EastEnders An Oral History 1985-2015

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  1. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    1987

    Jean Slater to Amy Mitchell: Sean loved 'The Fraggles' when he was your age [three], singing with those red things, Doozers.

    Tina Carter: Ever since I’ve been old enough, I’ve always bought Mick some [souvenir] Churchill tat for his birthday. Stupid, I know, but it’s just our thing.

    Alice Branning on her father Derek: When I was a kid, my mum told me that every year on his birthday, he’d come downstairs with this routine. He’d sing this rhyme and then he’d open up the pickled herring. He’d never have a birthday without it. My mum told me that to do him down, but I thought it was sweet.

    Max Branning on Derek: “Another year quicker, another year smarter” — a little rhyme he used to come out with [on his birthday]. Proper wind up, he was.

    Max, quoting Derek's rhyme: “Another year quicker, another year smarter.
    Another year better looking ...”
    Alice: “... and that’s just for starters.”
    Jack: “Inside or out, there’ll be plenty more ...”
    Alice: “I’ll be singing this song till I’m two hundred and four.”

    I never got that line — “inside or out”?
    Jack: He was talking about prison.

    Derek Branning on his son Joey: I was there when he was born.

    Janine Butcher to Joey: You really weren’t at the front of the queue when they dished out the brains, were you?

    Derek: The night you were born, I downed two bottles of top drawer single malt. I was so so proud that night, so happy.
    Joey Branning: And when did that wear off — next day, with the hangover?
    Derek: No. It never wore off. It’s just life took over.
    Joey: Got banged up.
    Derek: Got distracted.

    Max on Derek: He was little more than a kid when he had you, Joey.

    Derek: If things had’ve been different, I could have been a very good dad.

    Denise Fox: When I was eighteen, I had a one year old daughter.

    Denise to Dexter Hartman: At your age [eighteen], I had three albums and a handful of cassettes.

    Masood Ahmed on turning twenty-nine: Things started coming together for me round about then — my career, my marriage.

    Lorraine Wicks to her son Joe: When you were little, I used to come into the bedroom and you'd be hiding under the covers.

    Joe Wicks to Karen: Remember as kids in the old flat, we had the bunk beds, didn't we? And I used to read "Desperate Dan" out loud with a torch underneath the bedclothes. You used to make me do all those funny voices, remember? Only you could do them better than me. You still made me do them, though. Remember that time you said there were pixies in the patterns of the wallpaper? I said, "Don't be daft. There are no pixies in the wallpaper — but there's a monster who lives in the wardrobe." And you got really scared, so scared that I got scared. It was a really windy night and there was noise coming down the chimney. You said
    it was the monster. By then I'd started to believe it too. You started crying so I started crying. We called out for Mum and Dad because we were too scared to get out of bed. We called and called, but no-one ever came. In the end, I got out of my bed and into yours and we just cuddled all night. The next morning, you said, "How daft. There were never any monsters."

    Joe to David and Lorraine: You weren't there for us, neither of you. We called and called and you never came.

    Little Mo: Dreams was ever so real, weren't they? I heard the lion in the airing cupboard, but it weren't really there, was it?

    Charlie Slater to Little Mo: You used to come with me to get fish and chips.

    Lynne Slater: Do you remember when Mum started those fish and chip nights? It didn't last long because she used to say, "No TV!" and we'd sneak off all the time wouldn't we, eh?

    Pam Coker: Do you remember the swimming club? We had to pick up Laurie late every Tuesday so we got fish and chips and ate them in the park.
    Les Coker: Yes, it was a good summer.
    Pam: And he always asked for extra vinegar. His chips were drowning.

    Charlie: It always was the only time I got any quiet — fish and chips night.
    Kat Slater to Zoe: You was only a baby. You used to sit on my lap to eat yours.

    Kat to Zoe: I remember one day, you couldn't have been more than three, we was making daisy chains and you wanted to play a game where I pretended to be the mum. You even called me Mummy. I don't think I've ever been that happy.

    Lynne to Zoe: It used to break [Kat's] heart whenever she saw you unhappy. All she ever wanted to do was to put her arms round you and cuddle you.
    Zoe Slater: She was so cold sometimes.
    Lynne: That's just her way, isn't it? Don't let anyone in. That way she can't get hurt.
    Zoe: Except blokes.
    Lynne: No. All she ever did was what people expected of her. I watched her over the years. The more people disapproved, the shorter her skirts got. She was like, "OK, if that's what you think I am, that's what I'll be." But I tell you something, Zoe. She was always there for you whether you knew it or not.

    Zoe to Kat: You were staying out all night at [seventeen], getting up to all sorts.

    Big Mo, speaking in 2006: As if I ain’t going notice a seventeen year old stopping out all night. Where were you?
    Stacey Slater: At a mate’s house.
    Big Mo: That’s what Kat always used to say.

    Max to his son Bradley: I remember when your mum was pregnant. I had no help. We went round the houses — what to do — keep you, get rid of you. In the end, we went down the abortion clinic, the two of us, but we couldn’t go through with it. Do you know what I did? I went out and I brought this scruffy brown bear from the garage and stuck it on the mantlepiece. Your first toy, that was — brown bear. Do you remember?
    Bradley: Yeah.
    Max: Well, now you know where it came from — the love of a father. Hadn’t even met you met.
    Bradley: The baby that ruined your life.

    Nancy Carter: You grew your own weed?
    Babe Smith: I had two hungry mouths to feed. How else did I pay for [Mick’s] football boots, [Tina’s] dancing lessons?

    Babe Smith on the Carters: I gave my life for this family.

    Charlie Cotton, Jr: I grew up with nothing.

    Sonia Jackson on being raised by a single mother: I know what it's like — never having any money and everything always being messed up and different blokes for a dad. I had nothing.

    Robbie Jackson on Carol: She was a single parent. She managed.
    Sonia: No — she struggled.

    Robbie to Sonia: We got dealt a lousy hand, didn't we, sis?

    Bianca Jackson to Sonia: You’re the spoilt one, always got everything you ever wanted.

    Carol to Bianca and Sonia: You’ve done this ever since you were kids — tear chunks out of each other over the most stupidest of things.

    Sonia: None of our dads ever stuck around for long. Funny thing is, I always thought the next one would be different. I used to get really angry with my mum. I'd sit there and I'd think, "What are you doing wrong? What are you doing to make them all leave?"

    Sonia: When did you ever put us first? You were always too busy chasing after the next bloke.
    Carol: That’s not true.
    Sonia: Isn’t it? We never knew who was round that dinner table — our “new dad”.

    Sonia: "Because why's got a long tail." Me mum used to say it when she used to run out of answers.

    Garry Hobbs: My mum always used to say, “Working nine to five, what a way to earn a living. Barely getting by, it’s all take and no giving.”

    Tanya Branning: My nan always said, “Give a child confidence. If they’re confident, they can do anything.”

    Cora Cross to Tanya: You were a stupid little girl. You were always a self-centred madam, always wanting more. Never satisfied.

    Cora to Tanya: Must have been a terrible burden for you, having me as a mother.

    Cora to Tanya: I didn’t give you cuddles. I didn’t pat you on the head and tell you you were a good little girl.

    Cora to Tanya: The time you and Rainie broke my mother’s vase — you set up a pretend salon in the back garden to distract me. Poor Rainie was upstairs trying to glue it together. Problem was, Rainie could always get away with it. That girl could lie her way out of anything, but you — it’s written all over your face.

    Lauren, Tanya’s daughter, looking at old photos: Look at your hair!
    Tanya: I’ll have you know crimping was very fashionable back then.
    Lauren: That hairstyle was never fashionable. Is that your dad?
    Tanya: Yeah, that was my twelfth birthday, that was.
    Lauren: Was he ill by then?
    Tanya: No, it was just before.
    Lauren: He looks really kind.
    Tanya: Yeah, he was. He had his moments.

    Cora on her husband William: I never loved anyone like I loved him and he did love me. He loved me for exactly who I was. Never any criticism. You couldn’t make him up, your dad. He never said a cruel word.

    Garry: You used to call me ...
    Theresa: Hobb Nob. I haven't seen you since ...
    Garry: February 14th 1987, St Valentine's Day.

    Carol Jackson on herself and Alan: February 14th is the day that we met.

    Charlie Slater: My Viv always used to say that it don’t matter what you do on Valentine’s Day as long as you spend it with the one you love.

    Theresa: We were teenagers.
    Garry: You dumped me. I still want to know why.
    Theresa: I met someone else.
    Garry: You were always different. You always used to say money don't mean nothing. I remember you telling me you'd be dead of a drugs overdose by the time you was thirty.
    Theresa: What a pretentious little madam I was! I must have still been going through my Janis Joplin phase.
    Garry: Yeah, but I was impressed. There was never anyone like you.
    Theresa: You didn't know me. I was a confused, screwed up teenager making up different versions of myself. I didn't even know who I was.
    Garry: That's what I liked.
    Theresa: I don't really think we've got much in common.
    Garry: That's what you said [then].

    Carol: Did you think I was pretty when you first met me?
    Alan: Course I did.

    Carol: Do you remember when we first met?
    Alan: I plumbed your sink in.

    Carol: You came round to mend that burst pipe.
    Alan: It wasn't a burst pipe. I unblocked your loo.
    Carol: And halfway through you caught my eye and you said to me —
    Alan: "What's a girl like you doing in a nice place like this?"
    Carol: I thought that was dead funny. It was cheeky, but it was funny.
    Alan: That was one of my stock chat-up lines. You were the first one it worked on.

    Carol to Alan: I just knew you were the best-looking odd-job man I'd ever seen.

    Alan: I've always thought of myself as a one-woman man.

    Carol: You took me to a party on our first date.
    Alan: Yeah, you couldn't keep your hands off me.
    Carol: Me? You weren't doing so badly yourself!

    Alan: Do you remember that time ...?
    Carol: Crumbs in the bed!

    Alan: I was twenty when I first met Carol. It was great. At least I thought it was.

    Carol: If you'd had people badmouthing you all your life like I have ...
    Alan: I've had my share.
    Carol: Yeah, I know you have.

    Derek Branning on Carol seeing a black man: You always liked a bit of that, didn’t you?

    Lenny Wallace: You know what a Bounty Bar is? That's what my mates called me. I was sixteen. I made the mistake of falling for a white girl. To my mates, that made me a Bounty Bar — black on the outside, white on the inside. Have you any idea what that does to a kid who's just getting into girls? It was [tough]. I mean, she was gorgeous. Really bright as well. Loads of guys fancied her, I mean loads of guys, but she chose me. She was really special.
    Tony Hills: So what happened?
    Lenny: I just made life hell till she gave up on me.
    Tony: Why?
    Lenny: Couldn't handle it, could I? Not all that stuff from my mates. It was crazy, but for some reason their approval was more important to me. I was young and stupid. I gave her a hard time because of their attitude. She must have been so hurt. I've never met anybody like her since. If only I hadn't listened.

    Alan: When I first started seeing Carol, someone came up to me and called me a traitor. I'm British, mate. I was born here, I'll die here. I couldn't quite figure out who I was being a traitor to.

    Carol on Derek: He always hated Alan.

    Alan on the Branning family: They never liked me.

    Carol on her family: Don't you remember all the things they said when we first got together?

    Sonia: The amount of grief you gave Mum and Alan when they first got together.
    Jim Branning: Oh well, she was my little girl, weren’t she?

    Carol on Jim: He wouldn’t speak to Alan.

    Carol to Jim: We all know how you felt about Alan. You couldn’t even shake his hand.

    Alan on Carol: I didn't mind that she had three kids. It didn't bother me.

    Bianca Jackson on Alan: He only wanted me mum. We just all came along as part of the deal.

    Blossom Jackson to Bianca: When he started going out with your mum, Alan used to come and see me and tell me all about her, but he would talk about the three kids as much as he would about the girl.

    Alan: I've always lived with someone — me mum and dad, then Carol.

    Heather Trott on ‘Respectable’ by Mel & Kim: Do you remember this? 1987, you and me down the Hippodrome.
    Shirley Carter: I can still remember the moves.

    Dean Wicks, Shirley’s son: So who’s my dad then?
    Shirley: I can’t remember. I don’t know his name. I was in the pub. We were hammered and I never saw him again.
    Dean: And that’s how I came into the world.

    Buster Briggs, speaking about Dean in 2014: You sure he’s mine?
    Shirley: Yeah.
    Buster: When?

    Shirley: Well, he’s twenty-six. You do the maths.

    Dean on Buster: He’s really great, bunking up with a woman when she’s got a husband and kids at home. That’s nice. How could you do that to Dad?
    Shirley: When you fall for someone, all sense — it just goes out the window.
    Dean: So you loved him then?
    Shirley: Yeah.

    Buster to Shirley: What kind of dad would I have been, eh? The odd Christmas card, supervised visit. You were protecting [Dean by not telling him the truth].
    Dean: I didn’t need protecting.
    Buster: If you knew me, you’d know that wasn’t true.

    Carol: Have you ever been on the poverty line, Zainab, so hard up you don’t know how you’re going to feed your kids?
    Zainab Masood: As a matter of fact, Carol, I have. When my Shabnam was a baby, we were cooped up in a tiny little flat above the shop that we stayed at. She was teething all night, crying, Syed in the cot next to her coughing away because of the damp in that place, and Masood holding down three jobs in order to make sure we had some food on the table.

    Zainab: Before Tamwar was born, we lived in a flat above Uncle Inzamam’s shop. He used one of the rooms as a kind of storeroom. Shabnam, she opened a sack of rice and she poured all this rice into the bathtub because she wanted to cook like Mummy. We ended up with a bathroom full of basmati.
    Syed: I don’t remember a shop.
    Zainab: You were still very young. Shabnam wasn’t much older than Kamil is now [thirteen months]. She was the adventurous one. You, on the other hand, would not leave my side for one second. You would fall asleep while I would stroke your hair, and then if you woke up and your father was carrying you to bed, you would kick up such a fuss, screaming for me.

    Syed: Do you still sing that song to Kamil, the one you used to sing to me when I was little?
    Zainab: [sings] “Ni ni Papa ni ni, macan roti gee ...”
    Zainab and Syed: [singing in unison] “Macan roti hokya. Meyun Papa sokya.”

    Zainab to Syed: “Javaan aadamee aur saanp” ["The Young Man and the Snake”]. This was your favourite story when you were little. I had to read it to you every night or you wouldn’t go to sleep, and if I missed even the tiniest bit, you would make me start all over again.

    Zainab to Syed: When you were little, I would love to watch you fall asleep and then I would pray that you would always be happy and that you would get married, have children.

    Janine Butcher on Ronnie: What was she like as a kid?
    Billy Mitchell: Evil, to me anyway. And Roxy used to bully me something chronic.

    Ronnie Mitchell: You, practising your snogging on me.
    Roxy Mitchell: I was nine.
    Ronnie: Going on nineteen.

    Roxy: I used to have a boyfriend called Matthew. He was nice. Actually, he was lovely.

    Archie Mitchell on Roxy: There was never going to be a fella in the world good enough for her.

    Billy on Archie and Ronnie: Him and her have been fighting all their lives.

    Ronnie: People used to say that me and my dad were like peas in a pod. I hated that.

    Roxy on Archie’s snow globe: He used to shake it and then make us hide. Then he’d come and get us. We’d both get a treat. There were good times, Ron. There were.

    Archie’s voice on a home video recording: "Veronica, come here. Veronica, come on, I won’t bite. Veronica, stop messing around now, come to Daddy. You come to Daddy.”

    Roxy watching the tape: Look at Ronnie, she looks so cute!

    Ronnie on the home video: Did you see my knobbly knees?
    Roxy: Did you see mine?
    Ronnie: At least you were cute. I’ve hated Dad for so long, I’ve forgotten how much I loved him. I really did love him back then, I really did.
    Roxy: And he loved you. He did.

    Ronnie: When I was younger, a teenager, all I ever wanted was for my dad to give me a big hug like he did with my sister.

    Archie to Ronnie: Putting my arm around you, feeling your head on my shoulder, smelling your hair — how old were you when I last did that? Twelve, thirteen?

    Ronnie speaking to her cousin Ben in 2008: When I was your age [twelve], I let my dad walk all over me and there’s not a day goes by when I don’t regret it.

    Ronnie: My dad’s tried to control me my whole life.

    Roxy to Ronnie: You’ve always been the same. You don’t talk about your feelings. Growing up — boys, all that stuff, you never spoke about any of that.

    Archie: I’m not saying I didn’t make mistakes, but I always did what I thought was right at the time.

    Archie: What I did in the past, I did for the best — or what I thought was the best.

    Archie: As soon as you hit thirteen, everything changed. One minute I’ve got a daughter I adore, I dote on, who dotes on me. Next thing, she’s answering me back, lying, turning against the one person who tried to do everything for her.
    Ronnie: Just because I wasn’t doing exactly what you said for the first time in my life.

    Archie: Do you know what it’s like being a parent, eh? You put all your love, all your hope into this little thing, you’d do anything for them, and then to watch this child, this little person who felt like a part of yourself, become something separate and then, without the slightest regard for your feelings, shine that light on somebody else.
    Ronnie: That’s normal, isn’t it? Isn’t that normal? That’s growing up.
    Archie: Selfish, callous indifference, undermining me at every turn — it’s not normal!

    Ronnie: We may not have been the happiest family in the world, but it wasn’t that bad. It was normal.
    Glenda Mitchell: Normal — the way your father was with me? The way you girls were with me? Do you remember how you both used to speak to me, Veronica? You hardly bothered speaking to me at all.
    Ronnie: That’s not true. That was Roxy.
    Glenda: I was a speck of dirt on your shoe. You both saw how your father treated me and you copied him.
    Ronnie: We were just kids.

    Archie on his watch: You and Roxy gave me this for my birthday, do you remember?
    Ronnie: Yeah, of course I remember. You used to leave it in the hall on the table as a sign.
    Archie: What do you mean — a sign?
    Ronnie: That I was in trouble. Then you’d make me wait a day, maybe two, sometimes for as long as a week, and then I’d get it. My punishment. You’d refuse to do something, take me somewhere, somewhere that I really, really wanted to go.
    Archie: It’s not easy being a parent, Veronica.
    Ronnie: You were cruel.
    Archie: I was under a lot of pressure — the business, your mother. You think I’d have had an affair if she’d have been there for me? The woman was cold.

    Heather Trott: ‘I Want Your Sex’ [by George Michael] released June fifteenth 1987, reached number three in the charts.

    Ronnie: Everybody tells lies. You don’t admit you’ve told a lie because then you’re lying — even good girls, especially good girls. It’s like a habit. It’s like second nature. It comes with learning to swim. The South of France is lovely though, isn’t it? You see, you don’t make a scene. "You don’t make a fuss. Good daughter. And if it hurts, it hurts. You get on with it, for God’s sake. You find a way and you stop making it worse.” That’s the general idea. You see, lies, they pile up on top of lies and they build up on top of each other and then you get a lie and another lie and then you’ve got a wall that builds up and there’s no windows but the trick is you mustn’t panic, don’t panic, you mustn’t panic, and I ... I always ... “You let yourself down!”

    Ronnie to Roxy: Something happened when we were in France. Do you remember that holiday? I was thirteen, you were ten. Something terrible.

    Ronnie: Swimming lessons. Dad taught me to swim that year.
    Glenda: You had to learn to swim sometime, Veronica.
    Ronnie: I didn’t like it and I said I didn’t like it.
    Glenda: No you didn’t. You just clammed up and stomped about. Your age, your father said.

    Ronnie: I begged you to take me shopping with Roxy.
    Glenda: You were grounded.
    Ronnie: We were on holiday. I think you could have persuaded Dad to let me go.
    Glenda: You’d been mouthing off at me. You didn’t deserve a treat.
    Ronnie: I didn’t deserve what happened to me while you were away.
    Glenda: It was your dad. He was the one made you stay at the villa, not me.
    Ronnie: But you went along with it though, didn’t you? You did exactly what he wanted.
    Glenda: He was a monster, Ronnie. He messed me up too with his games.
    Ronnie: Games? Games? Is that what it was? You were my mother. You were supposed to protect me.
    Glenda: I was as scared of that man as you were.
    Ronnie: I was thirteen years old.

    Ronnie on Archie’s abuse: That’s when it first started to happen — when he was teaching me how to swim. He started touching me and then when we went back to the house.
    Glenda: Where was I? Why wasn’t I there?
    Ronnie: Because you called me and you told me to tell Dad that you were going to stay out with friends.

    Ronnie to Roxy: I remember you were invited to a sleepover party. So was I. I really wanted to go. I couldn’t wait to go. I remember Dad phoned them up and he said that I had a cold, that I couldn’t go because he wanted me to stay with him. I was absolutely terrified, Roxy, and I remember he bought me some sweets and we sat on the sofa and we watched rubbish on the telly and then he took me upstairs and he kissed me good-night and then he got into my bed. If I’d gone to the party, none of this would have happened. If I’d gone to the party, he wouldn’t have kissed me. He raped me, Roxy, and I couldn’t stop him.

    Ronnie on Archie: He told me he loved me. He told me that he loved me the most, that I was his special girl. He said that nobody else would understand, that they’d be cross, they’d be jealous. He said it happened because I let it.

    Roxy: Why didn’t you tell me? Why didn’t you just speak up?
    Ronnie: Would you? I thought it was my fault. He made me feel ...
    Roxy: Did you tell anyone?
    Ronnie: No.

    Peggy: Whatever happened, darling, it was not your fault.
    Ronnie: Well I didn’t stop it, did I? When you [Glenda] came back the next morning I tried to hug you, but you started shouting about the mess on the living room floor. I tried to tell you, but you were screaming about the sweet papers. Dad made me get in the car to come and pick you [Roxy] up from the party and we were waiting outside and he whispered in my ear that if I told you or if I told Mum that they were going to take me away and I would never see any of you again. And then you came out of the door, do you remember? You came out of the door and you were holding a red balloon. Do you remember the red balloon?

    Ronnie: Do you remember when I gave you that scar?
    Roxy: Well, your sister smashing a glass into your chin tends to stick in the memory, yeah.

    Roxy to Ronnie: Even when we were kids, one minute you’re nice as pie, the next minute this [points to the scar on her chin].

    Jase Dyer, looking at the scar on Roxy’s chin: Where did you get that?
    Roxy: I fell out of my fairy princess carriage.

    Roxy: Some little sisters, they get lip-gloss, they get glittery eyeshadow — not me. No, I get a lump of glass in my chin.
    Ronnie: And I’ve been paying you back for it ever since.

    Ronnie to Roxy: It was the night after the party, the night ... I did not want to be left in the house alone [with Archie] again so I hurt you to stop him hurting me, but he didn’t stop. It carried on for the rest of the week. In fact anytime we were in the house by ourselves together, he would come and find me.

    Ronnie on Archie: He came into my room every night for a week after we got back from France and it was always at the same time, always when Mum went out.

    Ronnie: The only thing that kept me going, the only thing I had to hold onto was the thought that maybe, just maybe, one day you’d come back home early, you’d open the door and you’d rescue me.
    Glenda: I would have. I would have if I’d known.
    Ronnie: And then one night he just ... he suddenly turned on me, he started shouting at me. He called me a little whore and then he said that it was my fault, that I was seducing him, I was flaunting myself in front of him, tempting him, and he said that if I told anyone he would kill me. Not that anyone would have believed me. And so I never told anyone. But I did make a promise to myself — I thought he may have got to me, but I was never ever going to let him get to you [Roxy]. So do you remember? That’s why I used to come into your room every night. I used to come into your bed and I would lie behind you and I would put my arms around you and I told you that I was always going to protect you because I was never, ever going to let him get to you.

    Roxy: My whole life, Ronnie’s been there for me and where was I, huh? Where was I when she needed me? Where was I when my dad used to sneak into her room at night? And if she hadn’t been there, it would have been my door next.

    Peggy on Ronnie: All those years of carrying that and none of us catching on. How does that happen?
    Glenda: It was different back then. Kids didn’t speak out about things, not like they do now.
    Peggy: Even so — all that happening under your roof and you not knowing.
    Glenda: She was scared, she covered for him.
    Peggy: Scared? She was terrified. Glenda, you must have seen something.
    Glenda: She was a teenager. Sometimes she didn’t even come out of her room because she’d got a spot on her face. How was I supposed to pick up on Archie doing that?
    Peggy: Maybe you didn’t want to see.
    Glenda: I knew nothing about this because I swear to God, if I had, I would have killed him.

    Roxy to Glenda: If it’s true, you’d have known about it. You’re our mum. You’d have seen stuff. You’d have noticed things. She would not have been able to hide something like this from you.

    Peggy: You knew. You knew all along what Archie was doing to Ronnie and you did nothing to stop him. You stood by and let that monster maul her.
    Glenda: I didn’t see anything.
    Peggy: You could have stopped him. You could have protected her.

    Ronnie: Mum knew. She knew the whole time. She knew what Dad was doing to me and she never stopped him.

    Ronnie: You knew. You knew all right because all the signs were there. I just never connected the dots. I could see it in your eyes. I could see that something changed because you were sharper with me and you stopped cuddling me. In fact you couldn’t bring yourself to touch me. It’s like I was contaminated. And I used to sit there and I used to watch you messing about with Roxy. You’d be cuddling her and you’d be playing with her hair and I’d be standing there wishing, wishing it was me. I wanted you to take me in your arms and tell me that it was all going to be all right, that you were going to make him stop.
    Glenda: How could I know? How could I? You were my firstborn. I couldn’t let myself think something like that.
    Ronnie: You couldn’t let yourself?
    Glenda: OK, maybe I noticed that something had changed between you and your dad, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. But the signs were there, I see that now.

    Glenda on Archie and Ronnie: I knew something was different between them but I honestly didn’t know what it was. I just had an uneasy feeling. I messed up. I should have known. I had a sixth sense. We just know when something isn’t right, don’t we? You know, don’t you? And every instinct in your body is to make it better.

    Ronnie to Glenda: You could have talked to me about it. If you had just asked me, I would have told you everything in a heartbeat, Instead you walked out and you left me alone with him.
     
  2. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    Max: You should have seen my first wedding — me and a pregnant Rachel, a couple of strangers for witnesses, and then we all went up the pub for a Ploughman’s.

    Rachel Branning to Max: You promised to love me.

    Bradley: So you weren’t playing around? You weren’t seeing other women when [Rachel] was pregnant, even when I was a baby?
    Max: I was eighteen. I was a little baby, I was a kid. I admit what went wrong, it was my fault, but that’s who I was back then.

    Rachel on Max: I had years of crap from that man.

    Max: I told a woman I was an airline pilot once.
    Darren Miller: What and you got away with it?
    Max: Always got away with it.

    Jack Branning: [That’s] the Max I remember — wandering eye, sordid affairs.

    Max: I was a mess. I got married too young, felt the pull, jumped on in, didn’t work out. I wish someone had taken me to one side, talked it all through. I loved Rachel, but when you’re that age, things change quickly.

    Rachel: Max never satisfied me. You know Max — always in a hurry. All quantity, no quality.

    Rachel to Max: You think too little of me. You always did.

    Alan: I was [eighteen] when I moved in with your mum. She had three kids. It was a huge responsibility, a bit scary really.
    Robbie: You must have really loved her.
    Alan: I did.

    Alan to Bianca: You just can't become a dad overnight. It takes time to get used to the idea of putting kids first. I had all them months when me and your mum were going out.

    Bianca to Carol: You never could apologise, could you? You slammed my hand in the door once. You never said sorry.

    Carol: I remember that time when you caught your hand. I was arguing with Alan. I shouted at you.
    Bianca: Yeah well, it was only so I’d be careful.
    Carol: You were so small and all I wanted to do ... I just wanted to kiss your little fingers.

    Carol: My daughter Bianca got in such a strop once she didn’t talk for a week and a half, but even she had to say something eventually.

    Alan: I had this ready made family, didn't I? It was what I wanted.

    Rachel Branning: I remember when I was carrying Bradley. Swelled up like a barrage balloon. People looked at me like I was an alien.

    Rachel: I remember [being heavily pregnant]. Nothing looks good.

    Rachel on herself and Max: We were young, badly suited — very badly, as it happens.

    Max: You knew me.
    Rachel: I thought I did.

    Rachel on Max: He used to say I did the best spag bol this side of Naples. Rubbish, of course, like
    everything else that comes out of his mouth.
    Max to Rachel: You could never accept a compliment.

    Rachel: Always made you feel better, didn’t it, Max? Putting me down.

    Max to Bradley: The day you were born, mate, I remember it like yesterday. Twenty four hours of labour and it was all through the night, and your mum, she passed out and they wrapped you up and they gave you to me and I held you for an hour, maybe two, just you and me and it was like a punch in the gut because I realised I could never be selfish again, that someone else meant more to me than my own miserable hide. I never forgot that, just you and me.

    Max: I remember when Bradley first came along, I didn’t have a clue. I remember picking him up, petrified I was going to drop him. All of a sudden, his head goes back and there was this matron or whatever she was, like a foghorn across the ward, “Support his head!” I wasn’t like that forever. You should have seen me a couple of days later. I was doing everything. I was doing nappies, top and tailing him, winding him. I never did drop him. Just come straight from the gut. I loved him straightaway. Just did my best for him.

    Max: I was just a kid meself when Bradley was born.

    Bradley: Ever since I was born I’ve always come second, second to your other women, your other children.
    Max: Bradley, that ain’t true.

    Max to Bradley: I’ve been saving since the day you were born. Opened an account, put a tenner in, took it from there, making sure my boy was going to be all right.

    Max on Bradley: As a baby, I loved him.

    Derek Branning: So there I am, right, staring down both barrels of a sawn off shotgun when all of a sudden, me phone goes off. Now, this is 1987. No-one’s even heard of a mobile phone in them days. I’m the only man I know who’s got one and I’ve only got one because it’s been knocked off. So I’m thinking to meself, “Who the hell is this?” The geezer’s started to get all jumpy. Anyway, I said to him, “Excuse me, mate. Mind if I get this?” So he’s looking at me all suspicious. He says, “Go on then.” So I fish out this great big brick of a thing. They used to be huge in them days. I’m trying to figure out which button to press. Turns out it’s only the Old Bill — can I come in for questioning? I said, “I’d love to, but it’a a bit difficult at the moment!”
    Jay Brown: So what happened to the bloke with the shotgun then?
    Derek: Well, I handed him the phone and said, “It’s for you!”

    Jack Branning: The Jack you used to know was sixteen years old.
    Michael Moon: Back then, you had a bit about you. You fancied yourself a bit.

    Michael: Have I ever had any trouble pulling, Jack?

    Eddie Moon on Michael: Some of his girlfriends, oh dear me. Do you remember that — what was her name — Melanie? You were fifteen. She was a punk.
    Michael: She was a goth.
    Eddie: Straight from the Addams Family she was. I’m surprised you could ever find her when the lights were out.

    Eddie: Back in the day, used to get an old washing machine drum, hammer in some staff pickets to keep it off the ground, voila — barbecue! Out in the garden in Canning Town, a few beers ...
    Max: Happy days.
    Eddie: Yeah.

    Eddie, speaking to Michael in 2011: I remember when I was your age [thirty-nine]. It wasn’t a happy time.

    Eddie: Do you remember the washing machine — barbecue in the backyard?
    Michael Moon: Oh yeah, he [Eddie] burnt everything to a crisp, this one.
    Eddie: No one complained.
    Michael: To your face.

    Max on Michael: Never stayed in touch after school.

    Max: I thought I’d seen the back end of you when you ponced off to college.
    Michael: I thought I’d try and better meself.
    Max: Did you manage it?
    Michael: Occasionally.

    Michael: It’s the story of my life — arrive, make enemies, leave.

    Derek Branning on Michael: Thought he’s be dead by now [2011]. Well, he was never cut out for life, was he?

    Michael: It’s actually quite enjoyable, hating someone. I hated my dad for years. I sort of fed off it. It was brilliant, actually.

    Eddie to Michael: You were a damaged teenager.

    Heather Trott: ‘Faith’ [by George Michael] released October fifteenth 1987, reached number two in the charts.

    Janine: Homework, a biscuit and a drink — we used to [have that after school], didn’t we? I remember doing your maths.
    Ricky: You were only four — and they called them simple equations!

    Ricky, mid-anecdote about Janine: ... so she weighed the lid down with the bricks and that was the end of Tommy the hamster. I tell you, the next year, on her fifth birthday ...
    Ryan Malloy: Ricky man, no more, no more!

    Zainab to Syed: I remember the first time that Masood’s family ever saw you. I was so proud. Daadaa and Dadi, they couldn’t stop smiling, and your aunts and uncles, they passed you around on their knees like a tray of hulva.
    Syed: I remember there was lots of kissing going on.
    Zainab: And then Pappu Masnad took you to a fortune teller. He was sat by the roadside and he had a parrot on his shoulder, and it was the parrot that told the fortune.
    Syed: What did he say?
    Zainab: It was all the usual stuff, you know, like he said that you must always love Allah and he gave you a few kalmas to read. And he said you were a lone traveller in this world and that you could never truly be known. And I gave him his five rupees and we walked away and I smiled because I knew you and I also knew that you would never be alone as long as I lived.

    Masood to Syed: I brought you up to be what you are and I’m sorry I did such a terrible job. I should have been stricter with you.

    Masood on Syed: If I’d just talked to him more, listened to him when he was a boy, made sure he was on the right path ...

    Zainab on Syed: He’s my son.
    Masood: And I’m your husband. But then I never did get equal billing, did I?

    Zainab to Masood: Ever since [Syed] was a little boy, he was brighter than you, cleverer than you, and you just couldn’t bear it, could you?

    Zainab: Syed always was very fastidious.

    Garry Hobbs: When I give up the fags that time - hard for the first couple of weeks but then after that ...
    Minty Peterson: When did you give up?
    Garry: When I was sixteen.

    Heather: My Aunty Val died of breast cancer. She was only forty-three.

    Bushra Abbasi: My sister had a spell of fainting. Turned out she had a tumour the size of a grapefruit.

    Janine Butcher: Mum dying of cancer in some stinking hospital.

    Janine: You had an affair with my dad while [Mum] was dying.
    Pat: Actually, me and your dad were never together during that time.
    Janine: So you managed to control your hormones until she was dead and buried? How very commendable.

    Lydia Simmonds to Janine: When she was ill, towards the end, that’s when your mum needed me most. I used to do her hair for her.

    Lydia to Janine on the Cancer Nurses’ Trust: They looked after your mother during the final weeks of her illness.

    Ricky: I hate hospitals. I reckon it goes back to when my mum died - having to wait in the corridor, hearing Dad crying. It was the first time I ever heard him cry, you know. [Janine] cried as well.

    Janine: My mother loved me until someone [Pat] drove her into an early grave.

