Sisters Tracey Stubbs (Linda Robson) and Sharon Theodopolopoudos (Pauline Quirke) have grown apart and live completely different lives.Tracey is happily married to Darryl (Alun Lewis) and lives the good life in a luxury home in Chigwell,Essex,while Sharon is unhappily married to Chris (David Cardy),living a miserable life in a council flat in Edmonton. Their lives change drastically when Darryl and Chris are arrested for armed robbery and sentenced to serve 12 years each.Having always been a kept woman,Tracey feels depressed and helpless and Sharon offers to move in with her. Tracey tries to cope with the prospect of been without her man for years,while Sharon more than welcomes it.Things are never easy for the two.With the trials and tribulations of everyday life and the annoyance of Tracey's next door neighbour,middle-aged man eating housewife Dorian Green (Lesley Joseph).
Sharon Theodopolopolous and Tracey Stubbs are sisters. Tracey lives with her husband Daryl at Dal'n'Trace, a des res in leafy Chigwell, whilst Sharon survives in a council flat. One day their husbands go out to work and fail to return. This is because they have been arrested and subsequently sentenced to twelve years for armed robbery. Tracey invites Sharon to move in with her, and introduces her to the next door Dorien, who has a husband and a penchant for younger men.
Whilst Sharon is over-joyed to be rid of Chris, a 'toe-rag' who cheats on her with other women, Tracey is devastated to be without her beloved Daryl and the sisters' visit to Maidstone prison yields different reactions. Then Tracey must break the news to her son Garth at his boarding school.
Whilst Sharon revels in the joys of moving up in the world and joining Dorien to sell clothes, a depressed Tracey finds that her credit card is being refused and goes back to her old job as a supermarket check-out girl, though she feels unwelcome and is not keen to persevere.
Whilst Sharon has sex in daring places with new lover Dave, Tracey believes she is pregnant though when Dorien takes her to see a doctor and the results of the pregnancy testing kit come through it turns out to be Sharon who is expecting and who later has an abortion, to her boyfriend's dismay.
Tracey is depressed and her doctor tells her to get out more so she accompanies Dorien to a dinner-dance where Dorien cops off with the man she lined up for Tracey and Tracey gets hit on by Dorien's husband Marcus. Sharon agrees to sell pirate Rolling Stones tour T-shirts for her lodger Stan and is almost done for fraud.
Sharon gets into philosophy whilst Tracey gets mad when she opens a letter from Daryl addressed to 'Darling Juliet' and considers sleeping with Dorien's lodger, a handsome Irish footballer, in revenge. However he will not be party to a rebound relationship and Tracey is relieved when she learns the truth from Daryl.
Tracey finds out that, before he was sent down, Darryl bought two tickets for them to go on a Christmas cruise. To the annoyance of Sharon, she decides to take Garth but when she learns that Garth is going to Germany with his school choir for the holiday she refuses to go at all. Fortunately Dorien proves to be a good neighbour by purporting to buy the tickets for herself and Marcus and inviting the sisters to come on board to wave her off.. .which turns out to be a ruse to trick Tracey into taking the cruise.
1Getting a Grip
When Tracey's central heating system breaks down, she gets in touch with a few male plumbers who don't fit the bill so, on Dorien's recommendation, she hires a female duo. Unfortunately, after they have completed the work and left, the tank starts to leak and, to add to Tracey's woes, Gareth has had a fight at school and she has to pay for half the damage.
2Sweet Smell of Success
Tracey decides to raise cash by selling Darryl's Jaguar but, after a buyer has taken it, she learns from Darryl not only that it was due for repossession as he had failed to keep up the payments but that £25,000 was hidden in the spare wheel. To save Tracey embarrassment, Dorien buys it back for her.
Garth brings home a handsome friend, Richard, to stay. They seem very keen to do things together and Tracey gets it into her head that they are a gay couple. Darryl is annoyed with her for jumping to conclusions and ultimately she is proved to be mistaken. Garth is not gay and Richard certainly is not as Dorien knows first hand.
In order to understand what it must be like for Darryl to live in a prison cell, Tracey simulates conditions by living in the spare room for the weekend and Sharon joins her. Dorien, locked out of her house, acts as a warder, locking and unlocking them but when her house is burgled she has to leave in a hurry, with the sisters still locked in the bedroom. They climb through the window and throw tiles to attract her attention but one hits the police car attending her burglary and the sisters end up in a real cell.
5Keep Off the Grass
Sharon, Tracey and Dorien witness Vinny Hutchins, a petty crook known to Darryl, as he robs a building society. The sisters argue about the morality of grassing him up for the reward but, after speaking to Darryl, Tracey is about to, only to find Dorien got in first to buy a new kitchen from her young lover, Luke, a kitchen fitter who needs the business to stop him being transferred.
Tracey has an infestation of mice and blames Sharon for being sloppy and dropping crumbs to attract them. They get a cat but it's useless and wees on the carpet when Tracey is attempting to have a perfume-selling party. Eventually they find out that it's all Dorien's fault, the mice have come in from her house.
Sharon goes to the aid of a middle-aged man, Don, after he is mugged and robbed of his wallet and they go on a few dates and sleep together, even though she is aware that he is married. He tells her he is a financial advisor, who has come to Chigwell to help Marcus out of a jam. They decide to re-live the sixties and take drugs together but when the police come to return the wallet he flushes them down the toilet.
