Only Fools And Horses

Stage Fright

INT. THE NAG'S HEAD. DAY. Raquel is standing talking to Mike and Trigger at the bar. Del, power-dressed, with mobile phone and briefcase, is seated at a table reading a letter. Rodney is sitting opposite Del, eating a sandwich. Albert is reading the letter over Del's shoulder. Del I don't believe it! When did this arrive? Albert This morning. Del Well, why didn't you let me know sooner? Albert I couldn't get in touch with yer. You've been out all morning. I thought you might have popped home for elevenses. Del How many times I gotta tell you, Unc? Elevenses is for wimps. I'm out there on that yuppy tight- rope, nerves on red alert. A beta-blocker and a dream, that's me. I eat on the move, mobile phone in one hand, a Pot Noodle in the other. Albert I tried to call you on yer mobile phone. Rodney That's why Del ended up with an earful of noodles. Del Oh look, the boy from the blackstuff's woken up! Rodney Look, just 'cos I'm out of work, there's no need to rub it in! For all you know my recent misfortunes could herald a watershed in my life and I could go on to greater things. Del Oh yes! You've broken up from your wife, walked out of a beautiful home, resigned from a highly paid job and pulled the chain on your career. That's just the sort of springboard you need for the future, innit? Rodney Something'll turn up. Del That's what General Custer said! And something did turn up! Another bloody load of Indians! Albert You should be giving Rodney a bit of encouragement. Del What d'you think I'm dong? I'm worried about him! A few weeks back he had cash on the hip and a glowing future. Now he's skint and the only thing that's glowing is his liver! Albert What happened to that golden handshake he got from the printing firm? Del He's kissed that all up the wall, ain't he? Blown it all on Cuba libres and lairy suits. Rodney I don't believe this git! He has the audacity to sit here moralising with me while holding a letter from the magistrates' court saying his case has been brought forward! Del Yeah, well one of them things, innit? Everyone has got to go to court once in their life. Rodney Once in their...! They've given you yer own parking place! Del Don't try and change the subject, Rodney! Albert I think what Del's trying to say is: for the last month or so you've been living back at the flat. In the past that was alright, but now Raquel is pregnant. Del And it shows, don't it? See that little lump? That's my embryo. Rodney, revolted, puts his sandwich down. Del See, a few months from now there'll be no space in the flat. Rodney She'll be that big, will she? Del I mean, that room of yours will be turned into the nursery. This is a perfect opportunity for you to go out and find yer own bachelor pad, innit? Albert He's waiting for the council to offer him some- thing. Del Oh, cushty. Well, with any luck we might be able to throw a combined party. Rodney's house-warming and my son's 21st! Rodney For your information, Derek, the council phoned this morning with an offer of accommodation. Del No! Really? Albert It's true, Del. I was there when he got the call. Del Well, that's terrific news, Rodney. Well done, bruv. Rodney They've offered me an LDA. Del An LDA! Well, things are looking up! Rodney I'm viewing it this after- noon. Del If you need any furniture, give us a shout. Young Towser's doing a very nice line in quality reject three-piece suites. Rodney Right. Could come in handy ... Del, can I ask you something? Del Of course, bruv. Anything. Rodney What's an LDA? Del Dunno! Albert Well, it's an abbreviation for something. Rodney I know it's an abbreviation for something! But what? L-D-A. Maybe it stands for Luxury Detached Abode? Del Yeah! I doubt it, but maybe! I'll get the drinks. Rodney Not for me. I'd better go home and change. I'm meeting the council mush in an hour. Del Best of luck, bruv. Rodney exits. Del crosses to the bar, where Mike is talking to Raquel. Trigger is next to Del. Trigger Wotcher, Del Boy. Alright? Del Yeah. Mike, same again, please. Mike Hang on, Del. (To Raquel) So you thought of a name yet? Raquel No! It's too early for that. Mike It's best to sort it out early. Saves rows later. Del Mike! Del holds his glass out. Mike Yeah, hang on a minute, Del. Mike (To Raquel) So how's this gonna affect your career? Raquel What career? Mike (To Raquel) I thought you was an actress and a singer and all that. Raquel Yeah. Well, I think in my condition I'll put my career on hold for a while. Like 15 years or so. Trigger (To Raquel) That reminds me. You know the Down By The Riverside Club? Del Yeah. I'm thinking of going and getting a drink there. Mike, when you're ready! Mike I've only got one pair of hands, Del! (To Raquel) I remember the night I came home and my wife told me she was two months pregnant. I was a cocktail waiter at the time. Raquel Ah! It's a moment you'll never forget. Mike That's right. I remember it especially, 'cos I'd just come home from three months on a cruise ship. Raquel Oh! Sorry. Mike Oh no, it was a nice cruise. Do you wanna see the snaps? Trigger A mate of mine from the council's depot's singing there tonight. Mike and Raquel continue chatting as Trigger talks to Del. Del What? Trigger At the Down By The River- side Club. Tony Angelino. Del Who? Trigger Tony Angelino. That's his stage name. Del Sounds like a good evening, Trig. A few drinks, scampi in a basket and the singing road-sweeper. Cushty. Trigger He's not a road-sweeper! (As if to impress) He's on the dust. Del Oh well! Trigger He