Apocalypse (Bottom)

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Bottom episode
Episode no. Series One
Episode 004
Directed by Ed Bye
Written by Ade Edmondson & Rik Mayall
Produced by Ed Bye
Original air date 8 October 1991 (1991-10-08)
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"Bottoms Up"

"Apocalypse" is the fourth episode of the first series of British sitcom Bottom. It was first broadcast on Tuesday 8 October 1991.


During a night at the fair to celebrate the pair inheriting £600, Richie receives a curse from a gypsy fortune teller.


Eddie and Richie are preparing for a visit from Richie's wealthy auntie Olga. To create the impression of poverty they have killed their goldfish, 'Elvis', to make her believe they have no food left in the house (Eddie has hidden the rest in the cistern); scattered bills strategically around the house so that she sees one wherever she sits; and Eddie has sprinkled water everywhere to make it look like they've been crying a lot.

When Richie phones to ensure she brings her cheque book, he is informed by her servant she has died and left him £600 in her will. Overjoyed, Richie safely ensconces £300 on top of the bathroom cabinet where he believes no one will ever find it, and the duo take the remaining £300 down to the funfair where Eddie causes £45 worth of damage to a shooting stall. Richie agrees to settle the debt only to discover that his wallet and the £300 have been stolen. In a bid to escape, Eddie asks the proprietor of the shooting stall (Mark Arden) to call it double or quits if he can shoot a particular target, however instead he deliberately shoots him in the eye so they can make their getaway.

Being chased through the funfair by the workers, the two hide first in the house of horrors (which they immediately leave as it is too scary) and then in the fortune teller's tent. Here the old fortune teller (Liz Smith) reveals to Richie that she knows his driving licence to be a fake and then describes his "secret love picture" (a naked lady with Julia Somerville's face stuck over the top). Convinced that the old woman has something (which Eddie believes to be dropsy) he asks her to tell his fortune and she reveals that before the moon rises three times, 'Yer gonna die!'

Richie rushes to the hospital, where, after causing much havoc with the nurse (Helen Lederer) and the patients, he is granted a clean bill of health by Sir Roger Cobham (Roger Brierley), a famous heart surgeon, who kicks him out immediately afterward. Richie is relieved, but on the way out he and Eddie accidentally push an old man (Nick Gillard) down a lift shaft. Richie then comes to the conclusion that his death will be caused by an accident.

The episode picks up three days later in the flat. Richie has created a 'bunker' under the upturned sofa and has not left it for three days and nights - nor has he eaten anything, as he has enlisted Eddie to test all of the food and drink. Eddie has taken this task to heart—especially when testing alcohol!

After bribing Eddie to check if the moon has risen yet (results inconclusive!), Richie notices that the ceiling above him is sagging, and Eddie explains that it's his piano. (On the DVD version, this also involves Eddie switching on the TV to see what the time is - Neighbours is on, implying the time is 5:30, which is when BBC One used to broadcast the repeat). Richie makes him go upstairs and move it. While Eddie is gone, Richie prays that whatever fate awaits him be given instead to Eddie. His prayer is repeatedly interrupted by Eddie playing piano and just as Richie gets up to order Eddie to come down at once, Eddie and the piano crash through the ceiling, destroying Richie's 'bunker'. It's only at this moment that Richie realises that everything that transpired leading him to get the curse was because of Eddie: Eddie said they should go to the funfair, shot the stallholder in the eye, and suggested they hide in the fortune teller's tent. Realising that Eddie could be the cause of his death, Richie throws him out of the flat.

That night, as Richie prepares to sleep, he hears a noise. Believing it to be Eddie, he prepares to hit whoever enters his bedroom with a cricket bat. However, rather than Eddie he is visited by the Grim Reaper, who informs him that he is going to hell. Richie pleads for his life, failing to notice that Death seems to have trouble with his mobility. It is revealed to the audience that Death is in fact Eddie on stilts in a robe.

Richie offers to play chess for his soul but 'Death' refuses, claiming he doesn't know the rules. He also refuses to play Cluedo because Richie always looks at the mystery cards. Eventually, Richie beats 'Death' in a game of I spy. 'Death' agrees to allow Richie to live in return for: Eddie's return to the flat; the remaining £300; and Richie's secret copy of "'Girly World. However, while attempting to make his escape, 'Death' falls down the stairs and breaks his stilts, revealing himself to be a fraud.

While Richie and Eddie argue, the shooting-gallery stallholder kicks the door down looking for Richie, as he has come to return his missing wallet. They realise that it was the fortune teller who stole Richie's wallet, and therefore knew of its contents - the forged driving licence and Julia Somerville nude collage. The Shooting gallery stallholder takes the £300 to pay for his eye operation, as well as the copy of Girly World . After an invitation from Richie, the episode ends with the stallholder kicking Eddie in the balls.

DVD edit[edit]

DVD releases of this episode have had an audio edit from the original television broadcast. At the funfair when Richie realises that his wallet is missing, he originally called the fair staff "thieving bastard gypos". In the DVD releases the word 'gypos' has been replaced with 'yobbos'.

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