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Synopsis

Sonia overhears Pauline on the phone to Jim. She's crushed to learn that Dot's ill. The Fowler women rush to the hospital. Pauline sends Jim home. He takes Sonia's mobile in case there's news. Jim wells up with emotion when he finds the biscuits that Dot's left out for him. He prays to God, pleading for her to come through her illness. He asks for a sign that she'll be alright. Pauline lectures Sonia about the importance of small comforts. She accuses her daughter-in-law of being immature. Sonia reminds her that she's had to cope with the death of a fiance. Jim arrives at the Vic as it's closing. He's annoyed and pulls himself a pint. Trembling, he claims that he just wants to drink alone. He reveals that Dot's having surgery for cancer. Mickey teases Martin and Spencer about their boring relationships. Tariq blags them into the club by claiming that it's Martin stag do. The lads have a bet on who will pull first. Patrick suggests they light a candle. It's one of Yolande's rituals in times of trouble. Jim can't believe that he's an old man. He still feels like he's 20. Ian replies that he'd rather be 35 than a youngster. Alfie, Minty, Jim and Patrick wish that they were still young. Ian disagrees. He hated being bullied as a kid. As an adult he feels stronger. He has the law, money and reason behind him. Jim's amused by Ian's argument. He thinks that Ian acts more like he's 40. The men laugh uproariously. Jim raises Ian's age to 73! They're silenced by the words, "Open up, it's the police". Alfie opens up while the others hide. He's confronted by Andy who suspects that they're drinking after hours. Alfie fibs his way out of trouble, but Minty blows it making a noise. Pauline rattles on about the past repeating itself. Sonia's replaced her as the young newly-wed of the house. She believes that Sonia's got it easy compared to life in her young day. Ian takes Andy to task when he threatens to sack Alfie. Ian calls him a 'big bully with a bog brush', before thumping him. His triumph is short-lived as Andy punches his lights out. Martin's riled when Mickey teases him for not pulling. He launches into a speech about how Sonia's the best thing that's ever happened to him. He adds that he'll never hurt her. Dennis reminds Andy that he's been in Jim's position. Andy's bitter that his ex-wife wasn't around when his mum was dying. Dennis accepts Andy's invitation to be his best man. An attractive waitress chats to Martin. She's impressed by his passionate words about Sonia. He's wasted and rambles drunkenly. He offers to walk the girl home to save her a cab fare. Martin has a terrible shock when he wakes up in the early hours. He's in a strange bed with a strange woman! The other lads assume that Martin's tucked up with Sonia at home. The crowd in the pub sing a rousing rendition of 'My Bonny Lies Over the Ocean'. Jim receives the sign that he's been waiting for. It's word from the hospital. He's relieved to hear that Dot's fine.

Credits

Main cast

  • John Bardon as Jim
  • Natalie Cassidy as Sonia
  • Wendy Richard as Pauline
  • James Alexandrou as Martin
  • Christopher Parker as Spencer
  • Joe Swash as Mickey
  • Cliff Parisi as Minty
  • Shane Richie as Alfie
  • Adam Woodyatt as Ian
  • Rudolph Walker as Patrick
  • Nigel Harman as Dennis
  • Michael Higgs as Andy
  • Raji James as Ash
  • Ray Panthaki as Ronny
  • Nabil Elouahabi as Tariq
  • Alison Pargeter as Sarah
  • Hilda Braid as Nana Moon
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