Charlie and his family run a bed and breakfast by the sea. Charlie and his pals try to help a Punch and Judy puppeteer 'improve' his act.
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Mum, can my friend stay over? He's going to the party tomorrow.
Louie's been invited to a really posh party
at Margaret Ferguson's house. You know, the MP.
It's not the MP's party, is it? It's the MP's daughter Jane's birthday.
Is somebody jealous? Of course your friend can stay over,
as long as his mum says it is all right.
Great! I'll go and tell Conor.
Conor, that's what.
Conor, as in Louie's imaginary friend,
who I thought we had left behind in London.
We did. He must have got the imaginary bus
up the imaginary motorway.
Just ignore it and don't encourage him.
Me, encourage him? You're the one that took us
all to Scotland that time for Conor's birthday.
Oh, yeah. Maybe we should go there again this year.
OK. OK, point taken. I will deal with it.
Erm... I am going to go!
You are so dead.
Hello, Mum. Hello, Dad.
Don't, "Hi, Mum" me, coming in at all hours.
And I bet Mabel was to blame again.
You said you didn't want to talk about it.
I said it was too late to talk about it last night.
NOW I want to talk about it.
Well, make your mind up!
I have. You're grounded.
What?! For a whole day?
Nice try. A whole week.
It's Record Store Day tomorrow and I promised Mabel I'd go...
Oh, Mabel! Thought so.
You don't even know her! And Mabel's not bad, she's fun.
Not that you've ever had an atom of fun in your entire life...
Am I really that boring?
No, no, no, no. It's parenting, isn't it?
Every kid needs a fun parent and a...
And a not-fun parent?
That is so unfair! How dare she say that about you?
It is outrageous.
Is that it? We can't get an ice cream with 17 pence.
Why not try moving on?
That's the way to do it! That's the way to do it!
Bye-bye, everybody! Bye-bye!
What's genius about a pair of socks beating each other up?
A pair of socks?
Punch and Judy is a highly-skilled art form.
It's totally unrealistic.
Since when could a crocodile be overpowered with a wooden spoon?
You'd need an M60.
Exactly, it was rubbish!
Ah... Hello, guys! Good to see some older faces in the crowd.
-Yeah, we were just saying, your show is...
We really loved it.
Compliments don't pay the bills.
Oh, Mr Punch, where are your manners?
That's all we've got!
And I really appreciate it.
Actually, do you think you could keep
an eye on my booth for a few moments?
I need a bathroom break.
Right, let's make our money back and give these kids a proper show.
Louie. I thought we might have a little chat.
I wonder what's keeping Conor?
You see, when a little boy's got a big imagination,
he can sometimes think things are real when they're not.
-Yes, like Conor.
Pound coins only.
If anyone puts a button in the cup, I will find you and I will hurt you.
Relax, Ben. Just think of all the money...
the ice cream.
You don't know the first thing about Punch and Judy!
But you do.
You want me to operate Mr Punch?
I won't let you down, Charlie.
I "borrowed" it from the ice cream lady,
for the fight scenes.
There we go, a nice hot chocolate.
Oh, see her? Sophie Conroy.
The nicest girl you will ever meet. Well, she was,
until she met Bad Becky Brown.
-Bad Becky Brown?
Straight-A student, she was, until she fell in with Becky Brown.
Do you know where she is now? Busking on the London Underground.
Oh, cool! Does she write her own material?
No! What? Eh? No! No.
My point is...
My point is, I was young once...
..and I know what it is like to be led astray.
Why are you on your own in all these photos?
Am I? I hadn't noticed.
President of the Solitaire Club?
Wow. Did you not you have any friends?
What? Life is not a popularity contest, you know.
I get what this is about.
You're jealous I get to hang around with the cool girl
and you never could.
There was nothing cool about Becky Brown, let me tell you.
And where is she now? Prison, probably... And where am I?
Surrounded by my loving family.
Got any toast?
Hello, Mr Punch! Hello, everybody!
Now, has anybody seen our baby?
What are you doing? Where's the baby?
He said he wants older kids to watch,
so I am going to make things a bit more...gritty.
I'm afraid there's nothing to eat in here, Mr Crocodile.
That's what you think!
Charlie, stop it!
Excellent! That's the way to do it.
