Toast (2010) - full transcript

Wolverhampton,1967: nine year old Nigel Slater loves his mother though she is a hopeless cook, her finest offering being toast whilst he has great culinary aspirations. When she dies of asthma Nigel is left with a distant father but worse is to come when the 'common' Mrs. Joan Potter arrives as the Slaters' cleaner. Nigel fears, rightly, that her aim is to be the next Mrs. Slater and soon he has a new stepmother and is whisked away to the country. Joan is, however, a superb cook but this only makes for rivalry as Nigel, the only boy in his cookery class at secondary school, competes with her to find the way to his father's heart. A weekend job in a pub kitchen introduces Nigel to an older boy, another great cook and gay like himself, who gives him the confidence and inspiration to leave home after his father's death and head for the hotel kitchens of London.

[# Dusty Springfield:
He's Got Something]

# He's got something
I don't know what

# But it's grand

# I can feel it
each time he touches my hand

# When we walk

# When we talk

# Yeah, I feel so fine

# He's got something

# And it's mine, all mine

# He's got something
I feel it each time we kiss

# Oh, yeah

# And he thrills me
each time he holds me like this

# When we part

# Breaks my heart...

- What about a pork pie, Mum?
- Certainly not, Nigel.

Pork pies are common.

- What about some fresh cheese, then?
- Don't be silly.

You don't know where it's been.

- I'll have some nice Dairylea slices.
- Right you are.

[Nigel] My mother was always averse
to fresh produce.

I'm Nigel, I'm nine years old

and I've never had a vegetable
that didn't come in a tin.

- Thank you, Mrs Slater.
- Come on, Nigel.

Come on!
What on earth have you been doing?

Come on.

It must have been the lack of nutrients
that gave my father his fiery temper.

He was not a sweet man,
despite a very sweet tooth.

Not like that, man!

My mother's sweet nature
made up for her inability to cook,

or even make a sandwich.

When you're deprived of something,

it just makes you
all the more hungry for it.

Can we make the cake, then?

If we have to.

[Mrs Slater] What does that say?

I can't even read this. Right, flour.

16 ounces.


I think that's enough.

Oh, yes, sieve it.

And some butter.



Oh, dear. Daddy'll be pleased.

Mum, let me do it.

[Mrs Slater] Shh. Listen.

[Timer rings]

Don't worry.
We'll cheer it up with a little icing.

It's not too bad.


Mum, the dinner!

[Nigel] They're all burnt.

I think I'd better make some toast.

No matter how bad things get,

it's impossible not to love someone
who made you toast.

Once you've bitten through that crusty
surface to the soft dough underneath

and tasted the warm, salty butter,
you're lost forever.

More tea, anyone?


[Nigel moans]

[Moaning continues]

- What you doing?
- [Gasps]

- Nothing.
- Go to sleep, young man.




Right, I'm off.

Don't suppose there's anything
wrong with him, do you?

There you go.
And was it a pound of streaky bacon?

Yes, please.

- There you go, Mrs Patten.
- Thank you.

- Yes, Mr Salt?
- A pound of Caerphilly, please.


- Anything else I can get you?
- Some raspberries, please.

- Right you are.
- [Motorbike engine revs]

Hi, Nige.

Let's get to work, then.

- What are you doing?
- Making compost.

What's compost?

Sort of nature's way
of melting everything together.

Come here. Give us your hand.

Right, feel that.

- It's hot.
- Cool, eh?

Everything breaking down
lets all the goodness out.

That's what I love about gardens.

- What?
- They're alive.

- How do you mean, alive?
- Come here.


Right now, there's 100,000 biological
reactions going on all around us.

Thousands of new things being born.

All these smells and tastes.

No wonder it's an assault on the senses.

That's what nature's all about,
ain't it?

- What?
- Get on.

Right, smell this.

Know what that's called?

Go on. Have a guess.

I don't know.

Well, what does it make you think of?

Parma Violets?

- Pleasure.
- Pleasure?

Yeah. Cool, eh?

Can you really eat them like that?
Aren't they dirty?

There's plenty of things they'll tell
you is dirty that won't do you any harm.

In fact, most of them's good for you
in my opinion.

- Such as?
- Gardening.

[Nigel] What do they taste like?

You won't know unless you try.

Please yourself.

[Mrs Slater] Nigel!

Nigel, come on.

A tin of braised beef,
a tin of sponge pudding

and a tin of mixed veg, please.

Can we have spaghetti bolognese?

- I beg your pardon, Nigel?
- Spaghetti bolognese.

It's from Italy.
The sauce comes in a tin.

I wouldn't know
how to cook such a thing.

I'll show you.

Are you sure this is a good idea?

You have to put it in the pan.

- What on earth's this?
- It's spaghetti bolognese.

- It's Italian.
- Italian?

What the hell's wrong with you, Nigel?
It's rock hard.

It isn't cooked yet.

Stupid idea if you ask me.

See? I told you it wouldn't fit.

- What the hell's this?
- Cheese.

