Dinnerladies (1998) s01e02 Episode Script


1 What people forget about Princess Margaret is that she popularised the peep-toe sandal.
It might be Fergie.
Well we won't dwell on her use of open-toed footware.
Well whoever it is, we'll line up and curtsy.
- I'll lead.
- Why you? Well, I'm used to this.
I've met the Duchess of Devonshire.
Met her? You cornered her! If you'd stood any nearer, you'd have fell in her handbag.
It might be Princess Anne.
No, she doesn't go around factories, does she? She leans towards Land Rovers in the jungle.
It's more of the sleeveless blouse approach.
Prince Edward, is he factories? No, he's theatres.
He used to like go to theatres with tea bags.
How d'you know? It were on 't news.
He had this job and he had to turn up with a box of tea bags.
Did you not see it? No.
Cos there's like a film of him going in and he's like clutching this box of tea bags.
Yeah! Mission accomplished.
What kind of tea bags? Cos there are so many different sorts nowadays.
Oh, that's right.
There's been a revolution in tea bag technology in the last decade.
What? There's One Cup for if you just want one cup.
Pot size.
And they're bringing one out for osteoporosis.
I have a see-through teapot with a plunger.
I sent one over to New Zealand.
It was so good.
What's that got to do with osteoporosis? Oh, well I'm sorry.
I didn't realise every topic had to link up.
I didn't realise I was on Blockbusters.
Oh missed it, what's the gen? Who's going to be? Dear Jean, I don't think Stan twig the topic under discussion was osteoporosis.
Eh? Well Jean's some kind of discussion warden, Stan.
Oh, just because we're not all agog about your plunge teapot.
Well, at least I'm up to date with my refreshment china.
At least I'm not offering round mugs that say "I'm back in Britain".
I knew you'd been in my top cupboard.
Hey Stan! Have you got one of those slippery floor warning cones? I've got four.
Not that people clock them.
Folk rushing to urinate, they don't focus.
Must you? It was never like this at the Café Bonbon.
Why do you ask anyway, Tony? Re-cones! Eh? God I don't know.
I'm losing the will to live here.
- Yes.
- Hi! Oh, what a lovely perfume! Right, okay.
We've been briefed.
What's that? Would it be all right to wash it, do you think? I hate always having things dry cleaned but sometimes even a cold water wash they go sort of limp Hello! Sorry! Right.
The briefing.
Now, the plan is that the royal party will arrive and go straight to the main boardroom.
Cup of tea, wash the hands and so on.
Royal party and visitors to avail themselves of the boardroom lavatory facilities, I assume? - Erh, let me just - Who's the royal? It's His Royal Highness Prince James, the Duke of Danby.
All: The Duke of Danby? Oh yes! Well, who is he? Well, I'm not sure.
I think he's one of the Queen's cousins, second cousin, or And is he British? Well, let me.
Oh, well I assumed he was British.
What type of skin tone are we talking here do we think? I don't honestly know.
Is it more than an African type Royal? I mean he is Royal.
It's not Prince as in Duke Ellington! Did they mention anything about underwear? Not specifically.
Oh, cos I was just wondering how we should play it with like bras and pants and You'll all be in your overalls! Oh, I know! So, here I am.
I've been along the top corridor.
I've been in the big shed pressing buttons.
And now I'm going to queue for my lunch.
ALL: Dinner! He's not going to queue? According to our briefing, he wants to be treated exactly the same way as the workers.
We assumed it would be a tablecloth job.
Silver service.
Silver what? I'm talking City & Guilds.
This is when you had to work for the qualification.
So did I.
Tony Blair! Stick two poems up in a bus shelter and call it a University! So, they come in, queue up, we lay on our normal dinner.
Oh, I thought we do something a bit special, like a medieval banquet! Oh, we'd be like the serving wenches! I'm not being a wench! Go on Philippa.
I'm too natty for a wench.
You need more of a lived-in look, like Jean.
Look! If we were having a wench, we'd have Bren.
Now, leave it! Philippa! Well, as I said, they just come in in the normal way, collect a tray, queue up So, they stood there, Jean lobs a pie at them, Twink gobs in the coleslaw, Bren gives them the wrong change, Stan runs them over with the mop trolley.
So far going well.
They sit.
They eat.
[munching sound.]
Golly! That was lovely.
Then the Royal party get up, have a look round the kitchen.
Chat to the girls.
No! Duke has specifically requested.
Look! Line them up behind the counter, divvy up with a gravy, bit of a curtsy, jolly good, carry on, end.
