Sitcom following the lives of a couple during their first half-hour home from work. A verdict leads to a meal, and an email leads to a confession.
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# Here we go... #
Hee-hee! You lot.
Well, I'm really glad I won my tribunal!
I wish all my friends were here to celebrate.
They're still fixing stuff.
I'll just go upstairs to the toilet
and then, er... then I'll pop down again.
Can someone get the door, please?
Well, I would, but I'm not supposed to know about it.
Oh, just let me orchestrate it... Thanks very much(!)
-Oh, I knew that would happen!
Shh... Up here, come here.
-Shh! Come up here.
-What's the matter?
-Just come up here!
-I've only been gone two minutes.
-It's a surprise.
-Yeah, I... Thank you very much.
I'll go along with it for an hour,
but after that, I want everybody out.
-What do you mean?
-I don't want them here.
I've been under enormous strain... I don't feel like celebrating.
-I'm actually ill with it!
-Roger, you've won.
I've begun to sweat where I didn't know I could - in the middle of my forearms.
It's a tingling, unpleasant sensation, and it's stress.
Are there people in there?
No. The surprise is in my hand.
Oh, right, well, yeah, it doesn't matter.
-Well, what did you think I meant?
-It doesn't matter, it's OK.
Did you think I'd got people round?
I thought that perhaps you'd organised a surprise party,
and loads of people from the Winter Gardens
had come to hoist me aloft and cheer me on.
No, it's...just me.
No, no, that's fine!
You know, you come into a house in use,
you've won, your mind races.
-Well, the surprise is under here.
-Thanks very much.
Honestly, Rog, I feel like a disappointment now.
No, no, no, no, I'm relieved.
Well, I was all set to dance down the hall with it.
-Right, well, please do.
-No, not in this atmosphere, no.
I'll just walk normally, that's all.
No, I would very much like you to dance.
No, not now, definitely not.
Now, you see this is not how I want it to be!
I want it to be the way it was going to be!
It's not my fault that I'm under huge pressure.
We're all under huge pressure with it, Roger!
Everyone in a 50-mile radius has lived every single minute with you.
Right, but last night I dreamt
that by mistake I was at a far-right rally in South Africa.
I was spotted, it was absolutely terrifying.
Will you speak normally, Roger? There's no-one here.
I had to try and sidle my way via the swimming pool.
Well, that would be normal for a night before a verdict.
I was spotted by a distant group of men
that said nothing but wore green blazers,
and they had beards like they were all in ZZ Top.
It doesn't sounds as awful as it was, but trust me, it was.
Right...but, Roger, you've won,
so, Rog, all of this is over!
-Oh, come here.
-Ah, it's OK, it's OK.
Oh, thank you, my stalwart and my talisman.
Oh, come on, cheer up, Rog. You've won!
Let's have a look at your surprise.
Can you see now why I had to be so careful about the timing?
Oh, that's beautiful, Val, it's a beautiful gesture.
Look, "Roger Stevenson was unfairly dismissed."
Yeah, legal fact, but don't go telling anyone,
because otherwise the pub'll lose their licence.
-Oh, I won't, I won't.
-No, don't go back to work and...
I know, "Don't go back to work"!
I don't even know when I actually start again.
I have to do this thing called a reintegrated return.
-Yeah, for people who have been away a long time.
Yeah, but that'll be just the law, that's just a legal requirement.
I love the law. I've got every faith in it.
Oh, Val, after the verdict,
I went up to the panel and I said, "Thank you for justice."
It was funny, because in the pub after,
Steve and Fran popped down, and then...they went away again.
And I thought, "I just wonder..."
No, Roger, I didn't have time, I'm sorry.
I didn't get your text till five,
and I was still in the meeting, so I couldn't ring.
And when you could, I was in the pub and I couldn't hear the phone.
And I was right across from Sue in the meeting.
We're very well attuned, Sue and I, and so I got your text
and I just gave her the slightest nod like...like that,
and all this in the middle of the senior staff meeting!
The slightest nod...right?
