One Foot in the Grave (1990–2001): Season 6, Episode 1 - The Executioner's Song - full transcript

Victor is caught up in a police raid on a brothel run in the Chinese restaurant which he has innocently visited. With Patrick's birthday soon Victor sees the opportunity to please him. One of the customers on Victor's window-cleaning round is an artist so Victor gives Patrick one of the paintings the artist has thrown out - it is not appreciated. Pippa, meanwhile,gets drunk and has a one-night stand.

# They say I might as well face the truth

# That I am just too long in the tooth

# So I'm an OAP and weak-kneed

# But I have not yet quite gone to seed

# I may be over the hill now that I have retired

# Fading away but I've not yet expired

# Clapped out, run down, too old to save

# One foot in the grave #

Okay. And finally, Patrick,
three things that cause you stress.

Remember, we discuss them, we disable them.

Erm, only three.

Well, let's see. Work, I suppose.
It hasn't been much fun,

since the man who lived next door
killed my chances of promotion.

Family, never quite managed to start one

after the man who lived next door
sabotaged my sperm count.

And, of course, our new house
has never really felt like home

what with the man who lived next door
losing all our furniture.

Ah, now I think I see a pattern
beginning to emerge here.

The demonising of this mythic figure in your life
suggests a certain irrational paranoia at work.

Yes, yes, I can see why you'd think that.

But I swear to you,
this person has totally dogged my life.

We're talking about a man here
who for reasons utterly impenetrable

drove a motor-mower around my employer's carpet
singing, Hey, Mr Tambourine Man,

then proceeded to demolish her summer house
and poison the entire garden

by spraying it with cocaine.

And the reduction in your fertility?

An impromptu vasectomy
performed by a crab up my beach shorts.


No, I just...

Okay, to eradicate the problem
you must first confront it.

Go back and visit this man.

You face the fear, only then can you neutralise it.


RAJEEV: And how do we neutralise these tensions
in our life?

By understanding the therapeutic nature
of a fundamental human mechanism,

the act of laughing.

Regular laughter not only lifts our spirits,
it stimulates the diaphragm,

assisting our breathing
and so relieving our stress.

So, for a count of 10, please, with lots of gusto.



The trash you read in this local nowadays.

Do you remember that comedian
with the big teeth?

Printed such a terrible write-up of his act,
he went home and jumped off the roof.

They've only got a review
of his suicide in here now.

Page 17, "Arts critic Marjorie Quayle

"is unimpressed by comic's final caper."

If you want to do something useful
you can put this washing in the machine for me.

It's mostly woollens,
so make sure you set it at the right temperature.

"Though undoubtedly funnier than any of his jokes

"the sudden death last night
of orthodontically challenged Larry Hackett

"by plummeting from a tall building

"fell as flat on his face as the man himself.

"Ranked against the self-destruction
of other famous funsters,

"this creaky cri de coeur

"lacked the vintage martyrdom
of a Hancock or Fatty Arbuckle

"and was about as emotionally unsettling
as a bag of winkles."

He was only trying to earn a living, poor bloke.

Gave it one star for "Don't bother".

Did you hear me? I'll be out the back.



Morning. Hello, Buster. Oh, on your lunch break?

I don't want to hassle you, Mrs Meldrew,
but we've had a few calls

about an extremely loud television
blasting out of your bedroom at all hours.

My God, is this it?

What have you got in there?
The Empire Leicester Square?

Yes. I'll spare you the plot of another
Whitehall farce, Roger.

Suffice to say, it all hinges on the words

"15-inch" and "50-inch"
sounding very similar over the phone.

They're supposed to be coming to take it back
next week.

Only Mr Blithery says
the vibrations from Moira Stuart

have been loosening his false leg.

Phone call for you. It's Pippa.

Oh! Erm, sorry, will you excuse me?

Come on, what's this? Do you think if you plant it,
it's gonna grow? Come here.

I know, it must be absolutely ages.


Oh, yes. Easily.

Anyway, how are things?

