The Woman in the Attic Roger and Val Have Just Got In


The Woman in the Attic

Sitcom following the lives of a couple during their first half-hour home from work. A gift from a well wisher brings turmoil to the eve of Roger's tribunal.


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Transcript


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AMERICAN TV VOICE-OVER:

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SWITCHES OFF TV

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A man falls from grace in a garden

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because of the human pubic region.

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Ring any bells? Today, my tribunal against the Winter Gar...

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Oh, no, no, no, no.

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A brief mention in an e-mail

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of mons pubis

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pubic hair...

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Let's just get it out there. Let's just face it head-on.

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Phil Hewlett,

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I'll see you in court, sir.

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DIALS NUMBER

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Hi. I'd like to place an order, please.

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Delivery, please. Yeah, my car failed its MOT.

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Yes, Stevenson, yeah, hi. I'm fine, thanks. You?

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Yeah. The celebration banquet, please. ..With, please. Thanks. Bye.

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If putting botanical plants before heating and budget costs is a crime, sack me.

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Unfairly dismiss me, Roger unfairly dismiss.

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-Yeah.

-Always. Get that in as much as you can.

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Sounding great from the hall, Rog.

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Hang on, hang on. This is the end bit...

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"For my...

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"For my..."

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For my name is Roger Stevenson, and I am a botanist.

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-Thanks, Val.

-Wish your Dad could have heard you make that speech.

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No, no, I'm glad he didn't live to see this day.

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His sacked son, following in his own sacked footsteps.

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Wrong!

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What I just heard was a brave man who has endured 3.5 months

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-of lying about in the house.

-No, I haven't been lying about.

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No, no, no, no, I mean... Sorry, I mean going to the library

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and doing all your legal stuff.

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Yeah, it's who I am.

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I'm standing up and I'm saying, "This is me,

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"this is what has happened to me. And can I have my job back, please?"

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I was whirring away with it in the night.

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I've been shattered all day.

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-Oh, Val.

-Well, it...it gets to you,

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and I'm tough.

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I tell you something, Roger. I wobbled at lunchtime.

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It's the, "Ooh, it's tomorrow, it's real now..."

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Yeah, I was only saved by Sue Turner.

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She just came up and put her arms round me.

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She's got a real knack, Sue, of just coming in for me exactly when I need her.

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Ooh, Sue gave me this...for you.

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This little swimmer!

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Ah, thanks.

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It's for good luck. "Keep swimming!" That's what she said.

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-Oh, Val, that is...

-Isn't it? Yeah.

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Because Sue came today as Robinson Crusoe

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-so she had loads of these hanging off her hat.

-Yeah? Oh, I'll ring Sue.

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Yeah. She said... she said, "Are you wound up?"

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And then she set them all off. It was hilarious.

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Oh! I've got two more cards for you as well, Rog.

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So, how many does that make now four?

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Five. There's one from Marion in Canada came this morning.

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You see? People all over the world are outraged about it.

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So you are right. You're right.

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Oh, and I made us a lamb casserole at school today,

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I thought it would be comforting and bland.

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Yeah, fine.

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OK, er, Val, I hope you don't mind.

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I've ordered a Chinese.

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Oh! OK, yeah.

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Well, because I think it will help me.

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But you don't need any help. Not from what I'VE just heard.

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In fact, if you lose you're not going to but if you lose,

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promise me you will go into some kind of public communication with the world.

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Val...

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No, Roger, please do.

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Well, listen about why I ordered Chinese

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-and see if you're with me on this.

-Oh, I will be.

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You see, I've really begun to enjoy...

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You see, if you're home a lot during the day,

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there are these sort of true-life movies that are on.

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And often about legal stuff.

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Yeah. Oh, like A Few Good Men?

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No. No, nothing like A Few Good Men at all.

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-Oh.

-You'll see when you retire.

-Oh, I know, yes! Like that one we saw on holiday about the woman

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who moved a whole house somewhere else on a set of wheels?

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-Yes!

-Yes.

-Yes.

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And at the end you find out what happened.

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I mean, it's always the same, of course it is.

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The movie's been made and the baddie seems, you know, defeated...

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and the goody just, you know, closes up his briefcase in the courtroom.

