Never Better. Copyright: World Productions.

Never Better

BBC Two sitcom a recovering alcoholic. 6 episodes (1 series) in 2008. Stars Stephen Mangan, Kate Ashfield, Christopher Fairbank, Tom Goodman-Hill and others.

Series 1, Episode 5 - First Week Euphoria

Keith antagonises his fellow AA members by deliberately yawning during Arturo's testimony. Marianne is irritated and the incident prompts Linda to remind Keith that he still hasn't opened up to the group himself. But when Keith admits he only comes along because he wants to get away from his family, the meeting descends into chaos. Meanwhile, Keith yet again lets Tom down by missing his football match.

Further details

Anita and Keith are out with the kids discussing what they need to buy and that they need to visit the grandparents. Keith, however, doesn't want to go and uses the fact he has to go to an AA meeting as an excuse.

At the group, Keith is bored listening to Arturo's testimony and thinks Marianne is also bored. He pretends to yawn, but upsets the group when Marianne explains that she was actually praying. Charlie, a new member, is ecstatic about starting the first steps of recovery and, as he introduces himself to the group, he can't help cheering. Linda, Keith's sponsor, tells Keith that Charlie has first week euphoria from not drinking, and that the novelty will soon wear off. She tells him that she thinks it's time Keith gave a testimony, but will he be able to talk to the group?

Prompted by Richard, Keith tells the group about using AA to get away from his family, but they are appalled. Everyone starts arguing and eventually Charlie gets them all to say a prayer. However, Keith's phone rings and ruins the moment, as he is informed he has missed Tom's football match.

Concerned he is letting everyone down, Keith tells Linda he does want to help other alcoholics, and she tells him someone needs to be with Charlie. Keith reluctantly agrees and takes Charlie for a coffee. But he is uncomfortable with Charlie's enthusiasm and reacts with sarcasm. At first, Charlie finds it funny, but something Keith says causes offence - with devastating consequences for Charlie.

Broadcast details

Thursday 7th February 2008
30 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
Stephen Mangan Keith Merchant
Kate Ashfield Anita Merchant
Christopher Fairbank Doug
Tom Goodman-Hill Richard
Michele Austin (as Michelle Austin) Linda
Mya O'Connor Poppy Merchant
Charlie George Tom Merchant
Guest cast
Susan Earl Marianne
Federico Zanni Cafe Manager
Matthew Ashforde Arturo
Nicholas Burns Charlie
Writing team
Fintan Ryan Writer
Production team
Martin Dennis Director
Helen Gregory Producer