    Mo Butcher: My Frank, he lost his wife, God rest her soul.

    Janine: It’s my fault that Mum died. She was never the same after she had me.

    Lydia: Any hope of [forgiving Frank for how he treated June] died when she died. All I was left with was bitterness and hatred — and me money. Oh, how he hated that!

    Mo on Frank: He didn't know if he was coming or going. I took care of him and the kids. He was the biggest kid of the lot. He never made a move without asking me.

    Janine: Do you know what my earliest memory is? It’s of my dad telling me that Mummy had gone away and that she wasn’t coming back. I thought he meant to the shops. That was the only “away” that I knew.

    Janine: I knew that he was lying, of course — about the "going away" bit, I mean — not that I could have known what lying was then. I just didn’t take it onboard that she was dead for days, weeks. It just wasn’t mentioned. And I can remember just being so angry at her for leaving me.

    Janine: When Mum died, Dad explained it to me. He said that she was very, very tired so one night she went to sleep and just didn’t wake up again.
    Ricky: He didn’t explain about her heart?
    Janine: So after that whenever I went to bed I was terrified of going to sleep in case I never woke up again. I used to count things to try and stay awake.

    Sam Mitchell: How old was you when you lost [your mother]?
    Ricky: Fifteen.
    Janine: I was four.
    Diane: I was thirteen.

    Ricky: I was fourteen when Mum died. That’s a well selfish age and you — you were so little.
    Janine: Yeah, and you had Diane. You and Diane.

    Janine: When my mum died, I wouldn’t leave Ricky alone. I followed you [Ricky] about everywhere, didn’t I?
    Ricky: She was only four. I was fourteen. I tell you, she was so annoying!

    Janine on June: I hardly remember her.
    Lydia: Well, you were only four when she passed.
    Janine: That’s what you get for being an afterthought, I suppose.

    Joan Garwood to Janine: The last time I saw you, you were really tiny.
    Diane Butcher: Was that at Mum's funeral?
    Frank Butcher: Yeah, it was.

    Janine: I never got to go to my mum’s funeral. They said I was too young to understand, but I wasn’t and I can remember Ricky, Diane and Claire all being allowed to go and thinking that somehow it meant that she loved them more than she loved me.

    Lydia to Janine: I wanted you to come to the funeral, but he [Frank] wouldn’t have it. He said you were too young, that it would upset you. I said to Frank, “Who’s going to look after Janine while we’re all at the funeral?” And he said, “Oh, I’ve got this friend I was thinking of asking.” I said, “Is it a woman?” And that’s when he stopped fiddling with his spectacles, which was always a sure sign.
    Janine: Pat.
    Lydia: Yeah well, she didn’t come. He backed down. I’d have killed him if he hadn’t.

    Lydia: A mother shouldn’t have to bury her daughter.

    Diane on her mother: I felt she cheated me somehow. I went off to school as if nothing had happened. Then it hit me one day. I'd made some stupid thing. I knew she wouldn't be at home. No-one to laugh at it.

    Ricky to Frank: When Mum died, it was all arrangements — keeping you going in work, what you were going to do with your life — and we, we just tagged along.

    Ricky: When my mum died, I went completely off the rails. If it hadn’t been for my dad — he noticed it and he sorted me out.

    Ricky on his mother’s death: I didn’t think I was going to cope, but I did. I’m not saying it was good. It was awful, but the funny thing is after a bit, it don’t matter so much. No, that’s wrong — it does matter, it’s just that then it becomes part of you and then you sort of can’t remember how it was before.

    Claire Butcher, Janine's sister: You used to come and sleep in my bed, remember?
    Janine: I don't remember anything, except for wishing that [Mum] would come back.

    Barry Evans: Who taught you how to swim?
    Janine: My dad, at the Ocean Hotel in Marbella.
    Barry: Holiday?
    Janine: Yep, I couldn't have been more than four. It was just after my mum died. I think my dad took us there to help us get over it. Anyway, Ricky and Diane were on the water slide and I remember I was really jealous so I badgered my dad and he got up extra early to give me lessons. We had the pool to ourselves. I remember him letting me go, bit by bit. It must have been so hard for him, thinking about it. Three kids and no wife. Anyway, by the end of the week I was splashing around on my own and then my daddy said I could go on the slide.
    Barry: Bet you were well excited, weren't you?
    Janine: Well, Ricky and Diane were bored of it by then so they were off messing about with some other kids.
    Barry: You were left all on your own, you poor little thing.
    Janine: Hardly. I marched straight up to my dad and I told him to go and make the bigger kids like me. Do you know what he said? "Janine, I'm trying to get a suntan!"

    Janine: I have been lonely for always.

    Janine: My dad was never around.

    Diane on Frank: Ricky and Janine, they were always his favourites. He was glad when Claire left home.

    Janine: Claire always was your favourite, wasn't she?
    Frank: That's not true, darling.
    Janine: Or was it Diane? Or maybe Ricky. Because, Dad, it certainly wasn't me.

    Michael Moon on himself and Janine: We’re so similar in so many ways. We’ve got this messed up childhood where we were wondering if anybody loved us enough.

    Ricky on Janine: She always was a good actress. She could always turn the tap on when it suited her.

    Ricky: Oh come on Janine, this is me, your brother, the one you used to share a bath with.

    Janine: My dad was always too busy for parties when I was a kid.

    Janine to Ricky's son Liam: I'm not very good [at football] because I didn't get much practice. Your dad was always out with his mates and my dad was always too busy getting rich to play games.

    Janine: There were plenty of tarts lined up ready to sink their claws into my dad but none of them matched up to [June]. They all pretended to be nice — you know, buy me ice cream when my dad was about and that — but as soon as he left for work, they just changed. Nobody wanted Daddy’s little princess cramping their style.

    Diane: I sort of took over — looked after my dad, Ricky, and Janine before she went to Claire's.

    Frank: After June died, I didn't exactly win any merit badges for being a great dad. For instance, as soon as my youngest daughter [Janine] was invited to stay with my eldest daughter [Claire], I jumped at the chance.

    Janine: Nobody's ever wanted me, not even my dad.

    Lydia: I wanted you to come and live with me. When it was being discussed, Frank said, “I can’t run a business and look after a four year old.” So I said, “I will.” I begged him, even though the words stuck in my throat, because I wanted it, I wanted it so much. I wanted you. If I’d had a little girl to look after, things might have been ...
    Janine: So you mean when I was living with Claire, I could have gone to you instead?

    Claire to Janine: Have you ever thought what it was like for me? When I should have been out enjoying myself having fun, what was I doing? Wiping your snotty nose.

    Janine: I have been treated like nothing but a little nuisance ever since I was a kid.

    Pat Evans to Claire: You were old enough to cope when your mother died, but [Janine] was just a little girl. She needed support, she needed stability and she didn't get it.

    Frank on Diane: She used to look after that house all on her own. I used to get terribly worried about her getting old before her time, but I tell you this — there's no way I could have managed without her.

    Ricky on Diane's cooking: She had this vegetarian bit once. All funny beans and green stuff. It was horrible.

    Frank: We used to muck in together, didn't we? You remember my first attempt at Yorkshire pudding?
    Ricky: Talk about Nightmare on Elm Street.

    Joan on Mo Butcher: Last time she came up [to Colchester], I was struck by how old she looked.

    Minty on Garry: He ain’t mastered the French lingo. Failed his CSE.

    Garry: I might only have three CSEs, but I can win a teddy bear virtually at will — one of the few benefits of a misspent youth — because when I was a young lad, I was banned from [Brighton Pier]. I knew all the dodges, didn’t I? I was putting them out of business.

    Frank on Janine: She never had a teddy bear, not even when she was a little girl.

    Nigel: I've got very painful memories about hoovering, ever since that hassle with Mum's canary.
    Phil Mitchell: Yeah well, most people clean the cage out properly, don't they — take the old stuff out, put the new stuff in — but you ...
    Nigel: I thought it would save time. My mum loved that bird.

    Kathy: You always lived with your mum?
    Nigel: Yeah. I just couldn't bring myself to leave the old girl. Murder, she was. Couldn't let me out of her sight for more than five minutes. Played havoc with me love life. Course, I was her one and only. That made it worse. Still, she cooked a good tea, I'll say that for her.

    Shelley Lewis: Never married?
    Nigel: No.
    Shelley: No lovers?
    Nigel: Not really. Magic moments, plenty of those, but no one actually living in. I couldn't really, not with me mum always being there.

    Billy Mitchell on pulling women: We had no fear when we was younger, eh? Cast out twenty hooks a night, bound to get one bite.

    Nigel: All those years I spent looking for the perfect someone, I never thought I'd get that lucky. Not me, not Nigel Bates.

    Billy: I never imagined it could be me walking up the aisle, beautiful girl on me arm, settling down and that. That's just like fairy stories that happen to other people.

    Billy: I used to go walking sometimes in the streets in the winter. I'd look in the windows of the houses, see people in there, you know — families watching telly, just getting on with their lives. I was sort of outside of all of that. Maybe it was something to do with being in the kids' home, but I used to get this feeling, it was like an ache in the pit of my stomach, because all I wanted was to be in the window with the family with the light on. All I wanted was to belong.

    Minty Peterson: I always wanted kids, but I never thought it was ever going to happen.

    Nigel: I went out with a bird once [with] huge bulgy eyes.

    Billy: I went out with this bird, this girl, once. She was really, really odd looking so I goes to her one day, "You know something, you should get your portrait painted." She goes, "Really? Who by?" And I goes, "Picasso."
    Little Mo: That's cruel, that is.
    Billy: Nah, she took it as a compliment.

    Grant Mitchell on Nigel: He took this girl, Janice Horton, out for six weeks. Never laid a finger on her. He said he respected her too much.
    Sam: I think that's really nice.
    Grant: Janice Horton didn't think so.

    Nigel, speaking in 1994: I proposed to a bird once. Remember that bird from Southend, the one with the legs, whatsername - Sophie something?
    Phil: From the amusement arcade?
    Nigel: That's her.
    Grant: She weren't much of a looker, was she? Even the tide wouldn't take her out.
    Nigel: She was all right.
    Phil: And you proposed to her?
    Nigel: Yeah.
    Grant: And she turned you down?
    Nigel: Not exactly, no. She said she'd think about it.
    Phil: That was seven or eight years ago.
    Grant: So she's still thinking about it?
    Nigel: No. She moved away. I lost her address.

    Nigel: I went out with a nurse once. Left me for one of her patients. Sally, that was her name.
    Grant: What, the nurse?
    Nigel: No, the patient. Nurse's name was Andrea.
    Kenny Fraser: She ran off with another bird?
    Nigel: Yeah. They got married and moved to Godalming. I've still got her stethoscope.

    Hazel Hobbs: I did apply to be a nurse once, only I can’t stand the sight of blood.

    Nigel: I remember the best stag night I ever went to. They had this girl — well, woman really — and she was wearing these balloons. All sizes, different colours. And then we all got given these drawing pins and —
    Grant: Yeah, I think I get the idea.
    Nigel: No, no. You had to be there. It was all really tasteful.

    April Branning: Last time I saw you, Sonia, you must have been about two.

    Bianca Jackson on April: I ain't really had much to do with her since she went abroad.

    Carol Jackson on her sister Suzy: She's been up north all these years.

    Billy: I’ve never been north of Sheffield.

    Bradley Branning: I had a great aunty who came from the north.
    Bert Atkinson: Oh aye? Where was that then?
    Bradley: Chesterfield, was it?
    Bert: Listen, soft lad, Chesterfield is in Derbyshire and Derbyshire’s in the Midlands. Midlands is not in the north.

    Irene Hills to Sarah: You didn't used to believe there was any such place [as Grimsby]. "Who'd call a place Grimsby?" you'd say.

    Garry Hobbs: I went to the north once. It was shut.

    Roxy Mitchell: I went to the countryside once and it was shut.

    Kevin Wicks: I’ve been up [north] - got wet, got bored, got out.

    Derek Branning: I broke into a van for the night once. Woke up in Dundee.

    Heather: ‘Father Figure’ [by George Michael] released December the fourteenth 1987 - George’s first single never to reach the Top Ten.

    Ted Hills on his marriage to Irene: I was very jealous. I accused her of having affairs even before she'd had any. I wanted to know where she'd been, who she'd been with, and then when that didn't work, I started to undermine her. I'm not proud of that. I did it because I loved her.

    Sarah Hills to Ted: Mum said you needed [psychiatric] help.

    Ted on himself and his son Tony: We've never seen eye to eye.

    Tony Hills to Ted: All my life, when something good come along, it was always, "What will Dad do when he finds out?" You spoil everything.

    Tony to Ted: I think I've always known that I was [gay]. I just couldn't admit it to myself and I was afraid that you'd hate me.

    Sarah: I've always wanted things to go right between me and Dad, but they never have. He's just always been really overprotective.

    Sarah: Dad always said we [Sarah and Irene] were like twins.

    Cora Cross: I knew a woman once. She had three sets of twins in three years. She used to take them out walking on leads. It was the only way she could control them.
    Sharon: Leads? No — reins!
    Cora: No, I mean leads. Her dad ran a pet shop and they all had dogs leads and collars.

    Irene: Tony always liked a proper cooked meal in the evenings.

    Irene to Sarah, mid-anecdote: You were a right little madam. Tony was scared stiff. You didn't turn a hair, not even when ...

    Dennis Rickman: I fell through the ice once. I bunked out of a home and met some mates of mine down the park. We played football on the ice with a mop head. It was pitch black and there was this little island in the middle and they dared me to get on it. Even back then, I didn’t care. I could feel the ice giving way as I got closer and suddenly, it went — crack. I tried to climb out, but it kept breaking up. That was the scariest bit really — that everything you thought was solid wasn’t.

    Babe Smith: Your dad [Mick] stole a Christmas cake once. I spent hours icing it — little reindeer, everything. He scoffed the lot. I never said anything. Tell that boy off? He’d tear the house down!
    Nancy Carter: What, did you just let him get away with it?

    Babe: Made him his own special little cakes for a year after that. Poor lad was never off the toilet.

    Lorraine to Joe: Remember that time I baked the Christmas cake, the square one, and you bit all the corners off because you reckoned it wouldn't matter once it covered with icing? I was so mad with you that I clipped you one round the ear, and you cried and you ran away. No one could find you. We had all the neighbours out and everything. I was so worried. We were just about to phone the police when your dad found you hiding behind the dressing table in our bedroom. I was so angry with you, but I was so glad that you were safe. I hugged you till I thought I'd burst.

    Lorraine to Joe: Do you remember those Garfield [slippers] I bought you at Christmas that year?

    Irene: I've never really been into [Christmas].
    Sarah: You were once — stockings by the bed.

    Janine Butcher: Every Christmas I can remember — a whole bunch of relatives that you don’t even like, certainly don’t want to spend any time with, tatty crackers and paper chains and that fight, you know - who’s going to sit on the kitchen stool and who got the pouffe from the lounge. For years, Ricky ate his Christmas dinner with his chin on the table.

    Shirley Carter: A false alarm — it happened with all three of my [pregnancies].

    Shirley on Dean: I’m not his mum. I’m just someone who gave birth to him.

    Pat Evans to Shirley: You are nobody’s mother. You just happened to be there when [Carly and Dean] were born.

    Shirley: I stuffed up with my kids.

    Kevin Wicks on Shirley’s son Dean: Who’s been there for him, eh, every single day of his life? Me.

    Shirley: [When] you two [Carly and Dean] came along, I had absolutely no time to myself. I felt like the walls were closing in and I wanted out.

    Kevin: You think I was happy, being landed with two kids? Most men would have disappeared as soon as a kid came along that weren’t theirs. I didn’t. I cared for you like my own. I was trying to protect you.
    Carly Wicks: We never asked you to stay. You had a choice.
    Kevin: No, I didn’t. I was forced. I never asked to be your father. I had no choice.
     
  3. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    1988

    Roxy Mitchell: The last book I read was probably the photo stories in My Guy Annual, 1988.

    Danielle Jones: My brother’s called Gareth. My mum had a thing for the bloke in the coffee ads.

    Little Mo: Remember the Easter Egg Hunt? I was always useless. Mum used to give me little slips of paper with clues on.

    Kat: My dad used to secretly eat the back halves of our [Easter] eggs and then pad them out with foil so that we wouldn’t notice.

    Heather Trott: ‘One More Try’ [by George Michael] released April the twentieth 1988.

    Heather on the Eurovision Song Contest: I haven’t missed one since 1988.

    Minty on Eurovision: When did Switzerland win it and with what song?
    Heather: That would be 1988, ‘Ne partez pas sans moi’ by Celine Dion.

    Derek Branning on his son Joey: I’ve missed more than his first steps over the years.

    Carol on Alan: He's always been there when [Bianca] needed someone. He's put food in front of her. He's been a father to her and a good one.

    Robbie: Alan was more of a dad to us than anyone.

    Jean Slater on Sean: He was a boy and a half when he was small. Do you know, once he ran off because I didn’t bring home the right sort of sweets? That was before [Stacey] were born. I searched everywhere. Frantic, I was. I found him in the end in the playground down the road, sitting on the swings in the pitch dark.

    Masood Ahmed to Syed: You always liked the swings. Do you remember that little park by the red house? “Just one more push, Dad, please!” You always wanted to go that little bit higher. I wasn’t much more than a boy myself. I was always terrified you were going to let go of the swings.

    Robbie to Sonia: You used to love playing on the swings when you were little. I was always frightened you might fall off. Things were simpler then. I was the big brother with all the answers.

    Jim Branning: You've always been a bit squeamish, haven't you?
    Sonia: No, I haven't.
    Jim: What about the time you broke your tooth when you were playing football with Robbie?
    Sonia: Granddad, I was about three years old.
    Jim: There was blood all over the place. You screamed the place down.

    Carol: The number of times I’ve had to get in-between Robbie and Sonia when they were kids.

    Jim to Sonia: You was a lovely little girl.

    Jim: Never got a peep out of you when you was a nipper.
    Sonia: Yeah well, with Bianca and Mum, it was like a bleeding war zone in our house.
    Jim: You were always the sensible one.
    Sonia: I had no choice, did I?

    Carol: Sensible was never my strong point.

    Jack Branning: Sensible was never really my strong point.

    Sonia: When I was little, all I got at a birthday party was a bit of cake in a napkin.

    Bianca to Carol: Do you remember my party when that little girl gave me the red balloon and I just let it fly away?

    Carol: I remember me and my mum making you a costume for your school’s fancy dress. You insisted on going as a bunch of grapes.
    Bianca: Oh, yeah!
    Carol: So we blew up all these green balloons and sewed them onto your T-shirt, only by the time you got to school they’d all popped or deflated so you just had a load of saggy balloons hanging out of you.
    Bianca: That was the worst fancy dress costume ever. I had a proper tantrum.

    Archie Mitchell: Balloons, fizzy pop, ten sorts of crisps, banners, cakes, pass the parcel — it took a couple of years but in the end, we had perfected the children’s party.

    Glenda Mitchell on Ronnie and Roxy: I spoilt them rotten as children.

    Roxy: We have been spoilt.
    Ronnie: Tell me you’re joking!

    Roxy on her birthday parties: We used to have the whole class. Little cakes with icing, musical statues and that Kevin Linsel got his head stuck in a chair under the dining table. Blind man’s buff, water balloon fights until Ronnie concussed that David whats-his-name in the garden.

    Kat: The only animals we had at parties when I was a kid were nits.

    Sonia: Every birthday cake, me mum used to say to me, "Blow the candles out and when you do, make a wish,
    but you can't tell no-one because it might not come true." I [used to] ask for a pony.

    Robbie: When I was younger, I always wanted [a toy race track].

    Hazel Hobbs to Garry: You always wanted one of those American T-shirts with “I Heart New York” across it, but I never did get you one, did I?

    Bianca: I remember when you were giving up [cigarettes]. You were awful to live with.
    Carol: I know. That's when I was pregnant with Billie. Alan nagged at me so I did.

    Jean to Stacey: I went off sweet things when I was expecting you.

    Jean: The trouble with Stacey is she forgets I carried her around for nine months, not the other way around.

    Bianca: When I was a teenager, I could never understand why anyone would want to have kids. Seeing my mum churning them out one after the other — always knackered, always in a mood, always poor.

    Shirley to her daughter Carly: As a kid, you [threw] tantrums and sulks.

    Ronnie, speaking to Roxy in 2008: What are you going to do, Rox? Are you going throw yourself on the floor, are you? Bang your little heels? You going to pout until you get what you want? That may have worked when we were kids.

    Archie on Roxy: She used to [put her fingers in her ears and sing] as a kid.

    Roxy on Archie’s antique fountain pen: He used to write all his letters with it. Said it had the personal touch. He was a scribbler. I always wanted to use [it] when I was a little girl and Dad would never let me.

    Glenda Mitchell: Always had a crayon in you hand when you were a little girl.
    Roxy: Wasn’t I mainly redecorating the hallway?
    Glenda: Oh, I hated that wallpaper anyway.

    Roxy: I used to go off all the time [as a child]. There was this old bomb site ...

    Roxy: “Poor little Ronnie. Delicate little Ronnie. Careful not to step on her fragile emotions.” I have had to tiptoe around your precious feelings my whole life.

    Archie to Roxy: You always were a thoughtful girl.

    Archie to Ronnie: You [were a] dirty little adolescent.

    Ronnie on Archie: He never approved of anything I did.

    Archie: When I look back, I honestly do not know where I went wrong. Call me a sentimental old fool, but those two girls of mine, they were just a pair of blonde-haired blue-eyed angels when they were younger, couldn’t do enough for you. God knows what happened.
    Billy: They grew up.
    Archie: No, they didn’t. That’s the problem. They just stopped listening.

    Archie on Ronnie: That’s where it all went wrong — not giving her her freedom.

    Christian Clarke: What did people [at school] think of you back then? Was it, A) Vivacious Veronica or B) Veronica Vile?
    Ronnie: B), OK? My hobbies were humiliating the girls and castrating the boys.

    Roxy on Ronnie’s control issues: She was the same even at school. She used to pack her bag the night before.
    Ronnie: I’m organised.
    Roxy: You colour-coordinated your pencils.

    Ronnie: I wanted to be just like you, trotting out one-liners, making the whole class laugh. I wasn’t exactly popular even back then.
    Roxy: Yeah you were.
    Ronnie: Whereas you — you can win anyone over can’t you? Even Melanie Cann.
    Roxy: Melanie Cann? She was a hard-faced cow with no boobs and a big gob and mascara like blue spiders' legs.
    Ronnie: Yeah but she invited you to her birthday. You were putting her down, she ended up laughing. I tried to do the same. I ended up with biro all over my new bag so I went for her. Made the whole thing a lot worse.

    Roxy to Ronnie: Everywhere I went, I was always just Ronnie Mitchell’s little sister and never quite as good. I borrowed your black pencil skirt and I bust the zip by accident because I just wanted to see what it would be like to be you. I wanted to be you, you silly mare. I didn’t do cross country because I liked it, Ronnie. I did it because I wanted sexy legs. Did I ever come first? No.

    Karen, Ronnie’s classmate: You always said you hated [school], the few times you were actually there anyway.

    Kim Fox, speaking to Jordan Johnson in 2010: Anytime you want to get out of biology, you just fake a migraine. Worked for me enough times.

    Kim: When my school had asbestos, yeah, I was out with my mates having fun.

    Ronnie to Joel Reynolds: I remember you at the school disco. You used to dance like a performing seal! That was in my Madonna phase. You always used to tease me because I wore those bangles and I rattled all the time.

    Roxy: I had a pair of lace gloves. Ronnie nicked them.
    Dr Al Jenkins: And how did you ever forgive her?
    Roxy: I burnt her legwarmers.

    Shirley on Tina: Always did have bad taste. Used to wear shell suits and legwarmers.

    Cora Cross on Tanya: Lace fingerless gloves, little black mini-skirt, leather, all topped off with a bright orange perm. Suddenly, this flash of orange comes tearing out the chemist, Tracey, her best mate, legging it behind her. The security guard’s a big fella and he comes huffing and puffing ...
    Lauren Branning: So they were nicking stuff?
    Cora (sarcastically): No, she was working in a charity shop. So, anyway, she realises the security guard hasn’t got a chance in hell of catching up with them so she jumps on this bench, lifts up her top and flashes him, right there in broad daylight. The look on her face, cocky little ... That’s until she clapped eyes on me. I give her a wink, just to let her know what she was in for later. Should have seen her jaw drop.

    Lauren describing Tanya: So there’s this girl, she’s about thirteen, gobby as hell. We won’t dwell on the bright orange perm. One night, her and her mate Tracey thought it would be hilarious to reenact 'The Exorcist' for her little sister Rainie. So they waited until she thought everyone had gone out and started moving stuff about. Well, Rainie got so worked up, she started screaming her head off. Five minutes later, the police turn up to find the girl with the bright orange perm holding a pack of peas to an eye that her sister had just punched.
    Tanya: They were not amused. “Time-wasting is a very serious offence, Miss Cross,” apparently.

    Ronnie on schoolmate Lee Thompson: [He was Joel Reynolds’] best friend. Those two were never apart. Him and Joel were such big mates.

    Lee on his secret love for Joel: It was all pretty hopeless anyway, especially once he’d fallen into [Ronnie’s] clutches.

    Ronnie: Do you remember that fancy dress party when Sarah Clarke came dressed as a gooseberry?
    Joel Reynolds: You looked fantastic that night.
    Ronnie: I was dressed as a wicked witch.
    Joel: I just remember you being the prettiest girl there.

    Ronnie: Do you remember the first time we kissed? Twenty-first of July, 1988. Jessica Hughes’ fourteenth birthday party.
    Joel: Glenn Medeiros was number one.
    Ronnie: Do you remember our first dance? I was so nervous I couldn’t stop shaking.

    Ronnie: Me and Joel, it was first love. It was never going to last.
    Roxy: You two were crazy about each other.
    Ronnie: We were just kids.
    Roxy: Joel was a fit bloke.

    Lee to Ronnie: You always did get the best looking blokes.

    Roxy: You and Joel always sneaking up the pavilion. You left me with Gina Langley and her dolls.

    Ronnie: You used to have a motorbike at school.
    Joel: Did you ever go on it?
    Ronnie: All the time! I bought my own helmet. Don’t you remember? It had flames on the side. It was really cheesy. That bloke in the bike shop sold it to us.
    Joel: No no no. That was my helmet. You never went on that bike because you was too scared.
    Ronnie: I spent most of my summer on that bike! It was the best time of my life.
    Joel: There were things about that summer that I’ll never forget.
    Ronnie: I guess you must have had a lot of girls on the back of that bike.
    Joel: Not really. Stopped working in the end. I just stuck it in the garage.

    Amira Shah: I’ve never ridden a bike.

    Ronnie: Me and Joel, we get talking, Dad appears — end of discussion.

    Garry Hobbs: Don't knock Skegness. I had the best holiday ever there.
    Mark Fowler: I'm not, but you were seventeen and with half a dozen of your mates, and I don't think [everyone] rates a holiday by how many times you can puke up on the pavement.

    Ronnie on herself and Joel: I used to think that we were Romeo and Juliet. It was us against the rest of the world and we’d always talk about how we’d run away as soon as I was sixteen, where we’d go, what we’d do. And then I got pregnant.

    Archie to Joel: You’re the spotty little oik that knocked up my fourteen year old daughter.

    Ronnie on getting pregnant: What a stupid cow I was.

    Ronnie: As soon as I was old enough to have a mind of my own, you couldn’t stand it.
    Archie: Mind of your own - flipping on your back for some spotty oik, getting pregnant? Yeah, great choice. Smart move.

    Ronnie: I was fourteen and I bunked off French to do a [pregnancy] test in the school toilets. My hands were shaking so much I could barely do it and when it finally came up positive I remember feeling more afraid than I’d ever felt in my whole life.

    Ronnie on being pregnant: The mood swings, the morning sickness.

    Ronnie: My life would have been much better if I’d had an abortion.

    Tanya: I can’t believe how bad my taste in music was when I was a teenager. I thought I was a right old rebel, smoking and going after bad boys. I didn’t care about anyone else.
    Lauren Branning: Except your dad.
    Tanya: Yeah well, I suppose rebelling took my mind of just how poorly he was.

    Cora: All those years as a kid, off your head on drugs, stealing.
    Tanya: I didn’t realise how hard it was for you.
    Cora: We all had it hard, darling.
    Tanya: The sleepless nights, the drugs, the boys, the drink.
    Cora: It’s all part of growing up.
    Tanya: You were a good mum to us, you know.

    Cora: My husband had cancer. I went back and forth to the hospital with him. He was a proud man, a fighter, but every time, after he’d come out of the treatment, he lost a little bit of fight. I’d take him home, I’d make him comfortable and tell him to keep going. Some days he said yes, some days he said no. And we’d cry and we’d row and we even prayed, and then we’d go back, and little by little, he was wilting. And I didn’t realise it, but I was fading with him. And then, I gave up. I turned my back on him, not that it was him anymore. I couldn’t be with him. I couldn’t stand to be with him.

    Tanya to Cora: You might have been there for Dad in the good times, Mum, but what about when things weren’t so good, eh? Where were you then? Where were you when he was ill? I’m the one who had to sit there day in, day out, watching him writhe about in agony. Where were you, Mum? Out getting wasted, out having fun, going to parties.

    Rainie to Cora: You wanted to help Dad at the beginning, but not at the end, no. Once it started getting nasty, all you did was hide yourself inside the bottle.

    Cora to her daughter Rainie: By the time your dad was diagnosed, he was already terminal. He was always going to die.

    Tanya on cancer: I’ve been around it. I’ve seen what it’s like. Disease doesn’t just destroy the body. It rots a marriage as well. It takes all that love and it turns it into politeness and resentment. I’ve seen it. I’ve seen it with me mum and dad.

    Cora: You didn’t understand my marriage.
    Tanya: Yes I did. I grew up in it.

    Cora: Whatever you may think of me, I never cheated on your father.
    Tanya: How do we know, Mum? You were never there, were you? You were always out, weren’t you, night after night, getting off your head. We were there, left to pick up the pieces. It was me sat by his bed every night, there to wipe the sweat off his face at three in the morning. His last days, Mum — that was me, me. Where were you? Running away. Anytime you spend at home, Mum, you could hardly look him in the eye, you felt so much pity for him, you were so disgusted by him.
    Cora: I loved him.
    Tanya: You didn’t love him. Not in the end, Mum. You were disgusted by him, you pitied him. That’s what your love turned into. I saw it, Mum, I saw it and I will never forget, I will never forget the look in that poor man’s eye, withering away, knowing that the love of his life just felt nothing but pity for him.

    Tanya: The way my mum used to look at my dad, not a shred of love in her eyes.

    Cora: You don’t know what you’re talking about. You were just a kid.
    Tanya: I was thirteen years old and I knew — I knew and you knew I knew.

    Tanya: I know what it’s like to be the one that knows. I know what it’s like to be the kid worrying about a parent. It is not very nice. It’s not very pretty.

    Lauren: What about Rainie? How did she cope?
    Cora: Rainie was young.

    Cora on Rainie: We kept her in the dark. Seemed the best thing at the time.

    Rainie to Tanya: I wanted to help out, but when Dad became ill, you just kept him to yourself.

    Tanya: I used to take mental pictures [of] Dad and store them away.

    Rainie: You never gave me a chance, not once. Even when dad was ill, you never even let me have a look in.
    Tanya: Oh, you wanted a look in, did you - nursing a dying man? Yeah, you’d have loved that.

    Tanya to Rainie: I was trying to think of you, Ray. Didn’t want both our memories of Dad to be about all this.

    Tanya to the medical profession: You treated my father, pumped him full of chemicals like a load of dry cleaning. It did him the world of good!

    Tanya on her father’s treatment: It didn’t do him any good, did it?

    Cora on William: He had a good innings. He didn’t suffer that much.
    Tanya: I was there every night right till the end. You don’t know what it was like, how bad it got, week after week.
    Cora: He had it quick in the end. He had a peaceful death. One minute he was there, next minute he was gone.
    Tanya: He didn’t just go, Mum. Dad didn’t just slip away. He was in agony. He was in pain from the minute he opened his eyes to the minute he went to sleep and in the end, even the drugs couldn’t stop it.

    Cora on William: I knew him inside out. He was my husband.
    Tanya: Did you really know him that well, Mum, in the end?
    Cora: I was there. I was around.
    Tanya: You weren’t there, Mum. You were out. You were working. You were out down the club.
    Cora: Someone had to bring the money in. He wasn’t going to, was he? We had to eat. I had to put food on the table.
    Tanya: Yeah, and a bet on the horses.
    Cora: I never did that once your dad was ill.
    Tanya: We used to find the stubs in the bin, Mum!
    Cora: Once or twice, maybe. So what? I was still a young woman with a sick husband and a couple of kids. I was scared out of my mind. Couple of drinks, the odd punt, it got me through.
    Tanya: He didn’t blame you. He didn’t. My dad, he was the sweetest, kindest man that ever lived. He used to make me feel like the most precious thing. When he was dying, I tried to make him feel the same, but it didn’t work. Being ill, Mum, it’s hard. It’s gruelling and it’s painful and it’s there, all day, all night. That’s what I learnt. Them long nights, that’s where I learnt was life was really about, Mum, by his bedside.

    Tanya on her father: It took so long for him to die.

    Tanya: You were out. He’d done this little drawing for you, you know, like he used to, of the view from his window on a little card. Then he put it on the window sill and I seen it and picked it up and looked at it and he’d written in it, he’d written, “Thanks for being such a lovely wife.” And that’s when he asked me to do it. He asked me to help him end it, put him out of his misery.
    Cora: He would never have done that, not William.
    Tanya: He was in pain, Mum. He asked me to. He wanted me to.
    Cora: And you just said yes?
    Tanya: Of course not. I fought with him and I begged him, but he was just so sweet because he wasn’t scared or angry, he was just wrung dry. So I got on the bed and we had a cuddle and he just held me like he used to when I was little, but I could feel him, Mum, I could feel his arms and his ribs. He was stick thin, weren’t he? He weren’t like a man. There was hardly nothing left of him and I remember, he put his arm round me and I could see this vein in his wrist just pulsing, this bluey green vein, and his white skin, like it was almost too much effort to pump the blood round. And I looked in his face and he didn’t look scared. He just had these kind eyes and I said I’d do it, I said I’d help him. So I put a pillow under his head and I made sure he was comfy and I gave him a little kiss on the cheek and I gave him the drugs, I did, way more than he should have had, and it was like nothing had happened. I remember the lights. I could see the lights from the flat opposite just glittering and I sat there for hours, just holding his hand. I fell asleep and when I woke up, he’d gone.

