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Legendary Soap Couples

The sad passing of Anne Kirkbride means that we will never see Ken and Deirdre Barlow grace our screens when we settle in front of the box to watch Coronation Street. Ever since their wedding in 1980, they have kept us entertained with on-screen antics. Affairs, break-ups, divorce, remarriage, endless rows, passionate reunions, long-lost children, Deirdre’s scrapes with the law, Tracey’s shenanigans… this couple have been through it all. And through it all, there wasn’t a couple we wanted to see together more than Ken and Deirdre. We may sadly never see them again but they’ve gone down in television history as a legendary soap couple.

 

 

I got thinking about other soap couples, those who were a perfect match in every way. Though perfect match or not, they didn’t always get their happy ending but then that’s the way it often is in soap land. So I’ve come up with my list of ten soap couples who I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching; who captured the nation’s hearts, and who most definitely belonged together.

1. SCOTT AND CHARLENE ROBINSON

 

They may be the youngest couple on this list but they’re right up there when it comes to soap legends. Scott and Charlene were just one of the reasons why Neighbours back in the 1980s was so popular. Who could forget that phenomenal wedding that’s still being talked about more than twenty five years later? They may have been on-off-on again-off again even after they were married but there’s no denying that Scott and Charlene belonged together. It was a sad day in Erinsborough and for Neighbours fans when Scott and Charlene left for a new life in Brisbane. And even though many couples may have met and fell in love on Ramsay Street, there was never anyone quite like Scott and Charlene.

2. DEN AND ANGIE WATTS

 

The Cockney version of JR and Sue Ellen Ewing may have been a relatively short-lived couple and not together as long as Ken and Deirdre but Den and Angie are legends with a capital L. When people talk about the good ol’ days of Eastenders, they usually mean the Den and Angie years.

True, Angie loved Den more than he loved her. And it was Den who turned her to drink with his dodgy deals and numerous affairs. Goodness knows what Angie would have done if she’d found out about Den’s love children. Despite all the ups and downs (mostly downs) there was never a dull moment with Den and Angie. We all hoped for a happy ending for our fave soap couple – and there were times when we thought it might be a possibility – but it wasn’t to be. Angie ran off to start a new life with her new fella while Den was presumed dead for years before popping up in Albert Square again.

3. TOM AND PIPPA FLETCHER

 

When Home And Away first aired, it was all about the Fletcher family: Tom, his wife Pippa and their foster children. Despite issues with the children, they were a very tight family unit with Tom and Pippa having a strong marriage that seemed able to withstand anything life through at them. They initially thought they couldn’t have children of their own (until baby Christopher came along) and they were often worn down by their foster children’s dramas but they often came across as quite young at heart, totally devoted to each other, and quite sweet as a couple.

It was terribly sad when Tom was killed in an accident, and I remember Pippa’s shock and denial which eventually gave way to grief. They may not have been together for a long time, but they’re still a very memorable couple.

4. STAN AND HILDA OGDEN

 

Stan and Hilda were the Ken and Deirdre of Coronation Street long before the latter achieved legendary status. This classic Corrie couple had been in the soap since the 1960s but my earliest memories of them are from the 1980s which must have been just before Stan died. I still remember when Stan gave Hilda a box for her birthday and when she opened it, there was nothing in it. Stan explained that it was for Hilda to put her jewellery in – which she accepted. I thought it was a great idea at the time but I was too young to know any better. Now I just think it’s hilarious – not to mention a bit cheeky!

Stan and Hilda may have been off our screens as a couple for more than three decades but when I think Coronation Street, I still think of Stan and Hilda Ogden.

5. MADGE AND HAROLD BISHOP

 

The king and queen of Ramsay Street! Who couldn’t love the Bishops? Former childhood sweethearts Madge and Harold reunited after many years apart, and despite them being polar opposites, there was no doubting that Madge without Harold was like tea without biscuits. Yes Harold annoyed Madge with his fuddy-duddy ways and Harold sometimes found Madge a bit too harsh but they loved each other dearly.

Unfortunately Madge and Harold didn’t get the chance to grow old and grey together as Madge passed away and Harold eventually remarried and left the street. But rumour has it that Madge and Harold will be returning to Erinsborough as part of the show’s thirtieth anniversary celebrations. How Madge will be returning from the dead, I don’t know, but I’m looking forward to seeing the Bishops together again.