So I went...and then she went...
You're having spaghetti as well, OK?
I didn't want to go out.
Last night, as I was lying in bed,
I thought, "If Roger wins, I'm going to cook in the pans.
"I will use them.
Oh, please say we'll have a holiday soon.
Oh, we must. Look at me tonight, Val.
-Stress-wise, I'm at the end.
Not in the Scottish islands, though, eh?
No, not ever again.
Somewhere where there's restaurants and not just a Co-op.
OK, I got it wrong.
Do you want to dry?
Look, I've ended up with all of these.
-Have you taken the labels off all of them?
I've only used three for the dinner,
but, yes, all of the pans are now opened.
I thought... No, I'm all right.
I thought...if we used them tonight,
he could be part of it, you know, join in.
Yeah. It's a family occasion. It includes him.
Yeah, I think it does.
-I'll get you a drink.
-Yeah, come on. You've won!
You ran a damn good campaign, Val.
-How's your pint?
Oh, you know who I'd like to invite, Val,
to the surprise party, if we were having one?
The panel. The people on the panel.
-But they wouldn't be able to come.
-Yes, they would.
No, they wouldn't.
That would be entirely inappropriate behaviour on their behalf.
They'd be banned from doing things like that.
Things like what? My surprise party?
Yeah, they'd be hauled up for fraternising with a claimant.
-Well, I want them to come.
-Well, they can't come.
Well, I want them to come, so...
What does it matter? We're not having one anyway.
No, so why are you being so snippy? What's the matter?
I have just stood on these very two legs
for a verdict but hours ago.
Yes, but you won.
Yeah, but it's so...defining.
The whole process has made me take stock.
Oh, that's someone else I'd like to invite.
I'm not sure that's such a good idea.
Yeah, I would love for the panel to meet him.
I would say, "May I introduce my university professor
"and the world's greatest living botanist?"
Yeah, but he wouldn't be able to come either, would he?
Because he's 85 now.
Yeah, he would be able to come, because I'd go and pick him up,
drive through the night.
Or at least pay his train fare... and collect him from the station.
If he could get himself on a train, that would help.
Well, there is a direct line, isn't there, from Sheffield to here?
If he could get himself on the train, he'd only have to sit,
and if he needed any help,
there are the people with little hats and the portable ramps.
No, no, his son would bring him, one of the sons.
They'd be in their 60s now, Roger. They've got lives of their own.
Yeah but no, they would. They would drive him, definitely.
That's what sons do for fathers.
Well... And another thing at the party,
he wouldn't be able to smoke his pipe indoors, like he usually does.
-No, he wouldn't,
because the panel would be very on with health and safety,
-and they for one would object.
-Well, tough - they can get out.
I was like a son to Pete.
Well, I suppose we could plant him in the corner there, couldn't we?
-Or the big chair in the sitting room.
-The big chair.
And then we could take Pete his food,
-so he wouldn't have to queue up for the buffet.
Some young plant-team member would be honoured to get his plate.
Tell their grandchildren.
"I once got Pete Potts a baked potato."
I wonder if I'd invite the head.
I think with the deputy headship, now that you're short-listed,
I would err on the side of caution.
-I would say no.
-Because she'd really enjoy it, get into it.
-No, she can't come.
Yep, I think you're right.
And we would appear too loose and laid-back
for a school to be able to deal with.
I'd like to say invite her, but I can't.
Yeah, she's just going to have to hear about the party the next day
-and think, "Oh, Val's popular."
-That's your ideal.
-These are good.
-Oh, which one of those do you like best?
-Yeah, this one.
-When's your doodle deadline?
Tuesday, but I'm being very careful about this year's.
And the senior staff meeting tonight, Roger, was focused on art.
-How do you mean?
-Well, I think we've seriously underestimated Pauline Green.
-No, we haven't.
-Art is her subject.
This was the last meeting before the interview,
so she stays in the head's mind.
No, you know my view - she's lucky to have made the shortlist.
Well, exactly, that's my point! She is the luckiest woman alive.