8You Pays Yer Money
In the run-up to the local by-election Sharon discovers that she is not eligible to vote in Chigwell so she buys Darryl's vote off him. Tracey is not certain who to vote for so she gets all the candidates to visit her. Dorien is backing the Green Party because she fancies the - female - candidate's male agent but when she finds out that the couple are having an affair she votes Labour with Sharon and Tracey.
Tracey is having psycho-therapy for her depression and falls for Gerald, the smooth therapist. Forbidden by Darryl to carry on the sessions she meets Gerald in a bar where she declares her feelings for him but he believes that she is becoming too dependent on him and suggests they end the treatment. Sharon and Dorien agree to keep this from Darryl.
As she approaches thirty Sharon feels she has wasted her life and wants to do something positive. She considers buying her old council flat, inspired by the fact that the boyfriend of neighbor Lisa is in the property business. Tracey is against the idea, which is as well because Lisa's boyfriend gets sent down for dodgy dealings and Sharon takes his place with Lisa on a Club 18 - 30 holiday in Spain.
11Love on the Run
Darryl is in hospital and, helped by a sympathetic nurse, drugs the guard and escapes for a night of passion with Tracey in a hotel. All goes according to plan until next day when the taxi-driver returning Darryl to hospital is stopped for drink driving. This requires a call to Sharon - who has just exhausted a young artist who came to sell her a painting - and a mercy dash with Dorien to collect Darryl and get him back before the guard comes round.
Tracey meets up with Trish, her old bridesmaid, who has just left her husband. Tracey invites her to stay, which annoys Sharon, making her wonder how secure she will be when Daryl comes home. Dorien encourages her to befriend Trish and in fact the two women get on very well. Now it is Tracey's turn to be annoyed as Trish never stops banging on about the past and she is relieved when Trish goes back to her husband.
Sharon decides that it is time to move on. She doesn't love Chris and he doesn't love her so it's time for the parting of the ways. Unfortunately her plan to tell him it's over coincides with his needing an operation to remove a malignant tumour from one of his testicles and he says he needs her support. Despite opposition from Tracey, Sharon goes through with her plan though she agrees she will still visit from time to time.
14Jobs for the Girls
With Christmas looming the sisters decide to get jobs to make money - Sharon advertises her services as a dog-walker, only to find that she has competition in the form of the 13-year-old son of one of Dorien's friends. Tracey agrees to type up a novel Dorien has written, which turns out to be a rip-off of 'The French Lieutenant's Woman'.
15Someone Else's Baby
With 'The Antiques Road Show' coming to town Tracey looks in her attic for heirlooms but finds a series of letters from her mother suggesting that either she or Sharon was adopted and asks Auntie Sylvie round to clear up the matter - which she does to the sisters' surprise. Dorien, meanwhile, is in for a similarly rude awakening when she takes her nineteenth century Russian silver samovar to the Roadshow.
16Falling in Love Again
Chris owes money to fellow cons the McCarthys and risks a beating unless he can raise the cash. If Sharon can get to Germany and ship over a collectible car he once owned there the problem is solved. Miraculously Sharon wins a German trip on a game show and, along with fellow winner Barry - whom she can't stand - and Tracey, goes to Germany where they locate the car and bring it home, Tracey falling for a sweet mechanic, Manfred, in the process. Dorien discovers that, when it comes to having affairs, Marcus can play her at her own game.
1Keeping Up Appearances
The sisters cannot see eye to eye. Tracey disapproves of Sharon's forging Chris's signature on his premium bond win claim and Sharon disapproves of the way Darryl's appearance has gone to seed, prompting her to get Chris to have a man-to-man with him. Tracey gets a letter from him, asking her to dress in a sexy fashion on her next visit and Dorien offers to lend her her most revealing little numbers but will she go through with it?
Charles Fitzroy, who claims to be a motorist needing water for his car, knocks at the door and gets Sharon talking about herself, Tracey and Dorien. Then she wonders if he is a police spy getting information on Chris and Darryl and regrets talking too much. In the event he is a tabloid journalist onto a story about Marcus's work for a fraudster and when Marcus and Dorien return from a holiday in Zurich, Dorien's racy love life is all over the front page.
3Baby Come Back
Whilst selling double-glazing in a shopping mall Sharon runs into her old flame Dave. He is now married and his wife is heavily pregnant, which is what he wanted for himself and Sharon and she broods on what might have been. Tracey is slaving over a hot stove now Garth is home from school and Dorien is out to look at her most glamorous when she attends her nephew's circumcision.
After years of silence Darryl's parents, Les and Olive, who don't get on with Tracey, write to him and Tracey agrees to ask them round for dinner. Dorien comes in to cook it, largely because she has given Tracey's number to her latest bit on the side, and, when he rings, Les and Olive are appalled, writing to Darryl accusing Tracey of running a sex chat line. They suggest that they should move in to become her moral guardians, but when Tracey and Darryl confront them on a prison visit it becomes obvious they are only out for themselves and Darryl tells them to get lost.
Tracey feels that she should get a job but, because Darryl has always insisted she should not go out to work, she lacks self-confidence - so Sharon starts her off helping Siobhan, who runs the newsletter for prisoners' wives. Sharon then goes with her to apply for a receptionist job but Tracey is over-awed by the notion of having to fill in the application form so Sharon fills it in and gets the job.
6The Lost Weekend
When Tracey's video breaks down and her toy boy stands her up, Dorien suggests a hang-gliding weekend for three but falls over and ends up in a private clinic, where her snobbery comes to the fore. The sisters decide to shame her by posing as her cleaners and sending a bag-lady in to visit her.
