It's Eileen's fiftieth birthday. She's agreed to a date with Nigel from the website but hasn't slept for worrying about the gap between her profile and reality. Ken and Deirdre discuss how Tracy will cope with two babies on her own. Lloyd tells Steve that the barrel he's over has just doubled in size. Steve is determined to be happy. The consultant tells a stunned and elated Chris there are grounds for real optimism that he's making a recovery. An emotional Tracy wants to tell Steve how she feels, but Deirdre interrupts and Steve goes. Tracy lets Deirdre know she overheard her conversation with Ken and agrees about how hard it's going to be to manage. Norris depresses Eileen about being fifty. Eileen cagily tells Rita that she doesn't have any special plans to celebrate with the family. Norris is frustrated when Eileen won't say more. As Steve toasts his good news with Owen and Jason, an upset Tracy arrives to talk with him. Eileen wants to leave the factory early to get ready for her date but Julie and Sean have other ideas. The stereo's switched on, sandwiches and drinks appear, and, smiling weakly, Eileen dons a party hat. Nigel arrives at No.11. Rosie's pleased that Eileen's date is so dishy and invites him in to wait. Lloyd wants to buy capers but Amber tells Sophie that she doesn't even know what a caper is. Sophie thinks otherwise after last night. Amber tells Sophie that university opened her mind in more ways than one but not to mention anything to Dev. Steve and Tracy have a heart-to-heart along the towpath. Tracy doesn't want to be a single mum to three children. She wants to be with Steve. Julie presents Eileen with "Nigella" cakes looking more like "SO" than "50". Eileen suddenly remembers Nigel and stirs to go. She has to close her eyes and hold on for one last surprise though and everybody troops out. To the sound of "Congratulations", Eileen opens her eyes and her jaw drops to see a 50th birthday banner with her name on it draped across the front of the factory. Panicked, she disappears back inside. Nigel leaves No.11 thinking that he's been stood up. Rosie walks him towards the factory in search of Eileen, unwilling for her to miss out. Rosie clocks the banner and a windswept deranged looking Eileen above it, trying to tug the knots loose. Norris takes pleasure in pointing Eileen out to Nigel, whose face plummets. His GSOH doesn't extend to Eileen ageing ten years overnight. Eileen pokes her head through the railings to desperately try to explain but Nigel leaves. Eileen finds herself stuck fast, still wearing her elasticated bowler hat. By the canal, Steve responds to Tracy's declaration that he's the most important person in the world to her by saying he feels the same. They kiss and embrace.


Regular cast

Guest cast



  • TV Times synopsis: Eileen arranges a date with an online admirer, but is left red-faced when a 50th birthday surprise for her from the factory workers ends in disaster; and Tracy admits to Steve she is unsure about going through with the pregnancy.
  • Viewing Figures: First UK broadcast: 7,960,000 viewers (13th place).
October 2011 episodes
Mon 3rd (1 2) • Thu 6th • Fri 7th (1 2) • Mon 10th (1 2)
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