Audrey Roberts, I salute you! Bless her, for she has had the nous and common sense to avoid her entire family for weeks. Gail's wedding? No show. Erica's pregnancy? 'Sorry luvvie, I'm busy'. Max disappears? Radio silence from Aud. One can only surmise that from her pad on Grassmere Drive, Audrey has come to the conclusion that she cannot stomach another scene where the entire family is wedged into the increasingly familiar set at number eight.
In scenes reminiscent of early pantomime Nazir sightings, the entire Platt/Tilsley/Rodman combo all have to appear 'en mass' in any family related scene. Nick abandons his business. David rushes from the salon. Sarah presumably dismounts the box she is surely perched on behind the Rovers bar. They all take their places in that God-awful house, jammed on to the sofa or stood around it in some kind of horse-shoe formation. Cue useless wittering from Michael, non-amusing one-liner from Bethany and screwed-up facial expressions from Nick. Then add to this delightful ensemble Andy/Gavin/Whatever with a mug like an Easter Island statue and Steph who seems to be permanently on the verge of a breakdown. At this point the living room door will be flung open and, for no reason whatsoever, Callum, channelling the late Charles Hawtrey, minces in and terrifies us with his witty badinage. No Audrey though. Not a word nor a whisper from Camilla-lite. Behind closed doors in the posh bit of town, she is no doubt pouring herself a decent measure of gin and ignoring the ringing of her mobile. Audrey is unavailable. You can only sympathise with her.
The seemingly endless merry-go-round based at number 8 is almost bordering on farce. Like demented cuckoos in a clock, the family pop in and out with dizzying regularity. It has to stop. Either that or whip out the front door and install a lovely new turnstile. In the meantime, Audrey isn't available. She's on page four of Anna Karenina and refuses to budge from her sofa until she's read the entire novel. Slowly.
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