- Episode 1 || 30 September
1979 || Synopsis || Manor
First episode of Series 1 (seven episodes)
From The Times: "New series, of seven parts, with Penelope
Keith, hyphenated, haughty and recently widowed in Grantleigh Manor."
- Guest cast: Jonathan Elsom (house agent J.J. Anderson), Dennis
Ramsden (solicitor Arnold Plunkett)
- A U D R E Y:
- "That does not alter the fact that,
at bottom, he's a grocer."
is attending the funeral of her husband Marton. The rector offers consolation:
"He walked in the way of the Lord, and served him right." "Yes,
it certainly did," Audrey agrees.
Richard DeVere, a London-based businessman, is viewing the old Grantleigh
Manor lodge with an eye to buying it as a country house for himself and
his mother. The lodge is not what he expected, but he decides the manor
itself may be more to his liking. Despite the protests of J.J. Anderson,
the house agent, Richard sneaks into the manor to peer around, but finds
himself in the middle of the funeral reception, where Audrey mistakes him
for the caterer.
Audrey is in high spirits--far from grieving for her loss, she tells her
friend Marjory that she now has precisely what she wanted--full possession
of Grantleigh Manor, where the fforbes-Hamiltons have lived for 400 years.
"I can't pretend that Marton pegging out like that wasn't the most
wonderful thing that's ever happened," she says. "Just think:
the Grantleigh estate, all mine now. All I've ever wanted. It's too good
to be true!"
Her celebration is short-lived, however, for Arnold Plunkett, her solicitor,
wants to have a word with her. "Arthur, this is a funeral," Audrey
complains. "You must learn not to combine business with pleasure."
Arthur, however, brings the very unpleasant news that she is, in fact,
broke and must sell the manor to pay off her creditors.
Audrey is horrified. "We've been here through
wars, plagues, floods, famine and Labour governments!" she says, and
then begins to cry. She apologises to Arthur for this outburst; "I'm
not normally given to crying. It's only since we joined the Common Market
that I've picked up these beastly Continental habits."
Despite the money she has raised from the far-flung reaches of the family,
Audrey is outbid at the estate auction. Audrey's principal concern was
that the manor would fall into the hands of an Arab--in which case, she
was certain, the place would be rebuilt stone by stone in Abu Dhabi. "'England
for the English'," as we used to say about India," Audrey says.
The house is sold to...Richard DeVere, who turns out to be the head of
Cavendish Foods, a multinational corporation that operates, among other
things, a chain of supermarkets. Marjory is immediately impressed by the
charming DeVere, and points out that at least he's English; Audrey is nonetheless
horrified. "But he's trade!" she wails. When Marjory tries to
defend Richard's professional standing, Audrey points out that it "does
not alter the fact that, at bottom, he's a grocer." Worse, Audrey
is unable to find him in "Who's Who." "Perhaps he's so important
he's ex-directory," Marjory suggests. "Marjory," sniffs
Audrey, "the Queen is in here."
Still, the seeds of a plan are already taking root; while she will not
agree with Marjory that DeVere is "Mr Right," she admits that
he might very well be "Mr Convenient."
- A U D R E Y:
- "We've been here through wars, plagues,
floods, famine and Labour governments!"
- A U D R E Y:
- "And fifty pence!"
- The licence plate on Richard's Corniche convertible reads "RDV
- While at school, Audrey and Marjory had deportment classes with a Miss
- Richard's winning bid on the manor and estate was £876,000; Audrey's
limit was £875,000, although she offered an additional "fifty