Classic comedy. Albert and Harold plan a Christmas abroad - in their own inimitable style.
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Oh, hello. Won't be long, nearly finished. Looks nice, doesn't it?
Oh, it's a veritable fairyland(!)
I was transported to another world for a minute.
I can hardly contain my gasps of wonder and amazement -
I recall the splendour of Versailles during the reign of the Sun King(!)
Are you taking the Arthur Bliss?
No, no, no. Really, it is quite magnificent.
I... It's like Disneyland, a scene from Cinderella.
I closes my eyes, I see the little fairy come through the window, leaving a trail of stardust.
# When you wished upon a star
# Makes no difference who you are, aa...
# ..aahaha aahaha aahahaa... #
Geddit all down.
-What's wrong with it?
-Tat! That's what - tat!
You've put up the same rubbish since I was five.
The whole thing is pathetic.
If I left it to YOU, we... we wouldn't have any decorations.
No point decorating this rathole.
Like trying to grow daffodils on the dungheap outside!
One cannot disguise this sordidness with a few coloured strips of paper.
Well, it's only once a year...
The rest of the year you never touch the place.
Takes a bleedin' excavation to find the floor!
But at Christmas, out comes your little hammer - bang, bang!
# Heigh ho, off to work we go... #
Oh, sod yer then!
Down, down, down!
-Well, is that better? Does that suit you?
Good, cos that's me finished. That's my Christmas over.
No more! Cook your own dinner, crack your own nuts, pull your own crackers!
You're not getting any more from me!
You're on your own, enjoy yourself!
cos I won't be here.
What did you say?
-I said I won't be here.
-Why? Where are you going?
I haven't quite made up my mind, but as long as it's not this place.
You do this every year!
I know, and every year you prevail, and I spend Christmas in this hole.
Well, NOT this year. I'm going...anywhere!
We always have a good time.
-Well, you can watch the telly.
I don't want to. I watch the telly every Christmas, every day for three solid days!
Watching telly's the same as eating and drinking -
one does it cos one is bored... with Christmas.
All you get on telly is Christmas stuffed down your cakehole!
They all do something special.
There'll be Z-Cars with holly stuck in their helmets...
investigating a special Christmas crime -
someone found up an alley, battered to death with a Christmas pudding!
It'll be Christmas Cilla, Christmas Lulu and a Christmas Muggeridge.
And Cliff Richard'll be singing "Ave Maria"
with the Younger Generation, done up in habits...
..split to the crutch of course!
Christmas Coronation Street will be a party at the Rover's Return.
Albert Tatlock tries to have it away with Minnie Caldwell in the cellar!
Not any more! I'm not going through that!
Well, I enjoy it.
I like telly, all them stars giving up their Christmas to entertain us.
They don't give up their Christmas.
All them programmes is recorded in October!
At Christmas, they're away sunning themselves in the South of France.
And we're sat here, freezing, watching 'em.
Oh, you're so simple.
Don't like going away at Christmas.
-You'll have to stay here.
-I don't like being alone.
Come with me then. You won't talk me out of it.
Have your heart attacks - "Aargh!". It won't make no difference.
I don't think I'd enjoy it, Harold.
You never know till you try it. Go on, give it a go!
Do something different for once in your life...go mad!
Can we afford to go away?
Of course. I've been totting it up.
We've got £3 in the bank, £7 in the building society...
..and we have got seventy nine pounds eighty in the swear box!
You're NOT 'aving that, it's mine!
-No, it's not. YOU did the swearing, but
-had to listen - it's mine.
It's not a savings bank, it's a penalty - 10p per swear.
If you think you're going away with my bleedin' £79.80,
-you've got another think coming!
That's two bleedings at 10p per time.
I make it a round eighty quid!
Thank you, woof woof, thank you.
Plus a "sod you then", when you pulled the decorations down.
Another 10p, please.
Yeah! There should be enough here for a nice Christmas package for two.
You rotten little...
Yeah, yeah, go on! Morefortheswearbox.
Heh heh! Any more? No?
Sit, sit. Good girl.
The world is our oyster.
-I don't like oysters.
-Shutup!Now, let's see.
Oh. Here, where do you fancy?
Do you want to spend your Christmas eating turkey in the Canaries?
Perhaps you'd like to eat canaries in Turkey!
The whole world to choose from, it's all there - poundstretchers to Paradise.
Where do you fancy?
Let's see. No, I don't think British Airways still runs a jumbo jet service to Bognor!
If I can't stay here, it's Bognor!
Mrs Boxwood's boarding house, right on the front, lovely rooms -
bathroom on every landing.
