|Pardon the Expression|
|ITV broadcast date||28th February 1966 (Monday)|
|Writer||Harry Driver and Vince Powell|
|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.
- Jeb - Mervyn Johns
- Police Constable - Colin Edwynn
- Vera Bradshaw - Hazel Hughes
- Agnes Bradshaw - Barbara Mitchell
- Woman in Bus Shelter - Marie Hopps
- The name of this episode in the 1966 TV Times was "The Gaolbirds" whereas the 2009 Network DVD named it "The Gaol Birds".
- The character of Jeb had been introduced in the first season episode The Pensioner.
- This episode was transmitted on Wednesday 2nd March at 9.10pm by both Border Television and Tyne Tees Television, on Thursday 3rd March at 10.10pm by Television Wales and the West and on Friday 4th March by both Scottish Television and Anglia Television (at 9.10pm and 10.52pm respectively). 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 - 6,550,000 homes (15th place).
This episode was included in Network DVD collection Pardon the Expression - The Complete Second Series, released on 24th August, 2009.