As Donne said, 'Coro' best when Ken on the pull

The 16th century poet John Donne, who wrote of death like no other, once said Coronation Street is at its best when Ken Barlow is on the pull.

And he was right. William Roache, Ken, is the worst actor ever seen on television not to be put to death for lack of talent.

Somehow Ken is still with us, now back with his old flame Wendy Crozier, almost redefining bad acting as we know it by smacking his hand with glee at the prospect of upcoming rumpy pumpy.

Crozier is such a lovely name.

So close to cosier, and let's be perfectly frank, Ken desperately needs cosier after bedding the awful Deidre all these years, waking up every morning with fake tan all over the sheets.

That's no life for a man! And Wendy.

As in Peter Pan.

Let us never forget her surname in that book is Darling.

Deidre, spitting venom through her cigarette, said Wendy hasn't aged a day in 20 years.

Alas, compared with Deidre, nobody has aged.

The writers have really hit their straps with Ken.

Immobilised before the Wendy storyline by Roache's removal from the show when facing court charges, the writers put him upstairs, ostensibly sulking.

Who will ever forget Deidre waving a towel at the foot of the stairs to waft the smell of breakfast up to him ''so he doesn't miss out''?

Brilliant.

It hasn't been a good year for Coro, or Corrie, as the English call it. My close personal friends have always called it Coro; it's more emphatic.

I won't list the bad Coro storylines we have had to endure for fear my typing fingers would fall off in shame, but suddenly two weeks ago, resorting to the time-honoured soap opera tradition of rampant cuckoldry and neo-inexplicable pairings, the writers sprung three doozies on us at the same time.

First Wendy and Ken - I'm still hopeful his barge woman will return, the one Eccles quite liked - then the wretched Sally and the wretched Ryan, and thirdly, the half-wretched Marcus and Maria.

I don't think you can say Maria is wretched - one needs a smattering of IQ points to pull off wretchedness, and Maria has fewer IQ points than the prongs on a wheel brace.

Well, perhaps that's unfair.

Maria has worked in hairdressing salons for a long time; those toxins must have eaten into the decision-making part of her brain by now.

Poor lass.

This is why putting David and Kylie into the salon is ironic. Those who have abandoned Coro will be screaming - ''but isn't Marcus gay? Isn't he with Sean?''

Yes and no, and he has left Sean for the wretched Aiden, that is, before he snogged Maria good, long and hard after a bit of drinking.

And Maria snogged him back like a hungry meerkat.

Jason, who has far, far fewer IQ points than the prongs on a wheel brace, is going to find this one very hard to understand.

Perhaps Kirk, traditionally dumber than sandpaper, but now razor-sharp after a massive libido infusion from the base, wretchedly immoral but beautifully named Beth Tinker, will be the one to explain the concept of bisexuality to Jason's arid and desert-yawning brain.

Sally and Ryan, fanciful, but the writers have opened negotiations, and Sally is up for anything in trousers, especially a handsome young rehabbed boy like Ryan.

Surely we remember Sally straddled on the desk of that horrible car salesman, panting like a Doberman while the wretched Kevin worked away with oil stains and fan belts, completely unaware of his wife's promotion-seeking infidelity, to say nothing of Granada's cruel decision to add subtitles to his daughter Sophie's dialogue for American viewers.

Perhaps if he hadn't eaten all those pies? Neurological scurvy is a terrible disease.

Sally and Ryan would work if Rosie came back.

Rosie.

What a lovely name.

And she was such a rosy girl before she went to London for that reality show.

Rosie and Ryan would make Ryan and Sally really crackle and pop. How far are Coro's latterly sex-driven writers, palpably driven by the poet Donne, prepared to go?

Roy Colbert is a Dunedin writer.

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