Andrew Steele

Ankle Tag

Series 1

Episodes in series one did not use named titles.

Episode 1

Gruff and wife Alice are planning a meeting with other new mums and dads when Gruff’s father Bob turns up. Claiming he is on day release from prison after being jailed for fraud, he has actually been paroled and manages to scam his way indoors for a short visit. When a parole officer turns up, he manages to convince that he is living in the house so his ankle tag can be fitted. Gruff fears his fathers presence may ruin his chances of gaining a newspaper column at his friends recommendation. When the friends arrive, Bob is relegated to the garden though manages to talk Gruff letting him back into the kitchen. When the friends find that Bob has been left out, they invite him in to join them where they quickly find that he has been in prison and is on parole. The meeting ends with all the friends delighting in the tales Bob has told of his time inside, when Gruff approaches his friend about the column. His initial preferred idea is rejected, but ends up writing a column on his father being a convict.

Episode 2

Bob has decided that he should begin trying to date again. A neighbour, Margaret, knocks on the door and claims to be the new chair of the neighbourhood watch. Alice commits to attending a meeting to get rid of her. Bob has also met a lady, Ruth, and arranges a date though needs to get his story straight. He finds that she is head of a linen shop and museum. He toys with the idea of telling her his past, but quickly changes his mind when Gruff writes a column which disparages her museum as boring. At the neighbourhood watch meeting, Alice has to contend with a number of authoritarian neighbours with odd ideas who rope her into shift work protecting the area. She quickly ends up leaving the group when she finds the target of the neighbourhood watch is Bob. In the evening, Bob has cooked a meal for Ruth, during which Margaret kicks the door in in an attempt to protect Ruth, and ends up shooting her with a crossbow. Ruth soon finds that most of what she knows about Bob are lies.

Episode 3

Bob is feeling cooped up and has landed the household a large bill watching on demand movies, leaving Gruff to total up the cost of Bob to the family. Commenting that he managed to find a leak in the bath. Gruff wants to hire an ethical plumber named Mariella who Bob thinks is going to scam them by overcharging and breaking something else. Alice meanwhile has taken to shopping at the cash-and-carry in an effort to reduce costs, and ends up becoming a prepper. That evening, the bath begins to leak again so Bob talks Gruff into letting a friend do the job, where he finds bags of drugs under the bath. Gruff works out that she revisits the job after a week to collect the drugs and move them on. Bringing in Terry for support, he waits in the garage where Gruff finds that stash of tinned food which she admits has cost £1000. Mariella arrives for her follow up visit and Gruff tries to make sure she has removed the drugs. However, Alice reveals that the bags are silica crystals she left under the bath to dry out the area.

Episode 4

Gruff is determined to get their one-year old child Carys into a catholic school rather than the local primary despite not being religious. Together with Alice, Gruff ties to convince the priest of their religiousness and bring up the prospect of a future school place which the priest sees coming. Panicking, Alice lies and says they haven’t had Carys baptised sooner due to being on missionary work in Uganda. The priest suggests they give a presentation on their work to the congregation. Managing to blag their way through the presentation, they encounter a older woman who is on to their lies. Coming up with a plan to convince the congregation that the village in Uganda has renounced religion, the congregation becomes even more determined to send them money from a charity bingo event. Alice heads to confessional and admits to the lies. The priest talks her into telling the congregation as he can’t. Bob arrives after they admit the lies with a sister Barbara he claims is from Uganda. Later, Alice and Gruff celebrate as Carys has been promised a place in the school as she ‘will need moral guidance’.

Series 2

1. The Charity Gig

Gruff is writing a novel which is to be published by Mills & Boon. Spending the entire night working on another draft which isn’t particularly romantic, Alice takes over. Bob finds that former politician, Richard Flint, who he was in jail with has written a book in an attempt to regain his reputation. When a journalist from the Daily Mail arrives to ask Bob about the book, he plans to blackmail Richard revealing various lies and schemes. Heading to see Richard in prison, Bob ends up cutting a deal to attend a charity book signing. Alice has also rewritten Gruff, using her own experiences much to Gruff’s dismay. At a charity auction for prison reform, Richard attempts to steal some bottles of wine, and admits to Bob he has defrauded a significant sum from the charity. Also at the auction, a stranger, Hakan, has purchased Alice a drink which leaves Gruff a little disturbed before overbidding on an ornament trying to outdo Hakan. Back at home, Alice’s version of the novel is accepted by the publisher.

