The Night Caller (2024) s01e01 Episode Script

Episode 1

And welcome, folks, to NightTalk,
with me, Lawrence Brightway.
'The late night radio show
'for those of you who live in
the twilight hours.
'In the Hinterland, when the rest
of our beautiful city sleeps.
'So, if you've just clocked off,
you can't sleep,
'I don't know, you just wanna
get something off your chest,
'this, my friends,
is your safe space.'
Get involved, get dialling
on NightTalk.
'They're coming out on the streets,
vomiting, pissing, fighting.
'Young people, Lawrence,
they're out of control, wild.'
'And town of a weekend
is like Sodom and Gomorrah.
'Ask me, Lawrence, we're all
going to hell in a handcart.'
'They're all sex mad out there,
like what you'd see in a porno!'
All right, mate, steady on,
let's not get carried away, yeah?
'So half of them are off
their head on cocaine, Lawrence.
'They don't even try
and hide it anymore.
'They're just selling it
in our faces.'
'I wouldn't dream of going
near town anymore, Lawrence.
'I'd be scared
I wouldn't come home.'
'Sometimes, there's as many
as 20 of them.
'Swearing, drinking,
'urinating right outside
the front door.
'It goes on until all hours.'
'Doreen, it sounds like
you're a prisoner in your own home.'
'I tried calling the police,
the council,
'the housing association.
'They just fob me off.'
'It's a dereliction of duty.'
'Our city's ruined.
Nobody seems to give a shit anymore.
'I tell you now, I feel powerless
to do anything about it.
'I feel helpless, Lawrence.'
'Lawrence, you're the only person
'who seems to listen to people
like us.'
Well, you know me, Doreen.
I turn no-one away.
I always find the time
to help people that need it most.
'Thank you so much for your call,
my love.
'And you look after yourself, OK?
'Right, folks,
keep those calls coming in.'
Crosby, please, mate.
Jesus, mate.
The sights you see.
Dunno if they're in their dresses
tryna get out,
or out their dresses tryna get in.
So, busy night?
Tony Conroy?
So this is what you're doing now -
driving a cab?
It wasn't right, you know?
The way they treated you.
The way they just bombed you out.
Yeah, I don't blame you.
Wouldn't wanna talk about it either.
LAWRENCE: 'Sometimes, it can feel
'like we're just going through
the motions, right?
'Eat. Sleep. Work. Repeat.
'A constant grind,
like we're merely existing,
'rather than living.
'And that's for those of us
lucky enough to have jobs.
'Now, I know how many of you
are struggling
'with one thing or another
out there.
'Money. Mental health.
'I know how hard it can be to cope.
'How hard it can be
just to keep on going.'
It kind of intrigued me, you know.
Got me thinking
how, in this day and age,
someone can lose their job
because their face doesn't fit.
'But it makes you think, though,
doesn't it, folks?'
It makes you think, you don't know
what you've got until it's gone.
You dirty bastard.
Are you looking at my tits?
No, I'm not.
'I mean, you can find yourself
on the edge.
'You can find yourself
on the margins.
'All alone.
'But I am here for you.
'I understand. I get it,
because you know what,
'I have been there.
'Now your instinct may be
to tune out,
'close the curtains, hide away.
'But that just makes things worse.
'That's why, my friends,
we all need to stick together.'
We need to listen to each other
..and protect the vulnerable.
'And those who have no-one
to look out for them.
'I've been in this business
quite some time,
'so I've been called many things
over the years.'
A sad sack.
Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey.
Come on. Come on. Come on!
A boring tosser.
A complete waste of space.
It just makes your blood boil.
Good night, mate, and good riddance!
'It's what we used to refer to
as a stiff upper lip,
'being stoic, you know, soldier on.
'Whatever you do, for Christ sake
don't show any emotion.
'See, that's the problem, isn't it?
'You know, we've all been told
to bottle it up.
'To put a brave face on it.
To keep calm and carry on.
'But sometimes,
you just have to express yourself.
'You have to let it out.
'Because you know what happens
when we keep it all in?
'Festering and bubbling away.
'There comes a point
where it will all just explode!'
'Take a deep breath, dial back,
and let's talk about it.
'If you're out there, call me,
you know.
'I'm always here for you,
and I'm always ready to listen.'
'Get through,
there's some kind of bloody robot
'at the other end of the line,
am I right?
'Because essentially,
they are not interested in us'
'..the little people.
'They don't wanna engage,
or they don't wanna hear our woes.
'They just do not want to know.'
