It’s been said to us here at TV Today that we perhaps don’t cover one of the nation’s favourite pastimes – soap operas – as much as we could. This is of course incredibly remiss, seeing as this dark art of television forms the backbone of British drama output, occupying more space in the tabloids than Pete Doherty after a big night out.
This we fully intend to rectify in the New Year and hope to bring more detailed coverage from our Soapland correspondents on a regular basis.
It’s easy to dismiss the soaps as unimportant, as cultural fluff that nobody takes seriously. Their ubiquitous position in the schedules has bred a curious form of contempt, giving simple excuse not to take them seriously. But still, 9 million people will tune in to every episode of both Coronation Street and EastEnders, often amounting to 40 percent of the total viewing audience. Emmerdale is rarely far behind, and even the likes of Hollyoaks, Neighbours and Home and Away have their faithful to keep them as a going concern for broadcasters. And don’t get me started on The Archers, I’ll never stop!
Without the soaps (yes, including EastEnders, which has weathered a very tough year), British television would be a poorer place. They are the training ground for future stars, future writers, and future directors.
Come Christmas Day, I’ll be happy settling down with a glass of sherry and mince pie in front of the Christmas Corrie, my family alongside. For better or worse, soaps are the cultural heritage of our television industry, and we should be proud of that fact.