Percy Salt said you have to put it on
or it doesn't work.

- Smells like sick.
- Alan.

I don't think so.

[Mr Slater] Here.

Here goes.

Mmm! It's delicious.

You twiddle it round.

I think it's off.

Nigel, get Mum's bag.

Get Mum's bag!

Well, come on, Nigel!

Stupid boy! Oh, come on.

I think I'd better make some toast.

- [Boy] I think she's pregnant.
- Pregnant?

- It's to do with her breathing.
- Breathlessness, nausea.

I'm telling you,
it's the same as my mum.

Sick all the time for no reason,
picky with food.

Nine months later, "Hello!"
Out pops our Julie.

- How do you think she got pregnant?
- For Pete's sake, Nigel.

I don't think they've had...
[whispers] sex... for years.

You'd be surprised.

Oh, milk. I think I'm gonna throw up.

Hey, I'll have it
if you're not gonna drink it.

- What's it worth?
- I'll show you me knickers.

- I'd let you see my willy.
- What?

And if you give me your puddings,
I'll give you a feel.

Well, actually, I go home for dinners.

Well, just bear it in mind
for the future.

Here. You can have it for nowt.

The offer's there, Nigel.


[Nigel] Josh, how can you tell
if someone's pregnant?

You ain't been messing about
with someone, have you?

Not me. Me mam.

- Your mam.
- She keeps getting sick all the time.

Well, she doesn't look
very pregnant, Nige.

I hope not.

What's wrong
with being pregnant anyways?

I'm scared that...

...if she goes into hospital,
I'll have to be looked after by my dad.

[Distant thunder rumbles]

[Rain falls]

Oh, no. I'd better go inside.

Why? I love it when it rains
in the summer.

Anyway, what's the matter with your dad?

- I don't think he likes me.
- Don't be daft. What's not to like?

I think he thinks
there's something wrong with me.

[Loud clap of thunder]

You daft bugger.
Come on. Come on, Nige.

Put that on till these dry.

There's nothing wrong with you, Nigel.

Everything's gonna be OK.


I love a pork pie, me.

[Mr Slater] Hurry up, Nigel!

Oh, come on, come on!

[Engine revs]


Are we nearly there yet?

Nigel, we haven't even left
Wolverhampton yet.

Do we have to go to Penarth?

It's very good for the air.

Just try to enjoy yourself, Nigel.
For your mother's sake.

There's nothing to do in Penarth.

Nonsense. It's the premier resort
on the Welsh coast.

[Clap of thunder]

[Mr Slater] Could be worse.
They say it's going to pick up tomorrow.

Oh, struth.

[Singing and guitar music]

[Mr Slater] Come on, Nigel. Nigel!

Sit up, Nigel. Tomato, anybody?

[Mrs Slater] You don't have to have
salad cream if you don't want it.

Do I have to have ham?

Course you bloody well have to have ham.
You're on holiday.

- Nigel, you like ham.
- I know I like ham.

I just don't like the jelly.
Can't we go and get fish and chips?

Look, just eat, for God's sake.
For your mother.

[Mr Slater] Look at that.
Absolutely disgusting.

Letting a child
run around naked like that.

- I don't see anything wrong with it.
- Don't be stupid, Nigel.

- Loads of people go around naked.
- Don't be ridiculous.

- Who have you seen naked?
- Josh.

- Josh?
- Oh, my God!

He was only getting changed.

Has Josh ever...
Has he ever touched you...

- Alan, Alan.
- Of course he hasn't.

Just eat your ham, Nigel.
We'll forget the whole thing.

[Woman] Whee! Whee!

[Mr Slater] I'm gonna have a word
with those parents.

Alan, calm down.

Oh, for Pete's sake!

Oh, come back here,
you stupid, ignorant boy!


Oh, for Pete's sake.

[Band plays If You Go Away]

Mum, can I ask you a question?
You're not pregnant, are you?

What on earth makes you ask that?

You keep doing all that heavy breathing.

It's my lungs, Nigel.

I'm not going to be very well,
maybe for quite a long time.

But you'll be all right by Christmas,
won't you?

I don't know, Nigel.

But you'll still teach me
how to make mince pies, won't you?

Course I will.


I promise.

Just because there's something wrong
with her lungs

doesn't mean to say she's not pregnant.

- What about Parma Violets?
- Don't be stupid.

They're for old people. Anyway,
I'm not interested in your opinion.

I'm gonna ask Josh about it.

- How about some Love Hearts?
- Piss off! They're for girls.

You fancy that gardener, don't you?

What about some Pascall's
oblong fruit bonbons?

Honestly? They'll put you
in a retirement home.

And, no, I don't. I'm just interested
in gardening, that's all.

Are you bollocks!

All you've ever planted
is a row of radishes.

Anyway, re your mum,
the jury's out in my opinion.

What about barley sugars?

We're not getting barley sugars, Warrel.
We're not going in a car.

I'll buy a packet of Refreshers
and a quart of chocolate limes

so we can burn our tongues.

Yes, boys?

