Writers, Sarah Hehir and Nick Warburton
Director, Marina Caldarone
Editor, Jeremy Howe
Phoebe Aldridge ….. Lucy Morris
Helen Archer …. Louiza Patikas
Lilian Bellamy ….. Sunny Ormonde
Ian Craig …… Stephen Kennedy
Joy Horville ….. Jackie Lye
Adam Macy …. Andrew Wincott
Kate Madikane ….. Perdita Avery
Kirsty Miller ….. Annabel Dowler
Michael Park… David Seddon
Lynda Snell ….. Carole Boyd
Roy Tucker ….. Ian Pepperell
Leyla … Margaret Cabourn-Smith
Roy’s friend Leyla is heading for an overnight at the rewilding campsite. Roy hasn’t told her his daughter’s the manager – he thought it a bit soon for ‘meet the family’. Phoebe promises to steer clear for the day. Roy and Leyla enjoy being close to nature, and when the rain starts they cosy up in her tent. Just as they get closer they’re interrupted by an errant Longhorn cow.
Meanwhile Kate visits busy Phoebe at Willow Farm, distracting her with village chat. Kate wonders who the celeb is that Lynda’s lined up for the fete. She speculates Roy might know; she’ll ask him. Phoebe warns her off. Her dad’s busy today. Kate soon cottons on that Roy’s with a woman. Phoebe persuades her not to pursue it, and says she’s staying away too – she just has to visit the site office briefly.
Leyla tracks Phoebe down at the office and alerts her that her tent’s been trampled by escaped Longhorns. Helpful Rex has wrangled them, but her kit’s ruined. Phoebe’s apologising when dishevelled Roy appears and she hoots with laughter. Leyla’s appalled at this disrespectful behaviour, even when she finds out Phoebe’s Roy’s daughter. Kate arrives and makes matters worse. Offers of a complimentary massage and calming treatments don’t wash with Leyla. And when she discovers Kate’s Phoebe’s mum, it’s the final straw. She’s going home. Kate comforts dejected Roy. Perhaps he should change tack and meet people just for fun.
At the latest fete meeting Joy admires the blooms in Lynda’s garden. Lynda informs her the rest of the committee will arrive later, so that they can nail things down before the trouble makers arrive. Lynda’s convinced by Joy’s ‘cowpat roulette’ game. It’s on the list! They happily discuss prizes and potential attractions. Lynda favours a celebrity to open the fete, and Joy’s note of caution is taken as a criticism. Mortified, Joy apologises. On the contrary, replies Lynda, it gives her a chance to work on possible objections to her plans. Lynda’s horrified to learn Jim’s already sounded out a ‘celebrity’; an obscure but renowned philologist. She resolves to remedy this problem herself.
Adam attempts to apologise to Ian. Ian accuses him of repeatedly shutting him out. He’s cross that all their discussions are on Adam’s terms, and he’s tired. Adam tries to reassure him about his commitment, and to explain his reasons for not telling Ian everything straight away. But Ian’s not sure about trusting Adam; he knows he has it in him to be unfaithful. He’s not proud of yesterday’s outburst, but doesn’t know how to make it better. Neither knows how to move on from this. Ian resolves to try and trust Adam as long as Adam is more open with him. They agree the good thing is that Adam’s free of Home Farm; and that they still love each other.
Roy finally gets to meet up with his date Leyla at a restaurant. After a stumbling start the ice is broken. They have a great time and laugh at their nerves now they’re finally meeting up in person. When the wrong food arrives for Leyla, Roy gives her a short tutorial on how to complain effectively, which Leyla enjoys. They agree happily to meet up again, this time in Ambridge.
Ian’s still bothered by Adam’s shiftiness. He tells Helen he’s sure Adam’s lying to him again. He ducks out of lunch with Helen; there’s something he needs to check on. He’s looked at Adam’s messages and found out he’s meeting someone called Michael today at a pub, and not at a farm machinery sale after all. Ian blunders in to Adam’s meeting with Michael and calls him out. Despite Adam’s quiet protestations Ian accuses him of having an affair, and he won’t back down despite Michael’s obvious awkwardness. To try and stem the tide Adam confesses Michael’s hiring him as a farm manager; he’s quit Home Farm. In his anxiety to explain, he references the loan he took from the farm accounts. Michael’s heard enough, and retracts his job offer. Adam’s furious with Ian for ruining his chances, but Ian insists anything lost today is entirely down to Adam.