sung there once before, about six years ago. Del He's back by popular demand, is he? Trigger Yeah. He's got a terrific voice. He's gonna be a big star one day. Fancy coming down there tonight? Del No. Mike (To Del but is referring to Raquel) What you hoping for? Del The same again if you're not too busy! Mike I mean he baby. Del Oh. It's a boy. Raquel How do you know? It might be a girl. Del No, no. It's a boy. I know it is! Mike Don't forget, you can hold a very nice wedding reception up above here. Del and Raquel share a look as Mike goes for the drinks. Del (To Raquel) Let's go and sit down over there. They move towards a table. Del Have you told any of your family yet? Raquel I've written to my parents. Del I was thinking more about your husband. Raquel My solicitor's still trying to trace his whereabouts. We've been apart now for seven years so divorce'll be no problem. Del Well, as soon as that comes through we'll get hitched. Raquel Sorry? Del We'll tie the knot. Raquel But I might not want to marry you. Del What you mean, you might not wanna marry me? Don't be silly. Raquel I'm not being silly! You haven't even asked me. Del Haven't ask...! Cor blimey, Raquel! You're... Well, you are, ain't yer? Where I come from action speaks louder than words. Raquel Would you keep me in the style that I've become accustomed to? Del Of course I would. Raquel Well, there's no way I'm marrying you then! Del Listen to me. We're gonna have a blinding future together. Raquel Are we? Albert begins playing the piano. Del Yes, we are. Everything's beginning to fall into place. Business is going well and I've got a lot of new projects in the old pipeline. (Checks watch) I've got a meeting in half an hour's time with an old mate of mine who owns one of these dinner and dance clubs. I think he's heard about them 300 packets of crisps I've got in the garage. Albert is playing and singing 'Slow Boat to China'. Del Listen, he's playing our song... badly. I've got a really good feeling about the future. I tell you, Raquel, this time next year I'll be a millionaire. Raquel Alright then, I accept. Del Good girl! You know it makes sense. Raquel Maybe tomorrow we could go out and get an engagement ring? Del Not tomorrow, sweetheart. I'm in court. Raquel reacts - this is news to her. INT. THE STARLITE ROOMS. DAY. There is a small dance area with tables around it. To one side is a long bar, and there is a stage. A cleaning lady is hoovering the carpet. Behind the bar sits Eric the manager, a tough-looking cockney. Del enters. Del Eric! How are you going, pal? Eric Talk about Marley's ghost! Del Boy! You're looking prosperous. Del Yeah, can't complain. Well, I can, but no one listens. Eric I've heard good things about you, Del. You're making your mark in the parish. I'm pleased for you. I like to see people get on. Last time I saw you, you were really struggling - driving round in some shitty little three-wheeled van. Eric laughs at this. Del (Laughing along with Eric) Those were the days, eh? Er ... actually I kept hold of that van - nostalgia - all that. I just use it for business. Eric What's yer main motor, then? A little sports coupé? Eric has pronounced coupé as 'coop'. Del Yeah, something like that. I ain't seen you for... what? Five, six years. Eric Is it that long? Del Yeah. You thought I'd done you out of 500 quid. Eric Well, you did, didn't you? Del No, no. I explained it to you at the time. It was just a misunderstanding. Eric Yeah, well. We'll let sleeping dogs lie, eh, Del? Del Yeah, all in the past, eh, Eric? You've done this place up nice. Eric Yeah, it's doing some business as well. Del Cushty! I'm pleased for you. Anyway! What d'you want? You left a message with my answer-machine. Eric I thought it was your uncle. Del Same thing. Eric Got a bit of a problem, Del. Tomorrow night the club's been booked for a birthday party cabaret, all the exes. I had a young singing duo lined up, but they've let me down at the last minute. I've phoned round all the local agents. (Producing a sheet of paper) That's what I've been offered so far. Del (Reading the paper) Well, that looks alright to me. Eric No. I need a singer, Del. Someone who knows what they're doing. Now I heard recently that you're living with some bird who used to do a bit of nightclub singing. Del Raquel? Yeah, she's done a bit of singing. But she packed it all in ages ago. Eric Would she fancy coming out of retirement for one night? Del She's three months pregnant, Eric. I couldn't ask her to do something like that. Eric It's hardly hod-carrying, Del. I mean, all she's gotta do is four or five songs. Del No. She told me once before about the nervous tension she used to suffer before she went on stage. I couldn't ask her to do that. Eric That's a shame, Del. I've got a contract here just waiting to be signed by someone. Del I'm sorry, pal. I'd liked to have helped you, but... Raquel's given the business up. It's her life. I can't go inter- fering with her wishes. You don't want any cheap packets of crisps, do you? Eric No, what I want's a singer. I'd have made it worth her while - 600 quid for one night's work ain't to be sneezed at. Del produces a pen to sign the contract. Del She'll need a backing group! As Del signs we see Eric grin an evil, vengeful grin. INT. THE TROTTERS' LOUNGE. DAY. Del is seated at the table trying to eat his lunch. Albert is also seated at the table eating lunch. Raquel is seated across the table shouting at Del. Raquel What d'you mean you promised him? Del What could I do, sweet- heart? It's a