Episode 6 – Towering Alan
Alan: That was Japan, the effeminate futurists from the eighties, with ‘Life Can Be Cruel In Tokyo’. It’s certainly congested! I’d love to go. In the meantime it’s seven o’clock. Ooh, gov’ner, he’s got me banged to rights, it’s Chief Constable Dave Clifton of Scotland Yard’s very own plain-clothed pop force.
[In the other studio, we see Dave Clifton, entirely unamused.]
Dave: Yes, good morning, Alan, yes –
Alan: [Interrupting] Whoa, whoa, let me finish…’ello ‘ello ‘ello.
Dave: Yeah, I think you’re splitting hairs a little bit there, Alan –
Alan: Sorry, “splidding”?
Dave: Yeah, splitting, you know.
Alan: Sorry, it’s difficult to understand you when you say “splidding”, because I know in real life you say “splitting”. It’s interesting, the way you substitute a ‘d’ for a ‘t’ when you’re broadcasting. If you ask me, it’s the behaviour of a ‘dosser’.
Dave: A ‘dosser’?
Alan: Yes. A ‘dosser’ and a ‘dwad’.
Dave: [Chuckles slightly] Alan Partridge, there –
Alan: [Interrupting] There’s others, aren’t there? There’s ‘didhead’, ‘dalendless shid’, and if the rumours are to be believed, you’re back on the ‘boddle’.
Dave: Er, this is ‘Einstein a Go-Go’.
Alan: ‘Gid’. That’s ‘git’.
[Title sequence, ending with a short monologue from Alan, dressed in a Popeye sailor suit, on a barge – “It’s moored in Miami”.]
[In the Linton Travel Tavern, Alan is opening the door to his room. Another guest, Mike Sampson, walks by. He always has an inane grin on his face.]
Mike: Oh. Home Sweet Home!
Alan: [Looking suspiciously at Mike] Yeah.
Mike: These corridors!
Alan: Yeah, they are, aren’t they?
[Mike laughs and walks off. Alan looks at him, irritated. Alan enters his room to find Lynn leaving the bathroom.]
Lynn: I just let myself in. I needed the toilet.
Alan: Well, close the door. So, er… everything alright?
Lynn: Oh, just a little bit of tummy trouble.
Alan: [Irritated] No, I mean generally. Not specifically the toilet.
Lynn: Oh, yes. Everything’s fine.
Alan: Good. Right, so, what have you been doing?
[Alan and Lynn walk over to the bed.]
Lynn: Well, I’ve been getting your clothes ready for the country show.
Lynn: And doing a bit of tidying.
Alan: [Worried] Tidying?
[Alan walks over to the cabinet and slyly opens the top drawer.]
Alan: What do you mean, tidying?
Lynn: I just did the bed. I didn’t go near… your drawer.
Alan: [Smartly closing the drawer] Good.
[Alan walks back to the bed and puts on a green body warmer.]
Lynn: By the way, they’d like you to judge the vegetable competition.
[Lynn neatens up the body warmer on Alan and admires it.]
Lynn: Very manly. It works.
Alan: All I need now is a shotgun. Both barrels. Bang! [Mimes shooting Lynn] You’d hit the wall!
Alan: Yeah. The good thing about this is it has the appearance of a bullet-proof vest, so any fanatics would be put off altogether, or they’d simply go for a head shot. In which case, I won’t even know it’s happened.
Lynn: Alan, I’ve told you a thousand times, no-one wants to kill you. It defies sense! Why?
Alan: Because I’m a soft target. They’re not going to go for the Prime Minister, he’s surrounded by bouncers. Yet everyone knows I will be in Swaffham at three p.m., outside the vegetable tent.
Lynn: Your mind’s flying.
Alan: Of course my mind’s flying, Lynn. I’ve been living in a hotel for twenty-six weeks. A hundred and eighty two days in a Travel Tavern.
[Lynn looks sympathetic.]
Alan: See this, look… [Alan picks up some paper bags from on top of the hi-fi] Sanitary bags! They put these in my room every day. They know I’m a man! I keep loose Werther’s Originals in them. And look at this, see this… [Alan picks up a cardboard box from the floor and empties it’s contents onto the bed] That is one hundred and eighty two bottles of body lotion. I was going to sell them at a car boot sale. I can’t remember what it’s like to dial a number from a telephone without hitting ‘9’ first.
