This is the full script for Only Fools And Horses Series 5 Episode 7 – A Royal Flush.
Rodney dates Victoria, the Duke of Malbury’s daughter.
A Royal Flush Full Script
EXT. DAY. THE MARKET.
Such is the temperature of today’s sales items that Del has discarded the trestle table and is using the suitcase alone. As Del spiels, Rodney is standing behind him on the very kerbstones keeping a very wary eye out. Del is holding open a vinyl case which contains a canteen of cutlery. The suitcase, which contains many more of the cases, lies open on the pavement. A small crowd has gathered.
Del – I mean, just look at the quality! I mean, that’s the Titmus test innit, the quality? These are and-made from Indonesian steel. They’ve got ivory-effect handles and they come in a genuine synthetic-leather case.
We see Rodney surveying the area and doing his job well for once.
Del – (Cont’d) Now these canteens of cutlery are a very exclusive line. The only other places you can buy ’em are Harrods, Libertys and Pate’s MultiMart!
Now, as Rodney surveys the area, his attention is drawn to something on the opposite side of the street. We cut to see one of the smaller, aluminium framed stalls containing paintings and sketches (all unframed). Seated on a camp stool, and reading a book, we see Vicky. She is in her early twenties, casually to scruffily dressed but attractive, without being stunning. She looks up from her book, scans the area for potential customers, and then notices Rodney looking across at her. Rodney smiles – just polite and friendly. Vicky returns the smile and goes back to her book. Over these shots we can hear Del’s spiel continuing.
Del – (OOV) Now look at this, what can’t speak can’t lie. See that price tag? What does it say? I’ll tell you what it says. It says; ‘Manufacturers’ recommended retail price, forty two pounds, ninety nine pence!’
We cut back to Del just as a man (middle-aged) starts arguing with Del.
Man – You could have printed them yourself!
Del – Do me a favour pal! Do I look like Rupert Maxwell? Now, I’m not asking you good people…
Man – (Cutting in) There are two Ms in ‘recommended!’
Del – (Checking the price) This is the Indonesian spelling, you plonker! Now I’m not asking you for forty two pounds, ninety-nine pence! I ain’t come here to stripe you. I ain’t even asking for a score. If I said a tenner you’d think you’d had a right result.
We cut to Vicky. She looks up from her book, directly across at Rodney and smiles. She returns to er book. Rodney is stunned. The girl is actually showing out. Over these shots Del’s spiel continues.
Del – (OOV) But I don’t want a tenner! Before I tell you my price, I must warn anyone of an excitable nature to move along a bit lively.
We cut back to Del.
Del – (Cont’d) A thirty six piece canteen of hand-made cutlery, normally priced at forty two pounds, ninety nine pence – to you, three pounds fifty! Go’n, nick ’em off me! Don’t let me see ’em go, you know it hurts!
The crowd do not share Del’s enthusiasm. Rodney now begins his move across to Vicky. Del as his back to Rodney and so doesn’t notice him eave. As Rodney moves across street, we see (at least some) of the argument Del has with the man in background.
Del – Come along ladies and gentlemen, what d’you want, jam on it?
Man – They can’t be top quality, they’re too cheap!
Del – How can anything be too cheap, you plonker?
Man – Listen, I’m not a plonker!
Del – No? So what you doing, an impression?
Rodney is now at Vicky’s stall. She looks up from her book. In the background and OOV the argument continues over.
Vicky – Hello.
Rodney – Hi. Your first day in the market?
Vicky speaks with a softer, less grating, Sloane Ranger accent.
Vicky – Hmm, first day.
Rodney – Thought I hadn’t see you here before.
Rodney examines some of the sketches. In background we can hear:
Man – I bet we don’t get a guarantee with ’em!
Del – (OOV) All you’re gonna get is a smack in the mooey me old cocker! Now go and annoy someone else for a month or two!
Rodney – Is this all your own work?
Vicky – Yes, I’m afraid so!
Rodney – Oh no, no! They’re very good.
Vicky – D’you really think so? Oh that’s very sweet of you, thank you.
Del – (OOV) These are not just bargains, they’re investments! You can’t go wrong with knives and forks!
Rodney – I’m an artist. I went away to college, for a while.
Vicky is delighted to find a kindred spirit.
Vicky – Really? I was at the Chelsea School of art for two years, then I had a spell at the Sorbonne. Where were you?
Rodney – Basingstoke.
Vicky – Basingstoke? I don’t think I’ve heard of it?
Rodney – It’s a big town in Hampshire!
Vicky – I mean I haven’t heard of the Basingstoke College of Art.
Rodney – Oh it’s famous! Well, round Basingstoke it is! By the way, my name’s Rodney.
Vicky – Victoria. Well, Vicky.
Cut back to Del, we see Trigger arriving with council dust barrow and broom.
Del – Come along now ladies, make the neighbours jealous. Only the finest steel goes into the making of this premier cutlery.
Man – Yeah, but how do we know that??
Del – (Removing a knife) Run your wrist gently down the blade, you’ll soon find out!
Trigger – Alright Del Boy?
Del – Alright? I’d rather have shingles than these knives and forks. You can get rid of shingles! How’s things with you, Trigger?
Trigger – Known it worse!
Del – (To Crowd) Alright, I’ll tell you what I’ll do for you, I’ll let ’em go at three quid each. Now you know it makes sense!
Trigger – Three quid? Here, I’ll have one of them Del!
Del pulls Trigger to one side.
Del – What d’you mean, you’ll have one?
Trigger – Well at three pounds they’re a bargain!
Del – Trigger, these are the ones you sold me last week for a nicker each!
Trigger – No, they ain’t the same.
Trigger indicates the price tag which is at four pounds, ninty-nine pence each.
Trigger – (Cont’d) Mine don’t have them on.
Del – I don’t believe him! Look, just hand around Trigger, I’ll go’n give Miss Dianna a bell!
At this point Del notices a uniformed policeman. He has not noticed Del yet, but he’s getting too close for comfort.
Del – (To Crowd) Go on, away you all go ‘fore you get your collars felt!
The crowd disperse.
Del now spots Rodney on the opposite side of the street chatting merrily to Vicky.
Del – (To Himself) Look at that stupid little dipstick!
Del quickly closes his case locked and is about to move off away from the policeman. He reacts as we see a uniformed police woman on the opposite side of Del. She is giving directions to someone.
Del – (Cont’d) I’m surrounded! I know how Custer felt now! Listen, do exactly as I say Trigger!
Cut to policeman. The sudden disappearance of the small crowd has aroused his suspicions. He moves through the shoppers towards Del and Trigger. As he arrives so Del has his suitcase in hand and is wearing his dark glasses.
Trigger is talking to Del in a slow and deliberate manner as if Del is foreign.
Trigger – You are looking for the Hilton Hotel?
Del – Si! Heelton ‘otel!
Trigger – Okay. Turn left at the top of the road.
Del is aware of the policeman standing close by and observing it all with a knowing look.
Del – Si!
Trigger – And you’ll see a bus stop! Big red bus!
Del – Si!
Trigger – Get a 159 to Park Lane and that is where the Hilton Hotel is!
Del – Si! Danke schon. Bonjour.
Del moves off quickly following Trigger’s direction.
Trigger – Don’t get many tourists round this way, eh officer?
PC – No. Especially tourists that speak three different languages – all at once!
Trigger just smiles at the PC.
We cut to Rodney and Vicky.
Rodney – So how’s business? You selling much?
Vicky – Not a sausage, it’s been absolutely awful. I’ve only hired the stall for one day, just to see how it went. I want to be a real working artist. Someone who survives by their own efforts. I find it rather tiresome and belittling to continually live off allowances from Daddy! D’you know what I mean?
Rodney – Yes! I wouldn’t worry too much Vicky. You get good days and bad days down the market. (Examining a sketch) Maybe I could be your very first customer. How much is this?
Vicky – That’s fifty pounds.
Rodney – Oh…! (Picking up another one) How about this?
Vicky – That’s eighty five.
Rodney – I see! D’you mind if I give you a word of advice Vicky? You see, people round here don’t pay eighty five pounds for a painting! People round here don’t pay eighty five pounds for a car!
Vicky – Oh but surely, everyone has paintings in their homes!
Rodney – Yeah, but these people don’t get their painting from galleries and what ‘ave you. They get ’em from British Home Stores and Prize Bingo! You’ve got the wrong market Vicky. You should try Portobello Road, you might be in with a shout then.
Vicky – Hmm, possibly you’re right. Oh well, nothing ventured, eh? Would you be an absolute love and help me carry some of this back to the car?
Rodney – I’d like to help Victoria, but I’m afraid I’m very busy. I’m working with my bro… (Seeing that Del has gone) Oh! He must have sold out early and gone for a bit of grub. Well in that case, I’m at your service Miss.
Vicky – Oh, that’s very sweet of you. I’m sorry…?
Rodney – Rodney.
Trigger – (Calling across) Wotchyer Dave.
Rodney – (To Vicky) No. My name is Rodney, he’s just very thick!
Vicky – I see.
EXT. DAY. SIDE ROAD. LEADING OFF MARKET.
Rodney and Vicky, carrying all the paintings, sketches etc. are walking along.
Vicky – What line of business are you in, Rodney?
Rodney – I am a partner in a… in a partnership. Me and my brother. We buy and sell – this and that.
Vicky – You don’t specialise?
Rodney – Em – no!
Vicky – I envy you. It must be wonderful to work in the market every day. I find it so stimulating. All the hustle and bustle, and those lovely, lovely characters one meets. I know they’re not all lovely! Did you spot that noisy little person selling the tatty cutlery?
Rodney – Yeah! That’s my brother!
Vicky – Oh! I’m frightfully sorry! When I said noisy I didn’t mean any…
Vicky – (Cutting in) No that’s alright. He is noisy! He’s always been noisy! But he’s as good as gold really. I sort of, look after him.
Vicky – Oh, I see. I have no brothers or sisters.
Rodney – D’you want him?
Rodney – (Laughing) No thank you. Well, here’s the old crate.
Rodney reacts. We see a gleaming car parked at the kerb. Vicky opens the boot and they place the paintings etc. inside.
Rodney – Nice car!
Vicky – It was a birthday present.
Rodney – Oh! I got a Nick Kershaw LP! Right then, I’m gonna get something to eat. See you around Vicky.
Vicky – Where do you lunch?
Rodney – Lunch? Oh, I usually go down to the Greasy Thumb.
Vicky – The Greasy Thumb?
Rodney – No, it’s Sid’s caff really, we just call it the Greasy Thumb. Out of affection.
Vicky – May I join you for lunch?
Rodney – You? In the Greasy Thumb? Oh, I don’t think you’d like it Victoria! It’s all steam and bacteria – it’s ‘orrible!
Vicky – I get the feeling you’re an inverted snob, Rodney. Come on, jump in. I’ll chauffer you down there.
Rodney climbs into the passenger seat.
Rodney – But you won’t like it Victoria! I don’t even like it and I’m a regular! Look, there’s a McDonalds round the corner!
The car pulls away in a cloud of burning rubber.
INT. DAY. SID’S CAFE.
It is packed with market workers, building site labourers, punks, skinheads, rastas etc. A jukebox is playing loudly. The windows are steamed up. We see cigarette smoke and hear all the sounds of a workman’s cafe. The sounds of a pinball machine, arguments and Sid calling out for people to come and collect their meals and shouting orders through a serving hatch to the kitchen.
The first shot is of Sid’s hand holding a plate of sausage, egg and baked beans. His thumb is in the bean juice, as he hands the plate to customer we see the greasy thumb print it leaves on the side of plate.
Sid is shouting for the customers to collect their order. He has a cigarette still between his lips.
