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 7, Episode 3 is repeated on Radio 4 Extra on Wednesday at 11pm.

Series 5, Episode 3 - Girls On Film

Not only does Clare have a new trainee social worker to break in, but she and her colleagues at the Sparrowhawk Family centre are the subject of a documentary film.

Further details

Brian is playing in a much loved game of football but is being pressurised by Clare by his choice of dress. She is then forced to leave the pitch and let play continue. In the changing room after the match, aside from every man borrowing Brian's shower gel, Brian tells Simon that Clare only came on his insistence, wanting her to see him be more physical and not the flabby and podgy man everyone thinks him to be. The conversation however soon shifts to what an invigorating scent of tea tree oil the gels gives off.

Back at home, Clare wants Brian to speak to his Auntie Margaret about the knitted gifts for baby Thomas. Rather than the two drawers full of knitting, Clare wants to know what it is. Soon dinner is being made and Nali is determined to change Clare and Brian's vegetarianism by asking if she can put very thin slices of meat in the dinner. Brian tells Clare that he has been dropped from the football team. Clare thinks it must be because he is a liability, and also because she overhead the team say it but is more than willing to talk to them though Brian pleads with her not to. Nali still wants to put meat in the food but Clare says she would notice. Nali: 'You didn't notice it last time.'

Meanwhile, in the family centre, Helen and Ray are disgusted that Irene's partner, Colette, is in the area making a documentary film based in the centre. Their main reason for hating it all is that they were not asked to appear in it.

Clare has her own troubles though with a new student, Catriona, who while being from a high upbringing, wealthy family claims to love the working classes, black people and lesbian film makers. This just infuriates Clare more. Even on their first home visit, Clare makes judgments, saying that wearing Giorgio Armani in a working class estate is patronising. Back at the office, Catriona complains to Megan about how unfair Clare is being. Megan comforts her by saying it won't last long and that she'll probably drop out in a week or so.

Once again at home, Nali is preparing vegetable stew. She is being modest as Clare and Brian are praising her on the smell, presentation and taste of this stew. Clare then finds a lamb shank in it. Nali shouts that 20-30 villages would be fighting for that lamb shank back home. Not because it is a poor community but because everyone loves lamb shank.

It turns out that Brian is still playing football but has lied so Clare wouldn't watch him again. While playing, he sees Clare approach the pitch and he hides in a nearby bush for most of the second half. Later, Clare tells Helen that she thinks Brian has been lying to her. Helen suggests he might be having an affair but they burst into laughter. She says she thinks he has been lying about football because she saw a figure run and hide in some bushes when she went to ask the team to bring him back and that the thighs of the figure were rubbing together very distinctively. That and the twigs in his pants.

Clare still does not like Catriona and so she sends her out alone on a home visit to one of the unruly clients, a huge family that has a dog called Satan. As soon as she arrives back Clare begins to argue with her, telling her she is late back. Catriona has been wearing Clare's new boots and has to break them in for her. Though while on a cigarette break, Catriona bumps into Colette and they start to talk about the film and how much Catriona would love to be in it, what with Uncle Ridley casting her in Gladiator.

In bed that night, Clare admits for the first time that she has been wrong and that Catriona is actually a good person and that she will make a great social worker. Brian agrees saying how honest, emotional and fair she is being but Clare realizes Brian is talking his way into having sex but she can't because she is too tired. Brian immediately turns over and goes to sleep.

The next day Irene asks Clare to see her in her office. Irene has been crying because she has been given a letter from Colette saying that the relationship is over and that she has started a new one with Catriona. Irene is in tears but Clare is angry as she has just told everyone that for the first time she was wrong.

At the end of a successful game, Brian has been crowned man of the match after the ball hit him in the testicles and went in the goal. Clare confronts him knowing that he has been lying but Brian explains that she was putting him off, especially when everyone sang "who ate all the pies?" Clare joined in.

Finally, in bed again that night, the baby is crying and Clare and Brian argue over who should sort it out. Brian loses and has to keep the baby quiet. He opens the door and shouts for Nali to do it.

Broadcast details

Wednesday 4th March 2009
BBC Radio 4
30 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
Sally Phillips Clare
Alex Lowe Brian
Nina Conti Megan
Richard Lumsden Ray
Liza Tarbuck Helen
Andrew Wincott Simon
Nina Conti Nali
Ellen Thomas Irene
Guest cast
Anna Bengo Colette / Mrs Cook
Alex Tregear Catriona
Writing team
Harry Venning Writer
David Ramsden Writer
Production team
Katie Tyrrell Producer

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