Gays of our Lives (June 16, 2009)

This week’s column kicks off with GAYS GONE BY featuring As The World Turns
first gay character all the way back from 1988. GOOL Theater has the return
of Spanish teen soap Física O Química
and some steamy clips from All That
Plus spoilers of domestic unrest on Forbidden Love and a shocking kiss on EastEnders. Meanwhile, GOOL NEWSBEAT has the dish on what’s ahead for The Young and the Restless
Rafe Torres and Raising the Bar’s
Charlie Sagansky. And as always, I’ve got the SNAPSHOTS and SOAP STUD OF THE WEEK for you!


GAYS GONE BY — As The World Turns Hank Eliot

While As The World Turns
Luke Snyder (Van Hansis) broke new ground with his coming out story a few
years back, and then made history with his wildly popular romance with Noah
Mayer (Jake Silbermann), it wasn’t the first time ATWT has tackled a gay storyline. Back in 1988, long before Luke
Snyder was even a gay twinkle in his parents’ eyes (in fact, Holden and Lily were just
beginning their stormy, decades long relationship) the show introduced the
first regular gay male on daytime television in the form of Hank Eliot, played
by Brian Starcher.

Hank was a fashion designer who came to Oakdale to work with Barbara Ryan. A
charismatic fellow, he quickly became part of the fabric of the city,
befriending many of the show’s citizens, including the show’s two main teens at
the time, Andy Dixon and Paul Ryan (who was only a little insane back then).
But he also attracted the attention of one Iva Snyder (Luke’s biological
grandmother), who became romantically interested in Hank.

He told her he had a lover back in New
York – while neglecting to tell her he was male – but that
didn’t stop her from falling for him. After Iva kissed him, Hank realized he
had to tell Iva the truth.

On August 18th, 1988, Hank came out to Iva – and to daytime

As you might expect, given the time period and the fact that gays anywhere
on television were very rare – and usually not presented in a positive light –
the dialogue is rather preachy and awkward. Even though the actors do their
best, Starcher comes across as a bit stiff, but I think it’s because in some
sense Hank was not so much a person, but a point of discussion.

Hank spent much of his early time on the show educating the folks of Oakdale
(and the audience) about the basics of gay people and gay sexuality. But that is a small
complaint. This was new territory after all. Nonetheless, it was some time before
Starcher gelled in the role and Hank was allowed to become a person with his
own problems, issues and concerns.

Starcher with Colleen Zenk Pinter, who
plays Barbara Ryan

Shortly after Hank came out, Douglas Marland, head writer of As The World Turns at the time, was
interviewed by the San Francisco Chronicle. It was there he
explained why he felt it was important that Hank’s story be told:

I like to believe
that ’As the World Turns’ is
representative of everything in our lives. In the mix of 32 contract
characters, I felt it was lacking that there wasn’t one gay man. The
relationship will remain off-camera, however, and — at least, for the immediate
future — AIDS will not enter the story.

Marland had thought
the show and the audience would be resistant to the plot twist, but ultimately,
everyone was very supportive.

Eventually AIDS did
enter the storyline in some respects. In early 1989, Hank told Barbara some
terrible news: his lover Charles (who always remained off screen) had been
diagnosed with HIV, which had developed into full blown AIDS. The show made it
clear that Hank was HIV-negative because he and his lover had safe sex during
their relationship.

Naturally, that was
the next beat of Hank’s story: educating the audience on HIV and AIDS. The show
did at first consider having Hank develop the illness, but not wanting to send
the message that all gay people get AIDS, they decided against it.

As the storyline developed, it grew more compelling, especially in regards
to Hank being kept from his ill lover by his lover’s family, a very real
conflict that to this day many gay men have to deal with. But with half the
story being played off screen, it kept viewers at an emotional distance and
prevented them from feeling Hank’s real anguish over his problems.

As for Hank, that previous scene was his last. He was never again seen in Oakdale, though he was mentioned occasionally from time to time to let viewers
know how the character was doing.

It’s too bad that Hank was never referenced or mentioned during
Luke’s coming out storyline. For the time that Hank was in Oakdale, he was
fairly involved in many of the characters’ lives, most of whom still live in
Oakdale to this day. It would have been a welcome nod to history for those who
watched Hank back then to have referenced him during Nuke’s groundbreaking storyline.

Even better would have been for Luke and his grandmother Iva, who was Hank’s
best friend, to have talked about it. Unfortunately, Iva has not been seen in
Oakdale for years.