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Roger. Phil Hewlett will be defeated at your tribunal.

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I can promise you that. Hold on. Hold on. He WILL be defeated.

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I sound like I'm singing a hymn, don't I? Sorry.

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-Yes.

-Sorry!

-Well, getting back to our tea tonight.

-Yeah.

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In these movies, the lawyers in them,

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they all seem to be having great Chinese food,

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-you know, when they're doing their legal stuff.

-Yes.

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-Sort of, "Get the DA on the phone! Hey, where's the soy sauce?"

-Yeah.

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Do you see what I mean?

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I see exactly what you mean, Roger. We're having Chinese tonight brilliant!

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Ooh, I'll freeze the lamb casserole.

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No, no, you see, my wider point is

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what will the white type at the end of MY legal movie say?

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Val?

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Um, er,

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"Roger Stevenson won his tribunal.

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"His speech about being a botanist

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"is now on display at the Winter Gardens, where he works." What about that?

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Well, I don't think THAT. No, you're supposed to feel a lump in your throat about me.

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Can you do one like that?

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Um... Oh, all right, Roger, what about this?

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"Three days after he went back to work,

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"the Winter Gardens was renamed the Roger Stevenson Arboretum."

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What, Roger? The face! What?!

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I've seen loads of these.

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It's more like, "The Stevenson Bill is on the statute books of all 52 United States of America.

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"Roger Stevenson himself was at the right hand of the President

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"as the bill was signed into law." Maybe.

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Have you just made that up yourself?

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No, no, it stayed with me

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from one about the some disabled campaigner. It was very moving.

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Wow.

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Your point about the Chinese food, though,

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they do actually do that in A Few Good Men.

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Yeah, fine, I don't know about that.

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They definitely do because they're walking about saying,

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-"Do this, do that. Great won ton soup."

-Exactly right!

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And it makes you wish that we had the little white boxes

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-instead of the British foil trays.

-Yeah.

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SHE SIGHS

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If you're going to do your legal speech with Chinese food,

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do you want me to put some in little Tupperware boxes?

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I don't want to make a big deal about it.

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I was just looking for a crutch to make me feel legally astute.

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No, I think it's a really good idea, Roger.

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Anything like that, just cling onto it.

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YES!

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Want a cup of tea?

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No, I'll wait. I'll grab a beer when the Chinese arrives.

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That's a very good idea, Roger.

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That's exactly what they would do. Cling on to that.

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-What have you ordered for us?

-The usual.

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Not the celebration banquet?

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Yeah, only cos it's got the noodles for you and the rice for me.

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But, Roger, "celebration"?!

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This is the night before, not the night after. Oh, touch wood.

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PHONE RINGS

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Solicitor.

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Oh, bit of bad news.

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You see? You see?!

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Phil has banned the stickers.

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He can't do that.

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Freedom of speech! I've just given one to Sue in the toilets.

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Yeah, not from ordinary people.

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He's asked us not to wear them at the court, and they've agreed.

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-On what grounds?!

-On the grounds "I believe Roger Stevenson was unfairly dismissed"

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is a biased and political statement.

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How do they square that?

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-Oh, this is my fault, Rog.

-How can that be?

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-No, no, no, it is. I've let you down.

-No, Val...

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I've put too much on them, haven't I?

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"Peace...

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"St John's Ambulance...

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"Free Willy." One word. Two, three at the most.

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That's what people have on stickers.

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No, no, Val, no.

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No, don't you go down. Not my talisman, not my mascot.

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Don't make me that now, please, Roger,

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cos I'm having a slump now about the stickers.

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Oh, God, this is... Oh, Jesus!

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Stop it, please, Roger! Allow me to have my slump.

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People around you also need slumps.

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Aaaargh!

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In a minute, Roger, I will be fine.

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But just for now, allow me to be the reaction of how I feel inside, which is this.

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SHE GROANS

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HE GROANS

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Right, come on, come on. Keep swimming.

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You only ban something if it's having an effect.

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Yeah!

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Democracy.

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I'm always saying,

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Winter Gardens... North Korea.

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Although I'm drawing closer parallels with Burma now,

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particularly since I'm in the house all day.