Sid – Sausage, egg, beans! Bacon, egg and toms twice! Egg, bubble and beans twice!
1st Man – (Cockney Labourer) Egg and chips! Egg, sausage and chips! Egg, sausage, beans and chips!
Sid shouts through hatch as two plates containing pie and chips, and pie, chips and peas are handed out to him.
Sid – Egg and chips! Egg, sausage and chips! Egg, sausage, beans and chips! (Now calling for the customer to collect) Pie and chips! Pie, chips and peas!
Rodney arrives at counter (He and Vicky are already seated in cafe).
Rodney – The egg, bubble and beans twice.
Sid hands him the two plates.
Sid – There you go Rodney. Don’t forget your tea, son. (Collects from hatch; calls) Two of dripping toast! Bacon, egg and one slice!
Rodney returns to table cautiously winding his way through some of the big labourers who are standing round the one-armed bandit. Rodney holds both plates in one hand and the two mugs of tea in the other.
Rodney – ‘Scuse me… Sorry… Thanks a lot.
He arrives at table, places food and tea down and sits. Seated next to Rodney and asleep on the table is an old dosser.
Rodney – There you are, Vicky.
Vicky – Thank you. I think it’s lovely in here.
Rodney – Yeah, it’s er, it’s good innit?
Vicky – Is this the bubble and squeak?
Rodney – Yeah, that’s the bubble.
Vicky – And what is it actually?
Rodney – It’s sort of, em, greens and, er, and sort of potatoes, and you mix it all up and, em, and fry it.
Vicky – (Tasting some) Mmh! It’s absolutely munchy!
During all this we hear in the background:
2nd Man – (OOV) This machine’s broke again Sid!
Sid – (OOV) If you don’t keep tilting the sodding thing it wouldn’t break, would it? Burger, chips and peas! Chicken, chips and beans. (Etc)
Rodney – You’re not from round Peckham way, are you?
Vicky – No, I was born and raised in Berkshire. I moved up to London about three months ago. Have you always lived here?
Rodney – Yeah, always.
Vicky – I’ve been wanting to live in London for ages. Berkshire’s so boring. Boring Berkshire I call it.
She laughs loudly.
Rodney laughs politely and wonders what the hell she is laughing at.
Vicky – (Cont’d) I wanted to be near the art galleries. I suppose you’re always in them?
Rodney – Well not really. Although I went up to the National Gallery a couple of weeks back. I suddenly realised – and I’m ashamed to admit it – but in all the years it’s been housed there I’d never actually seen the Da Vinci cartoon.
Vicky – Well I’m ashamed to admit it but I haven’t seen it either. What did you think of it?
Rodney – Em, well actually they were closed! But I’m gonna try again.
Vicky – Why don’t we go together?
Rodney – Yeah, cushty!
Vicky – Cushty?
Rodney – It means – wonderful, t’riffic.
Vicky – Oh I see, how frightfully Albert Square! So shall we say tomorrow at noon?
Rodney – Tomorrow? I don’t know if I’ll be able to get time off work.
Vicky – I thought you said you were a partner?
Rodney – Yeah, I am a partner but… Yeah, alright then, I’ll give myself the day off! Tomorrow at noon.
Vicky – Cushty! Do you like the opera Rodney? Of course you do, I can tell!
Rodney – Yeah!
Vicky – There’s a new production of Carmen opening at the Royal Opera House next week. I’ve tried everywhere to get tickets but it’s absolutely impossible!
Rodney – Yeah, I couldn’t get any either. Vicky, I hope you don’t mind me saying this, but I didn’t think Peckham would be your scene!
Vicky – Oh no, I absolutely adore this area. It’s all so rough and raw and vibrant! I saw a woman spit yesterday! You see, I was broughtup in a tiny community in the wilds of boring Berkshire. My world was one of nannies, live-in tutors, gymkhanas and village fetes. The first time I left there was when I was eleven, and that was only to Roedean. Then I went off to a Swiss finishing school. Mine was a very insular existence. I didn’t realise there was a real world – until I decided to make art my life. I suppose that’s why I like it round here – it must be the artist in me. My mother was a painter. She had some of her work exhibited at the Royal Academy.
Rodney – (Very impressed) No? Oh Mega! The Royal Academy! Does she still paint?
Vicky is obviously very saddened to speak of this.
Vicky – No.
Rodney – Have I said something wrong?
Vicky – No. You see my mother died when I was twelve. A skiing accident in Austria.
Rodney – Oh, I’m very sorry Vicky! I know how much it must have hurt you!
Vicky – I doubt it Rodney.
Rodney – Oh, I know exactly how you felt. The same thing happened to me when I was only five.
Vicky – Oh poor Rodney. How awful for you! (Squeezing his hand) Where was your mother skiing?
Rodney – No – no, my mum weren’t skiing! All in all, according to what the rest of the family tell me, my mum didn’t do a lot of skiing! She just had something wrong with her, that’s all.’
Vicky – Oh I see… Sorry! (Checks watch) Lord, look at the time! I must fly or otherwise they start worrying.
Rodney – Who do?
Vicky – Special Branch.
Rodney – S… s… Sorry? Special Branch?
Vicky – Oh, it’s all incredibly tedious! They protect us you see. Well, Daddy mainly.
Rodney – Why, what is he, a supergrass?
Vicky – (Laughing) No! Silly! He’s… oh it’s so boring! My father is the Duke of Maylebury.
Rodney was about to eat some bubble’n’squeak. It falls off the fork and onto his lap.
Rodney – The…The Duke of Maylebury?
Vicky – I told you it was boring. Well, I must dash. See you tomorrow at the National?
Rodney – (Weakly) Yeah!
Vicky – Cushty! Ciao!
Rodney remains seated and totally dumbfounded. He picks up mug of tea and sips it. The old dosser wakes.
Dosser – Oi, that’s my tea!
Rodney – (Still in a trance) Sorry… (Reacting) Eerghh – you dirty old bark.
INT.DAY. THE TROTTERS’ LOUNGE.
Rodney is seated on the settee still wearing his market clothes and his big Doc Martin boots. He is reading Burke’s Peerage. He looks up from book, stunned.
He now picks up a magazine (Country Life) and opens it to a black and white picture. It is a photo of Princess Anne at a horse trials. She wears riding gear and has a number pinned to her. Standing next to her, also in riding gear and number (but minus a riding hat) we see Vicky. They are both smiling (posing) for camera. Rodney puts the magazine down and stares blankly into space. We now hear the front door open and hear Del’s and Albert’s voices.
Albert – (OOV) I don’t know why you couldn’t of left it till tomorrow!
Del – (OOV) Will you give it a rest Albert? You’ve done more bleedin’ whining than a spin-dryer!
Albert enters, he is exhausted and wiping sweat from his brow with a hankie.
Albert – Rodney’s back Del Boy, someone must have paid the ransom!
Del enters, he too is wiping sweat from his brow. He gives Rodney a glare and then moves to the drinks cabinet.
Rodney – What’s up?
Albert – What’s up? Where you been all afternoon?
Rodney – I went down the library.
Albert – What for?
Rodney – See if me shoes were done! What d’you think I went to the library for? To get a book!
Rodney holds up a book.
Del – Burke’s? What is it – a teach-yourself book?
Rodney – It is a genealogical and heraldic history of the British peerage!
Albert – Yeah, well while you’ve been wasting yer time down the library I’ve had to help Del collect a consignment of computers and stack ’em in the garage!
Rodney – Well, a bit of hard work won’t hurt you Unc!
Del – And how the hell would you know?
Rodney – I don’t bel… Alright, so I had this afternoon off, is that such a big deal?
Del – I ain’t concerned with this afternoon Rodney. What I’d like to know is what the bleedin’ hell were you doing this morning?
Rodney – You know what I was doing this morning! I was on look -out in the market.
Del – Oh, you was on look-out alright, but it weren’t for the Old Bill, was it! I almost got a tug from the local gendarmerie while you were chatting that little tart up!
Rodney – Well, I didn’t see any coppers!
Del – Of course you didn’t ‘cos you had your nose buried in her etchings! I’ve been grafting all day long to make us a few bob, and all I’ve seen of you was a fleeting glimpse as you went into the landscape department.
Rodney – (Maintaining his pride) Alright! Sorry! I’ll pay more attention in future!
Del – Make sure you do, otherwise you’ll be going down the road!
Rodney – This might not be the right time to ask, but can I have tomorrow off?
Del – Can you…? I don’t believe you said that, Rodney!
Rodney – It’s important Del! I’ve gotta go somewhere. It really is important – honest!
Albert – You alright son?
Del – (Equally concerned) Yeah, you gotta go to the hospital or something?
Rodney – No. I have to go to the National Art Gallery!
Albert – Oh, it’s an emergency then?
Rodney – In certain respects, yes! I’m an artist!
Albert – So was Hitler!
Rodney – Why don’t you keep your nose out of it, Albert?
Albert – It’s none of my business son! I’m saying nothing on the matter! If Del don’t mind you taking the rise out of him, that’s fine by me! I’ll make some tea.
Albert exits to kitchen.
Rodney – Look – that girl who was selling the paintings down the market, Vicky, well neither of us has ever seen the Leonardo Da Vinci cartoon!
Del – I’ve never seen the pyramids but I don’t have a day off sick for it! Alright Rodders, take Vicky, or whatever her name is, up to the National Gallery. And while you’re mooching around discussing the brush strokes and pretty colours, you tell her that your big brother ain’t giving you no wages this week!
Rodney – Oh come on Del, that ain’t fair!
Del – Ain’t fair? Because of you and your dopey paintings I came within three yards of a sudden summons this morning! That ain’t fair Rodney!
Rodney – Well thanks a bunch! Thanks a great big bunch Del! That is – that is just cosmic! I’m supposed to take her out tomorrow and I’m potless! It’ll be right embarrassing. Specially with her coming from a money background.
Del – (Reading the newspaper) It’s a tough old world innit… (Without taking his eyes from newspaper) What d’you mean, a money background?
Rodney – Her old man’s very wealthy.
Del – Why? What game’s he in?
Rodney – I’ve gotta tell someone, Del. But promise me this will go no further?
Del – Righto, it’s just between us.
Rodney – Have you ever heard of the Duke of Maylebury?
Del – The Duke of…! Give over, you twonk!
Rodney – It’s the God’s honest truth, Del!
Del – No!
Rodney – Del, cross my heart and hope to die in a cellarful of rats! It’s the truth!
Del – What that little girl…? Her Daddy…?
Rodney – Honest, it’s for real!
Del – Bloody hell!
Rodney – It’s our secret, alright?
Del – Yeah, yeah, course it is!
Albert enters from the kitchen.
Del – D’you hear that, Albert?
Del – (Cont’d) D’you know that little sort of Rodney’s knocking around with?
Albert – What about her?
Del – Her father – only owns a pub!
Albert – Go’n, you’re pulling my leg!
Del – No, he owns the Duke of Maylebury. It’s over Nunhead Way, innit Rodney?
Rodney – No! No listen! He don’t own the Duke of Maylebury! He is the Duke of Maylebury! He’s nobility! He’s a peer of the realm!
Del and Albert stare at him, now they both burst out laughing.
Del – – Leave it out Rodders! I’ve seen a picture of the real Duke of Maylebury in the Sporting Life. He owns that horse, Hansome Samson, second favourite for next year’s Derby. That little bird looks nothing like him! She’s no more nobility than you!
Rodney shows them the photo from the Country Life magazine.
Rodney – No? Have a look at that!
Del – I don’t believe it! That’s the girl from the market!
Albert – Which one?
Del – Her there, with the long hair. She’s with Princess Anne at a rodeo or something!
Rodney – (Referring to Burke’s) They’re in here as well. Her father’s sort of second cousin to the Queen!
