IT was hard not to shout: "He's behind you, Emily," as Coronation Street's pantomime villain Richard crept up on her with a crowbar.

I'm still not sure if she was dead, dozing or just watching telly when he had finished with her. With Emily's acting you never could tell.

The nation has been gripped by the brutal murders in Coronation Street this week but, joking aside, surely I wasn't the only mother who found the cold-blooded bludgeoning of Maxine and Emily unacceptable family viewing?

The children went to bed with horrific images of two characters they have come to know well over the years lying lifeless and splattered in blood. As if that weren't enough to give them nightmares, the attacks were even inter-cut with a grisly shot of meat being chopped up in the Rovers - about as subtle as Shelley's cleavage.

Mine weren't the only young children watching it. They told me everyone was talking about it at their primary school next day. This wasn't the usual comic book, fantasy or cartoon violence. It was realistic. That is what made it worse.

Ever since I turned 40, I find myself increasingly complaining that children are being exposed to a more violent culture and a coarsening of attitudes on TV. Is it just my age? Or is it the age we live in?

ANOTHER story sent my 40-year-old hackles rising this week. Cheryl Tweedy, of the pop band Girls Aloud, was involved in a brawl in which she was accused of punching a nightclub attendant and calling her a "f*****g black bitch". But no, she explained in defence, she only called her a "f*****g bitch". Presumably this was her being polite, then?

THE arrest of Who guitarist Pete Townshend has made the headlines. But the most shocking aspect of this Internet child porn story is that he is just one of 7,300 suspects police in Britain are investigating. And these are just users of one particular child porn website. Suspects were alerted to the fact their credit card details could be traced a year ago. Since then, police have been slowly working their way through the list of names. So far, 1,200 have been arrested. But what about the other 6,100? How many have been busy putting their computers, and any other evidence, through the crusher in the meantime?

COMMENTATORS seem amazed Sir Ken Morrison, boss of William Morrison's, is still going strong at 71. Not only is he running a successful £3bn supermarket chain, which he developed from a handful of market stalls, he now wants to take over another. Business analysts, surprised he didn't take a back seat after his first wife died of cancer in the 1990s, are already discussing who his successor will be. Sir Ken, who re-married and had another child, has now been running his company for longer than many of his competitors have been alive. But he is speeding up rather than slowing down. That's the way, Sir Ken.