Car Share, Now 48 and the Fairytale World of Kayleigh Kitson

Well, I know he’s probably not for everyone, but I have absolutely loved the recent set of Car Share episodes, written by and starring, Peter Kay. In case of inadvertently issuing a spoiler however, I thought I should wait until they had actually all been aired on the BBC before writing about them. Like most fans of the first series, I dived in a few weeks ago as soon as they first appeared on the iPlayer – By the time the closing credits came up on a very emotional final ever episode, I had already viewed it around 5 times.

In case you haven’t watched the series, the half-hour episodes could not be simpler in terms of plot-line – Supermarket assistant manager John Redmond (Peter Kay) and supermarket worker Kayleigh Kitson (Sian Gibson) have taken part in their firm’s car share scheme and inevitably over the months, get to know each other really well. They develop a kind of sympatico whilst driving back and forth to work every day, all the time listening to the fictitious Forever FM on John’s Fiat 500 digital radio. Peter Kay has an encyclopaedic knowledge of pop music, especially from the ’80s and ’90s and the third star of this show became that Forever FM soundtrack (took me right back to those days). Moments of great humour emerged when just the right track was picked for a particular scene. The very first episode started off with Martika’s Kitchen and the final episode ended with Marillion’s Kayleigh, the reason for which will become clear (SPOILER ALERT).

thP8HOM882

One of the strange outcomes from a hit series like this is that the Now That’s What I Call Music people have had to start repressing copies of Now 48. At the end of the first series, Kayleigh, who was moving house and would no longer be car-sharing with John, left him a parting gift in the form of the aforementioned CD. She also left a little note inside with the not-so-cryptic message that he should listen to Track 2 which was Hear’say’s Pure and Simple. Thinking back, this is the kind of thing I might have given my latest crush as a teenager but there is something very childlike about Kayleigh and this was her favourite CD, so it did seem apt. Not the kind of thing your average 43-year-old man would normally listen to but hey, Kayleigh had her message to get across and this was her way of doing it.

Track 3 on this CD (which became the soundtrack to the fantasy dream sequence starring John, Kayleigh and a Monster Truck!) was Never Had a Dream Come True by S Club 7 which was the official Children In Need charity single that year. This is not the kind of song that would normally be enjoyed by a lady of my age either, but I do have a soft spot for both it, and S Club 7, for the following reasons. S Club 7 were a manufactured pop act put together by ex-Spice Girls manager Simon Fuller and they starred in four really successful kids’ sitcoms. This all happened around the turn of the millennium which was just when I was having a few years off work to be a stay-at-home mum. There was big excitement in our house when Miami 7 first aired on kids’ telly and although she would be embarrassed to admit it now, darling daughter’s very first single (a cassette single actually) was Never Had a Dream Come True. If this blog was a Nostalgic Journey Through the Tracks Of Her Years, this song would most definitely feature. By default therefore, it also features in mine.

Never Had a Dream Come True by S Club 7:

But getting back to Car Share, true-life never runs quite as smoothly as in the fairy-tale world of kids’ telly and John has conveniently chosen to ignore the message offered up in the form of the lyrics to Pure and Simple. They do however reinstate their car-sharing routine and get ever closer by the day as is wont to happen when you spend so much time together.

billy ocean

In the final episode there is a wonderful scene where Billy Ocean’s Red Light Spells Danger comes on the radio and as ever, our supermarket colleagues who have that whole “unspoken thing” going on, burst into song – It is one of the real high points of the whole series but also spells the end of the unspoken thing, as it finally becomes a “spoken about thing” so can only go one of two ways. Kayleigh is accused of living in a fairy-tale world (which to be honest is preferable to the one we seem to be living in at the moment) and the cautious John, who comes from a background and part of the country where such things are most definitely not spoken about, does not come up with the correct responses. Kayleigh gets out of the car and out of his life. Sadly, if she had waited just a few more minutes, she would have realised that John had engineered a message of his own via the dulcet tones of Forever FM’s drive-time presenter and the playing of that song which bears her name.

So, “What’s It All About?” – As a long-term observer of the human condition, this was an excellent piece of writing from Mr Kay and his song choices throughout were impeccable. As a lady of a certain age, Kayleigh had indeed “no time to waste” and she had to invoke what I used to call, the 3-month rule. Even with the most unlikely of partners, you can have a lot of fun for around three months, but it is highly likely that after that point the rose-coloured spectacles come off and lots of things about them really start to grate. If however all is still going well, it is wise to find out where things are “going”, as before you know it the years have rolled by and you find yourself with someone who is unwilling to commit (not that I know of anyone who has had that happen to them of course).

