5/5 Alan Bennett's delightful "unseemly" story The Shielding of Mrs.
Forbes send-ups up the vanities and hypocrisies of Middle England by taking the Mrs.
Bucket motto of 'Keeping Up Appearances' to its extreme conclusion.
The snobbish and priggish Mrs.
Forbes is appalled that her son Graham has "chucked himself away" by marrying the unprepossessing Betty.
What she (apparently) doesn't know is that her son is gay, and by marrying Betty he is not only ensuring his financial future, but also - he thinks - helping himself and his mother keep up appearances.
The marriage is actually working better than any party had a right to expect.
Graham enjoys the novelty of sex with a woman, while still taking the occasional night out with his gentlemen friends.
Forbes realises that his daughter-in-law, while not conventially beautiful, is intelligent, witty and great fun - and a welcome relief from his wife.
Much of his spare time is spent doing DIY jobs for her.
All would be well were it not for the re-appearance of one of Graham's paid lovers - the ubiquitous Gary/Kevin who finding out that Graham has not told his mother he is gay, starts to blackmail him.
A trip to the police station, to report the blackmail, proves entirely unsuccessful, as Graham discovers that far from being a lorry driver, or a panel beater, Kevin/Gary is in fact a policeman.
But in this concluding episode we discover that no blackmailer is a match for the resourceful Betty.
Producer Gordon House
Executive Producer: Sara Davies.
Alan Bennett continues his delightful 'unseemly story' from his recently-published novella