Charlie moves from London to the country to give his daughter Joanna a better life. But the attractive Caroline is shocked to find her mother Laura considers him - a man - suitable to be their housekeeper.
Laura tells Charlie he can use Caroline's private bath, as she is not supposed to be home for hours
Laura takes the children camping, so Caroline invites her latest beau round for a dinner with waiter service. But when he is unable to make it, Charlie feels bad for her
Caroline's well-bred former school friend turns up, and leaves the Whestley household cheesed off
Caroline and Charlie have to chase after the children who have run away to Charlie's former London estate, due to disagreements about their behaviour. But Caroline's fish out of water status leaves her ending up the naughty one.
Caroline is unlucky in love because men are intimidated by her position, but Charlie can pull a woman just as simply as talking to her in a supermarket. What new tactics can Caroline learn for a taste of date success?
Tomboy Jo and Charlie both feel confused and awkward when she is just about to turn 12 and suddenly feels differently about herself and unable to play football any more
Bodywork is the theme of the day, when Charlie admires the women at his aerobics class, and Caroline's Jaguar needs a new coat of paint. But the line between employer and employee is crossed when Charlie chooses the colour.
Caroline's estranged husband returns from his jungle explorations, and despite having already agreed to a divorce quickly worms his way back into her emotions, and puts his stamp back on the house
Charlie has got a new job since Michael let him go, but Caroline and Michael's sickly-sweet renewed romantics are already starting to wear thin
Tom's behaviour begins to cause concern, but could it be due to the influence of Charlie?
The kids go away on a boat trip. Caroline gets drunk for her Birthday and Charlie gets drunk at his former employer's leaving do, which leads to a spontaneous moment
It's Christmas, and Charlie is moonlighting to make extra money. But what for? Maybe budding new writer Laura can solve the mystery.
Charlie and Caroline disagree on Jo's education, but only Jo truly knows what she wants
When Charlie's usual poker night venue is unavailable, Caroline agrees to let the lads play in her house. But things go from bad to worse
When Michael reappears on the scene, Charlie and Laura worry that Caroline will be drawn back in again. But it turns out he is marrying someone else, in the South of France, so everyone goes there too for the wedding
Michael wants joint custody of Tom, which would mean him spending half his life in France, but there is still the boy's turn as best man to come yet
Caroline and Charlie are both invited on blind dates for Valentine's Day, and are both shocked when they see who their date is. But who is the mysterious person paying for all this?
When Charlie and Caroline go to a school meeting, Joanna tries to persuade them that she at 13 is old enough to babysit the 9 year old. But lady luck is not on her side
He's a little too much like his mother, and all work and no play makes Tom a dull boy. So Charlie tries to come up with ways to involve him in team activities.
Laura receives £50 000 from the will of a mystery benefactor, but is there a hidden truth behind this gift?
An annoying neighbour turns up after being dumped by her husband, but she forgets all her troubles for a while when she gets so close to Charlie.
Caroline can't cope with losing yet again, especially when there's a winner in the very same house
Tom brings a girl home to impress her with Charlie's cookies, but the worm turns when she is instead impressed with Charlie himself
It's the one year anniversary of Charlie's arrival, and Caroline is determined to give him a break from cooking for once, but nothing goes to plan.
A local television show wants to do a profile of Caroline as a successful businesswoman, but when they visit her home they get a far from normal picture
Caroline is still unlucky in love, so much so that she even resorts to an escort. Then Charlie states the obvious - they should go out on a date
Charlie is not a happy man when he notices a love bite on Jo's neck, and so attempts to ground her
Charlie gets a 22-year old girlfriend who happens to work for a swish agency, which gives Caroline a new opportunity
A new family move in next door, but their over-niceness is bound to be covering trouble
There is poetry in motion when a face from Caroline's past walks in, with shocking news
It's Charlie's birthday, and he has his heart set on a new set of wheels, but breaking up is so very hard to do - even when it's with his battered old van
Charlie takes Caroline to see him play in a football reunion match, but a distraction of the female kind risks torpedoing the whole weekend
Charlie feels put out when Caroline brings her devilishly perfect new creative director home, and there is suddenly a new Mr. Popular about house
Charlie's late wife's father (Jo's grandfather) turns up out of the blue, but what are his real motives?
