We Happened To Be Passing

We Happened To Be Passing

A comedy of manners by Reginald Perrin writer David Nobbs. A couple regret saying "if ever you happen to be passing..." to their holiday friends

Comedy Drama
BBC Radio 4
James Nickerson, Olwen May, Kerry Shale, Melissa Jane Sinden, Malcolm Raeburn, Maggie Fox, Hugo Chandor and Szilvi Naray-Davey
David Nobbs
Gary Brown

It is a quiet Saturday morning in the Hinchcliffe home, in this perceptive comedy of manners and international relations by David Nobbs - celebrated writer of The Fall And Rise Of Reginald Perrin and A Bit Of A Do.

Tony and Sal are tired after a week of work, and there is nothing, blessedly, in the diary. They have time on their hands, but not for each other. Middle-aged and middle-class, they haven't had kids and they still feel that emotional vacuum.

The doorbell rings. It is an American couple, Monty and Janey - a rather loud duo they stayed with in Delaware years ago. They said: "If ever you happen to be passing..." To Tony's horror Sal invites them to stay.

Then the doorbell rings again. It is Jan and Hilda, a Flemish Belgian couple from Bruges who kindly helped when Janey had a migraine. In gratitude Sal and Tony said, "If ever you happen to be passing..."

Then the doorbell goes again - it is Pierre and Colette, French Belgians who helped them in Namur when Sal was sick. In gratitude they said: "If ever you happen to be passing..."

The Americans are loud and pompous and the Belgians loathe each other. But when Colette and Jan find themselves drawn to one another, the ensuing, messy crisis precipitates a reassessment of all the couples' pattern of behaviour.

Production Details

Production company
Laugh track

Broadcast details

First broadcast
Friday 24th September 2010 on BBC Radio 4 at 2:15pm
Episode length
45 minutes
Last repeat
Friday 26th May 2017 at 11:15am on Radio 4 Extra