Parade (Bottom)

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Bottom episode
Episode no.Series Two
Episode 004
Directed byEd Bye
Written byAde Edmondson & Rik Mayall
Produced byEd Bye
Original air date22 October 1992
Episode chronology
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"Parade" is the fourth episode of the second series of British television sitcom, Bottom. It was first broadcast on 22 October 1992. This was the first of three episodes not to be set in the house at all.


Eddie and Richie steal a war veteran's wooden leg to bet on a horse.


The episode begins with Richie and Eddie acting as volunteers in an identity parade. A suited man is accompanied into the room by a uniformed police officer, whom Richie insults, assuming him to be the criminal. It turns out, however, to be a member of CID, Chief Inspector Grobbelaar. The suspects are brought in, who turn out to be Eddie's friends Spudgun and Dave Hedgehog. Spudgun's mother, Mrs. Potato, enters the room and identifies him as stealing her handbag to take to a cross-dressing party. Chief Inspector Grobbelaar orders one of the officers to take her outside and give her a good drubbing.

Next, we see Richie and Eddie entering their local pub, The Lamb and Flag. They go to order drinks with their earnings from the identity parade, and notice that there is a new barmaid. The two pretend to be health and safety officers in order to get free food and drinks. Spudgun, Dave Hedgehog and Mrs Potato are also posing as health and safety officers, and are planning their next identity parade that afternoon. Richie tries to chat up the barmaid (Julia Sawalha), complimenting her on her "short summer frock" and asking whether she uses Timotei shampoo. While doing so, he claims he was a soldier in the Falklands War. This catches the attention of a nearby drinker (Robert Llewellyn), who actually fought in the war, who starts questioning him.

Meanwhile, the toilet door bursts open, and a man staggers drunkenly into the bar and collapses, where a visibly shocked Richie announces that it is the local bookmaker, tight-mouthed Larry. Larry then vomits at their feet, leading a confused Eddie to point out that he is not being tight-mouthed today. The Falklands veteran begins questioning Richie again, and shows him his service medal. Richie is shocked and does not know what to say. The war veteran also shows Richie that he lost his leg in the war and now has a false leg made of carved wood. He carries on questioning Richie and works out that he was lying about being in the Falklands War. Richie shows the veteran his appendix scar. This does not impress the veteran, who thinks that Richie is showing him his "very small" penis and beats him up. Then Tight-Mouthed Larry reappears and tells the entire pub of a horse, Sad Ken, that is certain to win despite having 100/1 odds. He tells everyone in the pub that it is a secret and to forget it before he leaves.

Richie is left lamenting the fact that he and Eddie have only £16 between them to put on the horse, and openly admits he wishes he had a huge wad. Eddie then points out that perhaps a great big pile of cash would be more useful in the circumstances and the two go to the toilets, where they plan to steal the war veteran's leg, take it to a pawnbroker, sell it, place the proceeds on Sad Ken, buy the leg back with the winnings and keep the profit. They leave the toilets to find that the veteran has fallen asleep. Eddie runs over and tries to remove his leg, before realising he is twisting the veteran's real leg. Richie takes over and unfastens the false leg, and sends Eddie to the pawnbroker to sell the leg and place the bet. Richie starts feeding the veteran alcohol with a funnel to keep him asleep.

At a pawnshop, there is a crowd of people selling various items to raise stake money for the horse race. Spudgun is trying to sell a rat, claiming it is a mink. Eddie enters with the leg. Harry says it must be worth at least £2,500, but offers Eddie £1.50. Eddie blackmails the pawnbroker into giving him £500 for it.

Back in the pub, the war veteran wakes up, and says that he feels completely legless and wants to go for a walk to clear his head. Richie points out that he does not know the half of it and persuades him to stay in his seat by asking to hear some war stories. At the bookie's, Eddie places "£500, on the nose, on Sad Ken", and the cashier asks him if he would like to pay tax. Outraged by the suggestion, Eddie declines, pointing out that it is the most ridiculous question he's ever heard before going to watch the race with the rest of the drinkers. Sad Ken, who is blind and only has three legs, runs the wrong way and falls over, then is shot along with his jockey.

Eddie returns to the pub and explains that Sad Ken didn't win, and now they have no money to buy the leg back with. Tight-Mouthed Larry and Dick Head, the pub landlord, enter the bar with a pile of money and reveal that the Sad Ken tip had been a scam, and the new barmaid had been Dick's niece, Veronica.

The pair go back into the toilet and plan to mug the next person who enters. A man enters who they start to beat up, but it turns out to be Chief Inspector Grobbelaar. The episode ends back in the police station, with Richie and Eddie in an identity parade, where Eddie demands to see a, preferably naked female, lawyer. Chief Inspector Grobbelaar picks the two out as the men who assaulted him, and the other police officers start beating up Richie and Eddie.


Cast Characters
Rik Mayall Richie
Adrian Edmondson Eddie
Robert Ashe Ralph Maxwell
Rory Bremner Mr. Brough
Lee Cornes Dick Head
Brian Croucher Ted Nugent/Harry the Bastard
Andy De La Tour Chief Inspector Grobbelaar
Roy Heather Mr. Man
Chris Langham Tight-Mouthed Larry
Robert Llewellyn Mr. N. Stiles (Falkland War veteran)
Robert McKewley P.C. Cholmondley-Smythe
Steven O'Donnell Spudgun
Patsy Rowlands Lil Potato
Christopher Ryan Dave Hedgehog
Julia Sawalha Veronica Head


The names of the Chief Inspector (Grobbelaar) and the veteran (Mr N. Stiles) appear to reference football players Bruce Grobbelaar and Nobby Stiles. At the time, Grobbelaar was goalkeeper for Liverpool F.C. and well known for his unorthodox approach to goalkeeping. Stiles (who, like the veteran presumably, was long retired) had displayed his false teeth and the trophy after the 1966 World Cup Final, which the veteran's displaying his wooden leg and medal possibly alludes to.