LADY ON PHONE: 'Hi. Who's calling,
and where you calling from?'
I'm Tony, er, a cab driver,
and I'm in Bootle.
'OK. Right,
we're putting you through now.
'Make sure your radio's turned down,
Yeah, OK.
LAWRENCE: 'Hello, and welcome back.
'And, er, tonight,
we've got a first-time caller.
'We have Tony.
And he's calling in from Bootle.'
You're live on air, Tony.
Welcome to the show.
'It's OK, Tony,
you're amongst friends.'
I, erm
I was, erm
It's OK, mate, you're doing well.
You're doing fine.
'Take your time.'
I was a teacher.
'OK, because, er,
some of the callers
'that have been calling earlier on
have been saying that teachers
'are actually part of the problem.'
Yeah, I was.
You know,
we were all paralysed with fear.
Being told how to teach,
and what to teach.
'Right, so what you're saying is,
it's the system at fault?'
'And when you say that
you were paralysed with fear, Tony.
'Fear of what?'
Ooh, you you know,
saying the wrong thing.
Being off message.
'Wow. That can't be healthy
for the teachers. Or the kids.'
Well, when you're not sure
of yourself, your standards drop,
and, erm, you know,
you let yourself down,
you let
you let other people down.
The kids, you know, the kids,
they pick up on that.
'What, and they start taking the,
like, the you know what?
'You know, because I remember
when I was at school,
'if you messed around, you were out
on your ear, mate. Quite literally.'
Yeah, but I was the one
who was out on his ear.
27 years loyal service,
so they could just throw me on
the scrapheap. So they
'OK, mate, just take a minute.'
It's obviously been
a very difficult time for you, mate.
And I'm guessing
it's still quite raw? Yeah.
'Probably hasn't been easy
to talk about.'
You know what, Tony,
I'm gonna call it in.
I think maybe we should
just leave it there.
'But that You know, that was
that was the thing.'
'The fact That'
That's what frustrated me most.
The fact that
that you couldn't talk to them.
Yeah, the leadership team.
Talk about a misnomer. Huh!
They were so up themselves,
they couldn't be bothered to listen.
'Well, that must've been tough,
A teacher for 27 years, I mean,
the one thing you're used to
and the one thing, presumably,
you'd expect is that
people would listen.
Yeah, well, you'd think so,
wouldn't you?
But when your face doesn't fit.
You lost your job
because your face didn't fit?
I think there must've been something
more to it than that, Tony?
'Uh, I'm really sorry, mate.
'We're gonna have to leave it there
and go straight to the news.
'But I really hope
you call in again.'
And listen, you rest assured,
I hear you. I really do, mate.
'It's been really nice talking
to you, my friend.'
Yeah. Yeah, and and you, mate.
'Take care, Tony. I appreciate you.'
And you know where we are.
Er, yeah, please.
Slow night?
I'm doing a foundation course.
I'm a bit of a science nerd.
Though I'm not sure
I'll ever get my head round
"the Properties of Matter".
Er, cup of tea
when you're ready, please, love.
How's it going?
It's OK.
You know, I've, er,
I've seen you round and about.
How long have you been in the job?
Oh, a few months.
Five years for me.
It feels like 20 years, though.
I I used to think
that Helmand was a shitshow.
Two tours of Afghanistan, so
What about you?
I was a teacher.
So, we've both been on
the front line, kinda thing.
Two teas.
Aye, aye, aye, aye, aye, aye.
Hey, d'you know,
her face lightens up
every time you walk in this place.
I'll get the teas.
£2.80, please.
You know it's funny, but, er,
you know night workers,
they remind me of the, er,
the fellas in the army.
There are those who have troubles,
and then there are those
who are trouble.
Which are you?
Oh, yeah.
'My knowledge is my education.
'So what I think he meant was that
teachers aren't imaginative enough
'in the way they teach kids.
'You understand what I'm saying,
LAWRENCE: 'Or maybe, you know,
'they're not allowed
to be imaginative?
'It's all this negativity,
and it's easy to forget the impact
'that a great teacher
can actually have.'
'Yeah, I hear
what you're saying, Lawrence.'
'You know,
we had a new caller just last night.
He was a teacher for 27 years,
'and he was telling us how teachers
'are being told exactly how
and what to teach.
'So, you know, I
'maybe it's the system
that's at fault, not the teachers?'
There you go.
OK. That's it. Yeah. Great.
Look, erm
a good way
to start thinking about matter
is to think of all the different
materials and substances
that it can be made into.
I taught science.
You never said.