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Yeah, Phil Hewlett and a Burmese General,

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in a game of cards, I'd say, "Snap."

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The stickers are great.

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You've run a brilliant campaign for me, Val, ever since I married you.

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Now, if at the end of it...

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No, don't say it...

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-No, no, no, come on. No, no...

-No, don't, no, no, no...

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If I lose...

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Oh... But we've lost before,

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and we're here, still swimming.

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That's right.

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So let's get this show back on the road.

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You've got 57 supporters on here now, Rog!

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Ah, Sue's given you the thumbs-up. "Sue Turner likes this."

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Strange to think that tomorrow night, maybe,

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we might be drinking champagne.

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Who's Jean Duggan?

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What?

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Jean Duggan?

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-I don't know.

-"You can't pretend it didn't happen."

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Where's this? Move over, Val.

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-It's my Facebook support thing!

-Well, I run it.

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-Well, let me have a look.

-Oh, here. Who is it? There. There.

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I can see, thanks, Val. Let me just have a look.

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-Jean Duggan?

-Val, please!

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What does she mean? This is a woman!

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It's not a woman. Well, it's not a woman like that. Don't be ridiculous.

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-Well, she's got a woman's name.

-How do you know that? You don't know that.

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I mean, this is the international French book, er, Facebook.

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For all you know, that could be a French man.

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Well, it's very unlikely, with a name like Duggan.

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Jean DuGan?! No, this is Jean Duggan from England.

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Roger, what can't you pretend didn't happen?

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No, it's the night before my tribunal.

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-I don't know this person.

-Well, who is it?

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It's some...

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militant feminist who saw the words "pubic hair" in a paper

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and e-mailed me - I don't know.

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Well, I certainly do want to know. So let's reply and find out.

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No. No more replies, no more messages from people I don't know.

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-Well, that's suspicious.

-No, it isn't. I don't know this woman.

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I don't want trouble now.

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No, the message, Roger, is suspicious.

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-I agree.

-Which is why you need to reply and say, "Who are you?

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-"What do you mean?"

-No, I really don't.

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-No, you really do.

-No, have you really thought,

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-this could be from Phil - have you thought about that?

-No!

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Oh... I suppose it is extremely random.

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Yes, I suppose it could be a set-up.

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Yes, exactly one of the reasons I want to leave it.

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BUZZING

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Can you turn that swimmer off, please? It's getting really annoying.

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The swimmer hasn't moved, Val.

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So now I can't even HEAR anything because I'm dressed as Mrs Danvers, apparently.

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-Could you go upstairs and put some normal clothes on?

-Yes, in a minute.

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Ooh...

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I wonder if it's anything to do with Marion in Canada,

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cos she's got all those big sons that keep getting divorced.

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Right, any son of Marion in Canada

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would have the same surname as Marion in Canada, which is Tunningly.

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I just thought it might be because she had sent the card.

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So it's not. "You can't pretend it didn't happen."

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-Who is it?

-Yeah, well, who's THAT?

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Will you please turn that off, Roger?

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-I keep hearing it.

-Who are you in your Mrs Danvers costume?

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-Who are YOU?

-I'm Roger Stevenson, I'm a botanist.

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Well, you need to call your solicitor, Roger Stevenson.

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-All right,

-I

-will.

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No, because it's all coming at my head, I don't want anyone rung now.

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-No, I will, because I am alert to threat.

-Val, don't.

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It's the night before my tribunal.

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I'm covering it up but I'm really feeling stressed now.

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-You were fine five minutes ago.

-No, someone who goes into elaborate detail

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just to order a Chinese is not fine.

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-All right.

-Ah, ah!

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-What? What?

-I know what it is.

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Some soul has taken a sticker, surely, from us,

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-when we were picketing the Winter Gardens.

-That's very unlikely, Roger.

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-No, it is, it is!

-I can't see that, no, I can't see that.

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It can't be anything else. Who else can it be?

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I don't even know this person. Look...I cannot deal with this now.

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OK.

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It'll be all right, Rog.

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I'm looking forward to my celebration banquet. Are you?

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Roger, you have been sacked on a trumped-up charge.

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"Pubic hair" in a work e-mail.

