In light of yesterday's news involving Fatboy off EastEnders whipping himself out while horsing into the green via Skype, we've decided to cast an eye back over some of Soaps' more - eh - colourful characters, and what they've gotten up to off screen.
Obviously the first person springing to mind thanks to Ricky Norwood's suspension is Leslie 'Dirty Den' Grantham. EastEnders bosses were so keen to have him rejoin the cast they went to the trouble of bringing him back from the dead after a bunch of daffodils 'murdered' him back in 1989. It was his curly-haired wife Chrissie who properly finished him off in 2005, a manoeuvre no doubt motivated by his well-documented sex scandal circa 2004. He made the mistake of allegedly getting dressed as Captain Hook to pleasure himself (no mean feat) in front of a webcam. The person at the receiving end was an undercover reporter, who no doubt delighted in the fact Grantham also chose to badmouth co-stars such as Shane Ritchie, Kim Medcalfe (the other one who played Sam Mitchell), Jessie Wallace and Wendy Richards, before discussing a certain penchant for animals. Funny how this incident always overshadows the fact that Grantham served 11 years for a murder he committed in Germany back in the '60s.
We need a bit of a breather after all that... Let's have a gander at some of the slightly less grim situations some soap stars have found themselves in. Recently, Rita off Corrie was arrested for drink driving.
Steven Arnold (Ashley Peacock) decided to challenge both Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn to a fight when he was hammered. According to The Mirror, he caused a bit of a scene at the charity event back in 2007.
Then we have Corrie's Jason Grimshaw, AKA Ryan Thomas. He was fined for "urinating in a public place" after a jaunt to a nightclub. He's also been accused of driving without a license and getting himself involved in a brawl outside a club in 2005 on the night of his 21st birthday. Ryan's real life brother, Emmerdale's Adam Barton (Adam Thomas), has kept a cleaner bib. In fact, there's nary an Emmerdale actor featured in this article. Surprising.
The cast of Corrie are well documented when it comes to overindulgence. Bruce Jones (Les Battersby) was let go 'cause he reportedly had a habit of getting inebriated, ranting about his costars, and divulging top secret story lines.
Denise Welch (Natalie Barnes) confessed a few years ago to powdering her nose with £50 cocaine wraps in between takes, while Jimmi Harkishin (Dev Allahan) had to seek anti-drugs counselling after The Sun revealed that he'd been involved in a "cocaine-fulled sex scandal." He was also allegedly caught shop lifting.
Simon Gregson (Steve McDonald) also fell foul to cocaine big style back in 1995, with him admitted he had a £1,000 a week habit. The Corrie character who really lost the plot, however, was Craig 'Lister' Charles (Lloyd Mullany). He used to have his own crack den filled with bottles of his own pee. He was ordered to get help and returned to the soap in 2007. For all the antics the cast of Corrie have gotten up to, none of them have lost their septum in the process.
And now to the indiscretions. Jack P. Shepherd (David Platt) has a lovechild with a "promotions lady" he met in a nightclub in Leeds, while Johnny Briggs (Mike Baldwin) said goodbye to his marriage after a tryst with a Thai prostitute. Hey, at least he was single at the time (he divorced his wife of 30 years in 2006). Although he could've paid her more than £15 for her troubles. At the time, he said: "It's all very embarrassing," he added. "I'm sorry if I've caused any hurt to my family. I've only got myself to blame. I'm doing panto this year - this is going to look very bad."
Then there was the most infamous dalliance of all - which may or may not have happened. We do know it involved a car, a roadside, and a policeman. Gillian Taylforth sued The Sun for libel, insisting that her partner Mr Knights was suffering "from pancreatitis and that Miss Taylforth was massaging his stomach because he was feeling sick." During the resulting trial, Justice Drake said: "There is a complete dispute on evidence as to whether the policeman did or did not see an indecent act... He says he did. The plaintiffs say he didn't. There is really no room for a mistake there. Someone simply blatantly isn't telling the truth."
For those of you wondering where Jessie Wallace is, well, she just liked to party. It was her onscreen sister Elaine Lordan (Lynne Slater) who actually got into trouble with the law. She was charged with drink driving in 2001.
Most of the above have had a lot of hardships in their lives, while juggling with the mind-warping level of fame that comes with being in people's living rooms every night of the week. It's no wonder that they've all lost the plot at one time or another. Where do they end and their onscreen character begin? For example, Steve McFadden (Phil Mitchell) has been charged in the past with actual bodily harm and drink driving.
However, in Chris Fountain's case, he seemed to be subconsciously so desperate to remove himself the loveable Tommy Duckworth that he got his Corrie character a one way ticket to Spain after unleashing another alter-ego of his, The Phantom. Muppetry of the highest order.