OK, so
how about I pick your brains
sometime over a coffee?
Or a beer, maybe?
I'm buying.
You got your mobile?
I'll give you my number.
Thank you.
That's it.
Thank you.
LAWRENCE: 'And, Roger,
let's not forget one thing that, er,
'is also a Christmas day staple.'
'That's absolutely right, my friend!
'You know, honestly,
I can't tell you,
'the amount of times I've sat fatly
on my couch
'with a cheeky little something
in my hand, mate, honestly.'
ROGER: 'Been there, Lawrence.'
See, with cowboy films and why they
were so popular back in the day,
you knew who the good guys were
and who the bad guys were.
'You knew who to pull for.'
'Yeah. When did life become
so complicated, my friend?'
'Don't get me started
or we're gonna be here all night.
'So, to wrap things up,
here's a thought, folks.
'Maybe we should all believe in
ourselves a little more.
'Be a bit more John Wayne,
'a bit more Clint Eastwood,
'and maybe, just maybe life would be
a little less complicated.'
Hi, Rosa. It's Tony.
Just ringing about the coffee.
'Hi, you've reached Rosa's phone.
'Please leave a message
after the beep.'
Hello, it's, erm
It's It's Tony from the cafe.
I'm just ringing about that, erm,
that coffee.
So, erm
If, er, if you pick this up,
then, er
Yeah. OK. Bye. Bye. Bye.
'I'm calling because
you've been randomly selected
'to take part in our'
Take my name off your list!
And don't f
And don't call back!
LAWRENCE: 'And, er,
we have a new caller.
'We've got Tony.
He's in Liverpool City Centre.
'So what's on your mind, Tony?'
We, er, we spoke last night.
'Yes! Of course we did, Tony.'
You're the teacher of 27 years,
am I right?
Hey, you remember!
'Yeah, of course, I remember. Yeah.
'Because, you know,
you said something, Tony,
'that's really stuck with me.'
It was you saying that, uh,
that your face didn't fit.
'It kind of intrigued me,
you know, got me thinking.'
Er, well, you know, I'm touching 56,
top of the pay scale.
Not quite sure I follow, mate.
Well, erm, they can get some kid
straight out
of teacher training college,
pay them half the money.
'So, it's about the money?'
Well, money's just a stick
they beat you with.
But they keep beating you,
and they keep beating you.
Until you don't know
who you are anymore.
You know, you
you lose your self-respect
..your self-worth.
And everything that goes
And everything that goes with it,
you know?
'I'm very sorry to hear that, Tony.'
So this wasn't really about money.
It was about your age, right?
'Yeah, well, that's part of it.'
Nowadays, you know,
you have to be, erm
'You've got to be a what?'
Well, you have to be
a certain type of person.
And what type of person is that?
Well, how about someone
who's the complete opposite of me?
'OK, fine, sure.'
Lawrence, mate, I'll have to go.
Er, I got a fare.
'Folks, that's what
I absolutely love about this show.
'It's completely bonkers.'
You know, you never know
what's coming next.
What about Ravi? Where's Ravi?
Rav? Rav?
Hello, Ravi.
'I really don't wanna know
what's going on
'in the back of the taxi, Tony.
'Tony, Tony, listen, mate,
you have a good one.'
'Been lovely talking to you.'
Yeah, all right, mate, and you.
'What's the old saying, Lawrence?'
'Erm, lucky at cards,
unlucky in love?'
Right, well, that sums me up.
'Oh, mate, it sounds like you've had
a right old time of it.'
'Yeah. She even took the cat.'
'Oh, bloody hell.
'You know what,
hang in there, big fella.
'Plenty more fish in the sea.
'The right one will come along soon,
I guarantee you.'
'Thanks, mate. I hope so.'
'Oh, you know, by the way, Jack,
do you play a lot of cards, mate?'
'Not really, no.'
'Because you know what happens
'when you keep it all in.
'There comes a point
when you just explode!'
There you go.
Piece of shit.
Who is he?
Ste. My ex.
Oh, right.
I know.
I'm sorry I didn't call you.
Oh, no, that's OK.
I had to turn my phone off
cos he was being a dickhead.
Where'd you meet him?
When I first came to Liverpool,
I was working behind a bar.
I had no friends. I was lonely.
He was nice to me to begin with,
and then he became this fucking
I told him it was over,
but he won't leave me alone.
Have you called the police?
There was a fight outside here
the other night.
A fella had a knife.
I called the police -
it took them over an hour to come.
Why would they be interested in me?