A quart of chocolate limes
and a packet of Refreshers, please.

Oh, and a pork pie.

What's the pork pie for?

[Car approaches]

[Car door slams]

- Who are you?
- I'm the new gardener. Who are you?

- Where's Josh?
- I don't know.

I was just told to come down here
twice a week from now on.

Well, would you like half a pork pie?

- I bought it myself.
- No.

Dad, what have you done to Josh?

I haven't done anything to Josh.

Joshua doesn't work for us any more.

We have a new gardener, Mr Waterford.

- Josh was my friend.
- Joshua is not your friend.

Now, I want you to put Joshua
right out of your mind!

Ow! And I don't want you
to ever mention his name again.

Now, I want you
to take this up to your mother.

I hate you.

I'm warning you, Nigel.
Now, take this up to your mother.

And whatever you do, don't disturb her.

Thank you.

[Laboured breathing]


Dad! Dad!

I told you not to disturb her!

Come on. Let's have a crumpet.

She's not going to be better
for Christmas, is she?

No, son.



What's going to happen to her?

Is she going to be all right?

Nigel, um...

Everything's gonna be fine.

[Mrs Slater] Nigel.

Mum? Aren't you supposed to be in bed?

- I want you to help me.
- What with?

Mince pies.

- But it's not even Christmas yet.
- Doesn't matter.

Now you do it.

- Oh, Mum.
- It's all right. It's all right.

Just stick it back down there.
No one will know.

- It's gonna be so tasty.
- That's perfect.

Here we are. Now we cut them out.

- Nigel.
- Mm-hm?

- I love you.
- I love you too, Mum.

- Now all we need is the mincemeat.
- I'll get it.

I can't see it.

It's in there somewhere, Nigel.
I know it's in there somewhere.

Don't worry. I'll find it.


I don't understand.
It must be in there somewhere.

It has to be here. I'm sure it's here.

- It's not.
- Let me see.


I asked your father specially.

I'm sorry, Nigel.

- You said you'd teach me.
- Well...

We'll put them in the fridge and we'll
get some tomorrow from Percy Salt's.

- But you promised.
- [Sighs]

You're gonna leave me with him,
aren't you?

- It's not fair!
- Nigel, come here.

- I hate you!
- Come here, come here, come here.

- All right.
- You're hopeless! I hope you die!


All right, all right, all right.



All right.

All right.

- What's that?
- It's a stocking, Nigel.

But there's still a month to go.

We thought we'd give you your presents
early this year, as a special treat.

We thought we'd open them
in the morning.

I don't want them in the morning.
It'll spoil Christmas.

Nigel, please.

Your mother asked me specially.

OK. I suppose so.

So you're not gonna tell me off, then?

No, I'm not gonna tell you off.

But you mustn't open them
till Mum's there.

- Night-night.
- Night-night.





With Mum gone, things in the culinary
department did not get any better,

and after months of cheese on toast,
Dad decided to be more adventurous.




Oh, damn it.


Oh! Ow!

It's disgusting.

- You haven't even tried it.
- It's not even cooked.

Look, Nigel, just eat it.

There are kids in Biafra who'd give
their right arm for a Fray Bentos pie.

- Eat your pie.
- No.

- Eat your pie, Nigel.
- I won't.

I'm warning you.

- No!
- That's it! Eat the bloody pie!

- No!
- Eat it!

- No!
- Eat the pie!


- Maybe it's supposed to be like that.
- Warrel, it was completely raw.

Don't worry about it. My mum's
no great shakes in the kitchen either.

At least she's not dead.
I wish I came from a normal family.

Nigel, normal families
are totally overrated.

You'll probably grow up
to be interesting.

I don't want to be interesting.
I just want him to like me.

If you wanna soften him up a bit,
you can't expect something for nothing.

Remember, the way to a man's heart
is always through his stomach.

- Really?
- I'm telling you.

My dad's putty in Mum's fingers
once he's had his toad-in-the-hole.

[Man] Ah, now, there you go.
This is for you.

- [Woman] Thank you.
- That's for me. Thank you very much.

Now, then, can I help you, son?

I'll have two pieces of smoked haddock,
please. It's my dad's favourite.

- Don't you want something for your mum?
- She's dead.


That'll be two and six, then, sunshine.

I've only got this.
Could you cut a bit off, please?

It's all right, son. You can have
the tail bit on me, all right?

Um, how do you cook it?

Warm the grill first,
rub it with a bit of butter

and put it on
just before you're gonna eat.

- Ten minutes absolute max, understood?
- Thank you.

[# Dusty Springfield:
I'll Try Anything]

# You belong

# To somebody else and not to me

# Right or wrong

# That's not the way that it's gonna be

# I want you so much inside

# I'm throwin'away
all my conscience and pride...


# I'll do anything I can

# I'll try anything to get you

# I'll cheat and I'll lie
And I'll try till I die

# Till I make you my man

# Till I make you my man

# Yeah, make you my man #

[keys jangle]

[Door shuts]

- Where have you been?
- Nowhere.

