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|Pardon the Expression|
|Episode||How to Succeed in Business Without Really Frying (aka "The Dinner Party")|
|ITV broadcast date||16th May 1966 (Monday)|
|Writer||Charles Hart and Peter Bishop|
|Previous episode||The Sailor Home From The Sea|
|Next episode||Man's Best Friend|
Mr Stonehouse, the manager of Dobson and Hawks' biggest store, is leaving. If Swindley can get Wally Hunt into the vacancy he will be hot favourite himself for Hunt's old job. A quiet dinner party for the chairman of Dobson and Hawks, Lord Penge and his lady wife, should do the trick. There is one problem: Mrs Hunt can't cook. Swindley has the answer - call in a firm of catering specialists and he pushes Mr Hunt in agreeing to the arrangement. The tremulous Mrs Hunt is more nervous of the idea but happily agrees when Swindley tricks Mr Hunt into agreeing that his wife can buy a new dress for the night - not realising that her choice of outfit will cost Hunt forty-five guineas. Swindley himself orders the duck dinner for four to be delivered to Hunt's home from the "Bon Viveur Heated Trolley Service" but things go wrong from the start: Hunt's directions to Lord Penge forget to include a seven-mile diversion down an unmade road and Lady Penge's choice of dress is exactly the same as Mrs Hunt's. The real disaster occurs when the catering service delivers the food to Swindley's flat instead of Hunt's home and they refuse to re-deliver because of an overtime ban. Several hours later, with frantic phone calls to Mrs Edgeley and other companies seemingly being unsuccessful, the evening is proving a disaster. Swindley turns up with the duck dinner, as does another company who the Hunts managed to contact - only to find that Lord Penge hates duck and the alcohol that Swindley then adds to the consume has an adverse affect on Mrs Hunt and knocks her out. Things are saved from an unexpected source: Mrs Edgeley turns up with Hotpot and Jam Rolypoly, two meals that Lord Penge hasn't enjoyed for years. His parting from the Hunts is soured though when he tells Hunt that Mr Stonehouse has been encouraged to stay with Dobson and Hawkes with a large payrise and there is now no promotion in the offing...
- Leonard Swindley - Arthur Lowe
- Wally Hunt - Robert Dorning
- Miss Sinclair - Joy Stewart
- Mrs Edgeley - Betty Driver
- Mrs Hunt - Clare Kelly
- Lord Penge - John Barron
- Lady Penge - Joan Haythorne
- Sales Assistant - Shirley Stelfox
- Caterers - Derek Williams, Warren Clarke, Ray Curtis and Tony Malloy
- The title of the episode is a humorous pun on the name of the 1952 book How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying by Shepherd Mead (Edward Mead) which was turned into a 1961 Broadway musical. The film version was not released for another year. The name of the episode on the 2009 Network DVD was the alternative title of The Dinner Party and not the full title as used in the 1966 TV Times.
- Mrs Hunt is played by Clare Kelly in this episode (three years before she first appeared in Coronation Street as Edith Tatlock, Valerie Barlow's mother) whereas just three months earlier she had been played by Avis Bunnage.
- This episode was transmitted on Wednesday 18th May at 9.10pm by both Border Television and Tyne Tees Television; on Thursday 19th May at 6.30pm by Television Wales and the West and on Friday 20th May at 9.10pm by Scottish Television. Along with the rest of the second season the episode was not transmitted by Westward Television, Ulster Television, Channel Television or the Teledu Cymru service of Television Wales and the West.
- Viewing Figures: First UK broadcast - 5,750,000 homes (17th place).
This episode was included in Network DVD collection Pardon the Expression - The Complete Second Series, released on 24th August, 2009.