On a final note, As The World Turns did
win GLAAD’s first award for Daytime Drama that year for Hank’s storyline, an award
it claimed again 20 years later for with Luke and Noah.



Young and The Restless

Now we’re getting there! Or closer anyway. At least we know that the
mysterious Langley
actually is the believed-to-be-dead Phillip Chancellor III, not that it was
ever really in doubt. I mean, why bring back Thom Bierdz and have him not be Phillip? I admit I’m surprised
the show didn’t leave that reveal dangling a bit longer, but I guess it’s the
how and the why – not to mention the repercussions to follow – that are most
important. And those repercussions should be mighty interesting!

Would he lie to you? Actually, he

For a man who was behind such an elaborate charade, Cane is a terrible liar.
It’s as if in these scenes, he’s lying to Nina and she knows he’s lying, and he
knows she knows he’s lying, but because she has no proof, they are both
pretending not to know what is going on when they both do know. Get it? Good,. I almost
confused myself there!

Física O Química — Okay, before
watching this clip, a quick recap. Fer is interested in David, but David is
deeply closeted. But apparently not closeted enough to avoid nearly having sex with
Fer in the school bathroom, not to mention also engaging in a few steamy make-out
sessions where they could have been caught in the act.

Fer’s sex life is caught on tape … again

Well, actually, they were caught
by Fer’s old buddy Gorka, who videotaped Fer and David making out in bed. What
is it with Fer’s sex romps being caught on tape? And why does Gorka care? He
cares because David, who is pretending to be straight, is dating Gorka’s
ex-girlfriend. Now, rather than just tell her that David is a ‘mo, he has a
more diabolical plan in mind, as we see in this clip.

Ah! That Gorka is as nasty as one remembers, isn’t he? Part of me admires
the little snake for his ingenuity. While I’m enjoying Gorka’s wicked ways, I
am decidedly not enjoying David and
it’s hard for me to sympathize with the character. It’s one thing to struggle
with your sexuality and not be ready to come out. But David not only uses
Ruth as a beard; he almost humiliates her in such a cruel way, thereby turning
himself into a coward. And as a viewer, it certainly doesn’t make me want to
root for David and Fer to get together.

Something tells me this entire twisted love quadrangle is not going to end
well. I gotta say, however, Fer and David have great chemistry. Even though
they didn’t do anything and there was no physical contact between them, that
shower scene was hot. Welcome back, FOQ, we’ve missed you!


That Matters

There’s a lot going on for Roman this week as he plays a part in three
different plot threads. I’m loving it (even if I’m not always thrilled with the
story) because the character is finally being utilized effectively after being
on the shelf for far too long.



I could enjoy Lars dumping Stella more if he wasn’t going around the bend
over her boring old self and if Deniz wasn’t so anxious to run to her rescue.
But at least it’s fun to watch Roman and Jenny commiserate together. If those
two truly put their minds to it, they could do some dastardly things.

And yipes! Bulle’s scary (and not nearly as cute) brother is now on the
scene and issuing threats. Poor Roman. Between being Jenny’s plaything and
being thrown around by the bad guy of the day, couldn’t he get a little play?
Just a little?

Which brings us to Axel. I’m not quite sure where this story is going, but I
don’t think this is going to be Roman’s next great love. That being said, it is
sexy and outrageous and a lot of fun, which isn’t something we’re really used
to seeing happen with our gay characters – at least not in the U.S. Roman and
Axel have actual chemistry and once again, these clips shows what a sexual creature
Roman is when the show gives him the chance. I love that we get to see this
onscreen; I just wish we’d get it in the U.S.



This week’s episodes are pretty much a setup for next week’s plot
developments, so there really isn’t much to go on. As usual, Christian is a
backdrop to what’s happening around him. Since I know what’s going to happen (I
get paid to know these things), I’m very curious to see how we get from here to
there, because the pieces don’t quite fit and I’m a bit worried the story is
going to start off on the wrong foot. I guess I should wait until next week to
go off about that.

If you think Syed’s mother doesn’t
like Christian now…

For now though, I enjoyed quite a few of these scenes as they give us what
soaps so rarely do amid all the drama (especially American soaps) and that’s fun
and humor. I like the flirty scene Christian had with Whitney’s mom and I enjoy
the interactions of the Masood family and how Christian is slowly becoming a
part of their lives. But I have a feeling that soon things won’t be so funny in
that household!


