I Belong to Glasgow – Mind Your Language

I Belong to Glasgow” is the first episode of the third season of Mind Your Language. It was first broadcast on the 27th of October 1979.


The episode starts with Max and Giovanni bringing their new cockatoo, Polly, to school and asking Gladys to look after her. Before the EFL class starts, a man called Sheikh El Hamid arrives in Miss Courtney’s office while Mr. Brown is submitting his absentee list. The Sheikh can speak English fluently but can’t understand what his Scottish chauffeur says, so he wants Mr. Brown to teach the chauffeur along with the rest of the class. Students can’t join halfway through a course, but the Sheikh offers Miss Courtney £2,000 to bend the rules.

Initially, Mr. Brown is against the idea. He even suggests that Sheikh El Hamid hire a new chauffeur, but he cannot because Jock’s father gave his life to save his father in a war, and the Sheikh feels that that he owes Jock a living. However, when Miss Courtney tells Mr. Brown that she read a newspaper article about an Arab who was so pleased with the service at the hotel he stayed at that he presented the manager with a Rolls-Royce, he agrees after all.

Mr. Brown does what he can to teach Jock. Much to the students’ unease, they cannot understand what he is saying. Jock is very rude and opinionated, and no matter how many times Mr. Brown warns him to behave himself, he keeps disrupting the class and clashing with the other students. Mr. Brown refuses to continue teaching Jock, but Miss Courtney is determined to help Sheikh El Hamid communicate with his chauffeur, so she takes Mr. Brown’s class while he teaches the Sheikh Scots dialect.


Sid: Do you know last night there was only one thing that stopped me putting my head in the gas oven?

Mr. Brown: What was that?

Sid: We’re all electric.

Giovanni: (Referring to the cockatoo he and Max got.) We just got a fantastic bird.

Mr. Brown: Really? Does this bird have a name?

Giovanni: Sure. Polly.

Mr. Brown: Well, then in future kindly refer to her as Polly and not as a bird.

Giovanni: Okey-cokey.

Max: She is gonna be very good company for hus at night.

Mr. Brown: Us? Whaddyou mean us?

Giovanni: We’re gonna share her. One night she sleeps with me, another night she sleeps with Max.

Mr. Brown: Well, if you don’t mind me saying so, your English is fairly good.

Sheikh El Hamid: Thank you. It is comforting to know that my years at Oxford were not wasted.

Mr. Brown: The fat black cat sat on the mat.

Jock: The fatblacasama.

Jock: Aww come on Jimmy, ah cannae be expected to set here an’ listen to Charlie Chapati claiming he’s my equal.

Ranjeet: What is he calling me?

Mr. Brown: Nothing, Ranjeet.

Ali: (Smiling.) He is calling you Charlie Chapati!

Jock: Ah, well the same goes for you, Takeaway Tommy.

(Ali’s expression slowly changes to anger.)

Ali: I give you a bunch of fivers!


  • This is the first episode where Margaret Thatcher was the Prime Minister. During all previous episodes it was Jim Callaghan.

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