Just got a little detained
at the factory, Nigel.

- Did you cook this?
- It's ruined.

No, it's not.

- It's just how I like it.
- No, it isn't. It's bad.

- Mmm.
- Look, Dad, you don't have to eat it.

No, really, Nigel. It's delicious.

You see? I told you it'd win him over.
Haddock's a very superior fish, Nigel.

- I really don't think he liked it.
- It takes some time, bonding.

Especially now your mam's dead.

I'm telling you,
you'll be inseparable shortly.

Nothing'll get between yous.

Slater! Where is your milk?

Come out to the front.

Where is your milk?

- I drank it, Miss.
- No, you did not.

I've watched you give it
to Leonard Watson every day this week.

I want you to drink it now.

I have to warn you, Miss, I have
a serious aversion to dairy products.

Drink it now, Slater. It's good for you.

OK, then.

You see? It wasn't that bad.


Sit down.

Nice one, Slater.

- [Clattering]
- [Woman] Bleedin' hell.

I'll be all afternoon on this.

What a bloody awful state this is in.

When was the last time
you cleaned in here?

Who are you?

Hm? New cleaner. Who's it
bleedin' well look like, Joan of Arc?

Whoever cleaned inside of here
made a right pig's ear of it.

Does my dad know you're here?

No, I broke in and thought I'd scrub
the kitchen floor clean. Bugger off.

I ain't got all day to stand round
talking to you. Snotty little brat.

[Front door opens]

Bugger. I'll be on me knees all night
getting this off.

Mrs Potter.

- Hm? Oh!
- You're still here.

Oh, Mr Slater. I thought
you was out at work at this time.

- I see you've met Nigel.
- Oh, yes.

I think we're gonna get along
like a house on fire, aren't we, Nige?

I didn't expect Mrs Potter to last long.

My father wasn't usually one
to associate himself

with people who wore Crimplene.

But I was soon to be proved wrong.

# The look of love

# Is in your eyes

# The look

# Your heart

# Can't disguise

# The look of love

# Is saying so much more

# Than just words could ever say

# And what my heart has heard

# Well, it takes my breath away

# I can hardly wait to hold you

# Feel my arms around you

# How long I have waited

# Waited just to love you

# Now that I have found you

# You've got the look of love

# It's on your face

# A look

# That time can't erase #

And so it was, Mrs Potter became
a regular part of my father's routine.

She scrubbed, polished
and bleached her way into our lives.

[Sighs] Are you still here?

No. I'm at home, doing me ironing.

- What are you doing?
- I'm darning your father's socks.

- What are you doing that for?
- They have holes in them.

You're only supposed to do the cleaning.

Where would we be if we only did
what we're supposed to do?

I thought you'd be pleased
I'm looking after him.

I know what you're up to, so just...
off his socks.

Listen, Nigel, look, I know you miss
your mother and everything,

but if there's a hole, sweetheart,
somebody's gonna darn it,

and it might as well be me.

You're wasting your time.
I mean, you're far too common.

- And, anyway, you're married.
- All I'm doing is darning his socks.

Anyway, it's got nothing to do with you.

Just because you can sew up his clothes

doesn't make you
anything like my mother!

Forget it.
He's never gonna be interested in you.

Mrs Potter.
You're here rather late again.

Oh, that's all right, Alan. I just
thought I'd do your socks for you.

Oh, really, you shouldn't have.
That's beyond the call.

Oh, it's nothing, you know.
Got to keep your toes warm.

Oh, by the way, baked you
a little something for your supper.

Oh, really, Mrs Potter.
It's an apple pie.

Well, I just thought you boys
need a bit of looking after.

Oh, that's very kind. Isn't it, Nigel?

Oh, that smells delicious.

Oh, it's just something I knocked up.
Anyway, must be going.

Here, that'll stop you sticking through.

- Maybe I could offer you a lift home.
- Aren't you going to eat the pie?

Well, actually,
you should probably let it cool.

Don't wanna burn your lips, do you?
No, it's no bother. I'll get the bus.

No, really, really,
it's the least I can do.

Oh, well, if you insist.

You'll be all right, Nigel, won't you?

See you, flower.

I won't be long.

- Let me get the door.
- Oh, thank you.

There's no denying
Mrs Potter made a decent apple pie.

In fact, it was better than decent,
it was sublime,

and one of the most glorious things
I'd ever put in my mouth.


- What's the matter?
- You're wearing my mum's apron.

What do you want me to wear,
an evening gown?

Would you like to help me bake a cake?

You shouldn't be wearing it.
It's not yours.

All right. Keep your hair on,
buggerlugs. It's only an apron.

Does your husband know
that you're cooking our suppers?

Look, don't patronise me, son.

Just 'cause I don't talk all bay window
doesn't mean I'm a fool, you know.

You're a child. You know nothing
about what people go through.

Here's the apron.

Wouldn't have thought
you were so sentimental about it

from what I've heard of her cooking.

[Nigel runs upstairs]

- You'll have to put yourself to bed.
- Where are you going?


