The success oi Brookside’s body- under-the-patio caper has prompted the writers to bury another body tor the cast to dig up. llaturally this took a lull week to accomplish.

Another month. another five nights-a- week trip to Brookside (Channel 4). There have been two main storylines over the last intense week or so, and unbelievably the one concerning a body under the nightclub has been the less ridiculous.

For those who aren‘t regular viewers. when Brookie goes nightly it means there’s usually an incest storyline lurking. ready to pounce. In the past we had the Jordache case and the Simpson sibling sex scandal. This time. however, the second law of Brookside Close emerges we get a week-long splurge when a buried body starts to smell.

This year’s version of the infamous Jordache patio entombment is a skeleton found metaphorically in a cupboard, but physically underneath the exotically named nightclub, La Luz. The residents are convinced the remains of lovable rogue Barry Grant have been uncovered. He disappeared (presumed abroad) yonks ago. but not before apparently transferring all his business interests, including ownership of the nightclub. to his bezzie mate, Terry Sullivan.

Could gentle giant Tezza have done away with Bazza? Let’s face it, Terry’s got more motive than most for killing Barry. Childhood friends they may have been, but that didn't stop Barry copping off with Terry’s gorrnless wife. Sue. Plus, you may remember, Barry pushed Sue off some scaffolding to add injury to insult.

Talking of Scouse coffin-dodgers. how much excitement can Ron Dixon take before his heart gives out once and for all? The more bizarre Brookside plot involves Ron having another rnid- life crisis. His first, more observant viewers may remember. resulted in Ron chucking out his devout wife DD (is that a name or a bra size?) and installing twentysomething Liverpool Lolita Bev McLaughlin in the family home.

One heart attack later, with Bev becoming more broody and demanding, the old boy has suddenly rekindled his old friendshipwith Jackie Corkhill.

Head of the Clueless Corkhill clan, Jackie’s put up with a lot. Until recently, her husband was a reformed petty thief, heroin addict and drug dealer. And now her son, Little Jimmy,

is heading down the same road a junkie whose debts forced his father back to the dodgy deals of old.

The poor woman '5 even had to take a tip from Trainspotting, forcing Little Jimmy into cold turkey after his OD by locking him in his bedroom. He’ll be seeing babies crawl across the ceiling any minute now.

Is there any wonder Jackie’s needing a little TLC from a friend. But from Ron Dixon of all people? Ron could go on TFI Friday as a fat lookalike of the {Beautiful South’s frontrnan Paul Heaton. It’ll be a sad day if Jackie ’leaves Jimmy for this oaf. Jimmy’s a little bit crazy, but hey. don’t us girls just love that. (Mary Macdonald)

Flanders fielded

With costume drama proving to be a ratings winner, ITV has ventured into traditionally BBC territory with Moll Flanders. It’s something of a bonk-fest, too, says

Sue Greenway.

It was inevitable that when the ITV network invested £3 million and four hours of prirne-time for an adaptation of an l8th century literary classic. there was going to be a hard sell. This sort of thing is generally done by the BBC, after all. But it was pretty obvious what the pitch would be from the moment that Diana Rigg eyed her new daughter- in-law in this lavish production of Daniel Defoe's Moll Flanders and declared: ‘I can tell that this one knows how to get marrow out of a bone in twenty different ways.’

Lest anyone should miss the point. Moll Flanders is being billed as ‘a story of love. lust. sex and seduction‘. As a result this four-patter, which is co- produced by the highbrow American

arts channel PBS, has already proved to be a record-breaking hit on the other side ofthe Atlantic.

Playing Moll is Alex Kingston. whose acting talents have been rather overshadowed by her starring role in the tabloids as Ralph Fiennes‘ ex- girlfriend, is in no doubt about the secret of the show‘s success in the US. ‘I don’t think they had ever seen so much flesh on screen before - not that I heard any complaints,‘ she says. ‘I used to rip the sheets back at strategic moments in the shooting of love scenes because I thought that people were seeing so much of me they ought to get a look at some male bodies too.‘

Most of the flesh is Kingston‘s. though there are also plenty of heaving

male buttocks too, as Moll rips through several husbands in her attempt to marry her way to the top of the social ladder. Despite the period setting. producer David Lascelles sees Moll as a l990s gal. ‘She’s a great female survivor.’ he says.

Sex scenes aside. those most likely to be offended will probably be fans of Daniel Defoe’s classic study of man'iage as an economic transaction rather than love match. Veteran screen adapter Andrew Davies (Pride and Prejudice. Emma) has not only given names to characters who had none in the book. but has also taken the liberty of inventing a few of his own.