[To demonstrate his point, Alan has picked up the phone and dialled ‘9’]
Alan: Hello? Is that reception? Sorry, I must have hit a zero.
[He puts the phone down]
Alan: Lynn, I was at a friend’s house the other night. I was trying to make a phonecall, I thought there was something wrong with the phone. I’d been hitting ‘9’, Lynn! I felt like a… ruddy idiot! I just left, I couldn’t stay there after that.
Lynn: Would you like a Horlicks?
Alan: [Pathetically] Yes please.
Lynn: I’ll make you a Horlicks.
[Lynn goes over to the cabinet and opens the right-hand drawer. Alan kicks it shut from the bed before she manages to see it’s contents.]
Alan: Not that drawer.
[Lynn opens the other drawer. There is a knock on the door, and Sophie walks in, carrying a large box full of various objects, including posters and photos.]
Alan: Come in.
Sophie: Hello, Mr. Partridge. Everything alright with the room?
Alan: Yes, marvellous.
Sophie: This box arrived for you [she puts it down on the cabinet].
Alan: Oh, super. I’ve been trying to get my hands on this box off Carol for months.
Sophie: [Looking at a photo in the box] Is that you?
Alan: No, that’s my daughter, Denise. Bit of a rebel.
[Sophie starts shaking with silent laughter.]
Alan: What’s so funny?
Sophie: Nothing. It’s just that she really, really looks like you.
Alan: [Irritated] Yeah, well it’s not me. You know, have I got a pierced navel?
Sophie: I don’t know.
Alan: Well I haven’t. [He searches through the box] Ooh, great. Nigel Rees’ book of Humorous Graffiti. This is the Koran for the after-dinner speaker, it really is. I mean, quick tip for you Sophie, if you’re ever doing an after dinner speech, you say, “my Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen, sorry I’m late, I just popped to the toilet. [Alan flicks through the book] And while I was in there, I saw some graffiti and it said ‘I used to be indecisive, but now I’m not so sure!’”
Alan: Straight away, you’ve got them by the jaffers. It’s witty. It’s not like a lot of the graffiti you see these days in toilets. Just crude, like, you know, ‘touch my this’, ‘suck my such-and-such’, ‘something all over my whatever’.
Sophie: My penis is so-and-so.
Alan: [With a uncomfortable look at Sophie] Yeah, yeah. Oh… [he picks up a brown folder from the box and examines it, frowning] there we go, Lynn. Tony Hayers. I tell you something, Sophie, you’ve not witnessed pure evil until you’ve looked into the eyes of a man who’s just cancelled your second series.
Sophie: I think he looks quite nice.
Lynn: The devil can take many forms.
Alan: [With an irritated glance at Lynn] Alright, Lynn. [To Sophie] She’s a member of a Baptist church. I think they’re a bit – [Alan makes the sign of the cross with his index fingers].
Sophie: [To Lynn] Sorry about saying ‘penis’, earlier.
Alan: No, no. Don’t worry about that. Trapped a finger in a car door once, she swore like a docker.
[Alan sits on the bed. Sophie holds up some Linton Travel Tavern headed notepaper and envelopes.]
Sophie: I brought you some more stationery. I’ll just put it in the drawer.
[Sophie goes to open the right-hand drawer. Alan makes a flying leap off the bed, and slams the drawer shut with his hand before falling on his face on the floor. He climbs back on the bed, clutching his wrist.]
Alan: I’d rather you didn’t put it in the drawer.
Sophie: Are you alright for body lotion?
Alan: Yeah, sure. I’ve got one hundred and eighty-two bottles.
[Sophie leaves, but on the way out, opens the drawer and steals a glance at it’s contents.]
Sophie: Bloody hell!
[She scurries out. Alan looks after her, anxiously.]
[Cut to a sign, outside a large marquee, advertising Alan’s appearance at the Swaffham Country Fayre. Alan is giving a commentary on the PA system, as the camera shows various scenes of the sunny fayre.]
Alan: Glydesdale horses, twelve hands high. Hands, of course, the ancient system for measuring horses that’s been around since medieval times. ‘Course, tape measures, in those days, were viewed with suspicion. Anyone who could unfurl fifteen feet of thin sheet metal from a pocket-sized box would have been killed as a witch. Tragic, really, to think that girls, some as young as the ones holding balloons over there, would have been burnt at the stake. May God have mercy on their souls.
[A little later, inside the vegetable tent, Alan is judging the entries. A man is following him with a notepad, writing down his verdicts.]
