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Summary

Karl Howman stars in Jim Eldridge's sitcom about a likeable ex-convict trying to turn over a new leaf.

Released from prison early, chirpy Cockney conman Terry King is given a chance to find his feet again. His challenge is to breathe new life into a run-down community centre - with the support of Sandra Gaines, a social worker with a warm heart but an unhappy past. If he succeeds, he'll prove that rehabilitation is possible. But if he fails, he'll be sent back to jail....

Situated in the middle of a rough council estate, Grove Hill Farm needs a lot of work. The windows are broken, the plumbing's out of action and part of the centre was burned down during a riot. But it's not just the buildings that could use some TLC - the community's pride needs restoring, too. Can Terry get the locals to come together and make the centre a neighbourhood hub again? He's got big plans - concerts, dances, bingo - but first he must raise the funds and win over the residents.... 

As he uses his charm and his con artist skills to start turning the place around, he finds himself growing closer to Sandra and love slowly blossoms between the two of them. But will Terry be able to stay out of trouble - and out of prison? And as the end of his sentence approaches, will he and Sandra finally get together?

Created by Jim Eldridge, whose numerous radio credits include King Street Junior and Albert & Me, this feel-good comedy drama stars Karl Howman (Brush Strokes, EastEnders) as Terry and Phyllis Logan (Lovejoy, Downton Abbey) as Sandra.

Production credits:

Written by Jim Eldridge

Directed by Marilyn Imrie and David Hitchinson

Music: Jacqueline Dankworth and Harvey Brough

First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 26 January-2 March 1999 (Series 1), 26 July-30 August 2000 (Series 2), 12 October-16 November 2001 (Series 3)

Cast

Terry King - Karl Howman

Sandra Gaines - Phyllis Logan

Steve Addison - Ben Crowe

Mr Wade/Harry Howard/Bert Higgs/Mr Addison - Geoffrey Whitehead

Mr Preston - David Holt

George - Chris Pavlo

Whizzer/Sam Stone/Police officer/Don Gaines - Giles Fagan

Hobb/Ed Bayliss - Harry Myers

Ellie Higgs - Priyanga Elan

Woman on the estate - Frances Jeater

Supt. Anne Robinson - Rachel Atkins

Gail Gaines - Victoria O'Donnell/Jennifer Wheelan

Mrs Watson - Ann Beach

Mrs Barnes - Jillie Meers

Mick/Mr Evans - Gavin Muir

Keith/Jerry - David Thorpe

Annie - Alison Pettitt

Mavis - Tilly Vosburgh

Warren/Scaggs - Clinton Mullings-Dodson

Mrs Wilson - Maggie McCarthy

Ernie/Mr Marsden - Roger Walker

Miss Graham/Mrs Baxter - Richenda Carey

Marlene - Hetty Baynes

Andrew - Tom George

Pianist at concert - Peter Ringrose

Mrs McKendrick - Sandra Voe

Drunk man/Barman - Ewan Bailey

Netball player - Helen Longworth

Girl at club - Sarah Paul

Matt - Ray Lonnen

David - Sean Baker

Wendy Wilson - Clare Corbett

Matthew - George Allonby

Mary - Elaine Claxton

Mrs Barnes/Pauline - Carolyn Pickles

Wally - Carl Prekopp

©2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

What listeners say about Coming Alive: The Complete Series 1-3

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Brilliantly acted, very funny and very emotional drama

I thought this audio drama was very easy listening and very gripping from the very first episode to the last. This shows that anything is possible to turn your life around. Unmissable sitcom.