Caroline is seeing her accountant Geoffrey, but gets nervous when he needs to see her about a life-changing question
Caroline gifts Charlie with a high-class golf membership, but Laura wants him to use his charm to get her a rich business client in return.
The end of another series, and this time it's Caroline's turn to make an unconscious admission
Caroline and Charlie are at a loose end so go out dancing. But a simple night out becomes more than they bargained for
Charlie's sauna buddy Trevor cannot get over his ex-wife, so he sets him up on date with Caroline. But when Laura comes on the scene, Caroline's angle changes.
Caroline is tense again, so joins a gym as a release. But there is a plumber in the house, so the rumour mill starts spinning at both ends
Tom is growing up, but what is he growing up into?
Caroline returns to her default status as the most beautiful green eyed monster in town when Charlie is the prize in a slave auction
Charlie's Auntie Pat brings a wayward youth to stay, which of course turns Jo's head.
Charlie agrees to coach Caroline's volleyball team, but are his ex-footballer skills compatible?
Jo's boyfriend has a grandfather who needs company, so thoughts turn to Laura. But that means that nothing is straight-forward.
Jo is shocked to hear that Nick is in prison and not in Spain,as she was led to believe. Charlie takes Caroline and Laura to visit him,telling him of Jo's disappointment but are amazed to find on ,their return home,that Nick has escaped from prison in order to speak to his grand-daughter. When Nick agrees to return to jail Jo believes she has persuaded him but in fact Charlie has tricked him into believing that there will be an amnesty
With Caroline on business in Manchester Laura steals her invite to a society function,passing herself off as her daughter and Charlie as the owner of an airline,which leads to lots of awkward questions which neither can answer. When the real Caroline arrives she has to use subterfuge to get admitted but is treated to uncharacteristic praise from Laura,complimenting her on the esteem with which her peers hold her. As a result of the confusion all three are about to be evicted but fortunately Charlie's old friend Henry Cooper comes to the rescue.
When a local couple split and move away Caroline buys their cottage as an investment. She lets it to respectable elderly musician Donald,only to find that Charlie is offering it to seductive actress Michelle. She is not best pleased,leading to a row with Charlie,which is resolved when Caroline apologises for treating him like an employee. However when Michelle decides she wants to move back to London Caroline is happy to give her the deposit.
Charlie agrees to take part in a charity boxing match to raise money for the local school,safe in the knowledge that his opponent,Arthur,is a typing teacher. However,when he discovers that Arthur is a massive and competitive typing teacher he begins to have second thoughts. Fortunately Caroline is there to help,not just as his trainer but to subtly tip the judges into making the right decision as to the winner.
Jo and her friend Julia are late for the school's Go To Work With a Parent planning evening so the only work experience left is with Caroline and Charlie. Fearing Caroline may be a hard boss to work for Jo opts to help Charlie but soon sees herself as a drudge whilst Caroline is delighted with Julia's initiative. Jo bribes Julia into swapping jobs but it is not a good idea as everybody discovers
Tom is standing for form rep at school and brings home prospective voters to bribe them with cake and promises of a date with Jo. Then Laura walks in with the cover of the new 'Mature Woman' magazine, a periodical for elderly ladies which,to increase sales,features Laura in a very low-cut dress. Next day Tom returns from school with a black eye,having been in a fight defending Laura and tells her he hates her. After he wins the election though he is prepared to forgive her.
