Written and created by Bill Gallagher
Executive Produced by Nicola Shindler and Bill Gallagher
Produced by Yvonne Francas
Directed by Dominic Leclerc
***The information contained herein is strictly embargoed from all press
use, non commercial publication, or syndication until
Monday 5th March 2012***
Introduction ........................................................................................ Page 3
Characters .......................................................................................... Page 5
Rob James-Collier is Joe .................................................................. Page 6
Andrea Lowe is Lucy .......................................................................... Page 9
Alexander Armstrong is Dominic ..................................................... Page 12
Sophie Thompson is Penny .............................................................. Page 15
Gregor Fisher is Will .......................................................................... Page 18
Episode synopses ............................................................................. Page 21
Cast list ............................................................................................... Page 27
Production credits ............................................................................. Page 28
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Written by Bill Gallagher (Lark Rise to Candleford, The Prisoner) and produced by
Red Production Company (Scott & Bailey, Exile) based in Manchester, Love Life tells
the story of Joe (Rob James-Collier) and Lucy’s (Andrea Lowe) faltering relationship.
Feeling in a good place and as if she’s ready to settle down, Lucy mentions she might
stop taking the pill which sends commitment-phobic Joe running for the nearest airport
to travel the world and scale Mount Everest before he gets tied down.
Twelve months later, travel-bedraggled Joe returns from trekking in the Himalayas and
having conquered Everest to find Lucy has moved on with her ‘love life’. Their eyes
meet across a crowded Friday night bar and as they gaze and smile at one another
there’s an instant connection. They are clearly still very much in love, but a year has
passed and so much has happened to both of them.
Lucy is now living with her father, Will (Gregor Fisher), after giving up her job working
for husband and wife partnership Dominic (Alexander Armstrong) and Penny
(Sophie Thompson) at the ‘Tile Your Life’ bathroom and kitchen store. Life had
become complicated with Dominic as Lucy grew closer to him after Joe had gone
travelling. Lonely and craving affection, she began an ill-fated affair with Dom, but
knew from the first passionate kiss that what she was doing was wrong and would hurt
Penny who she’d once counted as a friend.
Tearing herself away, Lucy pursues her life away from Joe and Dom until Joe steps
back into her world and her ‘love life’ becomes complicated once more.
Will Dominic feel he has to tell his wife Penny - who appears to be going through her
own mid-life crisis - of his affair with their former employee and her friend? Relying
heavily on family, Penny goes to her Mum Liz (Sorcha Cusack) for life guidance,
whilst Joe is now living and working as a scaffolder for his brother Dez (Kieran
O’Brien), married to Linda (Lisa Millett) with three children.
Each has their own view on how Joe and Lucy should unravel their entangled and
problematic romantic lives. Whilst travelling, Joe has also met attractive lumber-jack
shirted Alex (Naomi Bentley) who is younger than him and more like him than he
cares to admit. He knows all he needs do is click his fingers and Alex would be happy
to fall into his arms. But Joe still wants lovely Lucy, the woman he really loves with all
her life baggage and complications.
Funny, passionate, warm and knotty, this is the tale of how good people come to terms
with the trials of love.
Produced by Yvonne Francas (Scott & Bailey, A Passionate Woman) and directed by
Dominic Leclerc (Mount Pleasant, Skins) Love Life intercuts between present day
and flashbacks to the previous twelve months as viewers piece together the jigsaw that
is their lives.
“It’s a painful and heart-wrenching journey, but it’s a romantic comedy so there’s lots of
moments that will make you smile as Joe and Lucy search for harmony and
happiness,” said Red Production Company’s Chief Executive Nicola Shindler, who
has executive produced Love Life.
“We’re delighted to have filmed Love Life in Manchester again for ITV after the
success of Scott & Bailey. Love Life is also a relationship based drama, but on this
occasion it’s a very tangled love life we’re aiming to unravel,” she added.
Love Life has been commissioned for ITV by Director of Drama Commissioning Laura
Mackie and controller of Drama Commissioning Sally Haynes.
“Love Life is a tender and funny story about grown-ups who refuse to grow up,” said
Laura. “We’re delighted with Bill’s scripts as they are warm, romantic and comic as he
analyses how good people come to terms with the trials of love. We’re delighted to
commission Love Life for ITV1 viewers,” she added.
JOE (Rob James-Collier)
Joe is a thirty something with wanderlust. A year ago he decided to travel the world
just one last time, but his girlfriend Lucy (Andrea Lowe) had other ideas. Although Joe
wanted them to go together, Lucy felt it was time they finally settled down. They
couldn’t agree, so Lucy stayed and Joe left alone. Now he’s back, to find Lucy is
having another man’s baby. Jealous and emotionally confused, Joe faces his biggest
test yet. Is he finally prepared to grow up, stop running away, and confront his
LUCY (Andrea Lowe)
A year ago, Lucy and Joe (Rob James-Collier) were an item. She wanted to settle
down – he just wanted them both to go travelling. They loved each other, but it seemed
their differences were irreconcilable, so Joe set off on his trip alone. Lucy grew close to
her married boss, Dom (Alexander Armstrong), and before long they were seeing each
other. They even went to Paris. Unbeknown to Dom, Lucy fell pregnant. Afraid it would
destroy his wife Penny (Sophie Thompson), Lucy simply handed in her notice and kept
the pregnancy secret. But now Joe has returned from his travels, and Dom has found
out about the baby, Lucy is forced to consider how she feels about the two men in her
life, and what she wants for the future.
DOM (Alexander Armstrong)
Dom is married to Penny (Sophie Thompson), and they’ve been trying to have a child
for years. Lonely and feeling unloved because of Penny’s obsession with having a
baby, Dom had a whirlwind romance with Lucy (Andrea Lowe). What started as a fling
developed into something with genuine feelings, but then Lucy suddenly quit her job
and disappeared. Dom doesn’t know that Lucy is pregnant. Until Joe (Rob James-
Collier) tells him. How will Dom react to the news that he is a father? What are his true
feelings for Lucy? And what impact will the baby have on his marriage?
PENNY (Sophie Thompson)
Penny is obsessed with having a baby, but is unwittingly pushing her husband Dom
(Alexander Armstrong) away as a result. When she learns Lucy (Andrea Lowe) has
had a baby after an affair with Dom, her initial reaction is horror – that her husband
could have slept with someone else – but then this develops into a grim determination.
Dom has a legitimate claim to that baby. Crazy though it seems, they could finally have
a child. Single-minded and without a doubt her own worst enemy, it’s going to take
something big to bring Penny to her senses.
WILL (Gregor Fisher)
Lucy’s (Andrea Lowe) father, Will, is a walking disaster, and bad luck has a nasty habit
of following him around. Which doesn’t help his already tempestuous relationship with
the bookies. Despite this, he’s well-meaning and always wants to do what’s best for his
daughter. Can he find a way to overcome the mess he’s landed himself in, and finally
be a father to Lucy?
ROB JAMES-COLLIER IS JOE
Since Rob began acting in 2005, his career has gone from strength to strength. His on
screen debut was in the BBC1 drama Down to Earth alongside Shelley Conn, Ricky
Tomlinson and Denise Welch. Following this Rob appeared in Shameless, Perfect
Day, Casualty and Dalziel and Pascoe before landing the role of Liam Conner in ITV’s
longstanding and successful soap Coronation Street, where he appeared in over 300
episodes between 2006 and 2008.
