Strictly Confidential

Strictly Confidential

Strictly Confidential screened on ITV 1 on Thursdays at 9pm from 16th November 2006 to 21st December 2006

Linda Nelson is a psycho-sexual counsellor working in a Relate-style therapy practice in the centre of Leeds. Whilst helping clients with the most intimate of problems, Linda is struggling with issues in her own private life...

Linda is an ex-copper turned sex therapist. She works in a Relate-style practice alongside her friend and brother-in-law Greg. On a day-to-day basis she helps people articulate and come to terms with an array of difficulties, from premature ejaculation in men, to sex addiction in women. Her working life revolves around sex, the body, and interpersonal relationships. What goes on behind closed doors is very much Linda’s business. 

Behind her own closed doors, Linda is lacking in a different kind of sexual satisfaction – she and her husband Richard cannot conceive. His brother Greg, however, Linda’s colleague and one-time college crush, has two happy, healthy kids and one on the way. When Richard finds out that he is infertile, Greg seems the obvious candidate to donate his sperm to help Richard and Linda conceive through artificial insemination. After much discussion, Greg and his wife Penny agree to the idea, despite Penny’s misgivings, and a few words of warning from the boy’s slightly batty but sage mother Nancy.

Whilst struggling with her turbulent private life, Linda is dragged into the highs and lows of another life – that of swinging and sex play. Her ex-lover, Angie, now a Detective Sergeant, is investigating the death of a young woman who was found dead in a hotel bedroom. As the woman was found naked, with sex toys about her, Angie asks Linda for her professional opinion. From the crime scene, it appears to Linda that the woman was experimenting with auto-erotic asphyxiation – a practice where strangulation is used to achieve a more intense orgasm. Was the woman on her own, or was she with a trusted partner who scarpered when it all went wrong? Was it fully consensual or did a casual encounter result in one person pushing their games too far? Or could it have even been cold blooded murder, dressed up to look like something else? Where sex and death flirt with one another so closely however, there is no easy explanation.

The more sinister explanation looks all the more likely when not long after, a body of another young woman is discovered. This time, however, Linda knows the victim. It is Claudie, a woman whom she first met at one of the corporate events Richard organises, and who later came to the clinic for help with her sex addiction problem. Linda can’t help feeling responsible in some way for the turn of events, but her involvement in the case is compounded in a very unwelcome way as Richard is arrested on suspicion of murder. He was seen with Claudie shortly before her death, and one of his event ropes was used to strangle her.

Struggling to cope with the pressures of her life, Linda unburdens all her worries to Greg when they go away together for a conference. Their intimacy quickly moves beyond friendship, and they give in to the feelings they have always had for each other. On their return however, Greg finds that Penny has been rushed into hospital in premature labour. Guilt stricken, he tells Linda what they did cannot happen again. Having finally acknowledged her feelings for Greg, Linda’s uncertainty about her marriage increases and her affection for and trust in Richard breaks down even more. In the midst of her confusion, she discovers she is carrying Greg’s baby.

Strictly Confidential explores the murky area between love and friendship, fun and fetish, and the oldest riddle of all, sex and death. This pacy drama exposes both the comedy and the horror of human relationships, and begs the question, which parts of our intimate relations would we feel comfortable to reveal, and which parts should really be kept strictly confidential?


Suranne Jones - Linda Nelson

Cristian Solimeno - Richard Nelson

Tristan Gemmill - Greg Nelson

Eva Pope - D.S. Angie Morton

Seamus O'Neill - D.I. Standring

Nimmy March - Janice

June Watson – Nancy Nelson

Kate Isitt - Penny Nelson

Stuart Goodwin - Tony Peters

Stacey Roca - Claudie

Emma Bispham - Christine

Rupert Procter - Frank Pearson


Kay Mellor (eps 1,2,4,5,6)

Kate O Riordan (ep 3)


Yvonne Francas


Keith Boak

Roberto Bangura