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Series 11

Return of The Prodigal Prat

Ben uses his mistakenly printed obituary in the newspaper to his advantage.

Transmitted on: Friday 11th April 2003


Episode Summary

Susan is telling Ben about future dates for his diary, and starts to suggest things for them to do that day. Ben is happy on the sofa with the tv. Ben suggests maybe going to bed together and Susan wants to convert Nicks room into a nursery.

Susan’s mother rings to tell them there is an obituary in the paper, and Ben has been pronounced dead. Ben quite likes the idea, and says if he is dead he is not able to go anywhere or do anything. He now has the perfect excuse to do nothing.

Michael is trying to write a funeral speach for Ben when Nick comes in with a supermarket trolley to do his ‘shopping’. Michael tells Nick that Ben is dead. Nick thinks he is now Lord of the Manor and that Michael must leave school and get a job to bring in extra money.Ben comes into the kitchen and Nick gives him an enormous hug and tells him he is obviously not dead. Nick exits to continue his shopping in the ‘chemists’ upstairs! Susan is cleaning Nicks bedroom, with Abi, who discovers an old pizza at the bottom of the wardrobe, which she promptly eats. Nick arrives and is thrilled with the farmyard mobile and the stuffed giraffe. He doesn’t realise Susan is doing it for the baby.

Ben comes in and is so desperate that Nick doesn’t move back in, he agrees to do up the nursery. Nick leaves upset. Later Nick enters through the back door with a small case, Abi who doesn’t see him sings and dances to herself, Get this Party Started. She jumps with fright when she sees him, and Nick tells her of his plan to move back in.

Meanwhile, upstairs Ben is building the cot from Spanish instructions. Nick, is hiding in the upturned cot box, and he pinches the spanner. Ben looks everywhere, finally he has to leave to find another one. Michael shows Abi Ben’s eulogy. He has embellished it somewhat. The doorbell rings, it is Mr Gleeson, from next door. He has brought for roses for Susan because Ben is dead. Susan doesn’t quite manage to tell him in so many words that Ben is not actually dead. He offers to do anything around the house or garden for her, and ends up asking her out for dinner after the funeral.

Ben comes back into the nursery having found another spanner and finds the cot is completely dismantled. He goes downstairs and tells everyone he has put the cot up and now it is unput!! Ben is furious that Mr Gleeson has bought flowers, and threatens to give him a piece of his mind, Susan explains that he is just outside doing the lawn and Ben thinks maybe he’ll wait for a minute or two.

Ben puts the final touches to the bedroom, he has papered it all and put up the cot. We see Nick come out of the wardrobe and start peeling off the paper.
Susan is in bed eating chocolates from yet another delighted male neighbour. Mr Murdoch from two streets away. Ben takes Susan to show her the nursery that he is so proud of, but when they get there is it no longer decorated and the cot is back in pieces. Ben thinks maybe he is dead after all.
Michael goes to lie on his bed and there are groans from underneath. It is Nick who has moved back in under his bed. Abi sneaks him some food, but she has eaten it all on the way up. She leaves saying she will sneak him some pudding later!

Back at the surgery Roger has moved in and decorated it out for children. He is just using a glove puppet dentist called Dennis when Ben comes in and throws him out, telling him he is very much alive. Susan has now decorated the babies room and when she leaves it, Nick starts stripping the walls again. She comes in and catches him. Nick begs her to say she can come home and she gives in and says she will persuade Ben to agree.

Ben, meanwhile, goes to demand a retraction from the newspaper office. After some heavy negotiating, followed by threats, the retraction is fixed. Ben arrives home jolly, the neighbour who still thinks Ben is dead, sees him and falls off the ladder. Susan takes him into the nursery, where Nick is asleep in the cot. Later in bed, when they start to cuddle, Nick’s voice comes over the baby alarm asking for water!


Character Played by
Ben Harper Robert Lindsay
Susan Harper Zoe Wanamaker
Nick Harper Kris Marshall
Michael Harper Gabriel Thompson
Roger Bailey Keiron Self
Abi Harper Siobhan Hayes
Mr. Gleason Paul Hunter
Andy Welling Harry Burton
Mr. Freeman Peter Wight


Role Name
Director Dewi Humphreys
Producer John Bartlett
Writer Steve Armogida
Writer Jim Armogida
Executive Producer Fred Barron
Executive Producer Don Taffner

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