In the last two years Rob has been part of the ensemble cast in the critically acclaimed
drama series Downton Abbey and is currently filming the third series.
Now appearing as one of the lead couples in ITV1’s new relationship drama Love Life,
Rob gives an insight into the drama’s complexities and how his character Joe is
different to Thomas in Downton Abbey.
Tell us about the character you play.
“Joe’s just like one of your everyday normal lads. He’s a bit of the jack the lad and he’s
not been one to settle down and commit, whereas everyone around him has. Joe’s still
going down the pub and living it large. I think everyone’s got a couple of lads like him
in their group of friends.
“Within the drama we learn that Joe had a choice about how he could spend his future.
He could either have this really exciting lifestyle, travelling around the world meeting
new people and exploring different cultures, or go down the route of what he sees as
being trapped and losing his freedom if he stays in a relationship with his girlfriend,
Lucy (Andrea Lowe).
“Viewers will meet Joe at that very interesting crossroads and it’s only when he returns
from his worldwide adventures does he realise he made the wrong decision. He’s now
trying to put things right and the audience will go on that journey with him.”
Would you say Joe was afraid of commitment?
“Joe’s a bit of a traveller and a dreamer. The nature of travelling around, moving from
one place to another all the time doesn’t lend itself to being in a relationship. You do
come across these people in life and they’re very like that. Everything in life becomes
secondary, so how do these people settle down? They have to find someone
understanding and someone who will let them do that. Unfortunately there aren’t many
people out there like that hence the split between Lucy and Joe.”
Tell us about the story and what viewers can expect.
“When the audience meet Joe he’s just come back from climbing Mount Everest. He’s
now staying with his brother Dez (Kieran O’Brien), and wife Linda (Lisa Millett) who are
putting him up until he’s back on his feet again. As his close family, it’s almost
expected that they would do this for him, as well as Dez agreeing to give him a job
working at his scaffolding company. There are some great scenes between Kieran and
me, which shows the brotherly love and banter our characters have.
“When Joe meets Lucy in town it’s by chance. But I do think he’s deliberately gone out
in the hope that he’ll bump into her. It’s an awkward meeting between them and it’s
obvious they’ve still got feelings for each other. Lucy’s clearly pregnant and in doing
the maths it’s evident he’s not the father. With this comes a real sense of betrayal even
though they’ve not been together for the last year. Lucy also tells Joe that she’s now
married but it’s all not making sense to him - Lucy’s not the kind of girl who would be
married and pregnant within 11 months.
“Not believing what Lucy’s said Joe tracks down her dad, Will, played superbly by
Gregor Fisher. Between them they piece together the truth and Joe realises that Lucy
isn’t happily married and she had an affair with her boss, Dominic (Alexander
Knowing the truth about Lucy’s pregnancy why does Joe decide to help her?
“When Joe confronts Lucy about why she lied he sees how distraught and how alone
she is. All of his old feelings come back and he really wants to help her. At the same
time his machismo is kicking in and saying ‘this is another man’s baby, what are you
doing?’, but his heart is telling him that he loves this girl. So Joe does a wonderful thing
and supports her. It’s not his responsibility but because of his emotions and feelings he
goes back to do what a lot of men wouldn’t. However, every time it looks like they’re
going to move forward together something else happens which puts them back to
“The story between Joe and Lucy is very much a ‘will they or won’t they?’ It’s a very
complex story as another couple, Dominic and his wife Penny (Sophie Thompson), are
involved. Ultimately it’s two couples at different points in their lives and their own
relationships which makes it such an interesting dynamic; four people going on
different journeys all thrust together by circumstances.”
“I think Lucy’s journey is the most painful; she’s become completely isolated and alone,
her dad’s a compulsive gambler. He’s not malicious in any way, he’s just a bit hapless.
As a consequence they end up losing everything just as she has the baby. Lucy also
doesn’t want to tell Dominic that he’s the father. He’s her boss and is married to Penny
and she doesn’t want to encroach on that as she knows that Penny really wants to
have a baby and can’t.”
As the story progresses will the viewer see a different side to Joe?
“Joe learns to grow up. Every lad’s got to at some stage in their life, it’s just he’s
chosen to do it very late. When Joe is asked to look after the baby he finds, just by
random chance, that he loves and thrives on the experience. These feelings come out
of nowhere and it’s not something he was ever expecting. Only by it being forced upon
him does he realise this is what he wants.”
How does the character Joe differ from Thomas in Downton Abbey?
“There’s no malice to Joe, he’s just a nice guy. I think viewers will like him. What’s not
to like about him? He’s trying to do the best he can under the circumstances. There
are not many men out there who would support a woman and another man’s child so I
think the women are going to love Joe and the men are likely to be saying; ‘As if you’d
do that, get back on the pull.’”
What made you want to be a part of Love Life?
“Love Life had all the right ingredients. It’s a massive privilege to be playing one of the
leading couples in a drama. Andrea Lowe has a great CV. Gregor Fisher is superb.
You’ve then got the amazing talents of Alexander Armstrong, Sophie Thompson,
Kieran O’Brien and Sorcha Cusack.
“It’s a nice small cast and because of that you can take ownership of it. Working on
Downton Abbey is amazing but there’s an ensemble cast of between 18 and 21 actors.
With Love Life there are two couples and a few other key characters so as a smaller
unit you’ve got to take more responsibility and at the same time you can have more
ownership of the drama and the direction it’s going.
“Bill Gallagher’s a brilliant writer. Conviction he did for the BBC back in 2004 was
superb and he’s since done The Prisoner and Larkrise. His writing is so natural and
he’s so diverse with it.
“Red Production Company is one of the reasons why I got into acting and I love their
stuff. I remember watching the Second Coming with Christopher Eccleston and Lesley
Sharp, it’s one of my favourite dramas.
“We’ve a lovely young director, Dominic Leclerc, who is going on his own journey. To
be a part of that and be subject to his enthusiasm has been great.”
ANDREA LOWE IS LUCY
Actress Andrea Lowe is more recently known for playing D.S. Annie Cabbot alongside
Stephen Tompkinson in the hit ITV1 drama DCI Banks.
Leading a very successful television and film career, Andrea has starred in Peter
Bowker’s acclaimed medical drama Monroe, played the female lead in Route Irish
directed by the award winning Ken Loach, worked opposite Marc Warren in Jimmy
McGovern’s successful BBC1 series Accused, and appeared as Lady Eleanor Luke, a
fictional noblewoman who was briefly the mistress of Henry VIII, in The Tudors.
In 1993 she had her first film role alongside Samantha Morton in the musical comedy
drama The Token King, set in a high school in Nottingham. Her other credits include:
Murphy’s Law; Rescue Me; Shameless; Love Soup and Where the Heart Is.
Now starring in Bill Gallagher’s warm, romantic and comic 3 part drama, Andrea talks
about her character’s very tangled love life and her own experiences of filming the
drama whilst in the early stages of pregnancy.
Tell us about Lucy and where she is with her life when the audience meet her.
“The audience meet Lucy in a really painful situation. Joe (Rob James-Collier), her ex-
boyfriend, has just returned from his worldwide travels and bumps into Lucy for the first
time in 12 months very unexpectedly. Although it’s a really awkward meeting, and Lucy
is heavily pregnant, it’s clear they still have feelings for each other.
