Only Fools And Horses

The Miracle Of Peckham

THE TROTTERS' LOUNGE. Rodney is seated at the table feeling hung-over. He sips his coffee. He touches his aching temples gently. Rodney (Moaning) Bloody hell! Albert enters from the kitchen carrying a teapot and a kipper on a plate. Albert (Shouts) D-E-L! Rodney Why don't you just get a megaphone and finish me off quickly! Albert Now you know how I felt last night, I was fast akip I was, when you come in my room and made that horrible noise in my ear! Rodney Yes, sorry. Albert That could've killed me! Rodney D'you reckon? Albert Where d'you get that trumpet from anyway? Rodney What trumpet? Albert I felt my heart go all funny. In my unconscious state I thought it was the abandon ship alarm! Rodney Oh yeah, thought they was playing your tune did you? Albert Yes, that's all very well innit. You could at least say sorry! Rodney I am sorry, now can we drop the matter? Albert Charming innit. Fight and die for your country, and this is the thanks the younger generation gives yer. Rodney I'm sorry! Albert So, what was it all about last night then? Rodney Well, me and Del, it's just we'd had a right blinding week, I mean we were selling it before we'd bought it, so we had a bit of a celebration, right. Anyway, I went down the Nag's Head and, of course, Friday night is disco night innit? And I met this bird - Helen. Oh, she's really something else. I mean, she's tall, she's slender, bit older than me, but you know, I've been brought up to respect me elders. Albert Was it her trumpet? Rodney I don't know! I don't remember having a bloody trumpet. Anyway, listen right, you've gotta see this bird, she really is the works. You know, everyone in the pub was looking at me, they was as jealous as hell. Do you know who she looks like? She looks like that Linda Evans out of Dynasty. Albert Which one's that, Joan Collins? Rodney How can bloody Linda Evans be Joan Collins? It's Linda Evans, you know, she plays Krystal Carrington! Albert Oh her, that's a bit tasty innit son? Rodney Yeah, and she's got the right hots for your's truly. I have struck gold, son. Albert Well, good luck to you boy. (Yells) D-E-L! Del enters. Del Right, alright, you mouthy old git! What d'you think I am, mutton or something? Gawd blimey, eh? Oi, Rodney, you were a bit steaming when you come in last night, weren't you, eh? Rodney Yeah, well I had something to celebrate didn't I. Del Yeah, what, you finally got shot of it then, did ya? Rodney What? Del Well, you know, that old dog who was hanging round you last night. Rodney 'Old dog?' What d'you mean, 'old dog?' Del She was - she was a bit scraggy weren't she. Blimey, she must have been six foot six! Rodney Well yeah, she was tallish. Del Tallish? Blimey, not many birds call you shortie do they hey? Albert (Laughing) He told me she looked like Krystle Carrington. Del Krystal Carrington? Crystal bleedin' Palace more like from where I was standing! Rodney Derek, you do not even know the girl. Del Yes I do, course I do. Her name was Helen, right? Rodney ...No. Del Oh yes it was. 'Cos I know, 'cos they call her Helen of Croydon. The face that launched a thousand dredgers. Albert (Laughing) I'll do you a bit of break- fast Del. Del No, leave me out Albert. I've got a bit of business to do. No, it's alright. Rodney I tell you what, I could do with a bit of egg and bacon now. Albert Yeah, well, give Helen of Croydon a bell! Albert exits to kitchen. Rodney The rotten old git! Rodney takes Del's after-shave and sprinkles it over Albert's kipper. Del Oi, oi, don't waste it, what's the matter with yer? Give us it. Rodney Well, it's the way he treats me innit, him giving me all that just 'cos I woke him up. So, er, I had a trumpet with me when I came in last night? Del Oh yeah, that's right. Belongs to Biffo the bear, his group were playing at the Nag's last night, don't you remember? Rodney What's he lend it to me for? Del He didn't did he? Don't you remember, you were so out of your mind at one point last night you went on the stage, took his trumpet off him, blew down the wrong end, gave him the V-sign and walked out with it. Rodney Bloody hell, he's a big bloke an' all ain't he? Del And he ain't 'alf in a bad mood an' all. Rodney