2. The Nappy Advert

Gruff is in some despair about having to drop Carys off with Alice’s sister and childminder Lauren, who is useless. Bob meanwhile has to go to the employment office. Arriving at the childminders, Gruff finds a manic scene in the house. While talking to Lauren, she mentions her son who used to be in television adverts when he was younger. Back at home, he spots a television advert for nappies which Bob suggests looks exactly like Carys. Heading over to Lauren’s house, Bob confronts her and says he wants half the money. Lauren reveals she was paid £10,000. Bob initially tells her not to do it again before Lauren mentions she has more spots booked. At home, Bob pretends he has a job with the council to cover his other earnings however his lies come under pressure from Alice. Back at home, Alice also spots the nappy advert and realises it is Carys – and heads off to confront Lauren. Alice tracks down Bob, and goes in with him on the lies to get Carys away from Lauren – with both of them deciding to lie to Gruff about Bob getting a redundancy payment.

3. The Falklands

Bob takes to watching ‘1982 Night’ on television and enjoys remembering a documentary on the Falklands. Gruff is invited to a party with Alice’s family, but wonders how it will go because Alice’s mother Elaine doesn’t like him – and bringing his ex-con father along may deepen the dislike. On meeting Alice’s mother, Bob introduces himself by mentioning his time locked up, though Elaine seems to take to him. They are also introduced to Elaine’s new partner Jeffrey who was in the army, but Bob suspects he is a conman. Finding out that Jeffrey was fighting in the Falklands, Bob attempts to catch him out. The venue manager was also in the Falklands and offers Jeffrey and Bob a free meal as they are military veterans. Bob’s lies are soon found out. When Bob attempts to apologise the following day, he tries to catch out Jeffrey but makes a hash of the attempt. Gruff eventually manages to show him up in front of Elaine who later finds that Jeffrey has a number of other women who were being conned by him.

4. The All-nighter

Gruff manages to get a spot on the radio as cover for a presenter in the morning, and Alice has a job interview the same day. Requiring a good night sleep, Bob is left looking after Carys. Their car alarm goes off in the middle of the night when Bob tries to calm Carys, and the police soon turn up to question them about the situation as Bob is (just) outside his curfew range. Inviting the officers in, a fast food delivery turns up as Bob has ordered food, and it turns out that Bob has befriended the delivery driver. Together with the officers, they all begin watching a television show and Gruff ends up drinking energy drinks. Alice and Gruff attempt to get some sleep, which fails, so Alice takes to practising her presentation for Bob and friends, and Gruff tries to sleep in the car away from the noise. As sunrise approaches, the officers leave and write off Bob’s ankle tag issue. Gruff heads to the radio station and yawns his way through the radio spot. Alice’s interview also starts badly when she forgets her laptop with the presentation on, however the police officers turn up and provide a stolen laptop cover story. On arriving home, she reveals she got the job.

Series 3

1. Bob's Dad

Gruff and Bob are at a wake of Bob's uncle, with Bob planning on raiding the freshly opened buffet. Bob gets talking to a man who turns out to be his father, Harry, who was believed dead while Gruff finds that everyone at the funeral and in his family is a criminal of sorts. Bob and Harry decide head out to go fishing the following day to make up for lost time. His father reveals he faked his own death to get away from some London gangsters, and moved to Spain. Bob lies and claims he has spent his life working as a barrister. Gruff also begins to worry about whether Carys will take after his own family, and tries to make amends for stealing Skips from Tesco twenty-five years ago. At a meeting with Bob, Gruff and Alice, Harry asks for Bob's legal help when he has to attend court relating to previous crimes, though the plan quickly falls apart when the barrister who put him away from fraud turns up. Back at Tesco, Gruff gets caught by security restocking Skips to make amends, but this results in getting arrested for "tampering" with the food. Harry does a runner back to Spain to avoid any punishment.