End of encounter.
I am not letting some poor beggar of the Queen's cousin loose with this bunch of uplift bras, mood swings and nasty habits.
Excuse me! Tony, you've gotta give us a crack at actually talking to 'em.
I mean, chatting to a bona fido Royal, that'd be great.
Yeah, great for you! You'll be asking him if he's ever seen The Inn of the Sixth Happiness.
Dolly'll be telling him what happens if you turn left at the bus station.
Twinkle'll be flogging him cut-price ecstasy.
Ha ha, I'm nearly laughing! Jean'll be dubbing the odd yeast infection into the conversation.
Forget it! No, really.
I think we do have to abide by the wishes of Royal visitor.
Were you meaning the thrush? I was.
And they have specifically requested Are you implying I insert thrush into general conversation? You thrust thrush.
They want to meet the canteen workers Jean: I thrust thrush into the conversation? You do! You thrust it in, you thrush it out.
PHILIPPA: So, why don't we JEAN: Hang on! Are you calling me a thrush thruster? And thrusher.
You teeter on the thrush threshhold threatening to thrush.
And do the rest of you agree with this? ALL: Yes! Look! This is what's going to happen.
You can all go on the counter, but, when the Royals come round, you serve, you clear up, and you don't speak to them unless they speak to you.
Jean: Right.
Stan: Male maintenance person exiting female washroom premises.
Stan! The Royal party.
You don't speak unless they do, right? [Phone ringing.]
That's protocol.
It stops you commoner overstepping the conversational mark.
You've had dealings, have you Stan, with the Royal family? Oh, yes.
Where was this, Mustique? No, Catterick Army Camp.
Anita: Oh! Who did you meet, Stan? Him that's coming, James.
He turned up with, what's he called, hands behind his back, dogcarts? Prince Philip.
What's he like? Well, I didn't meet Prince Philip.
He was stood by this tank laughing.
And I was stood with this other lad.
And we were white washing this basket that held volleyballs.
And the Duke, Prince James, he came up.
What did he say? Well, they're trained from birth to put people at their ease.
And he come up and he said "White washing a basket, eh?" It was like I had known him all my life.
Go on.
And then he said, "So what goes in there then"? What did you say, a lot of balls! Hah! Volleyballs! Go on, Stan! I said "The intention, sir, is to fill it with volleyballs.
" And he was very interested obviously.
Because they are trained to take a tremendous interest in day-to-day folk.
But, naturally he was pressed for time so he just said "Very good, carry on", which I did.
And when was this? April 15, 1967.
A warmish day, 11:15.
Is nobody going home? Anybody fancy a gangbang on the cream cracker? What's a gangbang? It's people having sex in a bunch.
Well how do they all fit on a cream cracker? Bren fetch a cream cracker! Hah! JEAN: I'll see you.
- Bye bye.
- See ya.
My friend tried to do it on a dildo.
Where was this, in Thailand? I mean a li-lo.
You're mad you.
Come on.
- See you! - Bye! I'm fully expecting him to approach me actually.
What's this? Stan's met Prince James before.
TONY: When? STAN: 1967, 11:15.
So he'll know me, Tony.
They never forget a face.
Thirty years though Stan.
- I mean, he'll have met quite a few - No, they're trained.
You wait.
I shan't push myself forward.
I shall be very surprised if I don't hear "How's the basket whitewashing business?" Just a humorous man to man pleasantry.
And then what I can say to him, I left the army Put your foot where? Foot behind.
No, point it more the other way.
- And your head.
- Eh? You graciously incline your head.
Blimey! It's like rubbing your head and patting your Your doodah.
What will you do Jean? Just bob! What do you mean just? I should probably go for the full curtsy.
- Hiya! - Hi Anita! Cos I'm very loose in the hip you see with my yoga size.
There's nothing wrong with my hips.
It's only three years since I won a Rhumba competition.
Yes, on a caravan site.
I can sink as low as you like, you know.
Oh, I know you can.
I was at your swimwear party.
Did you practice y' curtsy Anita? Jean! Everything all right down there? Fine thank you.
Oh! Well, that will help the Royal visit go with a swing.
You sprawled on the lino waiting for the paramedics.
Just go and check me dry goods.
I feel guilty now.
What? For saying she couldn't curtsey? Saying it was a caravan site.
It was actually quite an upmarket, all-weather holiday village.
Jean! Have you decided what bra you're gonna wear? How do you mean bra? What do you mean? I don't know what you mean? To meet the Prince! I made a list of all my bras last night.