“Lucy has buried her head whilst Joe’s been away. Although she’s always wanted to
have a baby it was never her intention to have an affair and fall pregnant. Lucy always
believed she and Joe would have a family together until he got cold feet and made the
decision to go travelling. We find Lucy in this very difficult situation where all of a
sudden she is like ‘Oh no – what have I done?’ But even though Lucy is in this
complex situation she feels so blessed that she is now carrying the baby she has
“Joe’s return opens up Lucy emotions. Although, in her mind there’s no chance of any
reconciliation because she’s about to have another man’s baby and she believes they
both want different things in life, which is what ultimately led to them splitting up. I think
she’s suppressed her feelings for Joe whilst he’s been away. She’s learnt to forget
about him and almost pretend that he doesn’t exist.”
“Lucy has been a lovely character to play. She’s really uncomplicated even though we
find her in a very complex situation. She’s really kind and wears her heart on her
sleeve. When I read the scripts I felt so sorry for her.”
Why is Lucy so reluctant to reveal who the father is?
“Lucy has made the decision not to reveal who the father is because he’s a married
man and she wants to protect the relationship he has with his wife. She knows what
they did was wrong and rather than ruin their relationship she thinks it’s better to just
get her head down and get on with it. Eventually both Joe and the baby’s father,
Dominic (Alexander Armstrong), find out.”
Following the birth of her baby, Arthur, Joe starts to become more hands on
helping Lucy. Why is that?
“I think Joe has a lot of mixed emotions. If he had come back from travelling and Lucy
wasn’t pregnant he may still not have been ready to settle down and have a baby. I
think it’s a case of wanting what you can’t have and realising that he’s still very much in
love with her. The thought of not being with Lucy does something to Joe and he’s
thinking ‘I don’t want her to be with anyone else.’”
“Seeing Arthur has perhaps made him realise that there’s more to life. Then again
maybe he’s not reached that point of maturity where he’s ready to give up being a bit
of a lad.”
Tell us about the relationship Lucy has with her dad, Will.
“Lucy loves her dad, Will (Gregor Fisher), and they have a really lovely relationship.
There’s a real closeness between them as it’s only been the two of them following her
mother’s death. At times I think he drives her bonkers because he’s so unreliable but
she’s allowed that to slide over the years.
“You get the impression that Lucy’s probably bailed him out in the past but because of
their tight bond she’s always been able to forgive him.
“There are some words Lucy says to her dad which are very harsh – ‘I want a father
and look at what I’ve got.’ When we don’t expect much of people they don’t really let
you down but I think this time he has and it’s at the most crucial time in her life. I think
she’s always going to love him. He’ll probably be a much better granddad than he is a
What drew you to the project?
“Bill Gallagher is an extremely talented writer and I’ve seen a lot of his work. At the
heart of this story there’s real emotion, which is what I really enjoy portraying as an
actress. I thought the story was something very different. While being painful and heart
wrenching it’s also full of love. And as we all know life isn’t straight forward, there will
always be things that test us.
“I think a lot of people will be able to relate to the characters and identify with their
circumstances because they are all very genuine and real. I really liked the
connections between the characters and I thought it would be a great project to be a
How does Lucy compare to the previous characters you’ve played?
“Although I’ve done comedy drama before people tend to know me for playing very
traumatic characters in dark gritty dramas like Donna Armstrong in Jimmy McGovern’s
Accused. More recently I’ve been playing D.S. Annie Cabbot in the police drama series
DCI Banks so Love Life is a completely different genre for me and I have to say, I love
it all and feel really lucky.
“Annie and Lucy are very different. Annie is quick-witted, strong and has her guard up.
In comparison Lucy is a softer, more vulnerable character who often lets her guard
down, but I have to say, it’s been nice to deal with babies instead of dead bodies.
People seem to think that when you’re acting the really emotional scenes in the darker
dramas that it’s hard but actually sometimes the lighter scripts can be more of a
Did you watch any romantic/relationship-based dramas ahead of filming?
“I love romantic comedies and before I started filming Love Life someone lent me the
DVD box set of Married Single Other which I thought was brilliant. The characters and
their circumstances really draw you in. I’ve also been watching a lot of Modern Family
and I’ve been really getting into The Killing. I can often get very drawn into quite dark
shows as I love that side of human tragedy but now and again I need something
lighter. I can happily sit there and watch Bridget Jones and I think you get really
talented performances that are sometimes overlooked. It’s really important to laugh.
There’s so much misery around that you need that escapism.
“Bill has written such excellent scripts that everything about the character is there
already for you. He writes women so well. I think if you try and take inspiration from
other places you get yourself into trouble and I just didn’t feel like I really needed to.”
Whilst playing a pregnant character and a new mother on screen Andrea found
out that she and her long-term partner, Terry, would be expecting their own
“It’s a very exciting time for me and Terry and I’m due to have our baby in May. I’ve
had loads of children in my on-screen life. Even when I was playing teenagers I’d have
kids or babies, and actually I’ve given birth on screen twice already!
“It’s been really nice working with the babies in Love Life as they were so good for me
during our scenes. To begin with it was a little strange when I had the fake bump on
and people were asking ‘Are you broody? Have you got any kids already?’ And I was
thinking to myself ‘I have one in my belly.’”
“Thankfully I’ve not experienced any morning sickness. My initial symptoms were
insomnia and craving meat. The insomnia was terrible as I was waking up at 4am but
it’s since got better. As a vegetarian I don’t eat meat so to help with the cravings I’ve
been eating a lot of smokey bacon crisps. Bananas too! Bacon and Bananas have
been the two big cravings. I’m not averse to anything so if I feel my body needs
something then I’ll have it. You just want to be healthy and I am, but I’ve had days
when I feel I want to go back to the food of my childhood and eat egg and chips.”
When you are not busy filming how do you like to spend your time?
“My escapism is going to the gym and I really enjoy running and doing yoga. I adore
being outside walking in the countryside and hanging out with Terry and my friends.
I’m also a trained reflexologist so I really enjoy making people feel relaxed through
ALEXANDER ARMSTRONG IS DOMINIC
Alexander Armstrong studied at Durham School and Trinity College, Cambridge. In
1992 he met Ben Miller when both were part of Cambridge Footlights, and they formed
the comedy duo Armstrong and Miller.
Since then Alexander has co-starred in four series of Armstrong and Miller between
1997 and 2001 before renewing his partnership with Ben Miller for The Armstrong and
Miller Show in 2007. His early work includes: Best of the Worst, Don't Call Me Stupid,
the BBC Radio 4 office sitcom Weak at the Top as well as fronting the series of
popular TV commercials for Pimm's. Other credits include: Have I Got News for You;
Life Begins; Saxondale; Mutual Friends; The Trial of Tony Blair and the voice of Mr
Smith in the BBC’s The Sarah Jane Adventures.
From a career perspective 2009 was also an important year for Alexander as he began
presenting the BBC’s popular daytime quiz show Pointless, which is currently airing its
fifth series. Alexander and Ben Miller also returned for a second series of The
Armstrong and Miller Show and went on to win a TV BAFTA for ‘Best Comedy
Program’ in 2010. Following its third series in the same year, Ben and Alexander
toured the UK with the Armstrong and Miller live show and released their first book
together in October 2010.
More recently Alexander has hosted the BBC One Saturday night show Epic Win,
presented the BBC One series The Great British Weather, had a starring role as Reg
Arwell in the Christmas Day (2011) episode of Doctor Who and came together once
again with Ben Miller for the Channel 4 pilot Felix and Murdo. He is now hosting the
comedy panel show called Alexander Armstrong’s Big Ask on Dave.
