Comedy about the inept staff at an historic house. Starring Simon Callow and Jane Horrocks.
Every year, thousands of tourists flock to the Lake District. But one place they never go to is Plum House - the former country home of terrible poet George Pudding (1779-1848). Now a crumbling museum, losing money hand over fist, it struggles to stay open under its eccentric curator Peter Knight (Simon Callow).
Can anyone save Plum House from irreversible decline?
Tom Collyer, sent from the Trust to do just that, seems to be the most likely candidate but the challenge is huge as he confronts the reality of winning round Peter Knight's handpicked team - the hopelessly out of touch deputy Julian (Miles Jupp), the corner-cutting gift shop manager Maureen (Jane Horrocks) intent on making profit from extremely cheap plum-themed merchandise, and maintenance man Alan (Pearce Quigley) who has heard the words "health" and "safety" but never in the same sentence.
In this opening episode, the museum's preparations for the annual WI visit include hiding away valuable artefacts as, according to Peter, some members are prone to stealing them. And Julian gives a disastrous lecture on the life and work of George Pudding.
Written by Ben Cottam and Paul McKenna
Directed and Produced by Paul Schlesinger
A Hat Trick production for BBC Radio 4.