Radio 4, Wed 5 Dec, 11.30am


With the Grumpy Old Women back doing their grumpy old thing on the nation’s stages, it’s good to hear of another female comic trio who aren’t just wielding rolling pins and frying pans while moaning about the council and youngsters. The threesome on Radio 4’s Baggage still have their own troubles to lug around but they do so in a quaintly 40something Marchmont Radio 4 way.

Written by Hilary Lyon, Baggage is now in its third series, featuring Phyllis Logan as Fiona, Adie Allen as Ruth and Lyon herself playing the core of the show’s bother, Caroline. As the opening episode begins, Caroline is returning from a foreign jaunt and dreaming of a hot bath and cold drink. But at the other end await her woe-filled friends while Caroline has to face the fact that her ex-husband has now shacked up with a new love: a man called Peter. She may be fine with that and perfectly happy to have dinner round their place, but she is wholly unprepared for the indecent proposal that’s in store for her.

‘I think the old adage about writing about what you know is probably very sound,’ reckons Lyon. ‘It’s fascinating to look at a group of women who have known each other for a very long time and I marvel at people’s resilience to get through this “stuff” and still have a sense of humour.’ And have a bit of a grump now and then, too.

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