Ben speculates about visiting Alice and taking in some Nottingham nightlife, but Ruairi reminds him she doesn’t want visitors. Ruairi reports Brian’s still sore about the money lost to the rehab centre, though Jennifer’s feeling better now that Alice is settled with Amy. Ruairi’s hoping his A level results are ok – he can’t wait to get away to university. Ben starts his nursing degree in September. Ruairi suggests celebrating – but they need to think bigger than Nottingham. Keen Ben texts Evie, but she bails. So it’s just the two boys. Ruairi blags his way into the VIP area, where an influencer is handing out goodie bags. They’re not sure what to do with the make-up and cleansing products on offer but impressed Ruairi reckons she must be making a mint. They need to be first on the VIP list in life! Ben comments Ruairi’s a good mate; he’ll miss him.
Ian’s had a fun afternoon with Xander, who’s out for the count. Adam’s jumpy and distracted by a phone call. He passes it off as just Lee calling, but Ian has his suspicions confirmed later when Helen tells him Lee hasn’t spoken to Adam this afternoon. Ian’s gutted Adam’s lying to him. He tells Helen Adam’s been a bit off for weeks. He believes Adam’s having an affair. Helen reassures him that this is unlikely, but Ian thinks there’s no other explanation; and Adam has form. If it’s true, what’s he going to do? Their little family will be blown to pieces.
Lee’s spotted something at the house of awkward neighbour Kyle, and alerts Helen. Later Helen encounters Kyle, who as ever aims his vitriol at her. Helen makes it clear she knows he’s had a woman at his house. She’s not afraid to post photos online if Kyle doesn’t leave her and her family in peace. Kyle backs down, and entreats Helen not to tell his wife what he’s up to. Helen reports her victory to Lee. It felt good – even if she had to bluff about the photographs!
Alice asks if Fallon and Harrison can keep an eye on Chris and Martha while she’s gone. Fallon agrees. She thinks Alice should tell Chris she’s leaving, but Alice is adamant.
Fallon tells Chris Alice is leaving; she’s worried Alice might go for good. Hurt Chris can’t believe it. Maybe she should stay away, and leave him and Martha in peace. But in spite of himself there’s a part of him that thinks there still might be a chance. He doesn’t know what to do. He still loves Alice. Fallon tries gently to encourage Chris to see Alice before she goes. Chris decides to follow Fallon’s advice, but he’s too late and Alice is already gone when he gets there. He’s distraught, blaming himself for keeping Martha away from Alice and for the disintegration of his family. She might never come back; what if he’s lost her forever and it’s all his fault?
Kirsty admires the rewilding land. Phoebe enthuses it will be even better once the Longhorns are let loose on it – exciting! Phoebe comments her dad was online chatting with Leyla into the small hours. Kirsty notes they’re due to meet up soon. Phoebe hopes he knows what he’s doing after Leyla’s previous no-show. Kirsty suggests Roy should just have fun. But she does acknowledge it’s odd there’s no trace of Leyla online. Later she shares some information with Phoebe: Leyla’s a biology teacher, and Kirsty’s found a photo of a school group. They have some fun trying to guess which one in the picture is Leyla.
Brian pulls no punches with Alice, laying it on the line that she’s in dreamland if she thinks she can run away and start a new life elsewhere. Jennifer is kinder, desperate to keep her daughter onside, and close to home. She admonishes Brian for his attitude – she doesn’t think she could cope if she didn’t know where Alice was. Later Alice bumps into Alan, who reassures her he’s still there for her. She shares her experiences at the rehab centre and why she left. She needs to get away from Ambridge and the demands of family. Alan visits Willow Cottage. He’s arranged for Alice to stay with his daughter Amy. Both Alice and Amy are up for it, and Brian and Jennifer will know Alice is safe. Grateful Jennifer’s full of thanks. This might be exactly what Alice needs.
