Series 15 Episode 15:
Written by Simon Moss

Barney arrives for work with a black eye. Charlie, on his first day back after returning from Canada, asks him for a word. He asks what happened. Barney explains, and says he spent the night in a cell, and the police let him off with a caution. Charlie says Barney's been spoiling for a fight for months. He says Barney needs to start dealing with whatever's going on his life. He tells Barney to go home. Barney says that special leave is all he needs on his record, but Charlie says it's off the record, as an early Christmas present. Barney goes to the staff room on his way out, and Patrick is there. He asks if it's about Spencer, and says it would be best to talk to Spencer, to get things out in the open. Barney says all he'd have to say was that he doesn't like Spencer because he's an alcoholic. Patrick says Spencer might help him find out who he really doesn't like, and tells Barney he can't keep bottling it up.
A courier knocks on Clifford Watkin's door and asks him to take a parcel for his neighbour Barry. Clifford grudgingly agrees, and later goes round to give it to him. Barry is in a workshop, making the last of his Christmas decorations. The outside of the house is covered with Christmas lights and decorations. Barry is pleased to see Clifford, as he hasn't been living there long and wanted to get to know his neighbours better. He says hundreds of people come to see his Christmas displays, and this year will be bigger and better as he's moved from a bungalow into a bigger house. He asks Clifford to hide the parcel somewhere in his house, so he won't open it before Christmas. Clifford does so and leaves to go shopping, and Barry gets to work putting a wooden Rudolph on his roof. He turns all the lights on. When Clifford gets back he finds that Rudolph is interfering with his TV, so he asks Barry to do something about it. Barry goes up to adjust Rudolph and the aerial whilst Clifford checks his TV. Barry gets something caught on one of the lights, and in struggling to loosen it, overbalances and falls to the ground. Clifford calls an ambulance, and offers to switch off the lights for Barry. Inside the house, he picks up a Christmas card and sees that it is blank. He looks at some other cards on the walls; none of them have anything written in them. Clifford goes to Holby A&E to see Barry, who'll have to stay in over Christmas. He asks if they've contacted any of Barry's friends or relatives, and offers to do so himself when Barry says they haven't. Barry says he'd be on the phone all evening, and Clifford says that if half the people who sent him Christmas cards turned up, there'd be chaos. Barry mentions Clifford's wife, but Clifford says his wife died this time last year - the woman Barry's seen is Clifford's sister. Barry says apologetically that he couldn't have done any more to remind him of the anniversary - the lights, the tinsel and the ambulance. Clifford says he misses her, and that he's lonely, not like Barry. He says it's difficult to admit to being lonely. He has brought Barry's parcel, to cheer him up. Barry tells Clifford it's from the same person that sent him most of his Christmas cards. Clifford offers to come to visit him tomorrow, saying he could do with the company. He opens Barry's parcel for him - it's a snow shaker with a picture of Barry inside.
Duffy is wheeling Sheila Chubb, who has injured her wrist, to a cubicle when she sees Charlie and asks how Canada was. He says fine, saying that Baz has a lovely apartment and Louis has started school and made some friends, but Duffy realises there's something wrong and asks what it is. Charlie, looking at Sheila, says he'll talk to her later, but Duffy says that Sheila's deaf, so Charlie starts talking. He says that Baz is seeing another man. Charlie met him when he came into Baz's office, and seemed to mistake Charlie for a cleaner. He and Baz had a massive row and she accused him of being possessive. He says it was really unpleasant. Duffy says things will be different next time he goes over, but Charlie says there won't be a next time - Baz wants a divorce. He later brings Sheila some painkillers, and she says he probably needs them more than she does, although maybe they couldn't help him. Charlie looks confused, and she mentions his divorce - she says she's only deaf in one ear. She says she remembers how she felt when her husband asked her for a divorce. She spent years worrying about what happened and whose fault it was, and now realises that if she'd spent less time worrying about it and more time accepting it, she would have been happier sooner. Charlie says that's easier said than done. She says that one thing she's learnt is that if you let go, it doesn't mean you have to fall. Later, Duffy asks Charlie if he'll contest the divorce. He says there's no point, as Baz definitely wants to call it quits, and it will save Louis any further upsets. He says it's better just to let go. Duffy asks if he'll be OK, saying she has to dash off to their sons' carol concert tonight. She says they'll talk tomorrow.
