Written by H.V. Kershaw
With her aunt away for a few days, an anxious Mavis doesn’t fancy sleeping in the house by herself. The always hospitable Emily instantly offers her a bed. Unfortunately Ernie wasn’t consulted and doesn’t take the news well. And this sets in motion a chain of misfortune for him ….
When Mavis bounds through the door he does his best to hide his irritation (his best isn’t terribly good though) and heads out to the sanctuary of the Rovers. There he runs into Alf and Ray, who are looking forward to a charity stag night at the Gatsby Club – and guess what, they just happen to have an extra ticket.
Ray’s already proven to be a sneaky sort, as he’s convinced Deirdre that he’ll be working on an all night job (as opposed to swilling pints and ogling strippers). As for Alf, he doesn’t seem to have any sort of personal commitments to worry about (at this point in the series he’s still a character who we never really dig into – he might have his private traumas, but we’re not privy to them). But Ernie is a man of solid respectability. A lay preacher, with a loving – if rather stern and humourless at times – wife. You can just sense that this night isn’t going to end well.
His excuse to Emily (to explain where he’s off to) is a good ‘un – he’s been asked to play piano down the Legion for the Easter Monday concert. Well he can’t disappoint the old folks, can he? With every word he utters, a web of deceit is spun just a little tighter ….
Also bubbling away in this episode are the first stirrings of Annie’s plan (well, she claims credit for it) for a pub Mastermind quiz. Stan – being a devote of Manchester United – looks like he’ll do well, even if Mrs Walker finds it difficult to imagine Stanley Ogden as a Superbrain! Hilda springs to his defence though.
In the scene (14:46) where Mrs Walker, Bet, Stan and Hilda are discussing the quiz, I found it hard to take my eye off the extra slap bang in the middle of the screen. I think it was his striped cap.
The attractions down at the Gatsby are wonderfully non-risqué, as befits a programme broadcast at 7:30 pm. A belly dancer called Fatima (Vicky Day) briefly wiggles her belly button in the direction of Ernie, who laps it up (as it were). A stripper, going by the wonderful name of Fifi LaTouche (Cindy Trueman), throws her bra at Ray, who comments that “you don’t get many of them at Tesco’s, mate”.
It’s all good unreconstructed male fun then, although these scenes are intercut with shots of the blissfully innocent Deirdre and Emily, which drives the point home that the married chaps are being a little naughty.
Your compere for the evening is Gig Prince (Bernard Wrigley). This was Wrigley’s first Coronation Street role (he’d rack up another five between 1977 and 1999).
The evening’s really beginning to go with a swing, but then Det. Insp. Conroy (John Pickles) takes the mike to inform the well-oiled punters that a police raid is now in operation. Oops, that’s a bit unfortunate.