Tim Bentick (David Archer)
So at last it has happened – David and Ruth have met the elusive Jude; not only met, but taken tea and biscuits with him. Poor Jude's ears must have been aflame when he and Pip didn't turn up for tea on the arranged day – and Ruth had spent over £6 on cakes and biscuits at the shop to boot.
Cue rant from David about irresponsibility and leading his little girl astray. Except that it wasn't Jude's fault, as it turned out that young Pip hadn't actually told him that he had been invited. "We'll just have to be more clever" said Ruth. On the subject of Ruth, can't we please have a storyline where she goes to elocution classes and then we wouldn't have to listen to that irritating faux Geordie accent?
But back to Jude. The cunning plan was – wait for it – not to go to work on the farm, but to hang around when Jude delivered Pip back from college, then leap out and surprise him and drag him indoors for tea and inquisition. Fair play to Jude – he was delighted to be asked in. Not so Pip, who kept whining "You can't stay Jude; you've got to get back and do - you know - that thing." Talk about spur of the moment improvisation!
David, meanwhile, was being icily formal and speaking through gritted teeth. The atmosphere dropped to sub-zero when Jude referred to Pip as "Fizz" and became positively glacial when he called David "Dave". Why so? Kenton calls him Dave all the time without getting verbally smacked in the teeth, but then Kenton hasn't got designs on Pip.
Jude must have a hide like a rhinoceros, or the sensitivity of a cast-iron sheath, as he happily prattled away, amid the sounds of cascading icicles and grinding glaciers that were David's comments. This insensitivity rose to a breathtaking climax when he said that he looked forward to coming round for tea etc much more often. I swear you could hear David gnashing his teeth.
Poor Jude – David has really got it in for him. One minute he's too old, the next he's immature. Later David goes spare when he calculates that Jude has been lying about his age. Jude was born on the day that John Lennon was shot, which was in 1980. Brainbox David does the arithmetic, forgetting that said shooting was in December, so Jude has yet to have his 2010 birthday. I really hope that David doesn't do the farm's accounts...