The New Statesman: Season 1, Episode 5

Friends of St. James (11 Oct. 1987)

TV Episode  |   |  Comedy
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Alan organises a parliamentary fact-finding expedition....


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Title: Friends of St. James (11 Oct 1987)

Friends of St. James (11 Oct 1987) on IMDb 6.9/10

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Episode cast overview:
Rowena Cooper ...
Norman Bormann (as R.R. Cooper)
Trevor Laird ...
Lance Okum-Martin
William Simons ...
Captain Hirsch
Steffanie Pitt ...
Neville Phillips ...
John Fitzgerald Jay ...
Co-Pilot (as John Jay)
Chris Tummings ...
Police Sergeant
John Carlin ...


At a school reunion B'stard meets former classmate Lance Okum-Martin, who tells him that he is now the president of Caribbean island St. James and who suggests a scam, whereby they will open an off-shore account on the island offering staggeringly high rates of interest to the depositors. Then, when a large enough sum has been raised the bank will conveniently go bust and they will pocket the proceeds. B'stard arranges a 'fact-finding' mission to St James but, just before the plane lands, he realizes that Lance is not the president but his grandson and he was planning to defraud B'stard. In the event he cuts his losses by stealing the cheques he was given to deposit and giving half the money to the pilot to say nothing. Written by don @ minifie-1

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11 October 1987 (UK)  »

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User Reviews

The biter bit!
26 November 2010 | by (Ambrosia) – See all my reviews

Alan is guest of honour at prize-giving day at his old public school ( and thoroughly bored by the occasion ) when he bumps into Lance Okum-Martin ( Trevor Laird ), his old fag, currently 'President for life' - in other words a dictator - of the Caribbean island of St.James. He wants Alan to use his Parliamentary influence to secure a hefty loan to bail the country out of economic difficulties, but Alan is not keen. Lance gives him what appears to be a cigarette - it is in fact a marijuana joint. Alan is hooked.

He tells the Commons the St.James' banks have 25% interest rates. The drooling M.P.'s become keen to invest money there, and accompany Alan and Piers on a chartered flight to the island...

An average episode. The school and Commons scenes are great, but we spend a bit too much time on the plane for my liking. Angus MacInnes plays 'Captain Hirsch', a loud American who terrifies passengers by reminding them of the fates of Jim Reeves and Buddy Holly. In a nice twist, it turns out Lance has taken Alan for a ride. To stop them landing at St.James, he and Piers fake a hijacking, with them playing terrorists. Steffanie Pitt a.k.a. stewardess 'Cyndy', is the daughter of the recently deceased film star Ingrid Pitt. Alan's endorsement of Lance in Parliament - he supported Britain during the Falklands War - sounds uncannily like Thatcher's for the late, unlamented General Augusto Pinochet. William Simons is 'Catchpole', a Labour M.P. with a voice so boring he could give 'Father Stone' from 'Father Ted' a run for his money.

Funniest moment - on the plane, Piers sits down. The back of the chair collapses, landing in Catchpole's lap. "Argggh! You've crushed my nuts!", he whimpers. Piers says: "Didn't know you had any!".

Second funniest moment - Alan, high as a kite, delivering his speech at the school.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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