    Cora to Tanya: You killed my husband, never said a word. Cut me and Rainie out, never said a word.

    Rainie: With Dad, you’re the only one who got to say good-bye.
    Tanya: Our dad was suffering and what I did, it stopped the pain.

    Cora to Rainie: All your sister did was put him out of his misery sooner rather than later. What she did, she did out of love.

    Tanya: He loved you, right to the end.
    Cora: And I loved him, in my own way.

    Tanya on her father: He was dead before he was forty.

    Cora on Rainie: After, it was worse for her than anyone. She didn't have any warning.

    Rainie on her father: When he died, all I wished was to get one more day with him. I’d have given anything for that, but she [Tanya] took that away from me.

    Tanya: The only thing I remember about my dad’s funeral is that I was there. It took me a good month-and-a-half and a self-help book before I could even eat again.

    Cora: After Tanya’s father died, I lost myself in a bottle big time.

    Cora: My daughters [set me up on a date] once after their dad died. It was this bloke, he smoked cigarillos and drank half pints of bitter. I had to go along with it — I couldn’t let them find out who I was really seeing so what chance did I have?
     
  4. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    Johnny Allen to his daughter Ruby: When your mum was carrying you, maybe eight months in, something happened to [Johnny’s elder daughter] Scarlett and, well, at first we just thought it was a cold, but the next day she was really burning up so we took her to the doctors and I knew as soon as I saw his face that it was bad. It was meningitis. We could have all had it — me, you, your mum. I thought I was losing everything I'd ever loved. With your mum pregnant, we just couldn't take the chance. She went to stay with her sister, Aunty Bernie, and I went back to the hospital, sat with Scarlett. The only things I can remember are Scarlett lying in her little bed, crying and soaked in sweat like she'd gone fifteen rounds, and the corridor outside where the pay phone was, phoning your mum twice a day, telling her how Scarlett was, asking how you and she were. And then I'd shuffle back to Scarlett’s room and sit with her, feeling totally useless. She fought back and every day she got better and better, and every day I'd go down to the phone and call your mum.

    Alan Jackson: When Billie came along, me own kid, well, I couldn't have been happier.

    Bianca on Billie: He was born in 1988.

    Carol on herself: A “4x4” — four kids by four different fathers.

    Max on Billie: What happened, Carol? Did you drop him on his head when he was a baby?

    Carol: When Billie was born, we went out for a drink together to celebrate. We couldn't afford much, just a couple of halves each. [Alan] wasn't working. We sat in this pub. It was nothing special, but it was the best place in the world. We didn't say a lot, but after a while he kissed me and he said, "We fit, me and you, don't we? We fit together."
    Bianca: That's beautiful.
    Carol: Yeah, I thought so.

    Stacey Slater: When’s your [birthday]?
    Ruby: 20/10/88

    Johnny to Ruby: I remember the day that you were born. It was probably one of the best days of my life, and nearly one of the worst. I phoned [Ruby’s mother] and your Aunty Bernie said that your mum wasn't there. She'd gone to the hospital because you were on the way. I went back to Scarlett’s room to tell her, but she wouldn't let me go. She just clung onto me.
    Ruby: She must have been terrified. What was she then — two, three?
    Johnny: Two and a half. Anyway, I stayed with her and I held her hand and I told her a story. Well, she soon fell asleep then! Hurts your pride a bit when your kids doze off on you. I went back to the phone and I called the hospital this time and, well, it was too late. You'd already been born. I'd missed everything. I was King of the World as I was walking back to Scarlett’s room — my eldest was on the mend, a new life in the family. I didn't notice all these people running by me, shouting. Scarlett was choking. Her temperature had shot up. She was gasping for breath. People were swarming all over her, shouting out stuff, stuff I didn't understand. She was all right. It was a sort of turning point — kill or cure, if you like — but it was still a couple of weeks before they said she was safe to come home.
    Ruby: Where was I for all that time?
    Johnny: A few days in the hospital, a week at your aunty's with everyone making a fuss of you.

    Johnny to Ruby: A couple of days after you were born, I got up to go to the hospital and there was a letter for me from your mum. I opened it and there was this photograph and this [a lock of baby hair]. I put it in the palm of my hand. It was so soft, so small and perfect, I just started crying, right there in the hallway, down on my knees. I kept it on my desk for years.

    Johnny on Ruby and Scarlett’s homecoming: We thought it was nice, a good idea for the pair of you to come home together.
    Ruby: I bet [Scarlett] wasn't happy — a new face in the family.
    Johnny: She was too young to understand. She knew she was getting a new baby sister, but, well, I don't think she really took it all in.
    Ruby: So what happened?
    Johnny: Me and Scarlett arrived home first and then I remember your mum stood there in the doorway, holding you in her arms. I could hardly move towards her, I was that proud. She walked up to me and she held you out and I reached out for you and I remember being amazed that you had hair, soft fine hair just like your mum's. Anyway, I reached out for you and you started crying. I don't know if it was the fact that I was a man. I mean, you'd only known your mum and your aunty and your cousin Colleen. I don't know what it was but you were petrified of me, screamed your head off.
    Ruby: I was two weeks old, Dad.
    Johnny: It's just that I'd waited so long, just to hold you and wrap my arms around you and call you mine.
    Ruby: But I couldn't have known who you were. I couldn't even think.
    Johnny: It went on for days, weeks. You were never happy with me touching you, being around you. You just didn't like being away from your mum.
    Ruby: What about Scarlett?
    Johnny: She loved you, and you were fine with her. She knew something was wrong because she used to hold my hand when you started crying and smile at me, just like she did in the hospital, only this time it was her letting me know that things were going to be all right. Sounds pretty stupid, doesn't it? A grown man having to be comforted by his toddler. Of course, I never blamed you. It's just that, well, over the years we sort of got stuck in a way of doing things — there was me and Scarlett, and you and your mum. It wasn't intentional, it was just how it was.
    Ruby: So you did love Scarlett more than me?
    Johnny: No. I swear I never loved you any the less.

    Jean Slater to her daughter Stacey: When you were born, [it] was one of the happiest days of my life.

    Big Mo to Stacey: I remember when you were a baby and all — beautiful.

    Stacey: "Stacey Slater — trouble from the day she was born.”

    Jean to Stacey: You ruined my body. The pain I went through bringing you into the world, the agony, and the years afterwards I had with you hanging off me. The stitches I suffered. And you draining me, dragging me down, forcing your greedy little way between me and your father.

    Big Mo on Stacey: Jean had nothing ready when she popped out. I bombed it down the local garage, got Stacey this little beautiful blue teddy. She carried it everywhere, always, for years. She always stuck it in her gob. Couldn’t get it out to wash it. Ponged a bit in the end but you loved it, didn’t you, Stace?

    Heather Trott: I’ve been planning [my wedding day] since Scott and Charlene — Mummy giving me away and Shirl me maid of honour.

    Heather: I had it all planned. I was going to have this big wedding in a castle in Italy and Bananarama, they were going to be my bridesmaids, and Nick Kamen, he was going to give me away, and you should have heard Elton John’s best man speech. He had the place in stitches. It never happened though.

    Derek Branning: There are some fellas that get to be best man lots of times. Me, I never thought I'd get a go on account of me being misunderstood.

    Sean Slater to Stacey: I remember when Mum and Dad brought you home for the first time. Hated you, I hated you. I thought, “That’s it. No one’s going to give a toss about me anymore.”

    Jean on Stacey: Every waking second of every day, it's been her poisoning everything.

    Charlie Slater on Stacey: That kid never stood a chance. She's always been seen as a nuisance.
    Big Mo: Yeah? And which came first - the chicken or the egg?

    Stacey on her bipolar condition: Do you think this thing, do you think it’s always been in me? Do you think I’ve always had it, even when I was little? Do you think it was just sitting there waiting?
    Jean: I don’t know.

    Jean: All my poor Stacey inherited was bipolar.

    Jean: I kept Stacey’s christening gown because I hoped that one day ...

    Carol, looking at a romper suit: Billie used to have one of these with aeroplanes all over it.

    Alan: Billie [cried a lot] when Carol went back to work.

    Sonia: Billie used to cry all the time.

    Bianca: I remember thinking to meself once when Billie was screaming his head off and me mum was going mad, "I'm never going to put meself through that. No way. I'm just going to get out there and have fun and enjoy meself. Stuff kids."

    Robbie on Bianca: She never took to Alan for ages, least not till Billie was born.

    Sonia: I wasn't brilliant with Billie.

    Jim, showing old photographs to Sonia: There's one of you and [Bianca] putting little Billie in the pram. I wish I'd been about a bit more then.

    Alan: You shared a room with Sonia.
    Bianca: I shared a room with Robbie and all.

    Bianca: When I used share with Sonia, it was small.
    Tony King: What was that like?
    Bianca: Awful.

    Carol on Bianca: She never had a room to herself.

    Carol: We [got] a grant [when] Robbie and Bianca [went to secondary school].

    Bianca: We used to get [racist abuse] when we were at school.

    Kat: Who’s Terry Singlehurst?
    Bianca: She’s just this girl that used to go to my school. She had a massive crush on my stepdad.

    Bianca to Carol: When I was at school, all the boys in my class fancied you.

    Bianca on sewing: I was never any good at this kind of thing when I was at school.

    Janine Butcher: I remember my first day at school.
    Claire Butcher: I think I took you, didn't I?
    Janine: Yeah, because Dad was too busy. You know what I used to tell people? I used to say that you were my mum. But then they found out I was lying.

    Natalie Price on Bianca: I've known her since I was a kid. We met when we were about eleven or twelve or something. Then she was a real goose, all arms and legs. Mouthy, though. I was her only mate.

    Carol on Natalie: She always seemed such a nice little kid. You [Bianca] were the one with the mouth.

    Natalie: We got older. I didn't seem to get any taller and she [Bianca] got prettier.

    Natalie: I remember my school dinners. Made you want to hurl.

    Bianca, speaking in 1999: Being married ain't like we thought it would be when we was at school.
    Natalie: Yeah well, Jason Donovan wasn't available, was he?
    Bianca: Get out of it, that was you! I was in love with Luke Goss.
    Natalie: And that's better, is it?

    Natalie: I saw too much of the wrong sort of marriage with my mum and dad.

    David Wicks on his marriage: Just sort of fell apart bit by bit. By the time I realised it wasn't working anymore, it was too late.

    Lorraine Wicks to David: The amount of times in our marriage I heard you say ["I'm trying to change"].

    David on the collapse of his marriage: [It was] my fault. I was young, too young. I should have known better, but I didn't. I got bored. She wanted a family and I wanted fun, you know — clubbing, getting drunk, staying out all night, other women. One Sunday morning, I rolled in and she'd packed me bags and left them in the hall. She give me a choice, her and the kids or me freedom. In the end, it was my decision to go. I was the one who didn't want to make a commitment. I walked out and I haven't seen or spoken to them since.

    David to Joe: You was eight years old, asleep in the bed. I walked out the house without a second thought. I chose to walk out on my son. I deserted you.

    Joe Wicks: Why did you leave us?
    David: I don't know. Sometimes things just happen.
    Joe: Was it me? Was it my fault?
    David: No, Joe, no. It was nobody's fault.

    Pat Butcher: How old were the kids when you left?
    David: Joe was eight so Karen was six.
    Pat: And you turned your back on them just like that?
    David: Yeah. I know it was wrong, I should have kept in touch with them, but I wasn't ready. I couldn't handle it. Anyway, she wanted a clean break. I just knew I wasn't cut out to be a father.

    Lorraine: You didn't care for [Karen], you didn't love her.
    David: Not everything ended with our marriage, you know.
    Lorraine: You didn't make any attempt.
    David: What was best for them, eh? What would you have done if I'd have popped up every weekend to see them? You didn't want nothing to do with me.
    Lorraine: Well I wasn't the one chasing around, was I? I wasn't the one lying and cheating.

    Cindy Beale: Didn't you miss them?
    David: Yeah. To start with, I did. And then I just felt relieved that I didn't have to pretend anymore, you know, to be the loyal husband or the dutiful father.

    Lorraine on Joe: He was hurt and confused when you left, David, but he was young and I got him back on an even keel.

    David: Lorraine, when I ran out on you and the kids, you were the one that stuck it out. You gave those kids love day after day. You sorted out their problems, you stood by them. I could never do that. I ain't got what it takes.

    Lorraine on Joe: He can't have been above nine the last time he slept in the same room as me.

    Joe: We pulled through, me and [Karen].

    David to Joe: I know you were very close to Karen and you did a lot for her after I'd gone.

    David to Joe: [Lorraine] worked damn hard for you and Karen, to give you both a proper start in life.

    Joe to David: No one knew Karen like I did, especially not you.

    Lorraine to David: [Karen] stopped thinking of you as her dad a long time ago.

    David on Joe and Karen: I never saw them grow up.

    Joe: I used to think about you a lot. Always wondered, you know.
    David: Me too, me too.

    Chelsea Fox on Lucas: Mum always said he wasn’t worth it, that he left us, that he never wanted us.

    Chelsea to Lucas: Mum told me what you were like, that you didn’t even try. You didn’t want anything to do with her.

    Lucas: I used to be bad at one time, very bad, and it's taken me a long time to get out from all that.
    Chelsea: So you treated people badly?
    Lucas: Yeah.

    Dawn Miller: What you done?
    Lucas: Things I’m ashamed of, things that hurt people I cared about.

    Chelsea on Lucas: He never got in touch.

    Lucas: About Chelsea, I should have been a dad to her when she was growing up.
    Denise: She didn’t need a dad. She had me.

    Geoff Morton to his daughter Kate: You were always a soft touch.

    Geoff on Kate’s mother: You [Kate] were always her bonny little lass.

    Kate Morton: When I was a teenager, I was really spotty so I grew my hair long to hide them and I just never got it cut short again.

    Kate: The first boyfriend I ever had, Eddie Batchelor — me mum invites him round for tea and we're all sat round the table and she looks at me and she says, "Kate love, your granny's left her spare teeth in the tumbler by the sink. You wouldn't mind popping them into her room because she can't manage her cashew nuts without them." No seriously, and there was me, sixteen, trying to be all alluring. Parents — always dead set on showing you up.

    Garry Hobbs on his mother Hazel: She just doesn’t know when to shut up. She doesn’t know when enough is enough and never has. You learn as a kid, you spend more than one day or one night with her and she will show you up. I’m not just talking about spitting on a handkerchief and wiping your face in front of your first girlfriend neither. I’m talking about catastrophic. I’m talking about, “I’m in tears because she will mess it up.” Somehow, my mother will do the one thing, the very one thing that I most dread happening in the world.

    Hazel to Garry: Like I told your Uncle John in the privacy of the bedroom, “Well at least you tried.”

    Hazel on Garry’s “Uncle” John: He was a nice man.

    Garry: He was the best uncle that I ever had. Me and him, we stood in that church, waiting. Me in me suit, trussed up like a dog’s dinner, face full of acne.
    Hazel: Oh no, you was a good looking teenager.
    Garry: Yeah, me and Uncle John, waiting. Just left standing at the altar. I didn’t have the words. He was just blubbing into his handkerchief. Do you know what? That was the most embarrassing moment of my life.

    Garry on John: Took him years to get over you [Hazel]. He used to write all these great big long letters. Oh, and he’d phone the house. Of course, you was off out to sea, weren’t you? I’d come in at night off me apprenticeship, dinner for one, on me own. There’d just be this little red flashing light from the answer phone, all the tape filled up with him pouring his heart out, and his coat was still on the side.

    Kat Slater: I had silly little crush[es] at eighteen.

    Kat: Friday nights when I was eighteen, we used to go mental. Just getting ready to go out we used to have a laugh. We used to go down the pub, cider and black, and clubbing — brilliant. I loved it.

    Kat on her Uncle Harry: He come back for Aunt Vi's funeral, acted like nothing had happened. He looked at me though. For the first time, I could see he was frightened. I was eighteen.

    Kate Morton on her mother's rape: I brought it up one day, right out of the blue. She denied it flat out. I said, "Come on, Mam, don't be daft, I was there." She whacked me round the face, said I had a nasty mouth and a sick mind. In the end, we hated each other.

    Jake Moon: 'Cocktail' - it’s a classic [film] about a guy learning the tricks of a bar.
    Sean Slater: What’s that then, black and white?
    Jake: Late ‘80s.
    Sean: Yeah, same thing.

    Shirley on Tina: What was that film she used to watch on loop when she was a kid?
    Babe: The one with the kid with the leather jacket and the earring — 'The Breakfast Club'.

    Ritchie Scott, solicitor, to Ruby: Last time I saw you, you were that high.

    Peggy on Jamie Mitchell: Last time I saw him, he was in short pants.

    Jamie: I remember sitting in a pub garden once with my dad. These two scary looking blokes turned up. One of them bought me an orange juice and a packet of crisps.
    Phil Mitchell: Cheese and onion.
    Jamie: Yeah. How do you remember?
    Phil: You threw up all over me in the car on the way home.

    Phil on Jamie's father: He was a good bloke, Charlie, and everyone respected him. I wish we hadn't lost touch like we did.
    Billy Mitchell: Yeah well, wrong side of the tracks, weren't we? Least as far as your mum was concerned.

    Paul Leese on Dan Pearce, Billy’s biological son: He used to drink a lot of booze. I think it all started when he was a kid in care.

    Jamie to Phil: My dad told me about you and your brother and you're not exactly angels by all accounts.

    Phil on the Patterson brothers: Went and dumped me in it, didn't they? Back in the late eighties. It's faces like them give armed robbery a bad name.

    Jack Dalton to Phil: You always did have too much bottle for your own good. They always said you had more bottle than your brother.

    Nana Moon to Alfie: I’ve always been a bit of a goody two shoes. I’ve never been on the wrong side of the law. I had too much to lose, what with you and your dad and Spencer.

    Tyler Moon, Eddie’s son: The name's Moon, Tyler Brando Moon.
    Lauren Branning: Brando?
    Tyler: He's an old actor. Dad loves him.

    Norman Simmonds on his radio repair shop: It didn’t last long, just a couple of years.

    Norman on losing a business: Been there, done that, got the county court summons.

    Norman: My third wife left me for a midget.
     
  5. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Dream Maker

    Message Count:
    1,896
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    1989

    Jim Branning, speaking in 2006: It’s been seventeen years [since I last saw Max]. Not a minute too long.

    Carol Jackson on Max and Jack: You two hardly spoke for years.

    Masood Ahmed, speaking in 2009: I’ve driven a cab before, held a licence for twenty years, no previous convictions or accidents - well, none to speak of.

    Pat Evans, reading from a hospital report about her sister: “Joan Harris was transferred in 1989.”

    Will Passmore, manager of the Springville Residential Home, to Pat: Your sister and some of the other residents came here from a more formal care institution.

    Len Harker: They closed all the big asylums down in the eighties.

    Will Passmore on Pat’s sister Joan: She was quite a character. Her favourite thing was doing the drama workshops. She loved dressing up, entertaining the other residents. Joan was loved very much.

    Will, showing Pat a photograph: This is Joan with Michael, Joan’s husband. They married when they moved here [Springville]. She did used to talk about Patricia. She would say how much she loved her. Michael died a year before Joan. They were soul mates. Anyone who saw them together would tell you that. She was a wonderful woman.

    Pat on Joan: Where did she die — in hospital, here [Springville], where?
    Will: It was here. In her sleep. She didn’t suffer.

    Denise Fox: Do you know how many boys I had by the time I was twenty? Plus I had a two year old baby.

    Shirley Carter: Do you remember Vicky Park?
    Mick Carter: You and Kevin got me out of me nut on [cider]. How old was I?
    Shirley: Sixteen.
    Mick: No, I was about thirteen. I just remember the park keeper going insane over his marigolds.
    Shirley: Yeah well, you were watering them with your little willy at the time, weren’t you?
    Mick: Oi, oi, less of the little.

    Tina Carter on Mick: He never could handle his booze.

    Mick on Shirley: I remember her and Kevin running about on the beach, wind blowing in her hair. She never looked so happy.
    Dean: That’s because I wasn’t there, doing her nut in. I missed all the family holidays.
    Mick: You was there. And Carly and Jimbo. You must have been about one, semi-cute, you know. I remember she kept taking pictures of you in this little beach outfit and showing it to everyone.
    Dean: Shut up I had a beach outfit on!
    Mick: I’m telling you, you had a beach outfit! You didn’t have it on for long. You got ice cream down it and she had to go and wash it in the sea. I think you done it on purpose because, to be fair, you looked like a girl. She loved you. She was a good mum.

    Shirley to Dean: You always were a messy baby.

    Kevin Wicks on Dorset: I used to bring the kids down here when they were little. Of course, Carly was too young to remember our holidays down here and Deano was only a baby.

    Eddie Moon on his sons, Anthony and Tyler: When they were toddlers, you could slide them a 99 and that would shut them up.

    Sarah Hills: Why did you and Mum split up?
    Ted Hills: Let's just say we both married the wrong person.

    Sarah: [Mum] couldn't stand you controlling her life anymore, saying what she could do, where she could go. That is why she left.
    Ted: She left because she was seeing another man.
    Sarah: Because you drove her to it.
    Ted: No, because she was a slut. She always had been. That's why I wanted to know where she was going, who she was with.
    Sarah: She loved you, she loved all of us and you drove her out.

    Ted on Irene: I loved her so much I drove her away.

    Sarah on Irene: Whenever I kissed her, I used to smell [her compact powder pad] on her face. I kept it when she left.

    Irene Hills to Sarah: When I told your gran I was leaving your father, she just looked me cold as you like and said, "I'll never forgive you for this." And she never did because two months later she was dead.

    Irene on her Aunty Maureen: We had a huge fall out when I left Ted. She never forgave me for taking off like that. She thought I should have stayed and made the best of it.

    Tony Hills on Irene's Aunty Maureen: [She's] an old dragon. She's been in an old people's home for years. None of us have seen her since.

    Tony to Sarah: Mum walked out on us, not just Dad. Didn't even bother to say good-bye. You used to stand at the window looking out, hoping she'd step off a bus and walk back into the house, and when she didn't, you'd go away and cry.

    Sarah: She's my mum and I loved her. Then one day she was gone.
    Joe Wicks: It's a shock, isn't it?
    Sarah: I suppose it was.
    Joe: You don't always realise it at the time.
    Sarah: From then on, everyone just seemed to bad-mouth her.
    Joe: And you had to agree.
    Sarah: Yeah, or have them turn against me too. It made me feel ...
    Joe: Bad.
    Sarah: Yeah, because if she was bad then I must be too.
    Joe: Same thing happened to me. My mum couldn't bring herself to speak Dad's name and it made me feel all guilty.

    Irene: It was a terrible time. I'll never forgive Ted. He deprived me of those children.

    Tony on Irene: I haven't seen her [since 1989].

    Irene: I got the house when I divorced Ted. That was joint marital property fair and square.

    Kathy Mitchell to Irene: You took Ted for everything and then deserted him.

    Ted to Sarah: When your mum went, well, if it hadn't have been for you, I'd have gone to pieces completely.

    Ted on Tony and Sarah: When their mother left, there were times I felt like doing the same thing, but I didn't. I stuck by them.

    Ted to Tony: I worked hard to raise you and Sarah on my own. I had a business to run and kids to raise and it was hard, but I did it the best I could. I raised you the best I could.

    Sarah to Irene: I used to dream about you coming back.

    Natalie Price: I was upset when my mum and dad split up, but after a while you get used to it.

    Natalie: Dad left because you argued with him all the time.
    Andrea Price: I know he said all the right things, sweetheart, but it was me who had to pick up the pieces after he left. When I think of the hell that man put me through just to keep a roof over your head.

    Andrea on Natalie: I wasn't hard on her for fun. I had to be tough so that she wouldn't end up like me — a doormat, a victim.

    Ronnie Mitchell: My mum and dad were a mess, a total mess.

    Peggy Mitchell: I don’t suppose you got much support from Archie.
    Glenda: Maybe if I’ve stood up to him more and been stronger ... I got to the point where I didn’t know who I hated more, him or myself. In the end I was scared of what I would do if I stayed.

    Ronnie on her pregnancy: I was fourteen, frightened, lost.
    Peggy: Your mum, Glenda, she never said anything.
    Ronnie: She and my dad, they were splitting up so there were loads of doors banging, bags being packed. I just wanted to keep it to myself.
    Peggy: For how long?
    Ronnie: Five months.

    Ronnie: I wasn’t really showing, or at least I didn’t think I was. Then one day, we were in the middle of a conversation and she [Glenda] just stopped right in the middle of a sentence. The blood drained from her face. Well, the roof really came off then because a pregnant teenager was the last thing they needed. The next couple of months I don’t remember much. My dad was just silent, angry.

    Archie Mitchell: It’s hard being a dad. I found out my fourteen year old was five months pregnant and maybe I didn’t do the right thing by her.

    Ronnie to Archie: I made a mistake. I didn’t know what I was doing. But instead of loving me, instead of helping me through it, you used it against me.

    Archie: You were never a very great judge of what was good for you, Veronica, were you? I always had to step in — save you from Joel, save you from yourself.

    Glenda: My girls were growing up and everything they wanted, they went to Archie. I was a spare part.

    Carol: The scar on your wrist — were you unhappy?
    Glenda: I couldn’t even get that right!

    Glenda, speaking in 2010: I’m a cry-for-help girl [shows Ronnie the scar on her wrist].
    Ronnie: When? Why?
    Glenda: A long time ago. You know what your father can drive you to. And I wasn’t strong. I let you down.

    Glenda: It wasn’t a serious [suicide] attempt, not really, but it was enough to make me realise that I had to get out of there, before one of us ended up dead.

    Glenda: It made me realise I have to live my life for myself — not my girls, not Archie — for me. Three months later I walked out. I packed a small suitcase and went.

    Glenda on Archie: I was terrified of him. That’s why I left. The abuse was just ...

    Roxy Mitchell: Our dad never raised a hand to you.
    Glenda: He didn’t have to. You know what it was like. I couldn’t stand it anymore. I had to go.

    Glenda: Archie pushed me out. He made sure there was no room for me in that house.

    Roxy to Glenda: You stopped being our mother the day you went and left us to fend for ourselves.

    Ronnie on Roxy: She thinks our mum abandoned us. She escaped. If she’d stayed, that man would have put her in an early grave.

    Glenda: [Roxy] was so young when I left, but you were old enough to understand. You knew what it was like.
    Ronnie: Yeah.
    Glenda: And she was such a daddy’s girl, whereas you ... You were always more of a friend than a daughter, wise beyond your years. I knew you’d be all right when I left. You were always the strong one out of all of us.
    Ronnie: I was fourteen and pregnant. I was five months pregnant when you left.
    Glenda: If I knew anything, I knew that you would make a better job of being a mother than I did. That’s something I never never had to worry about with you because no matter how young you were, no matter what you had, boy or girl, I always knew that that child would be blessed to have you as a mum.

    Glenda on Archie: I got him out of my head all those years ago.

    Ronnie: You never looked back when you left us all those years ago, never looked back at all the mess you left behind?
    Glenda: I had to make a choice.
    Ronnie: Between yourself and us.
    Glenda: Yeah.
    Ronnie: It was that simple, was it, to put yourself before the needs of your own pregnant teenage daughter?
    Glenda: Things were more complicated than that. There are things you don’t know about, things between a husband and a wife.

    Glenda to her son Danny: Your father is a double-glazing rep called Nick Winterton. I met him when I was married to Archie. He came to quote for new windows.

    Glenda on Nick: He said he was going to leave his wife next month, once he got things sorted — always next month. And then he got a job in Scotland and took her with him. Never heard from him again.

    Ronnie on Nick: Is he the reason you left?
    Glenda: I left because I was pregnant too. [Archie] would have killed me if he’d found out.

    Glenda: I had to look out for my baby. I couldn’t let Archie turn him [against me] the way he turned you two.
    Ronnie: Even though you weren’t the only one that was pregnant? You were my mum. I was pregnant, I was fourteen, I was terrified and I needed you, you were my mum, but you had your plans. You packed your suitcase, you left, you walked out on me. What kind of person does that make you?
    Glenda: It wasn’t easy for me walking away from my girls.
    Ronnie: You didn’t have to.
    Glenda: I did. I had to give my baby a chance. It was too late for you two.

    Peggy: Ran away without a second thought.
    Glenda: Do you honestly think I wanted to leave my children? I had no choice.
    Peggy: Of course you did, but you put yourself first, Glenda, like you always did.

    Peggy: You walked out, Glenda. You walked out on them, your two girls. You are their mother and boy, did you muck up the job.
    Glenda: Have you heard about the pot and the kettle?
    Peggy: You could have taken the children with you. You could have got away from him.
    Glenda: It was too late.
    Peggy: Too late? They were your children. They needed you. How could it be too late?
    Glenda: The damage was done. He’d replaced me, hadn’t he, with her?
    Peggy: With who? With Ronnie?
    Glenda: That’s not what I said.

    Ronnie on Glenda: That is all her life has ever been — a total and utter waste. She walked out on our lives. She knew what that man was doing, she knew what he was capable of doing. She turned her back and she walked.

    Roxy: A lot of things changed after you left, Mum.

    Ronnie on Glenda: I used to lie awake at night thinking about her and I used to imagine she’d tiptoe into my room and she’d bend down and kiss my cheek and she’d whisper into my ear that she was sorry, that it was all a big mistake and that now that she was home, she was never going to leave me ever again, and I’d sit up and I’d hold my arms out and she’d hug me, she’d hold me so tight. She’d tell me that everything was going to be all right now. What a waste of time that was. The only reason my mum left is because when I needed her, when I really needed her, she didn’t love me enough to stay.

    Glenda: I should have had the courage to just stay and fight.

    Glenda on her son: I should have aborted him when I had the chance. I should have stayed with my two lovely girls. The fun we could have had.

    Archie speaking to Roxy in 2007: To this day I don’t think your mother has any real idea of the damage she did.

    Glenda: If I could change one thing in my life, just one, it would be the day I walked out on my girls. It was a terrible thing to do.

    Charlie Cotton, Jr: I never understood you could actually have a relationship where you were good to each other because my dad wasn’t a good man. I hardly ever saw him. The strongest memory I have is Quorum, his aftershave. The smell used to land on the place whenever he came home. It just meant things were going to be exactly the same. Day One - he turns up at the door, Mum shouts at him, she kicks him out. Day Two - she lets him in to talk, have a cup of tea. Day Three - he tosses a packet of crisps at me and says, “You stay downstairs. Me and your mum have got something important to do.” Day Four - he’s disappeared with whatever cash was about the place, Mum cries.

    Charlie on Nick: He’s not right. He never has been. He was always coming around, knocking my mum about, stealing her cash then disappearing without a word. He’d only come back when he had nowhere else to go.

    Charlie to Liam Butcher: When I was your age [thirteen], I was always getting into trouble — running with the wrong crowds, hurting my mum. The police round our way, they all knew me by name. I used to say it was because my dad wasn’t around. Of course, when he was around, he was useless. But then one day I realised nobody was in charge of my life except for me and if I didn’t want to be that boy anymore …

    Minty Peterson to Jase Dyer, ex-football hooligan: I saw a row once on a train, two firms. Horrible. I mean, I’m a big bloke and not a lot bothers me, but it was terrifying. There was women and kids and these two firms, all beered up, kicking and punching and they didn’t give a stuff who got in the way. Five years out of Europe because of Heysel, because they pinned you lot in to stop you from fighting on the pitch, and then what do we end up with? Hillsborough.

    Max Branning: What’s the name of that nutter when we were teenagers? Did ‘Rock Me Amadeus’.
    Denise: Terrible.
    Max: Classic. Well, it was fun.

    Carol Jackson on ‘Ghost Town’ by the Specials: Alan, Billie’s dad, used to like this.

    Roxy: I used to love this CD. [Sings:] “She drives me crazy ...”
    Patrick Trueman: I thought your generation was more into Take That.
    Roxy: No way, Patrick. I’ve always been a soul girl.

    Bianca Jackson on Take That: I never went for them myself, all them girls wetting their knickers over them.

    Ronnie on ‘Killer’ by Adamski: This is the song everyone was dancing to the last year I was [at school]. Well, everyone except Miss Bump of course.

    Christian Clarke: You’re not fourteen anymore, some dysfunctional little mouse.
    Ronnie: Excuse me, I was never a mouse.
    Christian: So you really weren’t Miss Popularity back then?
    Ronnie: Getting knocked up at fourteen? No I don’t think so. I’m the original bad girl.

    Vincent Hubbard to Ronnie: I used to be the delinquent, not you.

    Chrissie Watts: Bet you were a right John Travolta on the dance floor.
    Dennis Rickman: No, I didn't really do school discos. To tell you the truth, I didn't really do school.
    Chrissie: What did you do all day then?
    Dennis: This and that.

    Carol on Alan: He took me up to Hammersmith Palais. We used to dance our legs off.

    Linda Carter on playing netball at school: I was team captain.
    Whitney Dean: I bet you were.

    Linda: Me and Mick met at school. Never been with anyone else.

    Mick Carter to Linda: I remember the very first time I saw you. I was playing football and you were staring at me and put me right off my game because I had never seen anyone so beautiful before in my life. When you was looking at me, those big blue eyes, that was it, I was gone, because I loved those eyes.

    Mick: Did I ever tell you the time me and [Linda] got together? Geography. I lent her my best rubber and after that …
    Lee Carter: She was like putty in your hands.

    Linda to Mick: I’ve loved you since I was a little girl.

    Stan Carter to Linda: Remember you as a kid. Legs like two strings of cotton in your school uniform.

    Stan on The Jester Public House: Your childhood home. You, your mum and your dad. This pub. Perfect family.
    Linda: Perfect.
    Stan: John and Elaine, all in love behind this bar. Good pub, this was.

    Linda on running a pub: We’ve always done it ourselves [as a family].

    Stan to Linda: Thought none of us would notice, you and Mick — sitting in the corner there, heads together.

    Stan to Linda’s mother Elaine: Me and your old man once had a conversation about you. He said that of anything ever happened to him, he hoped that I’d take care of you.

    Mick: My pretty flamingo.
    Linda: The first time you called me that, neither of us had even seen one.
    Mick: I just remembered it [the song] was playing when we got hitched.

    Linda on Mick: The silly thing proposed when we were kids so we had a pretend ceremony.

    Linda: My feelings ain’t changed since I was twelve, wrapped in a sheet pretending to be Lady Di. Back of my dad’s rotten old pub, stink of stale beer and fag ends everywhere — meant just as much to me as St Paul’s would have done.
    Mick: I felt exactly the same. You have been my L since before my voice broke.
    Linda: We had the best wedding ever.
    Mick: Lemonade and smarties reception.