She once told me
that she got an all-chocolate Kit Kat out of a vending machine.
I'm not worried.
-But maybe just...yeah, monitor her.
Have I ever met her? I mean, where is she on here?
Erm... Pauline Green, there.
-Oh, and there you are with your...
-That's my whisk.
-Pauline Green's is excellent, look.
-Well, of course it is - she's art.
-Oh, there's poor Lilly Brennan.
-Yeah, that was...
-It was, yeah.
Still, at least she lived long enough
-to make it onto last year's tea towel, bless her.
-Yeah, she did.
Where's Pauline Green on...this one?
-Oh, she's there.
-Well, she's up here on this one.
-Is she? Oh.
I thought everybody stayed the same. I have.
Mrs Stevenson, food tech, Mrs Stevenson, food tech,
Mrs Stevenson, food tech...
How did Pauline get up there? Because on this one she's down here
and then, rather unsurprisingly, on the middle one
she's in the middle.
So how has she...? Yeah.
-I'm in the same place on all of them!
-No, you're not.
Well, yes, you are, but does that really matter, Val?
Well, I'm the same!
Yeah, you've got the same husband, who likes you the same.
-Roger, Roger, this is my career, this is my life.
You're consistent, reliable, with a strikingly similar hairstyle.
Yeah, but look, look, if Pauline's journey continues,
on the next tea towel, she's going to be the deputy head!
There's just one problem with that.
Look at Pauline's portrait - it's expertly drawn,
but ultimately it's undignified.
The deputy head is a serious job. Look at the head's portrait.
Yeah, two eyes, nose, mouth, it's generic.
-Pam Bagnall, top of the shortlist...
Roger, what if I draw glasses on myself?
Yeah, yeah, because you can just be too modest.
-..there's Pam and there's you-ou.
-The unexpected challenger in a pair of glasses.
I'm not the same, though.
I have applied for a deputy headship.
Yep. Here's to the win double, babe.
Yeah, that's travelled quite well, actually, Val.
When you rang the bell, I thought it was more surprise guests.
I didn't ring the bell.
Well, somebody did.
Oh, delicious! Oh, and you're right, we need a holiday.
Oh, yeah, even a long weekend. We'll fly off tonight.
-Oh, don't, Val.
-It's bank holiday on Monday as well.
Is it? What date is it on Monday?
Er... The first?
Well, we're OK with the mortgage, then?
Er... Yeah, I think so. I'll check it tomorrow.
Yeah, well, if it's bank holiday, Val,
they might take it in overnight tonight.
-So are we OK, then?
-No, they'll take it on Monday.
I can't remember which way they do it, but it's unfair.
Well, whichever way they do it, don't you check it, cos I'm checking it.
-No, I'll do it.
-No, don't, because it'll just wind you up.
-How will it wind me up?
-I'm better at looking it in the face.
I'm fine, I've got my job back.
Yeah, but I want to do it, because I know how I've done things.
-I'll do it.
Look, I've kept this from you,
because you've been fighting your tribunal,
but I'm telling you now, we're well into the flexi-loan.
I tried to extend our overdraft,
but they refused because of the drop in income.
-Oh, Val, it's fine.
-No, it's not, Roger.
We're going to leave that bank the minute we're back in credit,
because they've been absolutely horrible.
It's as if they don't want to help us out.
Our capitalist masters kicking us poor bastards when we're down?
-Oh, yeah, hang on, it's called a bank.
Roger, Roger, I'm going to do the sauce now,
but I'm not going to do the usual swirl.
I'm going to do a V for victory.
Well, don't do another V here.
Do an R, cos then we'll have V and R.
Val and Roger.
Oh, I don't know if I can an R, Rog. Rs are hard.
Do a lower case R,
and if you feel when you get to the curve that you're doing well,
just carry on and make a capital.
V for vindicated.
V for verdict.
R for reintegrated return to work. Brilliant.
So how do they compare with modern-day pans?
Well, no, 19 years ago, they had Teflon, just the same.
