Isn’t it strange how much TV can influence our lives? It can educate, shock, entertain; bring us to tears even; and you could get all of that in just one episode of your favourite soap!

Who remembers, Anne Kirkbride or Deirdre Barlow as she was known to many? She burst onto our screens 46 years ago as a fresh-faced 17-year-old. She had the nation gripped with her numerous marriages, and relationships, before finally ending up with dear old Ken (again). Even our Prime Minister at the time, became involved when one storyline sent her off to the clink for a bit  by demanding that she be freed!

It was the same with Dallas. I can still remember the ‘who shot JR?’ saga. People even had t-shirts emblazoned with ‘I shot JR.’   Staying with Dallas, what about the uproar when Bobby died, and then came back a few years later, clean and sparkly from a nice shower.(He didn’t even have that wrinkled skin you get after a while, let alone a few years)

Many people have grown up with some of these characters, and they almost feel like they are part of the family.We laugh with them, cry with them, and can’t wait to tune in to the next episode to see what they will get up to. Some fans even find it difficult to separate fact from fiction and expect the actors to behave like their characters in real life!

It has long been a tradition in the UK for our soaps to have spectacular Christmas episodes, we can’t wait! You know there’s going to be a MEGA disaster of EPIC proportions! What will it be?? Will it be a tragic accident that wipes out half of the cast? Will it be a shocking revelation? Or will there be an almighty punch-up? Whatever it is , you can guarantee there will be legions of fans, glued to their TVs in order to find out!

How many of us have also been guilty of using TV to ‘babysit’ our kids? I have to own up to this one. When my daughter was very young, I have plonked her down in front of the TV, watching one of the kids’ channels, enthralled by Mr Tumble or Dora the Explorer, whilst I have got on with a bit of housework or something. She has never had a long attention span, so I used to make the most of however long I got.

Reality TV has really taken off now too. Oh how we love to see poor unfortunate people (mainly celebrities) making utter fools of themselves, either being locked up in a house with a load of other people who they have nothing in common with, for a few weeks, or being sent to a jungle , again with others who they don’t know and have very little in common with. Deprive them of a few home comforts, make them compete with each other for ‘treats’ , then sit back and watch it all kick off!

I am also rather partial to the crime channels. I don’t know why, but they fascinate me. It is amazing how they uncover the whole story from start to finish of a crime that has been committed, sometimes with just the smallest amount of evidence. I am surprised though at the amount of spouses that get ‘bumped off’ for the insurance money, and the sly and devious methods used to try to fool everyone that the death is genuine! Hmmmm, STILL haven’t got Mr Grump insured…..

Happy viewing, I’m off to sort out some paperwork!