You’re known more for your comedic roles and more recently for the BBC
daytime quiz show Pointless. What made you want to be a part of Love Life?
“In truth I don’t get to do many dramas so I was delighted to be asked to do this. It’s
such a welcome change for me. I loved being a part of the drama and getting to have a
character I can really sink my teeth into. My stock in trade for the last five years has
been doing 3-minute sketches or The Armstrong and Miller Show where I play 30
different characters and it’s been lovely to focus on one part.
“The scripts came from Red Production Company so you know already, before reading
them, that it’s going to be good. I’ve been aware of Nicola Shindler ever since she
worked on Our Friends in the North. Nicola and the company are known within the
industry for being stalwarts. They are uncompromising in terms of their quality and
have built up this reputation by making sure everything they do is of a very high
“Love Life is brilliant storytelling by Bill Gallagher who has created these delightful and
surprising characters. I was absolutely gripped by the story. I read all 3 scripts on the
trot from beginning to end and couldn’t put them down. It’s just a fabulously conceived
story and beautifully written.
“You also know that if you sign up to work with Red you’re going to be acting with
some brilliant people and sure enough I was in that great position. I was working with
the likes of Sophie Thompson who is an unbelievably good actress and such a dream
to work with. Andrea, Sorcha and Rob also. I didn’t have nearly enough scenes with
Rob but I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with him on set. What a fabulous man he
How would you describe your character Dominic?
“Dominic is a sort of comic character. He finds himself in an extraordinary but
believable situation. He’s quite posh, he’s married to Penny (Sophie Thompson) and
together they run a tile shop. Dominic has these very old-fashioned set of values –
they’re good values and he’s a good man. There is something honourable about
Dominic despite his infidelity.”
What has led Dominic to having the affair with Lucy?
“He’s ended up in this situation largely because his wife, Penny has worked herself
into such a fuss over their inability to conceive and have a baby. She’s allowed that to
take over everything in her life and you can see that she’s putting Dominic through the
mill. It’s very well represented in the script as viewers will know only too well that
Penny has been incredibly hard on Dominic.
“You then have this extraordinary situation where he’s really trying to do the right thing
but is torn between two moving plates and he’s got to decide which one he’s going to
jump on. It’s because of his values and principles that he’s being put through the
mincer as well.”
Does Dominic feel emasculated?
“Massively. It’s such a sensitive issue which Dominic and Penny haven’t really ever
discussed. It’s Penny who can’t conceive and there’s this tragic scene within the drama
where she starts blaming herself over not being able to have a child. I dare say it must
be a terrible presence in the room for every couple that can’t conceive.”
Does Dominic feel guilty about the affair?
“I think he’s sort of got over it. Lucy (Andrea Lowe) and Dominic went off to Paris for
the weekend and that was it. There had obviously been an understanding between
them that this wasn’t going to be a long-term affair. Lucy quit her job so they’ve not
seen each other since. It’s only when Joe (Rob James-Collier) comes to see him at
work does he then find out he’s the father of Lucy’s baby. He had absolutely no idea
How does Dominic react to the news he’s a father?
“It hits him on two levels. On the one level they are, particularly Penny, absolutely
desperate to have a child and it’s beginning to obsess her to the degree that she can’t
think about anything else. So much so that she’s wandering around maternity shops
pretending to have a baby. It’s a serious phantom pregnancy. But it also hits him on
the level of his honour. He has this ridiculous sense of honour and feels very strongly
that he needs to step up, be a father and provide for them. He’s probably delighted to
have this excuse to now go off and care for them. He’s sort of thrilled and horrified by it
at the same time.”
Being such an honourable man does Dominic tell Penny about the baby?
“There’s a scene where you can see Dominic can’t keep it in any longer and Penny’s
saying to him, ‘What’s wrong with you?’, and he’s saying ‘No I can’t, I’m going to burst,
I’m going to go mad, I have to tell you.’ And out it all comes.
“He’s a fool for his honour. It’s an admirable trait but he can’t deceive as it’s not in his
nature to. He has to tell Penny. He looks at it as some kind of painful catharsis and
thinks maybe this is a welcome trouble because he has to face up to it and do
something about his marriage which is in a terrible state. Some tough love from him
may have stopped Penny from spiralling into madness. And Dominic hasn’t done that,
he’s not faced up to it, but to a degree Penny hasn’t allowed him to confront the
Do you think viewers will sympathise with Dominic?
“You know Dominic’s a decent man but he’s pushed very far by circumstance. I would
hope some viewers would have some sympathy for him given his situation with Penny.
It’s an understandable transgression. Penny has slightly pushed him out. You see
Dominic trying to snuggle up to his wife in bed but she pushes him away and goes to
sleep in another room. He’s trying very hard to be a tender husband but is being forced
Will the audience be able to relate to the characters and their circumstances?
“I think the drama has great universal appeal. Even if you’ve never been in this
situation I think it’s very easy to relate to it. It’s a very accessible dilemma.
“There’s a kaleidoscopic way in which the story is told. Bill’s done this brilliant thing
where there’s a lot of flash backs but also some flash forwards. It’s extremely well
done and a lovely crafted script.”
SOPHIE THOMPSON IS PENNY
Sophie Thompson made her television debut at the age of 15 in A Traveller in Time
before going on to study at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.
She has been a film, television and stage actress throughout the 70s, 80s and 90s and
her credits include: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1; Gosford Park; Emma;
Four Weddings and a Funeral; Dancing at Lughnasa; The Railway Children; Into The
Woods and Hamlet.
In 2006 Sophie joined the cast of EastEnders as Stella Crawford, Phil Mitchell’s lawyer
who gradually developed a romantic relationship with him. Stella later became jealous
of Phil's relationship with his son Ben and began to emotionally and physically abuse
him becoming one of soap’s most hated villains. A year later, after Stella's evil ways
were exposed on her wedding day, the character committed suicide.
Sophie’s latest on-screen role in Love Life couldn’t be any further away from Stella
Crawford as she explains her character’s desperation to have a child with husband
Tell us about your character, Penny, and her relationship with husband Dominic.
“Penny and Dominic (Alexander Armstrong) are what some people would describe as
a very successful couple. They’re both creative individuals and are the owners of a
successful business called ‘Tile Your Life’. Their success from making and designing
tiles has meant they can live in a beautiful home and have a comfortable lifestyle.
“Penny and Dominic have a strong relationship and in general things are going well for
them. However, they’ve been trying for a baby for quite some time and very sadly it’s
the one thing they can’t have together because Penny can’t conceive. As a
consequence their relationship has become quite strained.
“The viewer will meet Penny in an extreme mental state; longing for a child that she
realises, at this point, she can’t really have. As you can imagine Penny is distraught
about this. She’s trying to keep it together but ultimately she’s in an incredibly
How does Penny react to the news that Dominic has had an affair with their
employee and friend Lucy who is now pregnant?
“Badly, as anyone would! At this point Penny has hit rock bottom and is incredibly
desperate. When she’s told about the affair she drives her car off the road, which
involved me driving a car off the road, ‘cue stunt lady!’ But very quickly, after this huge
volcano of news, she gathers herself.
“That’s the thing about Penny she’s got a really strong centre. Obviously the fact that
Dominic has slept with Lucy (Andrea Lowe) is very painful but she doesn’t sit about
and spend hours moping. The news almost galvanizes her in a way. It’s a bombshell
but she doesn’t just lie down as it seems to bring out this terrible logic in her. Penny
doesn’t seem to focus on the affair as much as the outcome, which is the child Lucy
has just given birth to, and that’s what she now wants them to have.”
