Clare in the community

Radio 4, starts Friday
4 November, 11.30am


The overbearing social worker Clare Barker returns to our airwaves for six weeks in the second series of the Sony Award winning sitcom, writes Mark Drinkwater.

Whether or not we think there’s much to laugh about in social work, Harry Venning and Dave Ramsden’s script has the jokes coming thick and fast. As one punchline is delivered, the next joke is being set up.

Clare, played by Sally Phillips, finds herself in various preposterous situations, often of her own making, with only her downtrodden colleague Megan (Nina Conti) to help her out.

There is also her long-term partner Brian, her sister and her new neighbours.

While it is great to hear social work being tackled in mainstream media, it may make uneasy listening for social workers hearing their predicaments being the source of such hilarity.

But surely it’s a welcome change from being criticised for the latest child care tragedy.

I think Clare has become funnier over the years, and this radio series continues to entertain.

Mark Drinkwater is a community worker in Southwark, Suth London

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