Contest (Bottom)

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"Contest"
Episode no. Series One
Episode 003
Directed by Ed Bye
Written by Ade Edmondson & Rik Mayall
Produced by Ed Bye
Original air date 1 October 1991 (1991-10-01)
Episode chronology
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"Gas"
Next →
"Apocalypse"

"Contest" is the third episode of the first series of British sitcom Bottom. It was first broadcast on Tuesday 1 October 1991.

Synopsis[edit]

With Eddie having spent most of their remaining £11.80 on a second-hand copy of Parade magazine, he and Richie spend a night watching Miss World on the television.[1]

Plot[edit]

The episode begins with Richie placing his head in the oven in a suicide attempt. He has left a suicide note on the table for Eddie to read. It is revealed that this is in fact a ploy to guilt-trip Eddie into buying him a drink. Eddie enters the room, places his briefcase on top of the note and proceeds to read the newspaper. When he notices Richie with his head in the oven, he shrugs indifferently, and Richie relents.

It emerges that while Eddie has been out all day trying to claim his dole money, Richie has spent all day making an inexpensive dinner for the pair (everything has been grown, found or foraged), which turns out to be inedible. Eddie refuses to eat the dinner and reveals he has been denied his dole as he has too many savings - £11.80 which ought to last him two months - but he's "invested" the majority of it in a secondhand copy of Parade magazine. Eddie sits down to watch the Miss World contest on TV, but Richie refuses to let him. The two have an argument and Richie throws Eddie out of the flat. He then settles down to masturbate while watching Miss World. Eddie, who has been preparing to apologise to Richie, catches Richie in the act and agrees to keep it a secret if he is allowed to return and watch Miss World.

Later, Richie puts two and two together when he realizes that Eddie has only 30p left, and yet the Parade copy only cost £1.50 of his £11.80, which should leave him £10.30. When Richie confronts Eddie, he reveals he has also placed a Miss World bet. Richie is less than impressed when he finds out Eddie has placed the money on the hideous, apparently ancient Chinese contestant, as he felt the odds were so good.

The pair must then deal with changing a fuse when Richie breaks the television. In the ensuing chaos, Richie is electrocuted, burns his hand on the kettle several times (exclaiming "I didn't think the kettle would be hot!") and falls out of the window. When Eddie fixes the lights, he notices Richie is gone. Only now does he find the suicide note and assumes Richie has killed himself. After briefly mourning his friend, he begins planning to sell all of his possessions.

Richie returns and the two discuss their state in the world. Eddie states his philosophy on life: "You get born, you keep your head down and you die. If you're lucky." Their contestant loses Miss World, and Richie is further depressed. Eddie reveals that he never placed the bet anyway; he only claimed to have done it so Richie would insist they watch Miss World. Eddie had instead spent the money on a "slap-up grill" as he saw Richie preparing "dinner" when he left that morning. Richie punches Eddie in the face and the episode ends.

Trivia[edit]

This is one of only three episodes to feature only Richie and Eddie, along with Culture and Hole

This episode is omitted from some European DVD box sets.[why?]

This episode was originally the pilot. The noticeable differences in the set with the organ being on the "fourth" wall, stairs opposite way, and the fact Rik has shorter hair than usual as well as Ade visibly showing hair and missing his sideburns indicate that this episode was filmed much earlier than the other episodes in the series.

Errors[edit]

It is revealed that the flat belongs to Richie's Auntie Mabel and that Eddie is Richie's sub-tenant, though he has never paid rent. However, from 's Up onwards, the pair have a landlord, Mr. Harrison, who only makes two appearances. Auntie Mabel isn't mentioned again until Weapons Grade Y-Fronts Tour, when Richie mentions that his "auntie pays the rent."

When the electricity in the flat goes out, Eddie opens the fridge while looking for the fuse wire. The fridge light is clearly on.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bottom Series One (DVD). BBC Worldwide. 2003. 

External links[edit]