The drama features several of

Davies’s trademark flourishes. not least

Alex Kingston as Moll Flanders: ‘great lemale survivor’

in having the central character speak directly to camera in much the same way as his adaptation of Michael Dobbs‘s House of Cards. It remains to be seen whether Moll’s repeated aside to camera. ‘Well, what would you do?’ becomes a catch-phrase to rival ‘You might think that. I couldn‘t possibly comment.‘

Moll Flanders begins on Sun 1 Dec on Scottish


I AIDS: The Morning Alter (Radio 1) Sun 1 Dec. 7pm. Culture Club singer turned funky DJ Boy George fronts a documentary for World AIDS Day looking at awareness of the disease ten years after the first national HIV and AIDS media campaign was broadcast. Joining George to debate such issues as whether the safe sex message has worked and who is at risk in I996. are Professor Michael Adler of The Terence Higgins Trust, John Carlin of the Red Hot Organisation, comedian Jo Brand and musicians Neneh Cherry. Elton John, Jimmy Somerville and Moby.

I John Peel’s Classic Sessions (Radio 1) Mon 2 Dec. 9pm. New series looking back at the most memorable of Peelie’s legendary underground rock sessions and catching up with some of those who the broadcaster is credited with having discovered. The first programme. ‘Limited Edition’ concentrates on the new music pioneered by independent music labels in the UK. The Smiths and Lush feature. Louise Wener from Sleeper is interviewed and My Bloody Valentine. The Shamen and Super Furry Animals play live. IVlallis-TheliieAndLegendsoi Wallis Simpson (Radio 4) Mon 2 Dec, 2pm. Stockard Charming and Christopher Cazenove star as the disgraced Duke and Duchess of Windsor in Elizabeth Proud’s radio dramatisation of the Royal love scandal which was the Squidgygate of its day.

I My Granny’s larder (Radio 4) Thurs 5 Dec, 8.45pm. First in a series of radio ‘cartoons’ with Derek Cooper looking at how some of the foods from your granny’s cupboards became cultural icons. This week’s delicious mixture: Bird’s Custard. Horlicks. HP Sauce. Camp Coffee and Ribena. Yum yum.

I "MW (Radio 2) Fri 6 Dec. 7.03pm. Toyah Wilcox, Jeffrey Holland.

Wendy Richard and Bernard Cribbins joins DJ Johnnie Walker in this ' unwittingly kitsch new panel game based on popular culture and memorable events from the 50s. 605 and 70s.

I United States 0i Anger (Radio 4) Fri 6 Dec. 9.45pm. Chief North America correspondent for the BBC, Gavin Esler, touches base to file a series of post- election reports which show discontent and anger with the system is rife among ordinary Americans.

I George Michael In Concert (Radio 1) Sun 8 Dec. noon. Mr Fastlove himself croons his greatest hits into a radio mic at this exclusive live concert recorded for Radio 1 in the intimate surroundings of a studio with just 200 guests. Also joining lover boy are a nine-piece band. an eight- piece orchestra and an eight-person choir. Expect to sing along to Freedom '90. Everything She Wants and Star People, and savour the prospect of Bonnie Rait’s I Can '1 Make You Love Me as a B-side cover

I Present Tense -‘I'he Enduring World iii The innu (Radio 3) Mon 9 Dec. 9.20pm. Jenn Wilson offers a rare insight into the lives of the hunting people who inhabit the sub-Arctic lands of the Labrador/Quebec peninsula in North- Eastem Canada. The first programme features the ritual tossing of the fish-jaw and the story of how the bear survives freezin winters. I The Oi lilverdance (Radio 2) Tue 10 Dec. 9.03pm. ‘The Truth' behind Michael Flatley’s departure from the show that made Irish slip-jigs trendy is revealed in an exclusive interview for Radio 2. The remainder of what's described as a ‘montage documentary’ traces the bouncy steps of Riverdance from its humble beginnings as a filler slot in the Eurovision Song Contest to its current status as sell-out world tour. sellout video, sell-out CD and even a brand of M & S tights sold on the strength that they are ‘as seen in Riverdance'. (Ellie Carr)

Women on top

Wicked Women is a short season oi three single dramas written lrom a lernale perspective, though only two are scripted by women. Male interloper Martyn iieslord's illm, Brazen llussles, is an outrageously camp comedy stoning Julie Walters as a bored northern pub landlady who decides to put on a troupe of male strippers called the iiude Boys in the lunctlon room above the bar.

it’s illmed like a cross between Stars In Your Eyes and a Colte ad, with lots of men removing their T-shlrts and douslng tiienrselves in mineral water. The tone is that peculiarly English approach to sex, naughty-but-nice - ii the Chippendales are 100 per cent beeicalte, the llude Boys are textured vegetable protein.

Alter their brilliant pairing together in rather more serious Channel 4 dma Jake’s Progress, Walters once again hooks up with Robert lindsay, who does a remarkable impression ot a Lancashlre Peter Stringiellow. the humour is sltcorn corny, but Walters and Lindsay are an entertaining double act. A cameo periormance by Jimmy ‘I’arbuclt as a strippers’ agent emphasises the tongue-ln-cheeir


‘l write about about love, magic and iantasybecauselwasbroughtupon pantomime and talry stories,’ says llestord. A tinsel-bedeclred Julian Clary plays the iairy. (Eddie Gibb) Ulcked Women starts with Brazen Hasslesonuonznecatawonm.

The List 29 Nov-l2 Dec 1996 as