6. DENNIS AND SHARON RICKMAN

 

The couple who the public affectionately nicknamed ‘Shannis’ may just be my ultimate favourite soap couple. No, I take that back: Sharon Watts and Dennis Rickman are my ultimate favourite couple. I think I may love them even more than Scott and Charlene and that’s saying something. I don’t think I’ve ever watched an on-screen couple together and got goose-bumps. The chemistry between Letitia Dean and the gorgeous Nigel Harman was astounding. I did have my reservations when I heard that Eastenders’ writers were going to get Sharon and Dennis together – in fact I thought it was bizarre: Sharon was Dennis’s adopted sister after all.

But I couldn’t have been more wrong. Sharon and Dennis were perfect together. Their complicated family situation meant that on more than one occasion one of the twosome got cold feet and called the whole thing off which eventually resulted in Dennis starting a relationship with Zoe Slater. Thankfully he saw sense and realised that Sharon was the woman for him – and the nation cheered. They married but the marriage was sadly short-lived when Dennis was murdered on New Year’s Eve – just as they found out that Sharon was expecting their much longed-for baby.

I totally miss seeing Sharon and Dennis together in Eastenders. I’m sorry but Sharon and Phil… well, they’re no Shannis, are they?

7. BOBBY AND PAMELA EWING

 

Dallas’s Bobby and Pam were the complete opposite of JR and Sue-Ellen. This was a couple who truly loved each other but being Texas’s answer to Romeo and Juliet, they had to put up with a lot of family hostility, especially from Bobby’s brother JR who hated the Barnes family with a passion and couldn’t get his head around the fact that his little brother was shacking up with the sister of the enemy.

And family pressures did indeed split them up with them both meeting other partners – Bobby’s relationship in particular with Jenna Wade a.k.a Mrs. Elvis Presley really had viewers on the edge of their seats – but we all knew that Bobby and Pam were a great match and thankfully they realised that too. Despite discovering that Jenna was pregnant with Bobby’s child, Pam went on to remarry Bobby. But in true soap style, there was no happy ever after. Pam was badly injured in a car accident, and although she survived, she couldn’t bear for Bobby or their son Christopher to see how badly disfigured she was, so she left the hospital without telling the Ewings where she was going and filed for divorce.

Bobby went to remarry twice more but it was never the same. Bobby and Pam were an awesome couple.

8. JEFF AND FALLON COLBY

 

Jeff and Fallon’s on-off antics had viewers gripped. Sweet, sensible Jeff and flighty Fallon Carrington may have been a bit of a mismatch but these two had plenty of passion and fire and I loved watching them together. Admittedly I did think that Fallon and Jeff’s cousin Miles – who Fallon married when she lost her memory also made a great couple – but they were no Jeff and Fallon. And I remembered being allowed to stay up late to watch Fallon become Mrs. Jeff Colby for the second time in a gorgeous pink gown. The ups and downs didn’t stop there but Jeff and Fallon always found their way back to each other again.

9. PAULINE AND ARTHER FOWLER

 

Cardigan-wearing Pauline Fowler and her allotment-loving husband Arthur both appeared during the golden days of Eastenders. But unlike their fiery, passionate counterparts Den and Angie, Pauline and Arthur were considered a little less dramatic, and they definitely preferred a quieter life. But that’s not to say that that’s what they got as the Flowers had more than their fair share of drama over the years: Pauline’s surprise pregnancy; daughter Michelle becoming a teenage mum; Arthur’s breakdown and spell in prison; the death of Pauline’s twin brother Pete… and let’s not forget having to live with Pauline’s domineering mother, Lou.

But the biggest shock of all – just in case anyone thought Pauline and Arthur were too boring – was when Arthur had an affair with Christine Hewitt, who begged him to leave Pauline. On the day that Arthur confessed all to Pauline, he was rewarded, quite memorably, with a whack around the head  with a frying pan. However, this wasn’t enough to finish off Walford’s iconic couple: Pauline and Arthur eventually reunited and stayed married until Arthur’s untimely death.

10. ALF AND AILSA STEWART

 

 

I was a huge fan of this Home And Away couple from day one. Ailsa was Alf’s first real relationship after his wife Martha died and they seemed perfect for each other. Unfortunately Alf’s teenage daughter Roo didn’t think so and tried to find ways to split them up. Roo thought she’d  struck gold when she found out that Ailsa had served time in prison for murdering her father, but when Ailsa explained that her father was an abusive bully and that she’d killed him in self-defence, Alf didn’t need to think twice about resuming his relationship with Ailsa – and told Roo where to go.