Maybe I'll be a Punch and Judy man when I leave school.
What have you done to my show?
I can't take all the credit.
I mean, the syrup bit was Alison's idea.
What are you doing?
Terrifying the kids, scaring all my customers away...
I should report you.
One more stunt like that and I'll see they take your licence away.
-Do you think we should say something?
Three ninety-nines, please.
With extra syrup.
There's a woman here who says the best way to deal with
imaginary friends is give them chores.
"Your child will soon tire of covering for
"an imaginary friend and give up on them."
Now could be your chance to find out.
Louie? Is that you?
We're going to my room, Mum.
Well, come and get a sandwich first.
There you go.
Thanks, Mum. Conor likes cheese too.
Well, you know, Louie,
if Conor wants to eat cheese, he's going to have to do his fair share.
Maybe he could start by weeding the gardens.
They give me jobs to do too.
Come on, I'll show you where they keep the tools.
Hey, Hannah. What's up with you?
Sore throat. Won't make it out today.
Hey, you get in trouble for being late last night?
As if! Nobody tells me what to do.
Except me. She's grounded, that's why she's pretending
to have a sore throat.
Mum! You are so embarrassing!
If this is about Hannah coming home late, that was all my fault.
-Oh, I don't doubt it.
if you let her go to Record Store Day, I swear it won't happen again.
I don't do deals.
Now, this whole cool thing might be fooling Hannah,
but it takes more than a Wig Of Bees T-shirt to impress me.
You've heard of Wig Of Bees?
I was going to see Wig of Bees before you were born.
You actually saw them? That is so cool.
I'd love to hear about it sometime.
My mum just doesn't get it at all. She's no fun.
I am sure Hannah would say the same thing about me.
Hey, why don't you come to the Record Store Day?
You could turn Hannah onto some good tunes.
Yeah, she really doesn't get it, does she?
Later, Mrs E!
Yeah. Later, M... Mabel.
-Ah, that's the infamous Mabel, is it?
Do you know, I think she is all right.
I think she just needs a good role model.
You know, someone she respects, but who is also fun.
I would love to help but I've got my hands full with our lot, you know...
I don't think there's any wasps' nests,
so you don't have to worry about that.
Who parks on the beach when you're wide open to an amphibious assault?
Well, maybe he can't afford the car park.
Do you think we should pay the rest of the money?
Yeah, and some pointers on why his show's such a flop.
-That will really help him.
What do you want?
Just came to give you this.
The cash we earned at the show... minus a little ice cream money.
Well, that's very honest of you.
One thing I appreciate, it's honesty.
Really? Because normally when I'm honest people just get upset.
Well, if it's honesty you like, you'll love this.
When I first saw your show, I thought - no offence -
"Those puppets are rubbish,"
but then I realised, it's not the puppets,
it's you. See, what you need to do is,
you just need to work on your comedy a bit.
Why don't you try something a little like this?
"Hello, everybody! Ooh!"
Ka-ka! Ka-ka! Ka-ka!
Bit shoddy, isn't it? I mean, I barely touched it.
Out the way!
Wait till I get my hands on you!
It's not me you should be after, it's those kids!
He's been terrifying kids all day. You should take his licence.
I feel terrible...
..I shouldn't have had that second ice cream.
Can Conor have some ice cream too?
No, because he hasn't finished weeding the front garden.
He has! You haven't even looked!
And has he watered the lawn?
But it's going to be dark soon.
Well, you'd better tell him to get on a move on, hadn't you?
Hannah, how would you like it
if I said you can go to Record Shop Day with Mabel?
Really? Thanks, Mum!
I think it'll be really good for us to hang out together.
Us? You're going too? This is a nightmare.
That could have gone better.
She's a teenager, isn't she?
The last thing she wants is to hang out with her big old dorky mum...
Oh, brain freeze...
I brought you some supplies.
This has gone far enough.
I think you need to have a word with Louie.
I know. Yeah.
I finished the garden. Can I have something to eat now?
Sure. Just go downstairs and Dad will make you some breakfast.
What if he gives me more work?
Fine. You stay here, I'll go and get it.
Dad, Conor's finished the garden. Can he have some breakfast now?
Sit down, Louie, there's something I need to tell you.
It's about Conor, isn't it?
I'm afraid it is.
