Episode 2 – Alan Attraction
[Radio Norwich. Camera pans back from mixing desks to reveal Alan sitting behind the microphone in the studio, wearing a red pringle cardigan. Thin Lizzie music fades out.]
Alan Partridge: Mmm! That was a nice thick slice of ‘Thin Lizzie’. That was for my tireless PA Lynn, fifty, who is as dilligent and hard-working a creature that ever graced this world we call…earth. It’s 4:39am. [Presses a button on the console, and new music plays, Chris Rea] Time to run yourself a big bath – it’s Chris Rea.
[Title music, ending with a short monologue from Alan, drinking a pint of bitter in a pub – “Very malty”]
[Back in the Norwich Radio studio, later that morning.]
Alan: OK! There will be no telephone Cluedo today because of a threat of a court injunction from the makers of Cluedo. It’s 6:58am [plays sound effects – a cock crowing, an ‘A-ha!’ and finally loud kissing noise. Alan laughs gently.] Ha ha ha ha. That kissing sound wasn’t someone kissing me, or kissing a cock, it’s simply – a cockerel I mean – it’s simply a way of saying it’s Valentine’s day, a day on which Mr. Al Capone ruined a romantic night out for many diners by massacring them. Died of syphilis, he did, so there is some justice. Anyway, time for me now to hand over to a man who hopefully will not be massacring anyone this evening [camera cuts to a smiling Dave Clifton in the other studio] or indeed killing them with syphilis [Dave’s face falls], is Monsieur David Clifton.
Dave: Ah, Bonjour Monsieur Partridge, comment parlez-vous, Monsieur?
Alan: Yeah, whatever. Did you get any Valentine’s cards this morning?
Dave: Actually, Alan, I have to say, I came down this morning and I couldn’t open my door…
Alan: Lose your key?
Dave: I couldn’t open my door because I’d lost my key!
Alan: Yeah, well, I did just say that. Anyway, chocolate oranges –
Dave: [Interrupting] OK! It’s 7am, and we’ve got a good show lined up for you this morning –
Alan: [Interrupting loudly] Do you like chocolate?
Alan: Do you like chocolate?
Dave: Yeah, I love it!
Alan: I’ve really got to say this, Dave,
Alan: Chocolate oranges are available for Rawlinson’s… [quietly, almost mouthing] that’s all…[looks apologetically at Dave, who looks slightly annoyed]
Dave: OK! It’s seven a.m., and first of all we got ‘China Crisis’.
[Music plays as we cut to Linton Travel Tavern car park]
[Inside, Alan enters the lobby. It is decorated for Valentine’s Day. He meets Ben, who is walking out]
Ben: Good morning.
Alan: That’s the one. [Turns to the manager Susan, behind reception, who is cheerful as always] Susan, is he new?
Susan: Yes, he started yesterday.
Alan: Yeah, he just said ‘good morning’ with his back to me.
Susan: Oh, he’s OK.
Alan: No, it’s just I’ve never seen that done before. Anyway, Happy Valentine’s Day. How are you?
Susan: Oh I’m a bit tired. I need my beauty sleep.
Alan: Oh you don’t need beauty sleep. Well, forty winks. [Susan fights to keep a smile on her face] Did you get the chocolate orange?
Susan: Oh yes, thank you.
Alan: Good. You might find some superficial damage to the box, but the chocolate’s perfectly edible. I’ve given them to all the ladies I know aged fifty and under. Over fifty just seems sarcastic.
Susan: Well I’m afraid I need to watch my figure.
Alan: I’ll watch it for you! With my little binoculars – wooo! [mimes wearing binoculars. Susan laughs] Mind you, I can’t talk; I’ve got a fat back.
Susan: What’s that?
Alan: It’s a build-up of fatty deposits just above the belt-line. It’s fairly well concealed in casual clothing, but you don’t want to see me in my underpants!
[Sophie, the receptionist has just arrived behind reception. She turns away to conceal her smile. Susan leaves reception.]
Alan: Sophie, did you get your chocolate orange?
Alan: I got you a dark chocolate one because I know you don’t like milk.
Sophie: I do like milk chocolate.
Alan: Oh, right, well I could exchange it. I could talk to my chocolate people.
Sophie: Oh, yes please. [Produces a dark chocolate orange from beneath the counter and places it on the counter. Its box is damaged.]
Alan: Right. Er, have you tampered with the wrapping?