It wasn’t all plain sailing for this couple. They had to deal with Ailsa’s post-natal depression after the birth of their son Duncan and more of Roo’s shenanigans. But like Tom and Pippa, they dearly loved each other and made their marriage work until Ailsa’s shock death from a heart attack.

 

 

 
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Posted by on February 1, 2015 in Childhood Legends, TV Shows

 

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Why Everyone Needs An Uncle Phil

It’s been almost three weeks and I still cannot get my head around the sad passing of James Avery at the age of 68. The actor who passed away on New Year’s Eve in California due to complications from open heart surgery has been acting since 1980 and has had roles in a lot of my childhood faves including Beauty And The Beast, Jake And The Fatman, The Dukes Of Hazard, Cagney and Lacey, The Scarecrow and Mrs. King, The A-Team, Moonlighting and Dallas. And that’s just a fraction of his long acting career. In addition to all this, he also provided the voice for Shredder in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Planet of The Turtleoids; was an accomplished poet and served in Vietnam. But what the Virginia Native is most well-known for – especially here in the UK – is his role as tough but loveable attorney (and later judge) Philip Banks in The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air.

Avery played the patriarch in the popular nineties sit-com where his gruff manner often brought him into conflict with his family, especially his nephew Will, played by Will Smith who has been sent by his worried mother to live with the Banks family after Will got into a fight. He was tough and straight-talking and never put up with any nonsense from anyone. Who could forget the number of times Will’s friend, Jazz was comically thrown out of the house by Uncle Phil for being cheeky? Or the way Uncle Phil dealt with the officer on duty after he and Will were wrongfully arrested and put in a cell on Thanksgiving? Or how he took on the hustlers at the pool hall? That was Uncle Phil – he could put the fear of God into anyone.

But underneath that tough exterior was a real family man who loved his wife and kids including his wayward nephew. He was fiercely protective of them all and was determined that his children made good use of the opportunities that were available to them and make something of their lives rather than grow up to be over-privileged, spoilt rich kids.

 

Philip Banks was the example of the kind of father/uncle every man should be. He wasn’t afraid to discipline his children, teaching them right from wrong but he was fair and loving when he needed to be. Despite being born into a life full of privileges, he encouraged them to be independent, to stand on their own two feet and to have ambition. Even though the kids got themselves into scrapes a number of times – scrapes Philip often had to rescue them from – there wasn’t the slightest sign of addiction, rehab visits, dysfunctional relationships or scandal – a sure sign that he was doing something right. It’s no wonder that the character of Philip Banks ranked number 34 in TV Guide’s list of the “50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time” [20 June 2004 issue]. Although personally, I think he should have ranked much higher. James Avery is quoted as having said, “I don’t understand this whole Twitter, Facebook stuff. I don’t get it. Make a phone call. Talk to somebody.” In a world where people have made their iPads and notebooks their very best friends, Avery reminds us that it’s human contact that is important. He’s also quoted as saying, “Monetary success is not success. Career success is not success. Life, someone that loves you, giving to others, doing something that makes you feel complete and full. That is success. And it isn’t dependent on anyone else.” I think it would be fair to say that a lot of James Avery went into the character of Philip Banks.

Naturally I have fond memories of watching The Fresh Prince. During the 1990s it used to be on in the evenings on a weekday and I’d much rather be watching The Fresh Prince than doing my homework. Who cares if I got told off and had to complete homework in detention? All the kids at school would be talking about it and rapping the lyrics to the theme tune – there was no way I was missing out on all of that. It was one of the most popular shows of the decade and something that I used to watch with my siblings. I was so disappointed when the series eventually ended but to this day I’m so glad that it featured as part of my childhood memories and made it’s mark in my era.

Even after The Fresh Prince ended, Avery continued to work steadily as a voice over artist and made appearances in shows such as My Wife and Kids, Grey’s Anatomy, Star Trek: Enterprise, NYPD Blue, That 70s Show and Charmed. Avery often played characters in the legal or some other high level professional field and he will forever be remembered for his towering stature, beard and booming voice.