You want him to trim the hedge?
Conor doesn't exist.
Sometimes, when you're little, you have imaginary friends
and that's not a bad thing.
But there comes a time when you have to let go.
Oh, no, he's not my imaginary friend Conor,
this is a different Conor.
A real Conor.
I know it's hard to believe, he may seem as real as you or I.
But he's not.
But I can see him.
No, Louie. You think you can see him,
but he's not really there.
I didn't sleep at all last night. Don't you feel bad?
Why should I?
I tried to say sorry and the guy went crazy!
The tide must have come in when he was at the police station.
That was his home!
OK, maybe now I feel a bit bad.
I am going to go and say sorry again.
Charlie, we are way past sorry.
You're right. We need to fix this.
Are you sure?
I'm afraid so.
Because I don't feel imaginary.
Ah! Your mum's looking for you downstairs.
Time to get you ready for the party.
Conor doesn't believe he doesn't exist.
OK, OK, well, let's go and have a chat with him and I tell you what,
if he does exist, he's got to do a lot more work in the garden.
It's a right mess. Come on...
Right, where is he then?
He's gone! He DOESN'T exist!
Louie, that is what I have been telling you.
Come on. Let's get ready.
It's not every day you get invited to a big posh party
at an MP's house. You must be excited.
Can you keep it down? We're trying to think over here.
There's got to be a way to get the professor back in business.
Forgery. We can create him a new licence,
then he can work under an assumed name.
And lose the whole Professor Chuckles brand?
Come on, Alison, think.
Don't you worry, Louie. There will be plenty of real children
to play with at the party. Plus there is loads of entertainment.
You've got Beth the Bubble Lady, Magic Melissa,
Eric's Exotic Animals...
That's it! Dad, you're a genius!
Come on, we've got to go.
So when Professor Chuckles does a good show at the kids' party,
-the MP will give him his licence back.
But Professor Chuckles hasn't been asked to perform at the party.
No problem, when Eric's Exotic Animals doesn't show up,
they'll take what they can get.
And why won't Eric's Exotic Animals be showing up?
The less you know, the better.
What's that supposed to mean?
Here you go, you look so smart.
Right, here are my conditions.
Firstly, no hugging in front of Mabel.
Secondly, you can't use any of my childhood nicknames.
What do you mean, Hannah-Banana?
Right, I've got to go get ready.
Don't forget, have a good time.
What do you mean, "Get ready?" Mum!
And how am I supposed to perform at this party?
My puppets are ruined!
That one looks all right.
is a ventriloquist's dummy.
I haven't done that act in 20 years.
You're a genius,
could be a whole new career for you.
Well, genius might be a strong word.
You'll be fab.
Mum, will you wipe that make-up off? It's ridiculous.
Says you, I've never seen so much blusher.
I'm not even wearing blusher, I'm in a permanent state of embarrassment.
Looking good, Mrs E.
Hey... You can call me Helen.
I am not sure about this.
What's he saying to her?
He's explaining how one of the acts had to cancel at the last minute
due to unforeseen circumstances.
and it gets even better - there's a fee of £100!
Naturally, we'll be taking a small finder's fee.
But...what if Conor comes back?
If Conor comes back, just ignore him.
He's not real. He's like, erm...a dream.
Yeah, or a ghost.
-Yeah. Exactly. Go on, off you pop.
Why can't you just get some of your own mates? This is pathetic.
I thought we were having fun.
Wow. Old records are not cheap.
Give it here.
Really? Thank you so much, Helen.
Hey, after this, should we go for a pizza?
You know what she's doing, right?
She's pretending to be fun just so she can lecture you
on how to be boring like her.
Sh... Don't blow this! I've already got some rare vinyl.
And I love pizza.
What, so you're pretending to like her just to get free stuff?
I knew it! I knew she wasn't fun!
-Hi, I'm Joan, I'm Conor's mum.
I was just dropping a present off at the party
and they said you hadn't dropped Conor off yet.
-He stayed here with your Louie last night.
-There you go.
-Come on, sweetheart.
Oh, erm...thanks for the good work on the garden,
that was cracking stuff.
You might want to give him a cheese sandwich when you get a minute.
-There he is, in the flesh.
Conor, as I live and breathe.
You must know it! The chorus goes...