As The World Turns — Okay, if I were judging this on the magnificence
that is Riley Morgan’s upper body, this would get a solid arrow up. But since
this is about Luke and Noah, I’m not inclined to be so generous. To my way of
thinking, this past week was all about squandered talent and missed

It’s bad enough that Van Hansis (Luke) has so little to do in this storyline
that he looks bored, but when Jake Silbermann (Noah) was given a
chance to shine during the scenes in which Noah opened a box of Col. Mayer’s
personal effects, he was ineffective at best. It should have been emotionally moving;
instead there wasn’t much being expressed.

While some might see that as an acting choice, for me it wasn’t acting at
all. And if what we’re seeing filmed for Noah’s student movie is going to be
anything like the finished product, Mr. Mayer is going to need some ‘extra
credit’ from his professor to get a passing grade.

The hotness that is Riley Morgan was
the only thing
worth watching on last week’s

Kings — I miss
having an entertaining prime time soapy drama (especially since Brothers
& Sisters
was so disappointing this past season) and this continues
to fit the bill. David and Jack’s mission was intriguing and full of
provocative drama. Even better, Jack is turning out to be a much stronger
character than originally portrayed and the political elements continue to be
the show’s strength (though the dialogue can sometimes still be off-putting).

Not so strong is Allison Miller as Princess Michelle. The actress is
certainly beautiful, but she has neither the acting chops nor the conviction that
the role requires, not to mention her character is a bit of a twit. On top of
that, she has no sexual spark with Chris Egan’s David, which is not good since
the show was pushing that as the central romance. Frankly, Egan has more heat
with Sebastain Stan’s Jack and their relationship is far more interesting. It’s
doubtful the writers ever intended that, although it might be a better
show if they did. Overall, it’s good to see Kings back, even if it
won’t be for long.

Even as they bond, Jack and David continue to be
at war with each other

Jack could regret his night of passion on Kings, someone gets suspicious about Kyle and
Fish on One Life To Live, Olli and
Christian’s Forbidden Love is a
battleground, Y&R’s
Rafe is back – and more!

Stop reading if you don’t want the scoop on all your favorite soaps
and dramas!

Is Noah in danger of being a kept man?

The World Turns
— Isn’t Noah
lucky that his boyfriend has more wealthy relatives than he does fingers and
toes? When Noah’s movie needs a quick infusion of cash to keep the production
afloat, Luke goes to Daddy Damian for money.

It’s no surprise that Damian’s wallet is always open for his only son. But
how will grumpy papa Holden feel about it? Meanwhile on the Riley Morgan front,
Casey is determined to get rid of the mysterious newcomer, whose true
intentions grow more and more dubious each day.

Kings — It’s King Silas’ birthday, but a
damper is thrown on the festivities when a blackout strikes the entire city.
It turns out that’s not so bad for Jack. Never missing the chance to be up to no good,
Jack slips away from the party to spend some quality time with his boyfriend.
But will he live to regret the stolen moments?

Meanwhile, the king’s own secrets are refusing to remain hidden and their getting out could
tear the kingdom asunder. Oh, yeah – Michelle and David have some quality time.
But &#8212 yawn &#8212 do we really care about that? I didn’t think so.

Jack goes looking for …and finds love.
But will he regret it?

That Matters
— Aware that the
‘Maximum’ sports drink has an unintended drugging effect on those who drink it,
Axel attempts to blackmail the Steinkamps. Unfortunately for Axel, his gay tryst with
Roman was caught on tape and unless he relents, his romp with Roman will be
revealed for everyone to see. Axel doesn’t give up though, and launches a new
scheme to get what he wants. Unfortunately, it puts poor deluded Nina at risk …

Will Axel’s attempt at blackmail work?

— Things are still tense
between Olli and Christian as business matters continue to come between them.
Christian isn’t happy when Olli has to cancel another date to work and he’s
even angrier when Olli sends him off on a menial task.

So imagine how he feels when he returns and finds Olli flirting with another
guy. Mr. Mann flies into a jealous snit only to find out that the guy in
question is an important business client. Feeling enough is enough, Olli fires
Christian. You know what they say about mixing business and pleasure! It should
be verbotene!

Christian accuses Olli of mixing
business and pleasure.
That can’t turn out well!

Life To Live
— Fish continues
to express his interest in his new roommate Layla and thinks they should start
dating. Layla is interested, but she can’t help but notice the strange tension
between Fish and Kyle, prompting her to want to find out what’s going on
between the two men. Meanwhile, Kyle is the target of seduction by someone. But
is he really interested in who is offering what?