Do you think Penny’s obsession with having a baby has driven Dominic to this
“Yes. Their love for each other has become so strained. As I understand it, when
couples are trying for children their physical relationship can become regimented and
the ease of their coupledom is in jeopardy. The strain for Dominic is just too great so
he does seek solace elsewhere and you can’t blame him for it.
“It’s nice to be able to look at the human race and not be judgmental and say ‘oh that
means he’s bad’. Sorcha’s character Liz, Penny’s mother, says a lovely thing to
Dominic when she’s trying to help him. She admits her own foibles and weaknesses in
order to sympathise with his situation and says ‘look I understand. We’re all just human
and we’re all struggling through the best we can. Who am I to judge?’ It doesn’t mean
that Liz didn’t love Penny’s father or that Dominic doesn’t love Penny, it’s just
Dominic’s in a place where he needs tenderness and understanding. I think you can
completely understand Dominic and his reasons for the affair. You don’t think he’s a
Having gathered her thoughts about the affair what does Penny do next?
“Penny believes the logical decision is to secure custody of the baby. As Dominic is the
father it makes sense to her that they should have Arthur. She becomes a sort of
emotional extremist and goes into that mode to make sense of the situation. I think
people do that when they become so desperate. It’s not cruel. It’s that blinkered way
people get when they are operating in that extreme way.
“Penny thinks this will be the best for Lucy, especially when she finds out that she and
Arthur have become homeless and have been evicted. She jumps on this information
as a way to secure the child.”
What was it about the script and character that drew you to the role?
“Bill Gallagher’s writing is fabulous. There’s something rather fairytale about the story
and I liked that very much. I was interested to play a rather proper "grown up" lady who
goes a bit bonkers but within a fairly conventional setting.
“The role popped up unexpectedly and that’s always thrilling. The drama has some
really amazing credentials attached to it and I thought ‘I’d really love to be a part of this
story and try and interpret this rather wonderful character that Bill has created.
“There are not that many characters in the story. It’s quite a small cast and an intense
little tale. There’s also a lovely parallel story, which is the pure love story between the
policeman Paul (James Baxter) and Tilly (Jennie Jacques). And then you have the
story between the two couples, which is also a love story, but with all of its darkness.
“I thought the premise of the story and where it then leads to, for my character
especially, was really good to explore in a domestic way. To see people going through
that very difficult journey, and the realisation that they can’t have the one thing they so
desperately want, more than anything else in the world was refreshing.
“Getting to work with the lovely cast and be a part of this story was a huge attraction.
What’s more I get to play Alexander Armstrong’s missus and Sorcha Cusack’s
daughter, which is a complete delight. I also get to work with Gregor Fisher again
having played his wife in the remake of The Railway Children and I’m a huge fan of
Rob and Andrea’s work.
“In terms of appealing to viewers I’d say there’s definitely something for everyone in
Love Life. I think this has a good chance of appealing to a wide range of people as it’s
got some top ingredients and hopefully we’ll cook them up in a really edible way.”
Did you enjoy filming in Manchester?
“Being back in Manchester for me is lovely as I have a real fondness for the city.
Manchester is quite a rooted place for me as not only am I married to a Mancunian, he
was born in Bury, but I did my first theatre play there, when I was fifteen. It was an
Arthur Wing Pinero play called School Mistress.
“When I’m back in Manchester I like to go to the theatre. The schedule for Love Life
was quite full on so I didn’t get a huge amount of down time but when I did I was able
to wander up to the Northern Quarter and visit the Christmas markets as we were
filming the drama in December.
“During filming I stayed at The Midland which is a lovely old hotel in the centre of
Manchester. It’s steeped in history and inside, displayed on the walls in frames are
these really touching artefacts - people’s post from many years ago which have been
in their care.
“There are so many things about the city that correlate with little moments in my life so
it’s a lovely place to work. It feels like a very creative hub and I love the accent. Gary,
one of our drivers, was trying to teach me the mancunian accent as I love just listening
to it and tend to get drawn into the rhythm of how people speak. I know I did
EastEnders but actually the soap I was addicted to was Coronation Street.”
With a great fondness for Manchester have you ever played a Mancunian?
“No but I’d really love to. I’m desperate to play a right scally so maybe that’s it. I’ve
played my fair share of ladies and being well heeled and posh. Even when I did
EastEnders I said ‘are you sure you want me to be so well to do, can’t I be more of a
scally?’ But no it wasn’t to be. I’m still holding out for that role!”
What’s coming up for you next?
“I’m currently on stage at the National Theatre in She Stoops to Conquer which runs
until mid April. It’s all incredibly exciting as this is my first time at the National and I love
it. I’m playing the part of Mrs Hardcastle opposite Steve Pemberton who plays my
husband. The wonderful Katherine Kelly is our daughter and we’ve a fabulous director,
GREGOR FISHER IS WILL
Gregor Fisher is best known for his portrayal of his character Rab C. Nesbitt in the
sitcom of the same name which first began on the BBC in 1988. Gregor also starred in
the TV show Naked Video where the Nesbitt character originated, along with the Baldy
Man who obtained a spin-off series and went on to feature in the Hamlet cigar TV
campaign. His success in comedy also saw Gregor appear in the sitcoms Foxy Lady,
Scotch and Wry, Brotherly Love and Snoddy.
With a career spanning over 30 years, Gregor Fisher has also starred in numerous
television dramas and films including: The Tales of the Para Handy; Nineteen Eighty-
Four; Gormenghest; The Railway Children; The Life and Adventures of Nicolas
Nickleby; The Merchant of Venice; Love Actually. In recent years he has starred in the
BBC's adaption of Oliver Twist in the role of Mr Bumble, played Grandpa Potts in the
theatre production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Jacky Allen in the TV comedy series
In Love Life Gregor takes to the screen as Lucy’s hapless dad, Will. Here he talks
about his character’s faults and how playing the emotional scenes came easily.
Tell us about the character you play.
“Will is a man with a very, very good heart. I think he’s quite a nice man but he’s a
gambler. He’s an addict and like most addicts that seems to clip all the good in him.
During the drama we see Will getting himself into a terrible mess as he’s spending
every available minute in the bookmakers. He’s a bit of a lost soul.”
What is Will’s relationship like with his daughter Lucy?
“Lucy (Andrea Lowe) lost her mother at a young age so it’s very much the two of them
against the world. They have a very strong bond. Will does try his best when it comes
to being a father to Lucy but he never quite manages to get it right. Instead his
gambling seems to rule his life and consequently and sadly her life as well. Lucy then
ends up pregnant and he’s no help to her whatsoever. Although he does want to help
and tries to it sadly all falls apart and he’s left feeling desperately guilty and ashamed.”
Why does Will continue to let his daughter down?
“I don’t think Will realises he’s letting his daughter down. It really doesn’t enter his mind
until the shit really does hit the fan and he suddenly realises what an arse he’s been.
This is why he’s so determined to redeem himself and rather stupidly goes on to risk
everything he then has. All he’s then thinking is ‘I’ve got to make everything right, I’ve
got to do this’.
During the drama there are some really emotional scenes between Will and
Lucy. How easy is it for you as an actor to get in this state of mind?