Al forms a punk band and,impressed by Jo's ideas for publicity,asks her to manage it, to which,despite Charlie's protests, she agrees. When Charlie tries to help she is resentful but even more so of prospective hirers who belittle her for being a young girl. Inspired by Caroline,on the night of the band's first gig,she takes a stand against the patronising club owner and gets her own way
The two families go on a Caribbean holiday paid for by one of Caroline's grateful clients but Charlie feels out of things as all the other members of the group find romantic attachments and Caroline shocks him by going skinny-dipping with hunks and then performing a raunchy karaoke. When he injures himself she comes running but when he ponders his future both he and Caroline,whilst admitting their mutual fondness,wonder if marriage is the right option.
Regretful of the fact that she was a good girl in her adolescence Caroline decides to make up for lost time and creates a list of naughty things to do. Having accomplished most of them she moves on to dating Jake the Snake,the bad boy at her youth club,and he takes her to see his band play. Laura and Charlie have their doubts as to whether Jake's intentions are honorable so Charlie follows to make sure that Caroline is all right.
When Charlie's auntie Pat comes to stay everybody loves her home cooking though, in the case of Laura's new boyfriend Clifford,the attraction goes a little deeper and Charlie catches him kissing Pat. When Clifford asks for the opportunity to choose which woman to date Charlie and Caroline both encourage their respective relatives but ultimately both Auntie Pat and Laura come to see that such a weak-willed man is no good for either of them.
Four years have passed since Caroline first employed Charlie but when they exchange presents she is perturbed that,whilst she gives him a watch,she gets car seat covers. His idea of a day out is to take the two families to a funfair and,for a laugh,he and Caroline visit cold-stricken and possibly fraudulent clairvoyant Madame Alexandra,who nonetheless recognizes the couple's attraction and tells Charlie that he will marry the last woman he kisses before midnight. This is how Carolone and Charlie find themselves in the tunnel of love just as the fair is closing.
Following their night in the Tunnel of Love Caroline and Charlie declare themselves to be officially a couple but are not keen to go public so they send the family out so they can have a romantic meal together but Laura and Tom return,causing them to hide in a cupboard. They then go to a hotel but experience so many interruptions they end up in their car but when the car rolls into a river their secret is exposed.
Caroline is finding Charlie's amorous attentiveness stifling though Jo is enjoying the emotional freedom of not being smothered by her father. When Caroline is laid up with a sprained ankle Charlie sense of caring goes into over-drive and she has to escape to a nearby cafe. Charlie follows but the pair learn a lesson from the bickering couple who are the owners.
Jo goes to a party where she gets drunk and is consequently ill. Caroline feels that Charlie is over-reacting in his anger so,to set an example,he persuades his friends who come to watch the match on television that they should all also abstain from drink. However Charlie is the first to weaken and has to apologize to Jo
When Caroline goes away Laura takes over at the office but insults Caroline's best client Douglas Hamilton by rejecting his advances and giving him a piece of her mind. To rectify matters Charlie goes after Douglas and catches up with him at his duck hide. However Charlie is dismayed to see that Douglas is about to shoot a duck and in the resultant scuffle almost loses Caroline's biggest client - literally.
Visiting his local pub in London Charlie runs into feared hard man George Carver,who once did him a good turn and in return wants Charlie to act as minder to his spoilt daughter Claudia and teach her some proper values. Unfortunately Claudia falls for Charlie,which does not endear him to her father. However Charlie decides to actually stand up to George and tell him that he needs to be a proper father figure instead of passing the responsibility onto others. What's more,his plan works.
Laura needs cheering up after another failed affair so Caroline and Charlie take her to the casino,where she meets personable Jason McCloud. Jason initially brings Laura luck at the roulette wheel but when she starts to lose he takes advantage of the situation by lending her her stake money in exchange for Caroline's car as collateral. With the car gone it is down to Caroline and Charlie to win it back via their expertise at poker - and bluffing.