-How'd you know? You was only there two weeks.
-Smashin' it was.
And her grub! Cor, she don't 'alf give you a plateful!
She gives you a MOUTHFUL if you're late!
What's wrong with half past ten? What can you do after half past ten?
Exactly! In this country, nothing!
I wanna go abroad, get a bit of the old currant bun on me bones.
-There's currant bun in Bognor.
-Not in December! Brrr.
No, I want proper sun - all day long.
I don't want to spend Christmas dragging myself along the seafront, in a gale, holding onto the railings!
Well, what then?
We'll look at these. There's lots to choose from.
Here, how do you fancy...Acapulco?
Nobody's sticking no needles in me!
You are the stupidest little...mmm...
..I've ever met in my life!
Acapulco is in Mexico.
Oh, it's swinging there, Dad. That's where Frank Sinatra goes.
-Oh, those bronzed, lithe bodies... in their bikinis...
Laying out on the swimming pool, on your lilo, having your drinks floated out to you...
I bet a quart of brown ale wouldn't float very far.
I'm talking about Acapulco. You ain't gonna get brown ale floating about on THEIR swimming pools.
That's the drink down there.
Salt round the edge of the glass, and a twist of lemon over the side.
Lemon and salt!
You'd shrink me mouth. I wouldn't be able to get me teeth back in!
You're so plebeian!
That's a swearword.
No, it's not.
It means a member of the lower order of society - class five.
What the... do you think you are then?
If I've got decent clobber on, I'm quite classless.
I mean - providing I don't open my mouth - I could pass for anybody.
So, we can give Acapulco the elbow?
Yeah. It's too much money, anyway.
Kenya. Oh, that's nice.
We can go on safari - big game hunting.
I can do that up in me bed.
You're not being very helpful, are you?
You're so full of big ideas, aren't you?
I don't know where you get 'em.
I never went to them places. Hop-picking was as far as I got.
I had to work. I worked harder on me holidays than I did here.
Me fingers were green for a fortnight after!
Yeah? Well I want my bum brown for a fortnight when I get home.
But...I...I..admit that Acapulco and Kenya may be a trifle ambitious.
We could certainly go anywhere in Europe. How about France?
Four days, 40 quid! We can manage that.
I spent Christmas in France, twice -
during the First World War. Horrible place.
Full of holes and mud.
Not now it ain't! It's not like that all the time.
After you lot finished, they filled 'em in.
I don't want to go there. It'd bring back too many bad memories.
I don't mean northern France, I mean the Riviera or the Alps. Oh...
Christmas in the snow.
Ah, those little ski villages nestling against the mountainside.
The clean air, the blue skies, the sun...
-The broken legs...
No fear! We're not going skiing.
We're going for parties and apres-ski. You've heard about that?
Hot drinks in front of a log fire. Chatting up birds from all over Europe -
I'll wear that red sweater. I'll pretend to be a ski instructor, and I've pulled me hamstring...
It's the only thing you will pull!
What's gonna happen to me while all this is going on?
We'll find you someone - a rich old boot from Bavaria!
All the old men, slaving away in the car factories, bung the old women up in the mountains. You'll be quids in.
Oooh! We can pretend that you are an English lord.
POSH ACCENT: You've gorn up there to purchase a chateau to avoid wealth tax.
"Woof woof." Down,boy! It's not a tax collector, just a Swiss peasant.
You live in a dream world, you do.
Well, it's better than this place.
Dad, we'll be the centre of interest.
When they find out we're English we will be!
They'll be waiting to see what tour-firm has collapsed.
It's a joke to be British abroad these days.
No. Let's go to Bognor, we'll be all right there - we're all they've got!
We're NOT going to Bognor!
We don't have to be British.
We can be...Australian.
You can do an Australian accent - it's easy.
"Hello there, Sheila. You little beaut.
"Just shootin' through Europe before I get back to the old sheep station."
"Woof woof!" Shut your face...
"D'ya fancy getting your hands on a lager. I've got a case of Fosters up in the bedroom, know what I mean."
Waw! They'll never tumble!
If you think I'm gonna talk like that, you're mistaken. I'm British and proud of it.
Well, there must be somewhere we're welcome.
Holland! They likes us.
You can't ski there, you'd never get the speed up!
Flat as a witch's tit, it is there.
But they go skating on their canals.
We can skate on OUR canal out there.
You can't rely on it! When was the last time the canal froze over?
It's not the same. In Amsterdam you don't have to jump over old mattresses and bike frames!
I am NOT pretending to be an It... an Australian.
Scottish then - all that oil coming ashore under your heather-clad land.
-I can't do a Scottish accent.
