The Royle Wiki

The New Sofa
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The main cast

Original Broadcast:

25 December 2008

Written by:

Caroline Aherne, Craig Cash & Phil Mealey

Main Cast:

Ricky Tomlinson, Sue Johnson, Caroline Aherne, Craig Cash, Geoffery Hughes

Guest Starring:

Tom Courtenay, Helen Fraser

The New Sofa is the twenty second episode of The Royle Family.


It's Christmas Eve in Manchester, and Jim and Barbara are sitting in front of the telly in their living room watching Jamie Oliver stuffing a turkey. The doorbell rings and Barbara answers it to Dave and Denise. Denise announces her plans for tomorrow's Christmas Dinner including cup-a-soups and Walls Vienneta, while Jim feasts through his box of After Eights. She also offers a turkey leg to everyone and tells Barbara that she won't miss seeing the kids on Christmas Day, who are spending the day with Anthony. Denise later says, bizarrely, that Christmas is not a day for children.

The doorbell rings and the family hesitates before opening it. Barbara goes to open it and finds Twiggy, who has just come out of prison after spending twelve months inside for fraud; his son was in there as well and he was happy to get to see him all the time. When they reflect on the condition of the world, Twiggy announces that he has ordered himself a Thai bride and Dave offers to have him round for the Christmas dinner, much to everyone else's dismay once he goes out the door. Then Jim goes to the toilet for a poo, referring to it as a "Yuletide Log".

The next day, Jim reprises his place in his chair, while Barbara wishes him a Merry Christmas and unwraps his present for him, but he is surprised at her big reaction over socks. Meanwhile, Denise and Dave run the bath in a vain attempt to defrost the turkey. Barbara then asks Jim whether he bought her a present. He tells her he bought a baby pink dressing gown, but it is still in the shop. Dave is seen shaving in the bath with the turkey (using it as a balance for his shaving mirror) singing Wizzard's "I Wish it Could be Christmas Everyday." Meanwhile, Jim is miserable that he has to spend Christmas with Dave's father, David Senior, who Jim thinks is a big head. Barbara tells him to go and get ready for the dinner; in the end, all he does is put on a tie and attend the dinner in his everyday clothes.

In the kitchen, Denise and Dave are slicing the carrots in front of a video of TV chef Nigella Lawson. The turkey is seen at different times to be under a sun bed and next to the fire to try and defrost it, all to no avail. Denise and Dave also spice up the fruit punch with a single, unchopped banana and lots of vodka. Jim and Barbara arrive and Dave boots the turkey into the airing cupboard. David Senior and Jocelyn soon arrive, much to Jim's dismay. They consult over David Senior's ongoing battle with the next door neighbour and the state of the world. Denise reads out a schedule regulary interrupted by Jim, who wants some alcohol. Dave hands out the punch and David Senior makes a toast to both families and to Dave buying a van off someone at work. Then they play around with the reclining sofa, Jim regulary denying to join in. Meanwhile in the kitchen, Denise is unimpressed with Dave's mingling with the others while she works the dinner. He then goes to get the turkey, still frozen, from the airing cupboard, disgusing it in a football shirt. Dave then gets to work, variously using a hammer and chisel, a chainsaw and a saw to try and cut the turkey in half. Twiggy arrives with stolen alcohol and makes his aquaintances.

At the table everyone enjoys their soup and they discuss a variety of subjects including Elvis, unruly bowls and Dave's imaginary twin, while Denise hands out triangle- and oblong-shaped pieces of bread. Denise calls Dave into the kitchen, as she cries over the dinner being a disaster and him not helping out. Then he comforts her, before they both go out and confess to everyone what has happened and they tell her not to worry about it. When she says they have carrot crush, they all cheer with happiness and dig in. David Senior confuses Twiggy to be gay, when he actually came out of prison, making Jim and Twiggy laugh. They also discover that Hitler only had one testicle.

Jim gets his banjo out and they have a musical interlude. They sing to "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer," "Winter Wonderland" and "Santa Clause is Coming to Town" with Barbara on spoons, Twiggy on tambourine and harmonica and David Senior on ukelele. As the camera pans out in focuses on a bauble of Nana smiling, echoing what happened at the beginning of this episode, at the Royle's home.

Later that night in bed, Jim starts to get intimate with Barbara, but he is interrupted with the runs of David Senior's rhubarb wine. He promptly dashes to the toilet, holding his bare buttocks on the way out.