mate in trouble. Raquel I don't care who it is, Del! I'm not doing it! Del But I gave him your word. Raquel Well, you had no right to! Del It's 300 quid, Raquel! Raquel I don't care how much it is, Derek! I'm not doing it! Del Come on, sweetheart! Eric's in right lumber. He's been in touch with all the agents - he even showed me the list they sent him. So far he's been offered 12 strippers, 18 blue comedians, a trained dog act and Lionel Blair. Raquel So what's wrong with that? Del Nothing's wrong with it. It's just that Eric wants you! Albert But she's three months pregnant. Del I ain't asking her to be a belly-dancer, am I? Just sing a few songs. (Referring to her belly) Anyway, it doesn't show. Turn round, sweetheart. There are, it don't show. You've got a lovely figure and a beautiful voice. And that is a gift, Raquel, and you could share that gift with the world. Raquel Or a bunch of drunks in the Starlite Rooms! Del, I've never sung in a real night- club before! Del You showed us that poster of when you appeared on the same bill as Otis Redding at the Talk of the Town, London. Raquel It was Laurie London at the Talk of the Town, Reading. Del Well, same thing, innit? Raquel No, it is not! That was the one and only time I've ever appeared alone on stage. It was a nightmare. I forgot the words, I forgot the tune, it was a nightmare! People actually cheered when they announced last orders. The only other times I've been on stage has been in a double act. I was with the magician, the Great Ramondo. I was in that duo, Double Cream. See, I don't mind that. There's someone there to support you. Someone there to share the blame. Del Well, I'll sort you out a singing partner. Raquel It's not as simple as that! You have to get to know each other - rehearse - find out whether we can harmonise and whether we're even compatible. Del We'll do all that! Albert When's the show? Del Tomorrow night. Raquel Tomorrow night! It's impossible! Del (Producing a contract) Look I've signed a contract guaranteeing that I will supply the cabaret. It's legal and binding. Raquel (Reading the contract) The Trotter International Star Agency! Del That's me. I've diversi- fied. Raquel Why did you sign a contract before you'd even spoken to me? Del Because I ever for one moment thought that you would let me down. Rodney - possibly. (Referring to Albert) Him - like a shot, but you? No. Still, I shouldn't be too surprised. It's the story of my life, really. My dad let e down, walked out and left me to fend for meself. My mum died, it weren't her fault, but I actually felt that she'd let me down as well. It's funny the things that go through yer mind when you're only 16 and... alone. Maybe that's why I've always played it straight with people. I've always been open and upfront because I hate the thought of other folk feeling let down - the way I did. Albert has been looking at the contract. Albert It says here he's paying you 600 quid! Del (Under his breath) You mouthy old git! Albert You said 300. Del Yes. And isn't it obvious why I said that? Albert No. Del Because... because... because I realised that a fee of 600 pounds would make Raquel even more nervous than she already was. So I tried to take the sting out of it - smooth the edges down - relieve the pressure - by saying it was only 300. Raquel kisses him gently on the hand. Raquel Thank you. Del So you're gonna do it for me, are you? Raquel But who will I be singing with? Del Trust me, Raquel, trust me. I will never put you wrong. We'll go through some of my LPs, pick out a few classics. Raquel But these songs have gotta have musical arrangements. We need a pianist. Del Well, that's no problem, is it? Albert! Albert (With a big optimistic smile) Yes, Del? Del Get the Yellow Pages, we'll sort out a musician. (To Raquel) What d'you say? Raquel I'll think about it, Del. Del Cushty! Raquel I'm just thinking about it, Del! No promises. Del Of course not. But in the meantime you have a little practice, eh? Get the old voice in trim - just in case. Raquel Yeah. Alright - just in case. I'm gonna make some coffee. Anyone else? Albert I'll have a cup, dear. Del And me, sweetheart. Raquel exits to the kitchen. Del She's gonna knock 'em bandy, Albert. You wait and see. We hear Raquel singing in the kitchen. At first she is singing reasonable quietly. Raquel Do you know the way to San José, I've been away so long I'm going home to San José. Del Listen to that. Voice like an angel. (Calls into the kitchen) Sing up, darling, don't be shy. Raquel raises her volume and continues singing the song. Del does a little dance to her singing. Del Lovely Jubbly! Rodney enters from the hall, wearing a suit and looking very depressed. Del Raquel's singing at the Starlite Rooms. Rodney Yeah? Her voice don't half travel, don't it? Del No, I mean, she's in the kitch... What's up with you? Rodney I've just been to view the council's offer of accommodation. And you were right, LDA does not stand for Luxury Detached Abode. Del I had a feeling. Rodney LDA stands for Low Demand Accommodation. Albert What's that, then? Rodney It's a place where no one else wants to live! Albert What they like? Rodney Well, they're er... (Referring to the flat) They're like this! Del You saucy little git! (Shouting into kitchen) Keep the noise down, Raquel! We can't hear ourselves think out here! Rodney You should have seen the place they offered me. It was like a time-share apartment on Albert Square. Albert Did you take it? Rodney Of course I didn't! Raquel enters from the kitchen. Albert