    Mick to Linda: What I love most about you is your kind and honest heart, and you gave that heart to me when we was kids and I’ve looked after it ever since.

    Linda: We’ve never really been married. The kids don’t know, or Stan or Shirley.
    Mick: We always said we’d do it properly one day.

    Linda: We always meant to get round to tying the knot properly one day but somehow we just never did.

    Dean Wicks: So why have you never wanted to marry Linda?
    Mick: I did. It’s just the moment’s never been right.
    Dean: You’ve never been tempted to …?
    Mick: Don’t be stupid.

    Mick: I never hid anything from you. I never have and you know that, L.

    Linda: No secrets, Mick, ever. That’s always been our pact.

    Mick: No secrets — that’s always been our marriage.

    Mick to his son Johnny: I love your mother with all my heart, but getting together with her so young — a whole lot of life we missed out on.

    Michael Moon: 6th of July, 1989 — my driving test. I passed, first time.

    Max: I never learned to drive in a thirty grand motor, did I?

    Sean Slater: When you were about six months old, I went upstairs, I grabbed your basket and I stuck you in the airing cupboard.
    Stacey: What — you just left me there?
    Sean: I just went downstairs and watched 'Button Moon'. After about ten minutes you started howling so I went back upstairs and I opened the cupboard and you looked so frightened.
    Stacey: I’m not surprised!
    Sean: I just picked you up and held you in my arms till you stopped crying. And that was when I realised.
    Stacey: What — not to stick babies in the airing cupboard?
    Sean: No, I realised it was my job to take care of you.

    Jean: With Stacey, I put teething gel on her dummy [to get her to sleep].
    Kat Moon: So you drugged her.
    Jean: No, everyone used to do that.

    Jean: The fresh air always settled Stacey.

    Jean, showing Stacey an old woollen rag: You loved that, wouldn’t go to sleep without it. The very first thing I knitted. Now, this [matinee jacket] was what I was most proud of.
    Stacey: You knitted that?
    Jean: I made it for Sean but your dad thought it looked like a girl’s cardigan. I didn’t mind, but your dad did so I kept it and you came along and you looked beautiful in it.

    Archie: Ronnie got a blanket for her baby.

    Ronnie on Joel: He said that whatever I decided [to do about being pregnant], he’d be there. My dad found out and before you knew it I was miles away having the baby.

    Joel: We had a baby, a baby I never knew.

    Ronnie: I was so young. Having that baby was the biggest mistake of my life.

    Ronnie: There was a car journey, a damp room. I couldn’t see much. There was a skylight and I could hear seagulls. And then there was this beautiful baby, a beautiful little baby girl and he took her — Dad, my dad — the one person in my life who’s supposed to protect me and he took my baby.

    Roxy on Ronnie and Archie: All I know is she got in the car, pregnant, he took her off to some relatives, and when she got back, it was all over. Ronnie’s always blamed Dad, but he was just as cut up about it as the rest of us.

    Archie to Ronnie: Watching you go into that delivery room, the look of terror in your eyes. I’d have done anything to take all that pain away.

    Ronnie: Twenty-sixth of June, that was the day she was born and the day Dad took her away from me.

    Ronnie: When I had my daughter, I got her name in my head as soon as I saw her. Maybe it’s a parent thing. I called her Amy.

    Danielle Jones, aka Amy, to Ronnie: From the very beginning you cursed my life.

    Ronnie on her baby: Before [Archie] took her away, I held her in my arms just for a few moments. I can still remember the smell of her skin. I’ve never been sure whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing, having that memory.

    Ronnie: Two hours and twenty-three minutes, that’s all I had with my Amy.

    Ronnie on Amy: She was beautiful, perfect. I remember her little hands clutching onto my finger. She had tiny little fingernails.

    Ronnie on Amy: I remember when she yawned, how her nose would wrinkle up, how she’d go all pink and blotchy. A toothless yawn with this little whine at the end.

    Ronnie on Amy: I didn’t want to let her go and maybe if you’d been there, Mum, maybe I wouldn’t have had to let her go.

    Danielle: Did you ever sing to [Amy]?
    Ronnie: Sing? No, I don’t think so.

    Ronnie: I was fourteen and I was a mess. Lullabies were the last thing on my mind. When I went into hospital I had this radio with me and I had it on all the time. I had it on during labour, I had it on all the time afterwards and it was summer and they kept playing this song over and over again [‘If I Could Turn Back Time’ by Cher]. How could I sing a lullaby when the radio was switched on? I never sang to her.

    Ronnie: It was my dad’s idea to get Amy adopted - you know, get rid of the shame.

    Archie on Ronnie: I can still hear her screaming and yelling at me.

    Archie to Ronnie: I seem to remember you spitting at me in the face.

    Archie on Ronnie: She was fourteen. She couldn’t bring up a kid. I tried to tell her she was just a baby herself. What could she give a child at her age? They were both better off without each other, surely.

    Archie to Ronnie: You weren’t old enough. Fourteen? You weren’t old enough to bring up a baby on your own. You’d have ruined your whole life.

    Roxy on Archie: He did the right thing. He decided that a fourteen year old wouldn’t have any sort of life. [Ronnie] and the baby would just be worse off.

    Peggy to Ronnie: Archie did what was best for you because you were too young to know what was best for you.

    Ronnie: Maybe it wasn’t Dad’s fault. It doesn’t matter how old I was, I’m the one who gave her away.

    Roxy to Ronnie: At the end of the day, you were too self-obsessed to care for your own child. You gave her away.

    Ronnie: The locket that I gave away with my baby, with Amy, I put a photo [of myself] inside.

    Danielle on the locket: I’ve had it since I was a baby. When she gave me away, she gave that too.

    Danielle on Ronnie: She rejected me when I was little, when I was a baby.

    Andy Jones, Danielle’s adoptive father: You were just some spoilt little kid who didn’t want her nights on the tiles to dry up.
    Ronnie: It wasn’t like that. There hasn’t been a moment when I haven’t regretted it. There hasn’t been a day when I haven’t longed to hold her.

    Ronnie: Losing a child was the most heartbreaking thing that ever happened to me.
    Archie: You did the right thing. You gave the baby away. You gave it a proper home.
    Ronnie: It’s that simple, is it? Do you know what it’s like to give away your own flesh and blood, eh? Hand her over, my little girl, to strangers, complete strangers?
    Archie: Then why did you do it?
    Ronnie: Because you made me.
    Archie: Did I? Did I hold the pen, force you to sign? No, it was your choice.
    Ronnie: But you told me it was the right thing to do. You told me that if I did it, everything would be OK. You promised me everything would be OK between me and you — no more fighting, no tears. Then after she’d gone, nothing. I got nothing from you. You just turned around, walked away. You left me to shrivel up and die.
    Archie: You made a choice, a bad choice.
    Ronnie: I was a kid. I was a teenager. What did I know?
    Archie: You knew how to break your father’s heart.

    Archie to Ronnie: You’re no match for me, girl. You never were. Yes, I did make you get rid of that kid. I did it to teach you a lesson once and for all.

    Archie to Ronnie: If you’d just admitted you were in the wrong — just one word, one little word — if you’d come to me, said you’re sorry, maybe all of this would have been OK. It’s not much to ask, is it, eh? Just a word, a simple little word, a mark of respect.

    Ronnie: [After] she was taken away from me, I was whisked back home like nothing had happened. I was devastated and I kept telling myself, “It’s all right, it’s all right because when you get back, Joel will be there.” And then I got back to school and he wasn’t. His parents had moved away and no-one could tell me where they’d gone.

    Ronnie to Joel: You moved away when I got pregnant. You didn’t say good-bye.
    Joel: I was all over the place. You know I was, but you ... I tried to ... well at least say good-bye.

    Joel to Ronnie: I would never have gone off my own back but everyone was ... well, you know what it was like. The whole thing was out of my hands. I didn’t have a choice.

    Ronnie: I loved you and you left me. Are you telling me that was down to my dad?
    Joel on Archie: He’s an intimidating bloke when you're fifteen.

    Archie to Joel: I made you go away.

    Ronnie: I couldn’t contact you.
    Joel: Yeah, but I wrote.
    Ronnie: No.
    Joel: Ron, I did write.

    Ronnie on Archie: There are a lot of things I don’t remember. Every single one of them down to him.
    Peggy: Look how you were then — your mum running off, you pregnant — I mean a lot of things get all jumbled up, especially when you’re only what? Fourteen?
    Ronnie: I wished him dead then. I never wanted anyone dead more.

    Archie: I met my match a long time ago, Veronica — you. I lost my child too because I lost you.

    Andy Jones on Danielle: This tiny beautiful perfect baby, the answer to our prayers. The day we brought her home, it was a Monday. The sun was shining. It was very hot, not a cloud in the sky. “A perfect day,” Lizzie said to me, “for our new beginning.” We carried our baby into her new home. She was fast asleep in her car seat. The day we’d been waiting for for such a long time. We shut the door behind us and Lizzie said to me, “We’re a family now. She’s part of us.” It felt so good, but Danielle was still asleep and we were at a bit of a loss at what to do next. So we put the kettle on and I was just pouring the tea when she woke up and we were running all over the house — bottles and nappies and clean clothes and nappy bags and muslins and more nappies and more clean clothes — but eventually we managed to work out what went where and Danielle had a full tummy and clean clothes with the poppers done up more or less right. And she was settled and Lizzie said to me, “Let’s show her her room” and we took her upstairs to her bedroom and we showed her the pictures we'd put up for her on the walls, and the soft toys piled up for her at the end of her cot, and Danielle looked at the teddy bear and we looked at Danielle and we were the happiest people on earth. And we played with her, peep-po with her teddy bear, and we told her we loved her, we loved her so very much, and we laid her down to sleep.

    Andy: My Dani was a sunny child, always laughing and smiling.
     
  6. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    Garry Hobbs: Ibiza 1989, first time I ever had sex down on the beach.

    Grant: I knew this Spanish bird once.
    Phil: Maria?
    Grant: What — did I tell you about her?
    Phil: No, but they're all called Maria, aren't they?
    Grant: She was something else. Couldn't keep her hands off me.

    David Wicks: I went out with a Spanish girl once and she taught me [the language].
    Bianca: How many times you been to Spain then?
    David: A few.

    David: I went to Spain once for a fortnight. I come back three months later, and that was under protest. (I never really.)

    Nigel Bates: I went to Majorca once. That was romantic. At least it would have been if I hadn't gone on my own.

    Grant: You ever seen a bullfight? I have. I remember this one — there was this bull, mad great thing it was. This bullfighter, he just danced rings around it till, bit by bit, all the life was drained out of it. You see, this bull thought it was a fair fight, thought he could win, get away, but he couldn't. Didn't stand a chance.

    Eddie Moon: I got chased by a randy bull across a field once.

    Tanya Branning on living in Spain: It’s always been a dream of mine.

    Dennis Rickman: I've never been on a proper holiday.
    Sharon Watts: What about when you were in the children's home — didn't you go away with them?
    Dennis: No, but there was a summer school soccer trip thing, you know. I put my name down, thought it would be good.
    Sharon: Was it?
    Dennis: I don't know. They sent me home after the first day. Some bother about me flooding the toilets.

    Sonia Jackson: I remember once I was with my mum and my brothers and sister. We built this fantastic castle. Of course the tide started to come in, didn’t it? So I tried to dig a channel, kind of divert the water, but it just kept coming faster and faster. I was trying to keep everything together. There was nothing I could do. Everything I’d built up and worked so hard for, it was just ... There was nothing I could do.

    Denise Fox: You meet Owen for the first time and he’s charming, he’s polite, he’s kind. He’s the perfect gentleman — but they wouldn’t be thinking that when he’s bashing my head against the bathroom wall, would they?

    Liz Turner, Owen’s mother: He’s very bright. That’s the problem. Gets bored easily. That’s what got him into drinking in the first place.

    Owen Turner: Mum’s got photos of us in ’89 and I look so strong and lean. You remember that summer?
    Denise: Yeah, oh yeah — my "bad mum" phase. Chelsea spent half her life at me sister’s.
    Owen on Chelsea: She got spoilt rotten. She loved it.

    Kim Fox to Denise: Remember all the times I looked after Chelsea when you were out raving with Owen?

    Denise: I was a good girl. You led me astray.
    Owen: Didn’t take much persuading. Second summer of love, eh? All them raves. Sitting in lay-bys with stereos on, hundreds of us waiting for the next party. Mum’s still got all the photos. We’re laughing, messing about in all of them, eh? You remember?
    Denise: They were good times.

    Owen to Denise: August dawn, dancing barefoot in the grass, sharing our last fag together. You had something in you back then. You had something, you had, like a sparkle.

    Denise on herself and Owen: Oh, we was wild back then, out all the time, rampant. He had this spell over me. He spoke and I crumbled.

    Denise: You don’t know what [Owen] was like, not really, not at the beginning.
    Chelsea: You’ve told me — he was exciting, he made you feel special. I get it.
    Denise: There’s more to it than that.

    Denise: Me and Owen, we had something special.

    Owen Turner to Denise: What we had, Dee, was special, weren’t it?

    Denise: You were an angel once, Owen. You could melt me with one look or one smile and I loved that.

    Owen to Denise: “Snap her up quick, Owen. She could do a lot better.” That’s what Mum said about you.

    Owen: We were outsiders that summer and the next thing you know, everyone’s walking about, suit and a tie on, as if nothing ever happened.
    Denise: It was a party, Owen, not a revolution.
    Owen: I never said it was.

    Owen: We just lived day by day. All we needed was money for bills, a few bob for drinks.
    Denise: Yeah, drinks!
    Owen: You were caning it like the rest of us. Right or wrong, I’ve always been me, but you, that beautiful girl I met all those years ago with the sexy little dresses and the smile as wide as a river, where did she go?

    Owen on Denise: She always did like things done right.

    Owen: You’d stopped smiling by the following summer.
    Denise: Well, I was pregnant the following summer.

    Ronnie: A boy?
    Glenda: Ten pounds. You can imagine what it was like getting him out.
    Ronnie: Was he healthy?
    Glenda: Yeah, he was fine.
    Ronnie: When was he born?
    Glenda: September the twelfth, Homerton Hospital. And it was raining.
    Ronnie: I haven’t asked his name.
    Glenda: Daniel, after my uncle. Lovely man. I thought if I named my boy after him, he wouldn’t grow up like his father.

    Glenda on Danny: Archie is not his father.

    Roxy: What is [your middle name]?
    Danny Mitchell: Archie.

    Roxy on Danny: If he’s not Archie’s son, then why did you give him Archie’s name, his middle name — Archie?
    Glenda: His middle name is Nicholas!

    Glenda on her son Danny: Bad as his dad, right from the start. Even in his high chair you could see him scheming, planning how he was going to get what he wanted.

    Glenda to Danny: You always have been a good boy.

    Glenda: I had no money, I had a tiny baby. I had to make a new life.

    Shirley Carter on her children: We used to be happy once, a long time ago before I ruined it.

    Denise to Shirley: That video that Kevin took of you and the kids in the garden. You were happy. OK, it may not have lasted long, but you were a mum to those kids and they loved you for it.

    Shirley to Dean: You always wanted your mum when you were ill. Eighteen months old, you had gastroenteritis. Couldn’t keep a thing down. I sat up
    all night reading you nursery rhymes, even when I got it. Sang “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” for days. Drove me barmy. It’s the only thing that would get you to sleep.

    Shirley to Dean: You used to have [a jack-in-a-box]. There was blue murder when Carly cut the head off of it.

    Shirley: I took Carly on [a fairground ride on Brighton Pier] when she was six. She said it wasn’t high enough.

    Shirley on Dean: I remember taking him to the fair and all he wanted to do was go on this little teacup ride that went round about a mile an hour, but he’d cling onto me like it was doing sixty. He was so sweet.

    Ronnie to Roxy: You never could resist a funfair.

    Jean Slater: I’ve never been worried about heights.

    Heather Trott: I was never much of a one for heights.

    Shirley: You probably hardly remember [Heather].
    Dean: She’s not the kind of person you forget. She loved cheese, George Michael. Half the time she dressed like she was from the eighties and the other half the time she looked like she got dressed in the dark.
    Shirley: And I treated her like dirt.
    Dean: She knew that you didn’t mean it. She knew that you were always there for her.

    Linda on Dean: We’d met him once or twice when he was a kid, but we didn’t know him.

    Linda: Kevin always struck me as a good bloke.
    Dean: He was.

    Dean on Pat: She used to visit me as a baby.

    Roxy on Grant: I haven't seen him for years.

    Mick: Did you ever play [Heather] our karaoke song [‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’]?
    Shirley: I made her do the dance!

    Nigel Bates on karaoke: I have been known to do a wicked ‘Achy Breaky Heart’. The birds love it. Someone threw a bottle at me once. Missed me completely, landed on this table of skinheads. Took four police vans to cart them all away. Haven't been back there since.

    Kat Slater to Zoe: Your first day at school, I wanted to take you so I got up at half six in the morning. I was getting you ready and you said, "What's going on? Where's Mum?" That's when I told you. I said, "She's here, darling. I'm your mum." You just laughed and held your arms for Dad who was standing in the doorway. Then Mum dragged me in the kitchen and said I shouldn't make jokes. Jokes? I was crying.

    Bianca: Tiffany Raymond, she used to go to our school.
    Robbie Jackson: She used to fancy me.

    Terry Raymond on Tiffany: Always made friends when she was a kid. Couldn't help it. Every week she'd bring somebody or other home for tea. Not like me. Got it from her mother probably. Everybody reckons I gave her hell, made her life miserable. It doesn't mean I didn't love her because I did.

    Chris Clarke: What did your dad used to do with you when you were a kid?
    Simon Raymond: Hit me.
    Chris: Come on, I've heard you go on about how wonderful everything was when you lived out in Essex.
    Simon: That's when Mum was living with us. At least she understood me.

    Terry: I used to have money, a wife. I used to be someone.
    Grant: Until you blew it.
    Terry: I never done nothing. One minute I was sailing along and then fate turned against me.

    Simon: My old man lurched from one disaster to the next.

    Terry: Things weren't right for a long time between me and Louise. I was in a hole. I couldn't see my way out. Just seemed like there was no respect anymore. My own family were laughing at me, that's what it seemed like.

    Tiffany Raymond: I ain't going to be like my mum, taking a beating on a Saturday night.
    Grant: Terry used to hit her?
    Tiffany: Yeah and if he didn't hit her, he used to hit me. My dad wasn't a very nice man.

    Louise Raymond on Terry: He used me as a punchbag.

    Simon on Terry: He broke Mum's nose once.

    Terry: I've got a failed marriage, a failed business, I failed my kids, I hit the bottle.

    Grant: You do stupid things when you're upset.
    Louise: That was always Terry's excuse.

    Louise: Terry used to say he loved me, but it didn't stop him [hitting me].

    Terry on Louise: She was poison. You don't know what she was like before she deserted us, what she put me through.

    Louise: I was your wife, Terry, and despite what you say, I made a pretty good job of it. Living with you for sixteen years wasn't easy.
    Terry: You didn't mind when I was bringing in the money, buying you nice things, giving you a good time. Rough with the smooth, you don't get good times without bad times.
    Louise: That include getting knocked about, does it?

    Louise to Terry: You drank and gambled away every penny we had and you made my life a misery.

    Terry: I lost my own business, caught my own wife shacked up with a punter.

    Terry on his marriage: Made a lot of mistakes. Some of it was down to me, a lot of it was down to the drink.

    Louise on Terry: He started drinking a long time before the business went under.

    Terry: You drove me to drink with your whinging and your nagging.
    Louise: Yeah, you had me believing that too.

    Simon: Dad was a mean drunk and it was Mum that saw the worst of it.

    Terry: See this arm? I used to be able to crack nuts in there. Before I was ill.

    Louise: I lived with an alcoholic. I used to go to all the meetings because Terry wouldn't. I just couldn't put it together - this man I loved could become this monster and still be Terry. There was nothing I could do to stop it. I just kept thinking, "If he loved me, he'd stop".

    Simon: You were being knocked about but you never said anything.
    Louise: No, you don't. you're too embarrassed. You think it's you that's failed.

    Terry to Louise: You destroyed it all.

    Louise to Terry: You had me believing it was all my fault, that I deserved to be hit. That's how little I thought of myself.

    Tiffany: Dad was under a lot of stress.

    Tiffany: I was always so ashamed of my family. Could never bring me mates back home. Guaranteed there'd be a row.

    Louise: I went through hell with your father.
    Simon: And you think we didn't?

    Tiffany on Terry: He was a nightmare. Whenever things went bad, he'd come home drunk and take it out on us.
    Mary Flaherty: You and Simon?
    Tiffany: And me mum. Me and Simon would try to hide sometimes, but you could still hear it.

    Tiffany to Terry: Mum gave you loads of chances.

    Louise: I stuck around as long as I could.

    Simon on Louise: I don't know how she lasted as long as she did. I think he'd have clouted me and Tiff much more if it hadn't been for her. She kind of drew his fire, ain't that right?
    Tiffany: Till she got tired of being used for his punchbag, yeah.
    Mary: What did your mum do?
    Tiffany: She left him. And us. Just got up one day and walked out.

    Louise: I had to go in the end. I was going mad.

    Terry to Louise: I was going through a rough time. I needed some support. You ran out on me.

    Terry on Louise: She left us when I was down, and she just — well, fine. Her choice.
    Simon: What was she meant to do, stick around forever, keep on pretending she'd been walking into doors?
    Terry: You have no idea what was going on.
    Simon: I could hear, couldn't I? I could see.

    Terry: That woman walked out.
    Louise: I didn't walk, Terry. I was pushed.

    Louise on Terry: Walking out on that man was the best move I ever made.

    Mary on Louise: Good for her.
    Tiffany: Yeah, I suppose. I didn't feel that way at the time.

    Tiffany on Louise: She walked out on us when I was twelve years old. Didn't try and explain and didn't ask us if we wanted to go with her, nothing. She just took off. I woke up one morning and she'd gone.

    Louise: You weren't a kid, Tiffany. You saw how bad it was. You saw how he treated me.
    Tiffany: Yeah of course I saw, but you saw what it was doing to me and Simon and you still left us. Your marriage ain't working so you walk out. Never mind Tiffany and Simon. You just cleared off and left us to look after him.

    Terry: You mucked up my life, you screwed up your kids because it was always you, wasn't it? You, you, you.
    Louise: You know why I had to leave.
    Terry: You left your kids. You abandoned them.
    Louise: You made me.
    Terry: You left because you couldn't hack it as a mother.
    Louise: I left because you were destroying me.
    Terry: You left because you couldn't stand not being the centre of attention.

    Ollie Kingston, Terry's solicitor: How old were your children at the time?
    Louise: Simon was fourteen, Tiffany was twelve.
    Ollie: Who fed and clothed and cared for your children during their teenage years?
    Louise: My husband, but I did what —
    Ollie: Exactly. Your husband, while you were out living the carefree life of a single woman.

    Louise: I left my daughter in the lurch. I should have taken you [Tiffany] with me.

    Louise to Tiffany: I walked out on you. I deserted you. No matter what the reason, I left my kids. You think I took that decision lightly? I've questioned myself every day since I left. There was nothing I wanted more than to have you with me. Terry virtually destroyed me. I didn't have any strength left and I didn't have any money. I couldn't have looked after you no matter how much I wanted to, not properly. It was wrong of me to leave, but I didn't disappear completely. You knew where I was. Simon come and saw me. You could have done as well.

    Louise: I was depressed, full of guilt, close to a nervous breakdown. It was a long time before I stopped blaming myself.

    Miss Chowdhury, Louise's solicitor: You never took a penny from [Terry] when the marriage broke up although there were considerable assets.
    Louise: That's because he knew all the tricks — suddenly he was bankrupt and then the house was a security on the loan.
    Miss Chowdhury: You must have increased the value of [the house] considerably over the years.
    Louise: I suppose so. I don't know what it was worth in the end. He always handled that side of things.

    Louise on Terry: I didn't know how to fight him. I just wanted out.

    Terry: I lost the business, I lost the house, I've been to the bottom and back.

    Terry: I started the divorce proceedings, but she didn't want to know.
    Louise: Too right I didn't when you didn't want to give me a penny.
    Terry: I didn't have any money. I'd lost it all.
    Louise: Which was very convenient.

    Miss Chowdhury: Why didn't you pursue a divorce at the time of the break up?
    Louise: Because my husband made it quite clear that he'd oppose me at every stage. I had enough to cope with just trying to get myself back on my feet and make some kind of life for myself.
    Miss Chowdhury: Which you did with no help from your husband?
    Louise: None whatsoever. I left with nothing and I never asked for a penny from him.

    Beppe Di Marco on Louise: She must have got in contact?
    Tiffany: Yeah, cards at birthdays and Christmas till she couldn't be bothered no more.

    Louise: I used to hate Christmas all those years without my kids.

    Louise to Tiffany and Simon: There hasn't been a day when I haven't thought about you two.

    Tiffany to Louise: I suppose it never crossed your mind that he'd make us pay for your walking out. Oh no, because you were too busy thinking about
    yourself, weren't you?

    Tiffany on Louise: I always wanted her to get back in touch, secretly.

    Louise: [Simmons] is my maiden name. I went back to using it after I split up with my husband.

    Simon: Dad always said they were divorced. They never got divorced. Why didn't you tell us, Dad?
    Terry: I wanted it to be a clean break for you, for me, for everyone.

    Lynne Slater on her bracelet: Mum gave me that on my twenty-first.

    Grant: I was always a better dancer than you.
    Phil: If bouncing up and down on the spot like a deranged pigeon is dancing then yeah, you're a better dancer than me.
    Grant: I used to clear the floor, mate.
    Phil: Yeah, that's because they all thought you'd escaped from somewhere. I mean come on, seriously, did anyone ever actually tell you you're a good dancer?
    Grant: All right — 1989, Hackney, Cinderella's. Explain that. Did I or did I not win a competition?
    Phil: Blimey, talk about clutching at straws. The competition was between you, three drunks, and a barstool.
    Grant: Did I win or not?
    Phil: Yes, you won. Look, one of the drunks threw up on the dance floor, the other two skidded on it and fell over. The only reason you didn't was because you were still bobbing up and down on the spot. The barstool somebody stuck up there for a laugh ended up coming second.
    Grant: I still won.
     
  7. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Dream Maker

    Message Count:
    1,896
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    1990

    Carol Jackson on Nelson Mandela: When they let him out [of prison], we just sat in front of the television all day and cried.
    Denise Fox: Yeah. I prayed for the first time in years when I heard the news. Just to say thank-you.

    Jack Branning, speaking in 2008: If I hadn’t been a copper for the best part of twenty years ...

    Derek Branning: My brother was [a policeman]. Broke my father’s heart.

    Jack: Some nutter lobbing petrol bombs around, waving a shotgun. I arrested him. I was too young to know any better.

    DI Samantha Keeble: I was stationed with you once. I was a DC, worked on a couple of jobs you were running. From what I remember, you weren’t too bad a copper.
    Jack: I remember you — frumpy hair and big glasses, always early, first to arrive.
    DI Keeble: You know what they say about the early bird.

    Detective Constable Emma Summerhayes: I have wanted to be a police officer since I was a little girl.
    DI Keeble: It’s not easy being that little girl when all the others are playing with their Barbies.

    Cora Cross to Tanya: You got up to a lot worse [than drinking] when you were Abi’s age [fifteen].

    Cora to Tanya: Bit of vandalism’s nothing to what you got up to at that age.

    Tanya: When I was younger, I was into all sorts. I weren’t exactly a saint.

    Tanya: If I’d have kept a diary when I was a teenager, well, let’s just say, it would be shocking.

    Cora on Tanya: Out till all hours, off her head on who knows what?

    Tanya: People think that dope isn’t that serious but for a lot of kids, it’s just the start. It was for me.

    Tanya: I’ve been an idiot with men. Ever since I could put my lipstick on straight I’ve been understanding, forgiving, sacrificing.

    Heather Trott: Mummy always said lipstick was for hussies.

    Kat Moon: When I was twenty, I thought I knew it all. I knew nothing.

    Cora to Tanya: The puddings you and Rainie brought home!

    Tanya: Sweet though, isn’t it, eh — first romance? All them butterflies just thinking about him.
    Jane Beale: Your mum nagging you not to be home late.
    Tanya: Yeah, lying through your teeth you wouldn’t be. Swearing blind we’d be different with our own kids.

    Tanya to Cora: You haven't cared what time I got home since I was a kid. Even then you weren’t that bothered.

    Rainie to Tanya: It’s unnatural for teenage girls not to hate their mum — look at us.

    Cora to Tanya: The times when I looked after you and your sister — I was in so much pain, my hands shook.

    Kat: Zoe, do you remember the time, you must have been about six years old, when you nicked that penny chew from the sweet shop? And you came running indoors, bawling your eyes out, and you wouldn't tell anyone what you did — not Mum, not Nan, not me — and you kept crying and you kept saying over and over again, "I'm a bad girl, I'm a bad girl." And you had your little hand clenched so tightly and in the end, we managed to prise your little fingers apart and we see the chew and we knew what you did.
    Zoe Slater: You gave me a penny.
    Kat: And you went back to the shop and you put the penny on the counter and everything was all right.

    Roxy Mitchell to Ronnie: Your poodle skirt, I stole it out your wardrobe and I wore it to the under fourteens’ disco. And the bracelet Mum bought you, it didn’t go up the vacuum. I snapped it because I was jealous.

    Ronnie to Roxy: You’ve always been a thieving selfish cow.

    Roxy: You take me for granted, Ronnie, and you always have. It’s like the time you swapped my Vanilla Ice CD for Whitney flaming ...

    Kim Fox to Denise: You’ve always been jealous of me — youthful elegance, easy-going.

    Lorraine Wicks: When I was in Lancashire, I was going somewhere. I had a proper career — company car, all the perks — and I was good at it. I worked for Robert Morgan Stores for two years and then Direct Sales for eighteen months.

    Carol Jackson: I bet you had a childminder for Joe, didn't you?
    Lorraine: Oh yeah, he was called Peter. The fella I lived with!
    Carol: Blimey, you had him well-trained.
    Lorraine: Yeah.

    Joe Wicks to Lorraine: You used to like going [to watch Peter play guitar].

    Joe to Lorraine: You said that ["nothing's going to happen"] when you first started seeing Peter.

    Peter, Lorraine's boyfriend: Do you remember Karen's eighth birthday party?
    Joe: Yeah, I do. She invited all her little girlfriends round, didn't she? I was the only boy there. I felt so stupid.
    Peter: So did I. We hid in the kitchen most of the time. It was a nice day though.

    Kevin Wicks: You and me as The Blue Brothers at that holiday camp in Yarmouth, remember? We won the talent competition. What was that number? [Sings:] “Everybody needs somebody, everybody needs somebody ...”
    Carly Wicks: We didn’t win the competition. We came second.

    Nigel Bates on stage fright: I stood up in front of an audience once, tell some jokes. Talent competition, you know the sort of thing. No problem. My hand? Steady as a rock. Nerves? No problem. Except, when I opened my mouth ...
    Louise Grey: Nothing came out.

    Chelsea Fox: I did this dance class when I was a little kid and I just froze up. It was really embarrassing.

    Big Mo on Fat Elvis: I remember when he was Thin Elvis.

    Charlie Slater on Fat Elvis: He looks like Elvis and he sings like Chas & Dave, and he used to have the hots for my Viv.

    Garry Hobbs, singing: “Nessun Dorma, Nessun Dorma.” World Cup 1990. Pavarotti, fat bloke with a beard.

    Jack Branning: Where’s your patriotism?
    Max Branning: I lost that after Italia 90.
    Jack: That’s when you lost your barnet, ain’t it?

    Spencer Moon: My mum was a right character. Always singing, she was, really stupid songs with naff lyrics.
    Vicki Fowler: Your dad?
    Spencer: Just like Alfie. He used to do these little puppet shows over the bedroom door. They were brilliant. Alfie says I used to ask for one every night.
    Vicki: And he never let you down, right?
    Spencer: Come to think of it, it must have bored the pants off of him.
    Vicki: No. I bet he loved every minute.

    Max to Bradley: You won’t remember this, but when you were little, you were always by my side, wrestling on the rug. I used to put you to sleep. I used to lie on your bed and tell you stories, tell you things I told no-one else — hours, it was — till we both fell asleep. Your mum, she had to come and get me, wake me up. I’m not an honest man, Bradley, but you’re the only one I’ve told the truth to. You’re the only one I didn’t lie to. So whatever happened between your mum and me, I never stopped loving you.

    Bradley: The only person Max Branning’s ever loved is himself.

    Sonia: Mum used to say all the Branning men were cut from the same cloth.

    Bianca to Billie: I can tell when you’re lying, ever since you was a toddler.

    Bianca on Billie: I didn't used to take much notice of him when he was little. He scribbled all over me and Sonia's wallpaper once in our bedroom with crayons. I shouted at him. He was only a baby.

    Carol on styling Billie’s afro: Three and a half hours that used to take, your lovely long curls. Do you remember? My favourite part of the day.
    Billie Jackson: Yeah, I remember because you used to pull out half my head with that nasty comb of yours!
    Carol: You used to sit on my lap watching the telly like a little angel.

    Alfie Moon: I remember my dad saying to me once, not long before he died, he said, "You can stick your foreign travel, your champagne and your caviar. The best things in life, Alfie — are you listening, son? — are a coal fire, warm slippers, something good on the telly and a lovely woman sitting opposite you in a chair."

    Alfie: All things to all people, that's what I am. That's all I know and that's the way I was brought up. I've done all the other stuff — selfish, Jack the Lad, not caring about anything or anyone else but me, having the time of my life. I remember one time, my old man begged me for two weeks to fit this little plastic cassette holder into his car because he'd just had this cassette player fitted, but did I do it? No, I was too busy. I had plans. Getting ready to emigrate to America, weren't I? Yeah, New York City — perfect city for a two bit con, eh? More birds to pull, more money to make. I had it all sorted, you know. I had my travel sorted, I had a place to live, I even had a job. Life couldn't be any better — until two days before I was due to go, I come home and found out there was a pile-up on the motorway. My mum and dad were there. They'd wedged themselves underneath a lorry on the way back from shopping. They were gone — like that. They had a boot full of sausage rolls and crisps. Apparently, they were planning a going away party for me. Nothing was too much trouble for them. I had to go and sort the car out. Bit of a mess it was, but the funniest thing was, I remember the glove box being open. There was tapes all over the floor. I can just see me old man now, leaning over to the glove box to get a tape and whoops, there's the lorry!
    Kat: You don't know that's what happened.
    Alfie: No, but it's enough to know it might have been. And that night I went home and I had to tell my little brother that his mum and dad wouldn't be coming back.

