Soapwatch with JACI STEPHEN: Jay and Gina's drug nightmare

Soapwatch with JACI STEPHEN: Jay and Gina’s drug nightmare


Plots involving drugs bore me; I’ve never made any secret of that when writing about their regular appearances in soapland. But fair play to EastEnders, ketamine is very topical, with use of the drug now outstripping Ecstasy.

Not content with having given Jay a dying wife, the show has now inflicted a heavy drug problem on the poor man. It began simply enough, when he asked the hooker with a heart for a bit of the horse tranquiliser to help him relax. 

When the proverb says you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink, it hadn’t taken into account that it’ll drink a gallon of the stuff if it’s laced with ketamine.

Having started on that, Jay takes more drugs after getting a dealer’s number from Ravi, but here comes his saviour Gina, offering him a bed for the night at the Vic. 

Drug user Gina, played by Francesca Henry, tries to help Jay by offering him a bed for the night at the Vic

Jay, played by Jamie Borthwick, has developed a heavy drug problem having first tried ketamine as a way to help him relax 

Blimey. A fellow druggie. That’s just what you need in a crisis. And what’s all this about a bed? Where do all these people who keep turning up at the Vic sleep? It’s the Tardis of pubs.


Why does Jay seek Billy for help? ‘Billy’s had his own troubles and he looks up to him,’ says Jamie Borthwick (Jay). 

Hmmm. Can’t help feeling a pint of Stella might be more uplifting.

When George finds Jay’s drugs, Linda bars him, and Billy orders him out of their lives (all heart, is our Billy). Everything goes from bad to worse and Jay ends up in a car accident. 

Gina blames George and the Mitchells for their treatment of him and, alas, heads to the wrong hospital to look for him. 

OK, that’s enough guys, I’m done with the whole drugs thing now. I’ve given you an olive branch, but you’re not going to get the whole damned tree.

Hopefully, there’s a bit of light relief when items from the sale of the Marbella bar get delivered to the Vic. It’s an emotional moment for Cindy, who shows her true colours yet again by tearing into Elaine outside. Excellent.  

Forget sombrero mementos – street bunfights among ex-pat Brits are the most authentic reminder of Spanish days in the sun.

I’m still waiting for any of them to utter one word of Spanish other than tapas, though…


You don’t want to get on the wrong side of Daisy, as Lauren discovers when Daisy tears her off a strip and tells her she won’t be blackmailed by a worthless brat. 

Insistent that Lauren won’t get another penny, what will the youngster’s next move be? Heading for the first bus out of Weatherfield, if we’re lucky.

Lauren was brought in to beef up the dreadful terrorism story, and she hasn’t worked effectively as a character since. 

Now we’re subjected to depressing scenes in her tiny flat that somehow has enough space to house Ryan too – though sadly not enough space for him to swing his shirt off.

Daisy lays into Lauren and  tells her she won’t be blackmailed by a worthless brat

Maybe he’ll soon oust Daniel. When Daisy hears Ryan calmly explain his scars to a customer in the Bistro, she praises him for the way he’s coped and it’s clear they still have feelings for each other. 

Will Daniel smell a rat when Daisy tries to stall his plans to sell his mum’s house and buy Elaine’s flat? Will Daisy finally smell a rat and realise Daniel has forgotten he has a son? Where is Bertie? 

Daniel tells Daisy he’s taking him to Sinead’s grave. He’ll have to find him first.

Why Lauren just wants to be loved

Corrie’s Ryan has a strange habit of picking women who claim they just want to protect him. He went through it with Daisy, now Lauren. 

‘Lauren wants to be accepted and loved,’ says Cait Fitton (Lauren), ‘and Ryan treats her like an adult, so she does have a protective bond. They really understand each other – that’s what makes the bond beautiful.’ 

Come on. You just want him to keep getting his kit off, like the rest of us.


Caught in the act after a hot night of passion

What’s caught Jacob and Victoria’s attention following their night of passion (well, about as passionate as two sloths on a bender)? 

Is it the pot plant hanging from the ceiling, threatening to engulf the pair like a triffid? No, it’s the unexpected arrival of David, who doesn’t accept that things between him and Victoria are over.

Victoria manages to get rid of David (if only she’d been able to do the same with that hideous waitress’s cap at The Hide), and things between her and Jacob appear to be getting serious. Weird. He looks little more than 12 to me. 

Having spent the night together, Jacob and Victoria are shocked when David arrives unannounced, refusing to accept that things between him and his old flame are over

Leyla has suspicions about Jacob’s secret girlfriend, and carnage must be on the cards when she decides to go into Poirot mode to try to discover who it is.

The Grim Reaper looms large when Belle learns that Tom’s mother has died. And when Gail discovers she is a bone marrow match for Oscar and heads for surgery, what will the outcome be? 

Marlon warns Gail to tread carefully around Oscar’s adoptive mother, Sophie, who is conflicted about the bond forming. 

Tread carefully? In Emmerdale? You’d stand a better chance of getting Godzilla to perform the Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy.

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