Helen’s shaken by unwelcome shopper and neighbour Kyle, as he makes sarcastic comments about the produce and prices. As she discloses the encounter to Lee, she feels disappointed in herself that she let Kyle walk all over her; he’s determined to keep badmouthing her on the group chat. Lee declares he’ll have it out with him but Helen stops him; she should do it. Later in the Bull Helen’s struggling with tricky Kyle, and Lee tries to step in. His efforts are fruitless as Kyle twists his comments to make Lee look like the bad guy and himself the victim of intimidation and threats. Helen feels defeated by Kyle.
The atmosphere is cordial between Adam and Brian. Adam shares he has a job prospect he has a good feeling about. They both agree they won’t tell Ian or Jennifer anything yet until things are more settled.
Alice makes a shock return. Brian demands to know what’s going on – she should be in re-hab. Alice declares she’s quit. She can’t believe Brian dumped her there, and she’s not going back. Brian snaps, but more measured Adam attempts gently to reason with Alice. He tries to tease out her issues but she’s adamant; there was no trust and everyone expected the worst of her. She’ll manage on her own. People will always see her as a drunk, even if she kicks the habit. She’s come for her stuff – she needs to leave Ambridge for good.
Ruth helps Ben and David prepare to fence a hole in a hedge. She’s nervous about buying new cows today. Meanwhile David is full of positivity, he’s even whistling. Later, Ruth calls David from the sale to say they’ve bought fifteen excellent cows. Ben acknowledges his dad’s cautiousness when it came to expanding the dairy herd. David’s pleased they’re shaking things up a bit and praises his son for doing the same with his nursing course. With the new cows settled in the field, Ruth is stunned by this light-hearted David. Ben agrees it’s strange to see his dad so happy but he could get used it.
Helen picks up on Lee’s negativity towards other Beechwood residents and asks him upfront what he means. She quickly learns of the messages about her on the estate’s group. Joy calls round and explains that she removed Kyle from the WhatsApp group but another admin has added him back on. Against Helen’s wishes, Lee storms off to have it out with Kyle. Meanwhile Joy tells Helen she really admires how strong she is. Helen’s grateful for Joy’s kind words. Lee returns. He never made it to Kyle’s door; he’s sorry he didn’t listen to Helen. Helen doesn’t want Lee to protect her but to be by her side when things are tough. Joy thinks it’s best just to ignore Kyle – but it is a shame they can’t find a way to get back at him.
Phoebe chats to Roy about how the rewilding camping is already proving popular, but he’s distracted by his imminent date with Leyla. They’ve talked a lot on the phone but this is their first face-to-face meeting and he doesn’t want to disappoint. Then Roy returns early; the date’s been called off because Leyla’s train was cancelled. This makes Phoebe suspicious. She quizzes Roy about Leyla and later looks her up online but can’t find anything. She puts it to her dad that he could be being catfished. Roy insists this isn’t the case – Leyla has valid reasons for not having an online profile and he isn’t that naive.
Helen’s keen to involve fellow Beechwood residents in the making and naming of her Bridge Farm “scare-cow” for the fete’s scarecrow competition. Lee can’t match her enthusiasm. Later, Ian – relieved to have a break from Xander - helps Lee build the playhouse. Lee tells him about what’s being said about Bridge Farm and Helen on the Beechwood WhatsApp group. Complaints about the farm seem to be gathering momentum. Furthermore, a neighbour called Kyle has been particularly cruel about Helen and is recirculating newspaper articles of her attempted murder trial. Ian insists Helen should know; she can deal with it and secrets are good for no-one.
Ed is surprised to find a stranger at the breakfast table at Grange Farm. They quickly place one another – it is Mr York who taught Ed at school. Eddie explains that they will be dropping him off at his wedding before going to work at the livestock market. There is no time for the groom to go home so he is borrowing Ed’s wedding suit. It is not a great fit. On the way to the wedding Mr York reveals his nicknames for Ed, Will and Emma. He is relieved George has finished school – he wouldn’t want the tale of his stag night and sleeping in the limo to get round school. When Eddie points out that Mia is still a Borchester Green pupil, Mr York stumps up a large tip to ensure she keeps quiet. Later, Ed wangles most of the money from Eddie, stating he has learned from the best.