-Aw, do what ya bleedin' like then!
BELL PINGS I don't know why I bother.
Neither do I.
Let's stay here.
All these lovely places to choose from. There must be somewhere what you fancy...
The Black Sea.
Don't be so daft!
It's not really black.
It might be though, if you go swimming in it!
-I hear it's very nice there.
-Where is it?
In the Crimea. Here you are...
Four days at the Workers' Palace Hotel, 43 quid.
-I daren't go back to Russia.
-Get out of here, you've never been!
Don't tell me you was Isadora Duncan's dancing partner?!
A secret agent!
003 and a half! The Mighty Midget! The smallest spy in the West...
..sent out there to photograph the secret Russian junkyard (!)
They couldn't catch him - the Scarlet Pimple!
They seek him here, they seek him there,
Joe Stalin seeks him everywhere.
Untraceable in the snowy wastes...aooooh...
..because his head never come above his footprints(!)
I've bin there, in a British expeditionary force to Archangel.
I was helping put down the Bol-SHAVE-iks - fighting for me country!
Fighting against the WORKERS.
You're a traitor to your class.
I'm not a worker!
I daren't go back there. If they found out I fought them, they'd put me up against a wall and shoot me!
I'll go and book the ticket.
I'm NOT going behind the iron curtain!
I'm not giving no money to no Communists so they take us all over.
Oh yeah! Your £43 is gonna buy quite a few ballistic missiles (!)
Every little helps.
I am NOT going!
Sweden and Denmark!
-Oh, you'd like Denmark.
They have live sex shows out there.
-Oh, they do.
You mean they actually...?
..On the stage?!
Not over Christmas, surely?
Of course they do!
It's their equivalent of pantomime.
They do the same stories as us.
They do Cinderella...
spelled with an S.
Buttons isn't in it.
It takes too long to undo (!)
Jack and the Beanstalk.
Puss In KINKY Boots!
You're having me on.
Oh dear! Where do you want to go?
I'm not going anywhere dirty - not over Christmas. I want somewhere clean, wholesome and respectable.
How about four days in a launderette in Cheltenham?
Honestly! You make me laugh, you do!
People falling over themselves to get away! All these places to choose from. You're so XENOPHOBIC!
I AM NOT! I just don't like foreigners!
-Where do you wanna go then?
-I don't mind.
You can't have nothin' against them. They never done no harm to anybody!
-Why? If you say you don't like sprouts, I'll kill you!
I can't go to Brussels.
The police are still looking for me.
They'll still be looking for you?
Oh yes. They'll never forgive me.
The army had to smuggle me out.
I'm persona non grata.
I know this is silly.
-What did you do?
..you know that statue there of the little boy having a Jimmy riddle?
-The Maneken Pis.
-Yeah, that's him.
Well, it's a tradition that all regiments out there
present him with a suit of clothes.
Well, our regiment had a big parade in front of the statue.
There was our commanding officer,
the King of Belgium, and the Lord Mayor of Brussels.
Go on. What did you do?
-It was only a joke...
-Ha ha, what did you do?
-I didn't mean anything.
WHAT did you DO?!
I turned on the little boy's water pressure full -
knocked the mayor's hat off.
No, I can't go back there.
Where do you wanna go?
-I don't mind.
-Oh, for GOD'S SAKE!
I'm gonna choose. Ccome if you wanna, or stay here!
I'm gonna have these brochures out all over the table.
I closes my eyes and I choose one at random...
IN TOMMY COOPER VOICE: ..just like that!
Switzerland? Got anything against that? And don't tell me the International Red Cross is after you.
No, I can go there, that's all right
-That's settled then?
-Christmas in Switzerland?
Thank gawd! It's taken as long to decide as it will to get there!
Eh? What do you mean? We're not flying?!
No, we're swimming (!)
Of course we're flying.
Oh no, Harold. I can't fly. I'm too old.
You don't have to pilot, you just sit there!
You can say what you like. I'm NOT flying!
OK, we'll go by train and boat.
Not by boat in this weather, I'll be sick.
No, let's go to Bognor?
I'M NOT going to Bognor!
I'm going to Switzerland by night ferry. You don't even know you're at sea cos you're on the train asleep!
The train goes on the boat?!
Of course it does!
-It'll be too heavy, it'll sink!
-No, it won't sink!
You will be lying...on your bunk...
..on the train...on the boat.. spark out.
How can you be sure?
Cos I'm absolutely certain that before the train reaches Dover,
I'll 'ave belted you one!
Christmas in Switzerland?
...I s'pose so.
Er...where's your passport?
Haven't got one.
Why have we been sitting here talking about going abroad then?