Well, you've gotta find a place of your own soon, Rodney. (Referring to Raquel) A few months from now she'll be having a kiddie. Rodney Yes, I know! But at the moment the council's my only hope. I'm out of work and have no money coming in, so I can't afford to look in the private sector. Raquel I don't wish to sound brutal, Rodney, but why don't you get another job? Rodney starts laughing uproariously at this. After a few seconds Albert starts laughing as well. Rodney It's not that funny, Albert! (To Raquel) With my history the only chance I have of future employment is to go out and find my own window-cleaning round. Raquel I'm sorry, I don't under- stand. You left your previous employment of your own accord. You weren't sacked, you resigned. So where's the problem? Rodney It's not as simple as that, Raquel. (Accusingly) Is it, Derek? Del You see, sweetheart, Rodney's only ever had one real job - working for Cassandra's dad - the job he's just resigned from. Raquel But I thought prior to that he was a partner in Trotters Independent Traders. Rodney starts laughing again. Del Yes, he was - and sorely missed when he left. But you see, Trotters Independent Traders was never what is legally known as a pukka business. We never quite got round to registering our name at Companies House. It helped us cut down on a lot of paperwork... Rodney ... and income tax and VAT. Del Yes... So officially Rodney left school at 16 but didn't get his first job until he was 26. The only other time he showed up on a government computer during that decade was when he received a suspended sentence for possession of cannabis. Raquel (To Rodney) And you don't fancy window -cleaning? Rodney No. I don't like heights. Albert Couldn't you specialise in bungalows? Rodney Shuddup, Albert! Raquel Alan's bound to give Rodney a glowing reference. Del We know that, sweetheart. But where's he gonna say he was for the other 10 years - in the toilet? No, it's a problem. It's a shame you can't get a job in something that really interests you... Like... Well, music. You like music, don't you? Rodney Yeah. Del Even if it was a part-time job. Rodney Yeah, that'd do. Del Something like... a road... manager. Rodney (Laughs ironically) Where would I get some- thing like that? Del You never know your luck, Rodders. You just never know your luck. EXT. THE DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE CLUB.NIGHT. The club is by the river. It is a large and brightly lit prefabricated building, its lights reflecting in the river. Somewhere a tug hoots. From inside the club we can hear the muffled tones of Ton Angelino singing 'Fall in Love'. Tony I've been in love so many times. Thought I knew the score, The van pulls into the crowded car parking area, which is rough and rutted. Tony (Cont'd) But now you've hurt me Oh so bad, I can't take it any more. And it looks like I'm never gonna fall in love again. Del, overcoat draped round his shoulders in what he believes is show-biz agent fashion, alights from the van. Rodney, dressed in a suit and tie, alights from driver's side. He looks towards the club and listens to the song. He closes his eyes as a great dread comes over him. Del loves the sound he is hearing. As they move to the entrance we see a sign outside: 'The Down By The Riverside Club Welcomes Tony Angelino - The Singing Dustman'. Tony (Loud and powerful) F... a...ll in love, I'm never gonna - fall in love. I'm never gonna fall in love again. INT. THE DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE CLUB. NIGHT. Tony Angelino, a drummer and a guy playing a sophisti- cated synthesizer are on the smallish stage. Tony is 35, slim and tanned and has black, curly Tom Jones- type hair. He is wearing a pair of sunglasses. His shirt is open almost to his navel, and he is wearing tight black trousers and a belt with a massive gold buckle. Something is hanging inside his trousers which could easily be an 8"" salami. Around the stage are 8 or 10 tables occupied mainly by 50-year-old women. Most of the villainous-looking men are hanging around the bar. Tony (Singing) All the songs I heard about you, I thought they were only lies. But when I saw you with another man, I just broke down and died. And it looks like I'm never gonna fall in love again. Del and Rodney enter and move to he bar. Del (To Rodney but referring to Tony) He's good, ain't he? Rodney Good! He's bloody awful! Del You don't know what you're talking about, bruv. Look at all the old dears. They'll be chucking their corsets on the stage in a minute. Tony F... a... ll in love. Please don't ask me to, fall in love. You see, I'm never gonna fall in love again. The song ends to rapturous applause from the ladies. Del Listen to that, they love him. If I put him and Raquel together I'm on a right winner. Rodney But she's pregnant! Del Only a little bit! Rodney You're just exploiting her, ain't yer? Del She's earning out of it, and earning well! We've all gotta do our little bit to bring money into the flat. Rodney Yeah. Well, I reckon it's all wrong. Del It's got nothing to do with you, Rodney. You are just my road manager - part-time at that! I've explained your duties - you drive 'em to rehearsals, get the tea and sandwiches and sweep up when they've finished. Rodney Am I allowed to voice any opinion or repertoire, presentation, arrangement, interpretation? Del No. Rodney Right. I will do exactly as you say. And no bloody more! You won't hear another word out of me on the matter! Del Good. We hear the opening bars to 'Delilah'. Tony (Singing) I