Sharon and Dorien are going to a car boot sale and, whilst clearing the garage for sale items, Tracey finds an album with a photo of a drunken Darryl snogging a mystery woman at a party. After a row Sharon moves in with Dorien and confides in her that she thinks she was the woman in question. The boot sale goes down a storm with Dorien copping off with a professional buyer and, after Sharon has moved back in with her sister, the true identity of the girl in the photo is revealed.
The sisters and Dorien are on a trip to the Isle of Wight where Chris and Darryl have been transferred to Albany prison. When Tracey gets food poisoning and Sharon takes her back to their hotel, Dorien uses Sharon's visiting order to interview Chris for a book she is writing on prisons. She is taken in by his criticisms of Sharon as a bad wife but Sharon gets her own back when a poem, supposedly by Darryl, is read out.
9Favour of the Month
Desmond Gibbs, who claims he took Darryl under his wing when he was first sent down, turns up at Tracey's house. He is a loser who breaks everything he touches but she feels sorry for him and, to Sharon's annoyance, lets him stay. They get him a job as chauffeur to the injured Marcus but he manages to wreck not only Marcus's car but Dorien's plans for afternoon delight.
Sharon faces prosecution by the Social Security since they pay rent for her old flat when she no longer lives there and her lodger is in prison. When she and Tracey visit the flat they find squatters have moved in and the lady next door uses the address to order from a record club without paying. They manage to change the locks whilst the squatters are out but find that Dorien has been using Sharon's experiences as a model for the heroine of her saucy novel.
Sharon accuses Tracey of inverted snobbery when she is annoyed with Garth for spending his school holidays with hunting and shooting types and feels she cannot bring herself to tell her sister that her new boyfriend, Mark, is upper-class. However, when Dorien takes Sharon for a riding lesson and they meet Mark and his controlling mother, Sharon realizes that he is not the man for her.
Chris inherits a café and Sharon is so pleased to be running it she celebrates by drinking Greek brandy, which, mixed with the medication she's on, causes her to throw up in a policeman's helmet. Business starts to boom but Dorien gets side-tracked whilst on the sandwich run and Tracey walks out when she feels Sharon is exploiting her. When the police get called for a second time Sharon's business seems doomed but Dorien knows someone who needs a cleaner.
Despite its shaky start, Sharon's café is now thriving and she can even afford to take on an assistant, the super-efficient Gloria. By contrast Tracey feels inferior as she can only get menial jobs, so Sharon, knowing she is good at figures, asks her to become her book-keeper. Tracey initially feels patronised but comes up trumps by exposing Gloria as cheating Sharon. Dorien becomes reflective and feels she should stop her cycle of one-night stands, beginning by giving hunky Wayne the push. She starts to waver but Sharon is there for her...
2Food for Thought
Garth comes home for the holidays and incurs Tracey's displeasure by announcing that he wants to study at a catering college in Nottingham, which she feels is a waste of an expensive education. Dorien also goes to college, to pursue a psychology course - and its handsome tutor Philip, whose sympathy she seeks by pretending that she is a penniless widow.
Sharon is appalled when Chris informs her that he is dumping her for a woman named Tina. Chris she can do without but Tina has been promised the café, which is what really hurts. Fortunately when Tina sees that the café is not what Chris had cracked it up to be she departs from his life and Sharon is back in business. Dorien considers living in sin, or rather Walthamstow, with her young lover Luke, but she misses her creature comforts and returns to Chigwell.
4Wipe That Smile Off Your Tape
Sharon wants a man and submits a video tape of herself to a video dating agency. She meets laddish Mike, who takes her to a Rolling Stones concert and claims to know all the big names in rock but is exposed by Garth. Tracey thinks Sharon would be better off with shy, stammering Jimmy and organizes a meeting but she had forgotten that Dorien had also submitted a tape.
Auntie Sylvie, just out of hospital, comes to convalesce with Tracey and Sharon and proves to be very demanding, as well as encouraging Garth to buy a motor-bike against his mother's wishes. They consider putting her in a home but feel unable to go through with it, though fortunately she has a mind of her own.
6Nine and a Half Days
Sharon has a new man in her life, Gil, and this time it could be the real thing as far as she's concerned. The only trouble is that he wants her to move to Norfolk with him and Tracey is not happy. Oddly enough though it's Chris,who is having problems in prison, who persuades her to stay.
Fed up with her slobbish Greek customers, Sharon decides to make her cafe more upmarket and orders from a Jewish caterer suggested by Dorien. She is ostracized by the entire Greek community and the cafe looks like closing until she visits a Greek Orthodox priest who saves the day for her.
8Hungry for Love
After Darryl comments that she has put on weight, Tracey goes on a diet, suffering but losing ten pounds in the process, but when she goes back to see Darryl he is now worried she looks too alluring and needs her reassurance. Dorien cannot fathom why Brett, her hunky young builder, does not want sex with her and assumes he is gay but Sharon gets to find out otherwise.
9Time and Tides
Dorien is depressed because she has reached the menopause but hormone replacement treatment soon puts the smile back on her face. Tracey is annoyed because she feels Darryl fails to give Garth sufficient praise but all is sorted out on a visit. But can Sharon and Chris's little problem, his infertility, be solved by adopting a Bulgarian orphan?
10Sisters Are Doing It...