Alan: Nice tray of plums, there. Just put ‘nice plums’. This is lovely this, [stroking some leeks], this is sort of like an old lady’s hair. An old lady’s blonde hair. Quite attractive. I mean, put that down as a plus point. These are nice [pointing to some courgettes]. Got a nice, kind of glossy, finish. I knew a bloke who had fingers like that once. He’s dead now – an Irish navvy – of angina. Wasn’t pleasant. Cabbages, don’t like cabbages at all. Come on, let’s get through this lot. [Alan walks quickly past the cabbages] Cabbages, all one and the same. Take your pick. I’m not sure about these [onions], because I don’t know whether this protrusion is a good or bad thing. Actually, [Alan is holding an onion, by the stalk, in his hand] this would make a very good murder weapon because you could beat someone to death, then eat the evidence. Agatha Christie’s probably already thought of that one. ‘The Onion Mystery’… ‘The Onion Murders’. Good idea for a programme. Not that the BBC would commission it…
[The man with the notepad is looking concerned as Alan walks past the vegetables he is supposed to be judging.]
Alan: … they wouldn’t know a good onion idea if I hit them over the head with it… and then ate the evidence.
[Various scenes of the fair follow, with Alan providing a commentary on the PA system.]
Alan: Fire! Fire! The fayre’s on fire! [No one pays any attention] I’m joking of course, it’s not, but that’s the kind of thing you can see from… the… oh, what are they called? The local fire brigade, I don’t know the district, in tent four. My own tip is ‘never throw water on a fat fire’, it’ll take your face off. The stocks are now open for custard pie throwing. Tell you who I’d like to put in the stocks – Tony Hayers. He’s the Chief Commissioning Editor of BBC Television. And it wouldn’t be custard pies I’d be throwing at him, either. I’d like to throw cabbages, hot Bovril and gravel. I don’t know if you’re familiar with BBC commissioning policy, they are obliged to contract out a certain percentage of their programmes to independent programme-makers, and…I mean… you’re not even listening, are you? You people. Er, I’m going. It’s all wrapping up in about an hour, anyway, so I don’t think you’ll miss me. Thank you, goodbye.
[The microphone whistles as Alan puts it down on the table and walks off. Back in the hotel lobby, Alan finds Lynn filling in a Littlewoods catalogue.]
Alan: Hello, Lynn.
Lynn: Oh, sorry, I was just doing the catalogues.
[Alan takes it off her and starts flicking through it.]
Alan: Let’s have a look. You looking at the big girdle section?
[Lynn looks a bit uncomfortable.]
Alan: Interesting, isn’t it, that these women are technically models. Where do they get these men from? Who smiles at a Black and Decker Workmate, for goodness’ sake?
[He puts down the catalogue and sits down.]
Lynn: [With uncharacteristic irony] How did the country show go, Alan?
Alan: Erm… I walked off.
Lynn: Who’s upset you this time?
Alan: Just… people. I just… hate the general public.
[A phone rings at reception.]
Susan: [Calling over] Excuse me, Alan, there’s a phonecall for you.
Alan: Who is it?
Susan: It’s Sue Cook.
Alan: [Getting up] Oh. What does she want? Hello, Sue, it’s Alan. Yeah, Sue, take the fag out of your mouth, I can’t tell what you’re saying. [Perking up] What? Really? Oh my God. [He puts his hand on the receiver] Tony Hayers is dead!
Lynn: [Getting up and punching the air] Yes!
Alan: He fell of the roof of his house trying to remove the aerial. Broke his neck!
[Alan grins at Lynn then speaks back on the phone.]
Alan: So, who’s replaced him as head of programmes? Chris Feathers?
[Alan makes a silent cheer and raises his fist in victory.]
Alan: [Composing himself] That’s an interesting choice. Right, I mean, he’s definitely dead. Right. Presumably, there’s going to be some sort of funeral. They’re cremating him, good, good. And will Chris Feathers be at the funeral? [Gives a thumbs-up sign to Lynn] Right, right. Can you hold on a moment, Sue?
[Alan puts his hand on the receiver again and talks to Susan behind reception.]
Alan: Chris Feathers likes me! He likes me! [Smiling at Lynn] Doesn’t he, yeah? He likes you! He used to flirt with Lynn all the time! Mind you, that was twenty years ago. [Back on the phone] Right, I think I’ll be going along, yes. Well, it’s the least I can do. You can puff away now.
