When Rita wins a winter sun holiday abroad, Alf complains about having to spend Christmas alone.

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
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Carmel McSharry ...
Arthur English ...
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Mother
Renu Setna ...
Eileen Kennally ...
Ken Campbell ...
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Scott Farrell ...
Man at grotto
Edmund Kente ...
Store Manager
Jo Kendall ...
Woman at grotto
Richard Henry ...
Man at house
Mark Vella ...
Boy
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Storyline

Having been fired from his job as a - very curmudgeonly - department store Santa, Alf faces Christmas alone. Rita has won a trip to Spain but opts to take Mike to save her marriage whilst Mrs Hollingbery is visiting relatives and Fred Johnson makes it clear Alf is unwelcome. After an accident delivering for the local corner shop Alf is all alone in the house and his efforts to fake suicide cut no ice with Fred. Fortunately Winston comes to the rescue. Written by don @ minifie-1

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christmas | See All (1) »

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Comedy

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Release Date:

23 December 1986 (UK)  »

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User Reviews

 
Christmas In Spain?
22 November 2010 | by (Ambrosia) – See all my reviews

The second 'In Sickness' Christmas Special manages to be extremely good even without the formidable Dandy Nichols. To earn a few bob, Alf is working as a Department store 'Santa'. His customers are an awkward lot, particularly one mother ( Alison Steadman ) who angrily demands to know why Father Christmas never brings anything for her boy. After losing his rag ( and who wouldn't ) Alf quits. Rita wins a prize in a competition - a holiday for two in sunny Spain. Alf thinks he will be going with his daughter, but she is planning on taking husband Mike, seeing the trip as an opportunity to repair their crumbling marriage. Alf faces the prospect of Christmas on his own...

This was one of Una's final appearances in the role of 'Rita'. The actress was committed to filming the children's show 'Worzel Gummidge Down Under' in New Zealand with Jon Pertwee, and could not spare the time. Why Speight decided to break up Rita's marriage to Mike was rather strange, as they'd been shown previously to be a devoted couple. There was no danger of Tony Booth returning as he had publicly refused to work with Warren Mitchell again. The marriage could have survived intact. Alison Steadman's mad-as-a-hatter mother is quite a hoot, almost on a par with 'Beverly' from 'Abigail's Party'. Jo Kendall of 'I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again' fame is seen in the grotto also.

There is a poignancy to Alf's situation. In one scene, he fakes hanging himself in order to attract attention, but the Johnsons pull the curtains shut so they can enjoy their turkey in peace! Funniest moment

  • Alf, dressed as Santa, pushing a wheelchair loaded with Christmas
food through the streets. He loses control and it careers down a steep hill, straight through someone's front door. By the time Alf arrives, the owner has slammed it shut!


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