Well, that is another year over, and what a year 2012 has been!
Throughout the year Unreality TV have seen you though many memorable moments in the world of Prime Time TV, and have provided in depth and exclusive interviews and coverage to go with them.
So, as we say goodbye to the old year, we want to wish you a very Happy New Year as we take a look back at out top five examples of this in the world of soaps:
(5) The British Soap Awards
In April 2012 Unreality TV were front row of the British Soap Awards red carpet and brought you pictures and interviews with over 30 of the biggest soap stars on our TV today.
Amongst them were the likes of Dominic Power (Cameron Murray, Emmerdale) who shared with us juicy information regarding the current love triangle storyline his character is embroiled in, hinting to us that it would all come crashing to a conclusion during this year’s epic 40th live anniversary episode of Emmerdale.
Also, we met with Best Actor, Danny Miller (Aaron Livesy, Emmerdale) and his on-screen partner, Marc Silcock (Jackson Walsh, Emmerdale) who discussed the, now iconic, Jackson’s choice storyline which saw them win more awards than you could shake a stick at!
From EastEnders we met with Shane Richie (Alfie Moon) and Rita Simons (Roxy Mitchell) who confirmed that their characters would be getting more serious with each other, which is certainly playing out on screen this month.
Also we spoke to the Masood clan, Mas himself (Nitin Ganatra), Syed (Marc Elliott) and Tamwar (Himesh Patel), with Nitin teasing that maybe there would be some comedy in store, but to expect some more heartbreak as well!
We were privileged enough to meet with Katherine Kelly from Coronation Street, who had only just left the show at that time, who discussed her future projects with us as well as praising all the cast and crew she had worked with in Weatherfield.
Also from Corrie we spoke to Tony Hurst (Fireman Paul) who discussed with us the complex storyline his character was involved with at the time, the dementia of his wife which, a few months after our chat, resulted in her death.
From Hollyoaks we spoke to PJ Brennan and Kieron Richardson (Doug Carter and Ste Hay) whose characters, at the time, were just starting to show an interest in each other. They promised a hot summer from their characters, and they did not disappoint, especially when their wedding last month was part of the epic Enjoy The Ride storyline in Hollyoaks.
Also there were Stephanie Davis and Johnny Clarke (Sinead O’Connor and Bart McQueen) who promised us that the situation between their characters was going to get much, much more serious. And they weren’t wrong as, playing out on our screens at this very moment, they are expecting their first child together; well that’s what Bart thinks anyway!
(4) – The Soap Who-Dunnits!
We, here at Unreality TV, love a good mystery, and we strove to make sure that we brought you every juicy detail of every who-dunnit this year in soap land. You all seemed to love these, and the interaction at the bottom of each article was amazing, with all of you guessing and speculating about each situation. The main mysteries covered this year were:
Fans of the hit Channel 4 soap will know how, after discovering the truth about Mercedes (Jennifer Metcalfe) stabbing herself, Lynsey Nolan (Karen Hassan) was murdered in cold blood by a mystery assailant, in the shows best kept surprise and secret in history. As always the production staff at Hollyoaks set a perfect scene for the mystery, including posting suspect interviews on their websites.
We put together a collection of evidence and laid out the facts to you bare, then updated you constantly of each development and our take on them. After hours of investigation, and a few red herrings thrown in for good measures (not by us, of course) it was revealed that the murderer was in fact Dr Browning (Joe Thompson) who had killed Lynsey to protect the love of his life, Mercedes, from being sent to prison for perverting the course of justice. Now both are free from jail after clever trial performances and have just got engaged.
When it was revealed that Kat Moon (Jessie Wallace) was to embark on an illicit affair with one of Walford’s residents, again we put together a dossier of evidence based on the suspects we were given by bosses at the hit BBC show. Several times we were teased about the culprit, and told we would find out who it was, but EastEnders managed to keep the identity of Kat’s lover a secret, up until Christmas Day. In the first few months of the investigation two of the five main suspects, Michael Moon (Steve John Shepherd) and Ray Dixon (Chucky Venn) were eliminated from our enquiry, leaving just the three Branning brothers, Max (Jake Wood), Jack (Scot Maslen) and Derek (Jamie Foreman), who were then never seen apart.
However, after Alfie (Shane Richie) accused Max in the middle of the crowded pub, Kat was forced to come clean and admit it had been Derek all along. Alfie threw Kat out of the pub, leaving Derek to scoop her up from the gutter, filled with promises of taking care of her. However, when he then collapsed and died of a heart attack a few hours later, Kat was left out in the cold.
When this storyline hit our gossip radar’s it was surprising for two reasons. The first was that, after all the suspects were revealed when Sinead O’Connor (Stephanie Davis) slept with a mystery man behind her boyfriend Bart’s (Johnny Clarke) back, and a big fuss was made in the build-up to the event, everything then went quiet and the story was forgotten, not to be mentioned again for nearly two months.
