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08 January 2004
Episode 17: Starting Over
Girls Aloud
Will the Geordie girls be as good as Girls Aloud?

A New Year and time for a fresh start for the residents of Q Gardens.

Written by
Roger Wood

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Q Gardens is created by: Roger Wood Kevin Robinson Dave Bradley Nuala Cassidy Matthew O’Callaghan Yvonne Martin Simon Hill From an original concept by: Roger Wood

The scriptwriters are all students on De Montfort University's post-graduate TV scriptwriting course

Q Gardens is set in Leicester's West End
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Scene One

At Number 3 Quincey Row, student nurse and wannabe pop star Kirsty Campbell is nursing a serious hangover.

KIRSTY: My bleeding head… I'll kill that cat.
LISA-MARIE: What cat?
KIRSTY: The one that used my mouth for a litter.
EMMA: No muesli for you then, Kirst.
LISA-MARIE: You can't still have a hangover, Kirst. New Year was last week.
EMMA: Yeah, this week it's back to work.
LISA-MARIE: And back to lectures.
KIRSTY: No. Not me. I can't face it. Mangling my brain all day learning stuff I'd rather not know, then slogging my guts out all night at the call centre for minimum wage. I'd be better off on the dole.
EMMA: You can't quit now, Kirst. What about the band?
LISA-MARIE: And the single. By the summer we'll have saved up enough for the recording session.
KIRSTY: What band? What single? We've been in Leicester over a year and we haven't even got ourselves a gig.
LISA-MARIE: We would have had a gig - if the landlord hadn't had gone and had a heart attack.
KIRSTY: Doesn't that tell you something, Lise? About our luck?
LISA-MARIE: It tells me our luck's got to change. I've made my mind up.
EMMA: And you know what Lise is like when she's made her mind up…
LISA-MARIE: 2004 is going to be our year. Come next Christmas, we're going to be bigger than Girls Aloud.
EMMA: Only without the ginger one, obviously.
LISA-MARIE: I've come up with a plan.
KIRSTY: A plan like the one that had us swapping Newcastle for Leicester, training to be skivvies, working for peanuts?
LISA-MARIE: Better. I've decided, Kirst. What we need is a manager.

Scene Two

At Number 6 Quincey Gardens, Keef Holloway is dressed to kill.

RENEE: Bit late for panto, isn't it, pa?
KEEF: Watch your lip, gel. I'm going down the Jobcentre to sign on, en' I? Got to look me best for prospective employers.
RENEE: Best hope someone's in the market for a scarecrow then.
ROCCO: This is a wind-up, right, pop? Yo, check it out. You're pullin' my---
KEEF: Shouldn't you be at school, boy?
ROCCO: Teacher trainin' day, ennit?
KEEF: And you, Reen, aren't you supposed to be at the shop by now?
RENEE: Called in sick. Women's problems. Old Nev never argues with that one.
KEEF: Kids nowadays. You don't know you're flaming born.

Scene Three
Out in the Gardens…

RITA: Morning, Jade. Off to school?
JADE: Yeah, though what good it'll do… A levels just don't seem important now, what with…
RITA: Your dad wouldn't want you to miss school, love. She gives Jade a huge hug. Any news from the hospital?
JADE: He's still in intensive care, Reet. Still hasn't come round. The doctors can't understand it. They think his brain…
RITA: There, there, love. I'm sure they're doing everything they can. How's your mum taking it?
JADE: She's worse than I am. I never thought… They used to row all the time, but deep down…
RITA: That's what married folk do, Jade. It doesn't mean they've stopped loving one another.
JADE: Tommy's been a huge help, looking after the pub while we've been at the hospital. But now he's back on the night bus, I don't know how mum's going to cope.
RITA: Is she in there now?
JADE: Yes. She's trying to change a barrel but she really hasn't a clue.
RITA: You get off to school, Jade. Leave your mum to me.
JADE: You don't have to, Rita. I mean, it's no secret you and mum---
RITA: Neighbours squabble in the good times, Jade. In bad times they look out for one another.

