Charlotte has met a new man, giving Lillian the chance to offer up her best dating advice and Scrabble tips. But is it out of the goodness of her heart?
Charlotte (Helen Monks) and Lillian (Miriam Margolyes) are back, spending time together as part of a Befriend the Elderly scheme. They may bicker about everything from signs of dementia to the appeal of Harry Styles, but underneath it’s clear they are two kindred spirits. Two selfish, self-absorbed spirits, but ones who mirror and rely on each other nonetheless.
Very nearly 30, Charlotte is still living at home with her parents and chronically unable to figure out what to do with her life. Beneath her attempt at do-gooding is barely disguised despair. She's terrified she is no good. Useless. Unlovable. She looks to Lillian to provide some meaning to her life - if she can help to improve Lillian’s life somehow, she’d feel a lot better about her own. And there’s all the kudos and social media likes that come with charity work - not to mention the lure of Lillian's large spare room.
Lillian meanwhile is still her ebullient self, but her facade hides a nagging fear of what's to come - her body is giving up on her. Lillian's motto is still “Keep Buggering On” – aka keep getting at Charlotte – but increasingly, she’s forced to wonder why. She masks all this by doubling down and manipulating Charlotte into carrying out all her menial tasks. If Charlotte won’t do them, there are plenty of other volunteers who will.
Charlotte has met a new man, prompting Lillian to offer up her best dating advice. Things may have changed since Lillian’s day, but some of her suggestions contain hard-won, ageless wisdom. The trouble is, Charlotte can't tell which ones – and Lillian may not have her best interests at heart.
Charlotte: Helen Monks
Lillian: Miriam Margolyes
Written by: Kat Sommers and Holly Walsh
Producer: Lucy Armitage
A Giddy Goat production for BBC Radio 4
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