Did you? Why? How many've you got? Seventeen.
Then I divided my knickers into work, casual, and evening.
Do you ever do that? No, but I tell you what I do do.
I take all the labels off my tins, then I don't know what I'm 'aving for my tea.
Do you ever do that? It's brilliant.
I'm thinking, what's it gonna be? Fruit salad, alphabetti spaghetti.
Is he in? No.
Brilliant! Do you ever make a list of all your bras, Twinkle? You're mad you.
Oh, sorry.
So, you'll bring them over from the table.
Sorry sorry sorry! Are you havin' another practice? Yeah.
So, how will you get them through the gap? Now, let's think this through.
Well, you wanna like round them up sheep-dog style, and then Tony can like waft 'em in.
Waft! No, that's good.
We're really getting to grips with this now.
Up we come to the gap.
Gap, I'm not here by the way.
I stand back and indicate.
I waft them through apparently.
Then you introduce them to the nearest worker.
No, I'm not here by the way.
Oh, so Twinkle turn around.
You say "This is our youngest worker, Twinkle.
" This is our youngest worker, Twinkle.
And then ladies first, the Duchess might say What might she say Bren? Oh, what's the most popular meal here in the canteen? Who's that supposed to be Bren? I don't know, it came out a bit Monty Python that.
No, that's fine.
It's marvelous that we're actually rehearsing it in this detail.
Look, I'll be her Royal Highness.
So, that's me there, and that's her here.
Here I am.
So, tell me what is the most popular meal here in the canteen.
Arseholes on toast.
How lovely! And then we move on.
You're not gonna say that? No.
You're not gonna say anything like that? Leave me alone! So you won't say nothing like that? God.
I sent to them if they gonna send us Belgian feeder tubes.
They'll have to send a Belgian to go with 'em.
It's crazy.
Hey, hey, hey, excuse me! I haven't finished that.
Sorry, I thought it was just crumbs.
It's a croissant.
If you're gonna take someone's plate away who's made a few crumbs with a croissant, I don't know why you bother serving 'em in 't first place.
No you're right, I were a little bit eager there.
I mean, havin' I paid for this croissant.
If I want to lick my finger and dab it at every bit of my plate, I've every right to do that.
No, you're right.
People chained themselves to railings for that, didn't they, for their rights.
Pardon? They were on telly, did you not see it? What were they called? Um What are them things like cucumbers? Suffragettes! You finished now? Yes.
Not the coffee! Are you nearly done, Bren? Hang on! How you doin'? Oh, not bad.
You gotta wipe your egg, few beans, what's that, couple 'e' mushrooms.
Two fork fulls.
How do you work that out? Well, if you balance your beans on your egg white, then while you're chewing that, have a good scrape round, stabbing them two mushrooms en route.
I don't I don't like mixing them up.
You're joking! No, I-I have my beans, I have my mushrooms, but only individually, one fork full at a time.
Do you not like dipping your sausage in your bean juice either? No, I couldn't do that.
You can do one of them plates with like compartments on it.
I do at home.
This is all in aid of the royal visit presumably.
This snatchin' the plates.
Yeah, they're coming in for the dinner so we're trying to get it really nice.
Well I think they're an outdated institution.
Finished! I said I've finished.
Uh, sorry! I thought you meant monarchy was finished.
Are you done? What? I've got this egg white.
Oh, it's only placenta, leave it.
Is it? I saw this documentary about it on television, did you not see it? Brilliant! Had this camera going right through a fallopian tube.
They're fantastic.
You know, they reckoned that if chickens were as big as people, it'd be like a nightmare, cos they'd never like queue for a bus.
Take it! So could you like never have lasagne then? Lasagne? No, I've never had something like that.
Oh, just thinking that you couldn't have that.
Lasagne, cos it's in layers, innit? Yeah.
Or pizza! Pardon? You couldn't have pizza? - No! - No! - That's me done.
- Bren: Thank you.
What do you think Bren? You look great.
Look at my bust.
Can you see anything? Like what? Can you see my 'ipples? No! You see what I don't want to happen is, if I'm serving the Prince, say coleslaw Yeah.
Then say someone goes out on 't fire escape.
There's a bit cold draught.
Ping! In what way ping? 'Ipples.
Oh, what, popping out! Yes.
Well, if it does happen, just like bend over the baked potatoes.
- And you get like a hot waft.
- Oh, I'm with you.
In fact, you could put one either side the coleslaw.
Aha! Seemingly for decoration, one level with each breast.
