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Red Letter Day: The Five Pound Orange (ITV 18 Jan 1976, with Peter Barkworth)



In The Five Pound Orange, middle aged Gilbert, living with his mistress Nicola in less than salubrious circumstances discovers than four stamps in his extensive collection are worth over two thousand pounds. The only problem is that the stamps are in a tea chest at the home he used to share with his wife Felicity.

Gilbert hasn’t seen his wife since he walked out on her a year ago and he is rather put out to see that she is thriving without him, in fact she is in a new relationship herself and the little boutique she runs is doing very well thank you. In fact seeing Felicity with her new chap turns out to be the catalyst for Gilbert breaking up with Nicola and making an attempt to win Felicity back.

Another fabulously funny Donald Churchill script and fabulous performances from Sarah Badel and Peter Barkworth. The TV Times of the week has a one page feature on Donald written by his regular co-writer Julia Jones. Julia was a long time friend of Donald’s actress wife Pauline Yates and it was Donald who first recognised Julia’s writing talents.

The Five Pound Orange of the title is a real life highly valuable stamp of the Victorian era.

classic quote
When I put it on it makes me look like a very old Eunuch on his day off. – Gilbert on his new kaftan.

production details
UK / ITV – Granada / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Sunday 18 January 1976 at 10.00pm

Writer: Donald Churchill / Production Design: Alan Price / Director: June Howson

Series: Red Letter Day Season 1, Episode 2

Peter Barkworth as Gilbert
Natasha Parry as Felicity
Sarah Badel as Nicola
Bernard Horsfall as Nigel
Jo Scott Matthews as Mrs Worth