Del and Albert, mouths open in disbelief, just stare at Rodney.
Rodney – Vicky’s in here as well. (Finds page) Here are. Her full name is ‘Lady Victoria Marsh Hales’. Of child of Sir Henry Marsham, K.G.B. G.L.C. B.O. and Bar. Fourteenth Duke of Maylebury! Family home; Covington House, Upper Stanameer, Berkshire.
Del and Albert look at each other.
Del – (Angrily to Rodney) You ain’t had a go at her, have you?
Rodney – No, I ain’t!
Del – Well, you keep your mucky mitts off her! Otherwise we’ll have her mother throwing royal perogatives all over the shop!
Rodney – I doubt it, her mother died nine years ago in a skiing accident!
Albert – Alright then, answer me this. If she is a titled lady, what’s she going out with him for?
Rodney reacts offended
Del – Listen Albert, Rodney has got a lot of qualities. She might have been smitten by his rakish charms and boyish good looks! Then again she might be a posh tart who fancies a bit of scrag! You never can tell. Tel Aviv as the French say!
Rodney – Look, Vicky and I just happen to relate to each other well. We’ve got a lot in common.
Albert – No, son, she’s got a lot and you’re just common!
Rodney – He’s giving me the right ‘ump, Del!
Del – Hold on a minute! Albert might have cracked it! I think I know what this is all about! Listen to me. It is a well known fact that every two or three hundred years or so, the aristocracy have to bring a bit of common stock into the family to water the old blue blood down a bit.
Albert – (Indicating Rodney) What, and they can’t do better than that? Do me a favour!
Rodney – I’m gonna whack him right round the ear’ole in a minute!
Del – Well, why shouldn’t it be Rodney? I mean, Mark Phillips was a commissioner!
Albert – But there’s a common and there’s a common! Mark Phillips was a wealthy man and well known in the Royal Courts. Rodney’s polo mint and well known in the magistrates court!
Del – Well, I don’t care what you say. I reckon Lady Victoria Marsham-Hales has been instructed to sort herself out an old man from the lower classes. And Rodney’s in the frame! Rodney, ask her to marry you!
Rodney – Mar… I don’t wanna get married!
Del – Listen to me you dipstick! Don’t you see what this could lead to? Vicky is the sole heiress to the Maylebury fortunes! She’s got no brothers or sisters and the old gel popped her clogs half way down the giant slalom! So when the old duke finally says bonsoir to this mortal curl, she becomes the Duchess! And you know what that means
Rodney – What?
Del – Albert, I want you to remember this moment. We could be looking at – the future Duke of Maylebury!
Del bows to Rodney.
We see Rodney lounging back in the armchair. He has a roll-up between his lips. One foot is resting on the knee of the other leg so we can see his big boots.
Albert – He don’t look like a peer of the realm!
Del – Not at the moment, no. But a coronet, bit of ermine, get rid of them boots and he’ll be a dead ringer!
Rodney – I don’t want to be a Duke!
Del – Don’t give me all that Tony Benn cobblers! Think of all the advantages! You’ll be a member of the House of Lords!
Albert Yeah… we’ll be able to watch you on the telly having a kip.
Rodney – Del Boy, so far all I have done is buy Victoria a plate of egg and bubble at Sid’s cafe! That is hardly the basis for a marriage proposal!
Del – (Horrified) You took one of the Queen’s relatives to the Greasy Thumb? What is the matter with you Rodney? The poor little mare’ll be up all night with the thrupenny- bits! Their palates are different from ours. They can’t eat egg and bubble!
Rodney – Well Sid didn’t have any venison on the menu today! I am not asking her to marry me! In a few weeks I might not even like her!
Del – I don’t care if you chuck up at the very sight of her, Rodney!
Albert – Del ain’t asking you to like her – just marry her! Get your plimsoles under that old Chippendale and you’ll never look back! You’ll be a titled person.
Rodney – Dracula’s a titled person!
Del – He’s only a Count. Anyway, he ain’t real!
Rodney – I’m beginning to wonder if you are! Del, Victoria and I are like… Well, we’re more like mates than anything! We have just one mutual interest – art! Other than that we’re worlds apart! I mean, she wants us to go to places like.. well, the opera.
Albert – Why, what’s on?
Rodney – An opera!
Albert – I mean what opera?
Rodney – I don’t know! Carmen or something!
Del – That’s one of my favourites. (Singing) Figara, Figaro, Figaro, Figaro!
Rodney – Hear that Unc? He knows all the words! Listen, I don’t know the first thing about operas? And besides, it’s impossible to get tickets for the opening night.
Del – If you want tickets for the opening night, you shall have tickets for the opening night, Cinders.
Rodney – How?
Del – How’d you think? Limpy Lionel the tout! He can get tickets for anything!
Albert – Gonna cost, Del?
Del – What does money matter compared with little Rodney’s happiness? When you see that little tar… her ladyship, tell her you’ve got tickets for the opening night! And it’s my treat Rodney.
Rodney – Oh cheers Del Boy! You’re a pal! You are a real pal!
Del produces a wad of money.
Del – And I want you to pay for her to get into that art gallery tomorrow.
Rodney – No, art galleries are f… cheers Del!
Rodney takes the money.
Del – Then I want you to take her for a right slap up meal. Steak, wine, the works. I mean, don’t get her Oliver Twist or nothing! We don’t want a scandal!
Rodney takes the rest of the money.
Rodney – Leave it to me, Del.
Del – And when you see that Leonardo Da Vinci cartoon – you laugh!
Rodney – Why?
Albert – Let her know you get the joke!
Rodney – Oh, of course! (Counting the money) Well, don’t you worry. I’ll be laughing alright! I’m gonna whip down the pawn shop and liberate me evening suit. See you later.
Rodney exits through hall door.
Albert – Well, that’s a turn up for the book, Del! Young Rodney marrying into the Royal family. How d’you think the Queen’ll feel about it?
Del – Dunno really. I s’ppose when she first hears the news she’ll be a bit gutted. But once she meets him I think she’ll like him. I mean, he’s a nice boy. Friendly, polite, respectful. He’ll have to knock them roll-ups on the head. You can’t waltz round a garden party with a packet of Green Rizla sticking out of yer morning suit!
Albert – Here, we might be able to wangle ourselves a winter cruise on the old Britannia!
Del – No Albert, No! We’re not gonna ponce off ’em! That sort of thing causes family rifts. And another thing, let’s not count our chickens before we’ve crossed ’em? I’m starting to get a funny feeling.
Albert – What, something might go wrong?
Del – If we leave it in Rodney’s hands it’s a guarantee! He ain’t got a clue when it comes to women! That bob’s been blown-out more times than a wind-sock! Sometimes you have to help Rodney to help himself.
Albert – Yeah, but what can we do?
Del – We can help him to make the right impression! That is the most important thing – the impression! He’s gotta prove that he appreciates the finer things of life. Show that he’s au fait with gracious living.
Albert surveys the debris of the flat.
Albert – How’s he gonna do that?
Del shakes his head in a superior, smug way.
Del – This is where I come in! Simply to add that element of good breeding. A little touch of refinement, a sprinkle of sophistication! (Checks watch) Right, I’d better phone Limpy Lionel and sort these tickets out.
EXT. NIGHT. ONE OF THE LONDON BRIDGES.
The lights of the embankment and the reflection from the river give us a sense of sophistication as we see a sleek, chauffeur-driven limousine glide past. Seated in the back of the limo we see Vicky, dressed beautifully for the opening night (seated on driver’s side) and Rodney wearing a white dinner-jacket, black bow tie (seated near-side back).
Since managing the impossible and getting two tickets for the opening night, Rodney is a lot more confident in her company.
Vicky – I still don’t understand how you managed it! Even Daddy couldn’t get tickets for the opening night, and he tried everywhere!
Rodney – Oh, it was nothing really! I have – let’s just say – contacts!
We see the chauffeur (Eric) eyeing Rodney in the rear view mirror – he knows Rodney’s bullshitting. Rodney sees the eyes reflected in the mirror and reacts embarrassed.
Vicky – But they must have cost the earth!
Rodney – I didn’t ask – I just told my man, ‘Get them!’
We see Eric’s reaction. He sighs and shakes his head. He looks in the mirror again. Rodney sees his reflection in the mirror. He looks from the window sheepishly.
EXT. NIGHT. THE ROYAL OPERA HOUSE.
We see the limousine pull up outside. Eric alights and opens the back door for Vicky.
Eric – Have a nice evening Miss.
Vicky – Thank you Eric, I’m sure we will.
Vicky moves towards pavement. Rodney, who assumes Eric will open his door, is still seated back. Eric leans into the car.
Eric – Oi, out!
Rodney – Oh, right!
Rodney opens the door himself and alights.
Rodney and Vicky ascend the steps to the Opera House.
INT. NIGHT. FOYER OF OPERA HOUSE.
Rodney and Vicky enter the packed foyer and begin to make their way towards the person taking the tickets. Rodney produces the two tickets from his inside pockets.
Vicky – (Purely as a joke) I hope they’re not forgeries!
Rodney laughs, now stops suddenly, his face frozen. He realises how right she may be.
As they move across the foyer a few people nod and smile to Vicky. Rodney is oblivious to it all, he is like a zombie gripped with fear.
Ticket Collector – Good Evening Lady Victoria.
Vicky – Hello.
Ticket Collector – (Taking tickets from Rodney) Thank you, sir.
Rodney has a manic grin. The ticket collector checks the tickets. Looks up to Rodney. We see his silly grin. The ticket collector now smiles at Rodney, tears tickets in half and hands him the stubs.
Ticket Collector – Thank you sir, have a nice evening.
Rodney – (Sounding idiotic with nerves) What?
Ticket Collector – I said, have a nice evening sir.
Rodney – Oh! Thank you. Thank you very much.
Rodney and Vicky move away.
Vicky – Is there anything wrong?
Rodney – No, I’m fine! I’ll get us a programme.
Rodney moves to the programme seller.
Rodney – Two programmes please.
Prog. Seller – (Before handing him the two programmes) That’s eight pounds, sir.
Rodney – No, I said two programmes!
Prog. Seller – They’re four pounds each, sir.
Rodney – Oh… Right!
Rodney pays for the programmes.
Rodney and Vicky continue on their way towards bar.
Vicky – Rodney. I know you’ll think me a frightful old bore, but you know you’d invited me to a soccer match on Saturday? Well, I’m afraid I’ll have to cancel.
Rodney thinks he is getting the brush off.
Rodney – Oh! Well, that’s no problem Vicky.
Vicky – I have to go home you see, Daddy’s invited a few friends down to the estate for the weekend – a shoot and then dinner – and I simply have to be there, I’m the lady of the house these days.
Rodney – No, that’s alright. I understand.
Vicky – Would you like to join us, as my guest?
Rodney – Oh, em… well…
Vicky – You could stay overnight and then on Sunday I’ll take you for the most wonderful lunch at our little local.
Rodney – Well… thank you Vicky, I’d love to!
Vicky – Oh, that’s super!
INT. NIGHT. THE BAR. OPERA HOUSE.
Rodney – Can I get you a drink?
Vicky – A very dry white wine and soda please.
Rodney – Right. Shan’t be a moment.
Rodney moves through the crowd towards the bar.
Rodney – (To Barman) Excuse me! Could I have two very dry white wines and soda, thank you.
We now hear, from the very back of the bar.
Del – (OOV) (A high, shrill whistle) Rodders!
Rodney is frozen. He is the only one who doesn’t turn and look in the direction of the noise. Rodney is shaking his head in disbelief as Del, in his flash mohair evening suit, arrives at his shoulder.
