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|Pardon the Expression|
|Episode||The Take-over Bid|
|ITV broadcast date||28th March 1966 (Monday)|
|Previous episode||Whose Baby Are You?|
|Next episode||Between the Covers|
Bad news has reached the staff of Dobson and Hawkes: a takeover bid is in progress for the company led by the eccentric, Germanic owner of the much more “with-it” firm of “Camp Gear”, Harvey Clawson. The twitching, bullying Mr Clawson himself is in Leonard Swindley’s branch looking over the store and asking questions of the staff about their product lines prior to a meeting with Sir Charles Dobson who is firmly opposed to the sale of the old family company. Swindley doesn’t recognise the entrepreneur and has him thrown out when he sees him seemingly acting strangely on the shop floor and his prospects under the future regime don’t look good. However Swindley and Hunt also don’t like his management style when they overhear him on the phone to his shops, setting difficult-to-achieve targets and firing staff for the smallest transgression. At mid-day the sale of the company reaches a crisis point - Clawson has achieved the purchase of 20,750 shares and has control however Sir Charles points out that his party also has precisely the same number of shares and the matter is deadlock until the owner of some ten missing shares can be traced and their opinion sought. By a major coincidence that owner is Swindley who was left the shares in the will of his Aunt Veronica some years before. Swindley is separately wined and dined by both Clawson and Dobson, making sure that Hunt shares in the spoils of good food, fine wines and cigars. He then reaches his decision and offers his shares to Sir Charles, keen to retain the old ways of working. His only request is one that he has been making for some time now - a new carpet for his office.
- Leonard Swindley - Arthur Lowe
- Wally Hunt - Robert Dorning
- Miss Sinclair - Joy Stewart
- Mrs Edgeley - Betty Driver
- Brenda Finch - Tracy Rogers
- Sir Charles Dobson - John Le Mesurier
- Harvey Clawson - Warren Mitchell
- Lennie (Porter) - Cyril Varley
- Pringle (Bank Clerk) - John Owens
- Mr Jones (Bank Manager) - Henry Moxon
- Waiter - Rex Boyd
- Two years before their legendary pairing in the seminal comedy series Dad's Army, Arthur Lowe and John Le Mesurier first worked together in this episode of Pardon the Expression (as well as three later episodes: The Switched-on Scene and Thunderfinger - Parts 1 and 2). The roles for which they are best known are reversed in this series and Lowe's character is subordinate to that of Le Mesurier however the scenes where Swindley gets slightly drunk when dined by Sir Charles and then lords it over Harvey Clawson are somewhat reminiscent of his future portrayal of Captain George Mainwaring.
- Party political coverage in the lead-up to the 1966 General Election disrupted this episode's schedules more than usual for the series. In the following regions transmission took place at 9.20pm: Granada Television, Associated Rediffusion, ATV, Southern Television, Scottish Television and Grampian Television. Anglia Television broadcast the episode on Friday 1st April at 10.52pm but this would be the final episode they would show until The Sailor Home From The Sea on Monday 9th May. Border Television and Tyne Tees Television joined Westward Television, Ulster Television, Channel Television and both regions covered by Television Wales and the West in not showing the episode at all.
- Viewing Figures: First UK broadcast - 6,650,000 homes (9th place).
This episode was included in Network DVD collection Pardon the Expression - The Complete Second Series, released on 24th August, 2009.