To The Manor Born – Christmas 2007
A one off Christmas episode that was generally panned by the critics and received the 2007 Comedy.co.uk award for “The Worst British TV Sitcom Special 2007”
However critics aside it was a chance for fans of the show to catch up and see what had changed since we left Richard and Audrey getting married.
Clearly after sixteen years, some characters were no longer going to be with us. However there were some nods to the old characters and a sprinkling of new ones for the 2007 Christmas Special. These included Emmeridge, the Manor’s outspoken butler, as Brabinger died some years before, having worked until he died at aged 91. Others included Adam fforbes-Hamilton, the nephew of Audrey’s first husband Marton and Audrey’s godson, who has recently moved to Grantleigh to be trained on how to run an estate; and Archie Pennington-Booth, a neighbouring landowner who is close to bankruptcy due to Richard’s company, “Farmer Tom”. Marjory is still with us and now living in the Lodge, where Audrey used to live, and she develops a crush on Adam. Bertie, Audrey’s dog, has long since died and has not been replaced, but a small nod was placed into the special with a picture of Brabinger and a small beagle statuette appearing on a side table in one of the opening scenes. Apart from that it’s business as usual.
Richard and Audrey are planning their silver wedding anniversary, with both planning a surprise party for the other, Richard confesses to Audrey that he owns “Farmer Tom”, a company that has been putting the neighbouring estates out of business. an exasperated Audrey leaves him and goes to stay with Marjory.
Richard tries to think of a way to get Audrey back, going to the grave of his mother, who died in 1988, for help. He gets the idea of allowing a rock concert to be held on the estate. When the licence application is up before the Magistrates’ Court, Richard changes his mind, in front of a furious Audrey, and says that he does not want the concert held there. However, Audrey still does not forgive him, until the following day, her anniversary, when Marjory leads her to a surprise party organised by Richard.
Penelope Keith – Audrey DeVere
Peter Bowles – Richard DeVere
Angela Thorne – Marjory Frobisher
Gerald Sim – The Rector
Alexander Armstrong – Adam fforbes-Hamilton
Alan David – Emmeridge
Michael Cochrane – Archie Pennington-Booth
Written By: Peter Spence
Original Transmission Date: 25th December 2007