Oh, a bit grizzly at the moment, if truth be told.

With it being Patrick's
time of the month and everything.

You know that thing men go through
where they can't open their mouths

without getting right on your tits.


What with that and Denzel losing his voice.

Anyway, how about you?

Oh, yes. Still ticking over, thanks for asking.

Did I tell you I'm doing some work
for this agency as a part-time care assistant?

Oh, you know, visiting one or two people.

Getting them washed
and dressed in the mornings.

Oh, of course, Victor's got his new
window cleaning round

which seems to be keeping him out of mischief.

Anyway, if you're feeling a bit down in the dumps

the two of us are going out
for a bite to eat tonight.

Why don't you call us? Right. Bye.

Victor, what the hell are you doing?

It's all right.
I think you're going to be able to wear them.

It's just,
I may have left them in a little bit too long.

Oh, will you stop that!

This is the washing I said I'd do for that lady
who's just come out of hospital

and her three children.

God spare us!

This is what I wear, you think?

Look what you've done to these now!


I'm sorry, I... I don't...

Ah, thank you very much.

Can this possibly be

our handmade silk-screen wallpaper
for the spare bedroom?

I'd just about given up hope.

It's a wonder they sent it at all.
The way you kept moaning on at them,

ringing up asking to speak to William Caxton.

I merely asked them what kind of
medieval printing process they were using

that meant we had to wait 15 weeks
for a simple order.

Didn't care for his attitude one bit,
that one that looked like Frank Zappa.

Anyway, I've said to Pippa they could join us
for this Chinese tonight,

as it's such a long time since we've seen them.

No, not since we stayed over
at their house that night

and found they put a waterproof sheet on the bed.

And that ruddy sausage dog sniffing around
just as I was getting undressed.

Staring up between my legs
and dribbling as if he hadn't been fed for a week.

I don't know what he thought he was about to...

Oh, I do not believe...

Will you look at this?

Bastards! Can you believe the nerve of this?

I'll skin their ruddy hides for them!

Oh, there we are.
If you're stuck on what to get me for my birthday

there's a Jackson Pollock going
begging at Sotheby's for two million.

Just fill this wall rather nicely.

Failing that, I don't know, something from
Rolf Harris's non-drip emulsion period or...

So, that's it then, is it?

You won't come out for a meal with Mr Meldrew
tonight on principle?

Just 'cause of what's happened in the past?

My dear, the police were digging up bones
in his back garden this morning.


I hope I don't need to remind you

what the shock of seeing Mr Meldrew
with no clothes on did to this poor little mite.

Enough to strike anyone dumb, I should think.

We don't know it was that that made him...

What the hell is all this?

I'm pleased to announce that you,

"head of Reader's Digest junk mail,

"are one of the lucky winners
in my special prize draw

"and have been selected to receive
at least one of the following sensational gifts.

"A pair of diamond earrings,
worth at least £10,000,

"a fabulous dream holiday in sun-kissed Waikiki,

"or a dead rat.

"Open now to see which of these prizes is yours."

Oh, my God. I feel sick.

"Yes, this is just one of a series of
rotting rodents that are yours to examine

"free of charge in your own home.

"Please rush me
a decomposing squirrel by return of post.”

Yes, well, we'll see how they'll like
a dose of their own ruddy medicine for a change.

You know who you're starting to turn into,
don't you?


And the frightening thing is, you can't even see it.

Time of the month.

Bloody zip! Don't know why I bother.

Brand new pair of trousers
and can't budge it for love nor money.

No matter what you buy nowadays,
there's always got to be a problem.

I mean, that was asking for trouble, wasn't it?

Leaving Mrs Warboys to mind the fort
when this arrived.

"It's a whopper, isn't it, Mr Meldrew?"

I mean, she must've known it was
the wrong model, for goodness sake!

Oh, will you keep still!
Jigging about like a Morris dancer.


Now come on.

We've got 45 minutes to get to this place
and woe betide you if it's not up to standard.

I've heard some very dodgy stories
about this restaurant.

