The Theory And Practice Of Hanky Panky

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02052014043020151208 (R4)

Vera and Henry are undecided about whether it is time for their Eton-educated sons, Charlie and Fred, to be told the facts of life. Neither parent feels that they are sufficiently qualified to discuss the birds and bees with their sons, so they go in search of somebody who is. Ginny and Lionel, conveniently staying, are invited to contribute, but it soon becomes clear that they are urgently in need of sex education themselves.

The Goslings deliver conflicting opinions: Mrs Gosling is affronted by the very mention of the facts of life, whilst Gosling, dealing with pollination on a daily basis, would happily talk of nothing else all year.

Finally a willing educator is found. Venus, deeply broody for her first child, volunteers to rush down to Eton and enlighten Charlie and Fred over ginger beer and crumpets. Worried lest they should suddenly become grandparents before their time, Henry and Vera swiftly call a halt to the whole scheme and pack Venus off to climb Everest instead.

GLOOMSBURY - THE SERIES

Green-fingered Sapphist Vera Sackcloth-Vest shares a bijou castle in Kent with her devoted husband Henry, but longs for exotic adventures with nervy novelist Ginny Fox and wilful beauty Venus Traduces. It's 1921, the dawn of modern love, life and lingerie, but Vera still hasn't learnt how to boil a kettle.

Producer: Jamie Rix

A Little Brother Production for BBC Radio 4.