Why? Del Well, you won't believe this, some dozy git nicked his trumpet! Rodney I'll get it back to him today, hey, I'll buy him a drink or something. Del Yeah, well, you've got the morning off, 'cos, you know, I'm busy. Rodney Where you going? Del I'm goin' to church. Rodney (Laughs) No, come on, where you going? Del I am going to church. Rodney Why? Del Why not? See you later. Del exits. Rodney is dumbfound4ed. Albert enters from the kitchen. Albert Del gone? Rodney He's gone to church! Albert Church? Del Boy? Rodney Yeah! Albert That's funny you know, 'cos he came in from the pub last night, had a couple of pina coladas and started talking to me about religion. He asked me if I believed God saw everything - and, if so, did he take notes. I've seen blokes catch religion before, it's always very sudden like. Rodney moves to the sideboard and searches through a drawer. Rodney It's gone. Albert What's gone? Rodney His Cliff Richard cassette. Albert Ah, it's most probably no- thing son. Maybe he feels the need of a bit of spiritual guidance. Rodney Del? Yeah, maybe you're right Uncle. Albert Of course I am. I mean, I couldn't honestly see Del Boy becoming one of yer Burning Bush and Joshua at the battle of Jericho mob, could you? Rodney No, what Del? With the...No of course not! Hey, talking of Joshua, where's that trumpet? Albert I chucked it down the dust chute. Rodney You did what? That ain't mine, it's Biffo's! He'll mangle my head! Albert Well it'll teach you not to blow it in my ear 'ole won't it. Rodney Oh, you dopey little git. Rodney rushes to the hall and exits. Albert is laughing. He takes a bite of his kipper and almost chokes on it. DUST CHUTE. Rodney is in a giant bin ferreting through the garbage. Rodney Where is it? It can't be that far down, he only chucked it out this morning. Ugh, oh God! Who'd chuck something like that down a chute? Pigs. From beneath a pile of rubbish he pulls out the twisted trumpet. Rodney (Cont'd) I don't believe it. I don't believe it. How can I give it back to Biffo? He's bound to notice. Albert! I hate you Albert! Albert! There is a low rumbling sound. Rodney is puzzled. He looks up and gunge hits him straight in the face. HALL OF CHURCH. Del enters puffing on a Castella. He walks slowly down the aisle, footsteps echoing. In front of him is a large gold crucifix. Del bows his head respectfully and tries to do a sign of the cross, but it comes out more like tic-tac. Del Shop! Father O'Keith (OOV) I'll be with you in just a moment! Del (Calls) Right you are, thank you. CONFESSIONALS. Del enters the confessionals. Father O'Keith enters the hall from the back of the church. He surveys the hall for the visitor. He limps across the hall to the confessionals and enters. Father O'Keith Flaming corns, they've been the bane of my life. Cigar smoke billows between the two booths. Father O'Keith (Cont'd) Is that you Del Boy? Del Yes Father, it's me. Father O'Keith I thought as much! So, how are you these days? Del Well, you know, struggling. How's yourself? Father O'Keith Oh, the corns are still giving me gip. Del I've got some lovely ortho- paedic sandals coming along. I'll pop a pair into you. Father O'Keith Thanks Derek. So, to what do I owe the honour? Del I have come to confess my sins. Father O'Keith (Checks watch) Oh Derek please.. I've been invited out to dinner this evening. Del Well, it's just one main sin really. Father O'Keith Oh thanks be to God for that. Wait a minute. I didn't know you were Catholic. Del Eh? Well, I don't know do I? I don't know that. I was only a kid, but me mum was Catholic. Father O'Keith I know that, I married her here in this church. You're father wasn't Catholic. Del No, he was a black magic man I think. Father O'Keith Have you ever been to this church before? Del Well of course I have, when me mum and dad got married. Father O'Keith You were just a little baby then! I mean have you ever been to this church since then? Del Er, no. Father O'Keith Del, my boy, you disappoint me. Del I watched The Ten Command- ments on the telly. Look Father, I don't wanna get up there on Judgement Day and find out that I'm on the hit list. I mean, God sees everything doesn't he? Father O'Keith Look Derek, this is