saw light on the night that I passed by her window. Rodney It's old-fashioned, Del. Who’s' gonna pay money to listen to this? Del (Indicating the women) Well, they have, ain't they? (Indicates the men) And so have they! You seem to think that popular music is all about the top 10. Well, it ain't - 80 per cent of the people in this country are middle of the road and that is what they like to hear. I mean, John Denver and Roger Whitaker never get on Top Of The Pops, but they still sell millions of records a year. It's serious bunce, Rodney, serious bunce. And this is my chance of getting a piece of the action. Raquel and Tony could become the new... the new Carpenters. Rodney Or plumbers, or brickies. Del Peters and Lee. Rodney Ooh! Del Sonny and Cher. Rodney Chas and Dave. Del Renee and Renato. Rodney Mills and Boon. Del has not heard any of Rodney's insults. Del You got that contract? Rodney Yeah. (Producing the contract) I don't know if it's all legal. I ain't been trained in that sorta thing. Del You've got two GCEs Rodders, that'll do for me. (Reading the contract) Yes, lots of 'hereinafters' and 'forthwiths' - Lovely Jubbly. Tony finishes his act with the final couple of lines of 'Delilah'. Tony (Singing) Forgive me, Delilah, I just couldn't take any m... o... Tony takes his bows to great applause. Tony Thank you. Thank you so much. You've been a wonderful audience. Tony makes his way to the side of the stage. The synthesizer-player takes the mike. Synth Player Ladies and gentlemen - Tony Angelino. Tony exits with a bow and a wave. INT. CORRIDOR/SMALL PRIVATE WASHROOM. NIGHT. As Tony exits Del and Rodney are waiting for him. Del has the contract in his hand. Rodney He'll never sign that contract! Del He'll sign it, Rodney... Tony, lovely performance. Tony Thanks. Del holds the contract and pen out. Del Would you? Tony believes this to be an autograph. Tony Of course. Del points to where he wants the signature to go. Tony signs and moves off. Del blows the ink dry. Del (To Rodney) Easier than you thought, weren't it? Rodney I don't believe you done that! Del He who dares, Rodders! (Calls) Tony, can I have a word, son. Del catches him up in the corridor. Del Bit of business to discuss. I've got a few bookings lined up for you. Tony Yeah? Come in ere. We can discuss it while I'm getting changed. Tony opens the door to the washroom. Del and Rodney enter as two lady fans approach Tony in the corridor. First Woman Tony, can I have your auto- graph? Tony I'll be back in just a minute, honey. Tony enters washroom. Tony (To Del and Rodney) Chicks! Rodney Oh. Local hen-party, is it? Tony No. Actually, it's the local Women's Institute. Still, you've got to keep them happy, eh? Del My name's Derek Trotter of the Trotter International Star Agency, Peckham. Call me Del. This is my roadie, Rodney. Tony What's this all about, Del? During Del's next speech, Tony removes his cuban- heeled boots and instantly shrinks by three inches. Del I am putting together a middle-of-the-road duo. You and a very talented young singer named Raquel Turner. Tony bends down to take his boots off. Del (Cont'd) I have a confirmed booking at the Starlite Rooms with a option for a long-term contract... Tony stands up. Del (Cont'd) ... if you're good enough. Tony You're kidding me? The Starlite Rooms? Tony hands his wig to Del. Del You got a manager, Tony? Tony Er, no. Del Well, you have now, son. Del goes to shake Tony's hand, but Tony pulls a salami out of his trousers and puts the salami in Del's hand. Del then gives Rodney the salami. Rodney Eurgh! He throws it away. Tony is now at the basin, washing off the quick-tan make-up. Del is standing next to him washing his hands. Del I can't understand how a bloke with a voice like yours ain't been snapped up. Can you, Rodney? Rodney is about to go into a long speech. Rodney Well... Del (To Tony but referring to Rodney) See, he's as mystified as me! Tony Nobody's told you anything about me, then? Del No. Is there something I should know? Tony is drying himself, obviously trying to hide something. Tony No, no. Tony's face is now the same pasty white as his body. Tony When's this booking for? Del Tomorrow night. Yes, I know it's short notice and you and Raquel have got a lot of work to do rehearsing together, working out yer repertoire and what 'ave yer. But I've got faith in the two of you. You're a pro and so is she. I'm offering you a hundred pound for tomorrow night. Tony No? The most I've ever been paid is 50 quid. We see Del's 'why didn't I keep my mouth shut' expression. Rodney smiles at Del's discomfort. Rodney Well, you're in the big time now. By now, Tony has removed his skin-tight trousers and is wearing a pair or ordinary slacks. He steps into a pair of slip-on shoes as he buttons up his very ordinary shirt. Tony packs his stage clothes and props away in a canvas flight bag. Del You're rehearsing first thing in the morning. I've booked a room at the Jesse Jackson Memorial Hall! I'll give your road manager a list of classic hits I want you to rehearse. Tony (Slight panic) No, no. There are only a few songs I can sing, Del. Del And that's why you hardly ever get any bookings. Tony No, it's not that! It's because I... Del Well, what? Tony Nothing. Del Your problem is you're frightened of a challenge. But now you've got me behind you. You must trust me, Tony. I won't put you wrong. I'll play it straight down the line with yer. No secrets, no small print. All you've gotta do in return is trust me. Do you trust me, Tony? Tony Yeah. OK, Del. Del