Joanne Lowe was reported to be angry and frustrated after a suggestion to her husband that they add a spot of role-playing to their sex lives spiralled out of control. Upon hearing the idea of "the lonely housewife and the local handyman catching an eyeful as he clears the guttering", husband Robin, a dedicated method actor, threw himself into the role.
"I thought it would be a bit of fun while the kids were staying with the grandparents," explained 37-year old solicitor Joanne, "but Robin really began living the part. He put adverts in the local paper and in the newsagent's window offering to do gardening, DIY, house clearances, all sorts."
According to Joanne, her husband has closely modelled his performance on the man they had come around to put up a potting shed last summer. "The guy did a good job, for an arthritic 60 year old, and his personal hygiene issues and tobacco chewing habit didn't seem so bad because he was outdoors most of the time. However, I wasn't expected to kiss him or, you know...Oh, and did I mention he had a strong West Country accent? It's doing my head in."
Living with a man who insists on wearing overalls at all times and continually asks for cups of tea sadly hasn't worked in spicing up their sex lives, which, if anything, has taken several steps backwards. "He stays up late most nights now, fiddling with a Black & Decker Workmate or reading the Mirror," continued the frustrated mother of two. "One night he did come up to bed and I asked him to talk about something dirty, so he started going on about the state of Mrs A's pool, down the road."
There has been an upside to Robin's dedication however. With cash starting to come in from all the odd-jobs the "resting" actor has taken on, the Lowes now look like they'll soon be able to pay off the money they owe a private methadone clinic -- in 2006 Robin had required an intensive four-week stay for treatment after taking a non-speaking walk-on part as a junkie on The Bill.