Julie has gone home and Enid,having won the lottery jackpot,has moved to the French Riviera,so Henry places an advertisement for a new cleaner in the local paper where Matthew is on work experience. Behind his father's back Matthew engages glamorous but useless Susie,an ex-circus worker,but Henry engages the older,experienced Fiona.Henry cannot afford both and the appearance of Susie's ex-boyfriend,Roberto the love-sick lion tamer,does not help matters - though it gives Matthew a story for his paper.
When Henry's handsome and charming younger brother Edward comes to stay at the Willows' house Matthew is much taken by his stories of the grand circles in which he moves. An envious Henry,lying about his job to impress his brother, takes Edward to his boss's office,which he attempts to pass off as being his own. Inevitably his deception is revealed but then Edward hasn't exactly been truthful about himself either.
Cynical as ever Henry does not share Fiona's and Matthew's belief in the occult and sabotages their seance to commune with the ghost of the cat supposedly haunting the spare room by producing a glove puppet. However he takes up Matthew's challenge to spend a night alone in a disused and allegedly haunted railway station. Tipped off by Fiona he expects to see Matthew dressed up as a ghost but who is the mysterious woman at the end of the platform who vanishes into thin air?
Matthew falls for Lucy,who is from a wealthy background,and,whilst he is ashamed of his middle class surroundings, Lucy gets on very well with Henry. However,when Lucy finishes with him because she has fallen for a much older man,a heart-broken Matthew takes his father's advice to play it cool and act the tough guy,only to find that the new found object of her affection is Henry himself.
After a spate of burglaries in the area Henry and Gordon from next door join the local Neighbourhood Watch. Returning from the evening's patrol Henry finds that Matthew has invited Millwall,a hulking great youth who looks like an ex-convict,to stay the night and he starts to worry that his collection of prize trophies will be stolen. Sure enough next morning all the cups have gone along with Millwall but Henry really should have spoken to Fiona before calling the police.
Henry starts to feel his age after a visit to the doctor whilst Matthew invites Shady Grey,a seemingly lonely pensioner from the nearby flats for the elderly,to come and stay. Once Shady has got his feet under the table however, Henry is annoyed by his lack of hygiene,boorish manner,lustful pursuit of Fiona and,most of all,the fact that he is far healthier than Henry.He has to go.
Matthew is about to sit his 'A' Level exams but Henry is concerned about his lack of commitment to revision,particularly after the teacher tells him his son has been lying about his home situation to make excuses. Come the day of the exams Matthew is prepared to cheat but when his plans are thwarted by a zealous examiner there is nothing for it but to make his father proud of him by honest means.
Christmas is coming and Henry has booked himself and his new girl-friend Cynthia into a select hotel to spend the festive season on their own. Unfortunately Matthew,disappointed by his father's plans, decides that it would be a lovely surprise for Henry if he and his siblings turned up at the hotel to wish their father a merry Christmas. Henry is not impressed.