[Alan puts the phone down, and turns to Lynn.]
Alan: Kiss my face!
Lynn: [Arms held wide] Alan!
Alan: [Holds his hand out as she goes to hug him] Put it there, Lynn.
[They shake. Lynn walks off as Mike Sampson enters the lobby. Alan and Mike walk side by side to the lift.]
Mike: Hello. [Chuckles slightly]
Alan: Hello. You going to the lift too?
Mike: Lift, yes.
[In the lift, Alan presses the button.]
Mike: Yes. [Chuckles]
[The two men stand side by side, the silence only broken every few seconds by a chuckle from Mike. Alan looks increasingly anxious.]
Mike: [Still smiling] Pardon?
Alan: Oh, I’m just doing the noise the door makes –
[The lift pings, and the doors open.]
Mike: Oh! [Chuckles] Excellent.
[Alan steps in front of Mike with a little car noise.]
Mike: Oh, it’s like cars, this!
Alan: That’s right.
[Mike walks off, laughing. Alan looks extremely irritated.]
[Cut to Tony Hayers’ funeral, in an impressively large crematorium. In the reception area, Alan wanders up to Chris Feathers, who is examining the inscription on a floral tribute.]
Alan: Chris? Chris Feathers?
Chris: Alan! How are you?
[They shake hands]
Alan: Well, very well. I mean, considering.
Chris: Oh, yes. Brilliant man.
Alan: Oh, yes. He had a second-class honours degree in Media Studies from Loughborough University. What a waste.
Chris: Did you know they’ve asked me to take over Tony’s job as Chief Commissioning Editor?
Alan: I had heard… something. Can I –
Chris: Just two minutes.
[Chris goes to talk to someone else.]
[Alan turns round to walk towards Tony Hayers’ widow, Jane, revealing on the back of the black bomber jacket he’s wearing is written ‘Castrol GTX’.]
Alan: How’re you doing?
Jane: Thank you for coming.
Alan: Can I offer you my deep, deep… despair, on this very bad day.
Jane: Thank you.
Alan: I mean, how are you coping?
Jane: Well, terrible, really. We’d booked to go on holiday next week.
Alan: [A little too enthusiastically sympathetic] Oh, bugger!
Jane: He’d have been forty-one next month.
Alan: All those people who go around saying ‘Life begins at forty’. They’re notable by their absence. The nerve. Were you close?
Jane: He was my husband.
Alan: Yes, yes, of course. What was he doing on the bloody roof?
Jane: He was getting the aerial down because we were moving.
Alan: Yeah, I know. I was being rhetorical. I mean, did he actually bring the aerial down with him?
Jane: Yes, he did.
Alan: Comforting to know that the last thing he did was an act of kindness.
Jane: Thank you for the travel clock.
Alan: Oh, you got it? Littlewoods are very quick, aren’t they?
Jane: They are, yes.
Alan: Anyway, commiseration’s, hang on in there, I’m sure you’ll bounce back. And if there’s anything I can do, just ask. Apart from heavy lifting, I’ve got a bit of a bad back.
[Alan’s mobile phone rings.]
Alan: Should I leave that?
Jane: Yes –
Alan: [Interrupting] I’d better answer it. [Cheerfully] Hello, Partridge?
Jane: [Annoyed] Can you go outside?
Alan: Yeah, all right, all right.
[Alan moves towards the door]
Alan: Oh, Curry’s, great. No, I was just talking to a widow, yeah. I want two speakers for an Alba stereo syst – hello?
[Alan looks at his phone]
[He walks over to Chris Feathers, who is standing on his own. Just as he gets there, Peter Linehan shakes Chris’ hand, and Alan recoils rather too obviously.]
Chris: Oh, Alan, have you met Peter? He’s just revamped our news and current affairs.
[Alan looks at Peter and shrugs. He turns to Chris.]
Alan: Chris –
Chris: – just two minutes.
[Chris leaves again. Alan watches him go, agitated.]
Peter: Bad day.
Alan: Right, right, mm.
Peter: Ironic, really. He worked in television his whole life, and died getting an aerial off a roof. So in the end, it was television that killed him.
[Alan has been glancing over Peter’s shoulder towards Chris.]
Alan: Yep, very good, that, yeah. Have you got a battery for an Ericsson?
Peter: Er, no, sorry. I wonder if he’s up there now, looking down on us?