Thanks Bren! - Jean! - Tony! - No! - Tony! - Jean! - No No! [Sighs.]
What's she trying to do to me? We've had enough trouble with this damn curtsyin'.
We've had groin muscles snapping like knicker elastic.
Every time I come in there's someone skidding about on the lino like Torvill and Dean.
Twinkle! What? Do you want to get a job in an upstairs window in Amsterdam, or shall we try and cling on to our little foothold in catering.
Ooh, Hale and Pace! Shut the door! They've radioed in.
They're just leaving the airport now.
I was panicking then.
It was just hovering over the seven, but luckily I paid a visit and it dickered back down onto the six.
Dolly, they're coming to cop a lump of shepherd's pie, where does weight come in? Well I retain water, do you want me to blow it up? I'm easy.
You're lucky men don't swell up without warning.
No, we get a bit of warning I suppose.
Shut the door! - Bren! - Eh.
This is him, Catterick 1967.
That's Prince Philip? That's Prince Philip by the tank, and that's the Duke there with his back to the camera.
I thought you were on this! - See that basket? - Yeah.
- See that line by the side of it? - Yeah.
That's my leg! See! Look at my leg and then look at the photo! Oh, yeah! Great.
I treasure that.
I was just trying to add that little bit of height.
Because it would be nice to stand out.
He's bringing his wife, Jean.
Did you imagine the eyes were going to meet over a ginger sponge? Cos I wouldn't need heels if my feet were permanently attach to a pair of scales.
They're on their way! What do you think? I snitched them from the top floor.
- Thought they'd do for the tables.
- Dolly: Oh, yes.
The Royal party are sitting at these tables, are they? That lot from packing, they usually sit there.
Well, can't it be reserved? We can't have a Royal Highness sat next to Harry from Packing.
- Big Willie.
- What? Big Willie from Packing, he's the worst.
If he starts telling her what came out of his nose on the Big Dipper.
No, we'll reserve the tables definitely.
Keep your eye on the window.
They're driving in that way.
How lovely to queue! So British.
One seldom sees this in the Caribbean.
Do I say what I want? Or do you just give it to me? No, please do say your Highness.
There's a choice if you want to choose ma'am.
What's this? Shepherd's pie ma'am.
What's that? Well, it's mashed potato ma'am.
I don't eat potato.
And minced beef and onion in gravy.
Oh no! I don't like the sound of that at all.
What's that? Ham? It's em it's shepherd's pie ma'am.
Your Roya Royal Highna Highness.
Not made with real shepherds I hope.
[Laughing out loud.]
Um do you want some? Oh no, I should've waited for you, no youse Absolutely, and lots of it! We had an absolutely pathetic breakfast on the plane.
I wouldn't give it to a dead pig.
Would you not? Do you want veg? I'll you what I do want, chips.
Yes chips, and the carrots.
And kiwi fruit.
I never saw kiwi fruit in this country 20 years ago.
That's right.
You didn't.
No wonder the sperm count's dropped.
Our men being fed on kiwi fruit.
You're holding up the queue darling.
Am I? Do as the wife says, eh? We've reserved a very nice table.
Jolly good.
It's so gripping to be here.
They're just finishing their coffee.
Then Mr.
Michael and I will bring them over.
And then they'll just very informally meet And is it still tea and biscuits in the boardroom? What? Yes! Is it still? Yes.
Then you'll take the tea trolley down.
- Will do.
- And you'll hand round? We'll hand round.
I'm gonna bring them over.
Okay? He probably didn't get a proper look at you before.
No I understand that.
He's in a new environment.
He's had shepherd's pie to deal with.
That's not an easy meal to eat if you seldom have it.
No, no.
I'm not worried.
He'll know me now.
You see.
This is Tony Martin, Sir.
He's the manager of the canteen.
He's in charge of all the girls.
In charge of all girls then! Sounds like good job.
That's right, sir.
It is very much so.
Tony! Perhaps you'll introduce the girls to the Duke and Her Royal Highness.
Yes, sir.
Certainly Sir.
This is our youngest worker, not being with us very long.
This is Twinkle.
That's an unusual name! Why did they call you that? I don't really know.
And what's the most popular meal here in the canteen.
I don't really know.
Well, that was very informative.
Thank you.
And this is Anita.
Are you an immigrant? Sorry? No, Anita's British! Oh, that's good.
So you don't find it too cold here.
And how do you feel about having to wear a uniform? I think we can all see the sense of it, for hygiene, and it protects your nipples.
This is Dolly and Jean.
Our veteran ladies.
I wonder whether you could show me your charming kitchen.
