Dramas from BBC Learning English

Intermediate and above level

The White Elephant: Episode 18: Excellence

Episode 160408 / 08 Apr 2016

Ceilia
Do you know who we've got in the restaurant tonight?

Gordon
A customer?

Ceilia
Well yes… it's a VIP…

Peter
A 'V-I-P'… what's that?

Ceilia
A Very Important Person – it's the town mayor. I can't believe that he's decided to eat in our restaurant tonight.

Gordon
Yes, that's the type of top-notch customer I like to cook for. Royalty!

Mary
Well he's not royalty Gordon, but he is an important person so I'm going to give this plate an extra polish.

Peter
There's the order Gordon. He wants champagne too… I'll go and get some.

Ceilia
I hope you've sobered up after last week and I hope you're going to pull out all the stops to make an excellent dish.

Gordon
Excellence is what I excel at Ceilia, you know that. Right let's get to work… wow, he wants the steak surprise. I can tell this is a man with first-class taste.

Ceilia
Oh just get on with it Gordon.

Gordon
There finished – perfect! Peter!

Mary
Well done Gordon… you really have gone above and beyond your usual standards.

Gordon
Peter, I want you to take this to the mayor. Any bad view he has of our restaurant will be blown right out of the water when he tastes that food.

Gordon
Well, what did he say?

Peter
He said we had 'exceeded his expectations'.

Gordon
Good, good.

Peter
Yes… we are even worse than he had expected. And also, he is a vegetarian and has never eaten meat.

Gordon
But this order said steak surprise…

Peter
That one does… but this says mushroom risotto.

Ceilia
Excellent!

Vocabulary

top-notch
high quality

pull all the stops out 
make a big effort so that something is very successful

excel at 
do something very well

first-class 
best quality

gone above and beyond 
done more than was expected

blown right out of the water 
shown to be false

exceeded his expectations
be more extreme than what you thought would happen

Credits

Gordon Grater: Neil Frost

Ceilia Spatula: Amina Zia

Peter Peppermill: Darren Benedict

Marigold Marcelo (Mary for short): Stacha Hicks

Written, produced and directed by: Rob Carter