I've always wanted one of these.
You are having a laugh if you think my mum
is going to buy you an MP3 player.
She doesn't have to.
We'll wait outside for you, Helen!
-What are you doing?
-What, so me being grounded isn't enough,
so now you want me in a juvenile detention centre?
-So what do you think?
You know, I'd like to thank you all.
Yeah, I mean, for years I've been hiding in my Punch and Judy booth,
knowing that I'm really a ventriloquist at heart.
But now here I am doing it.
So what's his name?
Everyone, this is Cheesely.
Cheesely, are you going to thank the nice children
for giving you your big break?
HE MUMBLES INCOHERENTLY
Yes, and that goes doubly for me.
Don't even think about it.
Mabel, what have you done?
I'm so sorry, Mummy!
You are just lucky the shop agreed not to prosecute...
after I paid for everything.
-And you, you should be ashamed of yourself!
Distracting staff while children steal for you.
That's not actually what...
Bad Becky Brown?
It's you from school.
Do you remember I told you about Becky Brown?
How is it going, Becky?
We all make mistakes when we're teenagers...
..but this, this is just sad.
Let's go, Mabel.
You're not real.
We can't let Professor Chuckles go on, he's terrible!
It'll be the final nail in his showbiz coffin.
Ben's right. We need to abort.
What? And lose 100 quid? I don't think so.
I'll do this show myself.
What? Could you see my lips moving?
Nothing's ever easy these days, is it?
Charlie! You have to hide me. It's Conor.
He's here - he's haunting me.
I've got the perfect disguise for you, Louie.
-Well, you were right about Mabel from the start.
Until I went and ruined it by trying to be all down in the kids.
With. Down WITH the kids.
With the kids, yeah.
Hey, what about you in there, though,
you weren't so bad.
Does that mean I'm not grounded?
-As long as your dad never gets to hear about this.
Hey, there you go. I never really liked Wig Of Bees.
Far too cool for me.
Thanks, Mum. Hey, does that mean you'll buy me a record player?
-Don't push your luck.
-That is so unfair!
This is insane.
It's never going to work, we haven't even got an act!
We don't need an act. I'm hilarious.
Right, I only had what I could find in the bathroom, but...
camouflage effect has been achieved.
That's actually pretty good.
Pretty good? It's perfect!
Are you sure Conor won't know it's me?
He won't even know you're real as long as you act like a dummy.
OK...nearly showtime. I'm actually quite nervous!
What's all this?
If you'd like to step in to the bathroom, I'll explain everything.
Bathroom? Why would I... Oi!
Let me out!
Ladies and gentlemen, please put your hands together for...
Say hello, Cheesely.
Are you enjoying the party, Cheesely?
Don't ask me, I'm just a dummy.
-Are you two enjoying the party?
What about you, young man? Are you enjoying the party?
Obviously! I'm looking directly at you!
-You can see him too?
Conor, you're alive, just like me!
Now that's entertainment.
So everything all right with Mabel, then?
Yeah, yeah. I don't think we have to worry about her any more.
How are things on the Conor front?
Yes, brilliant. Yes indeedy...
Yes... I'd be very surprised if we saw his face round here again.
-I'll get it!
-I'll get that!
-Mr and Mrs Enright?
-The whole shoplifting thing was a set up.
I would never make an eight-year-old weed my gardens.
Actually, we're here about your son Charlie.
Of course, Charlie's in trouble!
That is a relief.
We've given Charlie a warning
but you can expect a call from the honourable member
whose party he ruined.
Wonderful, thank you.
Thank you, officer, you are a credit to the force, you really are.
Lovely, lovely. Come on, you.
See you soon! Probably...
Charlie! What on earth were you doing at the party?
What were you doing at the honourable member's party?
-Have you not got anything to say?
-I have got plenty to say.
Poor kids. With parents like that, they've got no chance.
How can this be right?
Cleaning up after kids and grounded for a week. And for what?
For showing an interest in the arts!
What kind of lesson is that for a child?
It's a travesty of justice!
Charlie and his pals try to help a Punch and Judy puppeteer 'improve' his act - and may just be about to ruin his life in the process. Meanwhile, Mum is trying to get down with the kids - much to Hannah's horror - and Louis wants a friend to stay over.