Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Coronation Street: Ken Barlow kills Santa Claus

Reprinted with permission from the fab TV blog PauseLiveAction

Poor Ken. All he was trying to do was to earn a bit of money to get his little grandson Simon a decent Christmas present. By “decent,” it had to have the equivalent or greater monetary value than the present Simon is due to receive from his other granddad, George, aka Anthony Valentine from Colditz. He’s got a bob or two, has granddad George.

Ken, a man who acts like he has a superiority complex but who spends his whole futile life feeling thwarted and inferior, finds George very hard to take. Particularly as George (the father of the late Lucy The Florist) is bankrolling Ken’s alcoholic son Peter’s latest business venture – a wine bar. Ken understandably feels that this is just laying temptation in Peter’s way, and he has a point, as it seems only five minutes ago since Peter was slumped in a drunken stupor in a burning flat and had to be rescued by Tony Gordon, of all people.

So there’s Ken, looking pretty authentically ho-ho-ho in the window of one of the finest department stores in the north, and along comes adorable little grandson Simon and the aforementioned Granddad George. Simon wants to see Santa, and despite being one of the brightest children ever to grace a TV screen outside of Outnumbered, he fails to notice that Father Christmas is in fact Granddad Ken. Until Ken and George start sniping at each other about the value of gifts, whereupon Ken’s beard comes off, and a traumatised Simon wonders what granddad is doing posing as Santa.

“He’s not the real Santa,” Granddad George reassures the people still queuing, before ushering the bewildered Simon away for a soothing burger and fries. Ken is sacked, and we leave him in his Santa suit, staring at a bleak winter sky and possibly wondering why every good intention he ever has turns to rubble in his hands.

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