I 'aven't. You 'ave. I want to go to Bognor.
WE'RE NOT GOING TO BOGNOR!
Oh, we'll have to get you an emergency passport.
Now, I shall need a photograph and your birth certificate.
Where's your birth certificate?
With my medals.
Where's your medals?
-With me marriage certificate.
-With me insurance policy.
-Where's your insurance policy?
I've lost it.
I'm gonna bop you one before we even get to Victoria!
Where did you last see it?
Under the goldfish bowl.
Then, when the Blitz started, I put it somewhere safe.
Did you hear that, Charlie? He put it somewhere safe.
Have you seen it, Charlie?
Somewhere safe...in 'ere.
That's very reasonable(!)
-"I can't remember..."
Naturally. It won't be up in the attic, that's not safe, even today!
We ain't got a cellar.
Wait a minute. Where did we used to go during the bombing in the Blitz.
-Down the pub.
No, no. YOU used to go down the pub. Where did you use to put me?
-Under the stairs.
-That's it, under the stairs.
Every night, alone. That's another thing I've never forgiven you for.
Safest place. You always saw the stairs left standing!
Exactly! I suggest that's the first place we look.
SHOUTS FURIOUSLY You could clean this place up occasionally...
..it's like Rimmington Place in there!
Get in there.
It's dark, Harold.
Yeah...It was during the war as well.
In you go.
I don't wanna, we don't know what's in there.
It might be treasures untold.
'Ere! Think of yourself as a new Lord Cardigan -
opening the tomb of Tutankhamen.
-Go on, get in!
-No, I don't want to.
-I don't wanna.
-Get away, get away!
What is it?!
There might be mice in there.
What do you want - a whip? Go on, get in!
-Be careful of of those spitting vipers, Carruthers.
-Oh, get stuffed!
Have you broken through to the inner tomb yet?
Oh! Beyond my wildest dreams(!)
Thank God, the tomb robbers didn't get there before us(!)
Oh! I don't believe it...
..it's the King's leg(!)
Find the rest of him and we'll display him at the British Museum.
Hello, hello, hello.
What have we here?
"Ministry of Food ration book."
What strange annotations -
eggs, meat, points. What can it mean?
If only we had the Rosetta Stone - we could interpret.
It must be religious.
I'll crack this code, Carruthers!
Oh! My number 9 bus!
I used to play with this for hours in there.
Vrooom, ding ding, ding ding.
I always wanted to be a conductor, ha ha!
"No standing on top. Move along the car, please.
"One two three four five. You OFF!
"There'll be another one along in a minute. Ding ding!
"Last bus for the depot."
-What are you doin' out there, you stupid great kid?
Nuffin'. I was just...
-You found them yet?
Go on, get back in there!
They're not here. Let's forget it, Harold. Let's go to Bognor.
We're NOT going there! Get in, and find them!
I've found 'em!
All right. You can come out then.
They're in 'ere.
"Six and seven eighths."
Couldn't afford the rest of the uniform.
Scrubs Lane Elementary School.
"Know thy place and be grateful."
What a con trick!
-Wireless Receiving Licence, 1938...
-It's out of date.
Never mind, it's the most up-to-date one we've got.
Skinners Arms Christmas Club,
Sixpence a week - drawn out February.
That must have been a good Christmas!
Ah, the birth certificate. All the sordid details.
-Give us that, that's mine, nothing to do...
-'ello, 'ello. What is he trying to hide?
"26th of September...
So that's it. That's what the mood's about.
You're older than you said you was. You told me you were 72 and you lied about your age to get in the army.
-Yeah! Give us it 'ere.
-Wait. "Where born - 23, Old Drum Lane." Yeah.
"Name - Albert Ladysmith Steptoe." Yeah, that's right.
You, a boy?! I can't even imagine you as a baby. Bet you've looked like that since birth!
"Mother's name - Victoria Alexandra Steptoe." What a nice name...
-Give it 'ere...
-"Occupation - domestic servant."
I don't believe it!
Unknown... hee hee hee...
Well, now you know.
Yeah, but YOU don't!
My father is a....ooh...
..I'll owe it one!
My father IS a...
Why didn't you tell me before?
-Couldn't you trust me? I'm your son.
Did you think I'd run away from home? Why didn't you tell me?
Why should I tell you? Why should I tell anyone? Wasn't my fault, nobody asked me!
Yeah, but the lies and the pretence!
You told me your father started this firm - Steptoe and Son.
It WAS Steptoe and Son.
You never said it was MRS Steptoe and Son!
I feel strangely let down.
And another thing...
That's my granny, your mother.