You're going with her, aren't you?

It's just to a whist drive.
I have to have some life of my own.

With Mrs Potter?

It's just a social occasion.

Please, Dad, don't leave me on my own.

You'll be fine, Nigel.

[Mr Slater whistles The Look Of Love]

[Car starts]


[# Dusty Springfield: If You Go Away]

# If you go away
on this summer day

# Then you might as well
take the sun away

# All the birds that flew
in the summer sky

# When our love was new
and our hearts were high

# When the day was young
and the night was long

# And the moon stood still
for the night bird's song

# If you go away

# If you go away

# If you go away

# But if you stay
I'll make you a day

# Like no day has been
or will be again

# We'll sail on the sun
We'll ride on the rain

# We'll talk to the trees
and worship the wind

# Then if you go I'll understand

# Leave me just enough love
to hold in my hand

# If you go away

# If you go away

# If you go away

# Ne me quitte pas...

[phone rings]

[Man] Hello?

Joan, is that you? Is Joan Potter there?

Who is this?!

# Le coeur du bonheur

# Ne me quitte pas

# Ne me quitte pas

# Ne me quitte pas

# But if you stay
I'll make you a night

# Like no night has been
or will be again

# I'll sail on your smile
I'll ride on your touch

# I'll talk to your eyes
that I love so much

# Then if you go I'll understand

# Leave me just enough love
to hold in my hand

# If you go away

# If you go away

# If you go away

# If you go away

# Please don't go away #

[Nigel] I don't see why she has to come.

Look, there's nothing wrong
with me inviting Mrs Potter.

This is the Masonic event of the season.

Dad, she's our cleaner.
I mean, look where she lives.

- Look, Joan has been very good to us.
- She lives in a council house.

- Where she lives is of no consequence.
- It's not right.

She should be inside with her husband,

not coming out with us
to Masonic dances.

Nigel, you're the one
who didn't want to be left on their own.

You don't understand anything about
Mrs Potter's personal arrangements.

Anyway, she's got nothing to hide.
She's a very respectable woman.

[Joan] Bugger, bugger, bugger!

Pluck a bleedin' duck!

I've laddered me tights
on that bleedin' wall. Bugger.

Come on, darling. Let's get a move on
before anyone clocks us.

- Oh, hello, Nigel.
- Hello.

Well, how lovely.
The three of us all together.

Good evening.

Hello. Have you met Joan? Joan Potter?
Ruby Sturridge.

- Nice to meet you.
- She's our cleaner.


[Joan] Oh, yes.
I find Vim a very superior scourer.

Though I've been very impressed
with the new version of Mr Sheen.

Do you know of it? Don't you find
aerosols so very convenient?

Compared to Jif Cream
they really are superb.

I use bicarb on milk stains.
Only thing that gets rid of the stench.

Nothing worse than curdled milk sweating
away in the carpets, is there? No.

Trust me, you've got a spillage,
bicarb is the way to go.

Joan, do eat.

- No, watching me weight.
- Can I have yours?

[Ruby] Yes, we were
at Alderman Cartwright's

for a function only recently.

Oh, yes? I know the person
that cleans for him, of course.

Not great personal hygiene.

Or so they tell me.
Very rarely cleans his windows.

Oh, Brian. Excuse me.

I do mine meself, of course.
Can't beat a chamois leather.

Never be without my Windolene.

Do you have a favourite disinfectant,
Mrs Sturridge?

I can't say I know.

I'd have to ask Mrs Miller,
our housekeeper.


You might want to ask her
to take a look at that stain.

Although not much is gonna get that out.

Oh, bugger.

- [Mr Slater] Would you like to dance?
- [Joan] I'd love to. Come on.

[Joan] Ooh, hang on.

- Bit of Dutch.
- [Mr Slater laughs]

Won't be long.

[Band plays I Only Want To Be With You]

He must pay very good overtime.

Do you know, I've never seen your dad
dance before. Probably a blessing.

- Think I should try and stop them?
- There's very little you can do, son.

She might be common,

but there's nothing she doesn't know
about cleaning products.

If I was you,
I'd just try to enjoy the food.

[Joan] Mind you, they had lovely flowers
in the ladies loo.

I think it was to cover
the smell of the urinals.

But what a fantastic time, eh?

- Thanks for coming, Joan.
- No, thank you.

- Is this all right for you here?
- Uh, yeah. Best be on the safe side.

See you, flower.
Are you all right, love?

I'm fine.
Please, just go home, Mrs Potter.

Yeah, I will. I'll go home.

Would you get in the front now, Nigel?

What do you think of Joan, then, Nigel?

Mrs Potter?

I think in some ways
she's quite like your mother.

She's nothing like my mother.

- [Sighs]
- Look, Nigel... I loved your mother.

And I will always love your mother.

But sometimes things change.

Life moves on.

We have to accept that.

I don't mind change.
I mean, I don't mind moving on.

I just don't like Mrs Potter.

Give her a chance.

You don't know what it's like
on those estates.

I don't care where she comes from.