Tracey gets a boost when she lands a temporary job as secretary to Bill, managing director of a printing company, but his smarmy ways and efforts to hit on her get her down and finally she organizes the other secretaries to get their own back on him. Sharon and Dorien, inspired by watching 'Thelma and Louise', also try to teach him a lesson but it all goes rather wrong.
Dorien has completed her bonkbuster novel and its publication is forthcoming but, concerned that Marcus doesn't identify her with some of the heroine's racy escapades, she gives Sharon's name as the authoress. Sharon puts up a convincing charade when he publisher calls but when a re-write is called for and Dorien is away on holiday, five people have to collaborate on the chapter.
Sharon and Tracey are desperate for a holiday and the answer seems to lie in the first prize at the local karaoke contest. Unfortunately, they never get to perform 'I Will Survive' because Sharon gets stage fright and, whilst Tracey is comforting her, Dorien takes the microphone to perform an abandoned version of 'Like a Virgin'. She wins the prize which she donates to the sisters. After all, she wouldn't be seen dead on a charter flight.
Sharon needs eight grand up front when the landlords of her café want to increase the rent in line with her new lease. Tracey refuses to put her house up as collateral and Dorien, who has a few grand to dispose of for tax purposes, gives it to charity after Sharon insults her. Fortunately Sharon has confidence in herself as a business woman to meet the problem head on.
Sharon falls for carpet-fitter Mark but he can't read or write so match-making Tracey invites him to the house for literacy lessons. Unfortunately he is attracted to the wrong sister and Tracey is tempted - but only briefly. Dorien's latest young hunk involves in an anti-fur protest which hits the headlines.
Thanks to Sharon leaving the gas on, Tracey's kitchen goes up in smoke so Dorien, looking for an escape from visiting her mother-in-law, lets the sisters spend the weekend with her whilst the new kitchen is installed. There is the inevitable culture clash but the girls reward her with a shopping trip where Tracey's delayed shock spells trouble for Dorien and the brand new kitchen brings a shock of its own.
Whilst Dorien finds a new line selling furniture, Sharon badgers Tracey into teaching her how to drive. She is anything but an apt pupil and ends up crashing into a prison van transferring Chris and Darryl, which leads to the sisters being accused of attempting to organize a jail break.
Chigwell is in the grip of a burglar, and anonymous calls and letters are aimed at Tracey as an accomplice, since hers is one of the only houses not targeted. To square things up Chris, who knows the burglar and has warned him off Dal'n'Trace and Dorien's, gets him to stage a break-in at Tracey's house. Dorien, meanwhile, has her own security advisor.
After a row with Dorien at their barbecue, Marcus suddenly disappears. Dorien gives away some of his clothes for Chris and, when the sisters see her digging in her garden in the night, they suspect that she has done away with him and decide to investigate. Fortunately the 'corpse' reappears and Dorien explains the situation, but the cheap food Sharon bought for the café from Chris's dodgy friend Barry has long since expired.
Chris gets compassionate leave after his mother dies but, after the funeral, he goes on a drunken bender, ending up at the café, where Sharon and Tony track him down. He is adamant that he is not going back to jail and needs a knuckle sandwich to persuade him. On return he can remember nothing.
7A Brush with the Law
Tracey does some decorating for Dorien's enemy Melanie Fishman, who tells her the source of their feud. Sharon meets the attractive Colin in a cinema queue and they click but he has failed to tell her that he is a policeman, a fact which comes to light when Dorien gets accused of buying stolen antiques. Sharon feels that their future is doomed though he would still like them to be friends.
8Mind Over Matter
Sharon has toothache and badly needs to visit the dentist but she's terrified. Fortunately Dorien comes to the rescue by hypnotising her so that she feels no pain. Unfortunately Dorien does not seem to be able to get her out of her hypnotised state and back to normal.
9East Side Story
Dorien's visiting niece, Rosa, seems the shy, retiring type so Dorien and Tracey are amazed to find her in the Jacuzzi with Garth and none too happy when the youngsters start dating. It causes a neighbourhood split but Dorien and Tracey make up after Dorien learns Rosa is using Garth to get her father to buy her a new car and Garth discovers that Rosa is not his type.
10Find the Lady
Tracey is pleased to find that Darryl started a pension fund with the money from a cash in hand job which he was advised to declare as an inheritance. Chris did the same cash in hand job but when Sharon eventually tracks down the broker she realises that he has not let her down - he's still a loser and she ends up owing brokerage charges!
11An Inspector Stays
Confusion reigns when Colin's superior, Inspector Dunsford and a female colleague stake out Emil, the possibly drug-dealing Frenchman across the road from Tracey's front bedroom. Dorien sees two people kissing silhouetted on the bedroom blind and Sharon tells her Tracey has a love slave whilst Tracey is disgusted that Garth has been paid fifty pounds by Emil. Eventually it turns out that Emil is a chef, paying Garth to help him and the married Dunsford is using the room to have sex with his bit on the side.
12All Gone Pear-Shaped
Tracey is spending a lot of time helping Hayley, a first time prisoner's wife, and feels stronger as a result. Sharon tells Chris she is seeing Colin but ultimately breaks off with the policeman as she sees they live in different worlds and assumes Chris will think she did it for him. Dorien, stood up by her latest conquest, feels the sisters are neglecting her and is lonely but all three unite for a slap-up meal at the new restaurant where the waiters 'undress you with their eyes'.