“That’s when it comes back to the script and the quality of the writing. I don’t find it
difficult. That actually sounds a bit baggy as I was brought up in the north of Scotland
and you’re not supposed to blow your own trumpet but it was easy for me to get into
that emotional state of mind. It’s only ever difficult to be emotional when you’re working
with bad material. It’s then you really do have to pretend to feel it.”
Do you think viewers will sympathise with your character?
“I never know what viewers are going to think. Some may think ‘What an arse’, whilst
others may think ‘Poor soul.’ You can never really second guess what people may
think or feel but I’d like to hope that they would sympathise with Will. He has a great
big heart. He’s hapless with his decisions but certainly doesn’t mean any harm to
What drew you to the role?
“I think this is a splendid piece of storytelling by Bill Gallagher. There are scripts that
just aren’t right for me but I rather liked this. I think the story has a good heart to it and
when I asked myself ‘Would I watch this?’ I thought, ‘Yes I would.’”
“I liked the precision of it. It’s very precise. The story is like a very good piece of music
and I think Bill’s scripts are rather like that. The story has humour. It has a bit of angst
and drama. When I was reading the scripts I kept turning the pages wanting to know
more. Normally I get to about page 12 and lose interest but I felt very differently about
Love Life and wanted to be a part of it.”
After 30 years was it nice to be back and filming in Manchester?
“It was a delightful job and yes, it was nice to be back filming in Manchester again. For
a couple of days my wife came up to join me. I hadn’t been in Manchester for almost
30 years. The last time I was in the city was when I was doing a situation comedy
called Foxy Lady with Diane Keen in the early 80’s. I don’t remember too much about
the city then but it seems very modern now. I remember Granada TV, as that’s where
we used to film the show. I think it was my second or third television series and it was
all very exciting and new as it was live before your eyes in front of a studio audience.”
Have you worked with the cast before?
“I’d worked with Sophie Thompson before when we did The Railway Children and she
played my wife. It was cracking to see her again. Rob James-Collier is a nice lad and I
thoroughly enjoyed working with him. He’ll have a great career. Andrea was also lovely
to work with, as were the other members of the cast. It was a pretty tight unit as there
are only a handful of central characters but everyone was thoroughly pleasant.
“Behind the scenes the cameraman, Adam Suschitzky, and the director, Dominic
Leclerc, were fantastic to work with too, and Yvonne Francas is a great producer.”
Do you get recognised a lot?
“I do but there’s a slight benefit to another character I play (Rab C. Nesbitt) so most
people don’t approach me because they think I’m going to give them the Glasgow kiss!
I don’t get any verbal abuse - I don’t think anyone’s brave enough to verbally abuse
me in the street. I’m a pretty mild mannered kind of chap but some of the characters
I’ve played in the past aren’t so people think in their wisdom that I’m probably just like
that and they tend to avoid me. You sometimes see people having a glance but they
normally tend to keep their head down and keep walking!”
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not busy working?
“I like gardening. I’m quite green fingered and enjoy pottering about. I like planting and
growing things, mainly flowers. They say that Kent’s the garden of England but
Lincolnshire is wall to wall vegetables and it’s great to have local markets selling fresh
produce right on your doorstep.
“I’m also a sucker for nature programmes. I’ve recently been watching Earth Flight, the
BBC One documentary narrated by David Tennant. It’s fabulous and actually that’s
what I’d like to do. Voice a nature programme.”
The following synopses are published in the press pack for forward
planning purposes only. Please do not reproduce entirely and do not
publish the end of the story. Many thanks.
A year ago Joe (Rob James-Collier) decided to travel the world just one last time, but
his girlfriend Lucy (Andrea Lowe) had other ideas. She felt it was time they finally
settled down, but Joe wasn’t ready. Although he’d hoped they could do the trip
together, Joe eventually left alone. Now he’s back. Joe’s brother, Dez (Kieran O’Brien),
collects him from the airport and gives Joe a place to stay while he finds his feet.
On a night out with Dez and the lads, Joe bumps into Lucy (Andrea Lowe), and they
exchange awkward conversation. Awkward because Lucy is quite clearly pregnant and
wearing a wedding ring. Doing the maths, Joe knows the baby can’t be his. And Lucy’s
married. Joe is numb with shock.
It was twelve months ago when Lucy first toyed with the idea of starting a family but
Joe wasn’t ready for that sort of commitment. They seemed to want different things
from life. But now, seeing Lucy married and pregnant, Joe can finally see what he’s
thrown away. Determined to find out who the father is, Joe goes to see Will (Gregor
Fisher) – Lucy’s debt-ridden father – and manages to squeeze the truth out of him.
Lucy’s not married and the baby’s father is nowhere to be seen. Will explains that Lucy
jacked in her job as soon as she knew she was pregnant– and that’s all Joe needs to
hear to know who the father is. Lucy’s married boss – Dom (Alexander Armstrong).
Dom’s personal situation is also complicated. He and his wife Penny are having
difficulties conceiving, and have been for some time. Dom has suggested adoption, but
Penny desperately wants a child of their own.
When Joe confronts Dom for abandoning Lucy and the baby, Dom’s reaction is shock.
Now Joe realises why Lucy was keeping it quiet. Dom had no idea Lucy was pregnant.
Joe doesn’t know how to tell Lucy what he’s done. He tries, but quickly realises Lucy is
wracked with her own guilt and didn’t want Penny to ever find out, so he stops himself.
Joe knows he’s really put his foot in it, but can’t say a word. It’s an awkward meeting,
but all underpinned with a sense of the shared history between Lucy and Joe – what
was lost, and what might have been. It’s certainly complicated.
This complication is thrown into sharp relief by the appearance of Alex, a young,
attractive girl Joe met on his travels. After the messy emotional trauma of the last few
days, everything about Alex represents simplicity, so when she suggests they go for a
drink, Joe’s head can’t help being turned just a little.
Meanwhile, Dom – reeling from Joe’s revelation – calls Lucy and tells her that he
knows. They meet, and it’s awkward. But it helps to hear her side of the story – if she
didn’t keep quiet, she knew a lot of people could get hurt. Lucy hasn’t told a soul.
Penny need never know. But then Lucy starts to realise how Dom must have found
At home, Dom tries to be normal with Penny. But it’s a struggle. He loves her –
couldn’t bear to hurt her – and Dom has to stop himself from telling Penny his secret.
Lucy goes to confront Joe, furious that he told Dom. But as her anger builds, and she
shouts at Joe, she feels a sharp pain. And then another one. The contractions start to
come more regularly, so Joe gets her in the truck and drives her to hospital. The baby
Dom (Alexander Armstrong) makes his way through a caravan park – searching – until
he finds the caravan he’s looking for. He knocks and the door opens to reveal Lucy
(Andrea Lowe) and baby Arthur. Dom doesn’t quite know how to tell Lucy the reason
for his visit. He bites the bullet and just says it. Penny wants the baby.
Two days earlier…
At the hospital, Will (Gregor Fisher) helps Lucy pack her things and prepare to head
home for the first time with baby Arthur. Joe turns up to help, and the three of them
leave together. Although Will seems to be behaving strangely, and it’s not just his
persistent stomach ulcer. Is Will hiding something?
Dom is struggling to keep his secret from Penny (Sophie Thompson), whose behaviour
only makes life harder for him as she tries to engineer a romantic weekend away.
Penny can see Dom is more distracted than usual, and when he leaves work on a
flimsy premise, she decides to follow him.
Lucy, Joe, Will and the baby arrive back home at Will’s flat, only to find it virtually
empty. Will comes clean. The bailiffs have taken everything. Lucy is furious and
distraught. Joe offers to take Arthur outside so Will and Lucy can talk.
