For months Martin Platt has been wandering around Weatherfield looking like a lost soul, only cheered up by knowing that his ex-wife, Gail the hamster, deserted him for a serial killer.

At long last the Soapland scriptwriters have noticed that Martin the nurse - at times, Weatherfield General's only nurse - is at a loose end. No wife, no mistress, no plot whatsoever. So raise the flag and put out the bunting, Martin is back in action. No more will his participation in Coronation Street (ITV1) be confined to supping the occasional pint in the Rovers.

Martin finds romance. As his previous liaisons include silly Sally and that woman who's a dead ringer for Phil Mitchell's undercover manicurist girlfriend, his choice of female companionship must be considered suspect.

This time he's going for a younger woman. A much younger woman, namely Katy the witness protection family's daughter who discovered she had diabetes and was counselled by Martin in his medical capacity. Now he's showing her more than how to inject herself with insulin shots. Confusingly, Katy has become Katy Harris as the Nelsons (as the Harris's were called when in hiding) are reverting to their proper name as their secret is out. Unfortunately, this is unlikely to make them more interesting. Can't they be sent back to Sheffield where they came from?

Martin and Katy are training for a fun run, but the fun in Martin's mind probably takes place in a more confined space (try the bedroom). If Katy's dad finds out his face will turn as red as his hair.

Les Battersby's trial approaches. As if we care. The sooner he's behind bars the better, even if he is innocent. PC Emma is having doubts about lying on the witness stand. Maybe she won't have to fib when a homeless man comes forward to back Les's version of events.

I don't want to say "I told you so" but I told you so last week. Martin Fowler has emerged from prison with criminal tendencies. In EastEnders (BBC1), he and the increasingly irritating Vicki (I can't decide if it's her accent or her manner that's most annoying) rob the Mini Market. The plan isn't entirely successful as they get drunk on the stolen whisky. As expendable shop worker Gus gets the blame, they needn't worry.

Meanwhile, Dirty Dennis Mk II continues to add notches to his bedpost. Well, he has been behind bars for 18 months. Not that his first two conquests, Kat Slater and Sam Mitchell, offer much resistance. Lucky girl number three is nanny Joanne Ryan of all people.

The only person not happy with this love-in is Sharon, once she finds Dennis has been having overnight visitors (and I don't mean the tooth fairy).

Phil is too busy to notice as he's trying to decide whether to get back together with Kate, or Martin Platt's old flame as she was in a previous soap life. He's worried that the game she's playing with local gangster Jack Dalton could put her in danger.

Debbie Jones is at the centre of an emotional tug-of-war in Emmerdale (ITV1). Having Charity, who gave her away at birth, is bad enough. Now she's found out that Cain, Charity's cousin, is able to say that he's the daddy. If all this doesn't turn Debbie into a female Martin Fowler, I'll eat my Coronation Street commemorative tea towel.

Published: 15/05/2003