13The Beautiful Game
Sharon and Tracey go to watch Chris's nephew's junior football team, which Tracey takes over after a row with its manager, and she shocks everyone with her ruthlessly competitive attitude. Dorien visits a clairvoyant, who tells her she will be swept off her feet by a man in black but, after this comes true and Tracey gets the sack from the team, Sharon and Dorien show her what competitive really means during a bitterly-fought game of Monopoly.
1Not in My Backyard
Affluent newcomers are moving into the house that backs onto the Stubbs' and Greens' back gardens. The sisters and Dorien follow their minders to a wine bar, where they overhear that their new neighbours are called Charles and Di and when they see Di at a theme park she looks just like the Princess of Wales - so how come Darryl is able to give Tracey her phone number to ask her round to tea? Probably because she's a lookalike for the real princess.
Tracey is shocked when Garth, feeling that girls his own age are immature, starts dating the considerably older Linda Robinson. However Dorien advises her that if she puts her foot down it will drive Garth closer to Linda so the two women become friends - so much so that Garth feels awkward and ends the relationship. Meanwhile Chris's efforts, encouraged by Dorien, to become an author, land him in trouble.
With Sharon and Dorien doing something for the community - though Dorien's reasons for becoming a first-aider are questionable - Tracey feels left out and rings a local radio phone-in to talk about absent husbands. She becomes known as the Wise Woman of Chigwell but unfortunately fails to realise that the programme is about coping with widowhood and has to admit that Darryl is alive and well just as his probation officer comes to assess his home circumstances.
Tracey invests in a knitting machine and, whilst initially she has a problem getting the hang of it, she makes Chris a unique birthday present. Dorien becomes a shopaholic - buying things she doesn't want and giving them to Sharon. This turns out to be a reaction against her mother re-marrying a much younger man, so Sharon and Tracey help reunite mother and daughter.
5All Day and All of the Night
Chris's cousin Georgiou is supposedly re-wiring the café but is actually using it as a night club and splitting the profits with Chris. When Dorien's latest toy boy takes her there she recognizes the place, spills the beans to the sisters and helps them to get their revenge.
When Sharon tells Tracey she has it easy staying at home all day this leads to a challenge whereby the sisters swap roles. Tracey is exhausted but Sharon manages to flood the kitchen so they call it quits. Dorien, standing for the chair of the local tennis club, is receiving blackmail notes in an effort to get her to stand down - but then so is her rival, Melanie Fishman. Could the vicar's wife be to blame?
Sharon lets the flat over the café to Garth and his girl-friend Kate, which annoys Dorien, who wanted it as a love nest. However, when Darryl shows an interest in selling his house Sharon has to evict them and move in herself. Fortunately for Sharon, Tracey's prospective buyer is one of Dorien's many conquests and his wife does not find the house suitable, so Tracey takes it off the market and welcomes Sharon back.
Chris gets home leave whilst Darryl, caught fighting, does not. Sharon is pleasantly surprised that Chris seems to have changed for the better but, to test him, asks Dorien to try and seduce him. He resists her advances but unfortunately throws himself at Judith, his probation officer, instead.
9In at the Deep End
When Tracey finds a letter from a man requesting Darryl to build him a swimming pool, her first response is to refuse but, thanks to Sharon and the workmen from the café, she finds herself in the money and starting a new career. Dorien sponsors a child in Africa as well as encouraging Garth to talk to his dad more.
10Business Is Business
With the swimming pool business beginning to take off, Sharon decides to sell the café to consolidate her interests. Marcus is offering thirty grand but cousin Tony wants to keep the sale within the Greek community. And before she can entertain either of them Sharon has to get Chris to agree to sign over his half of the business.
Following a girls' night in, discussing their first boy-friends, Sharon, Tracey and Dorien decide to track them down. Tracey meets up with Robert Radford, whose name might sound romantic but who is short and prematurely bald. Dorien's first love, Derek Henty, is now a Tory cabinet minister who is afraid she wants to blackmail him. Sharon's squeeze, Warren, once the spottiest boy in the class, has filled out into a regular hunk and Sharon announces their engagement. In fact he is in a relationship with another man and went along with the story so that Sharon could make Dorien feel jealous.
12Still Waters Run Deep
Sharon and Tracey wonder if they have got in too deep when they agree to build a pool for Monty Kray, the Godfather of Chigwell, for his trophy wife Chanel, with a tight deadline and a geriatric work-force. Dorien is consumed with guilt when she learns that Marcus had a heart attack when she was out with another man. However, when she gets to the hospital and gets chatting to another waiting woman, it provides the answer to all of the sisters' problems.
13On the Glass
With Sharon ignoring Tracey's advice to curb her spending and ending up skint, Marcus stopping Dorien's allowance and the swimming pool business being less than brisk in winter, the girls turn to selling double-glazing. Dorien reels in Concorde pilot Duncan as their first customer but when he and his sister appear to be fraudsters she takes drastic action to get the money.
1Stand by Your Man
Sharon is not happy. Not only is dippy swimming pool customer Beverley getting to her but the news that Darryl will be home in a fortnight leaves her facing eviction - and worse, the return of Chris. When Darryl's leave is postponed following a fight with a Greek inmate Tracey assumes it's Chris but on discovery that it was another prisoner she tells Sharon she can stay.
2Nearest and Dearest
Whilst Tracey worries that Garth might be developing criminal tendencies, Sharon, aware that Darryl will be home soon, worries about her future. Dorien, feeling bad for teasing her in the past, invites her out for a day of pampering but it's not the sort of pampering Sharon is into so she tells Dorien she is going to a funeral instead. Trying to be sympathetic, Dorien offers to come with her and eventually they do end up at one.