Alan: What, on the roof? Oh, I see! You mean in heaven… with the apostles…[Alan is still looking over for Chris Feathers]
Peter: Interesting thing about news and current affairs –
Alan: [Interrupting] Would it be terribly rude to stop listening to you and go and speak to somebody else?
Peter: No, no.
[Alan chases after Chris, who has just started talking to Jane.]
Chris: Jane. Oh, Alan! Have you met Jane?
Alan: Yeah, I’ve done her.
Chris: Oh, good.
Alan: Chris, can I just –
Chris: – just two minutes.
[Chris walks off again.]
Alan: [Irritated] He keeps saying that!
[Alan finds himself alone with Jane again.]
Alan: I’m just trying to… think of something to say.
Jane: Well there’s nothing to say.
Alan: Well –
Jane: No, no. There’s nothing you can say.
Alan: Well hang on, hang on. Erm… it’s all… a pain in the arse, isn’t it? Have you got a battery for an Ericsson?
Alan: No, right. Of course not.
[Alan is glancing agitatedly across to Chris.]
Jane: Is something the matter?
Alan: Erm… I want to go and talk to him over there.
Jane: [Annoyed] Well go and talk to him, then.
Alan: Thank you. Oh, erm –
[Alan walks over to intercept Chris. On the way, he turns back to Jane and makes a sympathetic sobbing gesture.]
Alan: Chris, Chris, can we have a chat?
Chris: Yes, of course, of course. Dreadful business.
Alan: Oh, awful, awful business.
[Alan mimes a man falling off a roof, with a whistle. The mime finishes with the man hitting the ground, just as the widow Jane pushes past Alan and Chris.]
Chris: I tell you what; can you see me tomorrow, in the office?
Alan: I’d love to.
Chris: I need to pick your brains.
Alan: Pick away, pick away.
Chris: You’ve got the common touch.
Alan: Thank you.
Chris: You’ve been away too long. Alan, I want you back on the telly.
Alan: [Punching the air with both fists] Jurassic Park! That is… that is fantastic. Fantastic.
Chris: The old team, eh?
[They shake hands.]
Alan: Absolutely, yeah.
Chris: Well, I’ll see you tomorrow.
[Chris walks off. Alan turns to leave, with a big smile on his face, stopping to shake hands with another mourner on the way out.]
Alan: Terrible news, terrible news.
[Alan steps out into the sunshine, singing Elton John’s ‘Song For Guy’]
Alan: Life isn’t everything…
[Cut to Linton Travel Tavern, and Alan enters the lobby singing, carrying a large cardboard box.]
Alan: Life is the name of the game, and I wanna play the game with you, baa ba ba ba…
[Alan sings the fanfare as he places the box on the counter at reception.]
Susan: How was your –
[Susan looks shocked for a second, then regains her smile.]
Susan: How was your day, Alan?
Alan: I went to a funeral, which was very sad, and then I popped into ‘Hi-fi Serious’ to pick up a top of the range Bang & Olufson stereo system. Do you like it?
Susan: Well, it’s in a box, Alan.
Alan: Bit like Tony Hayers! Er… Susan, will you go out with me?
Alan: Would you go out with me if I was younger and more attractive?
Susan: Erm, yes, I think I probably would.
Alan: I better go and build that time-travel gymnasium, then. I’ll come back aged twenty-five, built like a brick shit-house! Then you’ll kiss me.
Susan: If you’ll excuse me a moment, Alan, I have to leave the desk unattended.
[Michael walks in, carrying a larger part of Alan’s new hi-fi.]
Michael: There you go, Mr. Partridge, [he places the box on the counter] I’m going to have to make two trips, man, I keep dropping bits of it.
[Alan looks worried.]
Michael: Right, I’ll bring you down the bits and pieces.
Ben: Bang & Olufson? Wow, that’s serious, man. Whose is it?
Alan: It’s mine.
Ben: I didn’t know you were into music. I know you’re a DJ, but I’ve heard your show.
Alan: Oh, yeah. I like all the bands. I’ve got a broad taste, you know. From the britpop bands like UB40, Def Leppard, right back to classic rock, like Wings.
Ben: Who’s Wings?
Alan: They’re only the band the Beatles could have been.
Ben: I love the Beatles.
Alan: Yeah, so do I.
Ben: What’s your favourite Beatles album, then?
Alan: Tough one. I think I’d have to say ‘The Best of the Beatles’.