Good boy. You know it makes sense. Tony Will you be at the hall in the morning? Rodney No, he's in court tomorrow. Del Yes, I'm witness to - something. Tony (Referring to contract) You want me to sign that? Del (Holding up contract) No, you've already one it, son. As Del opens the door, Tony is left wondering 'When did I sign that?' Cut to corridor. Del, Rodney and Tony enter. Rodney (To Tony) See you in the morning. Rodney and Del exit. Tony takes pen from a lady fan and is about to sign his autograph. Tony What's your name? Lady elbows him out the way aggressively. Fan Get out of my way, you. Where's Tony? The fan calls into the washroom. Fan Tony, Tony! INT. THE NAG'S HEAD. NIGHT. Raquel and Albert are seated at a table. Boycie and Mike are seated at another table. Del and Rodney enter. Rodney I can't believe that was the same bloke. Del Yeah. It's just costume props. They all use 'em. You don't think Mr Spock's ears are his own, do you? (Now at table) Great news, Raquel. I've found your singing partner. Raquel Oh God! Del What? He's terrific, ain't he, Rodney? Rodney Eh? Yeah. Del You gotta see him to believe him, ain't you, Rodney? Rodney Yeah. Del He's got a tremendous voice, great stage presence and oodles of charisma. He's a star in the making, Raquel, and I'm talking international. Albert Where d'you learn about him? Rodney He works with Trigger at the council depot. Raquel Is that true? Del Sean Connery was a dustman. Raquel And is he like Sean Connery? Del Well, he wears a wig. I'll get the drinks. Give us a hand, Rodney. They move to the bar. As they approach, we see the smiling Mike and Boycie nudge each other in a 'Here he comes' manner. Thy are going to wind Del up. Boycie Del Boy! I hear you're in court tomorrow. Del Ssh! Boycie Don't do a lot for your yuppy image, does it? Del Oh I don’t know. It's quite trendy nowadays. All the Big Bang boys did a bit of stir. Rodney Yes, it's very fashionable in the City. Computer fraud, insider dealings, stock manipulation. Mike What you up for, Del? Del Fly-pitching. It's a fifty quid fine and a slap on the wrist. Occupational hazard when you're upwardly mobile. Boycie I hear Raquel's up the spout? Congratulations. Del Thank you, Boycie, Michael, our usual and whatever you two are having. Boycie Of course, it ain't easy being a father. Del No, I remember the trouble you had. All them test tubes and what have you. Boycie (Cutting in) I am not talking about that, Derek! I mean look- ing after your child's welfare, planning for his future... Have you thought about all that? Del My kid'll be alright. Don't worry about it, Boyce. Mike Then there's the pregnancy itself. That can be nine months of hell. Del With your missus I imagine it was, Mike! Boycie Of course I was lucky. Marlene gave birth after only eight months. Rodney Yeah, well they say it's quicker by tube... Del We've just come back from the Down By The Riverside Club. We heard Trigger's mate singing. He's good, ain't he, Rodney? Rodney Yeah... Mike Perhaps Trigger could recommend him to Eric. Mike laughs. Boycie laughs. Del Eric? What, from the Star- lite Rooms? Boycie Yeah, the one who don't like you. Something to do with 500 quid. Del That was years ago! Boycie But that man holds a grudge. Anyway, he's got 24 hours to fill a cabaret spot for tomorrow night. Mike He'll never do it. I mean, the word's out now. Boycie Well, he'd better come up with something. I've heard Eugene Macarthy's really looking forward to it. Mike and Boycie laugh. Del tries to hold back the feeling of a nauseating panic. Rodney Who's Eugene Macarthy? Boycie A local villain and not a very nice man. Rumour has it that the SAS pays Eugene protection money. Del But what the hell's Eugene gotta do with all this? Boycie Didn't you hear? Del What? Boycie Well, Eugene owns the Starlite Rooms. Del No, no. Eric owns the club! Mike Eugene bought him out three months ago. Del looks horrified. Boycie I mean, there was no boardroom negotiations, off and counter-offer. Eugene gave Eric choices - take it or I'll nail you to a door. Eric - realising that he was dealing with a man who puts out death sentences on Muslims - took it. Mike Anyway, tomorrow night is Eugene's mum's 82nd birthday. So he's throwing a party at the Starlite Rooms for her and all the nasties. Del No, it can't be right, Mike. Eric's still at the club! Mike He's just the manager now. Boycie Yeah, and part of Eric's managerial duties is booking the cabaret. But every time he booked an act Eugene didn't like, he would be promptly nailed to the nearest door. Mike So he came up with a brilliant solution. He started employing the services of local entertainment agencies, so if Eugene was displeased he took his wrath on the agent. Eventually, the agents held a meeting in a convalescent home and decided to boycott the Starlite Rooms. Boycie So unless Eric finds a mug to supply the cabaret for Eugene's mum's party, B&Q'll be selling another door. Del and Rodney move to the bar. Del We're in a bit of trouble here, bruv. Rodney Yeah... We? Del We've signed a contract guaranteeing to supply the cabaret! Rodney I've signed nothing! I'm just the sweeper and the tea-boy! Del I've been thinking about what you said. You deserve a more creative role in all this. Rodney And I've been thinking about it as well, and I don't wanna more creative role! Gimme the broom, the teapot and the 50 quid and I'm happy! Del Well, thank you very much, Rodney. Rodney It's my pleasure, Derek! INT. DRESSING ROOM AT THE STARLITE ROOMS. NIGHT. A very worried Raquel