River Wissey Lovell Fuller

Why Not An Escape Route

May 2001

Are our soaps too clean?

The other day I was watching Gloria Hunniford on TV interviewing an American actress who, it would appear, is in a Soap which is so popular it is shown in some 96 countries. For a start I didn't know there were that many countries but then that's beside the point. This actress suggested that the difference between our Soaps such as Emmerdale, Eastenders, and Coronation Street, and the one she is in is that ours are more down to earth more realistic, whereas the American Soap is more glamorous, more upmarket if you wish. Now all of this touched a nerve and I had to agree with what the Lady was saying. The reason I don't like our Soaps, a subject have mentioned before, is that these are about ordinary people and quite honestly I just don't want to know about ordinary people. If I did I wouldn't have to watch TV, I could just look in the mirror. And let's face it, they don't come more ordinary than I am. In fact there are times when I think I shouldn't be let out of the house.

All of this takes me back to when I was a teenager, yes I know it was a long time ago but even so we had teenagers even then. In those so-called good old days I earnt my living by working on a farm digging up carrots for several hours a day. I'm told it was all great fun but the trouble with me is that I never did have a very keen sense of humour. At that time when my working day was over I used to escape from this wonderful life style by going to the cinema, or as we called it then the pictures. Most of the films I saw seemed to me to be mostly American. Featuring such glamorous people such as Betty Grable, Lana Turner, Ava Gardner, oh yes definitely Ava Gardner, and many more. All of the men looked like James Bond, always wearing dinner suits. All of this was a million miles away from me and my carrot digging or for that matter pulling up sugar beet by hand before machinery came along. What I had however was an escape route and I think if you work in a boring job you need just that.

Where I think we go wrong today is that when we get home, having had a thrilling day packing the lettuces, we stay in that same environment by watching these darn Soaps. What we should be doing is to throw away our working clothes put on our ball gowns, ok mine is at the cleaners but I can soon get it back, and put on our dinner suits and start looking important even if we are not. How I use to like watching 'Come Dancing' when I would be told that dancing for the North East was Alf Higgingbottom and Betty Nobody, they looked as if they were Lord and Lady Fontalroy where as, in reality, Alf a few hours earlier had probably just come up from some Yorkshire coal mine, and goodness knows what Betty had been up to. Some people will say clothes doesn't maketh the man. Well I could never see much wrong with Sean Connery when he played James Bond, and if there was something wrong with Ava Gardner I only wish I had been given the opportunity of finding out what it was.

Les Lawrence

Copyright remains with independent content providers where specified, including but not limited to Village Pump contributors. All rights reserved.