Clare In The Community. Copyright: BBC.

Clare In The Community

BBC Radio 4 sitcom about a social worker. 73 episodes (12 series), 2004 - 2019. Stars Sally Phillips, Alex Lowe, Nina Conti, Richard Lumsden and others.

Series 3, Episode 1 - Letter From America

Clare and Brian are house hunting.

Further details

Clare and Brian are in bed. Brian is struggling with a three month-old sudoku, and Clare is reading a book entitled 'Sheer Height', which is all about sex. She tells Brian she intends to get ideas from the book in order to improve their sex lives, though Brian reminds her that he doesn't like anything that he can't see.

Wendell Johnson, a convict on death row, has become pen-pals with Clare and he replies to her long letter of petty problems (things like, do Ray's new sideburns suit him? and Irene is becoming a nuisance at work). Helen and Simon's marriage lasted two weeks after Simon sleep with one of the holiday reps on their honeymoon, which Wendell says is bad even by American standards. Meanwhile Wendell switches the subject to his life in prison and how he is struggling to cope after his mothers death, hoping that Clare will sympathise and write back in response to his situation.

As Clare and Brian have left their flat and 'removed themselves from the property chain', they are now living at Simon's flat as it is rent free. Clare cannot bare living with Simon as he is too unhygienic... when Brian sees Simon wearing his underpants because his aren't washed, he begins to agree. Brian warns Simon, not for the first time, to not borrow his pants but his misunderstands as he assumed wearing Brian's were okay, as he was told to stop wearing Clare's! Having had enough of Simon, Clare and Brian go to the estate agents.

At the office, Megan is starting to irritate her colleagues with countless stories of her new daughter, Brenda. Clare, Ray and Helen continue to send her to their pigeon holes to get rid of her. While Megan is gone, Helen suggests to Clare that they should try leafleting houses to try and find a new property. Clare doesn't find the idea at all appealing, until Helen suggests Brian should do it... then she suddenly likes the idea.

Wendell has received his next letter from Clare and hopes that she has replied to his message, only to find Clare has completely ignored him with no mention of his mother's death and has instead sent over a 12 page letter relating to Simon and Helen's marriage. Wendell begins to get suspicious that Clare is not reading his letters and that she is just writing whatever is of interest to her.

During one of Clare's house visits, she is talking to a client who is having serious problems. Her phone rings during the conversation, but she still answers. A man called Mr Figgis has received a leaflet and invites Clare and Brian to his house later that evening. Clare then phones Brian to tell him, and they go round to the house. Mr Figgis offers them the house for nothing and Brian calls him coo-koo. Mr Figgis says that he is dying but Brian doesn't believe him. Clare however agrees to the offer, and in return Mr Figgis asks if they will stay and watch a video to keep him company. After the video has finished, Mr Figgis asks them to leave as he is tired and promises to put their names on the deed. Clare asks him if there is anything else he wants before they leave and he asks for money for Christmas decorations, which cost Clare and Brian £100. As Clare and Brian leave, Mr Figgis says how happy he is that his son will not be getting the house. Brian then realises that the cost of the house is due to a family feud. There is a knock at the door and Mr Figgis makes them hide in the cellar as he is worried it is his son coming to cause trouble. When in the cellar, Clare and Brian find three other couples who are part of a scam. The knock at the door was another couple being hoaxed, as Mr Figgis starts the routine again. The next day, Clare tells her colleagues about the anonymous phone call to the police and that Mr Figgis had escaped and run up debts of £2000 on their credit cards.

To end, Wendell has got bored of Clare and has handed the letters she has sent to Cyrus over to another prisoner who will now become her new pen-pal.

Broadcast details

Monday 18th December 2006
BBC Radio 4
30 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
Sally Phillips Clare
Alex Lowe Brian
Nina Conti Megan
Richard Lumsden Ray
Gemma Craven Helen
Andrew Wincott Simon
Ellen Thomas Irene
Guest cast
George Harris Wendell Johnson
Alex Tregear Hannah
Roy Hudd Mr Figgis
Writing team
Harry Venning Writer
David Ramsden Writer
Production team
Katie Tyrrell Producer

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