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But it's really because you speak up for plants,

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and I know people will see that.

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Yeah.

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It's a marked irony with the Garden of Eden,

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where the leaf disguises the hair.

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Here, it's the other way around.

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Were there any other Mrs Danverses?

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-No.

-Good.

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Soon as I walked in, Sue said to me, "Ooh, Val, you normally come as a pirate."

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-Yeah. What about the Head?

-Dumbledore.

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-No, I don't care what she came as, though it's predictable.

-Yeah.

-Did she see you as Mrs Danvers?

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Ooh, yes, she did.

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I had a long chat with her, and then every time I passed her, she went...

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-..like that.

-That's great. That's what we were talking about.

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This is exactly the change in perception we were looking for.

0:17:280:17:31

Yeah. Headscarf, hoop earrings, stripy top, eye patch, parrot - no.

0:17:310:17:36

No, exactly right, it's World Book Day, come as a character.

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You are a deputy headship candidate, Stevenson. Look the part or get off the shortlist.

0:17:390:17:44

-Hear, hear! What about the other candidates?

-Oh, huge tactical error

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by Pam Bagnell - I think, anyway.

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See what you think.

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She came as Aslan.

0:17:530:17:55

Well, that's fair enough. No, fair enough. We thought OURS through. It's a good idea.

0:17:550:17:59

-Oh,

-I

-don't think it is.

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I think she knew she'd massively overshot because after lunch she took off the mask

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and she just wandered about in the tail.

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Oh, that's dangerously close to hubris.

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-How was the costume?

-It was good.

-Did she have a mane?

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No, she had a mask and her husband's curly ginger football wig.

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-Did she have paws?

-No, because she was teaching after lunch.

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-Brown polo neck, brown skirt.

-For a lion?

0:18:210:18:23

The added twist with ours, Rog, is that I teach food tech,

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Mrs Danvers is a housekeeper.

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That is a piece of sheer genius, Val.

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Whereas Pam Bagnell teaches history. She's got a curly ginger wig.

0:18:330:18:38

-Blind.

-Do I need to spell it out?

0:18:380:18:40

-Not for me, Val.

-Concertina up a piece of white cardboard,

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shove it round your neck, paint your face white, pearl earrings - job done.

0:18:430:18:47

Potato, your Majesty?

0:18:470:18:48

-Tobacco, your Majesty?

-She missed a trick there.

0:18:480:18:51

Yeah, well, I'm glad of that because the perception could have been

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Queen Pam I, the heir apparent - the next deputy head.

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-Open goal.

-Yeah.

0:18:590:19:01

You know, most of the kids thought I was the evil housekeeper from Downton.

0:19:010:19:05

In a way that's what World Book Day's all about.

0:19:050:19:08

The original evil housekeeper is Mrs Danvers in Rebecca.

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Before her, it was the mad what's-her-name in the attic.

0:19:110:19:14

No, the mad woman in the attic and the housekeepers are completely different.

0:19:140:19:18

OK.

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The mad woman in the attack is PMT, Rog.

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Eh? No, I don't think that's right, Val.

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No, it is.

0:19:240:19:26

It's the Bronte Sisters all having PMT together in one small parsonage.

0:19:260:19:31

Their cooped-up femaleness sort of billows helplessly

0:19:310:19:36

onto the page, soaking it crimson

0:19:360:19:39

with screeching desire or something.

0:19:390:19:42

Cos they never had sex.

0:19:420:19:44

-Oh, I don't like to think about it.

-Whereas the mad women's keepers

0:19:440:19:48

are always older women.

0:19:480:19:50

They've gone through the menopause and they HAVE had sex.

0:19:500:19:54

My theory is brilliant.

0:19:540:19:58

Yeah. Older.

0:19:580:20:01

Oh, I'm getting out of this.

0:20:010:20:03

-BUZZING

-Aargh! Aaaaaargh!

0:20:050:20:08

-There! Look, look there! It's a swimmer! It's a swimmer!

-What is it?!

0:20:080:20:12

-Oh, Val, for God's sake.

-Oh, my God! I didn't know what that was!

-What is it?

0:20:120:20:15

-That has been in my hair!

