Donna is a sensible, reliable woman in her early thirties. She had been with her sensible, reliable fiancé Karl for five years until, on her hen night, she came to the sudden and horrifying realisation that single girls have more fun. Or so she thought...
With a new-found optimism, Donna moved in with her single friends, Karen and Louise, in sunny Penge. So it's the three girls together, sharing a place, and sharing the most exciting year of their lives. Well, almost. It isn't long before the comforting familiarity of Karl proves to be more appealing than the strain of trying to appear interested in other men.
The only problem for Donna is that Karl has moved on, and Karen and Louise have their own lives to lead... so she now finds herself sitting at home learning about global warming whilst they are all out doing exotic things like having kitchen sex.
A brash, outspoken and fearless woman, Karen is the one who's most likely to be found the next morning with a new conquest creeping out of her bedroom.
Having said that, the success Karen has in the bedroom isn't usually matched by her success in her career. Well, if you turn up drunk to work and then start sobbing whilst you're supposed to be reading a story to a class of nursery school children what do you expect!
Despite the fact Karen often turns up to teach the kids with the previous night's kebab still fresh on her breath (or in a couple of cases, actually waking up in the classroom at 8:50am with a naked man next to her) she hasn't yet been permanently fired. No one quite knows how she has got away with it.
As Karen is getting older she is trying to become more sensible; however her need to consume large quantities alcohol to have 'fun' makes this a very hard-to-achieve goal. A 'quiet night in' for Karen normally results in her waking up in a park somewhere!
It doesn't help that Karen is now seeing Billy - a man so permanently drunk he probably has more alcohol and drugs in him that the nearest pub has in its cellars.
Louise is a big optimist and dreamer. Her mind is often away with the fairies.
While Louise is the one that's most likely to be found doing a stage dive into a crowd of complete strangers in the middle of a nightclub, she's also the most likely to spend so long worrying about her personal hygiene that she misses out on the chance for a bit of slap and tickle.
Despite her weaknesses, Louise is never one to let a few setbacks stop her in her pursuit of true romance... a pursuit which is often quite one-sided. 'Stalker' is not too strong a word to use here!
She does eventually come across Oleg, someone who actually does fall in love with her - however as soon as he declares his feeling she quickly loses interest. Which is odd seeing as she is desperate to sleep with a man!
Karl is a pretty typical bloke - a bit dull, a bit unadventurous, a bit under his mother's thumb. He's a lovely guy, but quite shy and timid. When Donna dumps him just before their wedding day, all of Karl's plans for the future fall to pieces.
In fact Karl goes completely to pieces mentally... for a while he seemed to do nothing but live in pants in his sparse living room, using a cereal packet for the loo. The less said about the 'hanging incident' the better!
Although she wouldn't admit it, in a twisted way Donna was probably quite pleased about Karl's breakdown - it showed her how important she must have been to him. However, she is not so pleased when Karl starts to pick his life up and begins to flirt with other women. She starts to want him back... the trouble is, how does she publicly admit it without looking bad?
Tanya is supposed to be Donna's best friend... although trying to poach Karl isn't the best way of showing it.
Her son Leon hates Karl, but she clearly wants him anyway and isn't going to hide the fact. Before long, the weak-willed Karl finds Tanya giving him the keys to her house and cooking him dinner. She's even going to print a Christmas card with their picture on it!
However, by the end of the second series Tanya has a new boyfriend - Oleg.
Works at the café. Everyone assumed he was gay, until he slept with Donna. At one point he goes on holiday and leaves Louise in charge of the shop - a big mistake!
The foreign chef at the café. He falls in love with Louise and tears up his ticket home when he mis-reads the signals from her. Turns out she isn't interested in him after all.
Oleg lives in a small room with many other Polish workers. He is now in a relationship with Tanya - they constantly argue, but the sex is amazing and keeping them together.
Billy (Series 2)
Billy bumps into Karen at the pub in his usual state - completely off his head with drink and drugs!
Karen really shouldn't have anything to do with Billy, last time they dated he tried to kill her! But, sensible decisions aren't a strong point for Karen, so it isn't long before she is having more drunken intimate nights with him - in her school!
Billy says he really does love Karen and will clean up his act so he can stay with her - but old habits are hard to break!
Ian is Donna's boss at work. He's a normal, boring, busy head of department. When his mum dies, for a short period Ian becomes a snivelling wreck.