It's not just the sets that wobble

AS promised, I have checked into the revamped Crossroads motel again, but I fear things haven't improved.

"We have to act as if everything was normal," urged new owner Angel Samson, on finding her adulterous husband Max had been careless enough to kill, accidentally, his mistress in one of the hotel rooms.

The dialogue had died considerably earlier, and then cheekily resurrected by the writers, a term I used loosely, of this rubbish. "What hold does she have over you?," the aforementioned mistress had inquired of her lover. "She's my wife," replied Max, a not unreasonable - and certainly truthful - reply in the circumstances.

His mistress was not satisfied. "I will make you pay," she screamed.

"I have deep pockets," Max assured her (although this may have been a euphemism for his sexual prowess rather than his bank balance).

The desire of new producer Yvon Grace to turn Crossroads into Dallas at teatime might have been possible on a bigger budget. The sets still resemble flat-pack furniture purchased at a nearby DIY store, and the jacuzzi looks like a converted paddling pool.

A series aiming to be glossy and glamorous should never include a scene involving strangers having sex in a train toilet. Or, if it does, they should hire the Orient Express rather than the clapped-out chuff-chuff used here.

The scene is which Suzie (played with heaving bosom and no perceptible acting talent by Emma Noble, the former Price Is Right hostess who's now an ex-Prime Minister's daughter-in-law) disappeared into the lav with her pick-up was as trashy as anything in Footballers' Wives.

It came as no surprise when Ryan, the loo seat lover, was revealed as the twin brother of Jimmy and that Suzie was Jimmy's new wife. The twins are, you've probably guessed, the sons of Angel and Max. Suzie has their measure. "You'd never guess you were twins," she says, and she should know having had ample opportunity to inspect both in private.

Suzie is soon stuffing Angel's jewellery down her cleavage and causing the concierge to have a heart attack. Either that or he'd read later scripts and opted for suicide.

The Samsons' daughter is a mousey thing called Cleo (played by the actress who was married to whispering Beppe Di Marco in EastEnders). Spotting her tucking into the birthday party buffet, Angel expressed her mother's pride by telling her: "That's a very expensive dress, I don't want you splitting the seams."

Angel is quite a woman for bitchy comments, although asking that nice cake-maker Jane Asher to say them is like casting Mother Teresa as Dynasty's Alexis Carrington.

She - Angel, not Mother Teresa - played sex games with Max, in which he pretended to be a thief. He ordered her to take off the bath towel she was wearing on the pretext that "it's customary to steal the towels from hotels".

Finding Max and his dead mistress, Angel's first thought is how bad it could be for business. But she knows he could never kill in cold blood. "Of course it was an accident. You are many things Max but you are not a murderer," she says. "Right now there's a family downstairs that needs a father, and a wife up here that needs a husband."

And there's a TV reviewer here who needs a hankie to wipe away the tears of laughter.