I just hate her. I just...

- [vomits]
- Oh, for Pete's sake.


She was dancing with your dad?

I think she'd have been kissing him
if I hadn't been there.

Ugh! Maybe it's just a phase,
'cause he's upset about your mum.

I don't even think
he thinks about her any more.

Plus... she's a brilliant cook.

I wouldn't worry about it.

Her husband'll find out, thump your dad
and you'll get another cleaner.

- You reckon?
- That's what happened to Uncle Harry.

- So you don't think it's serious, then?
- Don't be stupid.

You've got absolutely nothing
to worry about.

[Mr Slater] Come on, Nigel!

- Where are we going?
- You'll see. It's a surprise.

[Mr Slater] Nigel, I know
it's been difficult since your mum died,

but you've been very patient,
haven't you?

- Are we nearly there yet?
- And it's just, I've been thinking...

It might be better for all of us
if we made a new start of everything.

- What do you mean, a new start?
- Well, it's just...

Since your mum died, everything got off
on the wrong footing, that's all.

- So we can get a new cleaner?
- No, no, we don't need a new cleaner.

Joan is not the...

Mrs Potter is not the problem here.

Is this it?

It's beautiful, isn't it?

Lmagine living here.

No neighbours. Perfect seclusion.
Wonderful country views.

- Dad, what's going on?
- Nothing, nothing. Only saying.

- It's got a septic tank and everything.
- Dad, who lives here?

Well, actually... we do.

- What do you mean?
- All the stuff's coming this afternoon.

But what about school?
What about Warrel?

- It's miles away from anywhere.
- You'll get used to it, Nigel.

I don't want to get used to it.
We can't move here.

I mean, what about Mrs Potter?

Look, everything's going to be
all right, Nigel.

It's not the end of the world.

What could possibly be worse
than moving here?

Ah! Nigel! Whoo-hoo! Sweetie!

Say hello to your Auntie Joan.

Oh, you can call me Joanie if you like.


I knew it was a bad idea
not to tell him.


I'll deal with this.

Look, I know this is all
a bit of a shock for you.

I know it's very hard
and I can never replace your mother.

But I know what it feels like
to be alone.

I'm not your enemy, Nigel.

I want to put all that bad feeling
behind us,

make a fresh start here,
the three of us.

Mmm? Give us a chance here.

Come on.

We can make this work.


No! You're our cleaner, for God's sake.
Just go back to Wolverhampton.

Now, you listen here,
you spoilt little brat.

I have given up everything to come here
and look after you, all right?

I will be lynched if I ever go back
to Wolverhampton.

So let's cut the dogs doo-da, hey?

You're just gonna have to
sodding well get used to it

or I'll make your every waking hour
a complete blinking misery, capiche?

Everything all right?

Yeah! Course, darling!

I think we've sorted everything out,
haven't we, Nigel?

She may not be your mother, Nigel,
but she's a bloomin' good cook.

Well, as they used to say
in Wolverhampton, bon appeti-ti!

Well, as they used to say
in Wolverhampton, bon appeti-ti!

All done?

That was absolutely delicious, darling.

Nigel, help Joan with the dishes.

- I've got a book to finish for school.
- No buts, Nigel. Give Joan a hand.

[Girl] Oh, Nigel Slater, nice bag.

- Give it here.
- [Nigel] Give it back.

[Teacher] As it's the start of a new
term, you all need to pick one option.

- Poof.
- Slater, pay attention.

Now, hands up for woodwork.

Home economics.

Are you serious?

Aw! Are you gonna have 'em later
with your mummy and daddy?

Oh, hello, Nigel.

- What you doing in there?
- Nothing.

Absolutely delicious. What's for afters?

- How about a scone?
- A scone?

And a nice cup of tea.

Is he OK?

- Where the hell did they come from?
- Made them, earlier.

What do you mean,
you made them earlier?

At school. Taste one.

- But I've made a gooseberry fool.
- I'm sure it'll keep.

Actually, they're not half bad, Nigel.

Excellent effort.

Does this mean you'll be doing
the cooking every Wednesday from now on?

Yes, it does, actually.

Well done, Nigel.

[Mr Slater] Mmm!

Yeah, well done, son.

Well done.

Keep it nice and warm.
Oh, very good work, Nigel. Oh!

Oh, dear, very sloppy, I'm afraid.
This is why we should have put...

What's all this? It's a Wednesday.
I've made a shepherd's pie.

Oh, I'm sorry, love.
Completely forgot.

- Oh, well, never mind.
- Mmm, looks delicious, darling.

Pop it in the fridge.
I'm sure it'll keep, sweetheart.

Didn't expect it.


- Oh, hello, Nigel.
- I've made a trifle.

Nigel, we ate early.

Yeah. There's some lemon meringue
on the side there.

That was the best lemon meringue pie
I have ever tasted.

Oh, thank you, Alan.
I'll have to make it on a regular basis.


That's the best lemon meringue
you've ever tasted.

That's the best lemon meringue
anybody's ever tasted.