Del – Alright bruv? (Indicating watch) I was getting a bit worried, the old time was creeping on! (To an elderly lady who is staring at him) Alright darling? They reckon it’s a good ‘un tonight!
Del shouts down to the barman who is serving Rodney.
Del – (Cont’d) Oi John, when you’ve finished yer dinner break, any chance of some service?
Rodney – He is already serving me!
Del – Well, that’s alright then! Get us a cubra libre, Rodney.
Rodney – What the bloody hell are you doing here?
Del – Oh charming, after all I’ve done for you! There were four tickets up for grabs! And you know me, I love a bit of opera!
Rodney – You? The only opera you’ve ever seen was Tommy, and that was on video! You’ve never seen an opera in your life!
Del – I’ve never milked a cow in me life but I still like a bit of cheese!
Vicky joins them.
Del – (Cont’d) Good evening, Victoria. May I say you are looking particularly lovely?
Vicky – Thank you. I didn’t realise you’d be joining us tonight.
Del – Yes, there were four tickets available, you see.
Rodney – (Quickly) And I bought ’em all!
Del – Eh? Yes, and Rodney bought them all! He’s like that, generous to a fault!
We cut to another part of the bar. Exiting from the ladies room we see June. Her dress is too low, too short and too tight. A slit up the side of the dress reveals even more of her fishnet stockings. She wears silver stiletto shoes. She is heavily made up and wears a lot of junk jewellery. She carries a handbag which is more like a kit bag.
Rodney, being the tallest, spots June over the heads of the crowd. He doesn’t recognise her immediately.
Rodney – I don’t believe it!
Vicky – You don’t believe what?
Rodney – This is the Royal Opera House and someone’s ordered a kissogram!
Del – Never! Where?
Del peers through the bodies and spots June.
Del – (Cont’d) (To Rodney) You saucy little… That’s my bird!
Rodney – (Horrified) No! Please Del, it’s not!
Del – It’s Junie! You remember June! Lives over in Zimbabwe House!
Rodney – (Feels like crying) Del, I used to go out with her daughter.
Del – Don’t worry. She won’t say a word.
June joins them. Due to the tightness of her dress and height of her heels, she doesn’t actually ‘walk’. She kind of totters. She has a glass of Benedictine and lemonade.
Throughout the evening, Del treats her warmly and almost affectionately.
June – I weren’t sure where you’d got to! Them karseys ain’t half posh.
Del – You only go to the best places with me, sweetheart! Allow me to introduce you. Lady Victoria, I’d like you to meet June Snell.
Vicky – Good evening, June.
June – Hello, you alright?
Del – (Nudging her) Oi! It’s Lady Victoria! Remember?
June – Oh yeah!
June curtseys as Del has trained her to.
June – (Cont’d) It’s a great pleasure to meet you, m’am.
Vicky – (Embarrassed) Please, it really isn’t necessary.
Del – Oh no, Victoria. June likes to keep herself in perspective, don’t you girl?
June – Yeah, I think it’s best!
Del – You remember Rodney.
June – Wotchyer. (To Vicky but referring to Rodney) He used to go out with my daughter Debby!
June – (To Rodney) She’s living with a Cypriot geezer now!
Rodney – T’riffic!
Vicky changes the subject to save Rodney’s embarrassment.
Vicky – So you’re an opera buff as well, are you, June?
June – I saw one once. It was on BBC2. Our telly had gone up the wall and that was the only channel we could get. You came round that night Del, remember? Well you’d delivered the telly, adn’t
Del – That’s right. (To Vicky) Just needed a little adjustment, that’s all.
June – There was that world famous foreign bloke singing, weren’t there?
Del – Yes. Wonderful voice!
June – Oh yes, he was very talented. Great big fat git, weren’t he?
Del – Mmmh, but couldn’t he put a song across? (To Vicky) Of course, this is my most favourite opera, Carmen. (Begins to sing) Figaro, Figaro Figaro Figaro Figaro!
Vicky – That’s from The Barber of Seville.
Del – Eh?
Vicky – It’s not from Carmen, it’s from The Barber of Seville.
Rodney – (Like an expert) Yes, definitely The Barber of Seville.
Del – Of course it is! Of course it is! I don’t know what’s the matter with me. I always get Carmen and The Barber of Seville mixed up!
June – Well, Carmen is a hair-dryer innit?
Del – Of course, that’s it!
The bell that warns the show is about to start rings.
Del – (Checking Watch) Blimey, he’s rung that one early, ain’t he?
Rodney – Well, hurry up, we might get another one in! So it’s white wine and soda. June?
June – I’m on Benedictine and lemonade.
Vicky – Excuse me. The bell is simple to warn the audience that the performance is about to begin.
Del and Rodney look at each other, they both feel right prats.
Del – Yes, we know that!
Rodney – Yeah, we know that, we just thought we might have time for a quick one!
Vicky – I don’t think so. We really ought to be taking our seats.
Rodney – Yes of course! (Proffers his arm) May I?
Vicky – Thank you.
She places her hand on Rodney’s arm
Rodney and Vicky move towards the exit.
Del – (Gesturing to June) Come on then.
June – How come she’s got a programme and I ain’t?
Del – She can read!
June – (Accepting the explanation) Oh!
Del struts towards exit. June trotters after him.
INT. NIGHT. THE AUDITORIUM.
On stage the production is in full flow. We see a section of the audience where, in the centre of a row we see June, then Del, then Rodney, then Vicky. Del is mouthing along with the song although we can tell that he doesn’t have a clue what the words are. He moves his hands passionately and contorts his face emotionally. June is sucking on the straw of a plastic canister of orange juice which she most probably bought in the foyer.
Vicky is enthralled with the performance. Rodney is feigning interest but is also concerned about Del’s behaviour.
June reaches the end of her orange juice. We hear that awful slurping sound of liquid and air. A few people in the audience turn slightly at the noise. Vicky is too spellbound to hear it.
Rodney is embarrassed. Del ignores it, he’s sed to these
sort of noises. June drops the empty carton on floor.
Del – (To June) Blinding opera innit?
June – It’s alright I suppose. It don’t get going, does it?
Del – It’s not s’pposed to get going! This is culture! See, you don’t come to an opera to enjoy it, you come because it’s there!
June – Oh, I didn’t know that! I like Vince Hill!
Del – (In total agreement) Yeah, yeah, I like Vince Hill as well. He’s almost culture. Not quite, but almost.
OOV – Sssshhhh!
Del – (Looking for the culprit) What’s that about?
June – Dunno. Maybe there’s someone talking somewhere.
Del – Yeah, maybe. So people have got no protocol.
June – Na.
June searches round her big handbag. She produces a squashed and already open box of liquorice allsorts.
June – (Cont’d) I’ve got a few liquorice allsorts left.
Del – You got one with the hundreds and thousands on it?
June – (Picking one out) Only one.
She eats it herself.
Del – (Nudging Rodney) Rodney.
Rodney – What?
Del – Wanna liquorice allsort?
Rodney – No.
Del – Vicky… Vicky!
A man in the audience turns.
1st Man – Ssshhh!
Del – Is he having a pop at me?
Rodney – No, he’s not! Just be quiet, Del!
Del – Alright, alright… Vicky!
Vicky – Yes?
Del – D’you want a liquorice all- sort?
Vicky – No thank you.
Del – Oh, alright. (Sits back. (To June) There’s only a couple left, might as well finish ’em off.
Del and June eat the last two sweets. Del crunches box up and drops it to the floor. We see it land next to the empty carton of orange. Rodney breathes a sigh of relief that it is all over and the sweets have gone. We stay on Rodney. OOV We hear the rustling of paper.
Del – (Nudging Rodney) Rodney.
Rodney – -What?
Del – D’you wanna crisp?
Rodney – No!
Del – Vicky…
Man – Ssshhhh!
Del – Don’t you shush me, pal!
Rodney – Del, please!
Del – Well… Vicky…
Vicky – Yes?
Del – Fancy a crisp?
Vicky – Oh, no thank you.
Del sits back in seat. Stay on Rodney who is once more relieved that the little episode is over. We hear (OOV) the heavy crunching of crisps from Del and June. Other members of the audience turn and look. One of the performers hears the noise and looks up into the audience.
Del – (Nudging Rodney) Rodney.
Rodney – What?
Del – (Referring to Vicky) Put your arm round her.
Rodney – Eh?
Del – Put your arm round her shoulder.
Rodney – I don’t bel… Del, this is not the Odeon!
OOV – Sssshhhh!
Rodney – Sorry.
Del – Don’t you ‘sorry’ him! (To Man) Just keep on pal, see what you get!
Del sits back and takes the packet of crisps from June.
Del has found that most of the crisps are in fact gone.
Del – You’ve had all of them!
June – No I ain’t, you had some!
Del takes the last crisp and lets the packet drop to the floor. We see it land next to the carton and the empty box.
INT. NIGHT. THE AUDITORIUM.
Del’s seat is empty. June is now eating a packet of dry-roasted peanuts, she drops the empty packet. We see it land next to the empty carton etc.
Rodney – (To June) Where’s Del gone?
June – He went out to the ice-cream lady.
Rodney – (Worried) Oh!
We cut to stage and stay with performance for a while. We now cut to the dark aisle where we see Del, eating a choc-ice and holding three others, looking for his place.
Del – (Calling as quiet as possible) Rodney!
We see a couple of people in aisle seats react.
Del – Rodney!
Rodney hears him and tries to wave as discreetly as possible. Del doesn’t see him.
Del – Rodders!
Woman – Will you please be quiet?
Del – I can’t find my place! Rodney!
June stands and calls.
June – We’re over here, Del!
Del moves to his row.
Del – Excuse me, please.
The people in the row have to stand. We hear lots of moaning and groaning from them and the people sitting behind.
Del – Thank you very much… thank you… oh sorry, was that your toe?
He now squeezes past June. As he does so we see the floor. (the box of allsorts, the packet of crisps, the packets of dry-roasted peanuts and the empty orange carton.) We see Del’s foot land on the empty orange carton.
Cut to the auditorium/stage. We hear a mighty ‘pop’ as the carton explodes.
We see the singer, in fact the entire cast, react and look out into the audience. They now manage to pick the song up and continue.
We cut back to our section of the audience. A great, confused, hushed row ensues. It is very confused with people talking and shouting over each other.
1st Man – For God’s sake, how long do we have to put up with this?
Del – I didn’t know there was an empty carton on the floor! (To June) What d’you drop it on the floor for?
June – Well how was I to know you were gonna tread on it?
Woman – Are you going to continue making this noise throughout the entire performance?
Del – I don’t know, I might let you off for the second half!
Rodney – Del, please, sit down.
2nd Man – I am trying to listen!
Del – Well shut up then!
1st Man – Will you please be quiet?
Del – I’ll come down there and smack you in the eye if you keep on!
There should be lots of other complaining voices which are lost in a general buzz of sound. At some point in this sequence we cut to stage and see the cast’s reaction.
Del sits, things begin to calm.
Rodney – Just take it easy, please!
Del – Well he’s giving me the ‘ump Rodney!
Pause as Del eats away at his choc-ice. He hands a choc-ice to June. Without looking at Rodney, Del nudges him with the hand which is holding the choc-ice. A small dab of chocolate is left on the lapel of Rodney’s white dinner jacket. No-one notices this except us.
Del – Rodney.
Rodney – What?
Del – Wanna choc-ice?
Rodney – No!
Del – But I bought you one.
Rodney – I don’t want it!
Del – Vicky… Vicky!
Vicky – Yes?
Del – I got you a choc-ice.
Vicky – No thank you, I never eat ice-cream.
Del – But I bought it for you.
Rodney – She doesn’t eat ice-cream!
Vicky – I’ve never ever liked ice cream.
