Chapter 1: After hearing about a mysterious substance in the water that makes birds sing in harmony, Wes Tacton decides to capture the birds from London Zoo. On the run from DI Warren Street of Scotland Yard, he arrives in rural Oxfordshire where he meets up with Colin Dale and Stan More. In a pub, they meet Roy Aloak, who offers them advice at a cost. They steal a car and hatch a plan to raise the money by selling Tube maps.
Chapter 2: Richard Bromley, a boy scout leader, and his housemaid, Ava Sudbury, receive an unexpected visit from John Collier, who does a remarkable impression of Woody Allen. They encourage him to take part in a "battle of the talents" show in the Scottish town of Wick.
Chapter 3: Wes, Colin and Stan arrive in Oxford, where Inspector Street gives chase. They sneak into a convent disguised as gardeners, and take the Mother Superior out for a drink, but she gets mugged by Charles Denton. They hail a taxi to Norwich, where Colin runs out of money and has to ring the very rich Don. Don has enough to pay off everyone's debts to Roy, and invites Roy to Norwich.
Chapter 4: Don is arrested by Inspector Street on suspicion of stealing the birds from London Zoo, but the other four get away. Don is sentenced to prison, but escapes and gets into a getaway car driven by Ken Sington, who turns out to be the car parking organiser for the forthcoming talent show in Wick. Don falls for Ken, who persuades him to come with him to Wick. Don is unhappy there and asks Ken to sing at the competition to lift his spirits.
Chapter 5: Ken is so successful that he is asked to represent the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest in Manchester. John is asked to represent Ireland (even though he isn't Irish and can't sing). The Azerbaijani performers, a mysterious quartet in burqas, are revealed during one of the semi-finals to be Wes, Colin, Stan and Roy, who have secretly travelled there from Norwich and kidnapped the actual contestants. They are arrested by Inspector Street and led off the stage. The final is won by Turkey, with Ken coming a poor 19th for Britain and John coming last.
Chapter 6: Richard and Ava have a new house guest, Walt Miller (grandson of Walt Disney). The four suspects are taken to a police station in Manchester for interrogation. Ken goes back to his old job as a parking attendant. John is talent-spotted by an American impresario. Richard and Ava decide to take Walt for a drive in the country.
Chapter 7: Don makes his way south and ends up in a monastery in Yorkshire, where he pretends to be in the military. The four suspects are further interrogated but suddenly all the police officers have to attend to a road accident. Ken meets a football supporter in the car park who gives him a mysterious piece of paper. Walt starts to get a little more familiar with Ava, but they're distracted by Tony and Dudley, two incompetent delivery men. John is booked to appear on a cable TV chat show, but a studio mix-up means he almost ends up on a quiz show instead.
Chapter 8: Don admits to the friar that he's an escaped criminal and asks for sanctuary. The four suspects are locked up in a cell. Ken reads the note and finds out he's being offered tickets for Wembley. Walt invites Ava to join him on holiday in the Seychelles. John gets a booking at the 'Square World' comedy club.
Epilogue: Don becomes a monk. Wes is sentenced to five years for theft; Colin and Stan get lesser sentences. Roy is acquitted but gets a fine for animal cruelty. Ken gets tickets for the FA Cup Final. Walt takes Ava back to America and marries her. Richard goes back to his boy scouts, and John is booked to play Woody Allen in a film of his life.