The second surprising part of this was included in the list of suspects were the most unlikely of candidates, with many of them not seeming even slightly shocking or scandalous. It wasn’t until three of the suspects, Neil (Tosin Cole), Jono (Dylan Llewellyn) and Rhys Ashworth (Andy Moss) ended up dead after the epic Enjoy The Ride wedding day bus crash, and it was revealed that Sinead was pregnant, did it all start to make more sense. Still, the question did remain for a short time, which ghost’s baby was Sinead carrying, but when we saw her stealing a picture of Rhys from his wife, Jacqui’s bedroom, the penny finally dropped. Now Jacqui (Claire Cooper) knows the truth, but is insisting that Sinead keep up the pretence that Bart is the father, but something tells us that all may change when the baby arrives!
(3) Hollyoaks Later
Unreality TV were privileged enough to be invited up to the set of Hollyoaks this year ahead of its annual Hollyoaks Later series, to interview the main cast involved.
We were honoured and thrilled to chat to the likes of Andrew Still (Joel Dexter), Rachel Shenton (Mitzeee Minniver), Bronagh Waugh (Cheryl Brady), Neil Newbon (Simon Walker) and the legend that is Emmett J. Scanlan (Brendan Brady) about the treats that lay ins tore for us.
And what treats they were.
Rachel explained pretty much her character’s entire involvement in the series, telling us: “I didn’t think for a minute I would be involved this year, because Mitzeee is in prison, which geographically would be very difficult, as all my scenes are in one cell, & she has no contact with anyone. But it was actually very interesting, when they explained it to me I was amazed and thought it was like Fugitive. Basically, Mitzeee is being transported from one prison unit to another, following her mental breakdown, going from the usual prison to a secure mental health unit. Whilst she is being transferred to the unit, the car crashes and Mitzeee goes on the run.
“But, it’s against her will, as she has been handcuffed to another prisoner and it is the other prisoner who is the wayward one & wants to escape, Mitzeee doesn’t at all. At this point Mitzeee is far from her usual self, in fact she is not even a shadow of her former self, you will have seen the decline in her character over the last few weeks on screen, and at this point in the story, when Laters airs, it’s gone from bad to worse. So she basically just gets dragged around by this tall almost Amazonian like female lady prisoner.”
Whilst Emmett teased: “there is no going back from this I think at this stage. Otherwise what’s the point? You end up falling back into the same routine, repeating same storylines and the same situations just with different characters, and it’s not fair on the show, or the characters, the show is much cleverer than that.
“An evolution is needed, which Hollyoaks is going through right now for the better, and I need that as an actor, I need Brendan to either grow up, or f*** off really to be honest. He needs to evolve, and he is, he is changing, and there is no way back!”
And Andrew informed us: “The series has an explosive start, with action right from the get go. Joel’s mum has turned up in the village and it isn’t long before her violent husband, Joel’s stepdad, Mick, turns up looking for her. Joel is still pretty angry with Brendan, and so he uses his stepdad to start playing people off against each other. Of course it all back fires and it is left to Brendan to pick up the pieces, and to do this he ties up Mick and loads him in the car to teach him a lesson. Unfortunately, at the same time, Cheryl, jumps in the car too as she has some sad news about a family member, but she doesn’t realise what’s going on at first. Basically there is a huge chase involving everyone, there’s a lot of beatings, especially for Joel, and just generally all hell breaks loose!”
The series was phenomenal and resulted in the revelation that Brendan had been sexually abused as a child by his father, Seamus, who has just recently joined the cast of the regular soap, as well as providing a platform for Brendan to kill twice again, firstly Joel’s stepfather, and then his own grandmother!
Hollyoaks Later also brought the fact that Walker was an undercover policeman to Brendan’s knowledge, which leads to the untimely death of Riley Costello when he was shot with a stray bullet from the showdown between Brendan and Walker back in the regular show.
It is always amazing how Hollyoaks can jump from a 6.30pm pre-watershed time slot to a late night action show producing some of the deepest and darkest storylines, then bring them back without losing any of the drama, and Unreality TV were very proud to have been included in promoting of this year’s spectacular series.
(2) Emmerdale at 40
This year saw the 40th anniversary of award-winning ITV1 soap, Emmerdale, which was celebrated in typical soap style with a live episode in the middle of an action and drama packed week. During this epic week, which is bound to have many awards thrown at it, fans of the soap saw two births, two weddings and a murder, and we were there every step of the way providing up-to-date coverage of spoilers and gossip the minute we heard them.
The week carried on from the long-running storyline which had seen Chas Dingle (Lucy Pargeter) having an affair with her niece, Debbie’s boyfriend, Cameron Murray (Dominic Power). Although the affair had ended, and Chas was due to marry Dan Spencer (Liam Fox), her scheming and manipulative ex, Carl King (Tom Lister), had found out about the affair and was blackmailing her and Cameron.
They paid him the money he demanded, £30,000 to compensate him for the money Chas stole from him when they were together, but that wasn’t enough for Carl, who decided that what he really wanted was in fact Chas. He ordered her to run away with him on her wedding day, which she was sharing with best friend, Katie (Sammy Winward) and her now-husband, Declan (Jason Merelles).