Del – Oh… What am I supposed to do with these?
Rodney – You can stick ’em where the sun don’t shine as far as I’m concerned. Just shut up!
Del – Well thank you, bruv! Thank you very much.
He drops the two choc-ices down on the floor next to the now busted carton, the crisp wrapper, the peanut packet, the allsorts box and the piece of choc-ice wrapping that June tore off and threw away.
Now all is calm. All that can be heard, besides the singing on stage, is the smacking of lips and licking of choc-ice from Del and June. June finishes her choc-ice, screws up what’s left of the foil wrapping and throws it on the floor. Del finishes his and just lets the paper fall to the floor. The Hananera begins.
Del – Oh, I love this one!
Del begins whistling along with the song. People are now turning round again. We see the singer’s reaction as she hears someone in the audience whistling along with her.
Rodney – (Nudging Del) Del!
Del – Sshh Rodney, I’m whistling!
As Del continues we pan to June who is obviously beginning to feel quite sick.
EXT. NIGHT. THE OPERA HOUSE.
From inside the theatre we can hear the Toreador song. The foyer and the street are deserted. Now a fuming Rodney walks out through foyer and exits to top of steps. He breathes a great lungful of cold night air in an attempt to calm himself down. He has the small chocolate stain on his lapel. Vicky now joins him.
Rodney – I am sorry! I am so, so sorry!
Vicky – It wasn’t your fault Rodney! I’m not blaming you and you shouldn’t blame yourself!
Rodney – I know, but… Oh God!
We now see Del, a sick looking June and a St Johns ambulance man exit to top of steps. The ambulanceman has his hand on June’s elbow by way of assistance. Del is just walking along beside them, his camel hair coat draped over his shoulders and smoking a Castella.
S.J. A’man A breath of fresh air, madam, and you’ll feel as right as rain.
June – Thank you very much, doctor.
The ambulanceman returns to theatre. Del and June join Rodney and Vicky.
Del – (Referring to June) Well, the Phantom of the Opera strikes again! Still,I shouldn’t imagine that’s the first time someone’s been sick in there, eh Victoria?
Vicky – I honestly don’t know, I haven’t read the full history of the building.
She gestures to Eric who is parked a short way up the road.
Del – (To Rodney) D’you fancy a bite to eat?
Rodney – (Angrily) No!
Vicky – I’m not really very hungry.
The limo pulls up. Eric opens the door for Vicky.
Eric – Everything alright Miss?
Vicky – Not really Eric, but not to worry.
Del – (To Rodney) If you’re taking her back to her flat, behave yourself!
Rodney – And what exactly is that supposed to mean?
Del – Listen to me Rodney. The last thing we need at this delicate stage of development, is for you to go tubbing her! Now we’ve made a good impression tonight.
Rodney – A good impression?
Del – We was doing alright up until June’s psychedelic yodel!
Rodney – Just go away from me, will you? Just leave me alone!
Rodney climbs into the car and they pull away. Del and June are the only people around.
Del – Come on then June, let’s get you home.
They now wander away from camera. We hold this shot until they turn out of vision. There is something sad about them, two misfits, totally out of their depth, misunderstanding everything they’ve seen.
Del is slightly in front of June. He strolls slowly and confidently, his head bathed in cigar smoke. June trotters along behind him, never quite catching up.
June – I’m sorry about tonight Del Boy. I don’t know what come over me!
Del – Nor did that woman in front of you! I mean be fair June, it’s your own fault. Just think what you’ve been shoving down your gullet tonight. Benedictines and lemonade, fizzy orange juice, bacon flavoured crisps, dry-roasted peanuts.
June – Liquorice allsorts.
Del – Liquorice allsorts and the choc-ce! I mean that’s enough to turn a warthog over!
June – Before I come out tonight I had a blancmange!
Del – Oh that’s what it was?
June – I reckon the milk in the blancmange was on the turn.
Del – The only thing that’s on the turn round here is you, girl! Don’t you be Tom and Dick in my van.
June – No I won’t Del, honest.
Del – Well, you get in the back, you ain’t sitting next to me.
They turn corner and out of sight.
INT. DAY. THE VAN.
Del, Rodney and Albert are driving along London roads. Albert is in the back. Del is driving, Rodney is in passenger seat with the window open and his head held almost entirely out!
Del – You can’t smell it now, Rodney! Albert spent two hours scrubbing this van out with disinfectant!
Albert – They could perform an operation on the floor of this van.
Rodney – That’s what’s making me feel ill, the pong of that disinfectant! It’s like being a Dettol delivery man!
We see the van drive past in a great cloud of exhaust fumes.
Rodney – (Cont’d) Disinfectant and exhaust fumes! When we gonna get rid of this van?
Del – Why? What’s wrong with it?
Rodney – What’s wrong wi… Look in your mirror? The Fire of London couldn’t have made that much smoke.
Albert – It’s just burning off a bit of carbon, Rodney.
Rodney – Leave off! Half the estate’s suffering with bronchitis ‘cos of this van!
Del – This is the thoroughbred of three-wheelers. There’s a highly tuned machine under that bonnet!
Rodney – (Obvious reference to last night) This van is like one of your birds! It drinks too much, makes funny noises and is old enough to know better!
EXT. A GENTLEMAN’S OUTFITTERS.
This is one of those old, South Moulton street-type establishments that sell shooting, fishing and riding gear to the gentry.
The van pulls up outside of shop. The Trotters alight. At this point Rodney is unaware that this is the shop where they will be buying his weekend clothes. He now reacts.
Rodney – (Horrified) Is that the shop you were talking about?
Del – Er, yeah!
Rodney – I am not going in there and that’s final!
Del – Listen to me, will you?
Rodney – No! When you said we’d buy some clothes for my weekend I thought you meant we’d pop down to Sol bros. in Balham for an ‘airy shirt or something! I didn’t realise I’d have to get dressed up like a free-range wally!
Del – But this ain’t just a week- end, is it? It’s a weekend with the aristocracy! They’ll all be there – Earls, Barons, Viscounts, the lot! You’ve gotta dress like them otherwise you’ll
Rodney – Del, it doesn’t matter what I wear, I can’t be anything else but me!
Albert – This is no time for defeatist talk, Rodney!
Rodney – Shuddup!
Del – Look Rodney, you can’t go to Covington House decked out as a Bob Geldof look-alike! Have a butchers at yourself! I’ve seen wounds dressed better than you! Now I’m not gonna have anyone looking down on you! You’re as good as them and I want them to see you are!
Rodney – I appreciate that Del, and thank you, but a pair of green wellies will not turn me into the Arch-Duke Ferdinand! I’ll be Rodney Trotter in a pair of green wellies!
Del – But you’ll be proving something to them!
Albert – Look Rodney, this ain’t just a weekend away! This is your interview!
Del – Interview?
Albert – Of course. The old Duke wants to give you the once over. He wants to see whether you can fit in.
Del – And clothes maketh the man!
Rodney – But I might not want to fit in!
Del – Of course you do, Rodney, I’ve given this a lot of thought for you. Listen to me. I don’t know if I’ve told you this before – but Mum said to me on her deathbed…
Rodney – (Cutting in) Let’s go in the shop Del.
Del – That’s the spirit Rodders, you know it makes sense.
They walk towards shop door. Rodney sees a few double- barrel shotguns in window.
Rodney – That’s another thing. They’re having a shooting party. I disagree with blood sports!
Del – Do me a favour. You’ll never hit one of them grouse things, they’re fast!
Albert – Tell ’em you’ve got a wart on your trigger finger.
INT. SAY. THE GENTS OUTFITTERS.
The manager (Mr Dow, a Guardian-reading snob of the first order) is behind the counter on telephone, as the Trotters enter.
Dow – (On phone) Of course, Sir Allen. The boy will be round this afternoon to collect it.
Del – He ain’t saying nothing about warts, Albert! The old Duke’ll love that. His only child marrying someone who’s covered in warts! You say nothing about warts, Rodney.
Dow reacts, he’s never had anything like this in his shop before.
Dow – (On phone) I’m terribly sorry, Sir Allen, I have to go, ‘something’s come in… I mean up! Goodbye.
Dow replaces the receiver.
Dow – (Cont’d) (To the Trotters) Good afternoon gentlemen. May I help you?
Del – Well, I do hope so. We wanna buy a bit of gear.
Dow – I see. And what is sir’s pleasure?
Del – Well, birds and curry I s’ppose, but I didn’t come here for all this chit chat. (Indicating Rodney) I want you to tog him out for a weekend in the country, ‘acking jacket, stout rougues, all the X’s.
Del lays a wad of notes onto the counter.
Del – (Cont’d) There’s a monkey there – that should cover it!
Dow – (Taken aback) Em, yes, yes of course. If you’d like to come this way, sir.
Del – Come on Rodders, let’s sort you out. He’s got some very strange measurements!
Del and Rodney follow Dow towards a door which we assume leads to a fitting room.
Albert – (Calling) Don’t you worry Rodney, by the time he’s finished with you you’ll look just like one of them!
Rodney – That’s what I’m frightened of!
Del, Rodney and Dow exit.
EXT. DAY. COVINGTON HOUSE AND GROUNDS.
We are out in the fields with Covington House in the distance. To one side of us, and reasonable close, we have a few out-houses or barns and a small lane or track. We should have a few open backed Land-Rovers, which we assume have driven the guests up here, and a new-ish Range Rover. We have about twenty guests, ages ranging from late teens to early seventies.
We see Victoria and her father, Henry Duke of Maylebury (mid 50’s), Rodney, Patterson, the butler (60), Carter, the footman (25), and a couple of women in maids’ uniforms who, at the moment, are helping lay out the buffet on a long trestle table.
The ‘shoot’ is in fact clay-pigeons and so we also have the man who controls the machine that fires the clay discs (the loader).
We come up on machine. We hear Henry in the background.
Henry – (OOV) Pull!
The loader fires the machine.
We see the two discs fly through the air, and then shatter as they are both hit.
Guests applaud politely. Henry is standing with the still smoking gun, pleased with his effort.
Patterson – (The Butler) Good shot, your Grace.
Henry – Yes, I was quite pleased with that myself, Patterson.
One of Henry’s friends (Charles) a man of about Henry’s age, steps forward with his gun.
Charles – Pure luck Henry, pure luck!
Henry – Thank you Charles, I thought you might clear up the mystery. Let’s see you do better.
Charles – Stand back old boy and watch a real marksman! Pull!
We cut to big close up of Rodney. The screen is filled with his face, we cannot see what he is wearing. His eyes follow the trajectory of the discs. We hear the reports from the gun. We hear mild applause from the other guests.
Rodney – Good shot sir.
We now cut back to show Rodney in all his glory. We wears a hacking jacket, a deerstalker, a pair of those plus- fours type trousers tucked into knee-length brown woolen socks and a pair of stout walking brogues. (This is Del’s vision of the country gentleman)
Rodney applauds genteelly. Vicky approaches.
Vicky – Are you hungry?
Rodney – No, I’m fine, thank you.
Vicky – (Gesturing to buffet) There’s plenty to eat.
Rodney – I’ll have something in a moment. Thank you.
Vicky – Well, what do you think of it so far?
Rodney – Oh, it’s very interesting. I’m enjoying myself, thank you.
Vicky – Rodney, you keep saying ‘thank you’!
Rodney – Do I?
Vicky – Yes, I just thought I’d mention it. I hope you don’t mind?
Rodney – No. Thank you… Sorry!
Vicky – (Laughing) Don’t mention it!
Rodney – Thank you… I said that one on purpose.
Vicky – I know you did! Have you ever used a double-barreled before?
Rodney – A doub… Oh no, I had an airgun when I was a kid.
Vicky – Would you like to try?