After a last minute check over by Ruth, Ben is interviewed for a place on a nursing course. Ben flounders with nerves but before the interview ends he talks honestly about why he is set on becoming a nurse and how inspiring his mum’s recovery from cancer is. Back home Ben admits to his mum he wishes he could redo the interview. Ruth reassures him; she could not be more proud.
Ben has a bout of last minute nerves before his interview for a nursing course tomorrow. He doesn’t think his relevant experience will measure up. Ruth reassures him he’ll be fine. She shares her experience of having cancer and going through treatment. Ben’s inspired to hear it was the nurses who kept her sane through it all. Ruth tells him she can see him doing that kind of thing. He has empathy in spades and will be great at supporting patients.
Eddie’s looking forward to impressing the stag party he’s ferrying around this evening in the limo. If Terry Two Phones is impressed he’ll spread the word. The job goes well and Eddie returns home, ecstatic with £200 in tips. But to his surprise he has also come home with the bridegroom asleep in the back of the limo. Clarrie and Eddie drive back to Terry Two Phones’ house where Eddie dropped off all of the other stag attendees but they get no answer. Eddie thinks they should move the sleeping bridegroom into the garden but Clarrie insists they can’t leave him out in the open – he’s getting married in a few hours. Eddie’s at a loss as to what to do with him until then.
Shula insists Neil’s done enough gardening in lieu of payment for Keira’s initial riding tuition but Neil is keen to help out, admitting that he’s grateful for the respite from all the stresses at home. On his return to Ambridge View, Neil and Susan realise they are both due to be working later. They bicker and acknowledge that they’re both tired from juggling care for Martha and the stress of Alice’s alcoholism. Shula interrupts them to return Neil’ secateurs. When Susan learns how much Neil has been helping Shula out she quickly leaves, with their work and childcare clash unresolved.
Brian’s telling everyone that Alice entered rehab as good as gold yesterday but Eddie notices how worn out he’s looking. Brian comes clean to Eddie about what really happened on the journey. Brian can’t stop berating himself for not noticing how bad Alice’s situation had got. Eddie understands. He had the same preoccupation when Will was at his lowest point. Eddie’s grateful to Brian for keeping the Grundys’ confidence over Will’s breakdown. Brian goes on to admit that he cried after Alice was admitted to rehab. Eddie reassures him that Alice didn’t mean what she said yesterday and she still has love for her dad. Brian’s just desperate for her to get better.
Brian drives Alice to her rehab facility and they chat in the car. Jennifer was emotional saying goodbye but Alice knows that Brian is different. Brian is proud of Alice for committing to rehab – he always has been and nothing has changed. Alice remembers how proud he was watching her in a school play – he’ll dig out the video when she’s away.
Alice worries about Martha forgetting her after a month away. At a service station, Brian phones ahead as Alice has delayed them with constant stop-offs. Brian’s advised to check on Alice, who has been gone a while. Brian’s horrified to discover Alice has disappeared. He finds her in a pub beer garden. Alice has reasoned that she’s not actually an alcoholic and doesn’t need Brian to spend all that money on rehab. Brian plays along and relaxes to enjoy a drink with Alice. However, Alice realises he’s only drinking tonic and twigs that he still intends to get her to the rehab facility. Alice causes a scene as he leads her away. He explains to onlookers that Alice is an alcoholic, and how embarrassed he is.
When they finally arrive Alice pleads with Brian not to leave her. She could just go to meetings instead; she’d have to be here for so long. As Brian leaves Alice with the staff, she becomes angry and bitter, telling Brian how much she hates him. Shaken Brian entreats the staff to look after her.
Kate turns up unexpectedly at Jakob’s surgery, finding him covered in blood from an injured horse. Why is she here? Kate wants them to move in together. Jakob is not sure – they tried it before and it didn’t work. Kate’s hurt and frustrated by his lack of spontaneity. Kate is also avoiding Peggy and is still angry with her, but Jakob puts Kate off moving out and leaving Peggy vulnerable. Jakob points out that for such a proud woman as Peggy, admitting her mistakes and apologising to Alice was significant. Moving out could also do Alice harm.
