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Life Begins at Fifty

Susan is accused of shoplifting and has to put up with Ben's defending her.

Transmitted on: Friday 8th June 2007


Episode Summary

Janey wants Ben to take Kenzo to the park but he is busy relaxing so she asks Alfie instead.

Opening Titles
Susan lays towels on the bed before she gets in. She then tosses off the duvet and opens the window. Ben tries to shut the window but is stopped by an angry Susan.

Ben complains about the mood swings and emotional outbursts, not to mention the sweaty towels. Ben thinks she is on drugs but Michael, in a man to man talke, tells him she is going through the menopause. He is waiting to talk to her when she gets home but Susan confesses she has been arrested for shoplifting.

The doorbell goes and it is the head of security from the Department store. He is trying to let Susan off the prosecution as they are aware that many of their clientele are women of a certain age. He asks Susan to tell the police that she is going through a forgetful time of her life, she asks him to leave.
Alfie has met a lovely girl in the park, but she thinks he is Kenzo’s dad and also that the house in Chiswick is his.

Roger and Abi return from the London Aquarium. There is tension because of Susan’s up coming trial, Roger is very protective of Susan. Alfie’s friend from the park arrives and returns his wallet. Alfie introduces Janey as his ex wife.

A letter arrives to tell Susan she is going to court. She accuses Ben of not believing her, Michael brings home a lie detector machine so Susan can prove her innocence.

It proves she absentmindedly put them in her hand bag and left the shop before she paid for them. Ben tries to find the best lawyer to represent her but has no luck. They are at least £500 an hour. He suggests he defends her himself, and after much hilarity she agrees.

Melanie, Alfie’s friend arrives and she tells Ben Alfie is a surgeon! Ben does his best to drop Alfie in it with Melanie and Ben is passed off as his manservant. Alfie confesses the whole thing is a tissue of lies, but they still end up going off happily together. Ben tries to tell Susan he is going for diminished responsibility when he defends her, he tries to persuade her to mention she is going through the change, then the court may let her off. He tries to tell her she may be going through the menopause, Susan dissolves into tears.

The family are all in the court to support her. Ben tells the Judge he is representing his wife and she advises Susan to seek professional representation. Ben launches into his ‘Rumpole’ type speech, but in fact the prosecution should go first. Ben then tries to make out that the Head of Security has a drink problem, Susan is a mortified Ben seems to have based his entire defence on the fact that everyone has a drink at lunch time. Stills from the CCTV footage are produced, and it becomes obvious to everyone that Susan did actually take the sunglasses. Roger is outwardly distressed.

Ben puts Susan on the stand and tries to discuss mood swings with her. He ends up shouting at Susan that she is going through the menopause. Susan is asked to approach the bench and the Judge, a woman of a similar age, gives her advice on the menopause. She lets Susan off. The family toast Susan.


Character Played by
Ben Harper Robert Lindsay
Susan Harper Zoe Wanamaker
Janey Harper Daniela Denby-Ashe
Michael Harper Gabriel Thompson
Roger Bailey Keiron Self
Abi Harper Siobhan Hayes
Alfie Butts Rhodri Meilir
Judge Nichola McAuliffe
Mr. Donnelly Kim Wall
Prosecutor Jonathan Coy
Melanie Laura Haddock


Role Name
Director Dewi Humphreys
Producer John Bartlett
Writer George Jeffrie
Writer Bert Tyler-Moore
Executive Producer Tom Anderson
Executive Producer Don Taffner

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