Rodney – No, that’s alright Vicky, I’ll just watch.
Vicky – Come on, don’t be such and old stick in the mud! (Calling) Daddy, d’you have a gun there for Rodney?
Henry – Yes of course, darling! Patterson, would you load the Purdie.
Patterson – Yes, your Grace.
Henry – Have you done this sort of thing before Rodney?
Rodney – No. I’ll just watch if you like.
Henry – Nonsense! There’s nothing to it. Just be aware of the kick, keep it pointed up, that sort of thing.
Henry hands Rodney the gun.
Rodney – Thank you your Grace.
Henry – Henry, please.
Rodney – Henry. Thank you.
Vicky hands him the ear protectors.
Vicky – Would you like these?
Rodney – Thank you.
Rodney steps up to the firing mark. He felt a big enough prat before. But now he knows all eyes are on him, he feels an even bigger one. He holds the gun pointing directly in front of him. He looks across to the loader. The loader is waiting for his instructions. There is a pause.
Rodney now turns round to Henry, Vicky and any others who happen to be behind him. He still has the gun pointing directly in front of him (at them).
Rodney – What do I say to him?
Everyone reacts, they turn away, crouch, put their hands up in front of them.
Everyone in firing line shouts in unison.
All – No!
Vicky is gesturing with her hands.
Vicky – Down Rodney! Put it down!
Rodney cannot hear with the ear protectors on.
Rodney – What?
Henry – Down Rodney! Down!
Rodney, misunderstanding all the gestures, crouches – gun still pointing at them.
Henry – No, the barrel Rodney! Down!
Rodney now realises and lowers his barrel. There is a great unified sigh of relief.
Henry – Sorry old boy, but one never, never points the gun…
Rodney – (Cutting in) Yes I realise what I did! I’m very sorry.
Henry – That’s alright, my fault, I should have told you… When you’re ready you just shout ‘pull!’
Rodney – Okay then! Thank you… (Preparing himself) Pull!
We cut to a shot from Rodney’s POV. In the distance we can see the loader and the machine. Further behind him we can see a couple of barns. As he pulls firing handle, we have the briefest of glimpses of a little yellow van with an iffy exhaust, pulling its way up the lane.
The disc fires into the air.
Rodney moves his head with the discs but now looks back in horror. Both barrels blast blindly into the air. Henry and the others are all puzzled by the fact that Rodney wasn’t even looking at the targets which have flown merrily on and landed somewhere in the field.
Henry – (To Vicky) Is he of a nervous disposition?
Vicky – Not as far as I know!
Rodney is staring hungrily, maniacally out into the countryside. From his POV we can see the loader, who is also looking puzzled by what he has just witnessed. But behind him there is no sign of the little yellow van.
Patterson – (Referring to the gun) Would you like me to take that for you, sir?
Rodney – What? Oh thank you.
Rodney removes the ear protectors.
Henry – That was a… em… jolly good try Rodney.
Rodney – Thank you.
Rodney moves away still staring out to where he thought he’d seen the van. Vicky concerned, follows him.
Vicky – Are you alright?
Rodney – Yes, thank you.
Vicky – You seem somewhat – shocked! It wasn’t the gun was it?
Rodney – No, no, I’m fine.
Vicky – I’ll get you a drink.
She moves off towards buffet table.
Rodney is now eyeing the countryside like a hunter. He knows his prey is out there, he’s seen it, but where is it now?
Rodney – (Mumbling to himself) Come on, where are you? I know you’re out there somewhere, you three wheeled yellow bastard!
We see shots from his POV. The countryside is tranquil. Birds are singing, the sun is shining. Rodney turns away in the opposite direction. He takes a couple of steps forward then suddenly turns and leaps back to his original position, as if trying to catch the van out. We see Carter (the footman) and the two maids watching him incredulously from buffet. Vicky is pouring a drink
at buffet and has her back to all this.
From Rodney’s POV everything is tranquil. Rodney now begins doubting his own eyes and, indeed sanity.
Rodney – (Mumbling) I’m sure it was there! I saw it!
He shakes his head and turns away. Now, from a distance, he hears the dreaded call.
Del – (OOV) Tally ho Rodders!
Rodney closes his eyes.
We see the yellow van bouncing its way over the grass towards him, Del shouting from the open window, Albert is seated next to him. Everyone at the shoot stops to witness this. Del alights, he wears the camel hair coat, three piece suit and smoking a Castella. Albert, who is in a really grumpy mood, alights from passenger side, in duffel coat etc.
Del calls out to some of the guests.
Del – (Calling) Good morning. Tally ho there. (Referring to the weather) You couldn’t ask for better than this, could you!
Rodney – Go away!
Vicky arrives with Rodney’s drink.
Vicky – (Just politely) Hello – again! I didn’t think we’d see you here.
Del – I didn’t think I’d see me here!
Albert – I didn’t think I’d see me here either! I was supposed to be playing in a crib championship down the Legion. ‘Stead of that he drags me all the way out to bloody Berkshire!
Del – (Taking the drink from Vicky) Thank you darling, I needed this. Let me explain. I was having a little clear up back at the flat, and what did I find in one of the wardrobes? (Indicating Rodney) His evening suit! He’d left it at home! So I thought he can’t sit down to dinner dressed like that! So I had no option but to drive his evening suit all the way out here.
Vicky – Oh, I see! Well that’s very nice of you Derek. Isn’t it, Rodney?
Rodney – (Sharply, clenched teeth) Yeah!
Vicky – Daddy…
She moves away.
Rodney – You bloody liar! I packed my evening suit! I, I, me I packed it myself, personally!
Del – You couldn’t have packed it, Rodney, otherwise how’s it get in the wardrobe?
Rodney – You took it out of my suitcase after I’d packed it!
Del – Now why would I do a thing like that?
Rodney – So you could bloody well get down here!
Vicky and Henry approach.
Vicky – Daddy, this is Rodney’s brother, Derek Trotter. Derek, I’d like you to meet…
Del – (Cutting in) No introductions necessary, recognize you from your photo in the Sporting Life. How is Hamsome Samson? Over that fetlock sprain?
Henry – Yes, he’s coming along nicely, thank you.
Del – And what about next years Derby. Will he be trying?
Henry – Trying? It’s the Derby, Mr Trotter. Everyone’s trying!
Del – Just as long as I know where to put me money, your Grace.
Henry – Yes! Victoria tells me you’ve driven all the way up from London with Rodney’s evening suit! Jolly decent of you. You must be exhausted.
Del – I’m cream crackered your Grace! I’ll just mooch around awhile until I feel strong enough to make thelong journey home.
Henry – Yes please, make yourself at home. If you’re still around later, I’m sure cook will provide something to eat.
Del – Oh, you mean dinner? Well has luck has it, as I was pulling his evening suit out of the wardrobe, mine came out with it! So I’ve got all me gear with me!
Henry – (Taken aback) Oh! Em, yes! Er, well… Patterson. Could you set another place at the table tonight?
Patterson – For this, em, gentlemen?
Henry – Yes.
Patterson – Of course your Grace.
Del – Well that is jolly civil of you, thank you very much! Your Grace, would you mind awfully if I had a little pot-shot?
Henry – Pot sh… Oh, no of course not. Patterson, a gun for Mr Trotter.
Del – That’s perfectly alright your Grace. I have my own weapon. Albert, would you mind?
Del gestures towards the van.
Albert walks to the back of the van moaning to himself.
Albert – Albert, would you mind! He couldn’t care bloody less whether I minded or not! Fight for your country, go down in shark-infested seas, and what thanks do you get, even from your own
relatives? They turn you into a gun wallah!
From the back of the van Albert produces a hard gun case. He brings it back to Del
Albert – (Cont’d) Here you are, and don’t ask for nothing else.
Del – Thank you my good man, you may retire.
Albert – I thought I’d done that bloody years ago!
Del – (To Henry; embarrassed) He’s been with us for years! … Bit like income tax!
Del moves to the firing area with the gun case. Charles offers Del the ear protectors.
Charles – Would you like these?
Del – No, thank you. I can’t concentrate on music when I’m shooting!
He takes the gun from case and stands. All we see of the gun is the wooden butt which is just above his waist.
Del – (Calling to Loader) Ready when you are, John!
Loader – (Calling back) Do you mean ‘pull?’
Del – Sorry, Paul! In your own time, son!
The loader shrugs and pulls the firing handle. We see the discs fly through the air. Del now brings the gun up for us to see. It is a sawn-off, single barrel, pump action shotgun.
He fires from the hip, pumps and fires again. We see the two discs, they do not merely shatter, they explode. We hear the triple-echo resounding across the countryside.
Debris is falling everywhere. We see the guests ducking from it.
Now silence falls all around. Everyone except Del, is left open-mouthed by what they have just witnessed.
Del has the still smoking gun resting on his hip, man with no name fashion.
Del brings the gun up to his lips and blows the smoke away.
Del – (To Henry) You wait ’till I get my eye in!
Del wanders away, feeling very proud of himself. He passes the incredulous Rodney.
Rodney – Where d’you get that gun from?
Del – I borrowed it from Iggy Higgins.
Rodney – Iggy Higgins? But Iggy Higgins robs banks!
Del – I know! But it’s Saturday!
Del wanders away towards buffet. Rodney is frozen to the spot.
INT. NIGHT. THE MAIN HALL. COVINGTON HALL.
A large staircase sweeps down into hall. Most of the guests from the shoot (now dressed for dinner) are in the hall being served sherry by Carter. Some of the guests are spending the weekend at Covington House, others, who live locally are arriving back at the house. Patterson is attending to the door and their coats etc.
Rodney and Del, both dressed as per opera, (the small chocolate stain still on Rodney’s lapel), appear on landing, gallery or top of stairs.
Del, with a freshly lit Castella, appears confident and obviously looking forward to the evening. Rodney appears unnerved at the sight of the massed nobility.
Del – (Referring to all the guests) What a sight, eh Rodney? Makes you proud to be British, dunnit? They know a cucumber sandwich from an egg on toast, this lot!… (To someone downstairs in hall) Alright? Splendid.
Rodney – Del… Derek, listen to me. I was nervous enough about this weekend, and that was without you being here! But you arrived! And your presence alarms me! Please Del, please, behave
Del – Well of course I’ll behave myself! What sort of bloke d’you think I am? I am here simply to help you make an impression!
Rodney – But I don’t want to make an impression! I just wanna sit quietly and hope no one notices me!
Del – That’s no good, Rodders! You’ve gotta project your image!
Rodney – I ain’t got a bloody image!
Del – Well you will have before this evening’s over! And you can cut that language out for a start! This is the crème de la menthe of British nobility. Look at ’em, there ain’t one of ’em
lower than a Dowager! (Rhymes with dagger) We don’t want them thinking we’re oi polloi or nothing! We’ve gotta be on our bestest behaviour tonight, Rodney!
Rodney – Good – we are in agreement then!
Del – Right…
From their POV we see one of the female guests wearing a low-cut dress which reveals a lot of her ample cleavage.
Del – (Cont’d) Cor! Lungs on that!
Rodney reacts. Del descends stairs nodding to and greeting a few people as if they are life-long friends. He helps himself to a sherry from the footman’s tray.
One of the paintings on the wall should be a Pissarro.
Del – (To the Duke) Alright ‘Enry?
Henry – What! Oh yes, good evening Trotter.
Del – (Referring to painting) Is that a Da Vinci?
Henry – No, it’s not a Da Vinci!
Del – Shame. He’s my favourite. Have you seen that cartoon of his! Laugh! I tell you, my old ribs were aching for days. And he did Mona Lisa as well you know.
Henry – Did he really?
Del – Her with the energetic smile. You’re not quite sure whether she’s about to grin or she’s sucking a sweet.