Caroline brings hot-shot young footballer Gary Grant to the house to sign a deal endorsing trainers for her company. Knowing Gary will offer perks, for which the other family members are keen, but Charlie is shocked at how greedy and materialistic Gary is,putting financial rewards above the pleasure of playing. As a result everybody else falls out with Charlie - but he is proved right when Gary reneges on his deal with Caroline to go for a better offer
Charlie gets a fortnight's work filling in as a teaching assistant in physical education at a local school so Caroline agrees that she will take over the duties of being the house-keeper. Unfortunately she is hopeless and discovers it far harder than she thought,whilst having to look after young Danny whilst his mother is in hospital and cooking a meal for Charlie's headmaster only increase the pressure. She is very relieved when the fortnight is up
After Charlie has gone out to play darts with his pub friends rather than go to dinner with her Caroline is cross with him. His mates tell him he is hen-pecked so,in order to get out of escorting Caroline to the ballet he feigns illness and has a poker night with the lads but when Caroline arrives home and rumbles him they have a massive falling-out with Charlie staying out all night. Ultimately they reach a compromise though again Caoline seems to have the upper hand
When Caroline refuses to give Tom a holiday job at her agency to prevent charges of nepotism Charlie persuades his old friend Terry to employ the lad as a steward at the cricket ground he manages. With an important England match coming up the family turns out to support Tom. Unfortunately Tom manages to destroy the match by picking up a ball still in play - which is why Charlie now refuses to help Jo get a Saturday job.
Nick is released from prison so Caroline lets him come to stay at the house. He has written a cookery book but Charlie believes it will not sell and is angry when Nick refuses a sales job he has fixed up for him. When the book is taken on by a publisher and looks like being a best-seller Charlie is forced to apologize - until he discovers that the book was written by another prisoner,who will shortly be released and is likely to come after Nick
Charlie has become over-competitive and bad-tempered so Caroline goes to a health spa with Laura and Jo to relax. Here she meets Nigel,who is Charlie's exact double - except that he is totally laid -back and stress-free. Back at the house Charlie gets jealous when he finds an extra-long pair of men's trousers but when Caroline returns and tells him who owned them he gets a surprise
Al has to move out so,to increase his chance of getting a new flat, Jo poses as his wife but Charlie finds out and,as a result,Al fails to get the flat so Charlie lets him sleep on the sofa at Caroline's. Unfortunately he screams in his sleep, keeping everybody awake so Charlie has to approve another lie to help him get another place. Having told Jo that honesty is the best policy Charlie finds it is true when marketing a foul-tasting health drink Caroline is trying to promote.
Caroline tentatively accepts an offer to merge with a larger advertising company but Laura is not included in the deal. Annoyed to be cast aside Laura becomes the tea-lady at the new company but realises that Caroline is not free to make her own decisions and is being urged to drop some of her smaller clients and asks her to call off the merger. Fortunately Caroline has already done so
Following a friend's funeral Charlie sees that there are many things he still wants to do in his life and takes the others on an adventure holiday,which they all hate. However when Caroline gets injured during a cycle race he appreciates that she took part because she loved him and decides to treat her to a series of romantic interludes - most of which misfire,until he finally proposes and she accepts.
Learning that Laura put Charlie up to the proposal Caroline feels under pressure and withdraws her acceptance. Charlie tries to make a grand romantic gesture by taking her to a football match and arranging for Marry Me,Caroline to be shown on the scoreboard but she sees this as a stunt and does not change her mind. A heart-broken Charlie becomes zombic and neglects himself. Finally,after Laura has asked her to take stock of how she genuinely feels Caroline makes her decision and ends up proposing to Charlie on one knee.
When he cannot pay a restaurant bill and needs Caroline to help out Charlie feels he is a kept man in the eyes of her friends so,to impress,he buys her a painting at a charity auction even though he cannot afford it. To make up the money he takes work as a topless waiter but his initial embarrassment at being groped by women gets worse when Jo is one of his customers. Ultimately he has to swallow his pride and agree to Caroline lending him the money for her painting.