Darryl and Chris are free at last but Chris gets hit by a car and has to go to hospital, leaving Sharon free to invite 'Snotty' Scotty to Darryl's welcome home party. Things are less rosy for Tracey, who discovers that Darryl is impotent and for Dorien when Marcus finally catches her in the act with a business associate.
Tracey and Darryl resume their noisy love-life, annoying Sharon - who's starting to feel left out - as well as Garth. When Sharon and Darryl argue over the Highgate swimming pool job Tracey sides with Darryl and lets him throw her sister out. She joins Chris in his grubby bed-sit. Dorien is also thrown out by Marcus, and when she goes to retrieve some incriminating photos of herself, finds that he seems to have a love child with another woman.
Waking up in Chris's grotty room, Sharon does not share his view that the marriage can be saved - or Tracey's view that Darryl should be allowed to run the pool business. When Darryl and Chris are caught with Doddsy, an ex-con for whom they are hoping to build a pool, along with a case of counterfeit money, Sharon is proved right as both men are sent back to prison. Dorien tracks down Marcus's mistress and, posing as Sharon the barmaid, learns some home truths.
With the husbands back inside, the roles are oddly reversed. Tracey feels Darryl has let her down and goes to the rugby club dance where she meets and sleeps with Joe, whilst it's Sharon who feels Chris has been wronged. She even appears on a live chat show on his behalf but ends up assaulting Headline Hound, its annoying mascot. Dorien confronts Marcus at his mistress, Geraldine's house, and is reinstated next door to Tracey and Sharon again.
7Three Up, Two Down
To her horror Tracey learns that all the money from the business is lost and her only collateral is the house, which she eventually sells, down-sizing with Sharon to the less fashionable Ongar. It's time for Garth to leave the nest too as he gets serious with his girl-friend Kimberley and moves into a flat with her. Dorien, however, is enjoying the fruits of her new-found freedom.
8Are You Being Served?
Sharon and Tracey get a visit in Ongar from Dorien, who has come back from Monte Carlo. She has been hanging out with Ralph Gardener, head of a water company, and frequently in the news and she plans to make it onto the front pages of the tabloids via her affair with him. Tracey does not approve, and is no more in favour of Sharon's desire to get pregnant.
9Never the Twain
Garth is concerned about Darryl's state of mind and Tracey is eventually persuaded to visit him in prison. Sharon goes along with her to see Chris but their train breaks down. Dorien, on the other hand, is enjoying the high life, having sold her story to the tabloid newspapers and is living it up in a hotel.
Whilst Sharon is driving her mad talking about sperm donors because she is anxious for a baby, Tracey discovers that she is pregnant but unfortunately she doesn't know who the father is. Dorien resorts to blackmail when she hears that Marcus wants to install his Geraldine into the Greens' family home - and gets her way.
1Trouble and Strife
Sharon turns into one of the lads when she gets a job as a porter in a abattoir and Tracey feels used until Sharon tells her she got sacked for stealing meat to help Tracey and her unborn baby out. Dorien prepares for her flat-warming party but unfortunately for her none of the guests bother to show up.
2The Essex Patient
The sisters start work as cleaners with a view to setting up their own cleaning company. However Sharon is not feeling well and goes to hospital. She believes that she may be suffering from an allergy but her illness is actually due to her over-eating.
3The Maids of Ongar
Sharon and Tracey want to set up their cleaning business the Maids of Ongar but the manager of the bank their husbands robbed is not keen to provide the loan. Dorien is prepared to put up the cash if she is cut in as a partner, and gives the sisters a test - which they pass with flying colours - and the business is born.
Some things never change, as the sisters discover at their school reunion where Tracey - literally - exposes Poxy Loxy as the class sleaze and erstwhile bully Margie Harris still manages to torment Sharon, even though she is now in a wheel-chair. For Dorien, however, things do change. Her handsome young Luke, whom she re-encounters, has gone off her so she treats the girls to a night out instead.
5Can't Judge a Book
When Tracey goes for her pre-natal check-up the doctor agrees with her that Sharon should go on a diet, which she does until she discovers that Chris has fallen for Josie, his amply-proportioned prison visitor. Dorien also reneges on her efforts to dress more her age when she finds that, for new beau Richard, less is more and hunky young Dominic, the new cleaner, has all the ladies crying out for more - massages.
Garth's endowment policy, started when he was a baby, has matured but Tracey spends it on herself, leaving him to use credit cards to buy into the restaurant where he is now a chef. Tracey makes it up to him after she and Sharon visit the restaurant for a meal and defend him against a loud-mouthed diner, though it is Dorien, whose efforts to bond with Richard's stroppy kids at the next table are failing, who saves the day.
When drawers mysteriously open and things go bump in the night, the sisters are convinced the video recorder is haunted. They consult Dorien, who holds a séance, conjuring up a spirit called Smym, and finally performing a successful exorcism - successful insofar as the video machine goes back to the shop.
2Mummies & Daddies
At the ante-natal class Tracey meets Garth's girl-friend Kimberley, who is also pregnant. Due to a misunderstanding she and Garth have broken up but Tracey gets them back together. Dorien has split up with Richard after falling out with his daughter who, mutually, hates her. She is therefore in a position to be understanding with Tina, one of the cleaners for Maids of Ongar, who is also having man trouble which is affecting her work.
