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...And I'll Cry if I Want To

'Shingles' and Mrs Susan

Series: 5 Episode: 8

First Aired 25th December 2005

Roger is full of Christmas cheer, but as you might expect, Ben isn't. In fact his only Christmas tradition is being grumpy throughout the yuletide period.

This year he is particularly irritable because his house is full of people: clowns are auditioning for Kenzo's birthday party on Christmas Eve, Susan's mother is staying, and Nick's friend Alfie has arrived on the doorstep carrying a guitar and a bag of Nick's crusty old socks.

Ben discovers a very expensive ring in Susan's cupboard, which he assumes is for him, despite them agreeing they weren't "doing" presents this year. He panics because all he's got her is an ironing board cover.

Susan seizes Kenzo's birthday party as an opportunity to determine who his father is, and insists that Janey invite him. Janey gets round this by arranging for three respectable male friends to attend. This momentarily seems like defeat for Susan, until she enlists the help of Michael and his home DNA testing kit...

At Kenzo's birthday party, the increasingly dependable Alfie entertains the children with some songs, while 'behind the scenes' Ben struggles to slap some sense back into Roger. As part of Ben's cost-cutting plan, Roger, a self-professed clown enthusiast, has agreed to pose as 'Shingles' the clown instead of hiring the real thing. Unfortunately he has stage fright and then faints after Ben feeds him too much alcohol to calm his nerves.

Drastic measures are required, and so Ben - whose face is already red from a disastrous facial delivered at Abi's department store makeup counter - adopts the clown costume, and Susan becomes his assistant. They almost get away with it.

Ben only went through Abi's beauty routine in order to use her staff discount card to buy Susan an expensive gift: a video camera. But to his dismay, this is precisely the present that his mother in law has got her. He turns to Alfie, who recommends he buy Susan a first edition book by her favourite author.

So Ben buys Susan a gift of equivalent value to the ring he think she's got him - but of course it turns out to be a present from Susan's mother to her three-months-younger 'toyboy'. Susan is very happy. She's less happy when the DNA tests show that none of Janey's guests were Kenzo's father - but she can't win them all.

She takes pity on Alfie and invites him to stay in Nick's old room.

More on My Family

Series One

Series 1

19 September - 7 November 2000

Series Two

The Harper Family

31 August - 30 November 2001

Series Three

Harper in a Headlock

6 September - 25 December 2002

2002 Christmas Special

My Family

Ding Dong Merrily

Series Four

Ben and Susan Harper in Bed

21 March - 13 June 2003

2004 Christmas Special

Christmas Special

Glad Tidings We Bring

Series Five

Susan and Ben Harper Looking Pensive

19 March - 18 June 2004

2005 Christmas Special

The One With the Clown

25 December 2005

Series Six

The Brotherhood of the Cockerel

10 March 2006

2006 Christmas Special

The heart of Christmas

The Heart of Christmas

Series Seven

Series 7 cast

6 April 2007

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