Sophie: No, but there is a bit of superficial damage to the box.
Alan: Don’t bother about the damage. They’re all damaged. Er, right. Have you kept it below room temperature?
Sophie: I don’t think so.
Alan: Ah, right. In that case…[pushes the chocolate orange back over the counter towards Sophie]…I’m afraid you’ve invalidated the warranty. Above room-temperature it all congeals into one big dark-chocolate cricket ball. So, I’m afraid your consumer rights no longer apply. I mean, you could try Watchdog, but I think they’ve got bigger fish to fry.
Ben: Excuse me, are you Alan Partridge?
Alan: [With mock-weariness, and a smug smile] Yes…
Ben: You dropped this, your ID card. Radio Norwich?
Alan: Oh, right, thanks. [Mimicking Ben] Awroight?
Ben: [Jokily] Good morning.
[Alan looks irritated, and turns back to Sophie]
Alan: Actually, Sophie, there’s an issue I’ve been meaning to raise for the last two weeks. You know those little soaps you leave in the bathroom? Well, they will withstand, at best, one aggressive body scrub. They start up the size of mini-Frisbees, and they end up like actual size paracetamol.
Sophie: Can’t you use two?
Alan: I suppose that might work…
[Alan mimes washing himself with soap in each hand, in unnecessary detail.]
Sophie: I’ll just write that down.
[She turns away, shaking with silent laughter. Just then, Susan returns.]
Alan: Hello Susan. Sorry, have I upset her?
Susan: No, she’s fine.
Susan: Erm, Alan? Did you send Sophie a Valentine’s card this morning?
Alan: Oh God, no, no. I’m old enough to be her father! Well her older brother. Either way it’s incest!
Susan: Ben, did you send Sophie a Valentine’s card?
Ben: Well, I’m not at liberty to divulge that information.
[Susan and Sophie giggle together.]
Alan: You know, the fact that he made that jokey remark doesn’t necessarily mean that he actually sent you the card.
Sophie: Did you send it?
Alan: No, I sent you a chocolate orange, but I had the decency to admit it.
Susan: Oh, come on Alan. It’s only a bit of fun.
Alan: A lie is a lie.
Sophie: Your PA’s here.
[Lynn is standing in the lobby.]
Alan: Oh, hello Lynn. Shall we grab a pew?
[Alan and Lynn walk over to a couple of chairs at the other end of the lobby.]
Lynn: Thanks for my dedication this morning. Very nice.
Alan: You’re welcome. [They are now both seated] You realise it was nothing to do with Valentine’s Day.
Lynn: Oh, yes.
Alan: Right. What have you got for me?
Lynn: Do you want to hear the good news or the bad news?
Alan: The good news?
Lynn: Well Rawlinson’s say you can have another fifty of the shop-soiled chocolate oranges if you plug them again tomorrow.
Alan: Excellent. And the bad news?
Lynn: The accountants say that since you’ve definitely not got a second series at the BBC you’re going to have to sack everyone at Pear Tree Productions and close the office down; otherwise they’re going to declare you bankrupt on Friday.
Alan: Right. [Weakly] Still, good news about the chocolate oranges.
Lynn: Now, Alan, you’re going to have to trade down your Rover 800 for a smaller car.
Alan: [Suspicious] Go on.
Lynn: I picked up these brochures for the new Metro. It’s a lovely car. And if you do –
Alan: [Interrupting] Lynn, I’m not driving a mini-Metro.
Lynn: But you do have to make substantial savings.
Alan: Lynn, I am not driving a mini-Metro.
Lynn: But if you do, you can keep Pear Tree Productions going with a skeleton staff of two, and –
Alan: There’s no point finishing the sentence, Lynn, because I am not driving a mini-Metro.
Lynn: But if you d –
Alan: Lynn! I’ll just speak over you.
Lynn: But –
Alan: No! Go on, try and finish the sentence and see what I do. Go on.
Lynn: [They both talk together] With a skeleton staff of two –
Alan: I’m not driving a mini-Metro, I’m not driving a mini-Metro, I’m not driving a mini-Metro.
Lynn: No, no it’s different. It’s called a Rover Metro now.
Alan: They’ve rebadged it, you fool!
Lynn: [Sternly] Well, Alan, if you want a Rover 200 you’re going to have to sack everyone at Pear Tree Productions.
Lynn: Including Jill.
Alan: Jill. Lovely Jill. She’s my favourite. But fine, I’ll sack her.
