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Dev almost interrupts Asha making a home-made batch of skin lightening cream. He tells her that she's to miss out on rehearsals for Bugsy Malone as part of being grounded. Kevin tells Debbie he can't accept the money from her. Sophie finds out about the gift and tries to get her dad to change his mind. Michelle is on edge as another day at work with Ray looms. Gemma invites Paul to a tea at No.5 to wave off Kel before he takes a temporary job down south, and doesn't understand when he angrily refuses. Fiz comes up with ideas to improve Gary's business and gets a curt approval to proceed. Paul makes plans to move to Coventry, despite Billy trying to make him change his mind and confide in Gemma. Mary persuades Dev to change his mind about the rehearsals. Gary erupts in anger when Fiz uses his private ledger to record some new business she's drummed up and she quits. Asha enjoys the rehearsal with Corey, much to the annoyance of jealous rival Pastal-Blue Ollerenshaw. Asha agrees to go out with Corey again. Gemma feigns indifference when Billy asks her to talk to her brother before he leaves. Pastal-Blue tells Asha she's rank and ugly and attacks her with a prop splurge gun in front of everyone, including Mary who is there to assist in the play's production. Robert overhears Michelle being off-hand to Maria. Asha walks out of the school, telling Mary that Pastal-Blue's comments about her were true. Debbie can see that Sophie is bored with her course and advises her not to be so structured with her life. Mary tells Dev that Asha is filled with self-loathing. Michelle confesses to Robert that Ray made an unsuccessful pass at her and is now making her life hell. Suspicious of a parcel that arrives for Asha, Dev opens it and finds the skin lightening cream. He insists on seeing her arm and then sees the damage she's done to it. She assures him that no one has bullied her into doing it and it's the choice she made after seeing friends and relatives in India doing it. He loses his composure and rips the posters of light-skinned Bollywood actresses off her wall in anger. Paul is preparing to get his tram when Gemma calls. Robert suggests to Michelle that she should consider quitting. Arriving for the family meal, Maria senses there is some tension in the flat with Michelle. Gemma tells Paul she loves him and can't manage her four babies without his help. Fiz informs Jade that she can't afford to keep her on as she quit her job with Gary in angry circumstances. Dev feels a terrible guilt for taking Asha to India where she picked up stupid ideas from women there about their looks. He breaks down as he tells Mary. She finds that the girl's packed and gone. Michelle tells Maria about her problems at work but Alya is unsympathetic. Asha has gone to Amy's flat where she asks her for cash. Liz arrives, summoned to help by a text from Amy. Jade asks Gary to give Fiz another chance. Billy is pleased when Paul turns up in the Rovers to say he's staying. Liz lends Asha a sympathetic ear and assures her that Dev loves her. Gary apologises to Fiz and offers her the job back. Decamping to the pub after the meal, Ali seems a bit distant towards everything. Liz tells Dev that Asha is safe and counsels him to listen to his daughter. Kevin is persuaded by Sophie to take the money, on condition that he split it four ways to include his children as well as himself. Behind Michelle's back and under the name of Steve McDonald, Robert applies for an interview for a chef at the Chariot Square Hotel. Asha returns home and she and her dad talk. She comes clean about how she feels about her looks, saying she's ugly and no one can persuade her to think differently.


Regular cast

Guest cast



  • This was a one-hour episode made up of two production codes and transmitted at 7.30pm. The first and second halves of the episodes were written by Mark Burt and Ian Kershaw respectively.
  • TV Times synopsis: Dev is stunned to find Asha has been trying to lighten her skin; Michelle tells Robert how Ray made a pass at her; and Kevin tells Debbie he cannot accept the money their Aunt Vi has left.
  • Viewing Figures: First UK broadcast: 6,474,777 viewers (7th place).
October 2019 episodes
Wed 2nd (1 2) • Fri 4th • Mon 7th (1 2) • Wed 9th (1 2)
Wed 16th (1 2) • Fri 18th • Mon 21st (1 2) • Wed 23rd (1 2) • Thu 24th
Fri 25th • Mon 28th (1 2) • Wed 30th (1 2) • Thu 31st