Soloparentpals.com. Image shows from L to R: Rosie (Liz White), Tom (Julian Rhind-Tutt). Copyright: BBC.

Soloparentpals.com

BBC Radio 4 comedy drama. 25 episodes (5 series), 2009 - 2014. Stars Maxine Peake, Liz White, Kris Marshall, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Laura Molyneux, Karina Jones, Priyanga Burford and others.

Soloparentpals.com

Comedy following the turbulent romance of single parents Rosie and Tom and the lives of the other regulars on a parenting advice website forum

Genre
Comedy Drama
Broadcast
2009 - 2014
Channel
BBC Radio 4
Episodes
25   (5 series)
Starring
Maxine Peake, Liz White, Kris Marshall, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Laura Molyneux, Karina Jones, Priyanga Burford, Janice Acquah and others
Writer
Sue Teddern
Director
David Hunter
Producer
David Hunter

A Radio 4 comedy drama - broadcast as part of the Woman's Hour drama slot - about two single parents who meet on an internet chat site for parenting advice and strike up a friendship. In later series they begin dating.

Rosie is a Bolton care-worker whose ex-husband Phil traded her in for a younger model four years ago leaving her to bring up Calum, now 12, alone.

Tom is a housing officer in Exeter whose wife and confidence walked out on him eighteen months ago. He only sees his daughter Lily at weekends.

In the first series despite a succession of twists and turns, mistimings and misunderstandings between the rather nervous, disorganised Tom and the mouthy, controlling Rosie, an underlying friendship and dependence seemed to emerge - but an actual meeting in the flesh failed to take place.

In Series 2 Rosie is coming to terms with the fact that Phil has had a baby with his new partner Debbie - a woman that she finds, to her surprise, that she has much in common with, perhaps too much? Tom has meanwhile being going steady with Siobhan, a work colleague and while he enjoys the regular sex, fresh veg and clean towels he can't help thinking things are going a little too fast.

Communications between the two are still long-distance, by email, telephone or through the website. Other ssp.com participants chip in with their own perspectives and concerns - Baz is a Neanderthal male, Tash the Lash in Wales is trying hard to rein in her party girl style, Gillybean has stashed her OU books in the attic and Gok Wanned her wardrobe and Scott is still coping with three teenage daughters and an obsession with poultry. Blunt newcomer Brummie Barb introduces a same-sex relationship into the mix.

In Series 3, Rosie and Tom are four months into a long-distance relationship, but have only spent five weekends together and have not yet told their online friends.

In Series 4, after much turbulence, Rosie and Tom are now living together in Bolton. However, their relationship is still lacking in synchronicity. The pressures of Tom's relocation, the complications of stepparenthood and the task of being full-time housefather in a less than spacious Bolton terraced house slowly begin to have their effect. At the same time, for Rosie the world is opening up professionally and she even becomes capable of embracing marriage.

They aren't the only solo parents who are now a couple: Tash has tied the knot with 'lush' Jamie and Gill's almost moved in with Tony Macaroni.

Naïve as ever, at first Tom thinks marriage will glue everything together. Pessimistic as ever, Rosie reckons that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Once again we have the "will-they-won't-they?" scenario but this time the tables are turned and the advice from their soloparentpals.com confidantes is not always helpful or without its own agenda. How will they resolve this situation? And along the way more complications arise.

In Series 5, the duo are running a B&B business, and their wedding is now imminent. However, with just a few days to go, Tom's ex-wife Ginny turns up on the doorstep.

Production Details

Production company
Laugh track
None

Broadcast details

First broadcast
Monday 2nd November 2009 on BBC Radio 4 at 10:45am
Last new broadcast
Friday 4th April 2014 on BBC Radio 4 at 10:45am
Length of episodes
15 minutes
Last repeat
Sunday 6th April 2014 at 2:00am on Radio 4 Extra