In order to get Garth a wedding present the sisters and Dorien go to a Sunday antiques market in an old warehouse, but the market has ended and they find themselves locked in for the night. Dorien finds a means of escape and comes back to let the others out . . .eventually.
Sharon is spotted by a head-hunter for an agency specialising in modelling clothes for larger women and is offered a day's photo shoot. Dorien revels in being her manager but Tracey feels frumpy and inferior. However, when Sharon's day is over Tracey takes centre stage as she has a scan to see what sex her baby is.
Garth marries his Kimberley but the wedding day is fraught. Dorien, having split up with Richard, stays away, Kimberley's snobbish mother, Lynne, is getting up Tracey's nose and the noisy relatives on the sisters' side of the family don't help either. Sharon is best man but, as she is making her speech, Richard appears. Dorien is contemplating suicide as she feels old and lonely. Fortunately the sisters and Richard persuade her that she is loved and get back to the reception in time for Tracey to put Lynne in her place and a good old-fashioned wedding punch-up to start.
Sharon and a heavily pregnant Tracey travel to Ireland, where their previously unknown uncle Declan Nolan has died and left them land, which they use to settle a local feud. They are accompanied by Dorien, who has bought a pregnant race horse in the village. The horse is due any minute but it's Tracey who gives birth in the stable, helped by the vet. The priest rings up the Vatican to report a miracle.
Sharon and Tracey have not spoken for years, since Sharon called Tracey's new husband Ralph a bad lot - which he was, hence Tracey's divorcing hum. Now, in a meeting engineered by Tracey's schoolboy son Travis, they both turn up for a book signing by sexy authoress Foxy Cohen - who is actually Dorien. Appalled that Sharon is living in a dismal flat Tracey invites her to stay again, but then Dorien arrives. Served with a writ for plagiarism and with her assets frozen she becomes Tracey's next lodger - to Sharon's annoyance. And to add to an already full house Garth returns unannounced from Australia with his new wife Marcie and her little daughter Poppy.
Everybody is feeling the pinch and Sharon feels as if she is Dorien's slave so, to raise cash, the sisters force their house guest to sell her designer clothes at a boot fair. The sale does well but Tracey still has bills to pay so Gareth gets a job as a chef whilst Marcie starts up her business as a masseuse. Sharon takes Dorien for a job at the World of Quid discount shop but, to Sharon's annoyance, Dorien ends up as the new store manager.
When Marcie complains that she and Garth have no privacy Tracey moves Poppy into the spare room so she and Sharon end up on the sofa downstairs. Constant interruptions lead Sharon to sleep in the attic, where she finds a bag containing fifty thousand pounds. After Sharon has spent some of it, getting Dorien into trouble, Garth discovers that the money was being guarded by his father for the fearsome Coker brothers whilst they are in prison and must not be touched at any cost.
4Hearts for Sale
Garth plans to open his new restaurant but the building is in poor condition and Tracey is happy to date Robin, the plumber in charge of renovation. Dorien goes to visit the very elderly Stanley, whom she hopes to marry for his money whilst Sharon surprises a burglar who turns out to be old flame Lenny. When the restaurant's opening hits a snag Garth uses the house as temporary premises but Sharon dumps Lenny when he tries to rob the diners, Dorien's plan to propose to Stanley comes unstuck and Tracey realizes that Robin is trying to turn her into a clone of his ex-wife.
Tracey is angry when Travis gets a tattoo to impress a girl at school but when it is revealed that she spent money on Botox - hence her inability to change expression - he accuses her of hypocrisy. Sharon fears she is going deaf so Tracey gives her money for a hearing aid, which she spends on having her own tattoo removed. After all the deafness was just a pork ball stuck in her ear.
6Blinded by Love
Sharon gets a visit from estranged husband Chris, seeking a quick divorce so that he can marry his new love Angie, a blind woman. Angie and Dorien hit it off and she, along with the sisters, is invited to the engagement party. Here however Dorien learns that Chris has inherited a villa in Cyprus and it is clear that he wants the quick divorce so that Sharon has no claim to it. Sharon, Tracey and Dorien take appropriate vengeful action before they are thrown out.
7Back to Zero
An irate Dorien resigns from World of Quid after discovering that her racy novel has ended up in the bargain bucket and soon afterwards Sharon is sacked for suspected fiddling. Back home they find out that Tracey has also quit her job as Robin is trying to turn her into a clone of his former wife. With no money coming in the women argue with angry words exchanged though fortunately Travis has posted a supposed Tweet from David Beckham recommending Garth's restaurant, which is subsequently flooded with customers, allowing Garth to help the women out financially.
8You Can't Always Get What You Want
In the supermarket Sharon and Tracey meet two elderly sisters, friendly Annie and grumpy Sadie, who lives with her, and hope this will not be them in thirty years time. Next day they accompany Dorien to court, where she successfully defends herself against the plagiarism charge by proving that her book is based on her own racy love life. After celebrating at a lavish hotel Dorien and the sisters return home. Dorien now has all her assets unfrozen and can go where she likes - but her decision what to do next does not come as a surprise to Tracey or Sharon.
1Birds on a Plane
01 Jan 2014Description ▼
Dorien is treating herself, Sharon and Tracey to a Christmas holiday in the Canaries but even before the plane has taken off annoying passenger Morgan's predictions of disaster have caused nervous flier Tracey to hit the bottle whilst Dorien makes a play for a handsome but unresponsive man who locks her in the toilet to get rid of her. When Sharon's bath salts start to leak Morgan declares that there is a bomb on board and the flight is postponed. The trio return home where Garth, deserted by Marcie, and Travis are hoping to hold a party and end up with a celebration of their own with a few friends from the plane and a couple of Garth's handsome mates.