not the God'll Fix it Show. Forgiveness is only for those who feel shame and remorse. Del I do feel shame and remorse. Father, does it matter what religion I am? Father O'Keith Well, I don't know that you're not a Catholic, do I? Del That's the spirit, you know it makes sense. Father O'Keith Alright, fire away Del. But the truth mind you, I don't want you lying in my confessionals. Del Would I lie to you? Well, about a week ago I bought some gear off a couple of gentlemen. I bought it in good faith, honest I did. The thing is last night I found out there was more to it than meets the eye. I didn't know, honest I didn't. I mean, I was led like an artificial lamb to the slaughter. If I'd of known the full SP I would never have taken it on, honest I wouldn't. But you don't ask do you? Father O'Keith Well, you don't Del. Del I didn't think I needed to ask, Father, I trusted these two gentlemen. I believed that they were both honest and upstanding citizens of our community. Father O'Keith Who were these men? Del Sunglasses Ron and Paddy the Greek. Father O'Keith Well, you can't get them more honest and upstanding than them two. I'll give you a choice of penance. You can either say five Hail Mary's and ten Our Fathers or make a little donation to the hospice fund? Del Will a score be alright? They exit from the confessionals. Del Is that it then. All squared? Father O'Keith Your sins have been absol- ved Del. Del No, no Father, I wanted to be forgiven. Father O'Keith You have been forgiven. Del Oh, cushty. So what's the fund for then Father? Are they building a new extension to the hospice or what? Father O'Keith I wish they were Del. No, unfortunately they're demolishing it. Del Eh? But why? That's been there for years and years. Father O'Keith Ah, that's the problem. Over the years it's become dilapidated. They've estimated it'll cost a quarter of a million to repair it, that's what the fund's for. But, I'm grieved to say, we've got little or no chance of reaching our target. Del Wait a minute, maybe we could organise a charity darts match for you at the Nag's Head. How much more money d'you need? Father O'Keith One hundred and eighty-five thousand pounds. Del Say I threw a raffle in an' all, eh? Father O'Keith It's very, very kind of you Del, and I do appreciate it. But I really think this is one battle that we've lost. Del They can't knock it down. What's gonna happen to all the old and the sick people living there? Father O'Keith Well, they'll move them out first. Del I know, I know that. But I mean, to where? Father O'Keith Who knows? They'll probably be disbursed to the four quarters of the metropolis, far away from their friends and relatives. I mean, they're all local people in St Mary's. Del Yeah, I know, they looked after my old Mum you know, when she was ill. Father O'Keith So they did. Del Treated her well an' all. And my Grandad - bless him, he used to moan at 'em a lot. No, they can't knock it down! Can they? Father O'Keith Well, it's out of our hands, look I'll be honest with you Del. For the past six or seven months, since I first heard of the plans for the hospice, my faith has been tested. All my efforts and prayers have failed. You know, I feel as if I've let the people down. Del Now come on, come on, don't talk like that Father. Come on, something'll turn up. Remember the old saying? He who dares wins. Father O'Keith Well, I'll bear it in mind. Say a prayer for me Del. Del Yeah, I will. Del walks off up the aisle. Father O'Keith bows to the crucifix. He is about to blow the candle out when his attention is drawn to something. At first he is puzzled, but when he looks closer his expression turns to one of awe. Father O'Keith Sweet Jesus! Derek! Del, at the far end of the hall is about to put some money in the box. Del I'm putting it in, I'm put- ting it in! Father O'Keith Come and see this, hurry! He runs down the aisle. Del What is it? Father O'Keith Look! It's a miracle! Del looks in the direction indicated. The statue of the Virgin and Child is weeping. From the corner of it's right eye a tear is running down it's cheek. Del and Father O'Keith look at each other open-mouthed. A second tear falls. Del Yeah, don't get many of them round Peckham. Father