-For God's sake, calm down!

0:20:150:20:19

I thought it was a creature.

0:20:190:20:20

Well, it's not, it's that.

0:20:200:20:22

Oh, God.

0:20:220:20:24

-Oh, no.

-What?

0:20:240:20:26

-(You put that on the table downstairs.)

-Yes.

0:20:280:20:32

No, no, you put it on the table downstairs. I saw you put it there.

0:20:320:20:37

Right. I threw it somewhere, I think.

0:20:370:20:39

Yes, I saw you put it there.

0:20:400:20:42

There is no way that that got into my hair.

0:20:420:20:45

Val, it must have somehow whirred its way into your plait, and there's the end of it.

0:20:450:20:50

(Roger, why has it come? What does it want?)

0:20:500:20:54

Oh, yes, of course.

0:20:560:20:58

-The Chinese.

-What?

0:20:580:21:00

That's why the little swimmer has come upstairs.

0:21:000:21:03

The celebration banquet - it thinks you've tempted fate.

0:21:030:21:06

If you're attributing free will to this swimmer, then why not give its due?

0:21:060:21:10

No, I'm not saying that. I just think it's really weird.

0:21:100:21:13

I would say that this is an explicable accident

0:21:130:21:16

but as you're NOT saying that, maybe...

0:21:160:21:20

it made its way up the stairs

0:21:200:21:22

because that's where the bathroom is,

0:21:220:21:25

and it was looking...for water.

0:21:250:21:28

You have displeased it, Roger.

0:21:290:21:31

Well, then, let's cure it. Let's cleanse its sinister aura.

0:21:310:21:36

I'm just saying I want its good luck back,

0:21:360:21:39

and for some reason it's taken against us.

0:21:390:21:41

Right, let's give it a little swim.

0:21:410:21:44

I don't actually believe all this, Roger, I'm just covering us for the tribunal.

0:21:440:21:50

And I personally wouldn't have ordered a "celebration" anything tonight.

0:21:500:21:54

I ordered the celebration because of the rice for Val

0:21:540:21:57

and the noodles for me. Nothing to do with the name. All right, mate?

0:21:570:22:01

Jesus, Val, I could do without this tonight.

0:22:010:22:04

I've got an unfair-dismissal tribunal tomorrow.

0:22:040:22:07

-DOORBELL RINGS

-Chinese! You see? I'm right!

0:22:070:22:11

Don't leave me on my own with it!

0:22:110:22:13

If you bring bad luck for the tribunal,

0:22:160:22:19

I will snap your little legs off.

0:22:190:22:21

Oh, thank you. Thanks very much.

0:22:260:22:29

Roger! We could practise your speech with the Chinese.

0:22:410:22:45

I wish you hadn't done that.

0:22:470:22:50

Well, I thought it was Phil in disguise. Is it Phil?

0:22:500:22:53

Right, well, it's not.

0:22:530:22:56

I'm being stalked.

0:22:560:22:58

A proper...proper stalker.

0:22:580:23:00

What, by Phil?

0:23:000:23:01

No, it's a woman.

0:23:010:23:04

By a Mrs Danvers, actually.

0:23:050:23:08

An older woman who has seen me in the local paper with the tribunal, and...

0:23:080:23:15

There are complications.

0:23:250:23:28

What?

0:23:280:23:29

I know her.

0:23:310:23:32

So you were lying.

0:23:350:23:36

Yeah. Yeah, I have.

0:23:380:23:39

But...that's because I didn't want to worry you.

0:23:420:23:46

I thought it would go away.

0:23:460:23:48

And also, Val, you're dressed like Mrs Danvers.

0:23:500:23:53

Roger.

0:23:530:23:55

Sorry.

0:23:550:23:57

Well, you'd better not lie tomorrow.

0:23:570:24:00

What's the name of this stalker?

0:24:000:24:03

Jean...Danvers. Um...

0:24:030:24:05

Duggan.

0:24:070:24:09

So this was who YOU were claiming was a French man?

0:24:090:24:12

Yes. I was scared.

0:24:120:24:16

OK, I'm scared of YOU now.

0:24:180:24:20

And of her.

0:24:200:24:22

-How do you know her?

