The Arches is shut, Tyrone is in hospital and Cain is off on some dalliance or other so you’re stuck there. Could you survive? Here’s where we guide you through the dos and don’ts of Christmas in our favourite fantasy world.
1. Do not drive a carObviously, anyone driving a car in Christmas at Soap Land is playing with fire. They are almost certain to kill someone. Pat and Frank Butcher both managed it. What are the odds? Emmerdale, obviously, has less busy roads, so around Christmas time, they tend to crash planes into the dales.
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2. In fact, do not go near a roadCrossing a street is virtual suicide. You are 90 per cent certain to be run over. Tiffany on ‘Enders’, of course, Jamie Mitchell too. And lest we forget The Battersby’s turkey Theresa? Truly one the soap’s most tragic event.
3. Actually, even if you avoid a road, someone is going to diePauline Fowler, Archie Moon, Alf Roberts, Pat Butcher, Joe Macer. Mark Hughes, Archie Brooks, Archie Brooks, Leonard Kempinski, Tom King, Joe Donnelli, Ena Sharples daughter. Rosemary King. RIP. (And these are only the ones we can think of off hand who didn’t die in car crashes – there must be lots, lots more)
4. You can get married
It won’t go well, necessarily (sorry Max and Tanya) in fact, on ‘Emmerdale’ it tends to end in murder for the King family (Tom at his actual reception and indirectly Carl, ironically enough). But soaps in weddings rarely go smoothly. However, the ceremony can be beautiful and it will snow – think back to the lovely Ashley and Claire’s ceremony in 2004 on ‘Corrie’, Bernice and Ashley on ‘Emmerdale’ and what about a rare moment of bliss on ‘Enders’ when Kat and Alfie got hitched? Ah, bless.
5. Do not get involved in a Christmas show
In real life, they’re a fun treat. In Soap Land they’re a stressful nightmare. Weatherfield nativity shows now traditionally end in violence or a baby, which is not really helpful to the narrative thrust of the stage drama. Certainly don’t volunteer to organise anything, as Ashley on ‘Emmerdale’ discovered, the star of your show will always, always walk off and you’ll have to deliver some of the worst lines committed to paper. A special EastEnders Christmas Party episode on 2004 saw Mo delivering lines like “Girls Aloud? Shouldn’t be allowed more like.”
6. If you’re keeping a secret, you may want to tell the person now
It’s going to come out. Oh, it will be revealed. And at the worst point of the big day. David Platt reading out Gail’s diary? Stacey and Max, anyone? Or how about Lisa Fowler carrying Phil Mitchell’s baby? John Stape mixing up Rosie and Fiz’s presents? Frank Tate discovering Kim Tate’s affair on ‘Emmerdale’? Basically, Christmas is a big free-for all. Keep your diary well hidden, that’s all we can say.
7. Comic relief will come from food
If you can’t get an invite to a wedding or the bride has been slaughtered or something. You may try and go and look for food for a bit of a laugh. From Ena Sharples choking on a sixpence in a Christmas pudding in 1961 through to Alf sitting on a plum pudding or Heather burning a turkey, Reg and Curly raiding Bettabuys for Caviar comedy comes from the food. Even if it is Shadrach being a suspect for being Yorkshire’s premier turkey thief, it’s going to be more fun than most places –and you’re less likely to pass away, so don’t hesitate, get yourself to the kitchen.
What soaps will you be tuning into this Christmas? Let us know over on Twitter now.