[A flicker of a smile crosses Lynn’s face.]
Alan: You smiled, then, Lynn.
Lynn: No I didn’t.
Alan: Yes, you did. I can read you like a book. And not a very good book. Certainly not ‘Bravo Two Zero’ by Andy McNabb. Which actually improves with every read. No, you smiled because you don’t like Jill because she’s younger than you.
Lynn: No she’s not. She’s fifty.
Alan: Well, so’s Helen Mirren.
Lynn: So’s Benjamin Netinyahu
Alan: You’re always going on about Benjamin Netinyahu. Let it go, Lynn, you’re never going to meet him. Right, I’m gonna get a spot of breakfast. Oh, quick tip, Lynn. You know the breakfast buffet? Eat as much as you like, but from an eight-inch plate? See that? [Opens up his bag and partially reveals a dinner plate] Twelve inches. Keep it in my room! See you later.
[Lynn leaves. Alan heads for the restaurant, and meets Michael, the handyman]
Michael: [In impenetrable geordie] Aye-aye, Mr. Partridge! Morning! Valentine’s Day today, eh? Love is in the air!
Alan: [As if translating] It’s Valentine’s Day today, and love is in the air?
Michael: Aye! Aye!
Alan: Oh! I’m getting the hang of this! Mind you, I have been here ten weeks.
[Michael leads Alan over to his table]
Michael: So, are you having the full English breakfast?
Alan: Yes, please. Can I have my sausages burnt to a crisp, please? So that they can only be identified by reference to their dental records.
[Alan sits down.]
Michael: OK. Either that or their fingerprints, eh?
Alan: Can you fingerprint a sausage?
Michael: Yeah, well, I suppose technically you could, aye.
Alan: I suppose if I was a burglar and I wanted to avoid detection I could strap sausages to my fingers. Probably survive a couple of break-ins before they started to fall apart.
Michael: Aye. Maybe just have, like, a beefburger for your palm, you know?
Alan: No I think that’s a bit too far-fetched. I really do enjoy these chats in the morning.
Michael: Oh aye.
[Michael leaves the table. Singing Brian Adams’ ‘Eighteen ‘Till I Die’, Alan shiftily produces the twelve-inch plate from his bag and places it on the table in front of him.]
Alan: Eighteen ‘till I die, I’m gonna be eighteen ‘till I die…
[Cut to a close-up of the name plaque outside Pear Tree Productions, then inside to the boardroom, where a number of employees are waiting. Alan enters the room, closely followed by Lynn.]
Alan: Morning everyone. Morning Jill.
Jill: Ahh. Thanks for the chocolate orange, Alan.
Alan: You’re welcome. Did you notice anything about the box?
Alan: Exactly. All the others had superficial damage. I paid for yours. All your segments were intact.
Jill: Well they were when I looked this morning!
[Alan and Jill snigger. An employee interrupts – ]
Employee: Alan? Have we got a second series?
Alan: [Looks worried for a second, and turns to Lynn before nervously announcing – ] Yes.
[The employees cheer. Jill gets up and hugs Alan, who steals a glance at Lynn, looking on jealously.]
Bill: I knew it! Well, I’ll go and get some champagne, shall I?
Alan: Actually, Bill, sparkling wine will be fine.
Bill: Well, whatever. [He leaves.]
Jill: I’ll go and get some crisps and things.
Alan: Actually, Jill, pipe of Pringles will suffice.
Jill: [Teasingly] Unless there’s anything else you fancy?
[Alan makes a leering groan and leans towards Jill. Lynn looks on disapprovingly.]
Alan: No, just a pipe of Pringles is fine.
[Jill leaves. We now cut to Alan’s recurring daydream fantasy in which he dances on the stage of a seedy nightclub in a leather thong and Pringle sweater. The camera rests briefly on a picture of Roger Moore on the wall. Tony Hayers is still seated at the table.]
Alan: Would you like me to lapdance for you?
[Tony Hayers holds up a ten-pound note]
Alan: I want a second series.
Tony: I like your thong.
Alan: [In a straightforward tone] Yeah, it’s vulcanised rubber, which means it won’t perish.
[Cut back to the boardroom, and Alan looks anxious. Suddenly a young employee leaps up to Alan and tries to put a party hat on him, with a cry of “Wahaay!” Alan beats him off.]
Alan: Bash your arse!
Alison: Any more news, Alan?