O'Keith It's a sign Del. Del Yeah, it's a sign that we can make a fortune! Father O'Keith What? Del Can't you see what we've got ourselves? An authentic, delux miracle. They go for a bomb these days. Father O'Keith How can you talk about money at a time like this? Del Well, what d'you wanna talk about, yer holidays? Don't you see the opportunity you're being presented with here? People will pay hard cash just to see this sort of thing. Father O'Keith Look, I have no intention of turning my church into some fairground peep show. And how could I charge my own flock to see their miracle? Del I'm not talking about your flock. I'm talking about the newspapers, the magazines, the television! The media people will pay through their noses just to get this sort of thing on their front pages! Father O'Keith I don't know if it's right Derek. Del See those old people down at St Mary's hospice, they'd think it right wouldn't they? Listen to me, with the money you could earn out of this, you could have that place repaired, redecorated and get Samantha Fox to re- open it for yer! Father O'Keith D'you really think we could? Del Yeah of course. I mean she don't come cheap, but I'll see what I can do. Father O'Keith No, I mean save the hospice? Del Of course, of course we can. It'll be a doddle. Where's your phone? It's alright, I'll find it, you stay here. Father O'Keith (Calls) I don't think I could exploit... Del No, you couldn't Father, but I'm shit hot at it! TROTTERS' LOUNGE. Albert is watching TV. Rodney is wearing a dressing gown. He is holding the bent trumpet. Rodney thrusts it in Albert's face. Rodney Look at it! Just look at it will you! Albert Get it away from me. Rodney What am I supposed to tell Biffo? I let Yuri Geller have a go on it! Albert Tell him what you want son, ain't my problem. Rodney And you chucked all that rubbish down the chute know- ing that I was at the bottom! I've had to have a shower and everything. Albert I didn't chuck the rubbish down the chute. It must have been one of the neighbours. Rodney I found your kipper. Albert It could have been anyone's kipper. Rodney Oh yeah, and how many kippers wear Brut? Albert Is that what that horrible taste was? Rodney Yeah. Albert You sprinkled it with after -shave? Rodney Yeah, to get even with you. Albert I wish I hadn't told you where your trumpet was now. Rodney So do I actually. The telephone rings. Rodney answers it. Rodney (Cont'd) Hold that. Hello. Del, you wanna see what Rumplestilt- skin's done to this trumpet, he's only gone and chucked it...Oh, sorry! What'd you mean, phone Reuters? You've seen a what? (Laughs) What happened, did Boycie buy a round? Alright, alright, keep your hair on! Yeah, bloody hell, hold on... (Making a note on a pad) Yeah, right, ok - Reuters, Tass, the Peckham Echo...Oh right, BBC...ITV...Right, what about channel Four? Oh no, right ok. (Rubbing out Channel Four) Yeah, I've got it all, it's all here mate. Yeah, take care, I'll see you later on, see ya. Bye. (To Albert) He's flipped. He's complete- ly bloody loopy! Albert Why, what's happened? Rodney He's seen a miracle. Albert A miracle? Rodney Well, that's what the man said. Hang on a minute. Last night he was talking about God. This morning he went to church, this afternoon he's seen a miracle. It can only mean one thing. Albert He's caught religion. Rodney No, he's pulling a stroke ain't he? Oh, come on, think about it. There are Cardinals and Archbishops - they've been in the business all their lives and never got a sniff of a miracle. Then along comes Del, he's in the game five minutes and already he's a prophet. Profit being the operative word! How's he gonna make money out of the church? Albert He's got that consignment of orthopedic sandals coming soon. Rodney Yeah, so what? Albert Well, maybe hes got the franchise on the monastery. Rodney Maybe. THE MAIN HALL OF CHURCH Three days later. Facing the statue are a BBC news camera and an ITN news camera. A number of photographers and reporters are sitting around on the pews. A rather embarrassed Father O'Keith approaches Del. Father O'Keith Nothing's happening Del. They've been waiting for three days, and nothing's happened. Del Na, na. Yeah, I know, 'ere Father, have a look