|Written by:||Jeff Pope, Ian Puleston-Davies|
|Directed by:||Adrian Shergold|
|Mark Furness was a successful architect until he recently split up from his wife, Stevie. He is staying at his friends Kathy and Nathan’s house. His wife asks him to come round, an he imagines it is to talk, but he discovers that she has bagged up all his stuff and wants him to collect it. He tries to talk to his best mate Nathan, but cannot seem to get past a disagreement he had had with Stevie while they were on holiday in Turkey several months ago.
After being off work sick for 6 months, he decides it is time he went back to work, but when he met with his bosses they offered him a severance package instead. To make matters worse, they have given his job and office to his apprentice Gareth.
He realises that whatever is wrong with him is getting worse, as he could not stop swearing at his boss. He visits the doctor, who insists it is just depression, and ups the dosage of his medication.
While he had been in the waiting room, he had been spotted by Charlotte, who recognised his symptoms. She follows him out of the surgery and stops him. She invites him to a support group for people with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. After the meeting, he blurts out that she has ‘nice tits’ and she suggests that he may also have Tourettes syndrome.
Mark finds he is able to confide in Charlotte and admits things to her that he has been unable to admit even to himself. Mark and the group visit a farm as part of their self help program. Charlotte makes them all kneel in the mud for 5 minutes and get dirty. For the next session, Mark has been asked to write down all his obsessions and fears. When asked what they are by Nathan, Mark reveals his fears about the process of sitting down, and his friend is obviously distressed at what Mark goes through on a daily basis.
Mark is called in to see his solicitor who tells him that his wife wants a divorce. Mark is upset and goes to see Charlotte. While in the health shop where she works, he declares war on his condition and covers his face in chocolate powder.
Charlotte takes him home, but when they arrive, Stevie is sat outside waiting for him. He invites her in and as he starts to clean himself up, she stops him and starts to lick the chocolate off. Before long, they are making love.
The next day, Mark is happily telling Charlotte all about it, and is he convinced it means that things are getting better between him and his wife. Despite the fact she still wants to go ahead with the divorce, he thinks they have a future together.
In the pub after the next group session, Mark incessantly talks about Stevie, and Charlotte loses her temper and accuses him of being self centred.
They have a big argument and he storms out of the bar, with Charlotte screaming after him to never come back. Mark is extremely distressed and tries to visit Stevie but she will not let him in. He looks up at the window and sees her stood there, and for a second, thinks he can see someone else there too. When Kathy and Nathan get home that night, they find Mark sat in the kitchen sink, washing himself with bleach.
Nathan tends his wounds as the skin around his feet is all burnt and blistered. Kathy seems to have lost all patience with him, and so he moves out. Nathan helps him move into a small flat of his own. Left alone, Mark stops taking care of himself, his hair becomes long and dirty. He spends his days watching his wedding video getting more distressed at the obvious early signs of his condition. He also spends a lot of time stalking Stevie, obsessed with the idea of discovering the identity of the other man. One day, he finds her in a cafe and the man she is with is Nathan.
He follows Nathan home, and attacks him in an alley way. Nathan says he only went to Stevie because she called him to ask him to speak to Mark, as she wants the stalking and phonecalls to stop. Mark leaves him then, not wanting to talk to him about it. Nathan arranges to meet with Charlotte who when she hears of the state Mark has got into, goes to visit him. She begs him to seek professional therapy, as he is living in an OCD nightmare. Ignoring his protestations, she starts to tidy the flat, and then turns her attention to him.
As a reward, she offers to take him to the coast for the rest of the day, and he asks to go to Bexhill on Sea, because there is some architecture there he wishes to visit, a pavilion. When they arrive, he directs her into a small cul-de-sac. When questioned, he confesses this is where Stevie’s parents live.
Charlotte tells him that Stevie is not his wife anymore, she is an obsession like all his other symptoms. They finally do go see the Pavilion, and Charlotte kisses him. Mark makes another attempt to see Stevie at her parents, but is dissuaded by her father as they are having a garden party and he feels it is not the right time. Mark agrees to leave, but sneaks around the back. He discovers Stevie stood with her arms around Gareth, his old apprentice, who Mark headbutts into the pool. Stevie proceeds to shout abuse at Mark, who is in a state on the floor. At this point, Charlotte who has also managed to sneak round the back, rushes to protect Mark and help him from the floor. She defends Mark from Stevie’s harsh words and slaps his ex-wife across the face. As she walks back to him, Stevie grabs her hair from behind, but it comes away in her hand. Charlotte has severe hair loss and was wearing a wig.
Ashamed of her appearance she bursts into tears and runs away. Mark then gets himself together, and snatches back Charlotte’s hair. As he is about to leave, Stevie told him she had just wanted the old Mark back, but he responds that he has always been like this and always will be, then runs after Charlotte.
He finds her on the beach and gives her her wig back. He asks her to walk with him but she refuses saying she is having a bad hair day. He wipes her tears away and tells her that he thinks she looks lovely.
The drama ends with the two of them walking hand in hand along the sand.
Dirty Filthy Love