EastEnders — A business deal between Christian,
Syed and his parents is jeopardized when Christian tells the client that he’s
gay and the client is bothered by it. Syed’s mother lashes out at Christian and
tells him to keep his sexuality on the down low. When Syed agrees with his
mother, saying that being gay is against God’s will, Christian is outraged and
leaves. Later, Syed drops by Christian’s place to make amends, but they only
end up arguing again. Christian wants Syed to leave, but Syed’s response is to
kiss Christian …

Things get hot between Christian and
hotter than either of them anticipated …

— When Simon is
hassled because of his love for a Posh Spice doll, his father worries that his
son is a little too feminine for his own good and seeks to toughen him up. He
forces Simon to join the school’s football team, but his son couldn’t care less
until he learns Posh Spice is dating a footballer. Can Simon help his team win
the big match, the respect of his father and get the Posh Spice doll he
covets? All I’ll say is that the episode starts off showing us a PS doll.

This fight turns out to be the least
of Ravi’s problems…

Hollyoaks — Ravi and his brother Ash continue to
be at odds as Ash tells Ravi he is a loser with no future. But when Ravi skillfully handles a business crisis in Ash’s
absence, will Ash have to eat his words? Bitter and jealous, Ash gets even by telling Caleb
that Ravi is bisexual and Caleb responds by picking a fight with Ravi, knocking him out. When Ravi
is recovering from the fight, he thinks he’s okay until he suffers from a
frightening blackout.

Young and the Restless
— Hey,
it’s a Rafe sighting! After weeks of being MIA, the cutie pie attorney shows up
to console bratty Noah, who wants a divorce from his messed up parents Nick and
Sharon. What will Rafe tell the kid to do? Meanwhile, as Nina comes closer to
discovering that her long believed dead husband Phillip Chancellor III is
indeed alive, Phillip and Cane take drastic steps to ensure that the truth
remain hidden. But will it work?


The World Turns
— Col. Mayer
returns and someone is going to take a bullet …

— Christian makes an
ugly accusation …

Kings ­— The threat of Jack being outed
forces the Queen to take action …

Shortland Street — Gerald becomes obsessed with
something …

EastEnders — Syed can’t handle his growing
feelings for Christian …

Life To Live
— Someone warns
Layla about dating Fish …

How will Rafe react when Adam makes
his move?

Young and The Restless
— Rafe
is stunned when Adam confesses his feelings for him …

— Sean makes a
memorable visit to the gym …

Simon has a bad day
at the hairdresser …

Hollyoaks — Ravi
gets devastating news …

That Matters
— Roman’s career
is thrown into complete upheaval …

A chat with daytime’s hottest father and son duo, Degrassi is lauded with multiple awards, news on when your latest
dramas will be back with new episodes, a Gossip
scandal – and more!

Raising the Bar’s Charlie Sagansky, played by Jonathan Scarfe

Now that Raising the Bar’s
Charlie Sagansky (played by Jonathan Scarfe) is an openly gay man after
spending Season 1 in the closet, what’s ahead for his character? Is he going to
have some loving in the new season? Unfortunately, it doesn’t look likely, at
least not for a while.
Regarding a romantic relationship, Scarfe recently told The Advocate:

I would love that,
but where we’ve gone with the scripts so far -— I’ve only seen up to episode 8
-— we haven’t seen that. That’s something I keep fighting for. But they have
introduced another character, an older gay judge. He’s sworn off romantic
relationships, but he’s become a sort of mentor for Charlie professionally.

[As reported in
last week’s GOOL, the other gay character is Judge Albert Farnsworth, played by
John Michael Higgins.]

Scarfe added that
he is disappointed his character hasn’t had a romantic relationship, but he’s
hoping it changes soon. The actor feels that it’s important that the show give
Charlie a love life if they want to depict the gay community with respect.

I really want them
to explore a personal relationship; otherwise, I feel like it’s chickening out.
If I’m going to have this coming-out story line, I don’t want it to then get
dropped away because they’re shy about exploring a gay relationship. We’ve
gotten into all kinds of discussions about how we were going to proceed with
Charlie, because I felt there were places where we weren’t being truthful. I
was very concerned that it would become a sort of gimmick.

The city council of Cardiff Bay, Wales
is currently under talks to construct an exhibit based on the sci-fi series Torchwood. The idea makes a great deal
sense as Cardiff
is where the series is set and the city has already experienced quite a boost
in tourism and revenue because of the show. If they decide to go through with the
plans, the council hopes to have the attraction ready in time for a summer
opening in July when the new season debuts. The council is looking at using a
Georgian building in Bute Crescent
for the exhibition.