at these contracts. I worked them out in such a way that if they want to sell any of the photos or the film of the miracle anywhere else in the world, they've got to pay you again, look see. Father O'Keith You've made them sign contracts? Del Of course I have, it's business innit? No poppy, no picture, that's my motto. Father O'Keith But what happens if the miracle doesn't occur again? Del Well, we give 'em their money back, I suppose. But don't worry, don't worry. I always get this feeling when the miracle's due and I've got a feeling it could be pretty son too. Father O'Keith Well, I hope you're right. Del Trust me, trust me. Rodney and Albert enter and approach Del. Rodney No luck? Del You know, 'ere take a butch- ers at that will ya. Rodney (Looking at contract) They're paying you all that money? Del Well, it's not every day that they get a chance to see a miracle is it, eh? And that's just the British media, you wait till the rest of the world's press gets here. Albert Look at all these noughts Rodney. Rodney Yeah. Albert You can see his game now can't yer? Del What are you talking about? Albert You're gonna cream some off ain't yer? Del Now you listen to me Albert, I am not the kind of bloke who cheats on the sick and the elderly. You put your peepers down there, you'll see that all cheques are made payable to St Mary's hospice fund! Albert Sorry son. Del That's alright. I simply want to keep that place open, and you'd better pray I succeed! Albert Why? Del 'Cos one more crack out of you and you're gonna be their next client! One of the cameramen calls out. Man David, look at this will you! All the press pack rush forward. The statue begins weeping. Del gives Father O'Keith a wink. Del and Albert are dumbfounded by the miracle. MAIN HALL OF CHURCH. Two days later. Word has spread around the world. Camera crews have arrived from all countries. Del and Rodney are studying another batch of contracts. Del (Referring to contract) Take a look at that one Rodney. INT. CHURCH. LATER ON. Another camera crew enters. Aus G'day, Australian Broad- casting. Del G'day to you. Sign that pal. Aus Well what is it? Del That tells you how much you've gotta pay to take pictures of the finest little miracle this side of Heaven. Aus (Reading) Struth! Stone the crows! Del I tell you what we're gonna do, while we're waiting, save us getting bored, we're gonna have another little collection. Alright, there we go, come on, thank you very much. Come on everybody, now let's dig deeply for the poor and needy. No coins please, because it scratches the pewter. Thank you, and you, danke schon, merci bo-coo. Thank you. As Del collects the money, the 'miracle' occurs once more. Del (Cont'd) Hello, now they're off and running! Aus Get that camera over here. Del Just a minute, just a minute. Have you signed that contract please? Thank you. Oi mind the camera there will yer? Thank you very much. There you are Rodney, it's done, my son. Father O'Keith This is the happiest day in my life. Del Yeah, I know what you mean Father. It's rien ne va plus as the French would say... Where's the brolly? EXT. DAY. THE CHURCH. It is raining. Del exits followed by Rodney. The Aussie approaches and hands him a piece of paper. Aus Sign that will you. Del (Thinking it's an autograph) Oh yeah, sure, who's it for then, the wife or the kids? Aus That's a receipt for all the collections. Del Hey, oh right. Man Oi Bruce! Del Why are they all called Bruce? An American interviewer approaches. Interviewer Mr Trotter? Del Yes? Interviewer Sandra Cox, NBC, New York. Father O'Keith told me that you actually prophesied the miracles. Del Um, yes, this is true, that's me. Interviewer I wonder if we might have a short interview for our viewers over in the States? Del Yes, of course. (Calls) Make-up? Is there some make -up there? MAIN HALL OF CHURCH. Father O'Keith is alone in the church. Albert wakes up from sleeping on one of the pews. Albert Everyone gone? Father O'Keith Oh, yes, yes they have all they need. And so do we. All thanks to your nephew. Albert Yeah, he brought you nothing but luck, didn't he? Father O'Keith Unfortunately he also brings the weather with him. Every time he's prophesied the miracle it's been pouring with