There is only one reason any soap introduces a new drinking venue, and it has nothing to do with providing the locals with somewhere a bit more upmarket than the local pub.
No, it is purely because a new venue provides a Back Room, and that BR quickly becomes the place where new sexual action takes place.
You wouldn’t want to touch any of the furniture in the BR – allegedly “the office” - of EastEnders’ R & R, for instance. How many trysts have taken place across the desk, up against the wall, against the door?
Janine even managed to handcuff Jack to a radiator in there – an event guaranteed to appeal to viewers such as myself, for whom being alone with Jack and a pair of handcuffs in any room would be a more than a fair cop.
Now, Coronation Street has installed The Joinery, a fancy new wine bar being run by Nick and Leanne, who have taken the joinery aspect of the name a little too literally. On the opening night, they christened the furniture, and next week the BR provides even more opportunities for their illicit affair.
Who has the awful job of cleaning up after these people, for whom pub furniture is such a turn-on? And at the rate Nick and Leanne are going at it, it’s not just a cleaner they’ll need to tidy the place up, but a joiner – which, under the new banner, might be an appropriate call.
It’s easy to see why Leanne might prefer Nick to Peter, though. Peter’s an alcoholic with a bad taste in overcoats, his black one clearly so heavy it causes him to stoop, a literal weight on his shoulders; on a dark night, you could be mistaken for thinking you had bumped into the Hunchback of Notre Dame on the cobbles.
True, he has a very cute son in Simon, but the boy is never going to win Child of the Year in the entertainment stakes. How could he, when the sum total of his playtime in the past year has been kicking the occasional ball around the Red Rec?
Nick is the better bet in terms of earning potential, although with all that frowning, I suspect Leanne has to take an iron to his forehead, purely in order to make his face kissable.
Carla giving him grief? One line frown. Hoping to have sex with Leanne? Two. Leanne giving him the brush-off after a night of passion? T’s a veritable Clapham Junction passing through his brow. When the sun is out and he has to squint as well as frown, there is so much frowning action going on, his face shrinks to a shrivelled tangerine. There will doubtless be a lot more frowning in the coming weeks, when Leanne decides which man she prefers.
Carla, meanwhile, is waiting in the wings for Peter, but with two dead husbands under her belt, I suspect he’ll be taking up refuge in that overcoat a little more often.
It’s a complicated love pool on the Street at the moment, with Molly still pursuing Kevin, whom she prefers to Tyrone. To be honest, to me all she’s doing is switching cabins on the Titanic, but each to her own.
Meanwhile, in Albert Square, sexual activity is about to move out of the back room and into other venues, including Phil’s car.
At least it takes the pressure off the poor old furniture for a change.