> Madge's Departure
by Ray Kolle, Directed
by Philip East, Produced
by Alan Coleman and Dave Worthington
Channel Ten: 27/11/92, BBC One: 04/11/93, UK Gold: 20/10/99
Madge finds herself accidentally locked in the Waterhole storeroom and unable to attend her own surprise leaving party...
At number 32, various street residents are gathered for Madge's party. Lou is telling Jim about his plan to stop Benito changing the name of the caryard, but Jim thinks that Benito is clever enough to see through it. Jim then spots Doug arriving, and
says that he might leave, but Lou tells him to stay - Madge will want to see him, and she's already upset enough that she won't get to say goodbye to Helen. Lou approaches Doug, who says that he couldn't let Madge go without saying goodbye. Lou wonders
where she is, and Doug says that she left the Waterhole an hour ago, so she should be here any minute.
Meanwhile, Madge continues to bang on the door of the storeroom, but is unable to get anyone's attention.
In London, at the Carlton Towers hotel, Helen is on bed and on the phone to reception, asking if the hotel doctor could call in on her again, as she has an earache now.
Debbie suggests that Helen should try and eat something, but she doesn't feel up to it. Helen insists that she'll be fine and Debbie doesn't need to worry, then Rick knocks on the door, asking how Helen is feeling and whether Debbie can get away.
Debbie doesn't want to leave Helen, who says that she'll cope on her own, so Rick and Debbie leave to meet with the others.
Back at number 32, Jim, Lou and Dorothy are all wondering where Madge could be. Doug comes over and says that he's going to head home, as he's tired, but he'll catch up with Madge in the morning before she goes. He says goodbye to Lou and Dorothy,
but ignores Jim. Lou is disappointed that his big surprise for Madge has turned into a disaster.
At the Waterhole, Philip is cashing up for the day, and Julie is on the phone, trying to get hold of Toby, who's meant to be minding Hannah. She worries when there's no answer,
but Philip explains that they'll be at Madge's party at number 32 - Julie is surprised to hear about the party, and asks why she wasn't invited. Philip tells her that they were both invited, but he just forgot to mention it - but an indignant Julie says
that she won't got to a party that she wasn't invited to. Philip says that they'll have to go if they want to pick up Hannah, but Julie still isn't pleased. He tells her that he needs to do some restocking, but Julie insists that they leave it until the
morning, so they, along with the cleaner, lock up and leave.
At number 32, Pam arrives for the party, asking Cameron whether Doug or Jim are still there, and surprised to find that Madge hasn't turned up. Pam asks Cameron if he's had a chance to speak to Doug, and he says that he's still determined to go ahead
with the divorce - he also tells her that he's sorry that all of this is happening, as she and Doug always seemed so happy together. She heads off to the kitchen, as Julie and Philip arrive - with Julie unable to resist mentioning that she didn't even
know anything about the party. Julie checks that Hannah is OK, then she and Philip make small talk with Benito about the car yard and Lassiter's - and Cameron overhears Julie mention that Philip is doing a big deal with Gavin Heywood, which should bring
in a lot of money for the company. Philip tries to play it down, but Cameron asks if he can have a quiet word (and Julie then tries to talk to Benito, who promptly walks away from her!). Out in the hallway, Philip gives Cameron more information - Heywood
wants to acquire a small piece of land from the hotel, to use as part of a commercial development - even though it's in a residential zone. Cameron thinks that Heywood will have it rezoned, and will use any means to make it happen, and he also mentions
that he suspects Heywood of rigging the local elections, so he could get his mate Percy Slade onto the council. Philip is grateful for the warning, but isn't sure that Cameron should be getting involved in all of this, if it is dodgy - Cameron, however,
says that he doesn't like seeing guys like Heywood get away with these things.
Meanwhile, Madge continues to bang on the door, but is starting to get tired - and is realising that nobody is coming to help her.
Back at number 32, Lou is seeing Cathy and Benito out the door, apologising that the party was all for nothing. He goes back into the lounge, telling Cameron and Beth not to worry about cleaning up, as he has someone coming to do it in the morning.
He thanks them for the use of the house and heads off, disappointed. Beth says that it's a shame Madge didn't turn up, and Cameron hopes that, wherever she is, she's having a good time.
Madge is lying on the floor of the storeroom, trying to get some sleep.
At number 24, Lou returns to find that Madge isn't there. There's a knock at the door, it's Jim, wanting to know if there's any news, as he saw the lights come on. They both start to worry that she hasn't turned up, and Lou thinks
about calling the police, but Jim says that she must be visiting friends, as it's her last chance before she goes. He says that it's going to be strange without her, as she's been a part of Ramsay Street for such a long time, and he
knows how much Helen's going to miss having her around. Lou admits that he's really going to miss her too.
Helen is still in bed, feeling terrible, as Debbie and Rick return. Helen explains that, due to her ear trouble, she's unable to fly for another 24 hours, so she's had
to change the tickets. Rick and Debbie are happy to hear it, as it means they'll be able to go to the football with Terry and George, but Helen points out that she'll need to phone home and tell them - so Julie's going to find out the truth. Rick
says that he can just tell his parents that the flight's been delayed, as it's not that far from the truth anyway, but they wonder how they're going to explain Helen and Debbie returning home from the bush, a day late. Rick jokes that they could
say she's been bitten by a snake, but Debbie suggests that Helen phones home and hopes that Philip answers.