Alan: No, he just said, “Second series in the bag, you’re all on board, details to follow,” and erm… and who left this coffee cup here?
Young Employee: Sorry Alan, I meant to clean it last night.
Alan: Yeah, well that’s not good enough. You’re sacked.
[All employees laugh. They think it’s a joke.]
Young Employee: What?
Alan: I will not have uncleansed coffee cups in Pear Tree productions. The plague started from a mal-attended surface.
2nd Employee: What are you doing, Alan?
Alan: You’re sacked, too.
2nd Employee: Why?
Alan: Because, you do this all the time [throws his head back and tuts.]
2nd Employee: What? [Throws his head back and tuts.]
Alan: Yeah, see? You did it again! Yeah, you’re definitely sacked. Now, Alison, you’re a lady, I don’t want this to be unpleasant –
Alison: [Interrupting] You’re sacking me as well?
Alan: Yes I am.
Alison: You rotten shit.
Alan: Yeah, well, you’re a rotten shit, too. Get your coat.
[Alison leaves. Alan moves towards the door.]
Alan: [Quietly, to Lynn] Go go go go go go. Start the car.
[Lynn and Alan leave the room and close the door behind them. In an adjacent office, Alan dials through to the loudspeakers in the boardroom where the other employees are, and speaks to the hands-free phone.]
Alan: Hello, it’s Alan again. I’ve locked you all in the boardroom so you can’t get me. But you can leave by the fire escape. [The other employees begin to put on their coats and leave by the fire escape] We haven’t got a second series; I just didn’t have the guts to say that earlier. Bit like doing my radio show, this, isn’t it? You’re listening to ‘Up With The Partridge’. Aha. Bye!
[As the last employee closes the fire door behind him, we cut to outside the boardroom where the employees are following each other down an emergency spiral staircase on the outside of the building. Inside again, and Alan meets Jill trying to get into the locked boardroom.]
Alan: Ah, hello Jill!
Jill: Why is this door locked?
Alan: To keep you out, you thief!
Alan: I’m being light-hearted. Shoot your chuff through that door.
[Alan and Jill go into the boardroom]
Jill: Right, I got the Pringles, and that’s for you. [Hands Alan a Lion bar.]
Alan: Oh, thanks.
Jill: Where’s everybody else?
Alan: [Hesitatingly] They’ve…gone…to…Longstanton Spice Museum.
Alan: I said, congratulations, you’ve got a second series, we can’t celebrate with the Spice Girls, so why not get your arses down to the spice museum in Longstanton.
Alan: I mean, you know, it’s not just spices. No, it’s all about the spice trade. [Alan starts backing out of the door. He is preparing to lock Jill in and fire her over the PA] They’ve got a model of a slave boat. It’s very big, and you press a button and you hear all the slaves going “uuurgh”. [He is now speaking through a crack in the door] Because, you know, they packed them in too tight. Listen, Jill, I really like you, but –
Jill: [Flirting] Oh I like you aswell.
Alan: Oh, thanks.
Jill: You’re packed in a bit tight!
Alan: [Gives a short, leering groan] Listen, just – just clear something up. You know when you make those sort of risqué comments, are you just flirting in that sort of crude way that middle-aged divorcees do, or do you genuinely like me, sex wise?
Jill: Well, you know. You’re a man, I’m a woman…
Alan: That’s a relief. Your mind plays tricks.
Jill: You’re quite successful. You’ve got a second series…
Alan: [Looks upset] Oh. Carry on.
Jill: You’ve got needs.
Alan: Yes I have.
Jill: I’ve got needs.
Alan: Good. Jill, is the answer to my original question, “Do you like me sex-wise?”, is the answer to that yes, or no? Quickly.
[Alan now steps proudly into the room, a big smile on his face.]
Alan: I’m Batman!
[Jill giggles. Alan leers at her and sighs deeply.]
Alan: Lion Bar?
Jill: No. I prefer fingers!
Alan: Uh! Chocolate ones?
Jill: I don’t mind, really!
[Alan makes a long, drawn out leering groan. Jill giggles.]
Alan: Jill, you are so dirty! It’s quite refreshing. You call a spade a spade. Actually you probably call it a big tool.
Jill: So what are we going to do together, then? Norwich is our oyster.
Alan: Jill, do you like owls?
Jill: They’re quite nice, I suppose, yeah.
Alan: I know a cracking owl sanctuary. How about it? Unless you can think of anything better?