Fallon praises Lynda for her scarecrow-making idea for the fete, but Lynda plays it down and awkwardly admits that it was Joy’s idea, apologising for giving the impression it was hers.
Concerned about Lynda, Fallon stops working to listen, as Lynda praises Joy’s creative energy – Lynda feels she is no longer the beating heart of Ambridge. Fallon reminds Lynda of her great ideas and reassures her she is still needed in Ambridge.
Fallon’s worried about Alice, who’s leaving tomorrow for a month. Lynda compares Alice to herself – they had different experiences; alcoholism versus the Grey Gables explosion, but are similar in having to face their demons and rebuild themselves. Friends get each other through and Fallon is a good friend to Alice, Lynda points out.
Joy joins Shula and Lynda for her first meeting as part of the fete planning committee. Shula’s not keen on Lynda’s big idea for some pandemic-inspired baking. Joy has a great idea, around making scarecrows, and after going into some detail Lynda just about conceals her glee in pointing out that it’s been done before. However, Shula says it doesn’t mean the end for the idea – 2011 was a long time ago, and they should put it to the full committee. Through gritted teeth Lynda agrees.
Kate checks on Alice, who reveals that she’s found out about Peggy talking to Chris behind her back, knowing about her alcoholism and advising on their marriage. Kate’s determined to go and confront Peggy, but Alice stops her – she’ll do it herself. However, Peggy shocks Alice with her contrition, and berates herself for her meddling and arrogance, telling Alice how proud she is of her for agreeing to go to rehab. She loves Alice very much. Humbled, Alice admits that Peggy was right to put Martha first.
Kate’s angry at Peggy, but Alice admits she is the one to blame. Alice realises she needs rehab. She’s frightened, but comforted by older sister Kate she decides to start packing.
It’s a big day at Lower Loxley with the last of their Drive-In Movie nights as well as the opening of the new art exhibition. Vince tries to get the low-down on what Iris said to Elizabeth. Elizabeth explains she reassured his mother that she’s not after his money.
Lily’s horrified to bump into Sol. He explains he’s come for the drive-in movie and thought he’d look round the place first. He’s surprised to learn that Lower Loxley is in fact Lily’s family business. Sol gently explains he’s found out that she has a partner. He hopes they can remain friends at work.
Vince spots Lily’s low mood and gives her some good advice, with a light touch. Lily braces herself to come clean to Russ but Russ goes first, explaining how the decree absolute has put things in perspective. Lily’s overwhelmed by his portrait of her and they tell one another they love each other. Later, he asks her what it was she wanted to say but she says it was nothing. She wonders if the two of them should now get married. Russ thinks that’s sweet but doesn’t think they need to.
By the end of the movie night Vince and Elizabeth have both dozed off. When they wake Vince is apologetic for the mishaps of the week – falling out over work, his mother turning up. Elizabeth tells him that she loves him – but she can’t live with him. Vince can live with that!
Waking up in the Bridal Suite, things are back on track for Vince and Elizabeth – until his mother, Iris Casey, arrives. She takes the place by storm, embarrassing Vince. But Elizabeth takes to her. Iris takes herself around Lower Loxley. First she interrupts Freddie who’s briefing the plumber. Presuming he works there, she digs for dirt on Elizabeth. Then Iris meets Rex who has to clarify that he’s not Russ.
Vince tries to track his mother down and persuade her to go home, but Iris won’t be cowed so easily. She finds her way to the Gallery. Russ asks her to leave; the exhibition isn’t opening until tomorrow. But Iris is already engrossed in the painting of Lily that Russ is working on. She thinks it’s a great likeness and is sure Lily will love it when she sees it.
Iris and Elizabeth go and look at Rex’s pigs. Iris admits her visit is to scope out Elizabeth – she doesn’t want anyone taking advantage of her Vince! Elizabeth finds that hard to believe but Iris recounts how soft-hearted Vince is, and how he stepped up as child when his father was unable to work. Elizabeth sets Iris straight on her own upbringing. Iris asks Elizabeth not to write him off just yet.
Join Jill in the kitchen at Brookfield as she makes a batch of her much loved mince pies