A new sitcom for BBC Radio 4 created and written by Phil Ellis (Edinburgh Award Panel Prize winner 2014) and Fraser Steel (I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue, 8 Out Of Ten Cats, A League Of Their Own).
It’s rent day and once again Phil is behind on the payments to his landlord Johnny, who owns the celebrity memorabilia shop below. And this time, Johnny isn’t budging: Phil has got to come up with the money or he’s out. Luckily, Phil’s assistant Lolly has found one more kids’ party for Phil to entertain, and if he can get that right, he’ll have the rent, no problem. What is more, Phi’s finally got a date with Ellie Evans, the florist next door. Maybe he’ll finally be able to put the spectre of his recent (three years ago) divorce behind him? All he has to do is get the rent and make the date, and then things might start to look up for Phil. But that’s easier said than done. Especially when Phil’s involved.
The night of the “North West of the North West Small Business Awards” is fast approaching and Phil sees this as an ideal opportunity to impress Ellie who’s nominated for “Best Florist” – all he needs to do is get the job hosting it. And even then, it is on the one condition that he finds a celebrity to present the main award. Well, it’s good for Lolly to have something to do…
Phil is once again on his uppers but luckily he has received a response to his “leaflet campaign” (one leaflet) advertising his wedding planning service. The bride-to-be Gemma wants to get married at short notice so Phil immediately leaps into action. But his preparations soon run aground when he finds himself falling in love with the bride. Meanwhile, a Lolly attends a funeral so she can take advantage of the free buffet.
Phil’s money troubles finally come to a head and he is forced to get a proper job as a takeaway delivery driver, a job which leads him on to several interesting discoveries. Meanwhile, Lolly tries to help Johnny when he gets trapped in a Dalek.
When Phil discovers Parbold is hosting the World Pinball Championships, he sees a way to solve his money troubles by winning the big cash prize. But it’s not just him who wants the money, as Phil’s past catches up with him. Meanwhile, Polly starts a pet-walking business as a sideline.
Phil signs up to a special class at the gym in order to impress Ellie. The class promises to “cleanse your mind gutters”. But as it’s run by Mick the Chinese Herbalist it’s also there to empty your wallet. Meanwhile, Polly has become a community support support-officer. First task: to capture a pigeon that’s been terrorising Parbold.
When Phil’s dad Goodison is discovered not dead but living in Phil’s loft, Goodison tries to make amends by taking his son for a much needed holiday to popular holiday camp Mutlins. But are Goodison’s motives as honest as they seem? Before long, Johnny and Polly are following Phil and Goodson to Mutlins in a bid to figure out what’s really going on.
When Phil hears a ruckus in Johnny’s memorabilia shop downstairs, he goes to investigate, only to discover the mayor of Parbold, who gives Phil a much-needed job: to discover if her husband is having an affair. This undercover work takes Phil, Polly and Johnny across town to investigate Parbold’s seedy underbelly. It may be a case Phil is desperate to crack, but will he like what he finds?
Phil Ellis is Trying