A special dinner is organized to celebrate Mr. Grainger's 65th birthday. But will he be asked to remain with Grace Bros. or will he be given the Cuckoo clock?




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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Arthur Brough ...
Larry Martyn ...
Harold Bennett ...
the Check Jacket
Dorothy Wayne ...
the Bridal Veil
Mrs. Grainger
Hilda Fenemore ...
Avril Fane ...
the Trio
Barbara Loynes ...
the Trio


A special dinner is organized to celebrate Mr. Grainger's 65th birthday. But will he be asked to remain with Grace Bros. or will he be given the Cuckoo clock?

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

red dress | cleavage | See All (2) »






Release Date:

14 March 1974 (UK)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Mr. Lucas is introduced as "James Lucas". In later episodes, his first name is "Dick". See more »


[first lines]
Captain Peacock: Can I help you, Sir?
The Check Jacket: Ah, yes. Would you show me some sports jackets, please?
Captain Peacock: I won't personally, Sir. But I'll summon our senior assistant to attend to your wishes. Mr. Grainger, are you free?
Mr. Grainger: Oh, yes, I'm free.
See more »


For He's A Jolly Good Fellow
Performed by John Inman, Mollie Sugden, Trevor Bannister, Frank Thornton,
Wendy Richard, Nicholas Smith, and Larry Martyn
See more »

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User Reviews

As one's time at work runs out....
30 July 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

There is an element in this episode of real tragedy. Arthur Borough's* characterization of Mr. Ernest Grainger was always a subject of laughter because the poor man is so old and feeble. It looks like he can be knocked down by a tossed tape measure that Mr. Lucas throws to him, or even a piece of tailor's chalk. Yet he is more than that. In one episode he is momentarily promoted to replace Rumbold for a few days (solely to help boost his pension) and turns out to be far more able and devilishly hard-nosed than the bumbling Rumbold ever was. Also, he is far more aware of his rights (he is willing to contact factory inspectors when he knows he has been mistreated). On the other hand he frequently finds himself deserted by the others after they promise to support his complaints.

In this particular episode, Grainger has reached 35 years at the Grace Brothers store. It is a nice achievement, but it suggests that he has to face retirement soon. The fact is Grainger is not ready to retire. A dinner is being planed for him, and that's fine. But Grainger is fully aware that frequently a "cuckoo clock" is given to the dinner honoree on these occasions, and when it is it is a sign that the firm no longer wants him to work there - they are politely canning him.

The episode has this melancholy atmosphere in it's background, and one feels for Grainger (and by extension all of the lower level workers at Grace Brothers, for they all face this kind of treatment). Yet it has funny moments in it. Besides the normal joking about the level of dealing with the clientèle of the store, there is also the problems of choosing what to serve, of Mr. Mash's dismal performance at the dinner as maitre'd; of Mrs. Slocombe's getting smashed on wine that is served from cans (yes, really!); and of poor Grainger dealing with a mendacious Rumbold (who is trying to hide the clock from Grainger). The latter is particularly choice, as Grainger fondly remembers when he joined the firm in 1937, the very day that Stanley Baldwin left the Prime Ministership to his chosen successor Neville Chamberlain. The dim Rumbold gets his information so fouled up that he ends up believing Chamberlain was an employee working in the china department of the store, and for some reason visited Hitler in Munich!

The episode is also interesting as being the only one I recall that showed us Mrs. Grainger (Pearl Hackney). The two make a sweetly affectionate couple (which is a nice change from Mr. Lucas and his constant womanizing, or Captain Peacock's frequent problems with his shrewish wife, or the dirty old man with money image of Young Mr. Grace. It too adds to the melancholy of the episode. In real life, Arthur Borough* left the series in 1978 shortly after the death of his real life wife, and died a few weeks afterward.

*There is a spelling problem with the system on this web site regarding the correct spelling of this last name. It is not "B" "O" "R" "O" "U" "G" "H", but "B" "R" "O" "U" "G" "H". but the system insists on the former spelling - not the latter.

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