Tim Bentinck (David Archer)
The admiration came when Brian arrived at Brookfield to do the strawing down, which is one of the few moments that David wasn't working. You can't help feeling sorry for David – if he's not working at Brookfield, he's finding that organising a wedding isn't as easy as it sounds. To top it off, Bert went home with a bad back; you just can't get the staff nowadays and these 70- or 80-year olds have no stamina.
Mind you, it's David's own fault, as people keep offering assistance (Kenton, Lewis, Pip) and all are rudely rebuffed, with David saying "I can cope" through increasingly tighter-gritted teeth. Oh yeah? Got the banner down yet David?
When Lewis offered to help, David said "you've got the Gallery to look after." Gosh yes, that's a full-time job, opening the doors in the morning and locking them again at night – he must be exhausted.
It doesn't help that Nigel's filing system is described as 'idiosyncratic' by Lewis – no doubt he filed everything under 'L' for 'letter'. Lizzie is itching to get back to work – she is probably upset by the sobbing and hysterical cries as David finds another sheaf of letters neatly filed in the bread bin. Jill suggests that she gets a temporary manager in, but Lizzie won't hear of it.
Just to add to David's workload, he took over as Chair of the local NFU branch on Thursday. He didn't fall asleep during his acceptance speech and a subsequent conversation about global warming and farming (although I did), but he did nod off in the car going home. Lucky he wasn't driving.
Apart from David working himself to death, what else has been happening around Ambridge? Kathy was having a moan to Pat about Jamie, who doesn't fancy further education and just wants to sit around all day playing computer games. Well take the bloody thing away from him, woman! Pat, with the air of someone slowly coming to her senses, tells Kathy that, with Helen bringing Henry home next week, everybody will be frantically busy and would Kathy mind restricting her meal visits to one evening a week? You could almost hear Tony saying "Yippee!" in the background.
So who will Kathy pour her heart out to now? Who wants to be the one to listen to her constant whingeing? May I humbly suggest Vicky? That should wipe the smirk off her face, although I doubt she'd be listening anyway.
Jim also has education on his mind, wanting to talk to Daniel about his A-level options. Daniel is keeping out of the way, presumably not wanting to offend Jim by telling him that he doesn't really want to do Latin, Greek and Etruscan.
Going back to Vicky, her surprise party for Brenda went surprisingly well and Brenda was quite gracious in the end, although Tom was having kittens that Vicky would bang on about babies (she didn't). At the party, Harry revealed a masochistic bent when he suggested to Jazzer that they host a Burns' Night supper at the flat. Far be it for me to impugn Jazzer's patriotism but I'm willing to bet that the nearest he has got to an authentic Burns' Night supper recently is a bag of haggis-flavoured crisps and a can of Scottish lager.
But back to Vicky, who tells Helen that she needs to be careful, or else she (Vicky) will run away with young Henry. I didn't think it possible that I could feel even more sympathetic towards Henry, but my heart went out to him when I heard that. Imagine having to choose between Helen and Vicky as a mother – I think I'd pick the Nigel/roof option as soon as I could walk, or crawl even.