is seated in front of the mirror wearing her stage clothes. There is a knock at the door. Raquel Come in. Rodney, dressed up for the evening, enters. Raquel (Desperate) Is Del here yet? Rodney No. I phoned the flat but there's no reply. Perhaps he's still in court. Raquel But it's nine o'clock! Rodney Maybe the jury's still out. Raquel Don't be stupid, Rodney! He's only been charged with unlicensed trading! Rodney Well, he's not here anyway. Raquel I can't go through with this. Rodney Why not? Raquel What do you mean, why not? You were at rehearsals this morning. You know what happened! Tony's... got a problem. Rodney Well, they might not notice. Raquel Of course they'll notice! How can they not notice? Rodney You've gotta go through with it for Del's sake! Eugene Macarthy's out there with his mum! Raquel Who's Eugene Macarthy? Rodney He's not nice people, Raquel. Raquel Well, you go and tell Eugene Macarthy and his mum that the cabaret's off! Rodney Me? I'm just the roadie! Sweep up and make the tea, that was my instructions. D'you fancy a cup of tea? Raquel No, I don't! Rodney D'you want anything swept up? Raquel No. Rodney Well, that's me finished. Rodney exits. INT. THE STARLITE ROOMS. NIGHT. Diners are sipping brandies and puffing on after- dinner cigars. The men all look like villains. Rodney moves to the bar. Del, in evening suit, arrives. Rodney Where the hell have you been? Del My case got put back last. They fined me 65 quid then I discovered I'd left me wallet at home. So I phones Sinbad and told him to bring it down. He only got a bus! I'm banged up in the cells waiting for Albert and he's out there in the Friday night rush hour on a bleedin' bus! Anyway, I popped home, changed me suit and... Rodney (Cutting in) Will you shut up for a minute? We have got problems! Del Problems? What sorta problems? As Rodney is about to explain, Eugene Macarthy appears at Del's shoulder. Eugene is 45, big and never smiles. Eugene Del Boy. Del is startled by Eugene's sudden appearance. Del Eugene! How lovely to see you. Eugene Eric informs me that you're supplying tonight's cabaret? I hope it's good, Del. It's my old mum's birthday and I don't wanna see her disappointed. Del Have no fears, Eugene. It's the best, the very best. Would I give your mum anything less? (About to introduce Rodney) Oh by the way, this is... Rodney (Cutting in) I'm the road manager. I just make the tea and sweep up. I'm nothing to do with the artistic contents or anything like that. Eugene Well, here's to a good evening. Del Yes. Sit back and enjoy, Eugene. Eugene moves off towards his table. Eric, in evening suit, appears on stage and takes the mike as the backing duo quietly set up their equipment in the background. Eric Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the cabaret hour! Before I introduce our stars for the evening, may I just say happy birthday, Mrs Macarthy - Eugene's mum. Happy birthday, Lil. We see Mrs Macarthy - she is 82 and, like Eugene who is sitting next to her, never smiles. All the other diners raise their glasses and say, "Happy birthday, Lil". Eric We're proud to present tonight a couple of young British singers whose names you may not be familiar with. But if you were a resident of a certain town in Nevada, USA, their names would be on the tips of your tongues. For they have just finished a sell-out season on the same bill as Barry Manilow at the world-famous Desert Inn, Las Vegas! There is applause. Rodney Where's he get all that crap from? (He looks at Del) What a stupid question. Eric And we're proud to say that all of the venues to start their British tour they have chosen the Starlite Rooms, Peckham. So a big welcome for - Raquel and Tony. There is more applause as Raquel and Tony take to the stage. Del applauds wildly and whistles. Rodney claps politely. Raquel's nerves now appear to have gone. She is the complete professional. Raquel (Sings) I was alright for a while. I could smile for a while. But when I saw you last night, You held my hand so tight, When you stopped to say hello, And though you wished me well, You couldn't tell, That I'd been, over you,, over you, Then you said so long, Left me standing all alone, Alone and crying... crying ... crying... crying. It's hard to understand, But the touch of your hand, Can start me crying... Del She's bloody good, ain't she, Rodney? Rodney Cosmic! Tony begins and acts like a Tom Jones with dramatic movements and over-the-top gestures. Tony I though that I was over you, But tell me now, what can I do? I love you even more, than I did before, So, dah'ling, what can I do...oo? You don't love me, And I'll always be,, over you... Raquel looks in Del's direction with a glare. Eugene and his mum are staring at the stage but their expressions tell nothing. Tony Yes, now you are gone, And from this moment on, I'll be cwying. Raquel Crying. We see Eric grinning smugly at Del's discomfiture. Tony Cwying. Raquel Cwy... crying. Tony Cwy... ing. Raquel/Tony Cwy... ing... Cwy... ing ... O... ver y...o...u. The number ends to a deafening silence. Nobody in the audience knows what to make of it. Rodney (To Del) What d'you reckon, then? Del I... I... I'll see you later, bruv. Rodney begins to clap. He is joined by a few others and finally the whole audience applauds politely. Del exits. Raquel's glare follows him. INT. THE TROTTERS' LOUNGE. NIGHT. One hour later. Del is facing the floor, agitated, frightened, puffing nervously on a cigar and sipping a cocktail. Albert is seated in the armchair. Albert So how comes you