    Mick Carter: I saw a bloke go under an articulated lorry once. It weren’t pretty.

    Spencer: The day my parents died, it was Pancake Day.
    Vicki: How old were you?
    Spencer: Five. Me, Mum, Dad — we were all round Nana's having pancakes like we did every year. Mum and Dad, they went out for the day. Nana couldn't find any lemon juice or sugar, but she knew I liked peanut butter. That evening, the police came round. I'll never forget the look on Nan's face when she came in to tell us that they'd all died in an accident.

    Alfie on Spencer: He was five years old and he cried his weight in tears. I held him and I told him he wasn't on his own and he'd never be on his own. And from that day [on], I have tried to give him back everything I took away from him through my own selfishness and stupidity.

    Spencer to Alfie: All my life, I've looked up to you, listened to you going on about how much you love me and you want to look after me and you feel for me.

    Alfie: My mum and dad are buried side by side.

    Nana Moon: It's not right, is it? Burying your own child.

    Alfie on Nana Moon: Her husband died fighting for King and Country, she lost her only son on the Queen’s Highway and she brought up two of Her Majesty’s most loyal subjects [himself and Spencer] on nothing more than bread and cabbage leaves.

    Alfie: I was twenty-five when my mum and dad went. I was terrified. I would have done anything for you, Spencer, but there was a part of me that wouldn't do it or couldn't do it. At times I felt I wouldn't beable to cope.

    Alfie to Jake Moon: Where were you when I needed you, eh? Me, Nana and Spence. Were you there? No, I don’t think you were. We didn’t get a phone call, not a visit. It’s like we didn’t exist. And Nana always used to say, “Oh don’t worry about Jake, Alfie. He’s working hard trying to make a name for himself.” But me? I had no choice, did I? I had to make it work, I had to make sure they were looked after — me, Nana and Spence against the rest of the world.

    Carly: I know what it’s like to lose somebody that I loved and I trusted, for them to leave me and take the easy option when I thought that I was the most important person in their life.

    Shirley Carter: My Kevin was clean, dependable, a little bit stupid, but he’d do anything for me.
    Dawn Miller: So what was the problem?
    Shirley: Who wants to be married to their bleeding dog?

    Shirley: It is mind-numbing boring being a mum. It’s routine and patience and nappies and needing and routine — and all that love, if you can just get it right.

    Shirley on motherhood: I felt like the walls were closing in and I wanted out. I couldn’t handle it and so I left.

    Dean Wicks on Shirley: The night before she left, she gave this [a necklace with pendant on it] to my brother. She said it would protect him — the Virgin Mary.
    Chelsea Fox: Part of her cared, deep down.
    Dean: No, the only thing she cared about was getting off her head and getting laid.

    Kevin on Shirley: She couldn’t have cared whether he [Dean] lived or died when she left all those years ago.

    Dean on Shirley: She woke up one morning, put her lippy on, and walked out on three kids.

    Shirley: Jimbo, he was so needy. I mean, what kind of mum does that, leaves her children and a kid with cystic fibrosis?

    Shirley to Carly and Dean: I couldn’t hack it, your 24/7 domestic bliss, but I never thought for one minute you’d be better off with me than without me.

    Shirley: I left you and Dean with a man that wasn’t even your dad.
    Carly: He was my dad.

    Carly to Kevin: Mother left. She walked out on you, on us.

    Kevin on Shirley: There never was an explanation, she just went.

    Deano to Shirley: It was a bloke and a beer on offer and “see ya, kids.”

    Shirley: I’m no gold digger. I never have been.

    Shirley: I couldn’t cope, didn’t want to, so I walked. They were better off with Kevin.

    Shirley: I never said goodbye to Jimbo. That’s my fault.

    Dean on Shirley: Jimbo’s my brother who she abandoned and left to die.

    Phil Mitchell: [Shirley] let you down.
    Dean: She didn’t let us down, Phil. She abandoned us. I was a kid, my brother was ill and she walked out the door.

    Kevin: Shirley wasn’t around long enough to be a memory, let alone missed.

    Kevin to Shirley: Dean was a baby. He don’t remember nothing about you. You, walking out on your kids without a backward glance. Forget about me, but the kids?

    Dean on Shirley: She must have hated me.
    Kevin: How could she hate you? You were only two.
    Dean: She left.
    Kevin: She left us all, mate.
    Dean: No, not till I came along.
    Kevin: No, Dean. It weren’t like that. If she hated anyone, it’s me.

    Babe Smith: That’s why you walked out on [Dean] — to protect him?
    Shirley: Yeah. I was protecting him from me. If I’d have stayed, I would have destroyed Carly and him. I was all messed up about Mick and I couldn’t deal with Jimbo.
    Babe: And I suppose I made you do that, did I — walk out on Jimbo?
    Shirley: You weren’t there.
    Babe: I had work. You had grown up, left home.
    Shirley: That’s what I meant. You weren’t there.

    Stan Carter to Dean: Your mum, she’s done some stupid, bad things. I know because I done the same.

    Linda Carter on Shirley: She’s done things you wouldn’t believe.

    Shirley: You stay away one day, that’s hard. You stay away two days, gets a little bit easier. Then before you know it, a month’s gone past and there’s no coming back.

    Shirley to Carly and Dean: I meant to come back, but when I came to it, I couldn’t face it and I knew your dad would look after you. The time wasn’t right for me then.

    Shirley: Packing up, getting out — best thing I ever did.

    Shirley: I left and went to look for something more exciting.
    Dawn: And did you find it?
    Shirley: Damn right I did. And I’ve regretted it ever since.

    Shirley: I know what it’s like to leave somewhere and think it’s all going to be better somehow, different, but it never is, is it? Because the reasons we left, they were never the right ones.

    Shirley on her children: They were better off without me. That’s what I reckoned. And I’ve never regretted anything more. I had three kids. I was convinced their lives would be better off without me in the picture. I never waited at the school gates for mine or lamped the first person that broke their hearts or bought them their first legal pint or brushed them off after their first fight.

    Shirley: I have spent the whole of my life looking for something that I already had. I was too stupid to see it. Second chances, they don’t come along that often.

    Shirley on her children: I never stopped caring for them.
    Kevin: You never started, Shirley.

    Shirley: You didn’t have to turn them [Carly and Dean] against me. That wasn’t very nice.
    Kevin: Trust me, Shirley, you did that all by yourself. You cut yourself out [of the family portrait].

    Kevin: I burnt all the photographs [of Shirley]. I’m not particularly proud of it, but there you go.

    Shirley: All right, I ruined your life, broke your heart.
    Kevin: Broke my heart? Don’t flatter yourself. You did us all a favour when you left.

    Pat Evans to Shirley: The sad truth is you ain’t meant a damn to Kevin since the day you walked out.

    Linda to Shirley: You’re bad luck, always have been, always will be.

    Shirley on Linda: She’s never liked me. She’s always wanted Mick to herself.

    Shirley to Linda: Once you got your claws into [Mick], you wanted me out of his life.

    Linda to Mick: There have been times when I’ve really hated Shirley, but she’s always loved you to bits. Sister or mum, she’s always looked out for you and you’ve always loved her, defended her when no-one else would.

    Kevin: Do you know how many girls there’s been since my wife walked out on me? None.
    Denise Fox: It must have been difficult.
    Kevin: You get by.

    Kevin: You’re talking to a man who has never successfully sustained a relationship with anyone.

    Shirley on Kevin: I bet he’s said a lot about me, ain’t he? I bet half of it’s true too. But did he tell you the reason why I left?
    Dean: No, not really.

    Kevin on Dean: I didn’t tell him anything about [Shirley], nor [Carly].

    Kevin on Shirley: I learnt a long time ago she ain’t worth it.
    Dean: Is that why you never talked about her?
    Kevin: I thought it would be easier.

    Dean on a framed magazine picture of a model: Do you remember this - the “Mum" photo?
    Carly: This is where it all started, eh? The lies.

    Denise: Kevin stood by Deano and Carly. He brought them up as his own.
    Shirley: For their sake or for his?

    Carly: Why didn’t you tell [her and Dean that he wasn’t their real father]?
    Kevin: There was never a right time.
    Carly: Easier to lie to us, yeah?
    Kevin: What was I supposed to do? Your mum had left. I had no one else — a disabled son, you two. What the hell was I supposed to do?

    Dean: You should have just dumped us. We could have coped with that — no-one lying to us, everything out in the open.
    Kevin: Don’t you get it? I wanted you, both of you.
    Deano: But you lied. You lied to the people you said you loved every day of your life. No dad of mine would have done that.
    Kevin: I only did it for you, for the both of you. I wanted you to have a life as close to what you should have had. Otherwise, what sort of mess would you have been in? At least I was there, Deano. And you know my name, you know what I look like, the things I say, the clothes I like, my favourite films. You know everything, all of that, and that’s what made you and me into us. But more than that, I was there to love you.

    Kevin: I brought up my kids myself.

    Carly to Kevin: You always brought us up to do the right thing.

    Carly to Kevin: For years you’ve been wanting us to get out your hair.

    Dean on Kevin: Ever since I remember, he always wanted to be somewhere else. It’s what he always talked about — doing a bunk, adventure, travel.

    Kevin: Always been something in the way [of travelling the world] — work, kids.

    Nana Moon on Alfie's attempts to start a new life in America: We've been doing this since the day your mum and dad died, Alfie. Broken windows, missing dogs, that time I sold hooky candles to the vicar — we keep on keeping you here, don't we?

    Jake Moon: I had all the fun while you were stuck at home, St Alfie as always.
    Alfie: Meaning?
    Jake: Meaning you always were the blue-eyed boy, weren’t you? It didn’t matter what you did, did it? You always had the patter, a little joke, a smile, the “who, me?” face. You know what, Alfie? You’re a clown and you always have been.

    Jake to Alfie: You never used to whine back then. If something needed doing, you — you just got on and did it. You've always done right by Nana and Spence. I mean, you could have just said, "Stuff it," and been out on the razz with your mates every night, but you didn't. Do you know how much that helped me when I was looking out for Danny?

    Jake to Alfie: You try looking after Danny. Try some of your Alfie Moon charm on some of the scum I had to deal with and see how far it gets you. You have no idea what it was like for me out there.

    Jake on Danny: The kid you spent your whole life growing up with, bailing out, protecting. He was a freak, a liability. He dragged me down wherever I
    went. He made my life three times harder than it should have been. “Here Jake, let’s do this, let’s do that.” I can hear him now. I’d stare at him as he was winding someone up, someone I’d have to fight, and I’d think, “Why don’t you just go away? Why don’t you just leave me on my own? My life would make so much more sense if you weren’t in it.”

    AJ Ahmed on his father: If Mum cared about us so much, why didn’t she stand up to him more? Like when I married Aliyah, for example. Why don’t you tell him [Tamwar] how I got this scar? [points to his right eyebrow].
    Masood Ahmed: OK, Dad was wrong. He’s traditional, you know that.
    AJ: He knows exactly what buttons to press. I swore I wouldn’t go back until I could look him in the eye like the man I am now and not the boy he made me feel like.

    AJ on his wife Aliyah: It’s difficult for her, ever since that night.
    Masood: 1990.
    AJ to Zainab: What was it you called her again?
    Zainab: I don’t remember.
    AJ: Certainly wasn't the kind of language I’d expect from a lady.
    Zainab: You know what? She provoked me!

    AJ on married life: Crazy big ideas, all hearts and flowers and dirty sheets — ba ba boom. Then there’s five years of fighting, five years of “I can’t be bothered to fight”, five years of “I’ve forgotten you even live here so who'd you think you’re fighting with?”

    Zainab: You frittered everything away at the poker table.
    Masood: I was young. You feel invincible at that age. The guys in the accountancy firm made it look really easy.
    Zainab: All our savings gone. We almost lost the flat because of your arrogance — remortgaged without my knowledge. I wasn’t even working. I mean how could I? I had a child on the way. You swore to me “Never again”. You gave me your word, Mas. Your word.

    Zainab to Masood: You promised after we lost everything that you would never [gamble] again. You swore on Syed’s life.

    AJ to Syed: Last time I saw you, you were this high.

    Ronnie’s school: Monkfield Secondary School Romford, Class of 1990

    Ronnie on her schooldays: They weren’t exactly the best years of my life.

    Terry Raymond: When Louise left me, I had Tiffany and that poxy brother of hers to deal with.

    Simon Raymond on Terry: He always ignored us when we needed him.

    Terry on Tiffany: Maybe if I hadn't just thrown money at her, given her more time ... Can't win, can you? Give them money to keep them out of your hair and they hate you for it. Don't give them money, they still hate you for it. What's a dad to do, eh?

    Terry: It was hard raising two kids on my own and trying to run a business at the same time. I had to make a lot of sacrifices. She couldn't have walked out at a worse time, the middle of a recession.

    Tiffany: Mum left him and he took it out on us with his fists, with his belt, anything he could get his hands on. Drunk or sober, made no difference.

    Terry: I tried my best to be a good dad. I know I'm not perfect.

    Tiffany on Terry's violence: Simon got the worst of it.

    Terry to Simon: I never could believe you were a son of mine.

    Simon: Whenever there was any trouble at home, Tiff was always the one who would handle Dad.
    Tiffany: I mean, I'm a girl and you can't hit a girl, can you?

    Terry: Tiffany wasn't always a cheap little scrubber. She may have been a bit lippy, but she was all right, a sweet little kid.

    Terry: When Tiff was [about thirteen], she was always getting into trouble. Little hell cat, she was.
    Grant Mitchell: What happened?
    Terry: Hormones. Once she got a taste for it, there was no stopping her. She'd do it with anyone. If they had trousers and their own teeth, she'd have them. Flash a tenner in her face, she'd be flat on her back just like her mum.
    Grant: Well, maybe if she'd had discipline —
    Terry: I gave her discipline, all right. She put a foot wrong, I sorted her.

    Terry: I did everything a father can do for those kids, but they both turned against me.

    Denise on Owen: It was my choice — having a baby with him. My choice, and if you get to make it, probably the most important choice of your life. Not some one night stand, not some stupid accident I had to deal with. I knew what I was doing, I knew what I wanted. I looked at Owen and I said, “Yes, he’s the one.” I chose.
    Chelsea: You made a mistake then, didn’t you?

    Denise: I was pregnant [that] summer. It was horrible. I got all fat, slow.
    Owen Turner: You stopped smiling.
    Denise: You went quiet.
    Owen: That’s what I do. It doesn’t mean I didn’t care.

    Denise on Owen: He stayed. All those years ago, when I was pregnant with Squiggle, he stayed. Not like [Chelsea’s] dad or mine. He didn’t walk out.

    Denise: The last proper march I went on was against the poll tax and that made a huge difference.
    Ian Beale: That wasn’t a march. It was a lot of yobs running riot.
    Lucy Beale: What’s the poll tax?
    Denise: It was an unjust tax that Margaret Thatcher used to penalise the poor.

    Yusef Khan: I was divorced before I married Afia’s mother. It took many years for me to move on, but I did.

    Afia Khan on her father Yusef: He loved my mum.
    Masood Ahmed: Yes, only because he couldn’t have Zainab. Your mum was second best.

    Yusef Khan: I spent my whole life living with what I did [setting the fire]. I wish every day I’d been stronger, strong enough to stand up to my father.

    Masood to his son Tamwar: 5:05 [pm], the time you were born.

    Tamwar Masood, mimicking his mother: “Oh Tamwar, that’s not pain. Giving birth to you was pain.”

    Zainab to Tamwar: Seems like only yesterday you were this wrapped up little bundle, your face all crumpled, and your ears, your ears were huge. Took for ages for you to grow into them.

    Masood: I loved you, Tam, from the moment I held you in my arms, but being a parent, it’s not easy.

    Yusef on his daughter: When Afia was born, it was like a tiny bundle of electricity had come into the room. The first time I held her in my arms, my heart almost stopped. The most precious gift a father could be given — though I didn’t have to pay her phone bills at that age!

    Yusef on his family: It didn’t even matter to them that I became a doctor or that I got married again or even have a beautiful daughter. They still won’t speak to me.

    Yusef on Shameem, his second wife’s sister: She never really liked me. I was never good enough for her family.
    Denise: But you’re a doctor.
    Yusef: A GP, not a consultant.

    Afia on Shameem: She and Mum were close.

    Syed Masood: You’ve always said having kids was like a big adventure, the most exciting thing you’ve ever done.
    Zainab: And I meant it.
    Syed: Three times you’ve brought a child into this world, looked after them while they were growing up. You’ve given us all the best possible start.

    Syed, speaking about his sexuality in 2010: You want to help, Dad? Well, go back twenty years because according to my therapist, that’s when all this
    started. You see, I’m not attracted to men, not really. I’m just searching for the lost masculinity that you and Mum stole from me with her constant smothering and your coldness.

    Christian Clarke to Zainab: [Syed]’s a good liar because you taught him well.

    Sonia Jackson: "Look straight down the back of that church and don't look the audience in the face."
    Dot Branning: Who told you that?
    Sonia: One of my teachers when we did our nativity play at school. I wanted to be Mary, but Tracy Clegg got the part. She was useless and all.

    Jim Branning to Sonia: The day you found out about Father Christmas — Robbie told you it was Alan, or that other bloke, or whatever bloke it was your mother was knocking off at the time — you cried, great big tears. You and your gran were upstairs because I was downstairs doing the sprouts, weren't I? But you still opened your presents, didn't you?

    Roxy on sprouts: I’ve never eaten one in my life.

    Carol: Billie’s never been to church in his life.

    Sonia on Christmas presents: When we were kids, it was always pot luck. It didn't matter what we got because we always had a laugh. We knew we were there for each other.
     
  8. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Dream Maker

    Message Count:
    1,896
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    1991

    Syed Masood: I remember when you were [a baby]. I was always pestering Mum to let me carry you. She kept telling me I was too young and I was determined to prove her wrong so I carried you down the stairs. Mum was right.
    Tamwar: What — you dropped me on the stairs?
    Syed: Well, very nearly, at the bottom. Mum was not convinced by my story. Apparently it was technically impossible for a three month old baby to crawl that far.

    Masood Ahmed to Tamwar: You loved having your bottom bitten.
    Zainab Masood: Such a peach!

    Mick Carter: See me? Always loved a tinned peach.
    Dean Wicks: Naughty bit of syrup!

    Kevin Wicks, looking at an old photograph: It’s you lot at Jimbo’s tenth birthday party. Happy little things, weren’t you? Mind you, that’s probably because you and Dean ate the whole cake before anybody else turned up.
    Carly Wicks: We weren’t happy little things. That cake made me and Deano sick.

    Kevin to Dean: How long have I been banging on about responsibility, dealing with the consequences of your actions? I’ve been having the self same conversation since you were five years old.

    Kevin on Dean: He never was the toughest kid, or the brightest.

    Zoe Slater: We [herself and Little Mo] were both in the school choir.
    Kat Slater: Yeah — until you got kicked out when they realised the strangled cat in the back row was you.

    Charlie Slater: Little Mo had a sweet voice. She used to love having a sing song.

    Kat: Sarah Flynn tied your shoelaces together at the school concert.
    Little Mo: Oh yeah — I fell flat on me face. I had a terrible nosebleed.
    Kat: Yeah, you had the leading role, didn't you? Maria Von Clap Trapp.
    Little Mo: Oh yeah, "Sound of Music”. Lovely songs.
    Kat: Yeah well, your nose was bleeding, your face was a right mess, but you walked on that stage and you sang your little heart out.
    Little Mo: I had to, didn't I? Mum made that dress — stayed up all night putting them sequins on. Couldn't let her down, could I? She said she was so proud that she cried.
    Kat: We all did, Mo.

    Bianca Jackson: I tried out for a school play once. I just went blank.

    Pauline Fowler to Little Mo: You're nearest to [Zoe] in the family, aren't you? When she was growing up as a kid, she was obviously looking up to you.

    Lynne Slater: Growing up in our house, you had to [be able to handle yourself]. Don't believe what they say about boys. When you've got five girls fighting over one bathroom, things can get very personal, believe me.

    Kat: A family crisis used to be when we all wanted to wash our hair on the same night.

    Charlie Slater: It used to be so simple. You girls used to come to me with your homework and some tale of not being invited to so and so's party, and I'd be able to help.

    Little Mo to Charlie: You always used to [fiddle with your wedding ring] when you was waiting for Kat or Belinda to come in.

    Lynne: Mum's rule, weren't it? "You go out together, you come home together."

    Kat: [Remember] the time when you was going to that party and Mum told you to be in by ten and you came in at half past?
    Belinda: She said she was worried about me.
    Kat: That's why she took Dad's leather belt to you, was it?
    Belinda: She had to teach me a lesson.
    Kat: Not that way, Bel.

    Big Mo: Viv always thought she could bulldoze everything away, but it don't work like that.

    Belinda on Kat: She was always jealous of my boyfriends.

    Zoe: I remember watching you get dressed up when I was younger.
    Kat: "Please can I come out with you, Kat?" "No, Zoe, you're only seven."
    Zoe: When you went out, I used to try your lippy on — kiss myself in the mirror. You always looked so twinkly.
    Kat: You should have seen me when I come in!

    Zoe on her teddy bear: Mum bought me this.
    Charlie: No, love. Just Viv passing it on. It was from Kat.

    Andy Jones on Danielle: She loved this bear. When she was little, she always had him with her. She used to call him Digby.

    Kat to Zoe: I remember sometimes you coming in from school, upset over something, and you'd run straight past me to Mum. It wasn't your fault. I used to nick you sometimes, though. I used to take you to the park, just you and me. Oh, it was brilliant.

    Zoe: I remember this one time at school, these kids had been picking on me. Kat turned up in the playground. She was a goth then. You should have seen their faces. They thought the Angel of Death had come to get them.

    Jason James: Do you remember over the park when I was pushing you on the swing and the top of that fag blew in my eye?
    Lynne Slater: I didn't even smoke. I was holding it to look cool.

    Jean Slater: My Stacey, she loved swinging. Like flying, isn’t it?

    Tyler Moon: When we were younger, Michael used to tell me and Anthony he could swing so hard, he could go right over the top without falling off.
    Whitney Dean: I bet you believed him.
    Tyler: Yeah, I did.

    Anthony Moon: I looked up to you, Michael. I adored you. We both did, me and Ty.

    Eddie to Michael: You’re [Anthony’s] half-brother. You could have been around more, but you wasn’t.

    Jason: Your hair was longer then.
    Lynne: What about yours? You used to use a whole can of hairspray every morning.

    Lynne: I remember your dodgy George Michael haircuts.
    Jason: I was always borrowing your hairdryer.
    Lynne: Borrowing? You kept it.

    Shirley Carter: Years back, a mate of mine had a cleaning company. One day her kid was ill and I stepped in and it was in a house with these big iron gates right opposite [George Michael’s house]. I seen it.
    Heather Trott: You’ve seen George’s actual house?!

    Charlie on Jason: He was always flash.

    Lynne to Jason: You wouldn't listen. That was a bad habit of yours.

    Lynne on Jason: I loved him very much.

    Lynne to Jason: The week before we were due to get married, you said you love[d] me and everything [was] going to be great.

    Lynne on her wedding day: A Saturday, weren't it? Mid-May.
    Jason: The twelfth.

    Charlie to Lynne: Three hours you waited at that church.

    Charlie: The bloke stood her up at the altar when she was twenty-two.
    Harry Slater: Did a runner.

    Jason: I wish I'd seen what you look like in the dress.
    Lynne: We didn't keep any photos.

    Harry on Lynne: Three weeks later, she gets a postcard from Tenerife. He'd run off with a florist.
    Charlie: He used the flights booked for the honeymoon which I paid for.
    Harry: It broke her heart.

    Garry Hobbs on Jason: He treated [Lynne] like dirt.

    Jason: I soon realised what a big mistake I made. It was unforgivable. I never felt sorrier about anything in my life.

    Charlie: Our Lynne had a lucky escape there.

    Lynne to Jason: [I was] too stupid to realise you weren't good enough for [me]. You nearly destroyed me.

    Charlie on Lynne: If she hadn't have had the family around her, I don't know how she'd have coped.

    Lynne: For a long time after, I couldn't think of anything [other than what might have been].

    Lynne to Jason: Did I ever tell you what happened to the [wedding] dress? Kept it for nearly three years. I used to just put it on and sit there, as though wearing it would bring you back. I swore I'd never let it happen to me again.

    Glenda Mitchell to Ronnie and Roxy: The dress I married your father in, I never could throw it away. I had a friend in Newbury Park look after it while I was moving around. It’s been in her attic all this time.

    Zoe to Lynne: You thought all blokes were scum after Jason.

    Zoe: We used to take the cab down to the coast, didn't we?
    Charlie: Yeah, we did.

    Cora Cross to Tanya: You never had any boys who were "just friends" at that age [sixteen]. She was very popular, my daughter.

    Tanya describing herself: A girl with a couple of CSEs and a habit of dropping her Hs.

    Roxy Mitchell on herself and Ronnie: A couple of girls without a qualification between them.

    Lauren Branning to her parents, Max and Tanya: You guys didn’t go to uni.

    Masood: “So you multiply that one by that one and Jamal’s your uncle.” Something I used to say to Syed.
    Liam Butcher: When he was six?

    Carol Jackson: You used to like [milk].
    Sonia Jackson: Yeah, when I was about six.


    Bianca Jackson: When I was fourteen, I pricked my finger with a compass. I squeezed the blood out really hard and I swore I was never going to end up like my mother.

    Linda Carter: Gypsy put a curse on me once. All because I wouldn’t buy any pegs. I swear — until that day, my hair had a natural kink in it.

    Elaine Peacock to Linda: You’ve got such lovely hair. You got that from my side. Your dad’s mum was wispy as thread.

    Tina Carter on Mick’s hairstyle: He used to have curtains with blond bits at the front. He made me use Sun-In!

    Johnny Carter on Mick’s old leather jacket: Whose crime against fashion was this?
    Tina: Blimey, Mick, even I remember that! He [Mick] used to think he was the nuts in it. He’d swing it over his shoulder and lean.
    Johnny: And you fell for that, Mum?
    Linda Carter: He was the best looking boy in the school.

    Denise Fox to her daughter Libby: When you were in here [pointing to her stomach] and they asked me do I want to know if you’re a boy or a girl, I said, “No. Either way, I’m going to love it and it’ll just spoil the surprise.”

    Kevin on Libby: Why do you call her Squiggle?
    Denise: We showed Chelsea her scan photo and she said it looked like a little squiggle. And the name stuck.

    Owen Turner: Has your mum never told you about the time she made a cheese soufflé?
    Libby: No.
    Owen: Your mum was pregnant with you at the time.
    Denise: Hadn’t we had the scan that day?
    Owen to Libby: That’s right. Chelsea came up with the name Squiggle and your mother thought she’d cook a meal to celebrate. You [Denise] got a recipe from some magazine that said cornflour.
    Denise: Only the only cornflour I could find in the cupboard at the time was strawberry cornflour.
    Owen: You use it to make blancmanges and stuff only your mum thinks to herself, “It only needs a tablespoonful, it’s got a load of cheese in it, you’re never going to taste the strawberry.” It turned out brilliant, didn’t it? I mean, it looked good when it come out the oven!
    Denise: Bit pink. It was the most disgusting thing in the history of the universe.
    Owen: Unless you’ve got a thing for this, like, really sugary, synthetic strawberry taste mixed with really strong cheddar cheese!
    Denise: Not forgetting the mustard because there was mustard in it and all.
    Owen: It was all undercooked in the middle and all runny.
    Denise: Here’s the funny thing, right. He [Owen]’s trying to be all nice, makes out he likes it and we ate the lot, didn’t we?
    Owen: The things you do for love!

    Owen to Denise: God knows I’ve done things I’m not proud of, but you and Libby ...

    Roxy Mitchell: Did your mum make you a [name day] cake back home [in Latvia]?
    Aleks Kirovs: Yeah, sure — biezpienmaize, kind of a cheesecake. Delicious.

    Owen: Do you remember the day Libby was born?
    Denise: My waters broke in Bejam.
    Owen: I kept telling you to calm down and me — panicking all over the place!
    Denise: She weren’t due for a few more weeks. She was really tiny.

    Owen: They’re beautiful, kids. They fill you up, don’t they? All the good things — hopes, dreams and love.

    Denise to Libby: I loved him [Owen] very much when we had you.

    Owen: I was over the moon when Libby arrived.

    Denise on ‘Move Any Mountain’ by the Shamen: It’s the first song I heard after I had you [Libby]. Gets me every time. You were such a little thing.

    Owen on Libby: What was she — five pound? Like a little kitten.

    Denise to Libby: Didn’t think you were going to make it the first week. You had a chest infection. All these tubes coming out of you. Never been so scared. Owen said ...

    Owen on Libby: Slept with her on my chest. Handed her over to you [Denise] for the feeds. Happy days. We made a good family. Do you remember when she was little, we used to worry about her stopping breathing, dying in her sleep?

    Denise: I did have two kids of me own, neither of which starved.

    Owen: We had some good times, didn’t we?
    Denise: Yeah, of course we did. Shame about Chelsea though. Little five year old running around, wanting to play. Got on your nerves, didn’t it? I saw your face.
    Owen: I accepted you came as a package.

    Chelsea on Owen: You, him and Squiggle, you were a family. He hated me. He never wanted me around because I was another man’s kid.
    Denise: But if you’d come to me, if I’d known ...
    Chelsea: I did. You didn’t want to know. You’d just make excuses for him. I was your daughter, but when it came to it, you always took his side.

    Denise, speaking about Ian in 2014: I can help him. I know I can.
    Libby: That’s what you said about my dad.

    Owen: It wasn’t all bad, us, was it?
    Denise: No, not at first, not before the drinking. But after, never knew what mood you’d be in. You’d fly off the handle at the slightest thing. Trying to talk sense to you just made it worse, and that’s when I’d get it. You was always sorry afterwards, weren’t you? You’d cry like a baby. I could see how much pain you were in and so I’d forgive you. The more I tried to help, the more you lashed out.

    Owen: I was out of control.
    Denise: The more I forgave, the more I got hurt.
    Owen: I was wrong. Everything I did, I was wrong.

    Denise: All that other stuff got on your nerves, didn’t it? Mortgages, marriage — didn’t want to talk about that much.
    Owen: Why should I?
    Denise: Because that’s you do.
    Owen: No, I ain’t settling for that. That’s all ... we were outsiders that summer and the next thing you know, everyone’s walking about, suit and a tie on, as if nothing ever happened.
    Denise: It was a party, Owen, not a revolution.
    Owen: I never said it was.
    Denise: Kids come along, they make you boring, it’s unavoidable, but you’ve got to start planning beyond the weekend.
    Owen: Yeah — give up, eh? Lie down, have your belly tickled, eh? Rot till you’re dead? That was never us.

    Zainab Masood: Girls learn to walk quicker. Syed and Tam, they sat and crawled for as long as they possibly could. Shabnam was already up and pulling things off the side.

    Masood, looking at an old photograph of Shabnam: That was taken in our first house.
    Zainab: I loved that house. I hated that wallpaper.
    Masood: I loved that wallpaper.
    Zainab: You hated it.
    Masood: I loved that wallpaper. You just never asked.

    Masood: With Syed, Shabnam and Tamwar, when they were growing up, each bit seems to go by so quickly.

    Shabnam Masood: It’s all right for Syed and Tam. They know what they want to do. I think they came out the womb knowing.

    Shabnam to her brother Tamwar: You’ve both always known what you wanted to do, but me ...

    Zainab to Shabnam: All I ever wanted was a better life for you and your brothers.

    Shabnam to Masood: You always wanted me to travel.

    Syed Masood: Dad used to take us round these National Trust places when we were kids.

    Ruby Allen to Johnny: You used to read ["Horace the Hungry Hippo"] to me when I was little.

    Shirley Carter on Heather: I’ve been making her tea over twenty years.

    Blossom Jackson, Billie’s great-grandmother: One morning, Billie woke me up with a cup of tea. He was about three. First cup of tea he ever made. It was cold and it had coffee in it but I pretended it was the best cup of tea I ever had. But then I thought, “Billie couldn’t turn the taps on.” So I said to him, “Where’d you get this water from, Billie?”
    Bianca: Where’d he get it?
    Blossom: From the toilet!

    Billie Jackson on his cousin Bradley: The Ginger Whinger. Flushed his ninja turtle down the toilet, didn’t I?

    Bianca on Bradley: The nerdy little kid with the Klingon mask.

    Sonia on Bradley: The last time I saw him, I was watching the telly and he was bouncing all over the room trying to be 007.

    Stacey Slater, looking at a childhood photo of Bradley: Who’s the geek?

    Max Branning: Bradley was four. Me and his mum, we took him to Eastbourne, a week in a caravan — this seaside place where we used to visit. He used to love it. Turns out the whole country had a heatwave. Eastbourne, it rained every day but one.
    Stacey: Good job with his pale skin.
    Max: The last day, the sun was shining. We took him up to Beachy Head. It was like you could see forever. Bradley looked up at me and said, “Dad, is this the end of the world?” And we stayed there till the sun went down.

    Max, speaking in 2010: I was trying to find some [photos] of Bradley [in Eastbourne] but I think we gave him the camera so it turns out the whole film’s just pictures of the sea.

    Max: Bradley always looked up to you, Jack.

    Sonia: You weren't exactly perfect when you was [fourteen].
    Natalie Price: No, but then I wasn't brainy like you.

    Bianca: You didn't know [Tiffany], did you really?
    Natalie: No. Not like you did. Tell you the truth, I was always thought she was a bit, you know, rough.
    Bianca: She was lovely. A bit wild when she was younger, but we all were. She was no different from you and me really. Just as likely to get into trouble, but just a bit more likely to get caught.

    Simon Raymond on Tiffany: She got involved with somebody she shouldn't.

    Tiffany: I've been pregnant when I was fourteen. I got caught first time. Stupid really, I should have known better. I was at school at the time.

    Terry Raymond to Tiffany: You, knocked up by your own
    teacher. I still haven't gotten over the
    embarrassment.

    Tiffany: When my dad found out, he went mad.

    Terry on Tiffany: I made her pay.

    Tiffany on Terry: He was in one of his rages one day and started screaming and shouting and pushing me about and that.

    Terry on Tiffany: I lost my temper. I got drunk and I threw her down the stairs.

    Tiffany: There was all sorts of complications. I lost my baby. It was all his fault.

    Terry: That was an accident.

    Grant Mitchell: You pushed her down the stairs. You made her lose a kid.
    Terry: She was a whore. A good slapping's what she needed. It's what she got.

    Terry: Tiffany, you were so young. All I ever wanted was the best for you.

    Tiffany: My dad said it was punishment and that I'd never have any more kids after that.