Martin Wilkie, who was part of the design team that built the Doctor Who exhibition, also in Cardiff, spoke to the BBC
about the project. “A Torchwood
Exhibition would be a great addition to the Bay area. We have looked at several
sites but we are hoping that this one might be available soon. The appeal of Torchwood brings many visitors to Cardiff Bay, especially to see the Torchwood Water Tower. This would offer
visitors a unique chance to see many of the key props, costumes and even recent
creatures from the upcoming series.”

As previously reported, Torchwood:
Children of the Earth
will debut on BBC One and BBC America on July 20th.

Former Coronation Street actor Sam Robertson

Former Coronation Street star Sam
Robertson, who played Adam Barlow from 2004 – 2007, recently revealed that the
writers on CS had planned to have his
character discover that he was bisexual, but ultimately passed on the idea
because it was too similar and would have played out too closely after the plot
revolving around Todd Grimshaw (played by Bruno Langley), who had a popular and
long running storyline in which he realized that he was gay.

"At one point they were going to make Adam bisexual, and I was bang up
for that. Playing a guy who was proper bisexual, into guys and girls and as
cool as a cucumber with it,” Robertson told the Daily Record. “It would have been great, I was excited about it at
the time. But I think they decided it came too soon after Bruno Langley’s gay

The actor has since joined the cast of BBC Scotland soap River City.

Is The Young and The Restless gay
lawyer Rafe about to get lucky? Buzz from the Y&R set is that the first scenes of Michael Muhney, who took
over the role of Adam Wilson after Chris Engen exited the show (allegedly after
he learned he’d have to kiss his male co-star) involve him lying shirtless in
bed after a sexual liaison with an ‘unknown partner’. This is the same week
Adam confesses his ‘feelings’ for Rafe, so stay tuned!

Just who does Adam get lucky with
during actor Michael Muhney’s first day on

In other Y&R news, as if there
was really any doubt, it was confirmed that openly gay actor Thom Bierdz was
indeed playing the long believed dead Phillip Chancellor III last week. And it
won’t be long before he makes a return to Genoa City.
The recently shot episodes where he reunites with his family are said to be
spectacular as Phillip has a lot of explaining to do! Look for those scenes in
early July.

Thanks to episodes such as “Bad Medicine,”
featuring gay character Riley (Argiris Karras),
Degrassi is an award winner

Degrassi: The Next Generation has
been racking up the awards of late. Last week, the show received the top honor
in the Alliance
for Children and Television Awards of Excellence in the "All Genres,
Teens” category. The show’s creator, Linda Schuyler, was also recently given
the Anthony Minghella Memorial Award, named after the late director of the
Oscar winning film The English Patient. Furthermore,
the 2009 Female Film Festival in Toronto
recently bestowed the Female Eye Maverick Award on Ms. Schuyler.

As The World Turns’ Paolo Seganti (Damian) and Van Hansis (Luke)

Daytime’s hottest father and son duo – As
The World Turns
Luke Snyder, played by Van Hansis, and
Damian Grimaldi, played by Paolo Seganti – have a difficult and complex
relationship, to say the least. As fans know, it was just a couple of years ago
that a homophobic Damian tried to ship his gay son off to a deprogramming camp
– and then let Luke’s comatose mom Lily take the rap for it.

But a couple of years, a stabbing, a kidnapping attempt and working together
to foil a gun runner has somewhat healed the gap between father and son. And as
Hansis recently told The Advocate in a joint interview with Seganti, their
relationship is still a work in progress.

I think some things we are taping that won’t air for a couple of months
illustrate that Damian understands Luke more than anybody else. I can’t get
into it more than that. But Luke is going to go through some major decisions in
his life. Everyone is telling him what to do, but Damian is the only one who
asks him what he wants to do. So there is a connection between the two, and
they are trying to put the past behind them. I think that’s what makes it such
an interesting story. It’s an estranged father and a son trying to make their
relationship work.

You can find the full interview with Hansis and Seganti here.

There are going to be some changes at As
The World Turns
. At long last the show is going to replace the current gold
and black logo to the one above. There will also be a new opening to go along
with it. Exactly when this will air is unknown, but it will be soon.