This is our handyman and repairs.
This is Stan.
And this is my second- in-command Brenda.
Brenda, eh! Fair Brenda of the shepherd's pie.
You know what you absolutely cannot get from the Caribbean for love nor money? I don't, sir.
You could offer them the weight of your left testicle in sterling silver and still they couldn't oblige.
I'll tell you.
A bacon sandwich.
The bacon in the Caribbean is indescribable.
- Why is it not crispy? - Crispy.
But five a pension of lollipop lady would have more bite to it.
Sir, if you were thinking of moving down to the You look like a smoking man.
I am, sir.
Would you possibly have a little cigarette about your person? I would actually sir.
My wife thinks if I don't carry them I won't smoke them.
But of course in effect what happens is one's continually on the bum, as it were.
You have a light? Uh, you can't smoke in here cos it's a kitchen.
So, what do you do when Lady Nicotine beckons? I go on the fire escape.
Good enough.
To the fire escape.
Lead the way.
Isn't it dreadful? He always throws out the timetable like this.
Shall we go? David, would you bring his Royal Highness along when he's finished his fag? Of course ma'am.
Bloomin' heck, that were a strain.
I could do with a fag myself.
We'll whip round the other way with the teas and coffees.
Anita, are you coming down to serve? I said nipples.
I was gonna say it protects your clothing.
I said it protects your nipples.
Come on girls, move it! You better stick around, Bren.
He might want to ask you something, I don't know.
Are you coming down Stan? What's that about? Cos he didn't recog Tell me later.
Em, I just have a little errand.
I have to collect something from the car for Her Royal Highness.
Will you be around here for a few minutes? The Duke might want a little chat.
I'll have a chat.
Yeah, no problem.
Shut the Then the last day Brenda! So, how's tricks Brenda? How's life do you mean? Really good.
Yeah, yeah, thanks.
Are you an optimist Brenda? What, I look on the bright side do you mean? Yeah, definitely, yeah, yeah.
I do find that extraordinary.
Why? Do you not, you're not like happy with your life? Brenda, I find my life a complete effing bore.
Do you? I'm having dinner tonight at the Industrial Triple Glazing Allied Trades amalgamation.
Are you? Do you imagine that men who devoted their lives to industrial triple glazing to be particularly fascinating folk? Are they not? They are spectacularly tedious, titanically dull beings.
Oh, well, it's only one night! It's not really one effing night lovely Brenda! It stretches ahead.
The Wool Standards Authority here, the Association for the Support of Weaving With Handlooms there.
And all I ever want to do Brenda Brenda Brenda all I ever effing want to effing do, is have sex.
Is it? And it's such a bugger, because I never get any bloody time to do it.
I sit round these effing dinner tables I just wanna scream.
I could be having sex here.
I could be in bed now with some nice little woman, Little Cleo Laine on the hi-fi.
Bacon sandwich.
That's effing it you see Brenda! Bit of sex, and a bacon sandwich.
But what you do do, I mean it brings a lot of pleasure to people.
I'm sorry Brenda but I have to say that really is a lorry load of old poop.
No I mean you might not be getting a lot out of it, but if an ordinary person meets you, it's like really important to him, it's like really special.
Have you got a cupboard or something? Yeah.
You wouldn't fancy a bit of bunk up, would you? Not really.
A sort of a clinch and a decent snog would do it.
That won't actually.
I hope you didn't mind me asking.
No, no I'm quite flattered actually.
One day Brenda, one day the window of opportunity, the cupboard and the woman, they'll synchromesh like the gears on an Austin Riley.
Do you think? Oh, they might do.
Look, I tell you what.
I'll do something for you, and can you do me a favour for somebody else? Go on! Hang on.
Stan! Come up in five minutes.
Now, where have I put my cling film? He's comin'.
Where was it again? - Catterick.
- Yeah.
I say! Now this is a face that looks familiar.
I met you earlier on, but with the hairpiece on it didn't click.
Sir! Private Meadowcroft, isn't it? Catterick Army Camp nineteen sixty - Seven.
- Seven.
That's it, sir.
I was up there with that old rogue Philip, wasn't I? Prince Philip sir, that's correct sir.
April 15, sir.
That's the one.
We have a photo call sir, when you're ready.
Absolutely, lead on.
Jolly nice to see you again Meadowcroft.
And you, sir.
Good luck to both of you.
Mustn't forget this.
50% of the perfect evening, eh? - Meadowcroft! - Sir! Keep white washing the baskets.
Oh, yes.

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