Chas went ahead and married Dan, but then when he wouldn’t run off with her tried to make a dash for it herself, but unfortunately Carl found her and, after attempting to rape her, Chas hit him over the head with a brick and ran for her life.
Unbeknown to Chas, Carl was still alive, well he was until Cameron found him and finished off the job, leaving Chas to believe she had killed him. Chas stood trial for the murder, but was released when the jury considered her actions to be of self-defence.
Now back home the story is still unwinding, as Chas’ family have all disowned her and, unbeknown to her, Cameron has killed again to protect himself from the truth coming out.
Other memorable moments during the epic live episode was the moment that Katie had her face pushed into her own wedding cake, and when Gennie (Sian Reese-Williams) nearly broke Nikhil’s (Rik Makarem) nose during child birth.
All in all, it was a week to remember! All 3 main stream soaps have attempted a live episode now, but Emmerdale, who avoided a huge stunt like a tram crash, or a roof top jump, managed to actually surpass all expectations and records tonight in what, we at Unreality TV consider to be, the BEST live soap episode EVER!!!!
(1) – Hollyoaks: Enjoy The Ride
Earlier this year Hollyoaks announced that it was to attempt the biggest ever stunt in the shows history, and teased that it would have the biggest death toll in one sitting, and, as per usual, they did not disappoint!
The details of the day were leaked slowly, and included a mini-bus hijacking by the sixth formers which ended up ploughing through the double wedding ceremony of Cindy Cunningham (Stephanie Waring), Tony Hutchinson (Nick Pickard), Ste Hay (Kieron Richardson) and Doug Carter), leaving many lives lost or hanging in the balance.
What they did not divulge was who was going to die, causing a huge amount of suspense and speculation from Hollyoaks fans all across the country, including us.
Unreality TV was invited up to Hollyoaks London office to interview two of the confirmed main characters, Scarlet Bowman who played Maddie Morrison, and Andy Moss, who played Rhys Ashworth. We were delighted to be asked, and excited to be involved, but when the story played out and we realised that we hadn’t just been given two of the main characters to interview, but the two main fatalities, we were thrilled!
Whilst there both Scarlet and Andy were very careful with what they said about the storyline, with us not suspecting for one moment we were speaking to the dead, in fact at one point Andy said he was off to do some location filming that afternoon, a red herring as we now know.
As the story, which lasted an entire week, began, Unreality TV were there every step of the way, writing each day about what to expect from that night’s episode, as we watched in horror as Maddie and the gang made the tragic decision to steal that bus.
The bus had been intended for the double wedding, and was in the process of being loaded by Brendan (Emmett J. Scanlan), but when Bart (Johnny Clarke) let down Jono (Dylan Llewellyn) and Ruby (Anna Schafer) as driver in their mission to elope to Gretna Green, Maddie seized the opportunity and stole the bus.
On their way, however, the wedding cakes for the other weddings were discovered in the back of the van by Sinead (Stephanie Davis) and the gang, including George (Steven Roberts) and Neil (Tosin Cole) made a detour to the ceremony to drop them off.
However, in a desperate bid to stop the wedding, Esther (Jazmine Franks) had enlisted the help of stoned Bart to try and get the van to stop, but when little Leah Hay stepped out in front of both vehicles, and Maddie’s breaks then failed, the bus went careering off the road, and straight through the wedding.
Just before this moment Rhys and Cindy, who had been having an affair for months, had just agreed to run away with each other after Rhys had packed his bags ready to leave on his own. However, stood directly in the path of the bus it was Rhys who took the brunt of the crash, and Cindy looked on in horror as he lay dying in his wife Jacqui’s (Claire Cooper) arms.
Meanwhile the occupants of the mini bus thought that Neil was dead, but when making her escape out of the window, Neil reached out to Maddie to help him, which she coldly refused and left him to die in the van when it exploded moments after.
Whilst watching the explosion a door from the vehicle came flying over and landed on Maddie, striking her dead on the spot, then later that day, after an undiagnosed blood clot to the brain, Jono also passed away in Ruby’s arms.
So the total death toll was in fact 4, but for a week after it looked like it might have been five as Ste, who had been hit by the bus before it went through the wedding, lay motionless in hospital.
The crash itself lasted a week, but the effects and aftermath of it are still very ripe with all the villagers even now. Jacqui has since found out about Cindy and Rhys, and began a relationship with Tony – well, she had until Cindy told her that he had known about the affair before the wedding. Sinead has found out she is pregnant with Rhys’ baby, and told Jacqui who has told her to let Bart think it is his, and Ste and Doug split up when Ste realised it was Brendan he wanted all along.
But, even long after all these lose ends have eventually ben tied up, this week will forever be marked in the history books as one of the most daring, best planned and best acted stunts of all time, and we at Unreality TV were very proud to have been a part of it.
What do you think of our top five? Have we missed anything out that you thought worthy of a place in our top stories covered by us? Leave your thoughts and comments below:
On behalf of all here at Unreality TV we would like to thank our readers for their continued support, and wish them all a happy, safe and prosperous 2013!