didn't know he had trouble with his Rs? Del Because he never told me! All he said was he only enjoyed singing certain songs. You can see what he meant now. He only sings songs without Rs in 'em! Albert So he chose the songs for tonight? Del Well... I mean... I didn't know, did I? Gawd knows what Eugene and his mum thought! (Looks at hall to door) I never did like that front door anyway. The front door closes and Rodney and Raquel enter from the hall. Raquel (To Del) You bastard! You just walked out and left us! Del Well, what did you expect me to do? Go over to Eugene's table and say, "That was different, weren't it?" Did you carry on with the performance? Raquel Oh yes, Derek, we saw it through to the death. Please Welease Me, Congwatulations and The Gween Gween Gwass of Home. Rodney Followed by a medley of wock 'n' woll! Del This is not funny, Wodney - Rodney!! Rodney I thought it was hilarious! (Referring to Albert) I ain't laughed so much since he caught his beard in the food mixer. The front door bell rings. Del Answer that, Albert. If it's Eugene, tell him I've just gone to get the hammer and nails! Albert (Calling to front door) Who's there? Tony (OOV) Can I speak to Mr Twotter? Raquel It's Tony. Let him in. Albert opens the door to Tony, who is wearing his stage clothes. Tony I've come for my money! Del I'm up to my eyes in it at the moment, son. We'll talk about it tomorrow. Tony No, not tomorrow. I want my money now! I did the performance, didn't I? I did the wepertoire that you... you insisted on. Del But I didn't know you couldn't pronounce your Rs! Tony What does that matter? Albert It matters quite a lot when you're singing songs with Rs in! Tony But I don't sing songs with Rs in! And if a song has got an R in it I change the lywics! Del Well, why didn't you change the lywics tonight? Tony How can I change the lyrics to Cwying? The bloody song's called Cwying! Raquel Tony and I did everything you asked us to do, Del, so pay the man his money. And while you're at it, you owe me money as well. Del Let's talk about it tomorrow, sweetheart. Raquel Listen, Trotter, you're not cheating me! Del Oh! It's alright for me to be cheated though, innit? Rodney Who's cheated you? Del, at first cannot answer this. Del (Now referring to Albert) He charged me one pound fourty for fares! I only realised as I was putting me dickie bow on, he's got a free bus pass! And I can't see the Starlite Rooms paying me anything after tonight's disaster! I'll end up out of pocket! Tony We signed a contwact! Del Yes, but my brother drew that contract up and he included a get-out claus, didn't you, Rodders? Rodney No. Del Why not? Rodney 'Cos you didn't tell me to. Anyway, I'm not a lawyer. I make the tea and sweep up, remember? And you owe me 50 quid! Del produces a wad of notes. Del (Handing Tony some money) Here are... (Handing cash to Raquel) There you go, darling. We see that Del only has a fiver left. A look is shared between him and Rodney. Rodney is now showing an assertive and angry manner. Rodney We'll talk about this tomorrow! Del Anything you say, Rodney. Tony You know what you've got, Del? You've got an 'ism'. Del An 'ism'? I ain't got one of them, have I? Rodney Dunno, there's a load of old crap in that garage. Tony You're not alone with your pwejudice. We've got sexism, wacecism, sizeism and ageism. Well, I'm a victim of pwonunciationism! I've got a good voice! I've got a good style. I've got a perfect tone. Just because I pwonouce my Rs differently from the west of you I can never be a star! Just because of my pwonunciation you've dumped me! Del And how'd you think I feel? I got lumbered with a 'star' whose props come from... (Indicates feet) Lilley & Skinner... (Indicates head) Crown Toppers... (Indicates groin) ... and Mattesons! Tony But you can always find another singer. I'm stuck with my pwoblem. No one who pwonounces Rs like me have ever become successful. Albert There's Roy Jenkins and Jonathan Ross. Tony Exactly... Tony opens his mouth as if he has something important to say, then realizes there is little point. Tony (Cont'd) Don't matter... See you, Del. Del Take care, son. Tony Waquel. Raquel Bye, Tony. Tony Wodney. Rodney gestures goodbye. Tony leaves. Del Well, don't look at me like that! I didn't create this pronunciationism! It's them - the public! I think you should be able to say what you want and how you want. It's a free country. Albert Del's right. It ain't his fault. Del Thank you, Unc. Help your- self to a brandy. Albert moves to bar. The phone rings. Del, without thinking, answers. Del Hello? Del reacts and curses himself for answering. Del (Cont'd) (On phone) Eugene! How nice of you to call. Actually I was gonna give you a bell in the morning... Yes... Yes, I did notice that. Funny enough, I've just been discussing it with my road manager... Mmh! Did she? Well, I can't say I blame her... Really? How is she now? Good... Yes... Of course... I'll be there first thing in the morning... Bonjour, Eugene. Del switches the phone off and ponders the conver- sation. Rodney D'you wanna hide eight pairs of pliers in yer pocket? Del (To Raquel) He wants to book you and Tony on a five-week contract! Raquel He what? Del His mum liked you. Raquel You're kidding? Del No, straight up. He said she ain't laughed so much in years! Del rushes to the window and opens it. He calls down towards the tower block's entrance. Del Hang about, Tony! I've got you some more bookings! Stick with me, son, I'll make you wich!

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