NQ48 by Peter Vickers

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BBC Radio 4, 10 April 2009
This fantasy incorporated strong echoes of Woody Allen's Play It Again Sam, as it told the story of Joe (Jason Manford), an unemployed Mancunian twentysomething with a desire for a career in film but lacking the opportunity to pursue it. Try as he might, he could not escape the ghetto: much of his time was spent in bed talking to Cara (Fiona Allen) - a figment of his powerful imagination that also conjured up heroic images of Joe as Arthurian hero on the quest for the Holy Grail with the aid of his sword Excalibur.
Eventually Joe's dream came true as he entered a short film competition. Although not winning any major prize, the experience encouraged him to forsake his life of indolence, consign Cara to the recesses of his imagination and engage on the practical quest of raising finances to make further films.
Vickers contrasted Joe's fantasy world with his mundane life in Manchester. Like Allen's hero in Play It Again Sam, he imagined himself at the centre of a world of romance in which the hero would sweep a beautiful maiden off her feet to the strains of  "As Time Goes By." Cara was the tough, no-nonsense broad of film noir, ever ready to punctuate his fantasies with a satirical quip, or to advise him where necessary. It was hardly surprising that Joe should identify with her, as she represented everything that he was not - urbanity, sophistication and success. Eventually Vickers showed that any aspiring filmmaker, if they wish to seek success, should set aside their Hollywood-inspired fantasies and cast out on their own. Joe had no idea how his quest for fame and fortune would turn out, but we were nonetheless asked to admire his mental courage. This diverting Afternoon Play was directed by Jessica Dromgoole.