Coming Alive: The Complete Series 1-3

Coming Alive: The Complete Series 1-3

A BBC Radio 4 Comedy drama


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)

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

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

About the author

Jim Eldridge

Learn More

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more