Due to death duties Audrey has had to bid for the manor at auction but lost out to Richard De Vere,millionaire owner of Cavendish Foods and representative of the new money she despises. Now living in the manor's lodge Audrey is visited by Richard's mother,a Polish lady,who tells her that Richard is also a Pole,born Bedrich Polouvicki. Due to a mix-up Richard believes he is hiring Audrey as his secretary and is surprised to learn who she really is.
Audrey is disgusted that Richard,as the new lord of the manor,does not go to Sunday service at the local church. In an attempt to be go-between his mother invites Audrey to dinner and she accepts on the proviso that he attends church with her next day. In the event it is Audrey who misses the service because her grandfather clock was not working.
When Audrey sees Richard throw out an Adam fireplace,which he considers ugly,she lectures him on the need to preserve the nation's heritage,as well as mentioning that her mantelpiece is very small. After she has helped him buy a horse she returns to the lodge to find he has had the fireplace installed in her lounge as a thank you present.
To prove a point,Audrey refuses to organize,as she has always done,the hunt ball at the manor,hoping Richard will beg her to reconsider. Instead he gets Marjory to run it and escorts her to the ball as his partner,leaving an angry Audrey to stay at home,playing Scrabble with Brabinger the butler. Richard does come to apologize though,after which Audrey directs him home over a foot-bridge which she knows to be unsafe.
To keep up appearances Audrey pretends to go on holiday to Spain,though in fact she is hiding at the lodge with only Ned aware of her secret. She becomes suspicious when she sees Richard and Marjory skulking around the grounds together but they are not romantically involved but only badger watching. When Audrey 'returns' from her holiday Richard tells her he knows her secret but agrees to keep quiet if she stops telling people he made his fortune through dodgy business deals.
In an effort to make himself appear more English Richard decides to appear in a TV advert for Fontleroy's Old English Tonic,to be filmed at the manor and using Audrey's butler and Rolls Royce. However when the crew come to film it Audrey takes delight in telling that the director that the manor is not Richard's ancestral home but hers and ends up appearing in the advert herself instead of him.
Following in family tradition Audrey and Marjory create a crib for the church though it is very crudely put together. Richard, on the other hand, asked by the vicar as lord of the manor, to contribute one, has a far more commercial model. Both parties claim to prefer the other. Come Christmas Audrey and Marjory decline an invitation to the manor but are bored and relieved when Richard and his mother come to them.