On Radio 4: soloparentpals.com (Woman’s Hour Drama)

Sue Teddern’s drama began as “Single Parent Pals” until that actually became a real life website. It also had Maxine Peake in it for the first two series but she’s now gone to be replaced by Liz White (who in my mental version is forever wearing a police uniform from the 1970s). However we still have Kris Marshall, we still have web chat and we still have the wry observations of love, life and general getting on.

I missed the first series and only heard the second because a grotty cold meant I was awake when 4 Extra ran an omnibus meaning we got all 70 minutes in one go. It fell together rather nicely and in spite of myself I did smile when, at the end, Tom and Rosie were actually in the same room together for the first time. The third series takes place four months after the end of the second and our in-love couple and haven’t told any of their web-friends about their relationship and, anyway, never actually seem to meet.

The meeting issue was solved within ten minutes as a weekend in a ’boutique hotel’ in Cheltenham with a four-poster was sorted. However Tom brought his daughter and some manflu. Rosie saved the day but didn’t get her romantic weekend. She did however let slip via private message about the relationship. This whilst Tom was setting up what he naively assumes will be a curry with another forum member. Thus we can see the drama ahead even if today’s episode didn’t have much in the way of drama itself. Tom gets on with Rosie’s son, Rosie bonds with Tom’s daughter. Any problems seem to flare up away from the scenes we hear.

There are still some nice lines and a few pleasant observations but sometimes things seem a little too easy on the parenting and a little convoluted on the drama. But, at the time of writing, I am still drawn back to the next episode to hear what happens next. Which is pretty much all you can ask for from a fifteen-minute-a-day series.

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