Mick Stansfield is out Christmas shopping with his pregnant girlfriend Kara. Kara sees a necklace in a shop window and goes in to try it on despite Mick's protests. She suggests that he buys it her for Christmas. Mick says they'd agreed not to get each other anything, but she says she's bought him something. Mick says no, as they can't afford it, and won't let her buy it with her credit card either. Kara is upset, and says she wants to go home. Mick says they haven't finished yet, but she says her feet and back are aching. Mick tells her to take the car, and he'll finish the shopping and get the bus back. He does so, but on the way the bus passes the scene of an accident - he sees Kara being carried into an ambulance. He goes to Holby A&E, where Kara isn't badly injured but has bruising from her seatbelt and is worried about the health of her baby. Andrew does an ultrasound, and it turns out the baby is fine. Duffy watches as he points out the baby's toes, doing the "This little piggy" rhyme. Kara tells Mike she lost concentration and crashed. Mike says if he'd agreed to buy the necklace it wouldn't have happened. He apologises for not being spontaneous and romantic. He says he loves her but he's not that good at showing it. He says he's got her a present too - he was going to wait till Christmas but has decided she needs cheering up now. He gets out a ring, and asks her to marry him. She says yes, and they kiss.
Patrick is talking to Max about going home to Yorkshire for Christmas - he's looking forward to it. Max breaks the news to him that he can't have the leave he applied for as he'll be needed to work over Christmas.
Stephanie Hislop runs a café offering discounts to nurses. She comes into Holby A&E asking Amy to give out leaflets advertising the discount. Later she turns up again with Darren, one of her staff, who has thrown up. It seems he has food poisoning, but he is cagey about what he has eaten that could have poisoned him. Eventually he says that it was some coronation chicken he stole from work - he let it go off, it wasn't Steph's fault. Stef wouldn't give him anything to eat at work, and he says if she finds out he nicked leftovers she'll sack him. He says his wages are so low that he's worse off now than when he was on benefits, but if he quits his job he won't get any benefit for weeks, and he has no qualifications to get another job. He throws up again, over Colette, and she has to change into some trousers which are much too big for her. Josh offers to roll them up for her. Amy sees them and asks what's going on; Josh says he was just helping a damsel in distress. Amy's look implies she thinks there's more to it. Colette talks to Steph, telling her that it was her coronation chicken which gave Darren food poisoning. She's amazed that he's working in a food shop all day but isn't given anything to eat. She says that she likes a discount but not at someone else's expense, and she thinks others would agree with her if this got out. Steph says she'll give her workers a bonus, and make it up to Darren, but doesn't look happy about it.
Duffy still hasn't told Andrew that she's pregnant. She tells Colette that she and Andrew haven't been very close recently and she knows to the day when the baby was conceived. Later, she tells Colette that seeing Andrew with Mick and Kara has made her think he might welcome the news of her pregnancy after all. As she and Andrew walk out of the hospital, she lets him know that she's pregnant. He's angry, saying he thought they'd finished with all that. He asks how long she's known and why she didn't tell him - she says she was worried he'd react like this. He says they should go, or they'll be late. Duffy says it isn't going to go away, but he says he doesn't want to talk about it; he needs time to think. Charlie comes out of the department just in time to hear her reply, "Yeah? Well you've got seven months." He looks over as Andrew drives off, then turns away. Duffy is left alone.

Episode first broadcast Saturday 16th December 2000

Additional Cast
Clifford Watkins Kenneth Colley
Barry Dawson Michael Starke
Kara McGovern Louise Bush
Mick Stansfield William Ryecroft
Stephanie Hislop          Stephanie Schonfield
Darren Thornton David Derbyshire
Sheila Chubb Dera Cooper

Pictures provided by Chris Leader