David and Karen

Name: David Marsden

Played by: Robert Bathurst

Age: 41

Occupation: Stockbroker

Characteristics: Dull, stuffy and chauvinist and insufferable snob, David has become more likeable as the series has progressed and his weaknesses have been exposed.

Loves: His job, wine, the Harley Davidson Karen bought him with 'Born to be Mild' inscribed on the side.

Hates: Nanny Ramona's long telephone calls to Spain, spending too much time at home with his family.

Love life: Comfortably married to Karen who he totally takes for granted. Last series saw the usually staid and reserved David strike up a relationship with labour activist Jessica, resulting in a one-night stand.

Finest hour: Saved his son Josh from being mown down by a car.

Shameful Episode: Carelessly let his son Josh wander into the road while discussing his next career move.

Where we left him: Sleeping in the spare room in the aftermath of his extra-marital affair. A mistake for which he is will continue to pay.

Most likely to say: "Ramona, shouldn't you be looking after Josh!?".

Robert on David: "Most characters you play..believe themselves to be all right, even if to an objective opinion they are horrible. What I love about the writing is that human complications are allowed to intrude, making the character more rounded."

Name: Karen Marsden

Played by: Hermione Norris

Age: 32

Occupation: Housewife, mother of three.

Characteristics: Fiercely loyal and supportive of her friends. Bored and frustrated in her stagnant marriage to a thoughtless husband. Aspires to be taken seriously.

Loves: Her friends, a drink or two.

Hates: David's boring friends. David when he's being patronising and or tedious.

Love life: Married to David since forever. Feels she's stuck in a rut but has been willing to work at it, suggesting marriage counselling.

Finest hour: Gave Starsky and Hutch style chase to a thief who had stolen her car. Was arrested for injuring him.

Shameful episode: Spotless record really, although got drunk and smoked a joint at one of David's high-powered dinner parties.

Where we left her: Seething at David's infidelity and re-evaluting her life.

Most likely to say: "Oh Shut up David!"

Hermione on Karen: "Women identify with Karen because she has compromised so much of herself and her values for David. I think it's true of many women. You get married when you're young and then evolve and think 'hang on a minute!'. Karen has been taken for granted."

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