If I was you, son, I'd give up.

You'll never even be in the vicinity.

What did you put in there
to make it so fluffy?

If you wanna make
a lemon meringue, sunshine,

you're gonna have to
get your own recipe.


# Little by little by little
by little by little

# Little by little by little
by little by little

# You're messing up my life
Tearing me apart

# Breakin' up my world
and I'm givin' up my heart

# Ooh-ooh-ooh

# Little by little by little...

You really have to go home now, Nigel.

# It's really getting bad
Hurting deep inside

# It's a-making me go mad

# Ooh-ooh-ooh

# Little by little by little by little

# Little by little
Bit by bit

# I'm going crazy and you're causing it

# Little by little
Bit by bit

# I should stop caring
But my love won't quit

# Little by little by little
by little by little...

Don't you have some homework to do?

Bugger off.

More creamed potato, Alan?

No, sweetheart, I'm s... I'm stuffed.

I spent all afternoon on this.

Um, all right, then, just a little bit.


Oh, I made your favourite for afters,
lemon meringue pie.

# On a losing streak
But I'm a-going to get you back

# Ooh-ooh-ooh

# Little by little by little by little

# Little by little by little
by little by little

# Yeah, little by little

# Little by little by little
by little by little

# Uh-huh, little by little

# Little by little by little
by little by little

# Little by little

# Ooh-ooh

# Little by little by little
by little by little #

- Dad.
- What's that?

- It's a lemon meringue.
- What?

- I made it for you specially.
- What for?

To eat. For a snack.

I don't want a snack.
We just had our tea.

I thought you loved
lemon meringue pie.

I couldn't eat anything now.

Anyway, I've got a Victoria sponge
I made earlier.

But it's freshly baked, Dad.

Nigel, look, I appreciate the effort,
but I'm not even remotely hungry.

- Just try it.
- No!

- I know that you'll like it.
- Nigel, please.

Take it away.

That's my recipe.
You bleeding well stole this.

No, I didn't. I invented that myself.
Mine's even got peel in it.

I cook for you, I clean for you,

I look after your every bleeding need
and this is how you repay me?

Get off me patch, matey,

'cause I do the lemon meringues
around here, you ungrateful little turd.

I think you're getting this out
of perspective. He didn't even try any.

I'll give you a bleeding perspective.

And you can clean that up!

- What on earth did you say to her?
- I didn't say anything. She's mad.

- You have to get rid of her, Dad.
- I've asked Mrs Potter to marry me.

- Marry you?
- You're gonna have to accept that.

- Or?
- Or we're gonna put you into care.

[Mr Slater] We can't go on like this!


Thanks for the cake, Nigel.

A lovely gesture.

Mmm. Yeah, it's really not that bad
for a first attempt.

Everybody loves the food.
Me meat puffs are going like hot cakes.

Not much of a crowd.
It's good that Sheila's shown up.

Would you like a vol-au-vent?
I made them myself, you know.

- Are you all right, Dad?
- Yes, just a bit tight, that's all.

Funny, it was all right at the fitting.


Hey, you must be pleased
to have a new mum.

Not really.

She might have a heart of ice, son,
but she puts on a damn fine spread.

Her husband's lost two stone
since she moved out.

That'll do for later.

An absolute nightmare,
but a bloody good baker.

I think she could've been
a professional.

I made this, actually.

Well, if it all gets too much, son,
you can always go into catering.


- Wait, wait. No, no, no, no, no.
- What are you doing?

Ooh, no, Alan, no!

No, you can't do that!

No, come on. Get up there.
Let's get you up to the bedroom.

That's where we can, you know,
get your old pyjamas on.

- Good man.
- Come on, Mrs Slater.

[Joan] Come on! Come on, up we get.

[Joan] Whoo! Mr Slater!

- 16?
- I'm only looking for a Saturday job.

I just wanna get out of the house,
really. I'm very good, honest.

I've read the complete works
of Marguerite Patten and everything.

Duck ? I'orange. Boeuf bourguignon.

Veal cordon bleu.
That's the most expensive.

You can feel the duck
because of the bones.

This is sophisticated cooking, Nigel.

So this is where the magic happens.

Whack it up, bung it in, 20 minutes.

Now, if it hasn't got a label on,
just chuck it in anyway.

Now, I know it all seems
a bit complicated at first,

but you'll soon get the hang of it.

Who was that?

The owner's son from upstairs.
You wanna watch him.

he's training to be a ballerina.

Really, I can't eat these.

- I just cooked 'em.
- Well, we just had supper an hour ago.

Just leave them there.
You might get peckish.

Oh, please, try to relax, dear.

- What are you doing?
- Nothing. Just watch the telly.

Don't mind me.

- Where have you been?
- Nowhere. Out with some mates.

You haven't got any mates.

I got a part-time job
helping out at the Green Dragon.

- What, the pub with the restaurant?
- Just on Saturdays.

- How much are they paying you?
- She didn't say.

I thought you'd be pleased I was out
from under your feet for a bit.