Dom is sitting outside, steeling himself to talk to Lucy, when Joe comes out carrying
the baby. It’s an awkward meeting and Dom can’t take his eyes off the baby. Dom
assumes Joe is now back with Lucy, and Joe does nothing to contradict this.
Everything is civil, but it’s a strange sort of standoff, until Joe asks Dom if he’d like to
hold the baby. Standing there with his son is arms, Dom is overwhelmed. He returns
the baby to Joe and leaves. In the background we realise Penny has been watching.
With Will being evicted, Lucy and Arthur have nowhere to live. It’s far from ideal, but
Joe tells her his brother Dez has a caravan in a holiday park nearby – maybe Lucy
could stay there until they find somewhere better. He’ll ask Dez.
Penny still knows nothing about Dom’s secret. From distance, the meeting between
Dom and Joe looked innocent enough – Dom taking the baby in his arms just looked
like a man in touch with his emotions, inevitably moved by a newborn baby. For Penny
this only serves to convince her that it really is time they became parents – she’s now
willing to consider adoption, and puts this to Dom. But the more she talks about
babies, the harder this gets for Dom until he can bear it no more and he finally cracks.
He had an affair with Lucy, and now she’s had his baby. A son.
Penny goes into shutdown, loses control of the car, and drives through a cemetery
fence. As Dom’s words sink in, she can only feel a sense of deep betrayal, pain and
anger at what he has done. Dom can say nothing that makes it better.
Meanwhile Joe is meeting Alex (Naomi Bentley) for a drink. They reminisce about their
travels, and Alex says she’s going to head off again soon – want to come? Joe tells
her his situation is now more complicated. Really complicated. But Alex makes her
offer clear. She’s not complicated. At all. If you decide you want to come, just pick up
The next day Penny goes to see her mum at the nursing home where she works. She
tells her about Dom – what should she do? Liz (Sorcha Cusack) is shocked, but gentle
and comforting – reassuring her daughter that she can get through this. But the more
they talk, the more Penny’s thoughts begin to form into determination. She knows it’s
mad, but she wants that baby.
At Dom’s tile shop, a young woman, Tilly (Jennie Jacques), arrives to start her work
experience. Not what Dom needs right now, but he tries to be as accommodating as
possible under the circumstances. Inside he’s in turmoil. And then, as if things could
get no worse, a policeman – P.C. Paul (James Baxter) – arrives to question Dom
about the incident at the cemetery.
Meanwhile, Joe takes Lucy to visit the caravan. It’s spacious and pretty, in beautiful
surroundings. She loves it. Joe helps her settle in, and it seems they may be reaching
a comfortable détente, but when Lucy finds the note Alex wrote to Joe, things change.
She realises Joe sees she and Arthur as a “complication” – it’s time for Joe to leave.
At the police station, Penny and Dom are waiting to be interviewed – Liz sitting
between them like a referee. Penny tells Dom she wants the baby. Dom makes clear
how ridiculous that sounds. But Penny drives home the point – Dom is the father.
Arthur is as much his baby as Lucy’s. He has rights. They should at least talk to Lucy.
Stung from Lucy’s outburst, Joe meets with Alex. It seems things might get intimate,
but Joe hates himself for it, and stops things going any further. Alex sees what’s going
on here – he’s still in love with Lucy.
It’s the middle of the night and it’s pouring with rain. Joe goes to the caravan park to
check on Lucy – make sure she’s OK. All’s well, and Joe spends the night on the sofa.
When Arthur wakes the next morning, Joe wakes up too. Not wanting to disturb Lucy,
who is still sleeping peacefully, Joe takes Arthur out for a walk.
Penny and Liz seek legal advice about Arthur. The solicitor stresses that the law
favours the birth mother, but certain circumstances may give the father reasonable
grounds for a custody claim. Learning that Lucy is currently homeless, the solicitor
believes they may have a case and agrees to take it on.
Back at the caravan park, Lucy wakes to find Arthur has gone. Mortified, she rushes
outside – searching, calling, distraught. Until she finds him with Joe. A rush of emotion,
she grabs Arthur – how could Joe be so stupid? He’s apologetic, but she’s furious.
Their row quickly becomes about Dom, and Joe finally asks Lucy outright – did you tell
him you loved him? It’s clear she did.
Joe leaves, and Lucy and Arthur are alone once again in the caravan. A knock at the
Joe (Rob James-Collier) and Penny (Sophie Thompson) sit together on some
scaffolding. Penny tells Joe she thinks Lucy (Andrea Lowe) and Dom (Alexander
Armstrong) are going to run away together. Joe is shocked.
One day earlier…
Penny is shopping for baby gear, while Liz (Sorcha Cusack) tries to talk some sense
into her. She implores her daughter to be reasonable, but her pleas fall on deaf ears.
Penny is determined to do everything she can to get the baby.
Back home, Dom tells Penny he went to see Lucy to discuss their situation. Penny
presses Dom – does he still have feelings for Lucy? It’s clear a spark still lingers, but
Penny reverts to her default setting – denial.
Joe visits Lucy in the caravan, bringing blankets, a heater, supplies. He’s being
thoughtful and Lucy’s grateful. And then Joe drops the news – he’s booked a flight to
Argentina. He’ll be out of her hair soon. Lucy’s not quite sure how to take this. She
asks Joe if he will look after Arthur tomorrow morning, just for an hour or two. There’s
something she has to do.
Will is evicted from his flat – leaving with just a few belongings in a suitcase. He calls
Lucy to try to apologise for his failings as a father, but his phone is low on credit and he
gets cut off.
Dom visits Liz at the nursing home. He tells her he thinks he might still be in love with
Lucy – knows it’s a strange thing to talk to his mother-in-law about, but he also knows
she’s straight-talking and has always been honest with him. True to form, Liz doesn’t
pull any punches – she’s not God, she doesn’t always know what’s best. Dom needs to
work things out for himself.
Penny visits Joe at work – tells him she thinks something’s still going on between Dom
and Lucy. She thinks they’re going to run away together. Joe is shocked. Penny leaves
and, shortly after, Lucy arrives to drop off Arthur. Joe’s going to take care of him for a
few hours. Joe tries to press her on where she’s going, but she won’t be drawn. Joe is
increasingly convinced Lucy is in love with Dom. She heads off.
Some time later, Alex sees Joe holding baby Arthur. She can now appreciate what he
meant when he said things were complicated. But he assures her he’s just doing Lucy
a favour – it’s not that complicated. He’s booked his flight – he’s going to join Alex on
Will (Gregor Fisher) visits Dom at work to vent his indignation. What kind of man gets a
girl pregnant leaves her to fend for herself, then tries to steal her baby? In contrast to
Dom’s wealth, Lucy’s now practically living rough, for heaven’s sake. Dom says he’s
offered to help her financially but she wouldn’t accept. Will hatches a plan. Why
doesn’t Dom give some money to him, and he can give it to Lucy, saying he had a win
on the horses? Dom sees there’s some sense in this, and agrees to go along with it.
