Season 2 Episode 32

Episode 96


Sky One Transmission Date:

Thursday 17th December 1998


Written By

Paul Hodson


Directed By

Terry Iland


Leon, Billy



Alex, Clare



Frank, Jerry, Denise, Alex



Luis, Lynda



Sean, Natalie




GS: Adi Coleman (Roger Davies)  Clare (Sarah Farooqui)  Ingrid Coates (Minna Aaltonen)


Natalie is removing her clothes from the wardrobe when Sean comes in and thinks she is getting ready for the party. Natalie solemnly looks at the engagement ring on her finger. Ian and Helen plan to put a brief appearance in Studs before disappearing to The Grange for more together-time. Billy is still flogging Fletch-Date tickets at the door, and Julie warns him and Leon that Kelly better win tonight or else! Natalie is forced to finally let Sean in on the fact she's leaving, when he sees her suitcase. Billy talks Helen and then Lynda into buying tickets, which Jerry pays for, unaware it is going into the bribe money Billy and Leon are trying to raise back! Kelly arrives convinced she is going to win the date with Fletch, and Julie makes an unimpressed Warren buy them champagne in the spirit of Christmas.


Leon learns Billy has not even informed Fletch of the raffle he is a part of, and forces him to do it now. Billy sheepishly tells Fletch of their quest of selling tickets to girls in the shopping centre, and if Fletch does it his status as Harchester's sex symbol will be confirmed as well as helping charity at Christmas. Fletch agrees, but says he's not going out with some "dog". When Billy suggests Kelly Fletch says he's been there and done that, and Billy has to find him a “stunner”. Sean is gobsmacked that Natalie is planning on going back to Dean after everything he's done, and why did she agree to marry him now? Natalie hands the ring back to him, and tells Sean he's the nicest man she's ever met and wishes she was in love with him, but she's in love with Dean.


Des is MCing the Harchester Christmas party once more, and Alex has his eye on Clare as Leon goes to the gents to inform Jerry on the latest money-raising. Jerry remarks on how ironic it is them meeting in the Studs toilets. Leon says he has a grand to give him, and Jerry remarks it's only another forty-nine thousand to go! Alex finds out from Clare that she and Leon are no longer together, while he claims he won't be at Harchester for much longer as "other clubs" are interested. When Alex takes Clare to dance, Leon watches sternly from the corner and Billy is determined to go in like a firecracker. Billy points out to Alex that Denise looks like she's having a really good time, as she dances with Frank. Alex yells at his mother that she is embarrassing herself and him in front of everyone.


Frank takes Alex outside where Alex accuses him of only signing him up so his mom would go out with him. Frank explains to Alex he is in fact very fond of his mother, but this is only making things worse as the more he battles on, the more the lads are going to be winding him up. Des announces Jerry up to the stage to talk to the crowd, but is surprised when Jerry uses his speech to praise Des for his commitment to the club, and reveals he and Des will be forming a political party to fight Councillor Lal and his cronies. Des is forced to make his own speech where he promises every Harchester fan that he will be giving it his best shot. The crowd are behind Des and give him a rapturous applause. Lynda is confused as to what Jerry is up to, as they are supposed to be leaving Harchester.


Jerry gets a shock when Luis approaches and asks his permission to take Lynda to the floor for a Tango. Jerry watches intently as all eyes in the room are glued to Lynda and Luis’s sultry performance. Warren tells Julie he's been thinking about Christmas and not being good with family, invites her to spend it at his. Julie makes it clear only if Kelly can come as well, but Kelly is expecting to be with Fletch on the day. Natalie is collecting her ticket at the airport desk and Sean is pleading with her to stay, saying if she won't be with him then at least stay with her parents. Sean is now desperate and loudly states how the next time Dean will kill her or the baby. It is finally raffle reveal time, and Des invites Billy and Fletch upon stage to announce the lucky winner of a date with Fletch. Fletch takes it upon himself to announce Helen the winner, and Kelly is crushed, while Coates is p'eed off at Fletch muscling in on his secret lover.


Natalie asks one last thing of Sean, and makes him promise he will never tell Dean they were together. She adds she was going to leave while Sean was at training, though it would have been cowardly, maybe she should have done that. As she turns to go, a fan stops Sean and asks for his autograph, and Sean misses Natalie walk through the check-in. Sean is heartbroken once more. Kelly too is heartbroken and watches the couple’s slow-dance to her own version of "I Will Always Love You". When Fletch and Helen kiss passionately under the mistletoe, Kelly runs out, and Ian is rattled by how long the kiss goes on for. He storms over and pulls Fletch away, just as Ingrid Coates appears in the doorway. Ian is shocked to see his wife and takes her outside from the situation brewing. Helen asks Fletch who the woman was, and is shocked to learn it is Ian's wife.




·          Temporary departure of Natalie Hocknell (Helen Latham) until 2.48.


Best Known For: Minna Aaltonen is a Finnish actress. She hosted her country's version of Gladiators, "Gladiaattorit" in 1993-1994. After appearing in a number of productions in her home country, including a regular part as Kati in "Kotikatu" (1995-96), she took on international roles. Her most famous was as Dutch firefighter Marianne Frankel in "London's Burning" (1996-1998). She also appeared in "Lexx" as Vlad (2001-02) and in the movies "Tomorrow Never Dies" (1997) and "The World of Hemingway" (2012) in which she portrayed Marlene Dietrich.


·          The Best: Sean showing off the "sensational" coat he paid four-hundred quid for to Natalie. Alex barking at Frank not to call him son as he isn't his dad. The Studs Christmas party crowd mesmerised by Luis and Lynda's enchanting Tango moves and chemistry. The fan Sean encounters at the airport, ironically, telling Sean he is better than his brother.


Quotes: Frank [as Alex causes a scene for he and Denise]: "Come on Alex that's enough"  Alex: "And you! You're nothing but a dirty old letch!".


·          Foreshadowing: Sean tells Natalie he hates Dean, and wishes he was dead. I think a lot of us would rather the elder Hocknell brother had been on that plane home from Amsterdam instead.


Additional Info: Billy spins the line that the money raised from the Fletch raffle is going to Harchester's old people's home. We see Fletch enter the party with two women on his arm - one of whom is Sandra Greene.


·          Soundtrack: Wizzard: "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday",  Labelle: "Lady Marmalade"


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