Meaning what?

Meaning I wouldn't be at all sure
this is a misprint.

Meaning what, Margaret?

Well, that was absolutely...erm.


If I'm honest.

Yes, I think when the crispy duck arrived

and they'd burnt the beak,
it was a sure sign of things... Victor!

We've already established it doesn't work.
Will you stop trying to force it?

Oh, sorry.

Now, now, I don't know why you're
(HICCUPPING) moaning.

I think this has all been very.. tasty nosh.

So, you were saying it's Patrick's birthday
coming up.

What are you going to get him?
Have you decided yet?

Well, he's been dropping hints about
a painting for his office, but...

Oh, maybe I'll just get him a book or something
on modern art.

Oh, well.

Didn't you say there's an artist who lives
on your window cleaning round?

Perhaps you could find out
if he's got anything decent to sell.

I can do, perhaps, tomorrow morning.

In the meantime, I think I'll go for
a pis...tachio ice cream for dessert.

Be back in two shakes.


Oh, for mercy's sake, go down!

So, I suppose I've got to take the blame
for all this now, have I, as usual?

Yes, whose idea was it to come to this
God-awful dive? Please do remind me.

I mean, when I booked the table,
it completely slipped my mind

to enquire about the underground
brothel facilities.

Go to empty your bladder in good faith

and you don't expect to be yanked off
by the local vice ring.

Well, it certainly gives a new meaning to
the phrase "popping out for a Chinese".

You sure you don't want us to run you home?

No, I'll be fine. Taxi'll be here in a tick.

You two get along, have an early night.

I'll phone you tomorrow.

-Good night.

Can I get you a drink, madam?

-Okay, I'll have white wine, please.
-Thank you.

-Good morning. you suffer from a clenched colon?

I beg your pardon?

Does your skirt feel too tight after a heavy meal
and your tummy all puffed up

like it's about to explode?

Well, you could be one of thousands
of women in Britain today

who suffer the misery and social embarrassment
of IBS.

Well, Derek Pangloss has kindly popped in
to talk to us all about this. Derek...

(ON TV) which the normal operation
of the bowel has

for some reason become impaired. The normal..

What's going on here?

Mrs Aylesbury's mother across the road
rang up to say her TV is on the blink

and would we mind if she watched an item on
irritable bowel syndrome through her binoculars?

She's virtually house-bound, you know.
And she suffers from...


-...or like somebody standing on a hosepipe?


Oh, yes, right. Sorry.

Who were you trying to ring?

Well, I was going to have another go
at those wallpaper merchants

but I suppose it can wait.
I've got to be on my way anyway.

You won't forget to call in on that artist
on your way

and see if you can get something
for Patrick's birthday.

If he's there, yes.

...tough muscular tract whose principal function,

the absorption of all the water...

(VICTOR HUFFING) their diet...

I suppose you know you're going to go
right through that thing in a minute,

puncture the cabinet.

PATRICK: Mmm-hmm.

"Congratulations on choosing the new advanced
miracle freezer that will never need defrosting.”



PIPPA: Margaret!
I wasn't expecting you this morning.

Well, I'm actually between house calls,
but as I was in the area, I thought...

A cup of coffee wouldn't go amiss.

Where are you off to?

Just popping out for a second...freezer.

-Just popping out for a second freezer,

in case the first one packs up.
Which, of course, it has.

Bloody freezers. So, erm, I'll see you later,
Mrs Meldrew. Are you well?

Well, you got back safe and sound, anyway,

after last night's fun and games.

Well, in a manner of speaking, yes.

(STUTTERING) What do you mean? What is it?

Why? What happened?

After you'd gone, I got chatting
to this bloke, didn't I, in the bar?

His name was Warren,
he was there on his own and...

Oh, God! Pippa!

His wife was away on business.
He said, did I want to come back for coffee?

I said, as long as it wasn't unprotected coffee,
all right then.

And about 55 brandies later...

I don't know if you've ever had sex
under anaesthetic.

Now, here's the killer, Margaret.