The police can't help.
It'd be different
if I was back home in Wales.
What, cos of the local police?
Why would I go to the police
when I've got two brothers
to protect me?
'They're painting frigging rainbows
on panda cars
'instead of taking criminals
off the street.'
LAWRENCE: 'So rainbows don't appeal
to your sense of aesthetic then,
'Ian, I take it?'
'Only if there's a pot of gold
at the end of them, Lawrence.'
Thanks, mate. Er, now listen, folks,
you know,
keep those calls coming in.
Oh, and welcome back, Tony.
Lawrence, we all know
there are good guys and bad guys.
Yeah, but it's not as simple
as that anymore, is it, Tony?
'That's my point. It should be.'
I bet the average bobby on the beat,
just wants to get on with his job
and lock up the bad guys?
Well, that's my point exactly, mate.
There are no bobbies on the beat.
Yeah, that's because
the people who make the rules
and all the other stuff
they ram down our throats,
they've forgotten that the police
aren't there to serve them,
they're here to serve us.
'The taxpayers.'
Did you know who I worked for
when I was teaching? The kids.
If they thought I was doing
a good job,
that was good enough for me.
And, by the way,
I was doing a bloody good job.
Listen, my friend. Listen, Tony,
I don't doubt it, at all.
You know what?
You've absolutely nailed it
yet again.
'Because from the moment I started
this job, my job,
'I've been saying
exactly the same thing.'
It's you lot out there
that I work for - the listeners.
Not the station. Not the controller
or some accountant somewhere
that might be paying my cheques
every month,
but it's you lot who pay my wages.
Yeah. And we'll be the ones
who'll judge
if you're doing a good job.
And that's exactly how it should be,
And we'll let you know
when it's time for you to go
by switching off the radio.
Steady on, Tony.
let's not get carried away here.
'Speaking of jobs, Tony, I mean,
you've gotta have some stories.
'So go on. Go on, don't be shy,
give us your best one.'
God, mate, I Pfft. I don't know.
Mate, teaching in
a Liverpool secondary school,
it must have been a riot.
I mean that quite literally.
Well, I was I suppose
there was a time that the, er,
the Year 11s locked me in
a store cupboard
for an hour-and-a-half.
There we go!
Cheeky little scallywags.
It was their leaving do
present to me
before they went off
and did their GCSEs.
How many years ago was this?
It was about, er,
I don't know, about three years?
So that would make them
about, what, 19, 20 now?
So, come on, Tone, give us the name.
'Who was the ringleader?
Just in case they're listening.'
'Gotta hear their side of the story.
'Give them the right to reply.
'Ah, I think we lost him, folks.
'Interesting chat, though, Tony.'
'If you get a chance, mate,
call me back,
'you know where we are.
'Honestly, guys, you simply must
must, must tune in tomorrow night.
'Now, folks, I'm going to play you
a special tribute.'
For fuck sake!
And welcome back.
We're still with World War II vet,
Albert Collins.
So tell me, you must have lost
so many friends, Albert?
Young men gave their lives.
'The way I saw it, Lawrence,
'I was doing my duty.
'Not just for my country,
'but also for my pals
who I was fighting alongside.'
'When you look back, mate
' does it make you feel?'
'Proud to have known them.
'And proud to have called them
my friends.'
Sorry, give us a sec.
MAN: Just jumped in a cab.
OK, mate, where?
West Derby Road.
I'm just talking to the cabbie.
Yeah, mate,
I'm heading up her direction now.
Nah. She has.
She has proper done me in.
Fucking talking back to me
like she's someone.
With a shitty little cafe job.
Nah, she's gonna pay, mate.
And I am gonna enjoy
every little fucking minute.
Anyway, no-one's gonna miss her,
are they?
No-one who cares.
See you later.
Stop here.
need to stick together on this
'and protect the vulnerable.'
'Hi, you've reached Rosa's phone.
'Please leave a message
after the beep.'
Hi, Rosa, it's me.
Look, I-I-I just let Ste in
the back of the cab.
I don't know if he was on something,
but, erm,
just stay clear, OK?
'Hi, you've reached Rosa's phone.
'Please leave a message
after the beep.'
Hi, it's me again.
Look, I'm just heading over
to the cafe,
so just sit tight, yeah?
Oh, and, erm, best not go outside.
I'll be there in ten.
Fuck 'em!
Oh, shit.
Oh, no, no.
'Hi, you've reached Rosa's phone.
'Please leave a message
after the beep.'
Ro Rosa. Yeah, it's me, erm
Er, look, give me a call
when you get this message, OK?