Ben: Gum? [Offers some chewing gum to Alan, who takes it]
Alan: Yeah, cheers. So, who’s your favourite singer, then?
Ben: Oh, anything, really, you know. Frank Sinatra, Kurt Cobain.
Alan: Who’s he?
Ben: Nirvana. Blew his head off with a gun?
Ben: He was depressed.
Alan: Why, were they not very good?
Ben: No, they were great.
Alan: Oh. Someone should’ve told him!
[Just then, Mike walks past and sees the hi-fi on the counter.]
Mike: Hello again! Ooh, what’s that?
Alan: Bang & Olufson.
[Mike laughs out loud and walks off. Alan watches him go anxiously.]
Alan: Ben, can you take this up to my room?
Ben: Yeah, sure. No problem.
[Ben raises one arm slightly, for a high-five. Alan raises his much more, and misses. He walks off towards the lift.]
Mike: Hold the door for you.
Alan: Thank you.
Mike: Hold tight!
[The lift doors close and the two men stand side by side. Every few seconds, Mike laughs out loud at nothing. Alan gets increasingly agitated with each outburst.]
Mike: Nearly there!
[Alan starts laughing with him, and they both start laughing louder. As the lift doors open, Mike walks off with a particularly loud chuckle.]
[At BBC Television Centre, Alan and Lynn are in Chris Feathers’ office. Chris and Alan laugh together at a joke.]
Alan: Join in, Lynn.
Alan: So, Chris, what’s your strategy?
Chris: God alone knows, Alan.
Alan: Can I say one word to you? Streamlining.
Chris: That’s… sacking people?
Alan: Well, basically, yeah.
Chris: [Looking at a list of names] Well, where do I start?
Alan: Who was that man who was boring me at the funeral?
Chris: Oh, Peter Linehan? Well, he’s just revamped News and Current Affairs.
Alan: Yeah, but he’s finished revamping it now. So, give him a painting of a spitfire and let him go.
Alan: [Also checking names on the list] And… Susan Picardie. Know her?
Chris: Oh yeah, documentaries. Feminist, with the flat chest. [Smiling at Lynn] She doesn’t have that problem, does she?
[Lynn crosses her arms, embarrassed.]
Alan: Don’t crush them, Lynn!
Chris: [To Lynn] How are you? Did you get married?
Lynn: Er, no.
Chris: I got divorced.
Alan: I’m sure Lynn would be happy to go for a drink with you, if that’d help things.
Lynn: [Quietly] Yes, yes.
Alan: Do you want to make a note of that, Lynn? “Go for drink with head of programmes”. Right, let’s get down to business. Can we talk about me?
Chris: Yeah, alright! What can I do for you?
Alan: Right, bottom line, Chris. I want a six-month contract at the BBC to make television programmes.
Chris: No, Alan, I’m not going to give you a six-month contract.
Alan: [Looking disgusted, and standing up] Yeah, you’re just like all the rest, aren’t you? You sit there on your fat, spotty behind, in dead man’s chair, leching at her like a piece of meat –
Chris: Alan, Alan, Alan. I’m not going to give you a six-month contract, ‘cause I have prepared a five year one. [He produces a document from his desk]
Alan: [Grinning like a schoolboy, his voice a little choked] That’s brilliant.
Chris: Two hundred thousand pounds a year.
Alan: That’s a million pounds. [Raising a fist in the air] Jurassic Park. I’m sorry for saying you were fat, before. I just mean you’re big boned.
Chris: [Chuckling] That’s alright. How about celebrating? Let’s get a bottle of Bolly!
Alan: Sod that! Let’s have some champagne! On me. Go on, Lynn, go and get it.
Chris: Right then.
[As Chris begins to sign the contract, Alan turns to look out of the window. As Alan’s back is turned, Chris coughs three or four times, the last time rather painfully. When Alan turns around, Chris is frozen, slightly slumped, at his desk, pen still in hand.]
Alan: I suppose you want to check the small print…come on, Chris! You must have seen a dozen contracts like that…
[Chris slumps sideways. He is dead.]
Alan: [In a stupid voice, thinking it’s a joke] Oh no!…Oh, no… Chris? [Scared now] Chris? Oh God.
[Alan goes over to Chris and listens in his ear for signs of life.]
Alan: [Shouting into Chris’ ear] Hello, Chris! A-Are you dead? Erm, oh God.