As for Car Share, it sounds as if that truly is the end of it, and so it should be as we are left to decide for ourselves how things turned out for our supermarket heroes. I choose to think there would have been a happy ending as to think otherwise, for me, is not an option. As for the songs, I’m off to have another wallow in that Forever FM soundtrack as it takes me right back to those days of dalliances and the invoking of the 3-month rule. As for Now 48 I might just pass on that one, but for darling daughter, however strenuously she denies it in the future, I will always know that Track 3 was her very first single!

Never Had A Dream Come True Lyrics
(Song by Cathy Dennis/Simon Ellis)

Everybody’s got something
They had to leave behind
One regret from yesterday
That just seems to grow with time
There’s no use looking back, or wondering
How it could be now or might’ve been
All this I know
But still I can’t find ways to let you go

I never had a dream come true
‘Til the day that I found you
Even though I pretend that I’ve moved on
You’ll always be my baby
I never found the words to say
You’re the one I think about each day
And I know no matter where life takes me to
A part of me will always be with you

Somewhere in my memory
I’ve lost all sense of time
And tomorrow can never be
‘Cause yesterday is all that fills my mind
There’s no use looking back, oh wondering
How it should been, now oh might’ve been
All this I know
But, still I can’t find ways to let you go

I never had a dream come true
‘Til the day that I found you
Even though I pretend that I’ve moved on
You’ll always be my baby
I never found the words to say
You’re the one I think about each day
And I know no matter where life takes me to
A part of me will always be with you

You’ll always be the dream that fills my head
Yes you will
Say you will
You know you will oh baby
You’ll always be the one I know I’ll never forget
There’s no use looking back, oh wondering
Because love is a strange and funny thing
No matter how hard I try and try
I just can’t say good bye

Author: Alyson

Whenever I hear an old song on the radio, I am immediately transported back to those days - I know I'm not alone here and want to record those memories for myself and for the people in them. 50 years ago the song "Alfie" was recorded for the film of the same name and I'm hoping that by writing this blog, I might finally work out the answer to his question, "What's it all about?"

23 thoughts on “Car Share, Now 48 and the Fairytale World of Kayleigh Kitson”

  1. I was a little disappointed with S2 overall, but I think that’s because I loved S1 so much – I did a post way back when (links undoubtedly dead by now) with every song from S1 on it. It was a tough act to follow. I agree about the ending though (no spoilers), realistic rather than fanciful, and all the better for it. I wouldn’t rule out a Xmas special though, both series’ have been gearing up to John/Peter Kay running the Xmas section, so there is some more mileage (pun intended) there.

    Oh, and there was one song that I was delighted to hear included which I always feature around this time of year…coming soon….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for dropping by – don’t expect much feedback on this one but just really wanted to write the post. I think I just have this thing whereby I always enjoy the second series of something best because by then you have got to know the characters well (and have your favourites) but it’s still fresh, and there are plenty of new storylines. Nothing should go beyond 5 series (The Wire you wrote about earlier today stopped there thankfully – We had to have a break with that one though as it just all got a bit too depressing).

      Yes the ending was the right way to go but as you say a lot of references to Xmas so who knows? I also want to listen to Forever FM on the way to work but with the wonders of technology, it kind of is possible – will have to do something with that playlist.

      It’s late and I am probably being a bit dense but I can’t work out what your pick for this time of the year might be – Will look out for it. Guessing you didn’t catch that plane then!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh yes – got it. You mean that thing I went to a couple of years ago dressed as Bucks Fizz. I am planning a post, with pictures. I will then probably have to retire from the blogging community as I will no longer have any followers!

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  2. Nice piece, with one snag… it’s about the wrong song! “Never Had A Dream Come True” is track 3 on Now 48 – track 2 is “Pure And Simple” by Hear’Say. That’s why John’s playing it in the opening scene of S2.

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    1. I did notice that and rewatched the episode to double check the track number they mentioned – I felt sure the track she was referring to was the S Club one though so changed it – oh well, a bit of editing perhaps required but doesn’t change the whole premise too much!

      A new visitor to these parts so thanks for that but shame it was to correct something!!

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    2. Ok – Done a bit of editing and corrected the track reference. Watched the episode again and for some reason because it was playing during the opening scene I thought it was Track 1 and the S Club song that came along next (which was the song used for the whole dream sequence) was Track 2 – Somehow it’s spoilt it for me knowing that the message was that other song – much less romantic!

      All of this of course not exactly important in the grand scheme of things but I hate getting any of my facts wrong and this was a biggie – thanks for pointing it out.

