A disclaimer at the opening indicates that this movie was loosely "suggested" by the story of Cynthia Payne, London's famed madam, yet it becomes quite clear that this is a blow-by-blow description of her life and times. Christine Painter (Julie Walters) begins as a waitress, raising a
young son. Painter is not really a sexual person, but she realizes that prostitution might help make ends meet. She enlists the aid of Shirley (Shirley Stelfox), a seasoned veteran of "the life," and the backing of Morton (Alec McCowen), a former RAF wing commander given to wearing bras and
panties. Dolly (Danny Schiller), a transvestite, joins the team as the maid, and the house bec...