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A Handful of Dust

Ben gets a surprise when his birthday is forgotten.

Transmitted on: Thursday 21st November 2002

Episode Summary

It is Ben’s birthday and no one has organised anything for him, not even a surprise breakfast. They all know about it but he had told everyone he didn’t want any fuss.

Nick has become a gorilla-gram. Even Ben’s mother hasn’t done anything for Ben’s birthday. Ben has got himself a present, all wrapped, from Ben to Ben. It is the soil from Wembley penalty area, 1966. In a box. They all mock him, it plays Match of the day, when the lid is lifted.
Susan tells Ben that she has a lovely surprise. Janey is coming for the weekend. With a friend. Ben is expecting a lout and they worry about where they are going to sleep. Janey has brought a friend home, but it is not a lout, it is a lesbian. They are still worried about where they will sleep. Abi now has Janey’s room, so Susan gives them their room.

Ben and Susan pretend they are okay with this new development. They think of famous lesbians to make themselves feel better. Ben is still thrilled with his soil and doesn’t want to tell Nick what it is in case he laughs at him. Nick thinks it a terrific scam. Ben & Susan, now on the sofa bed, try to come to terms with Janey being a lesbian. Susan sends Ben upstairs for her toothbrush, although she really wants to know what they are doing. Ben comes back and says he couldn’t find the toothbrush. Susan is desperate to know what they were doing. She says he must go back, he says the toothbrush isn’t there, because she already has it. Ben now has a headache, Susan tells him the aspirins are in the bathroom! Nick has been paid to find out if Janey is gay. Michael wants to know what they actually do! Janey would like to borrow the car and two thousand pounds so she can go back packing to find herself. Janey had assumed that if they thought she was gay, they would have paid for her to go backpacking, only it hasn’t worked. Kate tells her she is shallow and leaves.

Janey wants to talk to Ben and Susan, and they expect she is going to tell them she is a lesbian, but she tells them she is shallow! Ben is now cross that she is not a lesbian. Having wound them up. Finally there is a birthday celebration, with the gorilla at the table. Then Nick arrives as a vicar, he is now a vicar gram. The gorilla was a Nick substitute. Nick arrives home with a new friend, and says it’s going to cost them £50.00 to find out.


Character Played by
Ben Harper Robert Lindsay
Susan Harper Zoe Wanamaker
Nick Harper Kris Marshall
Janey Harper Daniela Denby-Ashe
Michael Harper Gabriel Thompson
Abi Harper Siobhan Hayes
Kate Catherine Bailey


Role Name
Director Dewi Humphreys
Producer John Bartlett
Writer James Hendrie
Writer Ian Brown
Executive Producer Fred Barron
Executive Producer Don Taffner

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