The Rio Bingo Hall - The one place to be on a Friday night! Paul O'Grady stars as Ray, a misanthropic Liverpool bingo hall manager who feels frustrated in life. Presiding over a motley staff including; Christine on catering, who's Chihuaha compensates for her unfortunate love life, Sandy; young, and not too bright, works with mummy's boy Martin on the floor. And then there's Mary, the elderly cleaner, who is an endless source of bizarre anecdotes and skewed wisdom. Often unable to hold back his acerbic tongue, Ray frequently takes out his anger out by welcoming his punters with a vitriolic tongue lashing.
Ray's excited about his latest money making scheme, a guess the balls competition, but he's convinced none of the punters will guess correctly. However Mary see's it to go differently.
Meanwhile, Sandy believes she's the next big thing when a shopping precinct photographer convinces her she has ""it"". Though Ray has his doubts about the photographers credibility.
Sandy's having problems as a first time mother, resorting to sleeping in her locker due to late nights with the baby. A trip to the doctors office helps ease her worries, but further problems arise when Mary discovers it's a different baby.
Ray's over the moon when he finds out he's been left £5,000 from a deceased punter, but with one simple clause; the deceased man's widow requests him to give it to a local charity. But Ray doesn't agree for it to go that way. A little word from Christine shows him the error of his ways, until he discovers the money is counterfeit.
Following a memo from headquarters, Ray implements a new security regime after a spate of recent robberies. A further robbery leads to Ray giving chase down the back alley to stop the thief, which leaves him to fend him off with a Barbie doll. Ray thinks it's lights out for him, until out of nowhere Mary knocks the thief to the ground. Once the police arrive, Ray takes all the credit. After the press get a hold of the story, Ray is to receive an award for Citizen Of The Year, but Mary refuses to keep quiet.
Meanwhile, Martin asks Christine out on a date, though not a fancy restaurant but the bingo's diner. But Christine's faced with a problem; on the same night, her ex-husband returns and wants her back. Who will she choose?
The staff are cautioned to be on their best behaviour for the visit of regional manager, Miss Grimes - an extremely large formidable woman, who's stopping by to inspect the latest developments at the Rio. Ray spots this as his opportunity to get the manager's position at a new London bingo hall, so he's determined things will run smoothly. Following a mix-up with paperwork, Miss Grimes gets the impression Ray is lusting after her and wants to meet in the cellar! Ray is left with a dilemma: should he meet his match made in hell or tell the truth and loose his chance at the new job?
Martin has tried everything to get over Christine, so he thinks visiting a therapist will help to overcome his feelings. But her ways are a little eccentric, specially since she's a therapist-cum-florist.
Ray's devastated following a family funeral, though it's not ""the old stiff"" he's sad about, but the news that he's adopted. To discover his roots he turns to a little detective work, but his digging around reveals Mary could actually be his Mother - news he is not at all happy about. However, Mary's motherly love is something he can't resist and she wins him over. But things take an unexpected turn when Christine intercepts a further call from the orphanage - it seems the baby Mary actually gave birth to was a girl. How will Mary break the news to Ray that they're not actually related?
Sandy's elated to discover she's won a competition to appear on a couples game show, but the only problem is that she's now single. Bobby saves the day and stands in as her boyfriend, so they prepare each other for the typically expected couple type questions. Luck is on their side, but with a little magic they both didn't expect.
It's the big day: Christine is set to re-marry her ex-husband, but she's completely oblivious to it. After a botched proposal from Philip, she's overjoyed to accept his hand in marriage, but she finds Ray's ""nice gesture"" to hold it in the Bingo Hall a little strange.
It's full steam ahead with the planning and everyone is happy to help out with the preparations. However Martin's not too keen, he's at a loss as it seems his dreams of true love will be dashed forever. But a missing dog, a smurf and everyone's hatred of Philip combine to make it a day to remember.
Ray's scrooge-like approach to Christmas changes dramatically when he receives a bit of good news, but the staff have their own problems to deal with. Martin's mother, Sandy's pen-pal and Mary's family all put obstacles in the way of a happy festive season, while Ray has to make a life-changing decision.