    Simon: Dad never let up, kept telling her that she'd messed up her insides, that she'd never be able to get pregnant again and have her own family, that she'd given up her right to have children.

    Tiffany on Terry: I believed him.

    Simon on Tiffany: She changed after that. It was like she built this self-defence mechanism so no one could ever hurt her again. She put up this front that the last thing she ever wanted to do was settle down and have kids. I knew it wasn't true, but she actually started to believe it.

    Kate Morton: I left home, went to Brighton, did my [police] training.

    Kevin: Brighton, the Wicks’s annual family outing. We’ve had great times there, haven’t we?
    Carly: I’ve always hated Brighton.

    Garry Hobbs: There ain’t a back alley in Brighton that I haven’t ... well, you know. My old stomping ground.

    Garry: We used to come down the beach on a Friday night and get lashed up with cider, wait till the sun come up in the morning. A whole group of us there was, all with our stylish knotted hankies on our head.

    Kate: Ever since I left home, I've always lived on my own. There's never been anyone I wanted to take the plunge with. Flings yeah, but nothing serious, no-one permanent.

    Michael Moon: I’ve kicked a few [women] out in my time.
    Vanessa Gold: Yeah, but I bet you made it clear. Didn’t hide behind love and promises. I bet all those women knew exactly what they were getting.
    Michael: They did.

    Kate: I had this boyfriend once and he had this thing about me talking to him [during sex], but I never knew what to say. He was like, "Kate, Kate, tell me you're loving it," and I'd be like, "Mm, this is champion. I am thoroughly enjoying every second of it" — second being the operative word.

    Dexter Hartman to his parents, Ava and Sam: How did you two meet?
    Sam James: We ended up in the same squat.
    Dexter: Mum, you used to live in a squat?! I bet my mum had you [Sam] doing all the cleaning, getting out the rota and that, the hoovering, all of that nonsense.
    Sam: Don’t you believe it. Your mother was wild.
    Dexter: What kind of wild?
    Sam: Last-person-standing-on-the-dance-floor kind of wild. She had all the moves. Everyone used to form circles round her.
    Ava: He’s exaggerating.
    Sam to Ava: Remember the roof party? You could see the whole of London up there. It started to rain halfway through. Everyone went inside, but [Ava], she carried on dancing. Got soaked to the skin.

    Ava on Sam: I hear him laugh and all of a sudden, it’s 1991 and I’m in some squat in Croydon.
    Cora: Romantic.
    Ava: We were happy.

    Sam to Ava: I used to make you laugh. And I used to let you nick my chips because you never ordered your own.

    Ava on Sam: He’s no good, never has been.

    Sam: I’ve made a career out of repairing cowboy work.

    Ava: Me and you were both messed up kids, but I would have done anything to make it work. I loved you so damn much.
    Sam: You know I loved you too, right?
    Ava: No. I didn’t know that, not back then, no.

    Michael Moon: I’ve never been in love. I’ve said it a few times, even thought I meant it, but I didn’t.

    Eddie Moon: I killed [your] mother. That’s what you think, isn’t it, Michael? I was so cold, so neglectful, so callous that she had no choice but to do away with herself. That’s why you’re so bitter and messed up. That’s why you can’t love anyone, why you’ve never had a relationship that lasts more than three months.

    Andy Hunter on first love: Something I've never had. I don't know why, there's no one to blame, it's just me. I tried with Bev. We got married. That was supposed to be it. I thought, "Yeah, this is good. You're almost happy."
    Charlie Slater: So what happened?
    Andy: She couldn't make Yorkshire pudding like me mum. I always wanted to have kids, but somehow it was never quite the right time — she had a hairdresser's appointment or a weekend booked on a health farm.

    Jack Dalton to Dennis Rickman: I never had kids of my own. I wasn't interested. When you came along, I took an instant shine. Head and shoulders above the pack you stood. You and me, we hit it off. We got along. Sixteen you were, just out of that home. I took you under my wing. We could hop on the intercity, go to Brighton. Remember those days?

    Dennis on Jack: I've known him since I was a kid. I used to drink at his club now and again, the odd game of cards. He was all right, Dalton. He looked out for me now and then.
    Den Watts: Did [Dalton] know that you were my [son]?
    Dennis: No. He knew I didn't have an old man. He liked playing father figure. Took me under his wing. I used to think that made me the right dog's.

    Jack to Dennis: I was the bloke who was always there. Your mother wasn't interested. Your foster parents got shot of you as quick as they could. All that rejection and I was the only bloke who understood. It was me — me — since you were sixteen.

    Phil Mitchell on Dennis: Jack pretty much brought him up as his own.

    Jack: You were the nearest to a son I ever had.
    Dennis: And you were the nearest to a dad. How sad is that?

    Andy to Dennis: What is this daddy fixation you [had] with Dalton? Always following him around.

    Dennis: Perhaps right from the start when I first met Jack — I weren't hardly sixteen — but I always knew he was going to send someone to kill me and I always knew I was going to have to kill him just to be rid of him.

    Jack to Dennis: You're not a killer. You never have been. I spotted that years ago. You've got a soft side. That's why I liked you.

    Jack: You used to come round at weekends, clean my pool. I used to let you lie out in the sun, have a few drinks.
    Dennis: You used to fancy me.
    Jack: That's a filthy lie.
    Dennis: Everyone said it.
    Jack: They were jealous. I'm no poofter, never have been. I had a genuine liking. I took to you. I gave you respect, money. I put you on the fast track.
    Dennis: To where? Nowhere. Nothing. You ain't a businessman, you're a crook. You steal and kill for money, that's it. It ain't glamorous, it ain't clever.
    Jack: That's not what you used to think.

    Dennis: You ever played Mr Do? It’s an arcade game. I used to play it down on the pier when I was signing on. Bit of a girl’s game, really — you know, digging tunnels, collecting cherries — but every now and again, this star would appear and if you got that star, you got to have another go.
    Phil: So?
    Dennis: So my life wasn’t all that when I lived down there. Brighton can be pretty depressing in the winter, but I don’t know, when this star turned up, it made me happy.
    Phil: Well, you’re easily pleased, aren’t you?

    Phil to Dennis: You should have been out with your mates, down the pub or out on the pull, but you weren’t. You were down the arcades, playing games on your own. What does that tell you?

    Dennis: All my life, I’ve been looking for a real star. At times, I thought I’d found it — boxing, girls, Dalton — but they weren’t it.

    Owen on boxing: I did a little bit. I was never exactly professional or anything like that.

    Owen: Nothing could scare me. I’ve been punched more times than I can remember. Fear didn’t work on me.

    Derek Branning to his daughter Alice: [Boxing] wasn’t your mother’s scene.

    Mick Carter on arm-wrestling: I’ve beat geezers who are built like brick walls and I tell you for why — it’s all in the nut.

    Andy Jones on Danielle: She was always a mummy’s girl. When she was very little she wouldn’t even let me push the buggy. She used to yell at me, “Mummy do”. Me and Lizzie, we had this game where Lizzie would go behind the buggy and I’d go behind Lizzy, only I’d have my arms around the side of her with my hands on the handle of the buggy.
    Ronnie Mitchell: Fooling Danielle.
    Andy: Not for long. She was too smart for us. She just wanted her mum.

    Sean Slater: When Stacey was about three she got measles. Mum and Dad, they were really worried about her so they took her out of our room and they put her in theirs. She started to scream. She screamed the house down because she wanted to be with me. She called me Nurse Sean. I used to brush her hair every morning. She had these little hair clips with daisies on them. Mum got them for her birthday and she wore them every day, every day. She wore them because they matched her pyjamas. It didn’t matter what pair of pyjamas, they matched. It was the first time in my life I knew what it felt like to be really needed.

    Jean: You couldn’t prise Stacey and Sean apart with a crowbar.

    Jean: Sean did things to photos. He’d gouge some faces out with a knife. I mean, not all photos, just people he’d taken against for some reason. He started when he was a kid. He hated his nan and so he ruined all of her photos and to this day I don’t know why.

    Tanya Branning on Cora: A big red sort of biscuit tin, that’s what she used to keep her photos in.
     
  9. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    1992

    Mick Carter to Linda: Of course I’m listening to you, darling. I haven’t missed a word that’s come out that lovely mouth of yours since 1992.

    Linda Carter: When I was at school, I was obsessed with tarot cards. It was a bit of a craze and one day, I got the Grim Reaper card and it shook me up so much I cried every night for a week practically. Anyway, nothing happened and I got over it. And then a few months later my dad died. I’m not saying that the cards predicted it, but the point is that all the tears I’d shed before didn’t stop the tears that came after.

    Linda: You think I can forget my dad dying?
    Stan Carter: Heart attack, wasn’t it? He wouldn’t have known.
    Linda: He knew.
    Stan: It was just his time.
    Linda: He was staring straight at me for help. I couldn’t save him.
    Stan: You were a kid.
    Linda: I was fifteen.
    Stan: Oh Linda, tell me you haven’t spent all these years thinking it was your fault.
    Linda: I didn’t know what to do.
    Stan: You screamed. We heard you, came out.
    Linda: You were there?
    Stan: You did everything right. Got the ambulance called in seconds — seconds, Linda. You were there for him.
    Linda: No, I weren’t. They made me let go of his hand.
    Stan: I made you let go. You had to. So they could take him to hospital, try and save him. You did all you could.
    Linda: Next time I saw him he was dead.

    Linda: Don’t tell me how to run that family. I’ve been holding it together since I was fifteen.

    Stan: I admired you, I really did — coming back from the hospital, leading your mum behind the bar.
    Linda: You were all just staring at us, wondering when you’d get your next drink.
    Stan: Wondering how you did it. You at the funeral, holding onto her as she crumbled. You were a good kid, Linda. I was glad my Mick would come to you.
    Linda: You look after family. That’s what you’re supposed to do.
    Stan: Family. And not three months later, you announcing you were pregnant.
    Linda: You saying I tricked him? Mick wanted a family.
    Stan: Almost as much as you.

    Lee Carter, Mick and Linda’s son: I was a mistake.
    Linda: Surprise. We prefer the word surprise.

    Linda on pregnancy cravings: I ate apples by the truckload.

    Tanya Branning: Me and Rainie never had much in common, actually.

    Cora Cross, holding up Tanya and Rainie’s school medals: The cross-country Cross sisters!

    Max Branning: Bradley was about four. It was his first school sports day. We ran in a piggy-back race. They gave us matching Bugs Bunny mugs. I smashed mine years ago.

    Bradley to Max: When I was younger, before you ran out on me and Mum, I used to think you were great. I wanted to be you.

    Max on Bradley: He wanted to be a Hobbit when he was five.

    Max Branning on himself and Bradley: We went for a walk in the country. He was five and walking in the country is not really my sort of thing and we got lost miles from anywhere. It was getting dark and we had to climb under this barbed wire fence. Bradley went first. He was only little — careful, not a scratch. I go next and just then, there’s this big frumpy girl walking past. She had khaki shorts and walking boots, you know the sort, and me, I can’t resist, can I? I’m looking up, copping an eyeful — so I’ve got this cut across me head, right across the top — probably no protective covering, that’s what it is — and I’ve got this blood running down my face and Bradley’s got this handkerchief with a little dog on it and he gave it to me, and we’re walking back across the fields and I had it held to my head. I kept looking back and there was little Bradley just checking out my cut. He was worried, you know, concerned, not bothered that his mutt of a dad had got him lost or that he was two hours late for his tea. He was just concerned for his dad, and that’s my son. That’s Bradley.

    Max on Bradley: He always was a good timekeeper.

    Derek Branning on Joey: He’s always been handy round a football.

    Alice Branning on Derek: The river — he took Joey fishing there once.

    Joey Branning on childhood memories: Waiting outside the pub for four hours the day Derek got released out the nick, visiting me mum in the hospital when he broke her collarbone.

    Charlie Cotton, Jr on Nick: He treated me and my mum like dirt for years.

    Charlie on Nick: He used to hit Mum. The two of them together, it’s poison. He knocks her about and then he walks out. She loves him and she takes him back every time.

    Derek Branning: I had a Triumph Stag. You was proud as punch when you saw it.
    Joey: It was yellow. It was a pretty cool car. It was like ... what was that comic I used to read? It was like the superhero’s car.
    Derek: We got through bags of [flying saucer sweets] on that trip to Southend. You sitting on my lap steering, me working the pedals. Driving down the front, beeping at the girls, your mum laughing. We did used to laugh, me and your mum. We had fun that day.
    Joey: It was all right, yeah. Never got the chance to drive the old Triumph though, did I?
    Derek: Only the lucky few do.
    Joey: I always wanted to.

    Derek: You loved the bones of me once.
    Joey: What — after one week in Southend?
    Derek: You were sitting there on my lap! We were laughing!

    Max Branning on Derek: I know he ain’t been the best dad in the world. I know he ain’t been much of a dad at all.

    Derek: I’ve been a lousy dad.

    Derek: You never was worth bothering about.
    Joey: Because I saw through you?

    Joey to Derek: I remember things — you bent over Mum, beating the hell out of her. I can see it now, peering through the door into the kitchen, you and Mum going at it, then you whacking her in the stomach.
    Derek: No, no, no. I’ve done some bad things, I admit it, but I would never hit a woman.

    Joey on Derek: He used to hit me mum all the time. He even hit her with the phone once. Thought she'd been chatting some other bloke down the pub so he took it off her and he smacked her with it.

    Carol Jackson: Did you hit Joey's mum? I knew the pair of you had your moments.
    Derek: Yeah, moments. That's all they were, moments.

    Derek to his daughter Alice: Me and your mother, we used to have almighty rows, smashing things, shouting, and then in the morning, it would be like nothing had happened.

    Carol, speaking in 1994: I can't remember the last time we was both working.
    Alan Jackson: Got to be two years [ago].

    Lenny Wallace, speaking in 1996: Me, Alan and his brother Malcolm used to work on a building site in the city about four years back.

    Paul Trueman, speaking in 2002: I used to be a Redcoat, for two weeks one summer ten years ago.

    Patrick Trueman on Milton Hibbert's daughter Rebecca: The last time I saw her, she was about ten years old.

    Kim Fox on Denise: Let me introduce you to the fifth member of Eternal that never was.
    Denise Fox: They said they were going to call me for an audition, you know.

    Julie Perkins: Fergie had [Prince] Andrew for all those years and she ended up waist-high in debt and her toes in some other man’s mouth.

    Syed Masood: We used to have this family party at the end of the summer holidays. Dad called it Camp Cowboy. It was just a load of family sitting around in the garden, tons of kids charging about. We’d have this fire going and Dad insisted on cooking all of the food on it. He’d just burn everything. We’d have to wear these cowboy hats and we’d sit round the fire and toast marshmallows.
    Christian Clarke: Sounds like fun.
    Syed: Yeah, it was.

    Bianca Jackson on being fifteen: Back then, we didn’t even have mobile phones. Or Jeremy Kyle.

    Ava Hartman: We didn’t even have mobile phones in my day.
    Dexter Hartman: What was it your day then — carrier pigeon?
    Ava: Yeah.

    Robbie: You had prissy little flowers [on your bedroom wall].
    Bianca: So? You're allowed flowers when you're fifteen.

    Bianca: I hated school most of the time but I went, I tried.

    Bianca, speaking about Walford High School in 2013: That heating’s been breaking down since I went there.

    Natalie Price: Bianca and Tiffany used to hang around together at school just to wind each other up most of the time, about boys and that.

    Tiffany: What was that cocky little git's name? You know, the one with the funny eyes, he was in the fifth form.
    Bianca: Oh, Darren. Poor bloke. He'd hardly puckered up before you chucked him.
    Tiffany: Yeah I know, but he kept dribbling in me ear. He drove me mad!
    Bianca: You thought you were so hard!
    Tiffany: Oh, and you didn't? You had a right reputation.
    Bianca: Well rather mine than yours.
    Tiffany: What [was that]?
    Bianca: Slapper!

    Natalie on Bianca and Tiffany: When them two got together, they wouldn't let me join in.

    Natalie to Bianca: You always were a bully, even at school.

    Tanya: I don’t do bullies. Never have.

    Natalie, quoting Bianca: "It's all right, Natalie, go and sit in the playground with the losers. It's all right, Natalie, you don't have to come out with me Saturday night, I've got plenty of other mates." Do you know how many times I've heard you say that? Have you got any idea how you made me feel — always getting pushed away like I didn't matter, like I wasn't interesting or attractive or anything?

    Natalie: I've always known you could be a bit of a cow.
    Bianca: You've always been a bit of a square, haven't you?

    Andrea Price: They can do wonders with foundation. With her spots, [Natalie] would never have got through her teens without it.

    Natalie: I never seemed to have much luck in the boy department. [Bianca] was the one who had a way with men. The boys at school loved her. She went from one crush to the next. You couldn't keep up with her.

    Bianca: When I was a teenager I got a crush. I got loads of crushes. Crushes all the time.

    Natalie on Bianca's boyfriends: You had some dipsticks in the past.
    Bianca: Like who?
    Natalie: Paul Simmonds.
    Bianca: He wasn't bad.
    Natalie: He had the IQ of a frog.
    Bianca: He was gorgeous though, wasn't he?
    Natalie: If you like that sort of thing.
    Bianca: You're just jealous because I saw him first.

    Carol Jackson to Natalie: You've always been jealous of Bianca, haven't you?

    Bianca: You were just jealous because I was more popular. Just admit it, Natalie, you never had anything of your own. Remember that boy in the record shop? You knew I fancied him. Couldn't wait to get off with him, could you? Even pretended you liked reggae!
    Natalie: At least I went after blokes my own age. I wasn't the one sleeping with married men when I was still studying for my GCSEs.

    Bianca: I used to hate exams. I didn't pass any of my GCSEs.
    Carol: Only because you weren't interested. You never put the effort in.

    Bianca on herself and Robbie: We’ve barely got a GCE between us and do you know why? Because you are a bad mother. Spent so much time thinking about yourself, you never had time to sit down with us and go through our homework or exams.
    Carol: You did badly at school because you couldn’t be bothered, simple as that. I mean, half the time you never even turned up. What was I supposed to do — drag you there myself, handcuff you to the desk?
    Bianca: Yeah maybe.
    Carol: Then you would have done what you always did when I put my foot down - threatened to call Childline or bunk off even more just to spite me.

    Bianca: Where did we go [on school trips] in our day?
    Kat Moon: Can’t remember. I was always bunking off.
    Bianca: Yeah, and me.

    Bianca, speaking in 2009: I did not sit down with my school careers officer and put down scrimping, saving and cutting out coupons as one of my interests. It’s not exactly a life choice.

    Yvonne Cotton: I can’t say it was my life’s ambition to wipe elderly backsides.

    Babe Smith: Slaving over a hot stove isn’t exactly how I imagined my twilight years.

    Carol on Bianca: She'd come rushing in from [clothes] shopping and give us all a fashion parade up and down the living room.
    Blossom Jackson: I remember Alan's sister doing that once.
    Carol: We used to have such a laugh when we went shopping together. You know, we was more like sisters.

    Carol: Time was you used to tell me everything.
    Bianca: Believe me, Mum, there's never been a time when I'd tell you everything.

    Natalie: [What] about the time you and Tiff went with those brickies to Yarmouth for the weekend?
    Bianca: Well, at least when we fancied blokes, we got them. Remember the school disco, do you, Nat? Me and Tiff were wetting ourselves laughing watching you trying to get off with that DJ. It was pathetic.

    Sonia Jackson: I used to see them all, all dressed up and ready to go out — my sister, Tiffany, Natalie. I used to wish I could go out with them. My mum would say, "It's all right, Sonia. Your turn will come."

    Natalie: At least I wasn't the one sleeping with married men when I was still in Year 11.
    Bianca: That was a one off.

    Whitney Dean to Bianca: You weren’t sat at home at fifteen watching telly. You was out pulling blokes twice your age.

    Bianca: By the time I was [fifteen], I had loads of blokes.

    Kirsty Branning: Where I come from, you get to sixteen without having sex, you’re the weird one or a nun.

    Carol on Bianca: She's always been really warm and affectionate. She's just always chosen the wrong people to be affectionate to. I wasn't much cop at choosing the right blokes either. I suppose I set her a bad example.

    Bianca to Carol: Maybe you pushed me into it. What ordinary fifteen year old girl goes all starry-eyed over a middle-aged man?

    Dan Sullivan on Bianca: She was in a bar. She was with some mates. I met her. We had a laugh. I was crazy then.

    Bianca on Dan: From the minute he picked me up in that bar when I was fifteen, he just took advantage of me and then he just used me.

    Dan: You was a dirty little slut who [went with] anyone who bought you drinks all night long.
    Bianca: You were married.
    Dan: Which I never lied to you about and as far as I remember, you was all right about all that.
    Bianca: I didn't know any better. I was just out for a good time. I was a kid.

    Dan: I've always been no good. I was a bad husband. I hurt people — my wife, my kids. I cheated on her. I was a drunk and I played around.

    Carol on Bianca: She was fifteen years old.
    Dan: I didn't know that. She didn't tell me.
    Carol: Doesn't make it legal though.
    Dan: She lied to me.
    Carol: How did you meet a fifteen year old girl in the first place?
    Dan: I was drunk. I was at a party. It was a mistake, a stupid mistake.

    Dan: We had a fling. We had a good time, didn't we?
    Bianca: No, not really. Except for in bed, but that don't mean nothing.

    Dan: What we had is nothing. It was cheap and it was meaningless.

    Bianca: You used to drink yourself almost unconscious some nights when I was there.

    Bianca: I've loved you since I was fifteen.
    Dan: You didn't love me. I was horrible to you.
    Bianca: Not all the time. You treated me like an adult. I was aching to grow up and then you came along.
    Dan: So was I the first then?
    Bianca: The first that meant anything, yeah. You made me feel like a real person. You never talked down to me. When I was with you, I always felt we was equal and it really means a lot when you're young. And I also remember thinking it was wicked going out with someone in the rag trade.

    Bianca: We had our moments, didn't we? We had loads of fun.
    Dan: Yeah I know, but you're making up a history that simply didn't happen.

    Dan on his relationship with Bianca: There was never anything between us.

    Dan on his relationship with Bianca: We loved each other.

    Bianca, looking at old photos of her and Dan: Do you remember where these were taken? They were done after your mate's birthday party. We must have been there for a good couple of hours and I remember that feeling of never wanting to let you go.
    Dan: Have a look at my hair there. I look like a teddy boy, don't I?
    Bianca: And mine, look. Don't I look young?
    Dan: Yeah, but you was, weren't you?

    Dan to Bianca: I ended it the moment I found out your real age.

    Bianca: Why do you think I come clean about my age?
    Dan: To end it.

    Dan: I was good enough for you.
    Bianca: Oh no, no, you weren't. And I figured that out pretty soon after you decided to get rid of me.

    Dan: You got upset.
    Bianca: You just walked out leaving me crying in that pub, feeling sick in my stomach.
    Dan: It wasn't that easy for me either. B, you was fifteen. I was married, I had a kid. If I'd never finished it like that, I would never have let you go.

    Bianca on Dan: What he want[ed was to] shut me up, get me out the way.

    Bianca: You really hurt me, Dan. I was mad about you. I was in love with you.
    Dan: It was just a silly little crush, that's all. You didn't know me.
    Bianca: I did.
    Dan: I never even knew it meant that much to you. You don't actually think we could have got serious, do you? It never would have worked.

    Natalie on Dan: He broke your heart.
    Bianca: He didn't.
    Natalie: That's what you told me.
    Bianca: No, I never.
    Natalie: You liar! You cried your eyes out for a week after he ditched you.
    Bianca: I was fifteen, Nat. What do you expect? I had a crush on him. I was too stupid to know a creep when I saw one.
    Natalie: Pretty good looking creep, though.

    Cora, watching Tanya’s daughter Lauren throwing up in the kitchen sink in 2012: We went through all this twenty years ago with her mother.

    Tanya on Lauren: I was always on the lash when I was her age.

    Roxy Mitchell: Mum and Dad had this dinner party and me and my mate Trish found this bottle of wine just sitting there in the hallway, open.
    Archie Mitchell: It was breathing.
    Roxy: Yeah, yeah. So we drunk the lot. We were absolutely mullered. He [Archie] comes through, “Do you know how much that bottle of wine cost me?”
    Archie: Sixty-eight quid!
    Sean Slater: What did you do, Arch - put her over your knee, give her a good spanking?
    Archie: Well they were fourteen, rolling around like a pair of kittens, drunk but cute. How could I be angry?

    Ronnie to Roxy: Do you want to know why he [Archie] didn’t clatter you that time you were drinking wine? Because he was about to sign a bunch of dodgy contracts with Trish’s dad for some ex-council flats.

    Glenda Mitchell: After Archie, I knew I’d never remarry. I didn’t want to give anyone that power over me again, but I didn’t want to ask him for a divorce either because I knew he’d use it to hurt me, make me beg, so I just put the whole subject to the back of my mind, forgot about it.

    Glenda: Archie and I were never officially divorced.

    Peggy: Archie and Glenda were divorced.

    Glenda: I never signed any divorce papers.
    Archie’s estate lawyer: You wouldn’t have to. If you were absent and untraceable for over two years, Mr Mitchell would have been able to get the divorce granted without your signature.

    Glenda: I did come back to the house in Romford a few years [after leaving]. I got as far as the driveway and I saw Archie come in and out a couple of times but you girls, you were gone.
    Roxy: So why didn’t you just ask Dad where we were?
    Glenda: Do you really think he would have told me? I knew then that I would never see you again.
    Ronnie: Why didn’t you ask someone else? You could have asked Aunty Peg.
    Glenda: We didn’t really get along in those days. And the Mitchells, they stick together, don’t they?
    Roxy: You could have found us, you could have tracked us down.
    Glenda: I didn’t know where to start and the longer I stayed away, the harder it got. In the end I just convinced myself that you didn’t need me.

    Ronnie: The last time [I made hot chocolate with marshmallows] was when you fell off your rollerblades, do you remember? Right in front of Philip Hadley. Dad thought it was a big laugh. I could see you were trying not to cry.
    Roxy: You saw right through me every time.
    Ronnie: Well, what kind of a big sister would I be if I didn’t, heh?

    Sam James on Ava’s beef stew: I remember it like it was yesterday.

    Ava: No one’s ever made me feel like Sam did. But then no one’s ever hurt me that badly either.

    Sam to Ava: The way your mum gave you up when you were a baby, you always said it didn’t matter, but it did. She was this ghost you carried around with you. The whole time we were together, you were so paranoid I was going to leave, you made it impossible for me to stay. Accusing me of cheating every time I was late home, checking through my stuff all the time — you think I didn’t notice?
    Ava: That’s not the way I remember it.

    Max to Bradley: Do you remember when you was a kid, that Sunday I took you out? Went out on the toboggan. over and over down that hill. You loved it. Screaming your head off, you were. Little red coat. You were my little mate.

    Zainab Masood to Tamwar: You’ve had this fundamental personality flaw since when you were Kamil’s age [two years old]. You don’t stick with things. You don’t pay attention to the details, to the little things.

    Jean: Stacey and Sean were in bed by 7pm every night, thanks to Brian.

    Stacey to Jean: Do you remember that time you brought that birthday cake up to mine and Sean’s room? Can’t remember whose birthday it was but I must have been about five. It was the middle of the night. You were so pleased, you had to show us even though it meant waking us up. You come running up the stairs, “Look at my cake, look at my cake, see how it’s risen!” We had to eat it then and there even though it was still warm. It became a regular thing, didn’t it — when you were hyper and you needed someone to talk to. Picnics at midnight — you had stuff to say and you couldn’t keep it to yourself so you used to get all this food together and bring it upstairs. Crisps, jam sandwiches, chocolate, you name it. You thought we liked it. I think we did, the first few times anyway.

    Judy Mackintosh: Coffee cake, your favourite. You used to help me bake it. Do you remember?
    Fiona “Tosh” Mackintosh, her daughter: Of course I do. I never forget that one year it was your birthday. I stayed up late making you a coffee cake so I could bring it to you in bed in the morning.
    Judy: I thought that was your sister.
    Tosh: No, it was me.
    Judy: You couldn’t bake.
    Tosh: Exactly. It was a mess, but you still ate it.

    Jean to Stacey: Do you remember playing bob the apple at your birthday, and pin the tail on the donkey?

    Jean on arranging a child’s birthday party: I never got to do this with Stacey or Sean. I was always either in bed or in the co-op in my nightie.

    Jean: I never put my hand out to my little girl. I never put you first.
    Stacey: I picked myself up. I always have.

    Minty Peterson: My mum was ill. It's horrible, it breaks your heart, [but] I did it.
    Alfie Moon: You packed your mum off [to a home]?
    Minty: Yeah. It was hard, but it was the best for everyone.

    Minty: My mum went completely bonkers as soon as she walked through the door [of the nursing home].

    Andrew Cotton, speaking to Rose in 2011: I should have put you in a home years ago, if I could have found one that would have you.

    Mick Carter on Shirley never telling him she was his mother: I get you being scared as a kid, I was the same age when I had Lee, but then you went and married Kevin and you had more kids. So why didn’t you tell me then? Or when I had kids? I had Lee and you knew he was your grandson. You never said anything. You never said anything because you didn’t care enough.

    Stan to Lee: You inherited your subtlety from your old man.

    Dexter Hartman: I was born [confident].

    Ava: Dexter, my proudest achievement.

    Sam James to Ava: You were my world, you and little Dexter.

    Sam: The day he was born, I remember you gazing down at him like nothing else existed. Afterwards, the closest we got was brushing shoulders in the hallway.
    Ava: I’d just had a baby. Please excuse me if I wasn’t up for it.
    Sam: I don’t mean that. I’m talking about holding each other, intimacy, tenderness. All I’m saying is maybe it wasn’t black and white.
     
  10. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Dream Maker

    Message Count:
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    1993

    Heather Trott on her New Year’s resolution for 2011: Mine’s to find a bloke.
    Shirley Carter: You’ve been saying that for the past twenty years.
    Heather: Oi, that ain’t funny — it’s only been eighteen!

    Sam James: I thought things would change when Dexter came along, but it didn’t.
    Ava Hartman: So you just ditched us?
    Sam: I tried to stay.
    Ava: Not hard enough, Sam.

    Sam to Dexter: I wasn’t mature enough to be a dad. That “all you need is love” talk is rubbish. You need strength, real steel. I didn’t have it. That’s no excuse, but it’s the truth. I hated myself for it. I mean, proper hate. I truly believed you were better off without me.

    Ava, speaking to Sam in 2013: Twenty years ago, you walked out on me and our three month old baby and you didn’t look back.

    Sam to Ava: I didn’t have a choice. You didn’t give me one. I didn’t just jump out of your lives, I was pushed, partly by you.

    Sam to Dexter: Why did I run out on you all those years ago? Simple answer is I wasn’t strong enough. A big man like me and I couldn’t cope. Couldn’t take the strain. My head filled up with panic, panic about being a dad, panic about being a husband and I got terrified about it all. It wasn’t you and Ava I ran out on, it was all the things I found out about myself.

    Ava to Sam: Do you remember the last thing you said to me? “I’m just nipping out for a pint of milk.”

    Dexter Hartman on Sam: He went for a pint of milk and he never come back. You treat dogs better than that.

    Ava to Sam: I thought you’d been hit by a bus, attacked, mugged — which would have been better. At least we could have mourned you properly.

    Ava on Sam: He had problems back then.

    Dexter on his parents: She hated him for walking out on us.

    Ava to Sam: You disappeared and we got by. We managed, me and Dexter.

    Dexter on himself and Ava: It’s always just been me and her.

    Sam: You two were better off without me.
    Ava: No, we weren’t.

    Ava to Sam: All those years of me trying to be mum and dad, he [Dexter] never stopped wanting you. I’ve been dealing with the fallout from your mistakes for the past twenty years.

    Dexter to Ava: Everything you’ve ever done has been for me.

    Cora Cross: It can’t have been easy bring Dexter up on your own.
    Ava: You weren’t there.
    Cora: No, I wasn’t and if I had been, I wouldn’t have been much help.

    Tanya to Cora: I don’t recall you being much help when it came to Rainie. In fact, I don’t recall you being around at all.

    Little Mo Morgan: "She walks in beauty like the night
    Of cloudless climes and starry skies,
    And all that's best of dark and bright
    Meet in her aspect and her eyes."

    We had to learn it at school. It just sort of stuck.

    Shirley: Hev’s never read a poem in her life.

    Little Mo: My prefect's badge — it's the oldest thing I've got.
    Lynne Slater: When were you a prefect, Mo?
    Little Mo: I wasn't, but Martin O'Donnell was and he gave it to me as a token of his love.
    Belinda: [He was] the fat one.
    Little Mo: He was not fat, he was big-boned.

    Little Mo: I didn't go behind the bike sheds, thank you very much.
    Alfie Moon: Oh, were you a bit like Miss Goody Two Shoes or something?
    Little Mo: No. Nobody ever asked me.

    Little Mo: I remember when I first saw my Trevor, all wobbly inside I went — and I weren't [yet sixteen]. Proper childhood sweethearts we was. Swept me off my feet. I couldn't believe me luck, someone as good-looking as Trevor interested in little me.

    Little Mo: Trevor noticed me. No one's ever done that [before].

    Little Mo on an ornament of an angel: That was the first present Trevor ever bought me. I saw it in a magazine and I said I liked it. We'd only been going out together a fortnight. Next thing I know, he's bought it for me and he's saying to me, "This is to show you how much I love you and that you'll always be mine."

    Little Mo: Me and Trevor, we made a pact because we've only ever been with each other, if you see what I mean. It was all we ever really wanted, really.

    Little Mo: It's so romantic, that first bit [of a relationship]. My Trevor used to spend hours telling me how pretty I was.
    Kat Slater: Was that before or after he hit you?

    Little Mo: All I ever wanted was for you to love me and not hurt me.
    Trevor Morgan: I didn't want to hurt you. I never wanted to hurt you.

    Trevor: Do you remember what I said I would do to you if you ever went with somebody else?
    Little Mo: You said you'd kill me.

    Big Mo on Trevor: That boy's been a psycho from Day One.

    Little Mo to her sisters: You all loved [Trevor] as much as I did in the beginning, you remember? Dad thought the sun shone out of his bum.
    Lynne: We all did.

    Trevor on Viv Slater: She never liked me.

    Little Mo to Kat: You never liked him — Trevor.

    Trevor on Little Mo: Her family have always hated me.

    Trevor on the Slaters: It's them, it's always been them. We never stood a chance with them interfering, sticking their noses in, whispering in your ear.
    Little Mo: They just wanted what was best for me.

    Trevor to Little Mo: You've never been strong mentally.

    Kat on Little Mo: She's had her dream wedding planned since she was sixteen.