Jill: We could go shopping.
[Cut to a close up of an owl. It hoots. Alan and Jill are strolling beside the tethered birds in the owl sanctuary.]
Alan: I like the Astroturf they place on the wood, there. It’s basically zero-maintenance grass. Useful stuff.
Alan: You know, when I used to see you in reception,
Alan: Do you know what I used to think?
Alan: I used to think “ooh, she’s nicer than my wife!”
Jill: Ah! That’s terrible! That’s a terrible thing to say, Alan!
[There is a short pause, then Alan strikes an exaggerated macho pose, with his hands on his hips, and blows a raspberry.]
Jill: You’re mad, you are!
Alan: I know, I am a bit mad!
[Alan growls and pretends to claw her like a monster, then laughs. Jill screams playfully and leaps away.]
Jill: [Squealing] Get off!
Alan: [Calling off-camera] It’s alright. No, it’s alright. I was just portraying a madman. Alright.
[Cut to close-ups of an eagle, a barn owl, then a vulture, then Lynn and Alan in a section of the sanctuary where many varied birds of pray are tethered in a row.]
Alan: It looks a little like death row, doesn’t it? I’m sorry, Mr. Hawk. You’re pardon has been turned down. You have been found guilty of pre-meditated homicide of a mouse, and you’ll be hanged by the neck until dead. And don’t try to hover up so that the rope goes slack. Because they could do that, couldn’t they? If you tried to hang a hawk, they could always hover so the rope went slack. So, I suppose if you were going to execute a bird of prey the most human way would be death by firing squad.
[Alan turns away from Jill, a serious look on his face. Jill looks bemused.]
[Cut to Alan and Jill in Alan’s car, driving down an A-road.]
Alan: Ah, that is the best Valentine’s Day I’ve had in eight years.
Jill: What did you do eight years ago?
Alan: I just had a better one.
Jill: What did you do?
Alan: Went to Silverstone. Shook Jackie Stewart’s hand. Superb. My marriage fell apart soon after that. Listen, Jill, there is a romantic buffet-supper tonight at the hotel. As much as you can eat for six pounds. I’ve got a scam going with a big plate. Do you fancy being my… co-eater… lady?
Jill: Oh! Yeah, Alan I’d like that, yeah.
Alan: Here, listen to this, it’ll blow your socks off.
[Alan puts ‘Gaudete’ by Steeleye Span on the car stereo, and sings along enthusiastically. Cut to the restaurant, later that day. Alan and Jill have just finished their Valentine’s Day meal, and Alan is wiping his twelve-inch plate with a piece of bread.]
Alan: Just give that a quick clean. Saves me doing it later.
[Ben appears at the table, carrying a bucket of roses]
Ben: Bonsoir. Would you like to buy a rose for the lady? It’s two pounds for Norwich Children’s Hospital.
Alan: [Reluctantly reaches into his pockets] I’ve already done something for them. Did an after dinner with Bill Oddie.
Ben: Voila. [Hands a rose to Jill, then leaves].
Jill: Ah, thank you Alan. That’s really lovely.
Alan: Keep it, keep it. You can always get me something of equivalent value. A pint of bitter, big marker pen, whatever.
[Michael arrives at the table.]
Michael: Have youse all done? Maybe like to order a dessert? [Hands Jill a menu]
Jill: I’ll have a chocolate mousse.
[Michael goes to take Alan’s plate away. Alan grabs it back.]
Alan: Whoa! Leave that there.
Michael: [Takes the menus back] Two chocolate mousses. On it’s way. [Leaves]
Alan: I’m just going over there for a bit…
[Alan gets out of his seat and walks onto a small stage where a live band are playing. He takes the microphone.]
Alan: This is a romantic tribute… [band begins to play ‘Close To You’ by the Carpenters]… to a lovely lady over there with orange hair and a cigarette in her mouth. [Sings] Why do birds [Alan struggles to reach the high note] suddenly appear – That’s too high – Every time… every time… time, you are near [an octave lower] near? Just like me… [an octave higher] just like me… they long to be…[lower again] close to you…[tries various notes] why do…why do… why do…no that’s not working. [Places the microphone back on the stand]. Well you get the general idea. Thank you.
[Alan walks back to the table and sits down, looking apologetic.]
Jill: That’s great actually! I didn’t know you could sing.
Alan: Yeah, I used to be in the choir at primary school. Before it all dropped. In my pre-hair days.