Henry – That’s a Pissarro.
Del – Oh I don’t know, I’ve seen worse.
Henry – Dear God! It’s by Camille Pissarro! He was a 19th century impressionist!
Del – What, like Mike Yarwood?
Henry realises there is no point continuing the conversation.
Henry – Yes, that’s right, just like Mike Yarwood.
Del – What, and he did a bit of painting an’ all?
Henry – Yes!
Del – Well, you live and learn, don’t you?
Henry – Do you? (To someone out of vision) Philip, how nice to see you.
Henry moves out of shot.
Del takes another sherry from the footman’s tray.
INT. NIGHT. THE KITCHEN OF COVINGTON HOUSE.
The cook, Mrs Miles, and the two maids are busily preparing the dinner – placing meat, vegetables etc in silver tureens and serving dishes which are then placed on a large serving trolley. Mrs Miles is in her mid-fifties – one of them ‘comfortable’ women who like to fatten men up. Albert s seated at the table with a dinner in front of him.
Mrs Miles – (To one of the girls) Keep your eyes on those peas, Shirley.
She hands a cup of tea to Albert.
Mrs Miles – (Cont’d) There you are Albert, three sugars.
Albert – Thank you very much Mrs Miles. I’ll give you a word of warning. Don’t give Mr Trotter any peas, they go everywhere.
Mrs Miles – I’ll tell Mr Patterson. Who are you people, Albert?
Albert – They’re not people, they’re my nephews.
Mrs Miles – Oh, they’re not of noble birth then?
Albert – Noble? Nearest them two have got to nobility was their great Uncle Jack, he was a tobacco baron! No, the noisy one’s a fly-pitcher and the young one’s his apprentice.
Mrs Miles – You mean that’s what you lot do, sell things on street corners?
Albert – Not me madam! I was a career man. I was in the navy for thirty years, man and boy. I’ve been round the world more times than a satellite. I fought in the battle of the Atlantic, battle of the convoys – you name it, I was there!
Mrs Miles – I bet you could tell a tale or two, eh Albert?
Albert shakes his head emphatically.
Albert – I never talk about it!
Mrs Miles – I understand. I suppose it brings back too many memories?
Albert – That’s right! I remember once, we was out in the South China Sea.
Carter the footman enters.
Albert – We knew there were mines around, so we was on…
Carter comes straight in and interrupts Albert, much to Albert’s surprise and annoyance.
Carter – That little fella out there is really knocking sherry back! He’s had almost a whole bottle of Amontillado to himself already. He keeps talking about Leonardo Da Vinci, it’s like he knew him!
Mrs Miles – Tell Mr Patterson. He might be able to discreetly suggest that the gentleman moderates his drinking.
Albert – Anyway, as I was saying, I never talk about it.
Mrs Miles – Never talk about what?
Albert – About my days in the navy, the battles end everything. But this particular day in the South China Sea, the old captain came to us…
Patterson enters and interrupts Albert.
Patterson – Are we nearly ready to serve, Mrs Miles?
Mrs Miles – Yes, Mr Patterson, ready when you are.
Patterson – Good, I want to get Leonardo Da Vinci’s best friend sat down before he falls down. (To Albert) He’s some relation of yours, isn’t he?
Albert – Who, Leonardo Da Vinci?
Patterson – No, the gentleman out there who thinks the stuffed olives are pickled grapes?
Albert – Yeah, yeah sort of.
Carter – (Referring to Del) Is he an ex-navy man as well, Albert?
Albert – Him? You must be joking. He thinks a clipper’s something you do your hair with! No, I’m the only one in our family who ever went to sea. I tell a lie. My Grandmother’s brother was
safety officer on the Titanic.
All the others are busy with serving dishes etc. They now all stop and look at Albert as they realise what he has said.
Albert – But I never talk about it.
INT. NIGHT. THE DINING HALL.
The meal is over and all the guests are engaged in conversation. The room is heavy with cigar smoke. The maids and Patterson are clearing away the remaining crockery. Henry is sat at the top table. Vicky, is at the opposite end. To one side of her sits Rodney, to the other side sits a slightly merry Del. The room is filled with conversation, the sound of glasses, lots of laughter. Charles is seated close to Henry.
Charles – Henry, who’s the young chap with Victoria?
Henry – He’s just a friend. Someone she met in some street market. She’s going through a ‘working artist’ stage – her mother, was the same, God bless her. It’s just a phase. She’s often bringing ‘colourful characters’ down for the weekend. D’you remember that gypsy-type – arrived with the bull-terrier and a stolen Escort?
Charles – Oh yes. Beat Patterson up in the library?
Henry – That’s the one. This chap, Roland or Rodney, something like that, he’s an artist as well.
Charles – And the other fella, his brother?
Henry – Yes, he appears to be the biggest artist of them all!
Del – (OOV) ‘Enry, is that a Da Vinci?
Henry – (Without even looking) No.
Del – (OOV) Nice, though.
Henry – (To Charles) As I say, it’s just a phase.
We now see Patterson pass Del. On the floor around Del’s chair we have a dozen or so peas. Patterson treads through them as he passes.
Del – (Holding out empty glass) Patterson. Giss a topperooni, pal.
Patterson reluctantly fills Del’s glass.
Rodney leans back and calls Del. This conversation takes place behind Vicky’s back.
Rodney – Will you leave that wine alone? You ain’t in the Star of Bengal now!
Del – What are you on about? I’m enjoying myself!
Rodney – But when you enjoy yourself no one else does!
Del – Just trust me Rodney. We’re coming to the stage of the evening when we are about to project you.
Rodney – I do not want to be projected, got it? I want to remain extremely unprojected!
Del – (Referring to Vicky) Hold her hand.
Rodney – Shuppup!
They break from conversation.
Vicky – (Referring to Del) I think he’s a little drunk.
Rodney – He’s always been a little drunk!
Del is speaking to a woman seated next to him.
Del – That was a blinding meal yer Ladyship, weren’t it?
Lady – Yes, excellent.
Del – What did you have? The pheasant?
Lady – Yes, pheasant.
Del – I had the quails, with greens and gravy.
Her Ladyship looks at Del’ stained serviette which is still tucked in his shirt.
Lady – So you did! Tell me – it’s Trotter, isn’t it?
Del – Yes m’lady, but my friends call me Del.
Lady – I see. Tell me Trotter, how do you come to know Henry?
Del – Well, you see his daughter Victoria is getting engaged to my younger brother Rodney.
Lady – (Incredulous) Engaged?
Del – Ssh! Keep it under your tiara, we don’t want the media getting hold of this. You know what ity was like for Andrew and Fergie – couldn’t fart without a news flash, could they?
Patterson has been placing decanters of port on table. One decanter to every four people. He places one in front of Del.
Del – (Cont’d) (To her Ladyship) Cor, he’s given you a blank your Ladyship! Still, perhaps he’ll bring your carafe in a minute.
Del pours himself a port.
INT. NIGHT. THE KITCHENS.
The cook and the maids are now busy washing up. Albert and the footman are still at table. The footman rests his head on his hand and is looking bored and sleepy as Albert’s saga continues.
Albert – I was in the liferaft about twenty yards away from him. The currant was so strong I couldn’t reach him! Then I saw it! A long black shape, a white foaming line behind it, hurtling straight towards him! I shouted, ‘Watch out Tommy, there’s a torpedo heading straight for you!’ Then I realised that I was wrong! I said ‘It’s alright Tommy, it ain’t a torpedo, it’s a
Carter – I bet that come as a great relief to him!
Albert – It was awful! That story will haunt me to the day I die!
Carter – I know the feeling!
INT. NIGHT. THE DINING HALL.
Some of the guests have side plates containing fruit -grapes, segments of orange. There are glasses of port, brandy etc.
We pan round table and see the guests chatting, we hear laughing, drinking etc, all in a very relaxed, civilised manner. We see quite a few of the guests actually eating the fruits. (small fruits, grapes etc) They are using antique silver fruit knives.
As we continue the pan we pass Del whose elasticated tie is hanging at an obtuse angle., a couple of buttons of his shirt are undone revealing evidence of a string vest beneath. He is well gone and eating a banana. The decanter of port is almost empty. The tablecloth around him is covered in port stains and cigar ash.
We continue the pan leaving him and seeing more of the civilised guests. We now hear a high-pitched whine.
The whole table stops and looks in Del’s direction. We see Del is running his finger round the rim of one of the crystal goblets.
Del – (To Henry) That’s how you can tell they’re pukka crystal.
Henry – Really? Thank you.
Charles – I don’t want to worry you Henry, but he threw his banana skin in your Ch’ein Lung jardiniere.
Henry – Good grief!
Cut to Vicky’s end of table.
Del is still examining the glasses.
Del – These are lovely Victoria. What are they, Ravenhead or something?
Vicky – No it’s Stonebridge Crystal. They’ve been in the family for generations.
Rodney – Put it down!
Del – Alright! (Picking up a silver fruit knife) Look at the craftsmanship in that. (Calling up table) ‘Enry, this knife.
Henry – No, it’s not a Da Vinci!
Del – Pure silver though, I’d wager.
Henry – Yes. They were made by William Cawdill in 1648.
Del – Really? They’ve come up well, ain’t they?
Del now bangs the knife three times across the rim of the priceless crystal and listens to the tone. Everyone in the room holds their breath.
The glass doesn’t smash.
Del – (Cont’d) Hear that tone? Makes you proud to be British dunnit? Me and Rodney are involved in cutlery. Canteens par excellence. I’ve got some in the van, it won’t take me a minute.
Rodney – Del. Just – just leave it will you?
Del – Well maybe later.
Giles – (One of the more younger set) Which part of London are you from, Rodney?
Rodney – Em – Peckham. Peckham, er, Peckham, London.
Giles – Really? Not too far from me, I have a flat in Chelsea.
Vicky – Rodney’s taking me to Stamford Bridge to see someone play soccer.
Giles – Oh you’re one of the faithful! I’m a blues fan myself. Have you taken a box?
Del – He don’t need a box, he’s tall enough to see, ain’t he?
Giles – No, I meant a private box in the new stand!
Rodney – No, I’m usually in the Shed.
Giles – Yes, I’ve often seen the chaps in the Shed. Looks great fun! I’m a great Dixon fan.
Del – Which Dixon you talking about?
Giles – Well, Dixon of Chelsea!
Del – Him? I’d rather play Dixon of Dock Green! I mean, he can’t dribble like Jimmy Greaves could!
Giles – Well maybe not, but he’s still a fine player. I mean, he’s good in the air!
Del – So was Biggles! (Indicating Rodney) Of course, he had a great future as an athlete.
Rodney is horrified by this, he’s never even won a sack race.
Henry – That’s jolly interesting, Rodney. Which area of athletics?
Rodney – Em… er, well…
Del – All sorts, weren’t it, Rodney? Running and jumping over things – chucking things, all sorts! The headmaster at his university wanted him to go in for the Olympics. But he said no! He gave it all up to concentrate on business. And that’s where his true talent lies. He’s a future whiz-kid. This time next year he’ll be a millionaire.
Henry – That’s nice to hear. Which university were you at?
Rodney – It wasn’t actually a university, sir.
Vicky – Rodney was at art college, Daddy. In Basingstoke.
Henry – Basingst…! Yes, yes, I’ve heard very good things about it?
Charles – How long were you there old chap?
Rodney – Th… three weeks.
Charles – Three weeks?
Rodney – I left for… em, personal reasons.
Del – It weren’t his fault.
Rodney – (A plea) Del!
Del – No, it’s important these good people know the truth! They weren’t his drugs what he was found in possession of!
Everyone is stunned by this. Rodney lowers his head. Vicky looks at him with disappointment.