'Well, Lawrence,
if we didn't stand up for each other
'on the battlefield, people died.
'Our friends died.
'My friends died.'
LAWRENCE: 'I mean, you often
hear people talk about, er,
'matter of life and death,
'but this truly was a case
of exactly that.
'You either do something,
or someone really will die.'
Hey. Why's the cafe closed?
I don't know, er
One of the lads said Rosa
didn't turn up for work, so
Oh, shit.
Er, she might be in trouble.
What sort of trouble?
Her ex. This fella called Ste.
He's bad news, mate.
Do you know where she lives?
I'm I'm not sure.
Somewhere up past erm, erm,
Hope Street.
What about the bloke who owns
the place? Will he know?
I don't know. It's, er,
it's the middle of the night,
and I'm fucking shattered, OK?
So, good luck.
Is that it? You were in the forces!
I thought that
Whoa, whoa, hang on.
You thought what?
That That you'd know how to deal
with someone like this
this Ste fella.
I don't I I barely know you.
Please, mate.
Just tell me what to do, 'ey?
Hey, listen.
You know when I close my eyes
in the dark
..I see things
that I don't wanna see, right?
And I don't wanna ever see them
ever again.
That's why I work nights.
But you know those two types
of people
that I told you about
the other night?
This other fella. He's trouble.
And I-I-I don't know
Whatever trouble you've got,
I have no idea, but you really want to add to them?
Do you?
You need to turn around,
get in that cab, sit in the rank,
and keep your head down.
Do you hear me?
Do you hear me?
LAWRENCE: 'We're still being
absolutely swamped
'with texts about the incredible
World War II vet,
'the indomitable Mr Albert Collins.
'Great interview, and the work
Albert still does for charity
'and his local community is amazing.
'We've got one here, it is, er
It says, er, Moira from Crosby,
' "Albert! What a man!
' "An inspiration and proud to be
able to call him one of our own."
'Hear, hear, Moira. Nice one.
'Er, Tommy from Kirkby,
' "If there were more fellas
like Albert,
' "the world wouldn't be in
the mess it is in today."
'I second that, mate,
I second that.'
Now this one, this one,
really, er, this one struck a chord.
And a lot of you are saying
exactly the same thing.
"If a man in his 90s can still help
those in need, then maybe,
"just maybe a few more of us
should get off our big fat backsides
"and follow by his example."
'And that's the crux of it,
isn't it?
'What we desperately need
is more people like Albert.
'More people to stand up
for those in need.
'People willing to fight
for what is right.
'If you see someone struggling,
reach out.
'If you see someone in danger,
don't stand idly by, do something.'
'So what gives him the right
'to tell people
how to live their lives?'
Oh, here we go.
I don't think he was telling anyone
actually how to live
their lives, mate, you know?
'It's not what
it sounded like to me.'
'There is such a thing
as giving people
'the benefit of your experience,
if you know what I mean?'
'What, cos he fought in
some poxy war years ago?'
'What do you mean some poxy war,
'Shut up, lad.
Have you heard yourself?'
He fought against Hitler
and Nazi Germany for Christ's sake!
He fought for your freedom, son!
'He fought for your freedom,
my freedom, all of our freedoms!
'So jumped-up little twerps like you
could go on radio shows
'and speak their mind without fear
of persecution or prosecution.'
'Oh, why don't you piss off?
Seriously, piss off!'
'Anyway, what is it exactly you do,
you non-entity,
'apart from sitting around
on your fat arse all day
'doing absolutely nothing?
'And you've got the bloody cheek
to go ahead and judge people.
'You've got no respect for anybody
or anything,
'and I for one am sick'
'You're pressin' my buttons.'
'Don't stand idly by, do something.
'Do something! Do something!'
No, no.
Oh, please, God, no.
Tony Conroy? I'm DS Marshall.
Can we come in?
I warned you, didn't I,
to stay out of it?
I know what sort of man he is,
but he doesn't deserve this.
Do you know the victim?
Only what I've heard.
'The only way to deal with rats
is to exterminate them!'
And you're saying
that makes him fair game?
'Too bloody right it does, yeah!'
Needs some body work done.
Yeah, it was a dog.
Must have been a big dog.
So what's gonna happen now?
What do you care?
There is a genuine bond
between me and my audience.
That I could be that person
they could talk to
that would listen.
I could be that friend in need.
I was just thinking about
the person who did this to him.
What do you mean?
Well, they need to be found
before they do the same thing
to someone else.
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