2. Housesitting

Gruff has taken to looking after a wealthy neighbours house and cat when they are on holiday, while Alice is off meeting with two school friends who make her feel like she hasn't accomplished anything in life. Facing having to invite her pretentious friends back to her house, Alice lies about where she lives and takes them to their neighbours house rather than her own. Bob also does some coaching to ensure Alice can convince her friends that they can afford to live in the house. Bob cooks up a barbecue for Alice's friends, as Gruff takes to inviting a "friend" around to prove to his father that he has friends. A baliff howver threatens to ruin the illusion, having come to collect on some of the Watsons' debts, though Alice and Bob manage to convince him to play along with the lies. The whole plan soon falls apart, and Alice eventually comes clean, and tells one friend that she doesn't want to see her anymore as they have grown apart.

3. The Guest

Gruff is working on newspaper reviews for a film festival, and with hotels in town being full, they rent out Bob's room with him moving up to the attic. Alice sets about trying to make the room much like a bed and breakfast when she finds that a film director Darren will be staying, who becomes keen on hearing about Bob's time in prison. Gruff finds that he will be reviewing one of Darren's films Six Shooter Sam, but misses the start and is not allowed in, so takes Bob's advice to fake the review. After the review is published, Darren is delighted with Gruff's review despite all the other reviews disparaging the movie. Bob offers words of encouragement that his review will stand out and Gruff will be seen as a maverick, which leads to him being invited onto a debate show with an opponent of violent films. He eventually comes clean, which leads to his editor banning him from future film reviews. Alice finds a review of her bed and breakfast from Darren who rates it one star leaving her plans for expanding as a business in ruins.

4. The Bike

Alice is trying to get out to work as she is going on an assertiveness course, though has to deal with Bob who wants breakfast and Carys who has made a mess at breakfast. Gruff meanwhile has participated in a nursery dad's race and is feeling rough after coming last, leading to the other father's dishing out banter. He sets about trying to by a bicycle for the next event, though has to deal with the winning dad trying to upsell him. Gruff returns from a bike ride with one of the dad's, which leaves him feeling terrible, and he has also be signed up to a one hundred and fifty mile race. Bob heads to a local cafe for a breakfast, but discovers Gruff who has given up cycling as he hates it. Bob arranges to have the bike sold, while Gruff tells Alice that his bike was stolen. Back at the assertiveness course, Alice finds that her course partner has Gruff's bike and confronts him about stealing it, but discovers it was sold to him by Bob. On race day, Gruff turns up to watch the race but Alice also arrives with the bike for him to participate.

5. Doppelganger

Alice is trying out for a lead role in an amateur drama. Bob has also got a job in the Red Lion pub, though hasn't told them about his stint in prison. He has also found a bus pass with the picture looking remarkedly like Bob, resulting in him using it for free travel. At her amateur drama rehearsal, Alice confuses the director, Quentin, for Bob who remarks that it isn't the first time he has been confused for him. She invites him round for a meal, in an attempt to ensure her place in the lead role, and he meets Bob before hinting to Alice she has a chance. Gruff and Alice head to the pub later where Bob is working, who says the landlords wants him to start working evening shifts which he can't due to the ankle tag, so he talks Quentin into standing in for him. Bob also gets a date with a woman, but decides to make use of Quentin to prevent telling her about his situation, though Alice and Gruff find her with Quentin soon after. Bob decides to take some revenge by taking Quentin's place in a radio interview, which results in them fighting.

6. Gruff's Mum

Gruff and Alice try to get Bob to leave the house in time for his former wife Barbara and her partner, and Bob's arresting officer, Derek arriving. However, she arrives without Derek after they have a falling out due to Derek becoming boring and their relationship having no spontaneity. Believing himself in with a chance, Bob turns up while Barbara is around in the hope of rekindling their romance, though it is mixed in with the lie that he hasn't seen Gruff in five years and never met Alice or Carys. Gruff sets about preventing his mum making a mistake, so he invites Derek around and encourages him to be more exciting. Telling Bob that there is no future for them, Barbara suggests that he return home before his curfew as she needs to talk to Derek, though he has to work out a plan to prevent breaking his parole terms. Wanting his ex-wife to be happy, Bob sets about working out how to save Barbara and Derek's marriage by pulling in a few favours and arranging a camper van for them to drive across Europe on an adventure.