Comedy drama focusing on a journalist's attempts to write a weekly family newspaper column - when his family have deserted him
- Comedy Drama
- BBC Radio 4
- Philip Jackson, Howell Evans, Manon Edwards, Geoffrey Whitehead and Lynne Seymour
- Elizabeth Lewis
- Gordon House
- Kate McAll
Charlie writes a column entitled 'Family Matters', which revolves around the comings and goings of his family - his Welsh wife, Carys, their young children and their pet rat, Mr Rafferty.
However, Charlie is left in charge of Mr Rafferty and his irrepressible father-in-law, Marmaduke, when his wife announces out of the blue that she is taking the children to Italy to stay in the holiday home of her marketing manager, Orlando.
He is, as he mournfully describes himself, "a husband without a wife, a father without children and a columnist without a column". For, without his family, Charlie's inspiration deserts him and the column resolutely refuses to write itself.
Beset with fears that his wife's relationship with Orlando may be a threat to his marriage, Charlie simply cannot concentrate on writing. As the deadline for his column approaches, and his editor turns from pleading to threatening, he sees his life unravelling before him. A randy 75-year-old father-in-law and a rat with an injured tail are not the companions he would have chosen to witness this disintegration.