Amy alone with Faye and Grace, and he insists on his daughter staying at the Rovers. He blames his presence at college for the fact that Amy was left in Tracy’s care, and considers leaving the course. Michelle encourages him not to, but is it too little too late?

It’s underhand over at Underworld as Eva’s egg, spoon and glue race is trumped by the discovery of Beth’s efforts to win Employee of the Month as Kirk opens her handbag in front of everyone to reveal a stash of knickers. At first it’s thought she is stealing, and in an attempt to avoid going from 36Ds to a P45, she drags Sinead to the factory to back up her story.

The quality of her stitching results in a trial for Sinead who is welcomed into the fold with drinks at the Rovers. Carla says it’s a pity principles don’t run in the family, but what’s principled about Sinead? She was happy to be complicit in Beth’s scam and just as guilty of potentially depriving the real Employee of the Month, and one of her new colleagues, of £100. Sally is officially awarded the title, and while Beth can keep her job, the money comes out of her wages. The worst punishment of all though seems to be that she has upset Kirk who is not in the mood for making up, and Beth fears she has lost him forever.

By Emma Hynes

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