Of course tributes came in thick and fast for the actor – who is survived by his mother, wife Barbara and stepson Kevin – after news of his death broke. Alfonso Ribeiro, who played Carlton Banks in The Fresh Prince, took to Facebook to say:

“The world has lost a truly special man. I am very saddened to say that James Avery has passed. Even though he played my father on TV, he was a wonderful father figure to me in life. He will be deeply missed.”

Will Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith also paid tribute to the man she had the honour of working with on The Fresh Prince:

“We have lost yet another friend. James Avery who we all lovingly know as Uncle Phil from The Fresh Prince has passed. Our condolences to aunt Florence (his mother), Miss Barbara (his wife) and all those who loved him. Rest in peace James.”

Avery’s on-screen daughter, Tatiana Ali stated that Avery would “always be a part of me,” while supermodel Tyra Banks who also starred in The Fresh Prince remembered how warm Avery was to her on-set.

But the most poignant tribute came from Will Smith who summed up perfectly what everyone felt:

“Some of my greatest lessons in acting, living and being a respectable human being came through James Avery. Every young man needs an Uncle Phil. Rest in Peace.”

An actor who will be sorely missed… and he will forever be everyone’s Uncle Phil.

 

Rest in peace, James Avery. Thanks for the memories.

 

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2014 in Gone Too Soon

 

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A Walk Down Memory Aisle: 25 Top TV Weddings

Soap legends, Scott and Charlene Robinson from Neighbours caused hysteria when their TV wedding was shown on UK screens 25 years ago. For many of us, their wedding will always be the most epic of all TV weddings. However, over the years we’ve been very privileged to have attended numerous weddings where we’ve gasped, laughed and shed a tear along with the rest of the country – or world – and all from the comfort of our living rooms!

So in honour of Scott and Charlene’s 25th wedding anniversary, we take a look at 25 TV weddings that are (almost!) as memorable and which I witnessed during the days when I watched way too much television:

1. SHANE AND ANGEL PARRISH (Home And Away, 1995)

Shane (Dieter Brummer) and Angel (Melissa George) were hailed by the Aussie media as the new Scott and Charlene. I don’t think that any couple could ever be the new Scott and Charlene but they were an awesome soap twosome whose on-off antics had viewers gripped.

However, in the run up to their wedding, Angel was knocked over by Alf Stewart and was unable to walk. But come the big day, Angel was determined that she wasn’t going to be wheeled down the aisle in her wheelchair and insisted on walking towards her groom. She did just that – and viewers were moved.

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2. ROSS AND EMILY GELLER (Friends, 1998)

The words “I Ross, take thee, Rachel,” were the words every Friends’ fan desperately wanted to hear – too bad they were being said to the wrong woman! Nobody wanted to see Ross (David Schwimmer) wed his British sweetheart Emily (Helen Baxendale) as everyone knew that Ross belonged with Rachel (Jennifer Aniston.) And it looked as though fans were going to get their wish as Rachel flew into London to stop the wedding – only to have a change of heart when she saw Ross at the alter and instead wished him well. The wedding went ahead despite Ross calling Emily ‘Rachel’ although naturally the marriage didn’t last – but viewers had to wait until the last ever series of Friends to see Rachel get her man.

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3. KEVIN AND SALLY WEBSTER (Coronation Street, 1986)

They were known as love’s young dream and they were couple who lived happily ever after – until that awful Natalie Horrocks came along and got her claws into Kevin (Michael Le Vell.)

Sally (Sally Dynevor) did away with the tradition of a white wedding gown and I remember her showing Hilda Ogden her peach coloured wedding dress before the wedding and twirling around her living room while Hilda sat there in silence (very unusual for her!) What was most poignant was that the night before the wedding, Sally was stood in the doorway, looking out on to the street with a dreamy expression on her face, claiming that she couldn’t be happier. If she knew then what we all know now…

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4. FRANK MORGAN AND BOBBY SIMPSON (Home And Away, 1989)

Bobby (Nicolle Dickson) loved Frank (Alex Papps) but Frank was besotted with Roo. Frank eventually realised that Roo was not the woman for him and finally fell for Bobby – and Home And Away fans cheered their hearts out – including me! This was without a doubt one of my favourite weddings as I loved Frank and Bobby as a couple. At the time, being so young, I couldn’t understand why Bobby would wear a dress that had black in it; wasn’t full length, or why she didn’t wear a veil. Now I think her look rocks because it’s so unique and doesn’t look dated despite being more than 20 years ago.