-Oh, I don't KNOW her.

0:24:220:24:24

You DO know her, you DON'T know her...?

0:24:240:24:27

31 years ago, I knew her.

0:24:270:24:29

I can't believe I have to... This is why I didn't say anything.

0:24:320:24:35

She used to clean my room in the halls of residence.

0:24:370:24:40

-Well, I don't buy a word of that.

-It's true!

0:24:400:24:42

I haven't heard from her in 31 years. I mean, she must be 70.

0:24:420:24:46

What on earth is happening?

0:24:460:24:48

She must be more... She must be more than 70. Jesus.

0:24:480:24:52

How do you know her, Roger?

0:24:520:24:53

At college! She cleaned my room at college!

0:24:530:24:55

Yes, you've said that.

0:24:550:24:57

We got talking. I was trying to... This was years ago, in the early '80s.

0:24:570:25:03

I was trying to persuade her not to buy her council house on political grounds.

0:25:030:25:08

One thing led to another and...

0:25:080:25:11

Why have you never told me?

0:25:110:25:13

Her husband at the time was undergoing quite a serious back operation, actually.

0:25:130:25:18

She was 41, I was a rather nervous youth around women,

0:25:180:25:23

and we helped each other out.

0:25:230:25:26

I don't know!

0:25:260:25:27

She must have seen me in the paper and got my address from the Winter Gardens.

0:25:270:25:31

Well, that is against data protection.

0:25:310:25:34

One tribunal at a time, Val, please.

0:25:340:25:36

But you've done nothing wrong.

0:25:370:25:39

I know.

0:25:390:25:41

So what does she want?

0:25:410:25:43

I think she had hopes to rekindle it.

0:25:440:25:46

You know, her husband with the bad back's passed away now.

0:25:460:25:49

-Oh, Roger.

-I know.

0:25:490:25:52

You see, we don't do young and old in this country

0:25:520:25:55

with quite the same elan as the French.

0:25:550:25:58

Their ears don't seem to go big when they grow old. Anyway...

0:25:580:26:03

I don't want to dwell on it.

0:26:030:26:05

I'd much rather just...move on.

0:26:050:26:08

Do you think you can go and put on some normal clothes now?

0:26:090:26:12

Oh, OK.

0:26:120:26:14

You see, I love...

0:26:140:26:16

-..with your glossy dark hair all down.

-OK. OK.

0:26:170:26:21

-Aaaargh!

-What?!

-Roger!

-What?!

-Help me! There's a swimmer there!

0:26:240:26:29

-There!

-I don't know.

0:26:290:26:31

I don't know now. I should have apologised to it.

0:26:310:26:33

Oh, my God, everything's going wrong now.

0:26:330:26:36

OK, certainly now, I am classifying this as unexplainable.

0:26:360:26:40

Roger, go upstairs and see what's happened in the sink. Oh, God!

0:26:400:26:44

Quick!

0:26:440:26:45

-Ohhh!

-"Ohhh" what? What?

-There are two of them!

0:26:480:26:51

THERE'S TWO OF THEM!

0:26:510:26:54

What? What?

0:26:560:26:58

Val, stop it now. Just stop it, just stop now.

0:26:580:27:00

-What?!

-Stop! There are two of them.

-There's two.

0:27:000:27:03

There are two swimmers.

0:27:030:27:05

One of which I suspect has been lodged in your hair for some time.

0:27:050:27:09

What? Yes, yes, that...

0:27:090:27:12

Yes, of course, because that's come off Sue's hat

0:27:120:27:15

when she's hugged me in the toilet, hasn't it?

0:27:150:27:18

-Probably, yes.

-No, definitely, Rog.

0:27:180:27:21

There's nothing scary about this at all.

0:27:210:27:23

-No.

-Oh, that's fallen out of my false plait, hasn't it,

0:27:230:27:27

-when she's hugged me?

-Yeah.

0:27:270:27:28

Oh, Sue's going to laugh about this.

0:27:280:27:31

It's a perfectly simple explanation.

0:27:310:27:34

Unlike YOUR story.

0:27:340:27:36

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:28:190:28:26

A gift from a well wisher brings turmoil to the eve of Roger's tribunal.


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