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Christmas Special 2008

Transmitted on: Wednesday 24th December 2008

Episode Summary

Susan looks for her Christmas present under the tree - she and Ben play a game until a wrapped vacuum cleaner is retrieved from the cupboard – she is not amused and storms off.
Ben’s attempt at pacifying Susan by taking her breakfast in bed doesn’t work – he has to get her something special and she describes a necklace she has seen. Ben duly presents Susan with the gift, but a couple of days later he notices a jewellery sale advert in the local newspaper. He successfully obtains a full refund on the necklace, but the shop assistant refuses to sell it back at the sale price because it can’t be processed that quickly. Ben asks to see the General Manager - who is in the Grotto standing in for a drunken Santa!

Ben wheedles his way to the front of the queue in the Grotto to confront the General Manager, but becomes belligerent and is ejected by Security. A fracas ensues, but Ben is not scared… until Susan appears. She promises to take Ben off the premises…but instead leads him to the Ladies Fashions’ floor determined to go on a spending spree at his expense.

However, she gets the zip stuck on a new dress and when Ben goes into the cubicle to help her they get distracted and do not realise the store is closing. On hearing the Security Guard approaching they decide to hide and eventually realise they will be locked in all night.

Ben notices a competition poster and decides the prize of a holiday to Mauritius would be a good alternative present for Susan. He decides to cheat and purposely spills the ping-pong balls in the competition drum and starts counting them.

Ben and Susan awake the next morning to find themselves in bed in the window display and on returning home explain that it was only the amount of money they had spent in the store that allowed them to escape any retribution from the store.

After Christmas, a letter arrives announcing the competition winner – Susan!

Ben parades in an Hawaiian shirt ready for his Mauritius trip… Susan teases that she hasn’t decided whether to take him or not.

Much to Ben’s chagrin, the post brings news of an MBE for Susan for her charity work – Susan phones the Palace to accept her award but Ben realises the date clashes with their Mauritius trip and he knows where he would rather be! Susan gives the Mauritius tickets away to Janey, Michael and Alfie who decide that whoever lasts longest giving something up for New Year wins the tickets. Then Ben gets a letter and 25-year service certificate from his dental authority, but the awards luncheon also clashes with Susan’s investiture which she deems more important to attend – Ben admits defeat.

At the Investiture, Ben is impressed by the surroundings – including the chocolates which have the Royal Crest on them. He decides to take some to sell on E-bay and crams his pockets full. However, his sticky fingers mark Susan’s jacket and his attempts to remedy the situation get out of hand, culminating in tearing off her jacket sleeve, ruining her hat, and finally tipping red wine over her. Nevertheless, she proceeds with the other guests into the inner room to receive her award and on returning home is pleasantly surprised to find Ben has gathered all the family to congratulate.


Character Played by
Ben Harper Robert Lindsay
Susan Harper Zoe Wanamaker
Janey Harper Daniela Denby-Ashe
Michael Harper Gabriel Thompson
Roger Bailey Keiron Self
Alfie Butts Rhodri Meilir
Kenzo Harper Tayler Marshall
Mr. Walker Julian Clary
Mr. Carstairs James Smith
Big Tattooed Man Terry Bird
Stunt Co-ordinator Andy Bennett
Royal Equerry Robin Sebastian


Role Name
Director Nic Phillips
Producer John Bartlett
Writer Paul Minett
Writer Brian Leveson
Executive Producer Tom Anderson
Executive Producer Don Taffner

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