Sadly, they’d barely finished the wedding cake before Frank decided that he was in love with Roo after all and the two ran off to New York where they eventually got married – leaving Bobby heartbroken. But fickle Frank proved he had a real inability to make up his mind and returned to Summer Bay to win Bobby back just as she was starting a relationship with single dad Greg Marshall. Bobby, feisty girl that she was, told Frank just where to go. So he did!

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4. BOBBY AND PAMELA EWING (Dallas, 1986)

I never did like Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy) getting together with Jenna Wade – even if she was Mrs. Elvis Presley! So naturally I was delighted when he got back together with his ex-wife, Pamela Barnes (Victoria Principal) and they started planning their second wedding. However, just minutes before she was due to walk down the aisle, Pam overheard Bobby’s brother, Ray announce that Jenna was pregnant – with Bobby’s child. Pam was devastated but the couple were rock solid and Pam became Mrs. Ewing for the second time.

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5. CHANDLER BING AND MONICA GELLAR (Friends, 2001)

Once commitment-phobe Chandler (Matthew Perry) realised that Monica (Courtney Cox) was the woman for him, there was no stopping him in rushing to propose – and Monica was only too happy to whip out the wedding file she’d created in her teens! However, on the day of the wedding, it looked as though Chandler had started to have second thoughts and done a runner, and the gang had no choice but to break the news to Monica. One of the most hilarious scenes ever was when Rachel began to tell Monica, “We can’t find Chandler…” before noticing that Phoebe was gesturing to her that all was well and not to say anything before Rachel backtracked by saying, “…Chandler’s vest. We can’t find Chandler’s vest.” Great move Rachel!

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So the bride and groom made it down the aisle; viewers met Chandler’s warring parents; Joey married his best friends while dressed as an army officer and viewers discovered that Rachel was pregnant. But who was the father?

6. RODNEY AND CASSANDRA TROTTER (Only Fools And Horses, 1989)

If ever there was a couple who were chalk and cheese, it was Rodney (Nicholas Lyndhurst) and Cassandra (Gwyneth Strong) but somehow they worked. The wedding episode was quite touching as it showed the deep bond between the brothers Rodney and Del rather than focusing solely on their comic capers. Who could forget Del taking care off his wounds after taking a violent bashing so that Rodney could get the money to pay for the wedding? Or the tearful look that Rodney exchanged with the brother who raised him just before he and Cassandra departed for their honeymoon. I remember watching this and feeling very sorry for lonely Del. Thank goodness Raquel came along when she did!

The episode thankfully ended on a comic note with Rodney forgetting that he lived with Cassandra and not Del. Amazing episode.

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7. HAROLD AND MADGE BISHOP (Neighbours, 1988)

It had taken more than thirty years for Harold (Ian Smith) to be reunited with his high school sweetheart Madge (Anne Charleston) but even then their journey to the alter had been anything but smooth with rows, break-ups and an engagement ring that found its way to the bottom of Lassiter’s Lake! But then, Madge’s fiery temper was one of the things that Harold loved about her and there was no denying, that despite their differences, this was a couple who belonged together.

Harold’s mini-me son, David, made an appearance for the wedding and Harold shocked everyone by announcing that he wanted a bucks party. However the menfolk of Ramsay Street had to endure the most boring bucks party ever. It was hilarious when Scott suggested that Harold put some music on. “Great idea!” Harold exclaimed. “Er, what’s this?” someone asked. “Mozart,” Harold announced. Cue a great deal of grumbling.

But the wedding was well worth the wait: Henry gave his mum away; Charlene made a beautiful bridesmaid; David thought he had a chance with the stunning Jane Harris, and Madge finally became Mrs. Bishop.

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8. JEFF AND FALLON COLBY (Dynasty, 1986)

Could there ever be a more on-again-off-again couple than Jeff and Fallon? But through it all you just knew they belonged together. And so did they! Fallon (Pamela Sue Martin and later Emma Samms)  ran out on Jeff (John James) before their wedding only to resurface a year later as amnesia sufferer Randall Adams – who had just become his cousin Miles’s new  bride!

A battle for Fallon’s affections began between the two men. Jeff won – and Fallon remarried him.  What I loved about this wedding – apart from Fallon choosing Jeff – was that she did away with tradition by opting for a pink gown thus starting a trend. This was great in the eyes of a little primary school age girl who was obsessed with pink and I was determined to follow Fallon’s lead and get wed in pink when my time came (I didn’t!) Though if Fallon’s wicked stepmother-in-law had had her way, she would have married Jeff wearing a persimmon coloured gown (I didn’t have a clue what colour persimmon was!)