When Charlie sees his smug,competitive tennis partner Fred make a pass at Caroline he is angry and plays him hard on the court. Fred drops down dead and Charlie feels guilty so that when Fred's identical twin,the seemingly nice Ted,arrives but starts to take advantage of Charlie's guilt,the resentment starts over again. A trip to see the Catholic priest puts things in perspective - though not until after Charlie has also thrashed Ted on the tennis court
Caroline's grandmother comes to visit. An old-fashioned snob,she makes it clear that she feels Caroline is marrying beneath her but then appears to have a change of heart. But this a ruse as she persuades the couple to sign a pre-nuptial agreement which she knows will have them at each others' throats and cancelling the wedding. Fortunately Laura,long cowed by her formidable mother,knows what is happening and speaks out to save the situation.
When Laura causes another fire in her flat and has to move in with the rest of the family her demands soon alienate everybody - particularly Caroline. Then Laura complains of pains and is rushed to hospital for a gall bladder operation. The night before the op she imagines her late husband has come to see her and their resultant conversation puts everything right between her and Laura
Charlie is pleased to meet Jo's boyfriend Dan when he learns that the boy is a medical student but hearing that Dan wants to pack in his studies to be a puppeteer and to marry Jo cause a change of attitude. Dan's parents arrive giving their blessing to the union until they too disapprove of their son's career decision. This causes an argument with Caroline and Charlie,during which Dan and Jo slip away to get married in secret
Working out that Jo and Dan have driven to Gretna Green Charlie and Caroline set off after them with Dan's parents,Peggy and Jim,both of whom are very bad passengers,and to cap it all the car runs out of petrol. Fortunately Laura is following behind with Tom and Auntie Pat and everybody arrives at the church just as the wedding is about to take place. One by one all the older parties agree the wedding should take place except Charlie - until Jo persuades him that really all he wants is to see her happy. Charlie thus becomes the father of the bride.
Jo and Dan return from their honeymoon homeless as there is no provision for married couples at their college hall of residence. Caroline lets them stay and,whilst Charlie is initially unhappy with the arrangement,he starts to bond with Dan after finding Dan has made a puppet version of him,Little Charlie. This leads to friction between Dan and Jo and Charlie and Caroline until Caroline provides a solution - the young couple can have Laura's flat whilst she moves into Jo's old room for the time being
Wealthy club owner Nigel Samworth turns up,saying that he grew up in the house and is prepared to pay a huge sum to buy it. Charlie and Caroline go house-hunting and come up with their dream home,beating a very competitive family to gain the owner's approval as prospective buyers. However when they hear what Nigel plans to do when he buys their house they soon change their minds
Caroline's agency is going through a lean time and she borrows money from the house-keeping,which leads Charlie to start an austerity drive, rationing electricity and buying in bulk from the Cash & Carry. He also confiscates Caroline's credit cards when she buys clothes on the sly. A hoped-for deal with top customer Hamilton falls through but Charlie tells Caroline that things will improve and they still have each other.
Tom has a crush on Patricia, an older girl whom the family think is weird,and when Charlie and Caroline are at a funeral he takes Patricia out in Charlie's jeep,hitting a gate-post and denting the vehicle. When the police arrive Laura, Jo and Dan all take it in turns to take the blame before Tom owns up. Caroline is angry with Tom but Charlie admires the team loyalty shown by the others
When rain water,leaking in from a hole in Caroline's bedroom window, starts dripping downstairs, Charlie suggests that Caroline's entire bedroom be renovated and Dan's father,professional builder Jim, takes on the job. However Charlie interferes so much that it leads to a row and Charlie sacking Jim. He then takes on the work himself, helped by the boys,but the results are a disaster and Caroline reinstates Jim,the proviso being that Charlie keeps out of his way.
After knocking himself out with cleaning ammonia fumes Charlie wakes up to find he is still a successful and injury-free footballer,enjoying the high life and with a sycophantic staff - to say nothing of the shade of his dead manager whom only Charlie can see. Caroline does come into his life but only on a business basis to discuss an advertising deal and is shocked by his familiarity with her. Fortunately it is only a dream.
