The New Statesman: Season 3, Episode 4

Keeping Mum (27 Jan. 1991)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 16 users  
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In the House of Commons conniving Tory Alan B'Stard faces a barrage of hostility from an Opposition outraged by his proposal for an amendment to the Social Security Bill.

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Title: Keeping Mum (27 Jan 1991)

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
...
Michael Troughton ...
...
Brenda Bruce ...
Beryl
Penny Brownjohn ...
Betty Gammon
...
Police Inspector
David Lloyd ...
Police Sergeant
Ron Webster ...
House of Commons Policeman
Martin Friend ...
Graham Rigby ...
Old M.P.
Nicholas Fry ...
Newsreader
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Storyline

B'stard's latest bill proposes that, to save the government money, all retirement homes should be closed and the elderly should be looked after by their families. This rebounds on him when his own mother, Beryl, a scruffy old bag-lady, turns up at the house, proves to be incontinent and embarrasses him in front of important guests. She demands money from her son to leave him alone but, when he gives in, she actually turns out to be the owner of a retirement home herself. To get his revenge B'stard makes sure that Piers' mother, who has arsonist tendencies, becomes one of Beryl's residents. Written by don @ minifie-1

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incestuous kiss

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Comedy

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27 January 1991 (UK)  »

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User Reviews

 
The Mother of all worries
10 December 2010 | by (Ambrosia) – See all my reviews

I was invited the other day to a '70's disco night at my local club, but chose to respectfully decline the offer. "Come on!", said my friends: "Its a great chance to get your old clobber on again!". I pointed out that no way would I fit back into my school uniform ( which I wore most of the time then ). The trouble is with these nights is that they present a distorted view of the era they are meant to be celebrating. I went to lots of discos then and never once bumped into anyone in a frizzy wig, loud shirt, kipper tie, sunglasses, and Elton John-style shoes. Young people wore casual gear such as T-shirts, jeans and trainers, not the outrageous clothes seen in numerous films and series. Yet the people at these nights look like the cast of 'Starsky & Hutch'. Still, if it keeps them happy...

Alan really crosses the line in this episode. He and Piers are stealing charity boxes off the streets, breaking them open, and pocketing the money ( or at least Alan does ). Alan votes in the Commons to close down all old people's homes in the country so as to save the Government money. Pensioners are to go and live with their families whether they can cope with them or not. Alan gets an unexpected surprise as his own mother - Beryl ( the late Brenda Bruce ) - shows up at his office, demanding he look after her. She is a smelly old hag in a hat covered in badges. At Alan's home, she annoys Sarah by farting and peeing on the sofa. A visit from the Duke and Duchess of York ( Andy and Fergie to us plebs ) ends in disaster...

Interesting to see what sort of breeding stock Alan comes from. Beryl is like her son in that she is prepared to do anything for money, although unlike him she has noble motives in trying to keep an old peoples' home safe from the threat of closure. Alan gives her the money she wants, but then moves in Piers' senile mother who has arsonist tendencies. Funny how viewers complained when Alan burned Piers' teddy bear and yet kept quiet and he engineered the demise of his own mother the same way. Note the protracted kiss between mother and son. It infers an incestuous relationship existed at one time.

Brenda Bruce is great as 'Beryl', so repellent she could give 'Father Jack Hackett' competition.

Funniest moment - Fergie giving the B'stards a V-sign!

Second funniest moment - asked by Piers if she has a photo of Alan's father, Beryl replies: "Not so much a photo, more of a short list!".


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