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9. RICKY AND BIANCA BUTCHER (Eastenders, 1997)

Ricky (Sid Owen) had already been married before to Phil and Grant’s little sister Sam but this was Bianca’s (Patsy Palmer) first wedding and she was determined to go all out.

I remember watching this episode with my family and we couldn’t stop laughing. Fearing the wrath of Bianca, there was a mad race to get Ricky to the church on time after the stag party mistakenly thought that they had ended up in France. Bianca couldn’t understand why her wedding car was doing continuous circles around the church but all was well when Ricky finally turned up and made an honest woman of Miss Jackson.

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10. MARK GOTTLIEB AND ANNALISE HARTMAN (Neighbours, 1994)

Despite promises to love, honour and obey, many of the TV marriages listed here didn’t last or at least endured extremely stormy periods. Luckily Mark (Bruce Samazan) and Annalise (Kimberly Davis) decided to quit while they were ahead by calling off the wedding while Annalise was halfway down the aisle. Mark suddenly decided that he wanted to be a man of the cloth and told Annalise that he couldn’t go through with it. Meanwhile Annalise had been having doubts about her impending marriage so was secretly relieved – although she still made Mark feel guilty and played the victim.

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11. IAN AND CINDY BEALE (Eastenders, 1989)

Now here’s a union that makes people wonder “whatever were they thinking?” I remember a friend commenting well before their wedding, “that Cindy’s a little b***h. She’s just using Ian to make that other one jealous.” By ‘that other one’ she meant of course Simon Wicks – Cindy’s one true love and the man who was going to be the catalyst in the demise of Ian and Cindy’s marriage. I’m sure it was obvious to viewers at the time that Cindy didn’t love Ian but I wasn’t old enough to see the signs! Unfortunately it was Cindy who turned Ian from Mr. Super-Nice to a cross between Mr. Nasty and Mr. Pillock.

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12.JOE MANGEL AND KERRY BISHOP (Neighbours, 1990)

Again, another chalk and cheese couple who were made for each other. Their romance had many ups and downs but what was really sweet was the way in which they accepted each other’s children and blended their families so seamlessly. Kerry (Linda Hartley) ever-the-non-conformist wanted her wedding to have a slightly Indian vibe and take place in a butterfly house. One funny moment was when the celebrant asked if anyone had any objections and Harold had had his hand raised. It turned out he was just trying to shoo away a butterfly that had landed on his head!

Their’s was supposed to have been a double wedding as they should have gotten married alongside their friends Henry Ramsay and Bronwyn Davies. However, Bronwyn’s father wasn’t convinced that Henry was the right man for his daughter and put pressure on her to postpone. Bronwyn gave in, devastating Henry in the process. He then became Joe’s (Mark Little) best man and kept giving Bronwyn heartbroken glances throughout the service.

Just as Scott and Charlene had their song during the service, Joe and Kerry had Lynn Hamilton’s In Your Arms which was just as beautiful as Angry Anderson’s Suddenly. The song lyrics combined with Joe and Kerry’s joy as well as Henry and Bronwyn’s pain made this a very poignant episode.

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13. FRANK AND PAT BUTCHER (Eastenders, 1989)

Frank (Mike Reid) and Pat (Pam St. Clement) had loved each other over a thirty year period but life, marriages to other people and children had kept them apart for many years – until Frank’s wife June passed away and he was free to be with the woman he truly loved. They got married and celebrated with a huge street party in typical East End style. Sadly the marriage wasn’t to last but one thing that did was their love for each other. Pat and Frank’s is a sad but true love story.

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14. HUGO AND ALICE HORTON (The Vicar of Dibley, 1998)

Alice Tinker may not be every man’s dream woman but Hugo Horton was besotted with the verger – much to the disdain of his father, David Horton who couldn’t stand the dim (though sweet) Alice. However, Hugo finally stood up to his father and defended his true love and the couple went on to marry. Alice wed Hugo in a what-is-she-wearing dress that was so typical of her. Who could forget that switch-it-on-and-watch-it-light-up headdress?