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  3. Lovely to read about this. I’ve so enjoyed all three series – and having recorded the final episode but only just got round to watching it back this morning, I’m still feeling all the emotions very much to the fore now! (I got watery-eyed and Mr SDS had to remind me that it’s a comedy, but I think I was just so moved by Peter Kay’s insight… I felt and understood both sides…) It’s refreshing to watch something that doesn’t really need a lot of action, nor even much of a plot in each episode, but is so full of warmth and pathos and mostly revolves around ‘everyday’ conversation. And such acting talent. So funny about the repress of Now 48!
    Sadly I read this the other day
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-39780365
    in which Peter Kay says there won’t be a Christmas Special, he wants to stop while the going is good, and I can see where he’s coming from. I say “sadly”, but at the same time I think it sort of needs to be left where it is, and not become a fairytale after all, and is all the more perfectly bittersweet for that.

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    1. A sort of ‘Freudian slip’ there – I meant of course “I’ve so enjoyed both series” – not sure why I said “all three…”!!!??

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    2. Phew glad you watched it before reading this then or I would have kind of ruined it for you – waited as long as I could but will be old hat if I leave it much longer! As you say the great thing about it is that the “plot” is pretty much the everyday chat between work colleagues, albeit really funny ones. Peter Kay and Paddy McGuiness were in the same class at school – Can you imagine having been their teacher! Whenever you’re in a group of really funny people, you find that you have to raise your game a bit as the one-liners just come so thick and fast – If you’re in those kind of groups every day, life can indeed be très amusant! Billy Connolly never thought he actually was that funny because in the shipyards where he first worked, everyone could come away with the kind of stories he used to regale us with. The flipside is of course that sometimes these guys would have found it hard to discuss heavy relationship-type stuff but sometimes “the unspoken thing” is way preferable to “the spoken about thing”!

      No it couldn’t have ended all fairy-tale like but I have a feeling at the next fancy dress works party, they may have re-bonded over one of the many Forever FM type songs played that night. It would never again be as Pure and Simple as during the Red Light car singalong but might move onto a new phase where they spend their weekends going to Monster Truck Shows and Safari Parks! – Hope so.

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  4. As you’re probably aware Alyson, I too absolutely loved it and went into print saying as much on at least two occasions. But what you see is what you get; or not, as is the case here – J&K were obviously not destined to take things to the next level’.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I noticed that you had mentioned it a couple of times – It really was great wasn’t it.

      Oh I think the ending here was just the first bump in the road (excuse the pun) on the way to very much taking things to the next level – There will be a bit of drunken texting from Kayleigh and a bit of “accidentally on purpose” running into each other at work – As I said in C’s reply above, nothing will ever be as Pure and Simple as it was for them during their car share singalongs but that’s life, sometimes the best time in a relationship is that period right at the beginning before all the serious stuff takes over – Sadly you can only have it once however – As Rick said in Casablanca, “We’ll always have Paris”.

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    2. As a matter of interest I have tried a few times to leave a comment on your site recently but can’t – Loved the track you shared with the Johnny Vegas post. (Getting too old to wait for life to begin now, got to make it happen!)

      As for the technical issue maybe it’s a blogspot/Wordpress thing but can’t seem to type anything in the comments box. Maybe others have found the same.

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  5. John Medd pointed me towards this marvellous series a couple of years ago (as well as the equally brilliant Detectorists as I recall). Unfortunately, not owning a TV license (or TV), I have to wait for the DVD to become available through my rental company of choice before I can watch Series 2. Soon hopefully.

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    1. In some ways I am envious of you not owning a telly as it would free up so much time if I didn’t have one. Then again since starting the blogging I have done an awful lot less telly watching and am very selective nowadays so probably a good thing. Car Share was very good though so definitely one to catch up with once the DVD becomes available – In the meantime you can just read our ramblings about it and experience it vicariously through us!

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    1. Car Share was very popular so feel sure you will get it at some point – Word of warning they are from the North of England and Peter Kay has a very distinctive Bolton accent but I have no doubt you will understand it all perfectly. The Forever FM radio station plays big pop hits from the ’80s and ’90s and around half of them are probably from your side of the pond – Very funny show but also heart-warming and a bit emotional for those of us who wanted a happy ending!

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  6. I remember a number of the songs from Now 48. Although in Denmark it was called Absolute Music 26 with a slightly different tracklist. I can see Safri Duo is on both those releases, a Danish group who did a fun remix of Michael Mcdonald’s Sweet Freedom.

    I recently binge-watched the new Trip To Spain w/ Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. Some scenes are not dissimilar to Car Share, with them doing impressions and listening to music while on the road.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Trip is great isn’t it and as you say not dissimilar in a way to Car Share. As for these compilation CDs, we had that one when my daughter was very young – Fond memories for that reason but didn’t expect it to pop up on a telly show as the favourite CD of a certain Kayleigh Kitson – I think my daughter outgrew it by the age of 10! Didn’t know Safri Duo were Danish – Every day’s a school day.

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    1. Noticed that but got cold feet and deleted it! Been over-sharing a bit too much of late so time to reign it in perhaps. Sorry that the dreaded E word is appearing on your sidebar.

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