Episode credited cast:
Hywel Bennett ...
Belinda Sinclair ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Paul Curran ...
Sandra Freeman ...
James Richardson ...
Emma Stephenson ...
Madoline Thomas ...
Mrs. Ratcliffe


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Release Date:

1 May 1980 (UK)  »

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"If that's a Scientologist, I'll serve him with chips!"
1 February 2008 | by (Ambrosia) – See all my reviews

Shelley's attempts to prepare a dinner party meet with continual interruptions; first, a Jehovah's Witness rings the doorbell and refuses to go away, then an elderly neighbour called Mrs.Ratcliffe asks him to fix her shelf. Mrs.Ratcliffe is, unfortunately, senile, and thinks that all the women at that address - Mrs.H included - are on the game.

Jim thinks up an ingenious way to get these time wasters off his back - he introduces them to each other.

The party begins before Shelley has had time to clear up the flat, so his guests helpfully oblige by doing it for him.

It ends in disaster. A row breaks out when two guests let slip that they have been having an affair...

The final episode of Series 1 ( though as I've stated in earlier reviews it was not broadcast as such ) owes a small debt to the classic 'Porridge' episode 'No Peace For The Wicked', though its nowhere near as funny. As the interruptions increase, so Shelley's anger rises, though he stops short of actually throttling someone ( as Fletcher did ).

Spot The Future Star: yes, that is Alan Rickman as the hippie-like 'Clive'. The man who would go on to star in 'Die Hard', 'Robin Hood Prince Of Thieves' and 'Galaxy Quest' amongst other hit films is seen here in a minor role.

A major problem is that we never actually see the blazing row the party degenerates into. We are simply told about it. Obnoxious Ned is present, and makes matters worse by lecherously winking at Trish and exclaiming: 'Everybody's doing it!". As the party takes place off-screen, we are thankfully spared a return appearance by David Pugh as 'Ned'. One good thing to be said for it, I suppose.

The best bits are Shelley's interaction with the Jehovah's Witness ( haven't we all wanted to tell them to go forth and multiply? ) and Mrs.Ratcliffe. Funniest moment - Jim telling the former to leave the premises, adding that if he comes back he'll turn him into a pillar of salt!

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