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 4 - We Need To Talk About Brian

Clare and Brian are about to move into a new home, but when Clare finds something disturbing whilst packing, will she want to move anywhere with Brian?

Further details

Irene, Ray and Helen are reading a book called 'Star of the Sea' in order for them to start running a book club. Megan is determined to finish the book so that she can take part in some adult conversation and some stimulating debate. The only problem being that she hasn't been told about the book change and so is reading the autobiography of Peter Andre.

Nearing the end of work for the day, Megan is having a supervision meeting with Clare. She has an inkling that Clare wants to get away due the fact she is standing next to the door with her coat on. Clare and Brian are meeting their solicitor in order to exchange contracts as they are moving house, but Clare sees a client in the street and drags Brian into the nearest shop to hide. A sex shop. Brian feels immediately uncomfortable but has no choice but to stay as he spots some A-level English students from school on the other side of the road. Told by the shop assistant to leave, Brian bides some time by asking to buy a copy of the Karma Sutra, only for him to put his back out getting it off the shelf. Stuck on the sofa at home with nothing to do but stare at the ceiling, Clare is left to do the packing by herself. And for Brian that means everything in his wardrobe is getting binned. His Oasis/Blur patched jacket, corduroy trousers, beret and Simon's duffle coat.

At the book group, Megan finds out about the book change and is annoyed that everyone read a fantastic book while she read crap. Clare comes to the meeting distressed as she has found Brian's old 1995 diary from university and has read it ("because it fell open"). What Clare says she read apparently changes her entire relationship with Brian. Just to be sure, Clare has brought the diary around to the book group so everyone can listen and have a read. Ray, Irene, Megan and Helen take it in turns to read aloud passages from the diary from the section where Brian first met Clare. While reading, Clare stumbles upon a passage that upsets her. 'Oh dark lady, why do you torment me like this. You know I am powerless to resist you', and 'The dark lady made her intentions clear. She was coming tonight whether I liked it or not.' She is worried that Brian may have been having an affair.

When Clare arrives home, she purposefully hurts Brian's back, forcing him to talk. She questions him until Brian reveals that the dark lady is the name he gave to his depression. Clare eventually accepts what is said. The next day Clare is nice to Brian, leaving him biscuits, tea and the television. Simon arrives just in time to see Clare leave. Simon is amazed by how lovely and kind Clare is being. Brian says Clare's guilty conscious is working overtime and tells him about the situation with the dark lady. Simon is staggered, asking 'she bought that?'. Brian replies, 'I know. Incredible isn't it.'

Broadcast details

Monday 8th January 2007
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
Writing team
Harry Venning Writer
David Ramsden Writer
Production team
Katie Tyrrell Producer

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