“The School Fete” is the seventh episode of the third season of Mind Your Language. It was first broadcast on the 8th of December 1979.
Miss Courtney hires Robert Dougall to open the upcoming school fete, but he has to cancel when he gets sick with the flu. Max claims to be good friends with Arthur Mullard (though he only sat next to him on a bus 2 years ago), and at the behest of Miss Courtney and Mr. Brown, he agrees to contact Arthur and ask him to open the fete. Giovanni and Max go into The Red Lion just as the real Arthur Mullard goes into the bathroom and then Sid comes into the pub as well. Since Sid talks like Arthur Mullard, Max decides that Sid will pretend to be Arthur. Then the real Arthur Mullard comes out of the bathroom, and Giovanni and Max try to get him to impersonate Arthur without realising who he is. When Giovanni says negative things about Arthur Mullard, Arthur reveals his identity and refuses to do the fete (though he later has a change of heart). Meanwhile, Mr. Brown has to scramble to get Miss Courtney’s coat back after it gets hung on a discount clothes rack, where Gladys finds it, buys it and sells it to Lil for double the purchase price.
Juan: Well, I want to take Rita – that’s her name – away for the weekend holiday. But she live with her mother, and she think maybe her mother not let her come away with me. What can I do?
Mr. Brown: Well, why don’t you ask her mother?
Juan: I no want to go away with her mother.
(Mr. Brown has told his students that Robert Dougall is going to open the school fete.)
Giovanni: Ah, that’s no good! It’s much better we get somebody who reads the news now, like-a that Angela Ripoff.
Mr. Brown: Rippon.
Ranjeet: I am liking the other one better: Annie Mini.
Mr. Brown: Annie Mini?
Ranjeet: She is reading the news on ITV.
Mr. Brown: Anna Ford.
Ranjeet: Wrong car.
Sid: Hello, Glad.
Gladys: Yeah, have you heard the news?
Gladys: They’ve got Arthur Mullard.
Sid: Why? What’s he done?
- The episode never explains what happened after Sid agreed to impersonate Arthur Mullard, or why Mullard himself agreed to open the fete after his argument with Giovanni in the pub.
- This is the second time in the series when Ali says “you dropped a clinker (clanger)”. He says it for the first time in “An Inspector Calls”.