When I was in the cab coming home,

I found he'd slipped a £20 note into my pocket.

-For your taxi fare, I suppose.
-Or something else?

Margaret, he picked me up in that restaurant.

What if he thought I was part of the merchandise?

Twenty pounds?

A loss leader?

The thing is, I've got to know
one way or the other,

being a bit of cheap trade
I could just about deal with,

I've had all sorts of crap jobs in my time,

but if I found out I was having an affair last night.

Well, that's why I've got to see him again.
I've got to find out

one way or the other, for my own sanity.

Here we go, then. That's the last of them.

Now, it's fantastic!

I think sir is going to be
well pleased when he gets back.


Oh, is that the front door?

I'll leave you to it, then.

If you need anything, give me a shout.

As I said Mr Jarvis is away at the moment
in South Africa.

But anything you wanted to make an offer on
I could give him a call.

These would all go for about 700 or 800
in a gallery.

Well, as I say, it's for a friend, and I'm not
quite sure how much she's prepared to spend.

Of course,
his international profile is rising all the time.

Chiefly because he's such a perfectionist.

Any canvas he is even remotely unhappy with,
that's it.

Out it goes. Trash.

Ah, amazing, isn't it?

Something like this can be just thrown away when
you think of what some people would pay for it.

Well, it's only going in the skip.
If you can find a use for it...

Oh, really?

Absolutely hideous!

You honestly think
Patrick will want this on his wall?

What's it meant to be?

It's not meant to be anything. It's an abstract.

It's different things to different people.

I thought I might just give it a simple black frame
and it could be a present to him from us.

It stinks to high heaven, I know that much.

You say people pay 700 quid for this?

They must be out of their tiny minds!

Ha! You know why?

It's upside down.

(STUTTERING) But, no, Mr Withers,
don't you think you should...

No. Right. Okay, then, bye.

That's 16 people all called to cancel now.

Why should that happen all of a sudden?

Well, maybe there's a rival window cleaner
in the area poaching your customers.

You know, I think it's starting to grow on me.

The more you look at it, the more you see
what he was trying to get at.

The way the colours are all
quite skilfully arranged, the more you study it.

If it goes on like this, I won't have
any more calls left before long.


Might have to start and sell my body
to that Chinese restaurant.

God! Victor!

Leave it to me. I'll sort it. Oh! Just eat your tea.

I saw a programme once
where they took three months

to restore a damaged Rembrandt.

If I can just get the worst of it off before it dries.

That does it.

What is it now!

This parish magazine,
you'll never believe what they print!

A review of my window cleaning.

"In her occasional series about odd-job men,
local arts critic Marjorie Quayle

"accesses the work of newcomer Victor Meldrew."

I didn't even know she was one of my customers.

"His squeegee action is limp and flaccid.

"His entire subtext mired in cliché,

"where one longs for
broad strokes of sparkling clarity,

"Meldrew has nothing to offer
but a thoughtless residue of suds.

"As for his technique with the chamois leather,

"I have seen it more deftly manipulated

"on a goat's arse."

Well, that's a stinker.
No wonder your business is dropping off.

I'm trying to earn a living, for goodness sake.

Why have people got to be so cruel?

That's Liddy. He's a little sweetheart, aren't you?

And this here is Segretti.

And out there, eating the pansies,
that's Magruder.

So, are all your pets named after
Watergate conspirators?

I tell you,
it's a fascinating period of American history.

You ever see Al the President's Men?

Listen, about the other night,

I had had quite a lot to drink and...

warren, can I just stop you there for a second?

That money you put in my purse afterwards.

Oh, was more than enough, I hope...

for the taxi.

Listen, we don't have to feel guilty about this.
Either of us.

It's just, there comes a time in any marriage
when you need a little break.

When you go abroad for holiday
doesn't mean you have to emigrate.

Yes. Well, I really don't think
it's a good idea for us to...

Is this your wife?

Oh, yes. That's Sally.

Bloody hell. She's gorgeous.