Uh-huh, yeah. No, you don't.

Do you think I'm stupid?
Do you think I was born yesterday?

I know what you're up to. Well,
two can play at that game, sunshine.

I'll give you boeuf bourguignon.

Right, tomorrow we'll have duck
? I'orange, or should it be coq au vin?

Next we'll have some moules marini?re.

Oh, yeah. I can do foreign muck as well,
and that's just for starters.

- Joan.
- Don't know what you're on about.

Quiches, tortes, omelettes, seafood,
souffl?s, the bleeding lot.

In fact, I think I'll just rustle up
a tarte tatin.

That's a caramelised apple pie
in case you're wondering.

Just stop it!

Enough is enough!

Enough fighting! Enough food!

Will you just please try to get on?

This is miserable.

I'm sorry, Dad.

Oh, just go away, Nigel.

Are you all right?

Uh, yes. Yes.

Perfectly fine. Thanks very much.

Thank you.

Mavis? Hello?

You're Nigel, aren't you?

The Fanny Cradock of Knightswick Lane.

Not any more. My dad stopped me coming.

To be quite honest,
I only came to get out of the house.

Though I think I'd like to be
a cook eventually.

- How come you know so much about it?
- I don't really.

My granny was French. I just
picked a few things up on holiday.

- Got a very good attitude, the French.
- Like Marguerite Patten.

Nigel, Marguerite Patten's
from High Barnet.

They follow their instincts.

Let's get out of here.

That's the trouble with everyone
round here, they're all so hidebound.

If you don't get out,
you'll turn into your parents.

How long have you lived here?

[Nigel] A few years.
We moved from Wolverhampton.

The culinary capital of the Midlands.
What made you wanna be a chef?

Don't know really. I just like it.

Somehow it feels quite natural.

How did you know
you wanted to be a ballet dancer?

I don't.

I only agreed to go down there
so I could get away from them.

So you don't want to be a ballet dancer?

God, no.
I don't have a clue what I wanna be.

How the hell do you stand it here?

I don't have much choice.

You've every choice in the world.

You've just gotta be brave.

You can be anything you wanna be.

Do you think?

Sure. If you've got the nerve.

You just have to be prepared
to risk something.

See? You can be anything you wanna be.

Come on, Elizabeth David.
We'd better be getting back.


Stuart! Stuart!


[Woman] Stuart!

- See you.
- [Woman] Come on!

Can I see you tomorrow?

Tough tits, Big Ears. I've gotta be
in White Lodge in the morning.

- What?
- Term starts on Monday.

- [Woman] Come on!
- You'll find someone else to play with.


Don't leave me here alone.

You'll be all right, Nige.

- [Woman] Who's that?
- That's Nigel.

He used to work in the restaurant.

Dad? Hello?

I told him to leave it.
I told him we'd get a gardener.

I said leave it till next week.

He hadn't even eaten properly.

- What's happened?
- I told him, Nigel. I told him.

- He just wouldn't listen.
- Mrs Potter, what's going on?

He's gone.

One minute he was there with the mower
and the next minute he wasn't.

What do you mean, he's gone?

He's dead, darling.

We're on our own now, son.

Oh, my poor darling.

Don't worry. I'll look after you.

We're gonna get through this together.

We'll both cook together.
Lovely, healthy dishes.

We'll cook a lemon meringue
every year in commemoration.


You did this.

# Yesterday when I was young

# The taste of life was sweet
as rain upon my tongue

# I teased at life...


[Joan] Nigel.


Nigel, let me in.

# The thousand dreams I dreamed
The splendid things...

Please, Nigel. Open the door.
Talk to me. Nigel!

# On weak and shifting sand

Nigel, come on, son.

Let me in, love.

- Son, come on.
- [Music stops]

I brought you a cup of tea,
a nice bit of cake.

I don't want it.

And I don't have to have it.
I don't want you in my life any more.

Oh, no, you're just upset.

What you doing? Nigel.

Talk to me, son. Talk to me.

You won.

I don't have to see you ever again.

- But I'm your mother.
- You're nobody.

No, wait. Stop.

You're too young. I'm ordering you!

Nigel Slater! Stop this right now!

I said now!

Nigel, you can't leave me on me own
here. You're the only thing I've got.

I'll make up for everything.
I'll cook anything you want me to.

Please, Nigel, say something to me.

- Thank you.
- What do you mean, thank you?

What do you mean, thank you?

What do you mean?

Nigel! Come back, Nigel!

Nigel Slater, come back here now!

- So how old are you really?
- 17.

- But you have worked in a kitchen?
- Yeah.

- I do a very good lemon meringue.
- That's what they all say, sunshine.

- All right, you're on.
- Are you sure?

[Man] Two minutes, Chef!

# The friends I made
all somehow seemed to slip away

# And only now I'm left alone
to end the play...

You're gonna be fine.
You're really gonna be fine.

# Oh, yesterday when I was young

# So many, many songs
were waiting to be sung

# So many wild pleasures
lay in store for me

# And so much pain
my eyes refused to see #