Jill: It’s all fallen into place now, though hasn’t it? [Giggles]
Alan: Yup, I’ve been pubic for thirty-one years. I was one of the first in my class, actually.
[Michael arrives with the dessert. Alan moves his big plate out of the way to make space.]
Michael: Here you go. Two chocolate mousses.
Jill: Ah, thank you.
Jill: I love chocolate.
[Alan and Jill lean closer together, face to face]
Alan: Yeah, so do I.
[They both groan.]
Alan: It’s good this, isn’t it? Even though we’re basically just listing chocolate bars. [Looks over Jill’s shoulder] Oh my God, Lynn’s here.
[Lynn walks over to the table.]
Alan: Lynn, what are you doing here?
Lynn: Oh, Alan, more good news. I managed to negotiate a walnut gearknob for your smaller Rover.
Alan: And you’ve come all the way out here to tell me about a walnut gearknob?
Lynn: Yes, well, I’ve been ringing you all day but your mobile was switched off.
Alan: Lynn if my mobile’s switched off it’s switched off for a reason. I was at an owl sanctuary. I was worried that the ringing may have sounded like a mating call. I can’t have a bird trying to have sex with my phone. Why are you wearing that snazzy cardigan?
Lynn: Oh, I just threw it on.
Alan: If you think you can upstage Jill by wearing that you’re very much mistaken. Thanks very much for the gearknob, and good night.
Lynn: [To Jill] We’re in the same area, I wondered if you’d like to take a taxi back with me, you know, make a saving?
Jill: [Reluctant] Well…
Alan: No, Jill will be sleeping with me tonight.
Jill: I don’t recall saying that!
Alan: Oh, come on.
Jill: Yeah, alright then.
[Alan looks cruelly at Lynn.]
Lynn: OK. Have a good night, then.
Alan: I will.
Alan: I’ll go and get another half-bottle of champagne.
Jill: Yeah, go on, then.
[Alan leaves the table. Lynn then returns, carrying a small container.]
Lynn: Could you give this to Alan? [Gives the container to Jill] It’s fungal foot powder. Now, he’s got a condition, so make sure he rubs it in his feet last thing at night and first thing in the morning. Only it just gets a little bit… smelly.
[Lynn leaves. Alan returns with the champagne.]
Alan: They’ve got some goats cheese out there.
Alan: They’ve left it out a couple of hours so it’s had a chance to breathe. [Notices the foot powder] Oh, she remembered, great.
[Alan and Jill lean together again, face to face.]
Jill: Why don’t we take these to your room?
Alan: [Grinning inanely] My room! It’s over there, by the lift. Right, you link my arm, we’ll try and leave with some dignity.
[Jill is clearly drunk. She has trouble getting up. Alan grabs his big plate and they walk together out of the restaurant. On the way out they meet Michael.]
Michael: Night night Mr. Partridge. And your good lady!
[Jill and a self-conscious Alan continue through the lobby]
Ben: Good night.
Sophie: Good Night.
Jill: [Giggling] Good night!
Susan: Good night.
Alan: Good night.
Susan: Got your big plate, Alan?
Alan: [Irritated] Yes.
[Cut to Alan coming out of his bathroom in a white dressing gown. He tries to wrap a rolled-up hand-towel around his shoulders but it is too small and springs back. As he rounds the corner he sees Jill, in her underwear, lying on his bed.]
Alan: Ah. I wouldn’t go in there for a bit. Leave it about fifteen minutes. I must say, I’m tremendously excited by all this.
Jill: My sister’s got this bed linen.
Alan: Oh yeah? Does she live in a travel tavern?
Jill: No, she’d like to. It’s nice, innit?
Alan: No, it’s a bloody nightmare.
[Alan places some change on the bedside table.]
Jill: Is that for me, Alan?
Alan: That, oh God no! No, I always put my money there in the evening. No, if it was you could add a zero to that. It’s seven pounds six.
Jill: Seventy quid?
Alan: Well, no, double it.
Jill: It’s still cheap!
Alan: I’m not haggling! I was trying to pay you a compliment, unless I’ve grossly misread the situation. It was my understanding in the lift that no money would change hands.
Jill: I’m all yours.
Alan: Er, do you mind if I turn the light out?
Jill: Well can’t you just dim it a bit?
Alan: Yeah, OK. [Slowly dims the light until it is completely dark. From now on we hear only their voices.] Bit more… bit more… how’s that?