[Alan picks up the phone on his desk and dials. Before he gets through, however, he notices the contract still hasn’t been signed, and Chris still has the pen in his hand. Alan looks around slyly then puts the phone down.]
Alan: …finish signing it, there.
[Alan signs the contract using Chris’ pen and hand.]
Alan: Chris…Feathers…. Bit tedious, all this contract business. Oh, you’ve got the date wrong, there, so just… initial that… my copy [Alan signs the second contract underneath, still using Chris’ hand] Er… here’s to the future! [He picks up a glass of whisky and chinks it with Chris’] Sorry…
[Back in Alan’s hotel room, Alan and Lynn are admiring a banner hanging from the ceiling, which reads “Thank You Staff, and Goodbye”. On the cabinet are an array of party foods – scotch eggs, Pringles, Twiglets, Coke, wine and lager.]
Alan: [Looking at the banner] You think that’s alright? Not too sentimental?
Alan: Excellent. Do you want to put something on? [Indicates his brand new Bang & Olufson hi-fi]
Lynn: Oh, yes.
Alan: I’ll just go and check the party bags.
[Alan goes into the bathroom, where by the sink are seven or eight sanitary bags. Alan is filling each with Werther’s Originals and Cheesy Wotsits. The theme from ‘Black Beauty’ plays on the hi-fi.]
Alan: What’s this, Lynn?
Lynn: It’s the theme tune from ‘Black Beauty’.
Alan: It’s brilliant!
[Lynn nods in agreement. There is a knock on the door, and Alan answers it. It is Michael, wearing an oriental silk shirt.]
Alan: Hello? Ah, Michael!
Michael: [Loudly] Aye-aye, Mr. Partridge!
[Michael enters the room.]
Alan: [Indicating a half-finished bottle of cider that Michael is carrying] Do you want me to take that?
Michael: Er, no, I’ve had a fair bit already. I’ll stick with it, man.
Alan: That’s fine, but it does preclude you from the alcohol that I’ve provided.
Michael: [Sitting down in the armchair in the corner of the room] Oh, you’re alright. I’m alright with the Scrumpy!
[Michael takes a big gulp from his cider.]
Alan: That’s a nice shirt.
Michael: [Getting up and turning round to show Alan the back] Aye, I got married in this. Do you like it? I got it from Manilla.
Alan: I didn’t know you were married.
Michael: Aye. I married a Phillipino lassie, like. It didn’t work out. She didn’t like Newcastle and she didn’t fit in with the culture.
Alan: Right, so she’s gone back home?
Michael: No, she moved to Sunderland. She’s shacked up with my brother.
Alan: Oh, right.
Lynn: Michael, would you like a miniature scotch egg?
Michael: Oh, not for me, pet, I’ve got myself a steak and kidney pie. [He produces the pie from his back pocket] Oh, look at that, I’ve sat on the bastard, would you believe it.
Alan: [Quietly, to Lynn] Would you keep an eye on him?
[There is another knock on the door.]
Alan: Thank God for that.
[Alan answers the door to the ever-smiling Mike, who is carrying a bottle of white wine.]
Mike: Hello! [Laughs]
Alan: Ah! Come in!
Mike: Thank you very much, thank you.
[Mike puts his bottle down on the cabinet. He opens the drawer and laughs out loud at its contents. Alan shuts it quickly, looking irritated.]
Alan: Would you like a glass of wine?
Mike: Oh, thank you very much. Cheers! Thank you.
Alan: [Quietly, to Lynn] What’s he doing here?
Lynn: You said invite a guest.
Alan: Lynn, that’s just a phrase, I didn’t mean it.
Mike: Nice room.
Michael: So, er, who are you?
Mike: Oh, Mike Sampson.
[Mike and Michael shake hands.]
Mike: Nice to meet you.
Michael: Oh, hey, I’m Michael an’ all!
[Mike and Michael laugh. Alan and Lynn join in, rather less enthusiastically.]
Michael: So, have you got a job?
Mike: Oh, yes, yes. I supply fitted kitchens.
Michael: Oh, aye?
Mike: The funny thing is, that I’ve been in the business for fifteen years, but I can’t actually cook!
[Michael laughs heartily. Lynn and Alan chuckle slightly.]
Mike: You see a cookery book here, it wouldn’t be much use to me!
[Michael laughs again.]
Michael: Mr. Partridge, he said he sells kitchens, right, for fifteen year’, but he cannot cook!