Charlie is preparing for the wedding and sending out invitations but his lips keep swelling up and a visit to the doctor shows that it is not due to any allergic reaction. Finally he works out that it happens every time he talks about the up-coming wedding ceremony and is concerned that it is a sub-conscious sign that he does not want to go through with it. Fortunately he is reassured after a heart-to-heart with Caroline
Caroline and Charlie decide to bring the wedding forward to tie in with her being at her most fertile as they aim to try for a family of their own. Everybody else,however,assumes that it is because she is already pregnant. Caroline's ex-husband Michael turns up,anxious to get her back and trying to poison her against Charlie but Laura soon sees him off. With Nick released from prison for the day everybody gathers at the church for the happy event but unfortunately it has just caught fire and so the ceremony is conducted out of doors - and then a storm breaks. True ...
After two months of marriage Caroline learns that she is not pregnant as expected but whilst she is on a business trip to Brussels Charlie,unaware of the fact,turns the spare bedroom into a nursery. Laura acts as an adviser to both parties telling them not to be disappointed and to relish their time as a couple before a child comes along but both of them are determined to have another try at parenthood
With Laura and the kids out for the evening Charlie and Caroline relax with the photograph album of their honeymoon on a romantic island in the Indian Ocean. However the smiling snaps do not reveal the fact that they argued over having a Fax machine in the bedroom and over which side of the bed to take,which led to Charlie storming out and getting into a brawl with a rude Australian. One thing that they are glad to recall is Charlie soothing Caroline's mosquito bites,which they are happy to replicate at home,to Laura's bemusement
Seeing an elderly couple argue in a supermarket Caroline and Charlie vow they will never end up like that. However when Caroline's forward friend Emma makes a blatant play for Charlie and the handsome Martin,who was at college with Caroline,seems very attentive to her,they risk being jealous of each other - until Caroline points out that this is an obstacle in the marriage to be overcome. Laura suggests Caroline look at her most seductive to stop Charlie being tempted by Emma but there is no need as she overhears Charlie telling Emma that he is not interested
Dan has the chance to perform at the Folies Bergeres in Paris but Jo is annoyed he did not consult her and he leaves on his own. Charlie decides to go after him to change his mind and on the train confides in the sympathetic Mrs Pickering his fears and doubts about his own marriage - unaware that Caroline has followed him and has overheard. Charlie seems unable to convince Dan and,returning home,appreciates he should not have interfered in a matter that was just between Jo and Dan. However Dan returns and suggests a workable compromise
Dolly Hamp,a famous singer with whom Laura was once in a double act,comes to visit and asks Laura to be her assistant on her world tour. Laura is not keen to leave but Caroline and Charlie,unaware of this,encourage her to go and she believes that they want to be rid of her. Things do not work out with Dolly,who leaves a message on the Answer-Phone,sacking Laura,but Charlie and Caroline,anxious not to hurt her feelings,keep it from her. This causes another row before Charlie convinces Laura that they wanted her to stay with them all along.
Charlie takes Caroline to one of his old London haunts where they meet Tina,an ex-girlfriend,now married to Charlie Bennet,who owns three bedroom furniture shops. Caroline invites the couple to stay but Bennett is thoroughly obnoxious and alienates everybody by bragging about his success,belittling Charlie for being a housekeeper. Learning that he is basically insecure because he has always been envious of her husband Caroline organizes a pool contest in which Charlie Burroughs will sportingly lose
After advice from a doctor Caroline and Charlie have regular sex at unlikely times but she seems unable to get pregnant. Jo,however,who has just split with Dan over his desire to stay in Paris,announces that she is going to have a baby. Then a certain amount of confusion arises after Laura confesses she may have accidentally switched the pregnancy testing kits. A dash to a late night store follows with both women taking the test in the shop toilet,Dan returning from Paris and happy endings all round