soapwatch

So farewell then, Kaff of the Caff. After 1,000 episodes of EastEnders, Gillian Taylforth is bowing out of the cockney soap. But what will real life be like for her after the twists and turns of the soap?

Scene One: Life in an idyllic English village. Birds are tweeting, flowers are blooming and there is no sign of Barbara Windsor. Gillian has been enjoying her new job as a pancreatic nurse, but today is playing hookey. She skips happily along a country lane with her young daughter. Enter Old Woman.

GT: Morning, what a beautiful day. It's wonderful to be away from all the trauma of London.

OW: S'pose it is if you haven't spent all day being blackmailed about your medical records because of the secret daughter you had when you were a teenager.

GT: Eh?

OW: Well you know what villages are like. Can't say a word or someone will blab. I remember the first time I saw my long-lost daughter, she was coming on strong to my son.

GT: That must have been difficult for you.

OW: Don't worry about it, in the end she died of a drug overdose. Terrible drug problem in the countryside. No place to bring up a child.

Daughter: What's that old lady saying, mummy?

GT: (in loud stage whisper). I think the old lady's a bit funny. Nothing like that happens in real life. (Walks on)

OW: Remember me to Dot when you see her.

Scene Two: The local tea room. GT walks in with her daughter. Silence falls

GT: Hello! A pot of Darjeeling and a Danish pastry please.

Server: You can have a cuppa and a butty. That's all we do.

GT: But this is the country. You must have fresh clotted cream and jam and scones?

Server: The only clots we've got round here, my love, are the Marshall Brothers. Haven't you heard of rural hardship?

(Enter two unattractive thugs. They have a huge argument, try to beat each other up, then cry and swear always to be brothers. Then both sip a cup of tea. Exit)

Server: There you go, there's the Marshall brothers. Which one did you fancy?

GT: I don't really...

Server: Well, it doesn't make any difference. You'll end up sleeping with both of them. Everyone does.

GT: (looking worried) Oh.

Server: That's if the vicar doesn't try it on first.

Scene Three: The traditional Tuesday Market. Gillian walks around the stalls.

Old Woman (again): That's pounds 2.50 to you, my dear.

GT: I don't really need any more nicknacks. Can you tell me where I can buy some fruit and vegetables?

OW: Tesco's. Over the bypass.

GT: But I thought... doesn't anyone sell their own organic farm produce?

OW: (baldly) No. Now do you want that rustic tea cosy made in Malaysia or not?

GT: Er. No, I don't think so.

Scene Four: Gillian is wandering disconsolately down the road.

GT: The country is not what I imagined. I thought it would be pretty and full of friendly people, and - oh gosh!

(She stops outside a small and beautiful church. Enter rather good-looking vicar)

GLV: Hello, I do hope you're going to be part of my flock.

GT: Oh, er - gosh

GLV: Actually I don't suppose you fancy a bit of unholy communion do you?(He pounces.)

GT: Oh, not again.

Scene Five: Charming rustic railway station. Enter Gillian and daughter.

GT: Two tickets to London, please. As soon as possible.

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