    Little Mo: We always talked about becom[ing] a proper family, just me and Trevor and a couple of little kids. Poor old Trevor never really got on with his own family, bless him.

    Kirsty Branning: I don’t do the family thing. Left home as soon as I could. It didn’t make anything better. Not anything good, really.

    Nigel Bates: My old mum had premonitions all the time. She always backed the winner of the Derby. My mum always knew when a member of the family was going to die.

    Nigel: Mum always said it was her liver that would get her in the end. She was down the old British Legion six nights a week, supping the old milk stouts. "Good for the circulation," that's what she always said. Then there was the scotch. Cor dear, you should have seen her — knocking it back like there was no tomorrow. She went out bowling three times a week. Bingo — well, you couldn't keep her away. She was a game old bird.

    Grant Mitchell: How long have you been drinking alcohol?
    Tiffany Raymond: As long as I've been old enough for people to buy it for me.

    Glenda Mitchell: I've spent most of my adult life pouring drinks.

    Paul Trueman on his brother Anthony: Never could handle a drink.

    Irene Hills: I once spilled a Bloody Mary in a jacuzzi. Caused no end of fuss. They thought I'd been stabbed.

    Dan Sullivan: My boy had [a rubber duck]. He loved it at bath time.
    Carol Jackson: Well, bath-time is when most blokes show up. It's easy to get sentimental about the last half hour of the day.
    Bianca Jackson: Alan wasn't like that.
    Carol: No, he wasn't.

    Bianca: I remember Billie wore one white glove all summer once. Do you remember?
    Jack Branning: Yeah, he was obsessed with Michael Jackson, weren't he?
    Bianca: Only because he thought he was his uncle.
    Alan Jackson: Yeah, that's because I told him he was.
    Bianca: Yeah, till you said you fell out because you was a better singer!

    Bianca: Do you remember when you was little and I had you believing that Mick Hucknall was my dad?
    Sonia: What you talking about?
    Bianca: Yeah, Mick Hucknall — Simply Red, big in the eighties.
    Sonia: You didn’t.
    Bianca: Yes, I did.
    Sonia: No, you didn’t.
    Bianca: I did. [Sings:] “Holding back the years …”
    Sonia: All right. You fooled me.

    Jean Slater to Sean: Your dad used to be good. You and him together was good. You were best mates, sitting on the wall outside waiting for him to come home from work and "fee-fi-fo-fum", chasing you up the stairs at bedtime.

    Jean: Sean idolised his father. He was a real daddy's boy.

    Dan: I was such a lousy dad. I don't just mean the usual things like leaving everything to the woman or going down the pub. I used to look at the two of them together, you know, mother and son, and ...
    Carol: What, you felt left out?
    Dan: I couldn't feel a thing.
    Carol: These feelings, they did pass, didn't they?
    Dan: Yeah, of course they did, yeah.
    Carol: Well maybe you were just too young for the responsibility.

    Dan on his son: We sort of drifted apart, you know. I was playing away and ... it was ages ago now, anyway.

    Dan: The Drum Sergeant - that pub down the Stoke Road. I used to go out with a little barmaid in there.

    Patrick Trueman, mid-anecdote: ... You kidding? That barmaid didn't talk to me for a whole year!

    Dan on women: You got to show them who's boss. Take my ex. I used to do the old disappearing act — you know what I mean, make myself scarce for a few nights so by the time I got back at the end of the week, she couldn't get enough of me. She used to think I'd gone missing.
    Phil Mitchell: Missing?
    Dan: Yeah, whatever Miss I could lay me hands on!

    Dan: I did have a [drink] problem. With me, it weren't just the booze. I was like, you know, gambling and all that. I lost me marriage — that went right out of the window — quickly followed by the business. It was a right mess.
    Phil: What made you stop?
    Dan: Got on the wrong side of a bottle of scotch one night, paid me ex-wife a visit. She was there with her boyfriend and well, he made himself busy, he got lairy. I ended up bashing him, he went to hospital, and I got nine months for GBH. And I thought, "This is the time to clean me act up."

    Dan speaking about his son in 1999: He must be about eleven now. His mum asked me not to go round and see him anymore.

    Dan: The last words my ex-wife said to me can't really be repeated in public.

    Rachel Branning: I thought we were happy. I don't think it was some big act.
    Max Branning: It wasn't an act. We were happy.

    Max to Rachel: Why can't good ever be good enough? Why has every single thing got to remembered and analysed and gone over about five hundred times? Because that's when me and you went wrong, Rache. Why can't anything just be water under the bridge?

    Bradley: My mum and dad, screaming and shouting and slamming doors. I've not got one single memory of them actually sitting down and talking. Not one.

    Tanya, trying on a pair of boots in 2007: I used to have a pair just like these. I used to wear them clubbing. I broke the heel falling out of a cab. Those were the days, eh?

    Jean: My Brian bought me a pair of [thigh high leather] boots once. I thought I was the bees knees in them. He did too. His eyes when he first saw me in them were as big as saucers! Then it rained and it was like walking through a river. The stitching on the back was terrible. I didn’t have the heart to tell him, though. He was so pleased that he’d finally bought me a present that I really liked.
    Shirley: So you risked getting double pneumonia just to save his feelings?
    Jean: No, I put plastic bags inside. They still leaked but my feet were dry as a bone.
    Shirley: That’s quite sweet.
    Jean: Me and Brian, sweet? You wouldn’t think that if you’d heard the rows that we had. I used to throw plates at him sometimes when I was really mad. It weren’t perfect, we could both be a nightmare on occasions, but you don’t give up, do you? You just try and make it work.

    Tina Carter: I haven’t worn proper high heels in years.

    Stacey Slater: Bit of a goer, were you?
    Tanya: Do you know, when I think about some of the stuff we used to get up to ... Put it this way, we didn't sleep much. I used to go straight to work from the clubs. I'd turn up at the salon totally wrecked. I'd sneak in the back room early — I'd wash me hair, fix my clothes, swallow a couple of packets of mints and then spend the rest of the day trying not to breathe on the boss. We had such a laugh.

    Cora: Always took a good drink, my Tan. Remember that time you got arrested for nicking a Thunderbird down the social? For nicking a kid’s bike!
    Rainie Cross: Talk of the estate for weeks!

    Rainie to Tanya: It’s always about you, isn’t it, eh? All my life.

    Abi Branning: The first time you done it, was it with someone special?
    Rainie: No, not exactly.

    Rainie to Tanya: You've always had such a fabulous pair of knockers. Do you know how much I used to envy you? I always loved you.

    Rainie: I’ve always been playing second fiddle to you.
    Tanya: Playing the victim, more like.
    Rainie: And why do you think that is? Because you drove me to it.
    Rainie: Four As and then three Cs I got at GCSE. I would have got a place at university. I was all set, but two weeks before I was supposed to sit my A levels, "Come to a party, Rainie. Let me introduce you to some of my friends. Here, sniff this, Rainie, it'll get you through the night. Have a toke, why don't you? It'll calm you down. Oh come on, Rainie, don't be a sissy. It'll make you feel good."
    Tanya: Yeah, I did start you on the weed and the speed and that. We were just kids, you know? We were just doing what kids on the Ainsworth [Estate] do.

    Rainie: I’ve lost so many years to one drug or another and it was a bloke very much like Ryan Malloy that got me started on the heroin.

    Tanya to Rainie: The way you talk, it was all my idea. I never injected and I always told you not to.

    Rainie: We knew how to live. Do you remember that time we got pulled over by the Bill after that three-day bender? You, me, Jackie Smith, Benny Cohen — what was that other bloke, what was his name?
    Tanya: I don't remember.
    Rainie: We was all bricking it. God knows what we had on us. We could have been in a load of trouble, but you was brilliant because you said, "No understand. We from Barcelona. My friends speak no English." You remember that?
    Tanya: Vaguely.
    Rainie: And they just let us off, didn't even search us. Kicked us out the van. "Too much paperwork," they said. I was wetting myself!

    Stacey, speaking in 2007: I like making mischief.
    Tanya: That is exactly what I used to say.
    Stacey: I never had you down as a raver.
    Tanya: Oh I was, I was a right one.

    Tanya: I was going to travel. I had my whole itinerary mapped out — Australia, Goa.

    Rainie speaking in 2007: I'm clean.
    Tanya: I remember telling Mum that one and all.

    Tanya to Lauren: I used to moan at Rainie. All my life — well, since I was your age [eighteen], anyway — I’ve sort of lived with this permanent dread of getting that phone call telling me that she’d died. It never even occurred to me that she might outlive me.

    Tanya: A lot of things used to go missing when Rainie wasn’t very well.

    Tanya: I haven't smoked so much as a spliff since I was eighteen.
    Stacey: What happened then?
    Tanya: Well, I met Max.

    Tanya, speaking about Max in 2013: That man has dictated my life for the last twenty years.

    Lauren: I’m allergic to weddings.
    Tanya: I used to feel like that till I met your father. I just knew he was the one.

    Max to Tanya: I ain't ever seen anything so gorgeous since the first day I met you.

    Tanya on herself and Max: We were a match, the pair of us, from the moment we met.

    Rainie: Didn’t you used to have hair once?
    Max: Yeah, yeah. Loads of hair.
    Rainie: Is it because of my sister [that you lost it]?

    Vanessa Gold: I hear you started your career as a hairdresser. Wasn't Max one of your first clients?
    Tanya: Yeah, he was.

    Max to Tanya: I’ve always loved you, from the first moment I saw you, tussled and blonde and flushed from running. I fell in love with you at that moment.

    Tanya: You’re Max Branning, the man who seduced his hairdresser.

    Max: It's always been your dream to have your own beauty salon. I remember you talking about it the first time I met you. I'd only gone in the
    hairdressers because I saw you through the window.
    Tanya: Yeah — and nothing to do with that ginger mop you had!
    Max: Yeah all right, that as well, but I kept coming back. You couldn't keep me away. Cost me a fortune getting me hair cut every week.
    Tanya: Yeah well, I was worth every penny.

    Tanya on Max: I used to cut his hair, when he had hair.

    Lauren on Max: He actually had hair?
    Cora: For about thirty-five minutes. Constantly playing with it.

    Max speaking to his great-niece Tiffany in 2011: Look at that red hair. You know what that means, don’t you? You’re brave. I used to be brave before the fairies came and took all [my hair] away.

    Tanya: Do you remember the first time you met Max?
    Cora: How could I forget? He sold me a dodgy insurance policy.
    Tanya: What did you think of him?
    Cora: He was a married man with a child. What do you think?
    Tanya: Still, you grew to love him, didn’t you?
    Cora: That’s one way of putting it.

    Tanya: I never listened to my mum when I was [young].
    Phil Mitchell: So what was your mum telling you when you was a teenager?
    Tanya: Mainly that Max Branning was the wrong man for me.

    Tanya: My mum lectured me about you.
    Max: Interfering wombat.
    Tanya: I followed my heart.

    Cora, speaking to Tanya in 2012: If you tell [your daughter you disapprove of her boyfriend], she’s going to run straight back into his arms — exactly
    what happened with you and Max.

    Cora: It was Rachel I felt sorry for.

    Tanya on Max: He was married, he had Bradley, I know — but I just thought he was gorgeous and he had this little twinkle in his eye.

    Tanya to Lauren: I was young and stupid. Probably why I fell for your dad.

    Tanya: When I was a kid, me and me mates were always so skint we just used to nick our drinks off other
    people’s tables.
    Kat: Surprised you didn’t catch anything.
    Tanya: I did — Max! Said it was one of the things that attracted him to me. Said I was trouble he wouldn’t mind getting into.

    Abi on Max and Tanya: They started young and they did not have a clue.

    Max, looking at an old photo of Tanya and Rainie: Look at the pair of you! That's the first thing I remember saying to you that night, do you remember? "Have to do something about that barnet."

    Tanya: You’ve never really been the hearts and flowers type, have you? Where did you take me for our first date?
    Max: I don’t know. As far as I remember, most of it was spent in the back of the car, weren’t it?
    Tanya: You took me to that old ballroom in Lewisham. Someone told you the drinks were cheap.
    Max: Well, I had a wife and kid to support.
    Tanya: I had a right panic on that night, you know, because my mum told me never to marry a man who couldn’t dance.

    Tanya on Max: When we was first getting it together, he used to snuggle into my neck at night and go, "Night, bunny. Nighty-nighty, little bunny."
    Max: It was "Night, honey", it was "Night, honey"!
    Tanya: It was "Night, bunny". It was "bunny."
    Max: I don't remember ever calling you my little bunny.

    Tanya: I didn't know you were married when we met.
    Max: When you found out, it didn't stop you, did it? It didn't stop you bedding me and then watching me, running off to see little Bradley.
    Tanya: I was in love with you, I was in love with you, I was out of my mind with you.

    Bradley: You should have walked away, told him where to go.
    Tanya: It was too late by then. I'd fallen for him. I'm not making excuses, but you can't choose who you fall for.

    Cora to Tanya: You took another woman’s husband. Max was married, had a child. You didn’t care. You didn’t care about her, you didn’t care about the child, because it was all about Tanya.

    Tanya to Max: My hands ain't clean in all of this. It didn't matter that you were married, it didn't matter that you had a little kid. I wanted you all to myself and I got you, whatever the cost.

    Max to Tanya: I've never been able to [let you go], as far back as I can remember, with Rachel, little Bradley on the scene — I knew, I knew it wasn't fair on anyone. We both did, but we never had a choice, did we?

    Tanya on Max: He's the only man I've ever loved.

    Max: My first wife was a nightmare so yeah, I had an affair with Tan.

    Tanya to Max: You fell out of love with Rachel. You fell in love with me.

    Bradley to Tanya: Tell you his marriage was over, did he? Classic. Shame he forgot to tell my mum.

    Rachel on Max: He stood before me and he said there was no one else in the world and there never would be apart from me.

    Tanya: Eighteen years of age, I was all dolled up and chasing after a married man.

    Rainie to Tanya: Who was it who sat through the whole married man thing? "Twenty-four, sis — he's ancient. What am I to do? And should I tell him about the drugs and the non-stop partying?" Hours and hours we talked — "Oh, what's Tanya to do?"

    Tanya to Max: You know when we first met, those first few weeks together — all that sneaking about, back of the car, hotel bedrooms, all that stuff — it wasn't easy for me, you know, you being married, me being so young. Rainie was the only person that I had to talk to about all that stuff. I was that close to dumping you and you know what she said to me? She said, "He seems like a really nice bloke. He obviously really loves you. You should stick with it." It's all down to her.

    Rainie on herself and Max: We always had such a soft spot for one another.

    Rainie to Max: You were never good enough for my sister, you slime bag.

    Cora: Always had a thing for a blonde, ain’t you, Max?

    Tanya: Some men, they go for blondes or girls with big boobs. Not Max, he goes for girls who don't like themselves very much, girls who don't think they're good enough for the bloke that they're with, who have got this dirty big black hole inside that just makes them want to be needed more than anything in the world. I was fed the fairytale and all, but the minute you count on a bloke to make you happy, you're done for.

    Tanya to Max: I’m not like Rainie. I’m not addicted to crack, it’s you. You’re my drug. You always have been. You’re my sickness.

    Max: Over here, that's our family's future and over here, that's just sex.
    Tanya: You've spent your entire adult life saying that.

    Tanya: We only ever went to one gig. I didn't think it was your sort of thing. It was Simply Red.
    Max: What is it with you and redheaded fellas?
    Tanya: Then back to that place with the black satin sheets.

    Rachel on Max: He cheated on me. He cheated on us.

    Rachel to Bradley: He [Max] was telling you stories, he was telling me lies, and all the time making a new life. He chose her.

    Bradley to Max: [Mum] caught you, you and that Tanya, in her own bed.

    Tanya, speaking about Rachel in 2006: I don’t remember her being pretty.

    Rachel, speaking about Tanya in 2006: I don’t remember her being that pretty.

    Max to Bradley: I loved you more than I loved anyone. Just because I couldn’t make it work with your mum, because I was chasing every bit of skirt I could, because I was a mad, stupid idiot, it don’t mean I didn’t love you. I’m not a natural at marriage, but I was a natural as a dad.

    Max on Bradley: I always used to clean his shoes for him, every Sunday night ready for school. I never done much but I used to do that. Rachel used to have a pop at me because I put them to one side. I always cleaned his shoes for him, right up until the day I left.

    Max: I never hurt you and I never lied to you.
    Bradley: Yeah, you loved me so much, you just walked out and left me?
    Max: That’s what she said, is it, your mum, I just walked out? She threw me out.
    Bradley: I remember it. I was going to bed, you gave me a kiss goodnight, said you’d see me in the morning.
    Max: When I said it, I meant it.
    Bradley: You never came back.
    Max: It weren't quite that simple, son. If it had been up to me, I’d have whisked you up, I’d have taken you with me.

    Rachel: Max left. Max left us.
    Bradley: Did he? You didn’t kick him out?

    Tanya on Max: He didn’t wander from [Rachel], he ran.

    Max: Me walking out — a stupid young man dumping his family.

    Max to Tanya: I gave up my marriage for you.

    Bradley to Tanya: He left Mum for you. Whichever way you paint it, you’re still the other woman.

    Tanya: I’m the other woman. I’m the tart that broke up your marriage.
    Max: You can’t help who you fall for, can you?

    Rachel on Tanya: An adulterous little bitch who steals other women's husbands.
    Tanya: I didn’t steal anyone. Your marriage was already over. All he had to was get rid of the woman he wasn’t meant to be with and find the woman he was.

    Rachel to Max: The thoughtless way you behaved, the misery you caused, the damage you left behind.

    Bradley on Max: I was six, and he went. He blew my world apart. No kid should have to go through what I have.

    Rachel on Max: No one should suffer the pain he put me through.

    Max: I never meant to hurt you.
    Rachel: Well, that’s all right then.
    Max: I made a mistake.
    Rachel: Is that what Tanya is — a mistake?
    Max: No, I’m saying the way it happened. It was all badly handled, not just by me. I ain’t the only one who could have handled things better.

    Rachel: I know what it feels like to be a wife dismissed.

    Bradley: I heard Mum on the phone, begging and pleading with him to come back. I used to lay awake at night listening to her cry.
    Tanya: I didn’t know.
    Bradley: You turned a blind eye, more like. Were you with him when he was on the phone to her? Sympathising with what he had to put up with? Poor Dad!
    Tanya: No, it wasn’t like that. I know how rotten this must have been for your mum.
    Bradley: Rotten? Try devastating.
    Tanya: There are always two sides. He wasn’t happy, Bradley.

    Rachel to Max: You destroyed me and Bradley.

    Rachel to Bradley: After your father left, I suddenly had a five year old boy wetting the bed. You wouldn’t get dressed by yourself anymore. Weeks, every single evening after tea, you’d go and stand by the window. You were waiting for your daddy to come home because he used to play with you before bath, only he didn’t come home and I couldn’t get you away from the window. My lovely little boy, crying by the window, and it wasn’t my fault and it isn’t yours.

    Bradley: Why didn’t you come and see me?
    Max: I did. Your mum wouldn’t let me in.

    Rachel to Bradley: I promised you a bike for being such a big brave boy, for your birthday, and I can’t eat and I can’t sleep and God knows how I’ll get the money, but I will get you a bike and I do. And we start to work things out. We play trains before bath. And it comes to your birthday and all your friends from school are there and your big new bike, and for the first time in weeks, you forget about the window. And then your selfish, rotten father turns up, peering through the gap by the front door with a bunch of flowers and a present for his boy.

    Max to Bradley: I can still see you now with all your little friends. I could see you through a gap in the door. I weren’t welcome.

    Rachel: What should I have done, Bradley, let him in?
    Bradley: You could have told me that he’d tried.
    Rachel: When? How? Why — to have him pick up your life and drop it again whenever the fancy took him? To watch my lovely little boy go through all of that again and again? Why, Bradley?
    Bradley: Because he’s my dad.

    Max: I tried to keep in touch.

    Bradley to Rachel: You said he didn’t want to know. I thought it was me, me as well [as you] that he didn’t really want. It’s not like I’d done anything wrong. You said it yourself — it wasn’t my fault. I believed you, I got that. I just thought I wasn’t worth the effort, not as good, that I wasn’t good enough. But it wasn’t me, was it, Mum?
    Rachel: I never said it was.
    Bradley: You may as well have because you never told me he came back.
    Rachel: I was protecting you. Children need routine, some sort of order. The ordinary details are important when you’re little.
    Bradley: But you should have said something, Mum.

    Bradley: Why didn’t you try [to see me] again?
    Max: I couldn’t, mate. She made it difficult. It was too upsetting, mate. In the end, it was easier to let go.
    Bradley: And start another family?
    Max: Yeah.

    Bradley: Didn’t you care [Max] had a son he never saw? A son that was growing up without a dad?
    Tanya: It’s not something we talked about.
     
  11. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    Suzy Branning on Tanya: My sister-in-law always was a hypocritical cow. I never liked her, not from the first time Max brought her home. I knew right away what kind of woman she was, a right little gold digger.

    Derek Branning to Max: When you first brought Tanya round for Sunday lunch, she didn’t eat the fat on her lamb. You know what Mother said to me afterwards, after you took her home? She said, “High maintenance.” She said to me, “Derek, watch her. Any girl that far up herself will cause wars in a family like this.”

    Jack Branning on Tanya: The evil little eighteen year old that stole my brother off Rachel.

    Jack on Rachel: You remember her? A lovely woman who you two [Tanya and Max] ruined.

    Tanya on Jack: When I think how he was when Max and I got together ...
    Jane Beale: Jealous, probably.
    Tanya: I’ve never thought of him that way.

    Max on Jack: He wanted to [pounce] from the first moment he saw you.
    Tanya (sarcastically): Love of his life, was I, right from way back then — the one and only?! Because there’s been a fair few of them over the years for your brother.
    Max: You were the prize.

    Jack to Tanya: I always had you down as half-decent.

    Rachel to Bradley: "Me and you [from now on],” that’s what you said a few months after your father left.

    Rachel to Max: Bradley would say, “It’s me and you now,” and I’d say, “That’s OK, that’s enough,” but it wasn’t. I hid it from him as best I could, but the truth was I missed you, Max, every minute of every day. So did he. I could see the look on his face — down by the school, out in the park, watching the other kids with their dads. The truth was he needed his father like I needed my husband.

    Dean Wicks: You’ve no idea how long I’ve waited for my mum. Years I’ve spent dreaming and thinking about who she was, passing people on the tube and wondering if that was her. All the time, in the back of my head, I was hoping that one day, one of those passing women might stop and come over and say that she was my mum. So I waited and I waited.

    Dean: Home time at school, I was always the last to leave. I used to stay behind, watch the other mums, just hope she would be there one day too.

    Pat on Dean: He spent his childhood getting over what [Shirley] done to him.

    Dean on himself: A stupid little boy that used to think his mum loved him.

    Danielle Jones on the possibility of meeting her real mother: All these years, hoping.

    Dean: I never called anybody Mum.

    Bradley: My dad never gave me anything.

    Bradley to Max: I couldn’t ask you for a train set, could I? I couldn’t ask you to see me get my badges at cubs. No, I couldn’t ask you, Dad, because you weren’t there.

    Bianca: I used to be a girl guide, didn't I?
    Tiffany: No, you weren't.
    Bianca: Well, I nearly was.

    Robbie Jackson: I was in the cubs, all waggle woggle and dib dib dib.

    Robbie: I did karate as a kid.
    George Palmer: Did you get any belts?
    Robbie: Not exactly.

    Sonia: I used to play tennis with my brother Robbie. He wasn’t very good and I always used to beat him.

    Robbie: I won an under fifteens' drawing competition once.

    Kim Fox: I represented the county once in the shot-put, sixteen and under.
    Denise Fox: She was as wide as she was short.

    Kim: You are looking at the former under-seventeens national bogling champion.

    Bianca: For as far back as I can remember, you’ve always said, “Don’t do I do — study, see the world, have a life.“
    Carol Jackson: Yeah, so what did you do?
    Bianca: Left school, no qualifications.

    Bianca: When I was sixteen, I thought I was going to be discovered. I thought I was going to be the next Vivienne Westwood or something.

    Kim Fox: I promised Mum I was going to be something.

    Bianca: I remember my first job — on the estate, on the knocker, selling mops. It was the best job I ever had.

    Natalie Price: I had a Saturday job in a hairdressers once, strictly sweeping the floors, only I got the sack. There was this old lady and she came in to have her hair dyed, only it came out orange. I was talking to one of the other girls and I told her she looked like a carrot, only the old bat overheard and the manageress dispensed with my services. I wouldn't have minded only she did look like a carrot. I wouldn't have made it [as a hairdresser] anyway. You got to have nice hair yourself.

    Afia Kahn: My mum used to [trim my hair]. She said our hair was our crowning glory. I’d sit on her lap and she’d plait it, whisper silly jokes in my ear. We’d spend ages choosing which coloured bobbles to wear.

    Jean to Stacey: You used to hate having your hair washed. You’d scream the place down if you got a bit of soap in your eyes. You always had lovely hair though, dark as a raven. Like Snow White.

    Stacey: My mum bought me one of those toys when I was a kid — you know, the head that you can style the hair on.

    Tiffany: You should have seen my brother when I dyed my hair blonde once. He said I looked like a mutated Marilyn Monroe. He went mad, made me dye it back to black straightaway. Nearly ruined me hair.

    Tiffany: My dad [wanted me to stay in education], but if [parents] think school's so great, why did they get out as soon as they could?

    Terry Raymond: Best thing you can do is study what's in those books, learn it, pass your exams and make something of yourself in the world. That's what I used to tell my kids.
    Janine Butcher: Did they listen?
    Terry: What, Tiffany and Simon? Of course they didn't.

    Alfie Moon: You got an O Level woodwork, ain't you, Jake?
    Jake Moon: Metalwork.
    Alfie: What about you, Danny?
    Danny Moon: Just maths, physics and chemistry, I'm afraid.
    Alfie: Oh, shut up!

    Anthony Trueman: Do you know how many years I had to study to become a doctor? Have you any idea the sacrifices that were made for me?

    Paul Trueman: Do you know what it takes to become a doctor from a family like ours? First you lose all your mates at school — and all the kids that didn't get as many O Levels as you, well, they chuck your books in the canal, bully you on the bus. And then you go to med school — for five years, mind, not three — and you're there with kids that come from eight generations of doctors and they think you're scum.

    Audrey Trueman on Anthony: He studied very hard to [become a doctor]. All those years of hard work and education.

    Anthony to Audrey: It [was] all down to you.

    Paul on Audrey: She scrimped and saved, took on extra jobs, gave up any sort of social life. Well, there wasn't the extra money, see, not with Anthony not working, not with having to find college fees and books.

    Patrick Trueman: My Anthony couldn’t have made it through medical school without his student grant.

    Libby Fox: Which university did your son go to?
    Patrick: Durham. I don’t know where he got his brains from, though.

    Kat: Why did you become a doctor?
    Anthony: Just interested in the human body, I suppose.
    Kat: So it weren't because of all them nurses then, you know, wandering around in them little uniforms? I thought all men were supposed to be turned on by that.
    Anthony: I hadn't really thought about it.

    Sean Slater: I was a little kid playing doctors and nurses. Did you ever play that?
    Tanya: No.
    Sean: I bet you did.

    Audrey on Anthony: He hasn't had much time for a social life.

    Patricia, Anthony's college friend: Those parties at medical school, those were wild times. And this man here was one of the worst ringleaders, weren't you, Tony?
    Anthony: They used to call me [Tony] at college.

    Patricia: You were so drunk you ended up snogging the college slapper.
    Anthony: Who?
    Patricia: Oh, whats her name - the one that ended up in Obs & Gynae.
    Anthony: Miriam Golding?
    Patricia: Yes. All over you like a rash!
    Anthony: At the third year ball?
    Patricia: You don't remember any of it?
    Anthony: No!

    Patricia to Anthony: Tequila slammers? No wonder I couldn't walk!

    Patrick on Anthony and Patricia: Didn't the both of you used to have a little ting going?
    Anthony: We did go out once. It was years ago. We were students.

    Patricia: What were we like, eh?
    Anthony: Arrogant, fearless, stupid.
    Patricia: You're so immature and unformed at that age.

    Patrick: My Anthony went and become a doctor. I wasn’t there then, didn’t have the chance to help him.

    Patrick: The day I heard me son qualified as a doctor in England, man I tell you, I was the proudest man on this earth.

    Billy: I got a second cousin what graduated. Got an honours degree. Calls himself Cheryl now.

    Tony Hills: There used to be kids in my class [who were bad at spelling and grammar]. I used to help them out for a price. I used my brain. I earned a fortune.

    Troy Harvey on Tony: I was at school with him. He was in my brother Wilf's year, but we became mates.

    Nigel Bates: Tony Hills once helped build the sets for his school play.

    Polly Becker: I bet you were a real goody goody at school.
    Tony: When I left, they put a brass plaque with my name on it outside the headmaster's room.

    Irene: Beats me where you get it from.
    Tony: What?
    Irene: Brains. You and Sarah. Must be my side.

    Dot on Bradley: Heaven knows where he got [his intelligence and ambition] from.
    Jim: Not from his father, that’s for sure.

    Troy: I didn't even get any GCSEs.
    Sarah Hills: Not because you weren't bright enough though. I remember Tony and you at school. You were exactly the same, all brains and no staying power.

    Sarah: Tony tried to cook us a meal once. He set every smoke alarm in the house off. I think he was being a bit too adventurous. He wanted some money for a new jacket and he was trying to get round Dad.

    Tony: Have you always known you're gay?
    Simon Raymond: Yeah, but I didn't want to admit it to myself.
    Tony: You mean you didn't want to be?
    Simon: I didn't have a choice.
    Tony: Have you ever had a girlfriend?
    Simon: No. I always knew what I wanted.

    Tony: We used to be able to talk to Dad, didn't we?
    Sarah: Talk about what?
    Tony: I don't know. Just things.

    Kevin Wicks to his daughter Carly: We used to talk, me and you.

    Simon on coming out as gay to his father: I never faced that one.

    Simon on coming out as gay to Tiffany: She was great about it. She said she always knew in a way, but we were close in those days.

    Tiffany to Simon: I was always there for you when you needed a shoulder to cry on.

    Simon: Me and Tiff used to joke about both of us fancying the same person.

    Tiffany: When I went on holiday to Cos, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven.

    Natalie: I always wanted to travel, see a bit of the world.

    Norman Simmonds: I’ve always wanted to travel, see the Nile and the Sydney Opera House.

    Dean Wicks: I’ve always fancied a trip to Australia.

    Ronnie to Roxy: You always said you fancied Australia.

    Ronnie: These legs have taken me to places you wouldn’t believe.

    Roxy: Remember when we were in Chicago and they dyed the river green because of St Patrick’s Day?
    Ronnie: Yeah, it looked amazing.

    Owen Turner to Libby: I’ve always dreamt of getting away from here — you, me and your mum, going to Spain.

    Liz Turner on Owen: Him and [Libby] in Malaga was always his dream.

    Owen to Libby: Do you remember visiting your gran? No, you was tiny. I remember, right, you had this little pink sun bonnet that kept coming under your eyes and you couldn’t walk on the sand because it was too hot. We should have gone there when we had the chance.

    Charlie Slater: I brought [a bottle of brandy] back from Benidorm in '93.

    Harry Slater: We get quite a lot of names in my gaff in Minorca. One of them, he's a game show host. Top bloke as it happens. He said to me, "Harry, how do you do it? You're putting on a show here twenty-four hours a day."

    Harry, mid-anecdote: ... And the next thing, this Spanish copper, he gets his strides off and starts dancing on the table with her!

    Harry, mid-anecdote: ... There they were, the two of them, in the all together on a ten foot diving board, and who should come in but the Chief of Police — and it was only her old man, wasn't it?!

    Nigel Bates: That bit [in "Dumb and Dumber"] where he gets his tongue stuck on a ski lift, I did that once.

    Alfie Moon: I used to know these blokes in Marmaris who used to make their own bank notes. Straight up, they used to get the real dosh from the punters, put it in their back pocket; get the fake stuff and put it in the till. A week later, they go along the coast, do the same again.
    Billy: What happened to them?
    Alfie: They ended up in a Turkish jail. Right horrible it was.

    Alfie: I used to know this bloke in Yarmouth who used to nick lunches. Used to get two dozen baguettes and stick them down his shorts. All right, I know it was small time, but he used to get away with it because no-one expects anyone to nick food, do they? And that was it — that was the element of surprise.

    Stan Carter, speaking in 2014: Here Elaine, how many years has it been now?
    Elaine Peacock: Since I went to Watford — twenty-one?

    Tina Carter on Elaine: She didn’t mind serving flat beer and hairy pork scratchings.
    Linda: She never!

    Lee Carter: Granddad worked at Billingsgate.
    Stan: I did hope that Mick might follow suit, but he had other ideas.

    Mick Carter to Elaine: The only reason we know how to run a pub is what we learnt from you.

    Kim Fox: I’ve always dreamt of having my own pub.

    Big Mo: I made you a birthday cake once.
    Zoe Slater: No, you never.
    Big Mo: It was a chocolate cake, only I forgot to take it out the oven.

    Spencer Moon on Alfie: Last time me and Nana had a party for him, we sang one verse of "Happy Birthday" and he went to bed with a headache.

    Spencer to Nana Moon: You always knew how to do a party right, Nan. Do you remember when I was a kid?
    Alfie: Full of jelly and ice cream I was!

    Alfie on Spencer: He's got a vivid imagination. He lets his mind run away with things. One time, he thought he was a pirate and we had to keep calling him Spencer Silver Legs.
    Jake Moon: That's when he was eight.

    Spencer to Alfie: You used to give me pocket money.

    Peter to Lorraine Wicks: Do you remember Bolton, those trips to the town centre? Joe running in and out of shops with his pocket money, coming out so excited with some present or another, usually them little pots of smelly stuff for you.

    Joe Wicks: It was good then, Pete. We were a real family, weren't we?
    Peter: Yeah. Yeah, we were.

    Joe on fish finger sandwiches: I used to like them. White bread. Has to be with red sauce and mayonnaise. Me and Karen would come home from school and sit at the kitchen table, and when we finished it was the same every time - "Any more ..."
    Lorraine Wicks: "... for any more?"

    Kat: Little Mo always liked fish fingers, didn't she?
    Zoe: Yeah, she always used to leave the edges till last.
    Kat: Typical of her, putting off the nice bit.

    Rainie: Why’d you leave [the estate]?
    Tanya: It wasn’t about you. It was never about you, Ray. There were loads of reasons. You were never one of them. Max got me pregnant for a start.
    Rainie: I remember him always coming round here, telling us that we needed insurance for this and that and there was him, not even taking any precautions with you.

