The gaolbirds
Pardon the Expression
Episode number 20
Episode The Gaolbirds
ITV broadcast date 28th February 1966 (Monday)
Writer Harry Driver and Vince Powell
Director Michael Cox
Designer Michael Grimes
Previous episode The Big Hotel
Next episode The Host with the Most


Jacob Elijah Burgess, known to all as "Jeb", is in a police station cell with Leonard Swindley, the two arrested for being drunk and disorderly. Wally Hunt arrives from a golf club dinner to post bail but wants to hear the story of how his straight-laced assistant manager arrived in such a position...

The story begins the previous Thursday when Jeb arrived at Dobson and Hawkes to see his old friend. Jeb is on the uppers for once, having become friends and engaged to a fairly well-off widow and invites Swindley round to see her. What he hasn't told Swindley is that Vera Bradshaw will only marry Jeb if he can find a husband for her spinster daughter. Jeb has proposed Swindley, telling the two women tall tales of his service in the Arctic Conoys and the RAF in the Second World War. Swindley is horrified to realise the predicament that his friend has placed him in and Jeb tells him he can't back out as he will be sued by Agnes for Breach of Promise but the lay-preacher is too honest to continue and tells the women the truth. Furious they throw the two men out, even making Jeb give back the handmade woolen suit he is wearing which belonged to Vera's late husband. Later, Jeb and Swindley sit in a cold bus stop in the cold night air. Jeb forces a large drink of Rum from a bottle he pinched from the Bradshaw's down Swindley's throat and then turns his kindly attentions to a cold woman who has just joined them, offering her his overcoat - underneath which he is clad only in his underwear to the woman's horror...

Having told Hunt the story of who the Police arrived and arrested them, Swindley begs his boss to get them out, unable to stand a night in the cells. Hunt however has not bought his wallet for the bail and he wishes the two men a good night as he leaves.


Regular castEdit

Guest castEdit


Commercial releasesEdit

This episode was included in Network DVD collection Pardon the Expression - The Complete Second Series, released on 24th August, 2009.

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