Scene Four
At the far end of the Gardens, Pam Walsh is trying to sneak out of Number 12.
But she doesn't get past Mollie Wallwalk that easily…

MOLLIE: I heard it, you know.
PAM: Sorry?
MOLLIE: That rumpus at your place, New Year's Eve. Woke Rex up, it did.
PAM: Oh…that.
MOLLIE: Gentleman caller, was it?
PAM: Hardly. It won't happen again. I hope…
MOLLIE: You see that it doesn't, Mrs Walsh. I don't know what went on where you lived before and far be it from me to stick my nose in where it's not wanted. But the Gardens is a respectable place.
PAM: Yes - I realise that. Look, Mrs Wallwalk, I'd love to stay and chat but we're stocktaking at Sellaways.
MOLLIE: I've been meaning to ask you about that. Working there, I expect you get staff discount and first dibs on anything coming up to its sell-by date. So I was thinking, like. What with me being a poor pensioner with a very particular dog to support---

Scene Five
Down at the Jobcentre, Keef's number has come up.

CLERK: Ah, Mr Holloway, isn't it?
KEEF: That's right, boss. Call me Keef. K-E-E-F.
CLERK: I'll call you Mr Holloway, if that's all right. And you can call me anything other than boss.
KEEF: Fair enough, pal.
CLERK: Now, let's see. I believe this is your first visit for quite some time.
KEEF: Yup.
CLERK: I expect things have changed somewhat in the interim.
KEEF: Not really. I still recognise some of the old faces.
CLERK: But you've never had to sign a Jobseeker's Agreement before.
KEEF: No, but I'm game.
CLERK: That's a sentiment that always gladdens my heart. Now, I realise it's been almost two decades but, back in the good old days, what would you say was your normal occupation?
KEEF: That'd be roadie.
CLERK: You hold a HGV licence?
KEEF: No, pal! Roadie as in road manager. For bands. Only I wasn't so much the manager, more the humper. You know, hump this, hump that.
CLERK: Really? Any acts I might have heard of?
KEEF: I've worked with 'em all, me. Showaddywaddy, the Rubettes, Smokie…
CLERK: All before my time, I'm afraid. Reason for leaving last post?
KEEF: Artistic differences.
CLERK: And before you dabbled in the giddy world of showbusiness?
KEEF: I worked the fairs.
CLERK: Do you have any skills that might be useful in the workplace?
KEEF: I can hang off the back of dodgems. It's been a while, obviously, but I expect it's like riding a bike…
CLERK: Let's just put you down as a general labourer, shall we, Mr Holloway?
KEEF: Whatever you say, boss. I mean, pal. Just so long as I get me dole.
CLERK: Oh, there won't be any payment, Mr Holloway.
CLERK: There are two forms of Jobseeker's Allowance, Mr Holloway. There's the contributory form, a personal benefit, not means-tested in any way, and there's Income-Based Jobseeker's Allowance, which depends on household income. Now, seeing as you haven't made a contribution in … let me see … almost exactly eighteen years, and seeing as your partner and eldest child both work---
KEEF: So where does that leave me, eh?
CLERK: There is a well known phrase or saying that covers your situation precisely, Mr Holloway. But it's more than my job's worth to use it.

Scene Six
At the Kineally Brothers warehouse---

EDDIE: Well, well. Long time no see, Craig.
CRAIG: I've not been well.
EDDIE: You've been hiding in your bedroom, waiting for that black eye to fade. Did you really think mum wouldn't tell me?
CRAIG: I don't know what happened. Must have walked into a door or something. I'd had a few bevvies up town, hadn't I?
EDDIE: You know you're not supposed to drink on your medication, Craig.
CRAIG: It was New Year's Eve! A man can have a few bevvies New Year's Eve, can't he?
EDDIE: 'Few' is not a word in your vocabulary, Craig. And I don't believe the one about the door any more than mum does. Do I need to call on the services of DC Lowther?
EDDIE: More to the point, do I need to worry about DC Lowther's less amenable colleagues?
CRAIG: What are you getting at, Ed?
EDDIE: I'm merely stating the obvious, Craig. Someone's been making a serious nuisance of himself with the ladies and it's getting out of hand. The Nayler girl was something and nothing, but now there's some poor kid fighting for her life in the LRI.
CRAIG: And you think I---?
EDDIE: It's not what I think that matters, Craig. It's what the coppers think when they start going through the form book.

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