The Factory Girls – Episode 51

Carol tugged awkwardly at her T-shirt. Lucinda had asked them to bring a selection, and the wardrobe woman had insisted on her wearing one that was pretty tight. She felt she looked more like some sort of bar dancer than a factory manager and, whilst that might be a look Shelley could carry off, it wasn’t Carol’s style at all! She felt uneasy. The programme went out live, so any mistakes they made would not be able to be edited out. “Can we run through the questions again?” she begged Lucinda.They were all on set, having a lighting check. There were 20 minutes to go until they were on air and the activity around the place was frantic.“Perry will be here in a minute,” Lucinda assured her with the resolutely sugary manner that she clearly reserved for all nervous guests. “She’ll go through it all with you. Don’t worry, she’s a consummate professional. You’ll be fine! And don’t forget everyone here is on your side.”She said the last three words as if they were some sort of quote, her fuchsia lips working earnestly around the words. Carol nodded faintly.“You’re very kind.”“Not at all, Carol. We’re honoured to have you and your lovely girls on the show.”Carol doubted that, but supposed it was nice of Lucinda to say so. It had certainly been pretty exciting for them so far. The car had picked them up as promised and, although not quite a limousine, it had been big and black and shiny and had had a mini drinks cabinet in the back. Fortunately that had only been stocked with juice, for Shelley had been bouncing with joy and vodka would not have helped matters! As it was, she had worked her way through an apple and raspberry, a sparkling orange, and a mango and lime that she’d declared “disgusting” and had emptied out of the window in the middle of Manchester, to the driver’s ill-concealed horror.“It tasted fake,” was all she had offered in explanation, adding, “I know about these things. I’ve signed on at catering college.”Carol blinked, but Dana had been delighted.“Shelley, that’s brilliant!” “You can’t beat retraining,” Helen put in, leaving Carol even more mystified.When they pulled up at the studios the car door had been opened by Frank Morgan.“Jonathan called me. I had to come and see this for myself.”“See us making fools of ourselves?” Carol challenged her old friend.“Carol, you could never make a fool of yourself. I’m just so impressed that you lot have put up such a stand.”“We could have done more if you’d warned us earlier!”He flushed. As one of Xion’s executives he had been in an awkward position.“I know, and I’m sorry. It was tricky.” He took her arm, drawing her towards the grand doors of the studios. “Have you thought any more about Moonbright, Carol?”She glanced guiltily at Dana. As far as she knew Jonathan hadn’t admitted anything to her yet, and she didn’t blame him.“Can I talk to you about it a little later?”“Of course. Come for dinner. It’s been a long while since . . .”But at that point Shelley had bounced up, and they’d had to leave it there.


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