Eddie Fans the Flame

A few years ago a friend of mine challenged me to write a proposal for a sitcom (taking into account my general failure to appreciate comedy).  It’s been in a drawer for a while now, but I’ve been thinking about it lately……

Here’s the basic premise, and tomorrow I’ll post the outline of Episode One.

Why can’t Eddie make a success of his life as a mini bus driver after his interlude of fame as a member of a short-lived boy band?

Eddie used to be in a boy band.

Not just any boy band.  Eddie was in ‘Flaming Trousers’, the highest selling British male act of the first six months of 1994.  But times have changed and now Eddie is working as the mini bus driver at the Manor, a gated community in North London.

He drives the residents to and from the Tube station, delivers and collects their dry cleaning, and generally tries to be helpful.   Eddie rarely gets off the bus, has put on weight, sings infrequently, and couldn’t do any of those dance routines now if his life depended on it.

Eddie knows everything that goes on at the Manor, and what he doesn’t know, he makes up.   He doesn’t know where his money went, and his greatest wish is to be back in the limelight.

He has a tiny flat on the Manor, where he lives with Lara his Russian fiancé.  Lara is unusual, but Eddie is getting used to her.  She works as a hod carrier and bricklayer on the building site over the fence from the Manor.

Eddie’s best friend Gilbert, one of the security guards and an avid fan of fictional detectives, with a particular fondness for ‘Cagney and Lacey’, was a schoolteacher at home in Africa.

Eddie is tormented daily by the sight of ‘Contrary Mary’, the five piece girl group, residents of the Manor, who were assembled on a recent television talent show, as they arrive and leave in their own chauffeur driven people carrier. His resentment of their apparent success increases every time they speed past him.

As Eddie waits for his next big break, Gilbert and Lara try to improve his education and keep him from disaster; they fend off the salacious interest of a journalist doing a ‘how far have they fallen’ series for a tabloid; they assist Eddie with surveillance of the bin sheds to find the miscreant when piles of rubbish appear beside, instead of in, the bins; they help Eddie get a part as an extra in an episode of a TV drama filmed on the edge of the Manor; they deal with the ambulance chasing lawyer who pursues Eddie after Eddie has slightly dented the bus driving into a bollard; they arbitrate in the dry cleaning wars, when Eddie switches allegiance from one shop to another; and they all manage to stay friends when Lara’s mother arrives from Volgagrad for an extended visit.

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