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Summary

All three series of the BBC radio sitcom about a fraudster dad on parole - plus pilot episode 'The Beginning'.

Ex-con Bob has done his time. After five years at Her Majesty's pleasure, he's been released on licence with an ankle tag registered to his estranged son's address. Uptight Gruff isn't too happy about it - he's just become a father himself and the last thing he needs is his delinquent dad back in his life. But Bob turns on the charm, persuading sympathetic daughter-in-law Alice that his heart's in the right place and manages to inveigle his way into moving in.

These three series find him getting back on the dating scene, landing a job as a bingo caller, catching up with an old acquaintance from C Wing and reconnecting with a long-lost family member. Meanwhile, Gruff is delighted when he's commissioned to write an article about smoothies, Alice bonds with Bob over ape-based reality show Monkey World, Gruff and Alice decide to get daughter Carys baptised and Alice's mum has a new boyfriend - but Bob is suspicious. Can he use his expert knowledge of the Falklands War to prove that Jeffrey's a conman?

Scripted by acclaimed comedy writers Gareth Gwynn and Benjamin Partridge, this quirky, warm-hearted sitcom stars Steve Speirs as Bob, with Elis James as Gruff and Katy Wix and Margaret Cabourn-Smith as Alice. Among the guest stars are Morwenna Banks, Neil Pearson, Felicity Montagu and Ben Willbond.

Please note: content has been updated as of January 2021.

Credits

Published by Penguin Random House Ltd

Licensed by BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

Production credits

Written by Gareth Gwynn and Benjamin Partridge

Produced by Victoria Lloyd (Pilot and Series 1 and 2) and Adnan Ahmed (Series 3)

Sound Designer: David Thomas

Production Co-Ordinator: Gwyn Davies

A BBC Studios Production

First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 18th November 2015 ('The Beginning'), 30th August-13th September 2017 (Series 1), 31st October-21st November 2018 (Series 2), 28th May-2nd July 2020 (Series 3)

Cast

Gruff - Elis James

Alice - Katy Wix/Margaret Cabourn-Smith

Bob - Steve Speirs

Linda/Mariella - Gemma Whelan

David/Terry - Oliver Maltman

Pam - Vivienne Acheampong/Anna Brophy Leon

Chris/Trevor/Monkey World announcer - Jason Forbes

Ruth/Ruby - Shola Adewusi

Margaret/Ena - Morwenna Banks

Keith/Father Mike/Anthony - Mike Wozniak

Richard Flint - Neil Pearson

Tabitha/Receptionist - Adelayo Adedayo

Hakan/Canteen Guy - Naz Osmanoglu

Lauren - Ruth Bratt

Nappy advert v/o - Anna Leong Brophy

Jeffrey - Simon Greenall

Elaine - Felicity Montagu

Graham - Ben Willbond

Cash and Carry Worker/Sara - Vivienne Acheampong

Rashid - Phaldut Sharma

Harry - Owen Money

Anna - Sally Tatum

Nicholas - Tom Crowley

Joanna - Emily Lloyd-Saini

Zara - Chiara Goldsmith

Simon - Jordan Brookes

Bailiff - Sanjeev Kohli

Darren - Kevin Eldon

Cashier - Emma Sidi

Rich - Jon Pointing

Megan - Gabby Best

Ian - Marek Larwood

Monica - Amy Gledhill

Quentin - Robert Bathurst

Roz - Julia Deakin

Shirley - Gbemisola Ikumelo

Barbara - Ruth Madoc

Derek - Joseph Marcell

©2020 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2020 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

Critic reviews

"Well crafted, well acted, with the requisite level of nuttiness" (Miranda Sawyer, The Observer

What listeners say about Ankle Tag: Series 1-3

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Family Reunion gone wrong

Rhys has spent his life pretending his conman dad was dead or didn’t exist. However while preparing for a drinks night with fellow new parents, his dad Bob arrives, paroled and with an ankle tag, trapping him to the house. Together they must navigate their struggles- Bob to going straight and settling down and Rhys to being a father and a writer.

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love it

fantastic programme, loved it when it was on the radio and its great to be able to hear it whenever i want

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Great performance: but NOT complete

Shame: I find this easy listening, funny plots and great performances. However Audible can not call this COMPLETE as there is a missing episode. Although Audible can add titles instead of Chapter 1 etc, they rarely spend the time doing this. In this case they have, but instead of titles just added series and episode numbers. The BBC call the episode "The All Nighter", but in it;'s place (Series 2 Episode 4) there is a repeat of the pilot episode with a different actor! I contacted Audible help and quickly got a standard response that not all titles are available due to licensing issues. I could try requesting the title and Audible would see if it is available, When I responded that they had not really looked at my question (has the BBC really not released one of the episodes), I did not receive a reply.

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Warning: Episode Missing

The pilot episode appears twice in this product, once credited as the pilot and the second time as episode 4 of series 2, so the episode title "The All-nighter" is missing. (Admittedly, the two pilots have different casts, but this won't do.)

The glaring omission of a full episode aside, this is one of the better light BBC comedies you can get on Audible. There are no laugh-out-loud jokes, but the situations and overall tone is amusing enough without being annoying. It's just a pity about the missing episode.

The problem of missing content appears in many Audible issues of BBC shows (see also the BBC's "Party" and "99p Challenge"). It is really quite disappointing. Cannot recommend until this is rectified.

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Good old fashioned funny radio show

This show is not ground breaking or really that original but to be honest I don’t care. It’s got some good jokes in it and some excellent performances from the three main actors Ellis James, Katy wix and Steve speirs. Steve Speirs in particular gives a great performance as the lovable con man who manages to inveigle his way into his sons house and life. It’s a really easy show to listen too and the episodes fly by. You want something not too taxing but enjoyable I recommend this.