Well, she is

in her own way and you in yours.

Few hours from now, she'll be in Geneva.


Warren, I can't.


Oh. Hi.

Can you believe it?

Forget me own head if it wasn't screwed on.

Sorry to interrupt. Bye.

His sister? Oh, you're joking!

Apparently they share a house
but she's hardly ever there.

Of course, he wanted me to think he was married.

That way there was no danger
of it getting serious.

I mean, I think that's absolutely
the worst kind of cheat, don't you?

Someone who says he's a cheat, when he isn't.

Anyway, I think I found the perfect softener

in the shape of Denzel Junior.


You can talk, can't you?

I'm hoping that with this and Victor's painting

he'll be in a good enough mood by tonight
for me to broach the dreaded subject.

Now, not a peep out of you till I say.

MARGARET: Patrick.

Many happy returns.

I think Victor has got a little surprise for you.


Well I, erm... I don't know what to say.

Rather taken aback.

I suppose you're wondering where it came from.

Well, that's right.

Couldn't even begin to hazard a guess.

The rectum of a very nervous albatross?

Flock of willow warblers with chronic dysentery?

Yes, I have to say, Mr Meldrew,
you certainly haven't lost your touch.

And when your wife said
you had a little surprise lined up for me,

I'll admit one or two
old favourites did spring to mind.

A gift pack of your own worn underpants.

A jeroboam of cat's urine.

But, no, for all-round staggering pointlessness,
this has to take the biscuit.

What are you saying? You don't like it?

Mrs Meldrew, what is there to like?
It's excrement.

Oh, how very gracious of you to say so.

I don't know why I bother sometimes.

You try and build bridges, and what happens?
I should have known better.

-You're not gonna leave this here?

What is it? What's happening?

How do you even attempt
to get inside a mind like that?

It's not just the fact that he brings me a sheet of
plywood splattered with bird shit for my birthday,

but for some reason he imagines
he can take the curse off the smell

with trace elements of tomato ketchup.

Well, I'm sorry, but it's not staying here.

I'm sorry, I think I forgot my drill.



Well, I don't know..

We knew the artist wasn't happy with it

but, as you say, why do people have to be
so horribly critical?

How many cancellations now?

More than enough, I think,
to convince me I should chuck it all in.

Thank you very much, Marjorie Quayle.

I still can't credit that thing with Pippa, you know?

That she could do something like that
without knowing whether she's been used or not.

-You'd think it'd be obvious at the time...
-For some men, the height of sexual arousal...

-...can only be achieved...
-...something odd was going on. being pampered like a baby.

People might say I'm abusing the system

to indulge my own erotic fantasies

but I'm paying for a service, she's providing one.
Who's getting hurt?

The fact that to her, it is not a game

is what makes it all so terribly exciting.

MARGARET: Mr Jefferson?

Here she is now, so...

Morning, Mr Jefferson. How are the fingers today?

Would you like a hand
getting out of your pyjamas?

You're all bathed and dressed.

I thought we might try this new
talcum-powder today,

see if it makes a difference to the itching.

Now, I'm just going to ease your legs
over the side.

Then I think I can...

Just wriggle these off for you.

There we go.

And up we get.

You're going to feel a bit stiff
after everything today.

So just have a good night's rest

and let those bones knit back together.

That's one birthday
I won't be sorry to put behind me.


By the way,

I met a bloke the other night at that restaurant,

I was quite drunk and it didn't mean anything,

but we went back to his house afterwards
and made mad, passionate love together.

I won't do it again. Ni-night.


# They say I might as well face the truth

# That I am just too long in the tooth

# I've started to deteriorate

# And now I've passed my own sell-by date

# Oh, I am no spring chicken, it's true

# I have to pop my teeth in to chew

# And my old knees have started to knock

# I've just got too many miles on the clock

# So I'm a wrinkly, crinkly, set in my ways

# It's true that my body has seen better days

# But give me half a chance
and I can still misbehave

# One foot in the grave

# One foot in the grave

# One foot in the grave #