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15. DES AND DAPHNE CLARKE (Neighbours, 1986)

There aren’t many men who’d want to marry the stripper at a buck’s party. There aren’t many women who’d want to marry the man for whom they were hired to strip. But amidst the most unlikeliest of starts, Des and Daphne fell in love. In true soap style, there were hiccups along the way to the alter, especially Daphne’s later engagement to Shane Ramsay. However, Daphne realised that her heart belonged to Des and went on to marry him. Des and Daphne’s is usually considered by many to be the first Neighbours’ wedding but it isn’t – Paul Robinson beat them to it when he married his first wife, Terri.

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16. PRINCE MICHAEL OF MOLDOVIA AND AMANDA CARRINGTON (Dynasty, 1985)

What is it with those Carrington girls? Can’t they have a simple family wedding without all the drama? Blake Carrington’s younger daughter, Amanda (Catherine Oxenberg) proved that anything her older sister Fallon could do, she could do one step better. Not only did she bag herself a prince (Michael Praed) but her wedding provided one of the biggest soap cliff-hangers of all time. While the wedding was underway, a group of terrorists stormed the chapel and opened fire. It appeared that everyone had been gunned down although viewers had to wait for the new season to find out who had been killed.

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17. JOHN WORTHINGTON AND NELL MANGEL (Neighbours, 1988)

“What’s a nice man like John Worthington doing with Nell Mangel?” asked Madge Bishop.

Indeed viewers were asking the same question. Who on earth could love an interfering, malicious, gossipy busybody like Mrs. Mangel? But it appeared that nice Mr. Worthington decided to take a chance on Mrs. Mangel – even after that hilarious incident where a face-pack wearing Mrs. Mangel answered the door to her date John and pretended to be Nell’s twin sister Belle! However, John saw through the lie and still thought that Nell Mangle was worth taking a chance on.

Their marriage marked the couple’s departure from the show as they went to live in England. And in a move that surprised the neighbours – and viewers – Madge and Nell kissed and made up just before the Worthingtons headed off to the airport.

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18. IAN AND MELANIE HEALEY, BARRY AND NATALIE EVANS (Eastenders, 1999)

As the whole world eagerly awaited the new millennium, Eastenders decided to celebrate with a double wedding. However, Melanie Healey (Tamzin Outhwaite) wasn’t in the mood to celebrate as what viewers already knew suddenly began to dawn on her – she had no idea what she was doing with Ian Beale! Unfortunately, Ian (Adam Woodyatt) had already cottoned on to the fact that Mel was getting cold feet, so in a bid to make her go through with the wedding, he lied and said that his daughter was suffering from cancer. A low move even for him!

But after the wedding, fellow new bride Natalie (Lucy Speed) accidentally let the cat out of the bag and revealed that Lucy was in perfect health. After a furious bust-up with Ian, Mel walked out on him in what must have been the shortest marriage in soap.

But Natalie and Barry didn’t fare so well either as they also went their separate ways a few years later after the birth of their son Jack. Clearly not a lucky wedding date!

 

19. JOE AND MELANIE MANGEL (Neighbours, 1991)

Neighbours fans were saddened when pregnant Kerry Bishop was killed by a stray bullet leaving Joe a distraught widower. So they rejoiced when Joe (Mark Little)  found happiness with his wacky lodger Melanie Pearson (Lucinda Cowden) who was Erinsborough’s answer to Alice Tinker.

There was a slight hitch when the happy couple fell out after Joe discovered that Melanie had once had a fling with her boss, Paul Robinson. However he soon got over it and the wedding was back on track. And although Joe feared the worst regarding Melanie’s wedding gown, the bride stunned everyone by walking down the aisle in a beautiful, traditional, champagne-coloured gown.

 

20. BEN AND MEG EVANS, MICHAEL AND VANESSA BOURNE (Sunset Beach, 1999)

It may have been a short lived soap but it made a big impact. When this Channel 5 soap finally ended, it went out on a high and featured a double wedding for two couples who viewers couldn’t wait to see make it to the alter.

Although this was Michael and Vanessa’s (Sherrie Saum) first wedding, it was the second time for Ben (Clive Roberts) and Meg (Susan Ward) as their first was interrupted by the appearance of Ben’s first wife, Maria. This time everything went without a hitch – except fans were upset that their favourite wacky soap was no more.

