Since the passing of his wife seven years prior to the story, Gerald Burtland has appeared in many failed productions, which less and less people are attending. He lives alone at 128 Morgan Terrace, where he once lived with his wife Angela and their three children Annie, Timothy and Grace. One tragic night whilst performing in Forever You at Plymouth Royal Theatre, his wife collapsed in his arms and died within minutes. Following this, his children were taken away by their maternal aunt Violet Jefferys, who forbids them from seeing their father. Several years later, he contemplates suicide but at the moment of doing so, he receives a call from his agent who informs him that he has managed to get him a leading role in an upcoming play. Following the success of the play, his sister-in-law allows him access to his children.