Del – (Cont’d) It was the Chinese tart! He only went down to her room to borrow a box of chalk. She said have a puff of this Rodney and then SGB burst in. Caught him bang to rights with a reefer al dente! He was two mil away in black Maria before he even said man! So I just want you all to know, is case the drugs conviction is ever brought up by the gutter press, he was done
up like a kipper.
There is now total silence around the table except for the sound of Del pouring himself yet another brandy.
Del – (Cont’d) Anyway, let’s liven things up a bit! Here you are, a little recitation entitled, ‘Don’t worry mother your son will be back soon, he’s only sailing round the world in a Grimsby fishing smack’! Here we go.
Throughout this we see Rodney slowly dying. Most of the other guests have their heads lowered in embarrassment.
Del – (Cont’d) The boy stood on the burning deck, the water shone like glass. A burning ember flew down his neck, and burnt him on the… ankle!
Del collapses in great guffaws of uproarious laughter. He is banging the table, glasses rattling together. There is an embarrassed, pathetic silence from all the others.
INT. NIGHT. THE KITCHEN.
From the dining hall we can hear Del’s laughter. Patterson, Carter, Mrs Miles and the maids are looking in the direction of the laughter.
Albert is seated at the table. He closes his eyes and shakes his head sadly.
INT. NIGHT. THE DINING HALL.
Del continues laughing.
Del – Oh dear me. You all thought I was gonna say arse, didn’t you?… Did you hear the one about the Irish bloke on a skiing holiday?
Everyone looks up, horrified that anybody could tell a skiing joke in Covington House.
Del – See, this Irish fella wins a skiing holiday in a contest of some sort. This is a killer!
People around the table react.
INT. NIGHT. THE KITCHEN.
Everyone is there as before.
Albert, realising their weekend is now finished, is putting his duffel coat on, finishing a mug of tea.
INT. NIGHT. THE DINING HALL.
Del – … and his wife said, ‘That’s not my Paddy’s ear, he had a fag behind his!’
Del laughs uproariously.
Henry screams down the table to him.
Henry – Trotter! I want a word with you! Outside – now!
Del and Henry move towards doors.
Vicky – (To Rodney) Are you still staying overnight? Or… or not?
Rodney – No, I think I’d better get myself off home.
Vicky – Fine… it was… Yes.
INT. NIGHT. THE MAIN HALL.
Henry – Listen carefully Trotter. I want you and all your kith and kin out of my house and off my land right now!
Del – Don’t you wanna discuss the arrangements first?
Henry – Arrangements? What arrangements?
Del – (Quietly) Rodney and Victoria’s wedding!
Henry – W… W… Wha… what do you mean – wedding?
Del – Oh no! They haven’t told you, have they? I hope I haven’t spoilt a wonderful surprise!
Henry – A wonderful surprise? For whom?
Del – Well, for you! I thought we’d place the announcements in The Times, Country Life and the Peckham Echo. What d’you think?
Henry – I do not believe I’m hearing this! My daughter is marrying no one! In two months time she leaves for America. She’s taking a year’s course at the New York School of Art!
Del – That’s most probably part of their honeymoon! Two months, eh? We’d better book a cathedral a bit lively!
Henry – The only thing you’ll be booking is a bed in intensive care! Your brother is not, I repeat, not marrying my daughter.
Del – Look Henry, we’re not yippidy yoys you know. We know how to conduct ourselves. In fact, there is a rumour that we are related to the Surrey Trotters!
Henry – I don’t care if you’re related to the Surrey Trotters, the Berkshire Trotters or the Harlem bloody Globe Trotters! I want that young man out of my daughter’s life!
Del – Well I don’t know how you’re gonna do that! Your Vicky’s stuck on him.
Henry – Well I’ll find a way of unsticking her, have no fear of that!
Del – Well it’s not gonna be easy. I know Rodney too well. I can’t think of anything that would make him leave her… Well, there might be one thing?
Henry – And what’s that?
Del – Why don’t we talk about it in your study over a brandy?
Henry – (Indicating door) Through here.
Del – (OOV) What is that one?
Henry – (OOV) That’s a Da Vinci.
INT. DAY. THE TROTTERS’ LOUNGE.
Very early, Sunday morning. From outside we can hear the sound of the Muezzin calling the faithful to worship. Rodney is alone in the lounge. He sits in an armchair vengefully trance-like, still wearing his stained evening jacket (minus the tie). He has not slept and is unshaven and weary.
Albert exits from his bedroom wearing pyjamas and dressing gown.
Albert – (Referring to Muezzin) Ali’s started early this morning ain’t he? Can’t understand it, Del Boy flogged him a new watch last week… You’re up early an all son. Or ain’t you been to bed?
Rodney just shakes his head.
Albert – (Cont’d) Come on, Rodney. You need your kip, boy. I know that last night didn’t go as well as you’d hoped for, but… well, try’n look for the silver lining.
Rodney – Silver lining?? He called the Earl of Stanton a dipstick! He showed them his scar! He was so drunk he couldn’t even order his nightcap or rum and black – he asked for a bum and
rack! So where’s the silver lining, Unc?
Albert – Well…It’s lucky he didn’t fancy a Bucks Fizz, innit?
Albert moves towards the kitchen. He now stops in his tracks.
Albert – (Cont’d) (Referring to Muezzin) Ali’s still at it. You ever heard him do the Yellow Rose of Texas?
Rodney gives the tiniest of smiles. Del enters from the bedroom area. He is dressed in his casual clothes and is very hung-over.
Del – Oh my gawd! Someone’s put an ‘ampster in my mouth! I feel really sick! Do us a sausage sandwich with brown sauce, Unc. I’ve gotta have something inside me.
Rodney – (Quietly to himself) How about a dum-dum bullet?
Del hasn’t heard this.
Del – I don’t know why we come home so early from ‘Enry’s drum. I mean we was all having a good time!
Rodney – No, Del! You was having a good time! Everyone else was praying for their appendix to burst! I’m going outside. I’m gonna try and rationalise the nightmare of yesterday evening! And when I’ve thought the whole thing through and got my head straight and regained my composure, I’m gonna come back in here and kill you!
Rodney exits through the hall door.
Del – (To Albert) Have I upset him or something?
Albert – Upset him? I don’t know how the boy’s managed to keep his hands off you! Last night you drank one and ‘alf litres of vintage port, you mixed coca-cola with their one hundred year old
cognac, then I heard you took some diabolical liberties with a priceless punch-bowl! I don’t know what you did but the maid said she’ll never drink Sangria again!
Del – Ain’t it marvelous, eh? I try and help someone but my good nature always rebounds on me! (Calling from window) Ali, give it a rest, son!
INT. DAY. THE LIFT FOYER OF BLOCK.
This is on the 14th floor.
The Muezzin has now stopped. Rodney is standing at window looking out over Peckham.
Del enters foyer.
Del – Rodney… come on Rodders, I was only trying to make an impression.
Rodney – And you made an impression, Del! It was similar to the impression the Americans made on Nagasaki! Why can’t you stay out of my life? For as long as I can remember it’s always been the same – you sticking your oar into everything I did! I remember the time I joined the army cadets. I used to enjoy that! Going away for weekends – climbing things. Then you discovered that the
boy I shared a tent with had a relative who was a big noise in show-business. That was the end of my military career weren’t it? I was now gonna be a child-star! I was demobbed and straight into a tap-dancing school before I could say, ‘Who goes there?’
Del – They said you had natural rhythm, it was just your legs.
Rodney – It was just an embarrassment – like last night! I was the only kid in that school who didn’t have proper tap- dancing shoes.
Del – That was because your army boots made more noise!
Rodney – Oh they made more noise alright! I used to make ‘Zippidy Doo Dah’ sound like the advance on Leningrad! Even that painting competition at school – I could have won that if it wasn’t for you! The art teacher wrote that my ‘Marble Arch at Dusk’ was like a masterpiece!
Del – No, he said it was like mantlepiece, Rodney!
Rodney – He said masterpiece.
Del – It looked nothing like Marble Arch!
Rodney – That’s ‘cos it weren’t the bloody Marble Arch! It was the Arc de Triomphe but none of us could spell Arc de Triomphe, so you said paint a trolley bus in front of it and no-one will be any wiser!
In pure frustration, Rodney punches the metal dust chute cover with his right hand.
Rodney – (Cont’d) You see, you had to interfere! And now you’ve interfered again between me and Victoria. You humiliated and destroyed me in front of all them people. You smashed my chances of getting an occasional break from this concrete mess! And you’ve ruined my opportunity of sharing a warm and friendly relationship with someone I respected. And on top of that Del. On top
of all that – I think I’ve broken my hand!!
Del – Let’s have a look!
Rodney – Get away from me! You went everywhere with us! You came to the Theatre Royal and put British Culture back ten years! You called Puccini a wally-Frog! And what you did to that antique punchbowl was little short of criminal!
Del – I admit I might have got a bit merry!
Rodney – Merry?
Rodney pokes Del in the chest with index finger of his right hand.
Rodney – (Cont’d) You… aargghh?
Del – You wanna get that hand looked at!
Rodney – Shuddup!
Rodney now pokes Del in the chest with index finger of his left hand.
Rodney – (Cont’d) You even told the joke about the Irish bloke on a skiing holiday!
Del – No!
Rodney – Yes you did! The whole room fell silent!
Del – Don’t keep on about it Rodney.
Rodney – That’s when he decided to chuck us all out? D’you know what the most painful incident of the entire evening was? His Grace asked me to join him in his study for a little chat. He said he wanted me to stop seeing Victoria. He wanted me out of her life – now, and for good! Couldn’t risk the scandal see. A peer of the realm’s daughter getting mixed up with someone like me… He offered me money!
Del – (Feigning innocence) No?
Rodney – Yeah. You can imagine how I felt!
Del – Oh ‘orrible Rodney, ‘orrible! I’d have told him what to do with his money.
Rodney – I did.
Del – Good b… What? You said nito to a grand?
Rodney – Yes I did! I still had a bit of my self-esteem left intact! A thousand pounds don’t buy me, Del!
Del – Well it could buy me!
Rodney – A free-estimate could buy you! (Reacts) How did you know he offered me a grand?
Del – Eh?
Rodney – How did you know he offered me a thousand pounds?
Del – Well, that’s about the going rate for getting a plonker out of your daughter’s life!
Rodney – You arranged it didn’t you?
Del – No, no, I didn’t actually arrange it! Look Rodney, them sort of people are looked after by Special Branch and MI6. Don’t you think they would have run your name through a computer and found out about your conviction? Then, if you refused to get out of Vicky’s life they’d have sent a hit team after you. The next peer you’d of seen was that one at Southend. as they rowed you out on the midnight tide!
Rodney – (A bit concerned about this) Course not!
Del – No? What would they have said to the old Duke then? Don’t worry your Grace, you ain’t losing a daughter, you’re gaining a pot-head! You’d have been brown bread, Rodney. So I thought, a grand on the hip’s better than a poisoned umbrella up the jacksey! But you, you dipstick, turned it down!
Rodney – Yes I did!
More episodes from this series of OFAH:
- Only Fools And Horses Series 5 Episode 1 From Prussia With Love Full Script
- Only Fools And Horses Series 5 Episode 2 The Miracle Of Peckham Full Script
- Only Fools And Horses Series 5 Episode 3 The Longest Night Full Script
- Only Fools And Horses Series 5 Episode 4 Tea For Three Full Script
- Only Fools And Horses Series 5 Episode 5 Video Nasty Full Script
- Only Fools And Horses Series 5 Episode 6 Who Wants To Be A Millionaire Full Script
- Only Fools And Horses Series 5 Episode 7 A Royal Flush Full Script