Eric has put new minority business partner Steph up for the night, but once the deal is official he finds her ordering him around and a turf war over desks breaks out. Shelley isn't sure she's worth Alan having another rift with his daughter, and is dreading work with Steph as her boss. Her fears are justified when Steph cruelly bullies her - the tub of lard who was dropped by all her friends. Steph later catches Shelly telling Alan of her day, accusing her of telling tales. She'd rather be dead than stay with the two of them, and tells Shelley she'll soon be completely alone as Alan's 'not got long'. Lisa and Rodney both warn Eric he may have picked the wrong business partner, and he's looking rattled to find even more of Steph's stuff in his house. Katie's finally taking an interest in organising her wedding again, to the relief of Donna, even though the costs terrify her. Robert brings her a really expensive necklace he's bought as a token of remembering the time they had. She reluctantly accepts it. Chas spends time chatting to skateboarding son Aaron before his dad picks him up. Their talk about family brings them a little closer. Nicola decides to suddenly change the rota so Laurel isn't looking after Ashley any more, but he blindly asks her to babysit instead of clean. Laurel persuades Pearl to cover for her, and has to lie when he asks her to stay late. He suggests she take up au pair work because she's so good at cleaning and with kids, which wasn't what she wanted to hear. When Diane publicly buys Laurel a drink for supporting Ashley, Nicola is furious to have lost money. Emily suggests Laurel tells Ashley outright, which Nicola thinks is madness, but Laurel decides she will find out once and for all.


Regular cast

Guest cast

February 2004 episodes
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