Drama exploring the battles and barriers that we often try to fight alone.

Starring Sir David Jason and Natalie Davies. Directed by Johnny Vegas.

Layla’s night terrors are the first indication that Bernard’s granddaughter needs more help than the advice his own father used to give him, “Chin up, lad, and crack on.”

Layla came back to the UK three months ago, missing a leg, her army career seemingly over, and her young life in tatters. Layla still needs physiotherapy and support, so she can’t travel to India to be with her parents.

Instead, Layla’s come to stay with Bernard, behind his bookshop. Bernard didn’t raise his three kids, Elsie did. He was an inspector on the buses, working long shifts. By the time Bernard had the space to parent, they’d all left home. He enjoyed having the grandkids from time to time, but equally he was more than happy to give them back at the end of an exhausting day or overnight.

The last time he saw Layla was at Elsie’s funeral, four years ago. She was 15 and he barely knew her. Now, Layla is sharing Bernard’s bathroom, sleeping in the spare bed until way past midday, missing physio appointments. He’s out of his depth.

Cast: (In order of appearance)

Ziggy – Joe Gaffney

Layla – Natalie Davies*

Bernard – Sir David Jason

Natalie – Sian Gibson

Gruff – Johnny Vegas

Tommo and Barry – Joe Ransom

District Nurse & Cally – Jennifer Saayeng

Ida – Eileen O’Brien

Additional voices – Andrew Lynch, Paul Coates, Gerry O’Riorden, Beverley Dixon

Written by Paul Coates

Produced by Sally Harrison

Sound Engineer: Gerry O’Riorden

Sound Design: Alisdair McGregor

Directed by Johnny Vegas A Woolyback production for BBC Radio 4

*Natalie Davies was nominated for Best Debut Performance at the BBC Audio Awards 2023.

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