Well, since you ask me for the life history of Alex

I believe I do have a timeline of events that you might find illuminating.

Currently in Broadcast order
  1. 2020 – Online

    During the COVID-19 pandemic, Deborah and Jerry coordinate to virtually pull a Christmas cracker on a family video call. They are helped in their attempt by Toby and Alex, and lightly teased by Russ.

    While playing a round of charades, Deborah calls the rest of the family “spaniels” for deliberately avoiding the correct guess, even though she had already revealed the answer accidentally.

    The family each rip up the hat that they get from their cracker, although Alex has to first be reminded to do so.

    Instead of Christmas pudding, Deborah has half a scotch egg.

    At one point during the call, Alex tells Toby to let their dog, Oswald, out.

    • Toby is Alex’s daughter
    • Russ is Alex’s partner
  2. 2010 – Lanzarote

    On the beach, Alex asks Russ about a little mark on his shoulder. Russ tells him that it is a tattoo of the lower jawbone of a crocodile.

    He explains that a crocodile has strong muscles for closing its jaw but only weak ones for opening it. He claims that the tattoo is to remind him that strength depends on how you measure it.

    • Russ is Alex’s partner
  3. 2017 – Hastings

    Russ returns home from fishing with his dad, Cliff.

    His daughter, Toby is hostile to the idea of fishing and confronts him as he arrives in. Russ explains that he doesn’t actually use a hook, so all he is really doing is “fish feeding”.

    After Toby leaves, Russ and Alex talk more about Russ’ pretend fishing. Apparently, Cliff doesn’t know that Russ deliberately doesn’t catch fish. He just thinks that Russ is bad at fishing, which he enjoys teasing him about.

    • Russ is Alex’s partner
    • Toby is Alex’s daughter
  4. 2021 – Near Hastings

    Russ, Alex and Toby are walking their dog, Oswald, when they see a group of magpies. Toby counts through the One for Sorrow rhyme, but she only knows it up to four.

    Alex recites a version of the rhyme that goes well beyond the traditional seven, culminating in the revolution of the magpies and the beginning of the thousand-year age of magpies.

    With mock shame, Russ reveals to Toby that Alex used to be in a sketch group.

    • Russ is Alex’s partner
    • Toby is Alex’s daughter