When Television Licencing Officer Brian Howe roamed the streets of Weatherfield in February 1976, Stan Ogden panicked and tried to hide their television, dropping it in the process and breaking it, only to find that Hilda had already purchased a licence. Afraid of what the rental shop would say, Stan tried to get Ray Langton to fix it but he was unable to and a friend of his would require £40 to do the job.
Hilda decided to be honest and called the rental shop. Sid Wilson, son of the owner, came round to No.13 and was highly suspicious as to the reason why the set was bust. Stan insisted that the set hadn’t been dropped in which case, as Sid said, the floor must have jumped up and given it a heck of a belt. He told them he wouldn’t touch it as it had impact damage and he would be reporting it to the shop.
With his unique ability to make a situation even worse than it was already, Stan heard from Betty Turpin of a friend of hers whose set had caught fire and had been given a replacement. Stan, to Hilda’s protests, took the set into the back yard and poured lighter fuel over it, then torched it. Sid was called back but was even more suspicious, as he didn’t see how the set could have caught fire as it had not working at all the previous day, also there was no smoke damage in the Ogdens' back room. Hilda hastily said that Stan had shown quick thinking and got it out it the yard but, as Sid pointed out. Stan hadn’t got his hands burnt. He finally lost patience with the stories he was being fed and told the Ogdens they had two alternatives: he could bring back a new set from his dad or, secondly, as his dad already thought he hadn’t the brains of a rocking horse and had got three gastric ulcers and a hernia building up the business, he was going to tell his dad that the Ogdens owed them £75 for the damage they had deliberately caused to their property. Stan gave in and asked Hilda how she was fixed for the money. “Drop dead, eh Stan? Then get up and do it again,” she replied.