The big news in British entertainment circles this week is that snooker legends Jimmy White and Ronnie O'Sullivan have landed major starring roles in the miserable BBC soap drama, EastEnders.
Jimmy and Ronnie will enter the show in the autumn, as snooker brothers, Jimmy and Ronnie Sphincter.
Jimmy White will play Ronnie Sphincter, and Ronnie O'Sullivan will take the part of Jimmy Sphincter. That's Jimmy as Ronnie, and Ronnie as Jimmy. Yeah?
The pair are a couple of snooker players who tour pubs in east London, challenging customers to 'a frame for money'. The Queen Vic has just installed a snooker table, and Jimmy and Ronnie like the atmosphere of the pub, and its regulars, and the way you can just walk into somebody's house through the back door without knocking, and decide to take a flat in the Square.
A whole saga of episodes has been written about how, through betting, the duo extract vast sums of money from the likes of Ian Beale, Max Branning, Alfie Moon, Dot Cotton, and Kathy Beale - with whom they have a sordid threesome - and also Phil Mitchell, who ends up headbutting Jimmy and Ronnie with the same headbutt after Jimmy accuses Phil of having "kissed the brown". To whet viewers' appetites, here is the scene:
Jimmy and Ronnie are standing at the bar, a cue in one hand and a pint in the other. Phil contemplates a rather difficult snooker on the last red ball, he's been left by Jimmy. The red is behind the brown. Finally, he makes up his mind on the shot, gets down, addresses the cue ball, and sends the white ball careering off three cushions, glancing off the red, and coming to rest in the jaws lt the top left-hand pocket.
Ronnie: Foul, I think, bruv.
Jimmy: Foul. Four, Jimmy Sphincter!
Phil: You what?
Jimmy: You kissed the brown, Phiw.
Ian Beale, stood nearby, asks what all the fuss is about, whereupon Phil, eyes glaring, marches him off in the direction of the bogs for yet another head-ducking. The drums roll for the closing credits.
In the way of the traditional EastEnders format, either or both of the snooker brothers will quarrel, fight, make up, fall in love with the other's girlfriend or wife and have an incestuous relationship that his brother is unaware of, contract an incurable disease and then be cured of it, turn into drug addicts, get jobs in the launderette, work behind the bar at the Queen Vic, leave the series for good several times, and then make just as many comebacks, and either murder someone - or be murdered - on Christmas Day.,