Alan: [Smiling] I know, I heard him, yeah.
Michael: Then, right, he sees the cook book, and he says “that’d be no good to me, that, would it?”
Alan: [His smile fading] I know, I heard him.
Michael: Ah, come on, lighten up, you stuffy get.
[Michael bites into his squashed pie.]
Alan: [Quietly, to Lynn] Lynn, this is terrible. This is terrible.
[There is a knock on the door.]
Alan: Oh good, great.
[He opens the door to Susan, Ben and Sophie.]
Alan: Oh, the cavalry! Come on in! Great, come in. Look at the sign, there, it says “Thank You Staff, and Goodbye”.
[Lynn hands everyone drinks.]
Alan: It’s all happening now. This is Michael, he sells kitchens.
Mike: Yes, I was just saying to the others, I sell kitchens but I can’t actually cook myself!
[Mike and Michael laugh loudly again. Alan looks irritated.]
Michael: Right, and then he spies that cook book, right, and he says “that’d be no use to me, man!” He’s crackers, man.
Ben: So, Mike, where do you live?
Mike: I come from Acton, in west London.
Sophie: Is it nice?
Mike: Yes, it’s quite nice… few too many blacks.
[Mike chuckles. The others look stunned. Cut to Mike being shown out of the door by Alan.]
Alan: If you don’t mind, it’s just some people found what you said a bit racist.
Mike: Mmm. [Laughs again]
Alan: Party bag?
[Alan hands Mike a sanitary bag.]
Mike: Ooh, thank you very much. Bye bye.
[Mike walks off, chuckling to himself.]
Alan: Watch the fire hose!
[Mike gives an extra big laugh when he walks past the fire hose. Alan turns back into his room, looking annoyed, to find the other guests huddled round the drawer in the cabinet, examining the contents. When they see Alan, everyone jumps back. To break the silence, Lynn sings a little Scottish song, which grinds to a halt awkwardly soon after it started.]
Alan: [Arms folded, unimpressed.] Extraordinary. So, what do people think about the pedestrianisation of Norwich city-centre?
Michael: [Very drunk] Eh – aye, I reckon it’s a really good idea, like.
Alan: Mmm. You’re wrong…
Michael: Oh, man, what about mothers with pushchairs and little bairns and that, you know?
Alan: Oh, Michael, you’ve got a lot to learn.
Michael: [Annoyed] No, man, look, it’s you who’s got a lot to learn, right, because folks should be giving up their cars –
Susan: Michael, Michael! Mr. Partridge is still a guest in this hotel. Now I think perhaps you’ve had just a little bit too much to drink, and maybe it’s time that you should leave.
Michael: Oh, well if that’s how you all feel.
[Michael walks off, grumbling. Alan has been standing smugly while Michael got told off, but noticing that Sophie and Ben are giggling on the end of the bed, he sidles up to them, smirking.]
Susan: Now, you two can stop giggling.
Alan: [To Sophie and Ben] Dunno what her problem is!
Susan: [Screaming at Alan] I’ll tell you what my problem is! Having to listen to your crap for the last six months! You’ve been in this hotel for a hundred and eighty-two days, you little shit!
[Susan is advancing on Alan, who is backing off. He picks up a drink, avoiding eye contact.]
Susan: [Still screaming] Ben and Sophie I want you on reception! [They scurry out] And you! Check out is twelve noon tomorrow!
Alan: Do you want one of these? [Offers her a sweet]
Susan: A sanitary bag!? What are you trying to say!?
[Susan slaps Alan, hard, on the side of the face, and storms out. Alan sidles up to Lynn.]
Alan: I think that went quite well. Shall we clear up? I fancy an early night.
Lynn: Shall I put ‘Black Beauty’ on again?
Alan: Yes, we can clear up while we listen to ‘Black Beauty’.
[Lynn operates the hi-fi and the music starts. Lynn picks up a couple of unfinished glasses of wine.]
Lynn: Down the sink?
Lynn: OK, down the sink.
[Lynn goes to the bathroom. Alan picks up the paper plates of mini scotch eggs and Twiglets. Waving his hand in front of the hi-fi open the console, he turns the volume up. Credits roll. At this point, Alan starts daydreaming, and over the theme tune to ‘Black Beauty’, we see Alan dancing in his fantasy nightclub in a leather thong. This eventually fades into a slow motion shot of Alan running happily through a field of corn, towards the camera.]