Sunday, 14 February 2010


Corrie's Simon Barlow (played by Alexander Bain) has breathed new life into the dreary Barlow family. He's certainly a better actor than most of them - yes Deidre, that means you. The late Maggie Jones who played Blanche was possibly the only exception. I miss her put downs and acerbic wit.

The latest storyline sees Simon's father Peter Barlow struggling with lapsing back into alcoholism. Corrie got it badly wrong with the Joe McIntyre disappearing man on lake the plotline, but the writers and actor playing Peter Barlow deserve much credit for tackling the issue of alcoholism so realistically. The drama is building as Simon is at the centre of a tug-of-war between his grandparents and Peter's drunken attempts to get him back. Scenes shot at Blackpool are imminent...

Whatever chaos is going on around him, Simon just manages to steal every scene he's in by managing just to look up with those cute cat from Shrek 2 big brown eyes. He also seems to have a natural acting ability way beyond his years. Lines are delivered in helium-pitched, Rochdalesque perfection.

However, to coin Ann Widdecombe's phrase, 'there's something of the night about him'. It's a feeling that I can't quite put my finger on it, but he just reminds me of an old man who's very, very short. A miniature Charlie Chaplin or a cross between Benjamin Button, Stewie from Family Guy and Damian from the Omen. Call it a hunch, but I've noticed that birds don't fly over Granada Studios when Simon does his outside scenes. Chesney's Schmeichal runs round in circles baying at the moon. And another thing...I'm going to ask for a second post mortem on Simon's pet rabbit Liane (shown looking a tad apprehensive in the photo above). Liane allegedly died in the flat fire from smoke inhalation, but I'm sure Simon was seen stuffing a box of Swan Vestas and an ether-soaked hankerchief in his school trouser pockets....

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