Back in Australia, it's the next morning, and Philip and Julie arrive early at the office - Julie is wondering why Helen rang at such an ungodly hour, and how she and Debbie ended up without a place on the bus, when they'd already booked their tickets.
She says that she's very unhappy about Debbie missing another day of school, and wonders whether this trip to the bush has done her any good anyway. Philip stays quiet, but then is preparing to tell her the truth, when the phone rings. Julie tells
Philip that someone's forgotten to stock the bar, so he rushes off, saying that he'll talk to her later.
Madge wakes up on the floor of the storeroom, banging her head as she gets up. Meanwhile, Philip arrives on the other side of the door, surprised to find that
the keys are still in the lock. He opens the door to find a dishevelled Madge, who can't believe he didn't restock the bar last night. He tells her that she missed her surprise farewell party, and she strops off, saying that she hopes
everyone had a good time.
At number 24, the removalists are taking the final piece of furniture and Lou is on the phone to the police, when Madge bursts in. She tells him what happened, and Lou starts laughing, but Madge breaks down in tears on his shoulder, and says that
she wanted to spend her last night at home, with him.
Back in London, Debbie and Rick are enjoying an Arsenal game with Terry, George and their father.
At number 24, Madge sits and talks about how much she's going to miss Ramsay Street, and how much she's changed since she first came back. Lou tells her that she's got a plane to catch, and she follows him into the lounge and they hug. She tells him
how sorry she is that things didn't work out between them, but that she still loves him, in her own way. Lou says that he'll always love her. He then picks up her bags and takes them outside. Madge takes a final look around the empty house, puts on her
sunglasses and leaves, closing the door behind her.
Madge walks out of the house, to find most of her neighbours standing on the driveway, giving her a round of applause. Toby runs up to her and says that he's
going to come and visit her a lot in Queensland. She walks down and says her goodbyes to Pam, Cameron and Beth. She tells Cathy that she hasn't known her long, but she's very glad that they met. She then says goodbye to Benito and to
Hannah, and tells Jim that she's going to miss him and Helen very much, and to get Helen to call her when she's back home. She then says a final goodbye to Dorothy, and walks down to the car. She waves and blows a kiss, as everyone
says goodbye, and then Lou drives her out of Ramsay Street.
In a television studio in the UK, producer Cliff checks with Casey Butler about when the two Australian kids were going home. Casey thinks that they should be home by
now, and that it would be fine to release the material to the Australian media.
At number 26, Hannah and Philip are watching TV, when Julie comes in. She says that she's been checking number 32 after the party, and Helen isn't going to be very impressed with the state it's in, despite Lou hiring professional cleaners.
As they're talking, Hannah keeps trying to interrupt, before making them see that Debbie and Rick are on TV. Julie is shocked, but Philip tries to explain what's going on. Julie realises that he's known all along, and demands the truth from him.
Featured Regular Characters: Madge Bishop, Lou Carpenter, Toby Mangel, Bouncer, Helen Daniels, Jim Robinson, Philip Martin, Julie Martin, Debbie Martin,
Hannah Martin, Rick Alessi, Cathy Alessi, Benito Alessi, Cameron Hudson, Beth Brennan, Pam Willis, Doug Willis, Dorothy Burke
Guest Cast: Andrew Dicks as George Carter, Lee Cheesewright as Terry Carter,
Bill Moody as Mr Carter, Tim Allen as Cliff Sandor,
Richard Aspel as Casey Butler
• Anne Charleston (Madge) departs after seven years in the role, but would return to the cast in 1996, for an initial guest stint, and then as a regular character for
another four years, before Madge finally died of cancer in 2001
• The final scene of this episode debuts a redecorated 26 Ramsay Street, with a cream and beige look replacing the old blue wallpaper
• Brad and Gaby Willis do not appear, but are mentioned to be in the kitchen at the party
• Past characters Fred Mitchell, Charlene Robinson, Harold Bishop and Henry Ramsay are mentioned
• The UK segments in this episode were produced/directed by Mark Callan, and associate produced by Sally-Anne Kerr
Madge: "Ah Lou, I can't believe I'm leaving. They've been really happy years here. You know, I was really unhappy when I first arrived, I'd split up with Fred and I was a mess. I came running to Ramsay Street."
Lou: "That's not such a bad idea."
Madge: "No, it wasn't. Then Charlene came and then Henry. I wouldn't say they were easy times, but then I met up with Harold again and we got married and became a proper family. You know, I was a real prig when I first arrived."
Lou: "You? Never!"
Madge: "Yes I was. I was so tense and bruised, I wouldn't let the world touch me for a long time. But good friends and caring people can work wonders. They helped me to let go and be myself again. Oh, I'm gonna miss it here."
Lou: "You've, er, you've got a plane to catch."
Madge: "I'm going to miss all my friends in Ramsay Street."
Dorothy: "And enemies?"
Madge: "Ooh yes. And enemies."