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Episode Guide: Christmas Special
Note: The reference to RDS in the Changed Scenes section refers to the page no. of the Rising Damp Scripts book.
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Related pages: The Story of the Series - Script Excerpts - Photos & Stills - Video Clips


For The Man Who Has Everything

Original Broadcast Date:
Friday 26th December 1975, 7.45pm, ITV.

Rigsby has a miserable Christmas.

Leonard Rossiter, Richard Beckinsale, Don Warrington.

Gay Rose as Brenda; Helen Fraser as Postmistress Gwen;
Elizabeth Adare as Lucy; Larry Martyn as Fred.

Scene Guide:
- It is Boxing Day, and Rigsby has had a miserable Christmas. He has spent it all alone, with not even anyone to pull his cracker. He hears the sound of Fred the milkman arriving and he hides behind the kitchen cupboard, knowing Fred will be after his 'Christmas box'. Fred can see Rigsby hiding, however, and shuts the door, making Rigby think he has gone. Rigsby emerges and Fred is still standing there. He notices there is no double cream with his milk, and Fred says they have run out. Rigsby starts to insult Fred because of this, and Fred retaliates with comments about Rigsby being a Scrooge at Christmas. Rigsby reluctantly gives Fred a 10p piece, and Fred says its such a rarity he's going to put it on his watch-chain. Rigsby is not alone again for long, as Gwen, the postmistress arrives with a surprised look on her face. She has a card for Rigsby, but he tells her not to be so shocked, and makes the excuse that he told everyone he would be spending Christmas at his brother's, and that all his cards would have been sent there. After discovering he has manoeuvred Gwen into a position under his mistletoe, Gwen refuses to oblige in the tradition and leaves. Rigsby opens his card. It is one he has posted to himself. Watch video.
- Alan and Brenda have returned from spending Christmas Day at his parents home. Brenda has gone for a bath, and Alan has gone down to Rigsby's room to borrow his fire, thinking Rigsby is away.
- Discovering he is still at home, Alan has to pretend that he popped in to give Rigsby a present. Alan has Brenda's present of bath salts in his pocket, which he gives to Rigsby. Rigsby takes offence, thinking Alan is implying something about his personal cleanliness. Rigsby admits that Christmas is no fun on one's own, and that he even had to pull the turkey's wishbone on his own. He tells Alan he wished for a 'nubile young woman in a flimsy negligee'. Just then, Brenda enters, fresh from her bath, and leaves quickly when she sees Rigsby. In a flash, Rigsby is putting on his suit, convinced that Brenda had come down to his room, expecting him to be alone. He tells Alan she promised him a kiss at Christmas when he unblocked her drains in July.
- He sets off to Brenda's room, but instead of a kiss - or anything more - Brenda gives him a present. More bath salts.
- Out on the landing, Rigsby is starting to get a complex about his similar presents, and sniffs under his armpits just to make sure. He also kicks the cat, in his anger at the lack of action in Brenda's room.
- Meanwhile, Philip has returned, and is expecting a girl to call round, again under the expectation that Rigsby and Alan were away. Alan says Rigsby will never allow it, but Philip says he will mellow his landlord with a bottle of his national wine, an extremely strong brew which burns the throat.
- Philip takes his bags up to his room and meets Rigsby on the stairs.
- Philip's friend Lucy has now arrived and has made her way into Rigsby's room, where Alan is blowing up balloons.
- Philip tells Rigsby he has bought him a present, and that he has left it in his room.
- After checking that it's not more bath salts, Rigsby goes back to his room and sees Lucy sitting there. Thinking she is his present, he races back up to Philip and, overjoyed, thanks him. He returns to his room and sets about chatting up Lucy. Assuming she has been specially shipped over from Africa for his pleasure, Rigsby starts to describe how life is different here in Britain. Lucy, however, is from Northampton. He tells her about the British custom of kissing under the mistletoe and is just about to demonstrate when Philip walks in and has his kiss first. Alan pours out a glass of the wine, and Rigsby only then realises that this was his present. He has a quick gulp and immediately loses his voice. He chases everyone out of his room, but postmistress Gwen has returned to apologise about rejecting Rigsby's mistletoe-clad advances earlier in the day and has come to let him oblige. While Rigsby is drinking cold water to soothe his throat, however, Fred the milkman returns and kisses Gwen instead. He breaks off just long enough to give Rigsby his double cream and returns to his passionate embrace.
Changed Scenes:
- Lucy's scenes concern her applying for the vacant room. This is not discussed in the TV episode (RDS: p.284).

Script Excerpt:
- "It's like V J night all over again."

Production Notes:
- Philip's girlfriend Lucy is played by Elizabeth Adare, who played the same character in the Oxford, Nottingham and London performances of the original play, The Banana Box. The character was dropped as a 'regular' when it transferred to TV.

See Also: Christmas Special Photo Gallery

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