    Tanya: I remember the first time I got pregnant. It was a stormy night and we’d both been out drinking. We didn’t even make it home!

    Tanya: Lauren come along so quickly.
    Max: Left-field, unplanned.

    Rainie: If Dad was still around, he’d have had something to say about that.
    Tanya: Yeah, I know.

    Tanya to Lauren: When I was pregnant with you, that’s when it hit me — unconditional love. It’s like this feeling you get where I would rather be hit by a train than see my little girl in distress.

    Tanya: You don’t think about it when you get pregnant, do you? That they’re going to turn into teenagers, be grownups. You don’t realise it’s a lifetime of worry. You wouldn’t do it if you did.

    Rainie on Tanya: She went, leaving me alone with my mum and her last ten pound bag [of speed] to make me feel better. Bye-bye, A levels. Bye-bye, university. Bye-bye, life.

    Cora: One teenage daughter into drugs, the other running off with someone’s husband.

    Tanya to Rainie: Oh of course, because you were only ever drugs because of me, weren’t you, and the reason you never got off the estate was because I left you there with mum and every time you’ve ever been in the gutter, it’s all down to me, right?

    Rainie: If things had been different, if things had been the other way round, if it had have been me that had been whisked away by some bloke in a sports car ...
    Tanya: All right, I walked out on you and Mum and yeah, I did start you on the weed and the speed and that. You’re right — maybe you could have gone to university, maybe you could have done something with your life. It’s not like you weren’t offered a dozen chances to get your act together, but you blew it every time. It ain’t heroin you’re addicted to, Rainie. It’s failure. Have you got any idea what it’s been like to watch you wash your life down the plughole?

    Tanya to Rainie: What have you ever achieved, eh? I’ll tell you what — nothing. Nothing.

    Cora to Tanya: It’s my fault, is it? Rainie and her drugs.

    Cora on Rainie’s drug habit: Maybe I didn't fight hard enough early enough.

    Cora: We've seen Rainie through every addiction she's ever had.

    Cora on parenthood: We’ve all been there — give them everything you’ve got, they throw it back in your face and disappear and you’re left with your memories.

    Rainie on her father's put-you-up bed in the living room: Mum left that down here so she didn’t have to go upstairs after a heavy night.
    Tanya: Most nights then, eh?
    Rainie: Yeah.
    Tanya: How could you bear to be around it?
    Rainie: Just a bed, isn’t it?
    Tanya: No.

    Tanya to Max: I [got] butterflies - from the minute you asked me to marry you.
    Max: You turned me down first time of asking, didn’t you?
    Tanya: Gut instinct.

    Tanya: Do you remember the first time I ever asked you to build anything? You come in the kitchen wearing nothing but a tool belt and you went, in that low voice ...
    Max: “I’m your handyman. Is there anything else you need fixing?” And then you sent me up that ladder to fix that bleeding shelf.
    Tanya: Yeah. You did a good job actually. I was surprised.

    Tanya: Do you remember that time you made a whole loaf of [French toast]?
    Max: We stayed in bed all day, worked our way through it.

    Lorraine on Karen: She was bright, funny. She always did everything double speed, kind of manic.
    David Wicks: What about school?
    Lorraine: She found it pretty easy really. She was clever.
    David: Boyfriends?
    Lorraine: A couple. Nothing serious.
    David: What about Peter? Did she get on with him all right?
    Lorraine: She loved him, David. They both did.

    Joe: Karen had [a kite], didn't she? She lost it in that big conker tree in the park.
    Peter: Joe was thirteen. You couldn't tell him anything at the time. Before you know it, he was gone — bang, straight up that tree before anybody could stop him. Lorraine sent me after you [Joe]. We didn't get it, did we?
    Joe: No.

    Tom Banks: I was scared of heights. I was terrible, I had an awful block, till I discovered one thing — there's nothing you can't talk yourself into.

    Libby Fox: You always used to say that was the worst thing - people who were too scared to help themselves.
    Owen Turner: Maybe I was stronger then, eh?

    David: Were you happy with Peter?
    Lorraine: Yeah, we were. He was worth ten of you.

    David: I've worked really hard in my time. I've worked my guts out. I used to be a financial adviser.

    Pat Butcher: Are you telling me David ran a company that earned enough for him to pay VAT?
    Maria Turner, DSS worker: I suppose so.

    David: This bloke I knew, he told me how he used to fiddle his books. He set up a bogus company and then transferred stuff from one company to the other, you know the sort of thing I mean.
    Pat: And you thought that was a good idea?
    David: Well, I was in shtuck, weren't I? I had to do something.
    Pat: But you got caught?
    David: Yeah.

    Pat: Are you telling me my David's been in prison?
    Maria Turner: [He got] six months for VAT fraud.

    Dougie Slade on Alfie: He's dodgy, he always has been. I first nicked him when I was in uniform.

    Natalie: I grew up in a circus.

    Natalie, mid-story: Anyway, so my dad moves back in.
    David: What, with his girlfriend?
    Natalie: And the baby.
    David: Blimey. I bet your mum went spare, didn't she?
    Natalie: Did she? You could hear her screaming halfway down George Street.

    Andrea Price: You think when you have kids, you'll never be lonely. Then they grow up and grow away from you.

    Natalie on Andrea: She was always flirting with any bloke she could — making eyes at them, complimenting them, putting me down at the same time. What sort of mum's that?

    Andrea to Natalie: Your sister said her [hen night] wouldn't have been the same without me.

    Natalie on her father: He forked out for Susie's [wedding].
     
  12. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    Archie Mitchell speaking about Ronnie in 2008: It might have been fifteen odd years [since I’ve seen her].

    Archie in 2008: It’s been fifteen years since we’ve had a proper father/daughter conversation. You never learnt to trust.
    Ronnie: And I wonder why?

    Archie on his relationship with Ronnie: I stayed away because I thought it would help, but it didn’t.

    Ronnie: I told you what we were doing in my letters, the ones I sent to the post office box in Australia. You sent me the details on the back of a postcard a few years back.
    Glenda Mitchell: I’ve never been to Australia and I never sent any cards.
    Ronnie: Then how come we ...? Dad!
    Glenda: Australia - trust him to pick the furthest place he could!

    Glenda: After your father drove me away I spent years drifting from one relationship to another, living off the kindness of others. The older I got, the less kind they got.
    Ronnie: The villa in the South of France?
    Glenda: A council flat in South London.
    Roxy: All this time you were still in London?
    Glenda: I did think about coming to see you.
    Roxy: You obviously didn’t think very hard, did you?

    Glenda on her son Danny: He thinks he’s an only child.
    Ronnie: You told him that?
    Glenda: I never dreamed I’d see you again.
    Ronnie: He must have seen pictures around the place and wanted to know who we were.

    Ronnie: You had never seen a picture of [Archie]?
    Danny Mitchell: Mum always told me she didn’t have any, didn’t want any. She told me he died years ago when I was a baby.
    Roxy: Did she tell you anything else?
    Danny: Not much — that he was a bad man, that we were better off without him. It didn’t really bother me. You never miss what you don’t have, do you?

    Glenda on Danny: I took loads of pictures of him when he was little.

    Jack Branning on Glenda: She had a couple of run-ins with her neighbours. Got herself on [police] file.

    Ronnie: Why didn’t you write all those years? Why didn’t you call?
    Glenda: You know why. You know what he [Archie] was like.

    Danielle Jones: When I was in nursery, the other girls, they used to dress their dollies in baby grows and tuck them into their toy prams and walk them up and down the playground, pretending to gossip like mums in the park. I used to stand on the edge and watch. I never wanted to join in. I never got it. What was the fun in doing that, I thought.

    Carly Wicks: Being a single parent isn’t that bad. Dad brought us up.
    Dawn Miller: And you never thought you were missing out, different?

    Kevin Wicks to Carly: I taught you [to] stand up for yourself.

    Tiffany: My dad taught me [to drive]. He was really good, patient and that.

    Tiffany: Me uncle used to fix cars all the time and he had the IQ of a duck.

    Tiffany: My aunt found a lump once and it was just fatty tissue. It wasn't serious.

    Simon Raymond: Have you ever seen anyone dying of AIDS? I have and it's not very nice.

    Audrey Trueman: My Anthony, he's seen many bad things in his job.

    Robbie Jackson to his grandfather Jim: I remember what you said to me once. I must have been about fifteen, you know, trying to get a hold of this girl, and I was a bit scared and you said, "As long as you're still breathing, son, cram as much in as you can. You're a long time dead."
    Jim: This girl, did you ask her out?
    Robbie. Yeah. Told me to get stuffed.

    David: Look, I met this girl in a bar, right? She was a real looker. I never dreamed she was going to be so much trouble, I had no idea. We started seeing each other for a while. We always went back to my place. Then she started to get funny. Ain't worth it for me so I ditched her. I wanted us to finish and she didn't. She said she was going to get me somehow. She screamed to the coppers. She just had to tell them how old she was, the damage was done.
    Pat: How old was she?
    David: Fifteen. I couldn't tell, I swear. I swear I had no idea. Any man could have done the same, any man. I thought she was twenty-one. She looked twenty-one. She told me as much. I thought it best if I made a move so I come here [to Walford].

    Nina Harris: I left home when I was fifteen.
    Sam Mitchell: That was young.
    Nina: I didn't have much choice in the matter.
    Sam: Why? Was someone ...?
    Nina: Let's just say, I learnt to look out for myself from a very early age.

    Kathy Mitchell on Nina: I heard she got into some type of trouble when she was young.

    Grant Mitchell: You must have had loads of boyfriends.
    Nina: None that mattered. I ran around a lot when I was a kid, but there was no one serious.

    Nina: I was young. I didn't know what I wanted. Then I met Vinnie. He had some interest in some clubs south of the river. He was different from anyone I'd ever met. When he said he was going to look after me, I'd have done anything for him. He had style, money. I fell for him in a big way. We even lived together. But then it got heavy. He got into drugs.

    Paul Trueman on drugs: I used to do a bit of stuff, but nothing serious. I used to do a bit of dealing down the Southside. Susie was in a club one night, a rival dealer come looking for me. I wasn't there. So he got her instead. She was my fiancee.

    Paul: I had a taste of [happiness] once - someone I cared for, someone I loved. I lost them.

    Simon on drugs: I've tried most things. I haven't had a bad time of it like some people, but I put that down to luck more than anything. I have seen enough to make me knock it on the head, though. A good mate of mine ended up in hospital because of it.

    Nina on Vinnie: One day, there was no more money and he needed a fix. He said, "Do it for me. Just this once." That's how it always starts. And it solved the problem, but he hated me for doing it. He started beating me every time I came back.

    Nina: I wasn't doing it for fun. I just hit a rough patch, that's all.

    Kathy: Girls get into that situation for all types of reasons.
    Nina: You just have to be desperate enough.

    Dean Collins on Nina: She was just your regular twenty quid a trick tart.

    Nina on Dean Collins: He was one of my tricks. I was on the game.

    Gary, a policeman: Dean Collins, nasty piece of work.
    Beppe Di Marco: Did you nick him?
    Gary: Low rent stuff mostly — kerb crawling, possession. Got done once for assault. Not surprised. There was always something about him, a bit like a grenade with a dodgy pin.

    Mick McFarlane: You must have had your fair share of hassle.
    Nina: It came with the territory.

    Beppe to Nina: It was you. You were the woman [Dean Collins] attacked.
    Nina: One of them, yeah.

    Linda Carter: I’ve never had a problem with your sister being the way she is, have I?
    Mick Carter: No, except for that time when you thought she fancied you.

    Phil Mitchell, with reference to Tina’s sexuality: So what was Zsa Zsa then, eh?
    Tina Carter: A phase I went through.

    Tina: Yeah, embarrassing, I know, with a man. What can I say? I experimented. Don’t tell anyone, but I once had a relationship with the opposite sex! Kept thinking if I practiced enough, it might get a bit more interesting.

    Tina on being pregnant: Nine months of hell. My ankles swelled up. I was sick. You wouldn’t believe the amount of tinned sardines I ate.

    Tina: I had my daughter, I weren’t much older [than fifteen].

    Mick to his son Johnny: Tina, she had your cousin Zsa Zsa, but she just kept on saying, like, “I’m a lesbian”, and we were, like, you know, like …

    Shirley on Stan: What did you say he used to call [Tina]?
    Mick: A dog without a lead.
    Stan to Tina: It’s a term of endearment, love. You know me — I’m a gags man.

    Tina, speaking in 2014: We could always keep the baby in the bottom drawer.
    Tosh: Is that where you kept Zsa Zsa?
    Tina: No, she was in the top drawer. Bottom drawer was princess clothing only.

    Tina: I made loads of mistakes with Zsa Zsa.

    Tina: They don’t tell you, do they? Looking after a baby, it’s like working in some really boring factory — unpaid, twenty-four-seven, while sitting on some frozen peas with your baps out. There was nothing maternal about me. I did quite fancy a couple of the mummies though.

    Tina: I once left Zsa Zsa on the tube — not a natural. The best thing was choosing the name.

    Sylvie Carter: “Zsa Zsa”? Was [Tina] on drugs?
    Mick: I don’t know. Probably.

    Mick on Tina: She’s spent most of her life off her nut.

    Mick: Little Nancy coming out kicking and screaming, proper little fighter.

    Nancy Carter to her younger brother Johnny: All right, you got the brains. I clearly got the looks.

    Tanya on pregnancy cravings: With Lauren, it was marmalade. I don’t even like marmalade.

    Max: Tanya was never [hormonal when she was pregnant]. She just wanted to do it all the time.

    Andy Hunter, speaking in 2003: My old gran's been pushing up daisies for the past ten years.

    Patrick Trueman: Me father dropped dead at ninety-three, a bottle of rum in he hand.

    Minty Peterson: I lost both my parents.

    Minty, speaking about his mother in 2008: She's been dead for fifteen years.

    Minty: Paid her way all her life, my old dear. Never owed anyone a tenner and if she did, we went hungry. And where did it get her? Chipboard coffin and a cheap headstone.

    Minty: A thousand pound my mum left me when she died. Not a lot of money, is it? That was her life savings though. And I swore I’d never spend it unless it mattered because that money really had to count, you know?

    Blossom Jackson: When Bill died, I thought my life was over too.

    Alan Jackson on Bill: He died at Christmas [1993]. He weren't her husband.

    Jean on Christmas lights: Sparkles, that’s what Stacey used to call them.

    Jean: Do you remember, Stacey, when you were five? She [Stacey] had this beautiful pink fairy dress for Christmas. Opened it on our bed. Her and Sean on our bed, great pile of presents. Opened it up, couldn’t get her out of it. Went to bed in it and everything!

    Sean Slater on Christmas: When I was a kid, all I had was a box of matches to play with.

    Stacey: There was a time that we were happy before Mum got sick. We were just like any other family.

    Jean: We used to have so much fun before ... well, when I was a proper mum.
     
  13. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    1994

    Alan Jackson, speaking in 1994: Gran lives over at Crown Towers. Lives by herself since the old fella died.

    Blossom Jackson: It's not been the same since Bill died. There was a woman raped three doors away. She was seventy-two.

    Jamie Mitchell: I saw a bloke once. He got done over outside the flats. They kicked his ribs in. He was spitting blood. He was dead the next day.

    Billy Mitchell: You want to see what [drug dealing] did to the old estate I used to live on. They shake a lot, you know, druggies. And they sweat a lot too. I used to see it on my old estate all the time.

    Stan Carter on prostitution: Saw a lot of that down the estate. Some days, couldn’t hardly get out the door without being propositioned. Mind you, I never partook.

    Billy: I knew this geezer once, right, topped his old lady. The judge said it was provocation. He only got three years.

    Stan: Couple from my old estate, nice as pie they were. One day, he comes back and starts spraying petrol all over the place. Turns out she was having an affair. They [the fire investigation team] worked it all out. Amazing what you can find out from a couple of pieces of charcoal.

    Alan on Blossom: She's been burgled three times.

    Blossom: I don't know what I'd have done if Alan hadn't been there.

    Alan: Did they get a lot, the burglars?
    Blossom: Me pension book, a radio and some rings. They weren't worth anything - only to me.
    Alan: Didn't make too much of a mess then?
    Blossom: Turned out a few drawers, that's all.

    Cora Cross: I was mugged once, outside the co-op. That kid needed eleven stitches in his head by the time I finished with him.

    Andy Hunter to Dennis Rickman: You always have been a soft touch. I'm not saying you don't give it the front, but you are — you're soft inside. 1994, that pub down by the Docks, The Two Brewers. You get told to sort the landlord and pick up what's owed. You come back with a sob story about some grandma and an IOU in your hand! Dalton's face, I tell you.
    Dennis: I was young. It was my first job on my own.
    Andy: You were gullible, son.

    Derek Branning: I ain’t been no saint in the past.

    Derek: Back in the nineties, we used to run the green down from Scotland. I had this system. We'd follow the lorry down from Manchester and write down all the number plates of the cars behind it. Next day, we’d go to Leeds. If a licence plate came up more than once, bang — we knew we were being followed. The last day, this licence plate came up twice so I told the driver to park up at the lorry, kiss goodbye to the lot.
    Patrick Trueman: You walked?
    Derek: I did, Patrick, but the others ... See, there was a couple of hundred grand on that lorry. Know when to walk. That’s the difference between your liberty and prison.

    Derek: I lost sight of the most important thing. I lost sight of family. We had some good times though, before it all went to pieces. Do you remember your seventh birthday?
    Joey Branning: Our last one together.
    Derek: I got hold of them dodgy fireworks and we went down that carpark in Stratford and let them off. Me and your mother dancing on the carpark roof.
    Joey: Yeah, I remember the fireworks.

    Joey to Derek: I remember my birthday, but not quite like you do. I remember you blind drunk on the car park roof, holding me mum by the hair. She’s crying, begging you to let go. There’s you laughing, threatening to push her off. And you know what? That ain’t even the worst of it.

    Joey on Derek: How about him throwing all the jam sandwiches at the only birthday party he ever bothered rolling up to in the washing up bowl in front of my mates? I mean, that’s what makes a man, eh? That’s what paints a man. Seven years old, I was. Seven years old.

    Joey: You should have seen me mum’s face sometimes. I was seven years old and I was mopping up blood off the floor. He once hit her so hard, he left his ring printed in her face. You can still see it now if you look hard enough.

    Derek: The last time I saw you ...
    Joey: I was seven.

    Derek: A year later, I was banged up in a prison cell.

    Derek: Joe, listen. The day I walked out on you, I broke my heart. You won’t remember this, but when I said goodbye, I kissed your little cheek and I said, “You’ll always be my best boy.”

    Alice Branning on Derek: Two kids, did a runner. Not a penny, not a word.

    Derek: I didn’t know how to be a dad. I’m not of them men who could do a weekend here and a weekend there. Besides, [Alice’s] mother wouldn’t have let me.

    Alice on Derek: I didn’t even know him. I didn’t even know what he looked like.

    Alice on Derek: I never got to spend one single birthday with him.

    Tanya Branning, speaking about Derek in 2012: The man has spent the last eighteen years not even thinking about his daughter.

    Cora to Alice: Don’t think because [Derek] hasn’t been there, he didn’t feel your loss. He did, every day.

    Derek to Alice: The thing I’m most sorry about is not being a part of your life, not seeing you as a baby, not seeing you growing up.

    Alice: I grew up without my dad and I thought about him every single day.

    Alice: I did grow up without my dad and it was horrible. My mum was all right, but I still spent years wondering why he wasn’t around and why I wasn’t good enough for him, why he didn’t come looking for me, why he didn’t love me. I used to cry myself to sleep.

    Alice: I was always the other one, the one who doesn’t exist.

    Alice on Derek: I thought that he didn’t care about me, that he didn’t love me. I hated him for it.

    Lorraine Wicks to David: Did you think I was going to live in that dump [their marital home] forever?

    Joe Wicks, speaking in 1996: We moved a couple of years ago.

    Tanya: We never [chose private healthcare] with the girls. Never bothered [Max], going on the NHS. He used to run a mile from antenatal classes.

    Max: How it used to be at the start — little Lauren, me dozing with her on my lap, two hours old — it was a perfect, perfect time. I mucked it all up.

    Tanya to Max: I remember you singing [“Rock-a-bye Baby”] to Lauren.

    Max on Lauren: That beautiful baby I brought home from the hospital.

    Max on a baby’s mobile with elephants on it: Used to hang over Lauren’s cot, remember? I put that up the day we brought her back from the hospital. She used to look at it for hours.
    Tanya: It’s all a bit of a blur.

    Tanya: I remember what it was like when you have your first baby. [Your] head’s all over the place.

    Tanya: I’ve had kids. No one wrapped me in cotton wool.

    Andy Jones, Danielle’s father: You spend all those years when they’re little wrapping them in cotton wool, seeing danger round every corner.

    Tanya on Lauren: I remember when I had this one. I was a right old panicky parent. I couldn’t take my eyes off you for a second.

    Tanya on Lauren: She was back-chatting from her changing mat.

    Tanya to Lauren: Abi slept right through [as a baby] — no trouble — whereas you, you weren’t having any of it. Three o’clock every morning sharp, there you’d be — wide awake, all sparky-eyed, wriggling around in your cot, waiting for me to pick you up. I used to sneak you into our bed, all quiet so I wouldn’t wake your dad. We’d have a cuddle — your little starfish hands reaching up touching my face, and your eyes all big in the dark. You’d fall asleep in my arms and I’d just lie there till it got light, looking at you, thinking how perfect you were — my first, my baby. And all the other mothers used to look at the bags under my eyes and they’d be bragging how their little angels slept from eight till eight, but you know what? They’re the ones who should have been jealous because while they were getting their beauty sleep, those middle of the night moments with you were the most precious, the most magical time of my life.

    Tanya: Lauren used to just cry and cry and cry. The only way I could get her to sleep was to walk her in her pram. I mean, I used to walk for miles, miles and miles, and then Max used to come home from work and she’d be there all sort of cuddly and tired in her baby grow. Yeah, piece of cake for him. Worse bit for me — not being able to work.

    Mick Carter: I remember when L was pregnant with Johnny and I took a picture of her. She was akip, massive — one of my favourite smudges of all time, that is.

    Tanya on Max: After I had Lauren, he didn’t come near me for months. It’s like once you’ve been in labour, they’ve seen all that blood and that, they can’t look at you the same way. Not for a while, anyway.

    Carl White: Do you remember 1994? Wet Wet Wet had been Number One for five weeks.
    Kirsty Branning: Yeah, and you got two tickets to Ibiza because you said they were going to stay at Number One for weeks and we had to leave now or die.
    Carl: That night on the beach under the stars ...
    Kirsty: Yeah, and we swore we would stay there until somebody else was Number One.
    Carl: Yeah. We’d still be there if it weren’t for Whigfield.

    Nancy Carter on Linda: It has been “Johnny, Johnny, Johnny” since the day he was born.

    Linda to Johnny: When they put you in that glass box, tubes running into your tiny little body, I sat there feeling so helpless, wanting to hold you so much my arms were physically aching.

    Mick: Johnny, we was in and out of that neonatal for weeks. Never knew if he was going to make it.

    Mick: I spent the longest week of my life on that ward. Bad enough him [Johnny] being in an incubator, but you having that infection … I couldn’t go through that ever again, just sitting there, watching the monitor, just praying for the tiniest little thing in the world to just … his little heartbeat.
    Linda: The worst thing that’s ever happened to us.

    Linda on Johnny: He nearly died. I’ve never known pain like that — seeing his little body, just still, just so still.

    Linda on Johnny: He nearly died. I gave him my dad’s name, but this time I stopped it happening. I held his hand and I knew. I thought, “This time, I’m not letting this person go. This time, I’m going to watch his every breath and he won’t die, he won’t leave me.”

    Linda to Johnny: I made you a promise that if you pulled through, I’d never let anything bad happen to you again.

    Linda on Johnny: And then he came back, screaming, and that’s when I knew, I knew I’d never let anything happen to him. I’d keep him so close, I’d never let anything hurt him. I protected him his whole life.

    Linda to Nancy: We have given you everything.
    Nancy: No, you give him everything — golden sausage boy Johnny who never does anything wrong.

    Johnny on having Linda as a mother: I reckon I won the lottery.

    Shirley to Linda: I think you smothered Johnny a little bit.

    Johnny, looking his old baby booties: I was tiny, weren’t I? Hard to believe an actual human foot fit in these.
    Linda: You were only two pound, but you were strong even then. I held up my little finger and …
    Johnny: I gripped it back.

    Tina: Shirl turned up drunk with fat hair to Johnny’s christening and groped the vicar.

    Nancy on herself and Johnny: We have done everything together. I don’t think we’ve ever, like, been apart for more than, like, a week.

    Linda on raising children: We were young and we struggled for years. If I hadn’t had my Mick to help me, I’d have gone insane.

    Linda on children: We always said we wanted four.

    Johnny: I’ve been pulling pints since before I could walk.

    Fatboy: Nancy reckons her mum used to do a bit of topless modelling.

    Nancy on Linda: Back in the day, she was flopping them out in the papers.

    Linda: I was young and the photographer conned me into it.
    Sharon: That’s low.
    Linda: Mick made sure he’d never do it again.

    Linda: I was young and naive.
    Tina Carter: And cold by the looks of it!

    Nancy on Linda: Her only triumph was as a Page 3 stunner.

    Newspaper caption next to Linda’s picture: “This is Linda Carter, 17. Linda is from Watford and one day dreams of running her own pub. We bet there’s no shortage of men wanting her to pull their pint!”

    Pam Coker: I’ve always wanted to strip off in front of a camera.

    Les Coker: I’m not sure how I feel about all manner of men seeing you in the nuddy.
    Pam: You didn’t mind when we were on that nudist beach in Formentera.
    Les: We found that place by accident.
    Pam: But we didn’t leave, did we? No — you soon got into the spirit when everyone was walking around with their doodahs and their wotsits out.

    Tanya: All those pre-wedding butterflies — I was counting down the days with Max.

    Tanya on Max: He’s fun. That’s why I married him.

    Tanya: All those years with Max never felt relaxed.

    Tanya: I felt like [Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman”, when all the shop assistants look down their noses at her] when I married Max.

    Tanya: I didn’t have all that [a fancy wedding] with Max.

    Tanya: I’ll never forget my wedding day.
    Rachel Branning: Me neither. It was just after my divorce came through, I seem to remember.

    Cora to Max: If I could go back in time, I’d beg her [Tanya] not to marry you. You bring nothing but misery to any woman that gets sucked into your orbit.

    Tanya to Max: “For richer for poorer, in sickness and in health.” That’s what we said, isn’t it? You don’t think, do you, at the time — you make all those promises, you don’t expect to have to call them in.

    Alice Lord to Tanya: I heard you’d married some flash git. Old enough to be your father, they told me.

    Rainie, speaking in 2010: Carol Jackson — didn’t recognise you without a string of kids hanging off your arm.
    Carol: Lorraine — funny, I thought you’d overdosed years ago.

    Max, speaking to Cora in 2013: You met my dad once, nineteen years ago at the wedding. You were so drunk I’m surprised you remember.

    Derek Branning: Cora, we met at the wedding.

    Rainie: Last time I saw you, Derek, I was seventeen.
    Derek: Skinny little legs. I remember you very well.

    Derek: I often think about our dalliance at Tanya’s wedding, how sweet that was.
    Rainie: I don’t remember.

    Tanya to her daughter Abi: Your Uncle Jack’s a good dancer. I’ve danced with him.
    Abi: When?
    Jack Branning: At a party when your mum and dad got married. Your mum was wearing a bright red dress and your dad was the happiest I’ve ever seen him.

    Rainie to Jack: I always thought Tanya married the wrong brother. I mean, why would you want someone like Max when they can have you?

    Jack to Max: I remember a time when she [Tanya] had you wrapped round her little finger.

    Tanya: You know what they say when a man marries his mistress? It creates a vacancy.

    Jack: Last time I saw [a vol-au-vent] must have been Lauren’s christening.

    Archie Mitchell to Danielle: You had a mother — that wonderful woman who adopted you, who brought you up, loved you, dried your tears.

    Andy Jones on Danielle: Her mother bathed her every night. Her mother sung her “Hushabye Mountain”, bandaged her knees when she slipped off the slide in the park.

    Danielle Jones: Mum and Dad told me I was adopted when I was five. It didn’t mean much to me then but when I got older I started to think about my birth mother more, but I never thought of trying to find her. I didn’t want to hurt my mum.

    Andy: Danielle was the light of her mother’s life.

    Danielle: You must have thought about [your daughter]. Did you, on her birthday?
    Ronnie: Sometimes.

    Andy: Gareth was a typical boy, noisy, but Dani, she was always the quiet one, gentle as you like. Mind you, if she got an idea in her head, she was determined, headstrong.

    Johnny Allen to Ruby: I can still remember your first day at school. You were so shy. You clung to me and your mum like your life depended on it.

    Ruby on Johnny: Every morning, he’d check my lunchbox and my school bag and straighten my hair — every morning. He’d never let me get on the bus after eight. He’d insist on picking me up. I used to hate it, but now I can see it’s just because he really cared.

    Owen Turner on his daughter Libby: She always was a bit of a bossy boots. I think she gets it from her mother.

    Libby “Squiggle” Fox: All our lives, all Mum’s ever said to us is, “If there’s a problem, face it, fix it, sort it out. Don’t just run away from it.”

    Qadim Shah to his daughter Amira: I have a picture of you. You must be seven or eight. Such a pretty little thing and you’re holding onto a doll. You wouldn’t be parted from that doll, remember? You called her Alice after your favourite book.
    Amira: No, I didn’t.
    Qadim: Yes you did. The one with the red hair, remember?
    Amira: She was called Pippi because my favourite book was Pippi Longstocking.
    Qadim: I bought you so many dolls. Perhaps one was called Alice, no?
    Amira: Perhaps.

    Amira: Growing up, I never really knew my dad. I mean, he was around, but he was never there. He used to buy me things. He was good at that. Gave me toys, gave me treats, gave me everything except the one thing I wanted. I know what it’s like to have a father and know inside, he doesn’t care.

    Jean Slater on her son Sean: Always the best at everything, wasn’t he, Stace? Football — thought he’d make a go of that at one point.

    Sean to Jean: You don’t know nothing about me. You never have.

    Terry Raymond, looking at a photograph of Tiffany: Eighteenth birthday. You can see she's in a bit of a strop because I wouldn't buy her a mobile phone. They cost a fortune in those days.

    Tiffany: I've always worked with people, abroad mostly. I used to work on the continent, Marbella. First I was a holiday rep and then I was a beautician. It was all right.

    Kim Fox: Cereal is a continental breakfast — I went to the continent and I had cereal.

    Tiffany: I met [Jose and Guillermo] when I was a beautician out there. These are the two wildest Spanish blokes I've ever known.
    Jose to Tiffany: But I only had eyes for you.
    Tiffany: We certainly had a riot, didn't we?
    Jose: You were the ringleader!

    Bianca: Here Tiff, have you never had anyone propose to you?
    Tiffany: Yeah, of course. I just like me freedom.

    Ruby Allen: Were you ever married?
    Tina Stewart: I nearly was. I caught him snogging my best mate, who was going to be the bridesmaid. It was only the morning of the wedding so I whacked her round the face with the bouquet and that was the end of that.

    Sarah Jane “SJ" Fletcher: Have you ever been married?
    Minty Petersen: Nearly, a long time ago.
    SJ: What happened?
    Minty: Oh, the usual. She ran off with someone else.
    SJ: Did you love her?
    Minty: Yeah.

    Stacey on Jean: She's never been well, not as far as I can remember.

    Sean on Jean: When has she ever dealt with anything? First sign of things getting messy, she’s hiding under the covers. She was a useless mum.

    Max on Jean: She had a hard life, spent some time in and out of hospitals.
    Dot: That’s because she’s manic depressive.

    Stacey on Jean: I didn't notice till school. All the other kids, their mums came to pick them up on time and they didn't have to be called by the teachers. That only made Mum worse so I stopped waiting. It's not worth the grief. It wasn't a long walk home.
    Charlie: Somebody should have noticed. What about the teachers?
    Stacey: I suppose some of them twigged, but I made sure no-one paid too much attention. I got by on most things.
    Charlie: Why didn't someone help you?
    Stacey: I suppose no-one wanted to.

    Stacey: You know what I used to think when I was a kid? "Why me — why has everyone got a normal mum except me?”
    Charlie: I don’t suppose that was true.

    Stacey on school: Who says I ever went?

    Jean on Snakes and Ladders: This always used to cheer you up.
    Stacey: I’m not six years old anymore.

    Sean on Stacey: My sister, she’s always had this terrible temper, even when she was a kid. Blows her fuse at the slightest opportunity. Takes her at least a week to calm down.
    Tanya: You the sensitive big brother, were you? Protective?

    Carly Wicks: At school, if anyone ever said they hated someone and they kept banging on about it, you could pretty much bet everything you had that they’d be at it like rabbits in a couple of weeks. Love and hate, you can barely get a [sheet of] paper between them.

    Tiffany to Bianca: Have you noticed that all the problems we've had since school have been because of men?

    Simon Raymond: Tiff decided she didn't like my choice of boyfriend. We had huge rows over it. We didn't speak for ages. She hated him. She didn't think Howard was any good for me. She was probably right.

    Tiffany to Howard, Simon's boyfriend: You used to give my brother a slap in the mouth.

    Simon on himself and Howard: We lived together for about two years. Howard cared about me. He only did everything that he did because he cared. Maybe it was my fault. Maybe I did something wrong.

    Max to Tanya: I don’t remember it being hard work with us, all that baby stuff. Never needed much encouragement in that department.

    Max on his daughter’s Abi conception: Left-field, unplanned.

    Tanya on being pregnant: I was ill, sick ill, with Abs.

    Tanya: I wasn't planning on settling down so early. Took me by surprise, to be honest. I was going to travel. Next thing I knew, I was married with two
    kids and a mortgage to sort out.

    Tanya to Max: I made a choice — you, my kids, love. I made an investment. I said no to all those other things and I went for you.

    Kevin Wicks: I gave up any hope of a life somewhere in the mid-nineties.

    Kevin, speaking in 2006: I spent the last twenty odd years working my knackers off trying to raise three kids. When the hell would I have time to be Jack the Lad?

    Carly on Kevin: He got lost at Alton Towers.

    Kevin, mid-anecdote: There was me as Dracula rolling on the ground with Einstein, with Mr Blobby cheering us on.
    Denise: All because Einstein was rude to Wonder Woman?
    Kevin: Yeah.
    Denise: I went dressed as a teabag once.
    Kevin: Oh yeah — trust you to top everyone, eh?
     

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