 

 

21. STEPHEN AND PHOEBE GOTTLIEB (Neighbours, 1993)

Phoebe (Simone Robertson) was heartbroken when her beloved boyfriend Todd was killed in a road accident – just as she was expecting their baby. But Todd played an unlikely matchmaker as Phoebe met the man she was going to marry while visiting Todd’s grave. Stephen (Lochie Daddo) and Phoebe fell in love and got married just before baby Hope arrived.

 

22. ALEX AND SUE TATHAM (Blind Date, 1991)

Many years may have passed, and I may only have been a child at the time but I remember this couple so well! For everyone who thought that Blind Date was a fix, Alex and Sue Tatham proved everyone wrong by being the first Blind Date contestants to marry after meeting on the show. Before them, Blind Date did not have any real success stories so naturally the show’s host Cilla Black and the rest of the show’s crew would have been delighted with the result. After Alex and Sue, another two couples went on to marry. Sue and Alex’s wedding was watched as part of a Blind Date special by more than 17 million viewers, with the couple being slightly upstaged by Cilla’s famous hat!

And for those who thought that the marriage would never last, the Tathams are still together, have two children and celebrated their silver wedding anniversary this year.

 

23. BRAD AND BETH WILLIS (Neighbours, 1993)

It took two attempts for Brad (Scott Michaelson) and Beth (Natalie Imbruglia) to make it to the alter and they were successfully wed after their second attempt! Wedding number one ended in disaster after Beth suspected Brad of fooling around with bridesmaid Lauren behind her back. She was right and walked out halfway through the ceremony. And despite Brad continuing his relationship with Lauren, Beth wasn’t about to give up on him so easily and fought to win back Brad. She succeeded and the happy couple left Ramsay Street after their wedding to start a new life away from Erinsborough.

 

24. GRANT AND SHARON MITCHELL (Eastenders, 1991)

Who would have thought that Walford’s hard man could be such a softie? Grant (Ross Kemp) had planned their wedding in secret even doing the unforgivable and choosing Sharon’s (Letitia Dean) wedding outfit! Sharon was furious and promptly refused to go through with the wedding – until best friend Michelle Fowler talked her around. So before you could say ‘Sharongate’ the happy couple were wed and Sharon was destined to hear the infamous ‘you’re a Mitchell’ line until she ditched Grant for a new life in America.

 

25. PRINCE CHARLES AND LADY DIANA (1981)

OK, this televised wedding was not part of a scriptwriter’s plot but Charles and Di’s story had more ups and down, ins and outs, twists and turns than your average soap opera. Believe it or not, their wedding is one of my earliest memories. Although it was billed as a fairy-tale, the marriage sadly did not last but their wedding is without a doubt one of the most famous and still talked about weddings of the royal family.

 

 

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2013 in TV Shows

 

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R.I.P Larry Hagman: Southfork Will Never Be The Same Again.

It’s exactly a month today since we lost acting legend Larry Hagman – and I still can’t believe it. Like most kids growing up in the 1980s, I had a bit of a penchant for glitzy, glam American soaps like Dynasty and Dallas – even though I know I was a bit on the young side! I don’t know how or why my mother allowed me to stay up past my bedtime to view such shenanigans but I did and I have fond memories of watching JR Ewing’s dastardly deeds in Dallas. I also have fond memories of watching Hagman’s classic comedy series, I Dream of Jeannie during weekday afternoons with my grandad.

Although he was an established actor who had starred in films and TV series’ such as Nixon, Superman, Primary Colors and Nip/Tuck,  it is his role as evil oil baron JR Ewing for which he will forever be synonymous. Who can forget that smirk… the dirty chuckle… the non-stop plotting and scheming? “Of course it’s fun to play the villain,” declared Hagman during filming back in 2011. And as we all know, it’s a role he played to perfection.

Ken Kercheval, who played JR’s arch rival Cliff Barnes, once said that in real life, Hagman was the complete opposite of the conniving character he played so well in Dallas – and I can believe that. I remember his appearance on Channel Five’s Open House With Gloria Hunniford and he came across as the most down to earth man and the only wicked thing about him was his sense of humour. The fact that some of his fellow cast mates were at his bedside when he sadly passed away speaks volumes.

It’s fitting that in the end his ashes were scattered across the ranch at Southfork. Larry Hagman wasn’t just the star of Dallas; he was Dallas. the new series will not be the same without him.

R.I.P Larry. Thanks for the entertainment. x

 

 
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Posted by on December 23, 2012 in Gone Too Soon, TV Shows

 

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