Liz goes to see Penny to explain she’s not going to tell her what to do any more – she
can stand on her own two feet. Penny apologises – it seems to be finally dawning on
her that she’s made a string of big mistakes. But then Lucy turns up and Penny’s anger
returns. She accuses Lucy of trying to steal her husband. Lucy tries to explain, but it
develops into a huge row, with Lucy accusing Penny of trying to steal her baby. The
situation is only exacerbated when a delivery truck arrives with all the baby gear Penny
ordered. As Liz tries to separate the two women, a heavy box falls on Liz, breaking her
Tilly (Jennie Jacques) returns to Dom’s tile shop to resume her work experience, while
Dom divvies cash up for Will. Dom calls Lucy to tell her he needs to see her. When he
visited her in the caravan, he realized they could be happy together – she, him, Arthur.
He has to see her – can they meet?
Will takes Dom’s money and goes straight to the bookies. He reasons, if he sticks half
of it on a horse and wins, he can have even more money for Lucy. If he loses, he can
give her what’s left and she’ll be none the wiser.
Joe talks to Dez (Kieran O’Brien) about marriage, kids – settling down. Dez doesn’t
even need to say much for Joe to realise what he should be doing with Lucy. The
thoughts have already formed in his mind. But then his phone rings.
Joe rushes into the police station to find Lucy, accused by Penny of assaulting Liz. Joe
is staggered. But know he has to say what’s been on his mind. In this inauspicious
setting he takes Lucy’s hand and tells her he wants to marry her. Lucy doesn’t know
what to say. She doesn’t know whether she can trust him. A year ago he said things
and then he took them back. How can she be sure he won’t do the same again? It’s
not just her any more – she has Arthur to think of. And then she starts to wonder – is
he only saying this now because he thinks she might go off with Dom? Joe admits, of
course, that’s how he feels, he doesn’t want to lose her. But she’s hurt by this, flags a
taxi and leaves. Joe jumps in his truck and follows her to her destination - a coffee
shop. He stops, and watches her go in.
At the local hospital, Penny helps her mum towards the exit. Liz now has her leg in
plaster. Liz finally gets Penny to see that she’s her own worst enemy. She has to sort
Dom meets Lucy in the coffee shop. He tells her how he feels. By almost mystic
coincidence, their waitress is Alex, who remarks on baby Arthur and how beautiful he
is. It seems the presence of a newborn baby always has a powerful effect on people,
but it’s not yet clear how this has affected Alex.
In the bookies, Will watches his race. But his horse is a nag. He loses. And now he has
a dilemma. Does he give Lucy the remaining cash, or chance it all for one big win? For
Will, the answer’s clear.
In the coffee shop, Lucy is explaining to Dom how Joe asked her to marry him. She
admits she loves him – she just doesn’t know whether to trust him. Lucy manages to
get Dom to see that Penny loves him – she just has a funny way of showing it
sometimes. It seems they’re each finally coming to realise what they really want. They
part on good terms, leaving Alex watching Lucy, deciding whether or not to come over.
In the bookies, Will’s luck has finally changed. His horse comes in. He’s won – and
won big. Ecstatic, he calls Lucy and tells her he’s got nearly five grand for her – rent,
food, nappies. His delight at finally being able to provide for his daughter is
Outside the tile shop, Liz has finally managed to persuade Penny to call off the lawyers
and reconcile with Dom. For the first time in a long time Penny is back on an even
keel. She leaves her mum in the car, and goes into the shop, where she finds Tilly
manning the fort. Will also arrives, to return Dom’s money with thanks. It’s an
unfortunate meeting of minds – to Will, Penny is the witch who tried to steal his
grandson, to Penny, Will is a man who has seemingly been taking money from her
husband behind her back.
An argument develops, until Will experiences stabbing abdominal pains, and collapses
– his stomach ulcer has burst. With Tilly’s help, Penny has to bundle Will into her car -
with the other invalid, Liz – and drive to hospital at breakneck speed.
Outside the coffee shop, Dom is surprised to see Joe approach. But Dom’s phone
goes – it’s Penny, explaining she’s on the way to hospital with Lucy’s father in a bad
way. Dom tells Joe and they know they have to tell Lucy. As they head back to the
coffee shop, Joe tells Dom he wants to be with Lucy and be a proper dad to Arthur, but
he also knows he has to accept that Dom will be his other dad. All of which depends of
course on whether Lucy will have Joe.
Joe and Dom enter the coffee shop to find Alex sitting with Lucy. Alex has been telling
Lucy she knows Joe won’t really go to Argentina. He loves Arthur. And he loves Lucy.
This is only just sinking in for Lucy when Joe tells her they need to get to the hospital –
Will is seriously ill.
Lucy, Dom and Joe arrive at the hospital. Will is OK – Penny’s prompt action has
saved him. Lucy goes in to see him. Will stirs, wakes, and when he sees Lucy and
Arthur his face lights up. He lifts up one hand and gives her what he’s holding – the
wad of cash.
Outside, Dom is apologising to Penny and Penny is apologising to Dom. They’re going
to be OK.
Lucy comes into the waiting room and tells Joe “YES” – she WILL marry him. They
Lucy thanks Penny for saving her dad. Penny apologises to Lucy for the way she’s
behaved. Lucy tells her that she and Dom will be welcome to spend time with Arthur
whenever they want.
Dom spots Tilly, and remembers a note P.C. Paul (James Baxter) gave him at the
police station – a note for her, with the copper’s phone number.
Tilly sits on a bench at the police station – dolled up for a date. P.C. Paul approaches –
they’ve arranged to go out for a pizza.
At the airport, Dom and Penny arrive with suitcases and adoption brochures.
In the countryside, Joe and Lucy walk hand in hand, with Joe carrying Arthur. The
world is bright and kind.
The above synopses are published in the press pack for forward planning
purposes only. Please do not reproduce entirely and do not
publish the end of the story. Many thanks.
Joe ........................................................................................ Rob James-Collier
Lucy ............................................................................................... Andrea Lowe
Dominic ............................................................................. Alexander Armstrong
Penny .................................................................................... Sophie Thompson
Dez ............................................................................................. Kieran O’Brien
Linda .................................................................................................. Lisa Millett
Alex ..............................................................................................Naomi Bentley
Liz ...............................................................................................Sorcha Cusack
Will ................................................................................................ Gregor Fisher
Paul............................................................................................... James Baxter
Tilly ............................................................................................ Jennie Jacques
Executive Producers ................................................................... Nicola Shindler
...................................................................................................... Bill Gallagher
Producer ................................................................................... Yvonne Francas
Writer and Creator ........................................................................ Bill Gallagher
Director ..................................................................................... Dominic Leclerc
Line Producer................................................................................ Josh Dynevor
Casting Director ........................................................................... Sarah Trevis
Director of Photography ......................................................... Adam Suschitzky
Editor ............................................................................................... Mark Elliott
Graphics ................................................................................ Colette Ferguson
Script Editor .................................................................................... Richard Fee
Script Supervisor........................................................................... Jane Houston
Sound Recordist .......................................................................... Chris Atkinson
1st Assistant Director ...................................................................... Helen Ostler
2nd Assistant Director ..................................................... Laura Coggan-Hulmes
3rd Assistant Director ...................................................................... John Turner
Art Director .............................................................................Andrea Coathupe
Production Designer ............................................................ David Butterworth
Costume Designer ................................................................. Emma Rosenthal
Costume Supervisor .................................................................. Tabitha Moses
Make Up Designer ...................................................................... Jessica Taylor
Make Up Supervisor .......................................................... Jodie Fidell-Walker
Location Manager ..............................................................................Ian Galley
Unit Manager .................................................................................. Jason Allen
Production Co-ordinator .......................................................... Louise Adamson
Production Secretary .................................................................. Sarah Gledhill