Who's that? Who have I been calling Grandad all these years?
Come on! Who is it?!
-Well, if you must know...
That's just typical, isn't it?! Gladstone!
I had to put up someone.
It shows what a bighead you are!
You couldn't put up any old dogsbody. Oh no, it has to be a prime minister!
Like me putting up Winston Churchill.
-Well, you didn't have to, did you?
You've got a father.
I'd rather haveWinstonChurchill.
I've had blood,sweatandtears foryears.
Not the kind of thing you'd shout about - not in them days.
It was a disgrace to be born out of wedlock. Not like today!
All these actresses having dixie lids all over and boasting about it!
To be born a child of love in 1899 was a stigma.
I never thought of you as a child of love.
you... haven't got the face for it.
Surely your mother must've known who your father was?
I don't know, she never let on.
She used to say "Daddy's gone to meet the angels."
Wonder who he was...
Where did she work?
Belgrave Square. Lord and Lady...somebody or other.
I bet it was 'im!
You could be the son of a Lord!
No, it's possible.
The aristocracy were always doing that - putting domestics up the duff!
No, it was. It was part of the perks in them days.
That's why she got her money, to keep her quiet.
Let's have a look at you. Yeah, yes - it's possible.
Aristocratic conk. 'Ere, that's a good chin -
when you've got yer teeth in.
Ah, there's breeding in there.
I could be the grandson of a lord.
Hey, we could be related to Royalty...or something.
Hey, it's possible.
Nah, I don't think so, Harold.
It sounds nice, but I don't think so.
How do you know?
Well, I don't.
But, I remember when I was 10 year old...
...Mum didn't half cry when the muffin man died.
They'd go round with their trays, and when it rained they'd go into somebody's kitchen for a cup of tea.
To stop their muffins getting wet?!
That's right. I think it was the muffin man.
Yeah, I s'pose you're right.
Now I think of it, your head is a bit flat on the top.
Oh well, there's another bubble pricked.
I don't think it'll stop you getting a passport.
No, no. They let anybody go abroad these days.
I'm looking forward to it. Now it's come out, it's a weight off me mind.
We might get to know each other a bit better, if we've no secrets.
We're going to have a good time, aren't we, Harold?
Yeah, yeah...of course we are.
Tell you what, you sit there.
I'll take your photo for the passport.
Right, sit there, just head and shoulders, it won't hurt.
Right, 'ere we go.
Oh yes, yes.
Just hold there, that's perfect.
Move a bit further in... take the cigar out...eeeh!
I'm so sorry.
And again. Now SIT still.
Do you want me teeth in or out?
Leave 'em in, or you'll frighten the man to death when he opens it.
Oh, gawd, look...
This is a passport picture, not a fan photo!
Just give us your normal blank expression.
Right, hold it... SHUTTER CLICKS
# My old man's a dum-dum
# Fought in the Battle of Mons
# He killed 10,000 Germans with only 15 bombs
# Some lay here, some lay there, some lay round the corner
# And one poor soul with a bullet up his... #
It's all right, relax.
Relax! Now it's all over.
Here you are.
Look at that.
That's what happens when a muffin man has a bit of crumpet!
I think I'll take one of the skeleton,
they'll never know the difference.
Come on, Harold! Look at the time. We should have left earlier.
It'll be OK. Don't worry.
-You've time. British national?
Listen, mate - The last time I was on this station I had a rifle, on me way to Mons.
-Fifteen I was, I lied about me age...
-Oh gawd, Dad....
I see, sir. Passport, please.
It's brand new. It says without let or hindrance and that includes you!
Have a good Christmas, sir.
I will! I'm going to Switzerland, mate.
Blue skies, snow, sun. Better than this poxy weather you'll be getting!
I hope you enjoy yourself.
I will, don't you worry.
-Come ON, Harold!
This passport, sir. It's a year out of date.
No, it can't be.
Date of expiry - October the 23rd 1973.
-Come on, Harold!!
-My passport's out of date!
You dozy great pillock! Bung 'im a quid.
It's through worrying about you!
Don't blame me, it's not my fault!
Go on, sir. You'll miss the train.
Oh yeah... See you after Christmas, Harold.
Aah..I shouldn't go if I were you, sir.
-You can't go without me!
There's no food in the house. No point in wasting two tickets.
It's only four days.
You selfish little...
..your birth certificate was right!
I must be off. See you when I get back.
You'll be OK. They'll feed you down at the pub. Put it on the slate.
Merry Christmas, sir.
It worked! It worked!
We're on our own at last.
Bognor, here we come!
Subtitles by Fiona Crockatt - BBC 1995 -