An interesting press release pinged into our inbox 'tother day regarding Fear And Loathing In Crouch End (Today 2.15pm Radio 4), a Radio 4 Afternoon Play about the latest chi-chi must-have accessory: Eastern European au pairs. From the press release:
Eighteen year-old Estonian student Monika Kass is just one of the 200,000 East Europeans who arrived in the UK this year. It’s her first visit abroad – and soon she’s on a head-on collision with the manic family lives we all lead today.
Through e-mails, letter, voice mails and other missives (and her own painful discovery about what the English language really means) au-pair Monika relates what it’s like being in a strange land with even stranger lifestyles. Monika recounts the mayhem of the month before Christmas with harassed working parents Bella and Tom Markham, their very individual children Sophie (14), Fay (8) and Theo (6). And soon socially-climbing ex-neighbours, New Age boyfriends, a family of illegal immigrants and a handsome Swedish au-pair add to the mix of marital infidelity, rampant consumerism, parental angst and the inevitable school Nativity Play that goes terribly wrong.
Radio 4 comedy and Afternoon Plays can be a touch hit-or-miss - we've heard everything from the inspired to the insipid - but this sounds like it'll be great. You'll never look at those gaggles of blonde girls prodding prams and chatting away on mobiles as they saunter around Regents Park in the same way again.
As it's on during working hours, and as we know you're all law-abiding types who wouldn't dream of skiving off work to listen to the radio, you'll be relieved to hear that you can take advantage of the Beeb's amazing radio archives and listen to Fear And Loathing In Crouch End here.