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So, the axe has fallen in Albert Square......
Gus: I didn't realise he was actually still in the programme
Mickey and Keith: Apparently the characters 'had run out of steam', more a case of the writers running out of ideas.
Steven: Has more than run his course -he needs to go back to New Zealand, sort out his problems, get a head transplant and return as a different actor. Maybe.
Can Heather and Hazel join him, only they needn't bother coming back.
Why is it that Adam Woodyatt is never even nominated for Best Soap Actor? Any man who agrees to wear that black 'nappy' and act with Gemma 'Balsawood' Bissix, deserves some kind of award.
I think Scott Maslen is improving, I really do. All he needs to do now is take off that moody overcoat he always wears and lighten up. And stay away from scenes involving the Mitchells.
Talking of whom, can the Mitchellettes please stay in Austria? If they do have to return, please just hurry up and cast their dreary Dad.
As for that boiling stew (or is it a stewing boil?) that is the Who Should Be Archie Mitchell debate, here is my tuppence worth: David Essex. He was scheduled to be Jack Edwards, but had 'other commitments'; I'm sure he could be persuaded to stop singing his greatest hits for a short stint at least.
What on earth is going on with Jean Slater? Is she and that parrot ever in the same room at the same time? When Gillian Wright first appeared in that week of powerful episodes with Lacey Turner, she gave a very measured performance. Ever since she's become permanent, she's transformed into a squawking, comedy nutbag.
Talking of comedy, HumbugGate was pretty humdrum in the end. Charlie Slater didn't suit this mini-tale at all. It might have been funnier if the groper had been Mo and the gropee was Patrick.
What has happened to Darren? There he was, devastated by Kevin's death, given an 'apprenticeship' by Jack and then what? He turns up at Tanya's party looking about 12, not with Libby, but with some stage school goon called Bungle?! Whatever next, are George and Zippy due to appear? Or is it postmodern irony as Christian might say.
It's great to see Stacey back to her ballsy self. Thankfully, we know her imminent liaison with Steven is part of his exit plot. I only hope her 'collidge' dalliance doesn't dilute her character (see Sonia Fowler).
With the exit of the more drippy male characters, could we have some strong, funny ones brought in? Not weak idiots or creeps or gangsters. One of the reasons I Iike Christian and am warming to Jack is that they don't seem to harbour a dark, violent past or have major hygiene issues.
Anyway, until next time......