ROSSI VERSUS ROSSI; as Fighting Sisters Go, No One Can Beat River City's Jo and Ruth Who Take Sibling Rivalry to a New Level

Article excerpt

Byline: By Frances Traynor TV Editor

YOU know what sisters are like turn your back for a minute and they've swiped the new top you haven't even worn, or helped themselves to your CD collection.

But some sisters really can overstep the mark.

Take Joanne Rossi, for instance. Her big sister, Ruth, had something that Joanne wanted, namely a boyfriend called Cormac. Joanne decided she wanted Cormac and she got him, breaking Ruth's heart in the process.

So now Ruth is out for her revenge. She's going to take something that Joanne treasures her little son Franco.

This particularly nasty sibling rivalry is about to be played out in front of hundreds of thousands of TV viewers as the raging Rossis do battle in River City.

I joined River City stars Morag Calder and Allison McKenzie for coffee and a dish-the-dirt chat on the feuding sisters.

Morag, 27, plays the increasingly bonkers Ruth, who has decided she's had it with golden child Jo getting everything in life her own way.

Allison, 28, is Jo, the wannabe singer who has suddenly found the fame she always wanted after declaring herself guilty of a murder she didn't commit.

In the BBC Scotland soap, the sisters are friendly on the surface, even sharing a flat, but the rivalry that goes back to their childhood is never far away.

And it comes to a very bitter head when Ruth decides she's had enough of being Jo's unpaid babysitter.

To teach her publicity-hungry sister a lesson, she decides to apply for custody of little Franco.

It's a completely mad story, but one both actresses are delighted by.

They act a bit like sisters themselves, talking over the top of each other and each staunchly sticking up for her screen alter ego. Morag said: 'I am so thrilled that finally Ruth is standing up for herself.

'Yes, she does go a bit over the top at times, but the poor girl has had to suffer so much.

'All her life she's had to watch as everyone, including her mum, Gina, gives in to Jo and spoils Jo.

'Whatever Jo wants, she always gets - including Ruth's boyfriend.

No wonder she's losing it.'

LAUGHING, Allison couldn't help interrupting: 'Poor Ruth my a***. She's a witch. Okay, fair enough, Jo did steal her boyfriend, but that's because Jo was really in love with Cormac.'

This current storyline has its roots in Jo's declaration, from the witness box, that she stabbed and killed rogue surgeon Marcus McKenzie, the man who raped her mother.

Immune from prosecution because she had already been charged and cleared of the crime, Jo decided that Shieldinch chum Heather Belshaw shouldn't go to jail for knifing Marcus either, after he'd tried to rape her.

Now Jo's flavour of the month with the media and has taken on a publicist to help secure her deals with the press.

Since she's been so busy, she's left the care of one-year-old Franco to her mum, pal Scott and Ruth.

Seething at Jo's selfishness, Ruth has decided that she's going to take Franco away from her sister.

Allison started shaking her head vigorously when I suggested Jo's only got herself to blame.

She said: 'You'll be so eating your words in about six weeks' time.

'Ruth is a nutter and everyone will soon realise it. …