Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Viewers' Confusion - Taking Fiction For Fact...

1986 - Alan Turner teaches Mrs Bates to play bowls. Or so he thinks...

Back in the 1980s, some viewers were prone to getting soap fiction mixed up with reality. If you played a well-loved soap character, this could work to your advantage. But if not...

English actress Vivean Gray, Mrs Mangel in the Australian soap Neighbours, left the show when some viewers entered into the fantasy a little too much and treated her as though she was the character she played.

It could be seen as a tribute to her acting skills, but all the same!

In Emmerdale Farm, Richard Thorp also suffered as his at first disliked, figure-of-fun character Alan Turner, who arrived in 1982, upset the Beckindale locals. As seen in other posts on this blog, Richard Thorp suffered some abuse, and the article pictured below, from the Sun newspaper, August 26, 1989, reveals some problems he experienced at a public swimming pool.

Fortunately, Mr Thorp managed to deal with the problems and remain in Emmerdale Farm. For which I am truly grateful. As regular readers of this blog will already know, I was a great fan of the Alan Turner and Mrs Bates boss/secretary partnership at NY Estates from 1984-1988. The scenario was not planned, something just seemed to "click" between the two actors, but in an amazingly short amount of time Alan Turner and Mrs Bates were two of my favourite characters in the show.

An episode featuring Alan blustering and boasting away at the NY Estates office, whilst Mrs Bates smiled quietly to herself, seeing right through him to the wally inside, and Amos launching into a new fad at the Woolpack, to Mr Wilks' despair, is my idea of soap heaven!

They don't make 'em like that any more!

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