2There's Something About Sharon
Whilst conducting market research Dorien gives the family an IQ test and Sharon amazes the others with her extremely high IQ. Travis uses her in a school experiment, much to her annoyance, whilst Dorien also exploits her by persuading her to go for a job with MI5, as Dorien wants information for a spy novel she is planning. Tracey, however, is more concerned about Garth, who feels useless and unhappy now that Marcie has returned to Australia.
3Guess Who's Coming to Essex?
Amongst fan mail from readers of her book Dorien finds a letter from Naomi, the daughter she gave up for adoption fifty years ago after she fell pregnant as an unmarried teenager. Dorien is not keen to see her so Tracey writes her a letter posing as Dorien though the result surprises everybody. Meanwhile Tracey teaches Travis a lesson for taking her for granted.
4The Girls with the Pearl Buttons
Tracey gets a letter from her auntie Vera, who is retiring as Pearly Queen and wants her to take over but Tracey faces competition from a jealous Sharon, who believes she should have the title and they go head to head to see which can raise the most money for charity. Meanwhile Dorien gets to finally meet her daughter Naomi and after a shaky start finds that they have more in common than Dorien had imagined. Unfortunately Naomi has just been offered a parish in New Zealand.
Whilst Dorien is holding her book group at the house the police turn up to search it as Travis is arrested for selling counterfeit cigarettes. When Travis admits that he was covering for Garth, who has previous convictions. Tracey must decide which of the boys must take the rap.
6The Chief, the Cook, His Mum and Her Lodger
Sharon gets a job as a school dinners supervisor and recruits Garth, who is more used to running a restaurant, as her cook and Tracey as her washer-up. However Sharon's dictatorial attitude almost leads to an all-out walk out by the staff. Dorien, meanwhile, having lost money playing online poker, gets a job as a dress shop assistant but is not pleased when the owner turns out to be her old rival Melanie Fishman, who reminds her of an embarrassing incident when they were at school.
7Without a Trace
Sharon plans to take Tracey and Dorien on a 70s weekend but whilst the trio are out buying clothes Tracey spots a malignant mole on Tracey's back and insists she sees the doctor. Tracey wants to keep any bad news away from her sister but Sharon finds out anyway. Then Tracey's biopsy result arrives.
With Naomi preparing to fly to New Zealand and the boys off to a rock festival Sharon, Tracey and Dorien have a weekend at a health spa where Sharon and Tracey discuss the worst case scenario for her test results. The weekend is interrupted when Tracey and Dorien suffer maternal concerns but when Tracey's results come through the trio is happily united.
1Knocking on Heaven's Door
Tracey learns that ex-husband Darryl has fallen to his death during a failed burglary and his friend Lenny agrees to pay for the funeral - which is attended by half the criminals in Essex and DS Barry Farmer out to clock them. The funeral does not go well and there is worse on return to the house, as the sisters discover that they have been burgled.
2Too Much of Nothing
With no help from the police and Tracey accusing Sharon of leaving the window open it is down to Tracey to try and retrieve the stolen property and put the word out with Lenny. However it is Dorien who saves the day when she finds herself face to face with her - sort of - double in a drag club, who is wearing her clothes and jewels. The items restored Tracey accepts a date with policeman Barry Farmer.
Tracey is dating policeman Barry Farmer, leaving Sharon alone with a pizza on a Saturday night, disapproving of her sister's relationship. Dorien, in her role as Foxy Cohen, becomes the agony aunt for Get a Life magazine and inadvertently solves the sisters' differences whilst Garth decides to build a shrine to his late father in the garden.
4Going, Going, Gone
Tracey has had enough of Sharon not paying her way and Dorien's stream of gentleman callers so she throws them both out, resulting in them sharing Sharon's dirty, seedy old flat with an aggressive Hungarian woman. Tracey is enjoying life without them though Travis is finding her possessive attitude unsettling. Fortunately Sharon has a plan to get things back to normal.
5Tonight I'll Be Staying Here with You
Whilst celebrating Dorien's sale of the film rights to her racy novel Tracey and Sharon get a call from Auntie Vera, who is having trouble coping in her high rise flat with non-functioning lifts. However when Vera decides to move into Tracey's house she soon outstays her welcome with everybody and it is down to Dorien to find a solution.
Dorien's granddaughter Emma arrives from New Zealand to work in England. Dorien is flattered when she praises her Foxy Cohen persona but Travis is well and truly smitten and Tracey is not best pleased to find that they have ended up in bed together. Fortunately Emma knows how to let him down gently.
7Blonde on Blonde
A shame-faced Travis admits to Sharon that he is suspended from school for being caught in possession of another boy's cannabis but rather than worry menopausal Tracey Sharon poses as his mother for his interview with the formidable Miss Holmes - and only makes matters worse. Fortunately Dorien knows of a way in which Tracey can employ dirty tricks to have her son reinstated.
After Dorien is stopped by the police whilst giving Travis a driving lesson and required to reapply for her driving licence Tracey and Sharon deduce that she is approaching her seventieth birthday. They decide to throw a surprise party for her, involving a policeman who doubles as a stripper-gram but initially the prospect of getting older depresses her. However after a pep talk from her two best friends she cheers up and they all celebrate in style.
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