But I like that. Makes me think it's not that long ago.
It honours our son.
And I'm absolutely certain this is going to be absolutely delicious...
HE SLURPS LOUDLY
HE MUNCHES NOISILY
-The wine's an exquisite choice.
Refresh my glass, actually.
It was on Saturday Kitchen.
They went to a wine warehouse in Stevenage.
Recommended it for fish.
Yes, we've always found their recommendations to be excellent.
I don't know what it is about the dining room, do you?
It's just the way you're speaking, Roger, sounds...quite formal?
Well, one hopes that one...
No, that's ridiculous. Yes, why am I speaking like this?
Cos you're on that bicycle now
and you're speeding downhill with the pedals spinning.
Odd to be so formal suddenly with one's wife.
My comment about the wine, for example.
You'd never have said that if we were in the kitchen.
-You'd have said, "This is gorgeous, Val. Top us up."
-Yes, I was official. There's no doubt.
-It's cos we're in the dining room.
-Yes, and normally when we're in here, it's with other people.
Yes, so you're not hearing someone's eating raised up and isolated,
put on a platform in a spotlight.
Right, sorry, is that how you feel I ate?
No, it's just a normal man shouldn't be amplified to sound like a horse.
Roger, it's the acoustics, it's not you.
Well done, Rog.
Dining room...there is a role for its formality.
I mean, it is the traditional place where one reads a will
or makes an announcement.
Chances are you're sitting at the dining room table.
-Would you rather go into the kitchen for the main course?
I hadn't planned this
because I didn't know we were going to be in the dining room tonight,
but there's something I need...
I have an announcement.
This is really a really delicious meal.
Are you announcing that you like the meal?
No, no, no.
-No, I'm not making myself very clear.
W-Well, there's something that I-I have to say. I-I need to.
My-my tribunal is very complex.
One of its heads...of the multi-headed beast it became...
..is Jean Duggan.
I haven't been entirely truthful with you about Jean Duggan.
Jean, your pensioner stalker?
Yup, I thought it was unlikely.
She's not a stalker.
And answer me this, Roger Stevenson, is she a pensioner or not?
Oh, no. No, no, no, no.
No, I have not been remiss in any way.
-She saw me in the paper because of the tribunal.
Oh, the spaghetti!
Ooh, Rog, I've burnt myself now,
because I'm not used to these awful pans.
-OK, here we go.
-Oh, God, that hurts!
Put that in there. That's it. Good, OK.
Come and sit at the kitchen table.
Good, OK. Hang on.
The advantage of having a botanist husband.
-Can you get my drink for me, Rog?
Still got my pint.
What a great idea that was.
What is it, Roger?
Jean's husband, Vic, has died.
Vic was a painter and decorator
and he had a bad back, which was the source of my liaison with Jean.
How well did you know these people?
I was a student, obviously.
My parents had given me a Pringle jumper to go away with,
which I was never going to wear, so I...I gave it to Vic
because he sometimes met with his clients at a golf club.
I don't understand. So you know them really well?
No, I don't.
I haven't seen her for 31 years.
She's got spondylitis.
I didn't ask. It sounded too painful.
How did you come to meet up with her again?
She came here.
-She's been in this house?
-No, she has not been in this house, not at all.
She has been outside of this house, and that is all.
I don't believe you.
She has been outside of this house.
-What do you mean?
Earlier she was at the door, rang the doorbell.
-No-one's rung on the doorbell.
-Yes, they have.
You were out getting the pint.
I thought it was more surprise guests, so I left it.
What are you trying to tell me, Roger?
..that the other time that she was outside of the house
was the night we came back from the wedding the other week.
She was standing at the end of the drive.
I didn't know who it was,
so I went out, and, um...
..she said to me,
"You won't remember me,"
but I managed to hack through the years
and I recognised her features.
And, er, she-she said to me...
She said that she'd left a note
and she told me what was in the note,
and I came back in.
Is this what's been wrong with you?
I have a 31-year-old son called Liam...
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