rain. They share a grin. Father O'Keith climbs a small plinth and looks just above the statue. Water drips down from a wooden beam just inches above the statue's head. Father O'Keith is horrified. OUTSIDE THE CHURCH. Del is being interviewed. Interviewer And what form do these 'divine' messages take? Del Well, what happens is that I get this strange sort of feeling from the centre of my body. At first, I thought it was a dodgy mutton tikka. Then I realised I was in fact a prophet. Many are called, but I'm afraid, few are chosen. I do not want any reward for the work I have done for the elderly and sick in the community. No medals, no OBEs, no Nobel Prizes. No, I would like to think, however, if there is enough money left after repairing the hospice that they might build a new wing and perhaps name it after me. This would... Father O'Keith appears behind Del, grabs him by the collar and drags him inside. Del (Cont'd) Thank you. Father O'Keith Come with me! Rodney Sorry viewers, the Lord's work calls. Rodney Trotter signing off. Interviewer Oh, cut. BELFY. Great shafts of light are coming through the roof. Footsteps can be heard coming up the stairs. The door opens and the Father, Del and Rodney enter. Del Alright, it's a bit dirty up here, innit? Don't shove, don't shove. Father O'Keith Look at my roof! One side of the roof is missing tiles and lead. There are just rafters and open skies. The rain is pouring in. Rodney Bloody hell! Sorry. Father O'Keith And look! The water seeping through the floor across the joist onto the lamp and right onto the statue. This isn't a miracle, it's a flaming leak! Del Oh, that's a turn-up, innit? Father O'Keith Somebody's stolen the lead. Del You can't trust anyone these days can you, eh? Rodney No, wait, you're in luck, because we've got a load of lead in our ga...rage. (To Del) I don't believe you! Father O'Keith So this is what you bought off Sunglasses Ron and Paddy the Greek isn't it? Del I didn't know at the time, otherwise I wouldn't have touched it. That's what I come to tell you. Father O'Keith But you didn't tell me. Del No, I'm not a grass, am I? Father O'Keith You knew all along it was no miracle, you weren't receiving divine messages, you were listening to the weather forecast! Del Yeah, we saved St Mary's though, didn't we. Father O'Keith Derek, look me in the eyes! Are you telling me that for the sake of some small, decrepit old building, you created this whole tissue of lies and deceit? You deliberately and willingly set out to defraud all those newspapers and television companies out of thousands and thousands of pounds? Is that what you're telling me? Del and Rodney both have their heads bowed. Del nods. Father O'Keith places his hands on Del's head. Father O'Keith God bless you my son! STREET. Del and Rodney walk in front of the church. Del I was gonna do some lecture tours, organise prayer meetings at Wembley you know, something like that! This time next year we was gonna be millionaires! Rodney This time next year you'd have been a prison inmate unless you watch your step! If I was you Derek, I would keep a very low profile. Journalists Thanks, cheers pal. Thanks for your help. Del and Rodney, with their heads down, mumble replies. Each journalist shakes their hands and let go. Rodney with his head down, has shaken two hands, but the third doesn't let go. Rodney is puzzled and looks up. He is staring into the face of a very tough looking guy. It is Biffo. Biffo Where's my trumpet? Rodney Oh hello, Biffo, how are you? Biffo Where's my trumpet? Rodney Your trumpet. Yeah, there's been a bit of a hitch on the old trumpet front, mate. (Indicating Albert) See that old man there? Biffo turns and Rodney legs it. Biffo (Calls) Oi! Where's my trumpet? Albert (To Del) Ain't you gonna do something? Del Yeah, course I am! (Calls to Film crews) Oi, do you want to film some authentic inner city violence? Come on, bring yer cameras, bring your wallets. (Calling up the road) Hold on Rodders, not so fast!

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                                                                       President (T.I.T.)


British Broadcasting Corporation

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