Lloyd the invisible

Tuesday, February 13, 2007 by

Coronation Street has just experienced its own equivalent of the infamous and much-reported time in Crossroads when a character went out to get a spanner and never came back. The character in question this time is Lloyd Mullaney, played by one-time Red Dwarf star Craig Charles. 

Last summer Charles was suspended by the show following a series of tabloid revelations about drug taking. As a result, Lloyd abruptly disappeared with absolutely no explanation whatsoever as to where he had gone. No other characters seemed to notice he wasn’t there any more, and for over six months Lloyd simply wasn’t referred to. Not mentioning the fact that a main character wasn’t around was like trying to ignore an elephant in the corner of a room with a lampshade on its head.

Last night, however, Lloyd returned as suddenly as he had gone following Charles’ reinstatement. No acknowledgment was made of the fact that he had not been on the Street for so long. It was quite ridiculous of the programme makers to think people would not find this unusual, particularly as viewers of Corrie were well aware that Charles had been suspended. But Lloyd was back in his element, talking normally to characters that we had never seen him meet and running his cab firm as if all was perfectly normal. 

The ridiculous thing is that it would have been so simple to have covered the character’s absence by writing in somebody mentioning that Lloyd had, say, had to go away to look after an ill relative or gone on a long holiday. One simple line would have been enough to make such a lengthy period of leave seem credible. Emmerdale has had a similar problem recently due to the situation surrounding Ben Freeman, but they successfully put in a couple of lines to deal with the fact that his character was no longer around – why couldn’t the writers of Corrie have done something similar?


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