The new ABC sitcom Modern Family premieres
Sept. 23rd Ugly Betty returns
for its fourth season on Oct. 9th Mad Men returns for a third season on August 16th … The
sixth season premiere of Desperate
is Sept. 27th … Season Two of The United States of Tara begins production in August with episodes
slated to begin airing early next year. Oscar nominated actress Viola Davis
joins the cast as an artist friend of Tara’s …

Laurence Lau (ex-Brian Wheatley, As
The World Turns
) will be appearing in the national tour of August: Osage County,
which won the Tony Award for Best Play of 2008. The play also won the 2008
Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The tour launches in Denver on July 24th and will run
until May of next year.

Kings promises not to leave viewers

Kings producers have
promised that all the show’s major storylines will be wrapped up when it
finishes its seven-episode run this summer … The updated Melrose Place is casting the role of Caleb, a gay publicist, who
will debut in the show’s second episode. It is a recurring role … Is Whitney
Houston doing a guest spot on Glee this
fall? Producers say they’ve been negotiating with the super diva for an
appearance when the show returns later this year, but Ms. Houston’s reps insist
it’s not happening. Look for her first album in seven years to debut on Sept. 1.

David and Fer’s romance on Física
O Química continues in season four…

Season Three of Física O Química comes to a close next week, June 22nd, with a
‘shocking season finale,’ according to show insiders. Season Four is set to
begin in mid-September. Javier Calvo returns as Fer, as does Adrián Rodr
íguez, who plays Fer’s love
interest David …
won Best Comedy TV Series at the Monte Carlo Television
Festival. The Outstanding International Producer Award for Drama went to Mad Men while The Tudors won the Outstanding European Producer Award for Drama …

A pair of mothers in Leesburg, Florida have asked that their local library
remove the Gossip Girl novels from
the young adult section because of depictions of sex and drug use. Thus far,
the library has refused to comply. Meanwhile, the author of the Gossip Girl novels, Cecily von Ziegesar,
is starting a new novel series, this time revolving around college students.

Raising the Bar returned for its
second season, garnering over 3.5 million viewers, higher than the average
number of viewers who watched last season … The season premiere of Weeds pulled in 1.2 million viewers
while Nurse Jackie garnered 1.35
million viewers. Those combined numbers gave Showtime one of its biggest nights
ever. The network responded by renewing Nurse
for a second season.

In New Zealand, Shortland Street was
the country’s most watched soap with an average of 603,000 viewers, topping Coronation Street, which garnered an
average of 586,000 viewers. For some perspective, the most watched show in New
Zealand is reality program Border Patrol,
with 780,000 viewers.

Both The Young and the Restless and
As The World Turns suffered huge
ratings drops last week. It was particularly bad for ATWT, which lost over 229,000 viewers from the previous week,
hitting new ratings lows and placing it back in the 7th spot. Y&R, while remaining number one, lost about 150,000 viewers from
the previous week.

So how did Kings do in its return to the airwaves last Saturday
night? In a word: Terrible. The glossy political soap scored the lowest
ratings of any show of the night and came in a distant third in its time slot
against reruns on the other networks. Given that NBC usually airs reruns of
crime dramas in that time slot and gets twice the ratings, will they let the
show finish out its run as they promised … or pull it again? Stay tuned.

Good Times, Bad Times was the top
rated soap in the Netherlands, last week averaging 1.1 million viewers or about
21% of the audience. And the second highest rated soap? That would be As The World Turns, which is very
popular there. The show, airing episodes already shown in the U.S. (Luke is still paralyzed), averaged 367,000 viewers or 18.2% of
the audience last week. ATWT gets
better ratings than the countries’ other soap, Onto Tomorrow.


(Jack Branning, EastEnders)

That Jack Branning really knows how to play with the ladies’ hearts, doesn’t
he? But when you look this good, is it really a surprise? Since arriving in
town, he’s been flitting between trashy sisters Roxy and Ronnie Slater, and he
continues to do so having impregnated Roxy during one of his many breakups with
Ronnie and dabbling in an affair with his brother’s wife Tanya along the way.

This guy gets around.

Even after he was accused of trying to murder his brother so he could have
Tanya to himself (for once he was innocent), then having the paternity of
Roxy’s baby exposed, Jack still managed to get Ronnie to take him back. Jealous that Jack already has
a baby with her sister, Ronnie schemes to get knocked up herself by employing
the time honored trick of poking holes in the condom. Is it really
any surprise that their relationship seems doomed?

So when Jack and Ronnie eventually blow up again (and they will!), there’s
no doubt he’ll have a lady (or two) waiting in the wings. But, hey, Jack just
likes to spread it around and you gotta appreciate that.

So for all those reasons and more, Jack Branning is our SOAP STUD OF THE