Jill: Yeah, that’ll do.
Alan: Right, let battle commence! [Slightly muffled] Do you like me doing that? Shall I do it more quickly or shall I maintain the same speed?
Jill: That’s fine.
Alan: Right. Shall I move on to the other one? Oh, that’s lovely. That’s first class. That is superb. Ooh, there you go, it’s all happening! Jill I’m afraid I have no sheathes.
Jill: No what?
Alan: Sheathes, er, prophylactics, you know, rubber johnnies. Actually, being your age and everything there’s probably no need for them. I’m talking about the menopau – whoooo! Jill you know your onions! Do you mind if I talk? It helps me keep the… wolf from the door, so to speak. Jill, what do you think about the pedestrianisation of Norwich town centre? I’ll be honest I’m dead against it. People forget that [increasingly breathless] traders need access to Dixons! [Regaining himself] They do say it’ll help people in [half-sighing] wheeeeelchairs…
Jill: Oh hang on, I’ve got an idea.
Alan: Jill, whoa whoa. Jill… Jill! What are you doing!? For God’s sake, Jill, what are you doing!?
[The lights come back on to reveal Alan standing by the bed. Chocolate mousse is smeared all over the front of his dressing gown and his face.]
Alan: Jill, God’s sake!
[Jill also has chocolate mousse on her face.]
Jill: Well I just thought I’d pour chocolate mousse over you.
Alan: You’ve got it on the bedsheets, you’ve got it on my dressing gown, you’ve got it on the valance…
Jill: The what?
Alan: The skirt thing round the side of the bed.
Jill: I thought it’d be erotic.
Alan: Oh, Jill. Mousse from a bowl is very nice, but to put it on a person is demented!
Jill: Come on, it’s only a bit of chocolate!
Alan: It may be chocolate to you, Jill, but to an unwitting member of staff this could look like some sort of… dirty protest against the standard of service in the hotel, which I happen to think is very good. I mean, it’s not five-star but it’s certainly competitive.
[There is a knock on the door.]
Alan: Oh God.
[Alan goes to answer the door. It’s Michael.]
Michael: Is everything alright, Mr. Partridge? I heard a bit of commotion.
Alan: No, no it’s fine.
Michael: Oh, right. Erm, do you know you’ve got chocolate on your face?
Alan: Yeah, I’ve just been eating some mousse.
Michael: Right, right, fine.
[Alan wipes a little bit off his cheek and licks it.]
Michael: Aye, well, you’ve missed a bit.
Alan: I’ll deal with it later.
Michael: Right, hey, it reminds me of this time, you know, we’d camouflaged ourselves up ‘cause we were doing jungle exercises, right, out in Belize, but…
Alan: [Interrupting] Michael, can we talk about this in the morning?
Michael: Well, no, I won’t be on in the morning ‘cause I’m doin’ lates now, right, so I don’t come on until about two o’clock. So, you know…
Alan: Well, you know, ‘when de boot comes in’.
Alan: Now, er, booger off.
Michael: Aye, OK. [Saluting] Message understood, sir!
Alan: Stand down, at ease… [irritated] you’re not in the army anymore.
[Alan closes the door on Michael and turns to camera, looking ill.]
[Cut to Radio Norwich studio. The elderly Radio Norwich voice is heard.]
Radio Norwich: Across the Ouse to the Waveney, this is Radio Norwich
Alan: And now it’s time for Alan’s Love Bud.
[Cut to Jill’s taxi, driving down a road in the early hours of the morning. It is dark. Alan’s voice can be heard on the taxi stereo.]
Alan: This is a story of a woman, fifty, and a chap in his early forties. This woman enraptured this man, made him feel sixteen again. He thought – “I’m going to wear a T-shirt with Crowded House written on the front of it”. He thought, “yes, I will buy that copy of Punch magazine”. But then, she committed a gross act upon his person, which was tantamount to vandalism, and he realised that not only must they part company but that he must also sack her from her job as his receptionist. I didn’t mention that earlier, but part of the problem was that she did work for him and he had to sack her anyway. Anyway, he thanks her for that stolen afternoon, but even then it was stolen. It’s not your property, love. You’ve got to give it back. So just to re-emphasise one more time, her contract has been terminated. This is Hot Chocolate, ‘It Started With A Kiss’. [Music starts] In three minutes’ time I’ll be talking to Norvert’s youngest butcher.