A CONTROVERSIAL script for the only episode of Hi-de-Hi to ever receive complaints for bad language is being auctioned.

Manningtree actor David Webb, who starred in the hit 80s sitcom filmed in Dovercourt, has added the script to the celebrity treasures on offer in the auction to support East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices.

The online auction, named Celebrity Bottom Drawer, is being organised by Griff Rhys Jones, who lives across the border from David in Suffolk.


Script - the Hi-de-Hi script up for grabs

As well as putting in quirky and valuable items of his own, such as a film camera casket made in Ghana and a Montblanc pen believed to be worth more than £7,000, Griff has been asking his network of celebrity friends to regift items too valuable to take to the tip.

A tranche of celebrity cast-offs, memorabilia and treasure will be available come November 27, when the week-long online auction will begin.

David played Stanley Matthews in Hi-de-Hi, the identical twin of Bruce Matthews, who was played by David’s brother, Tony.

David has dug out a script for Orphan of the Storm, an episode recorded in November 1986.

He said: “I remember the episode very well.

“Poor old Peggy had been sacked by Joe Maplin’s hatchet man, Alec Foster.

“When we got the message that Maplin had overruled Foster we all rushed to the station - Manningtree as it happens - to tell Peggy the good news and my brother and I carried Peggy shoulder-high to our open back lorry to return to the camp.

“As we did so Foster arrived at the station to return to London, saw that we had rescued the situation and called us all b******s.”


Campers- Hi-de-Hi was filmed in Dovercourt in the 1980s

The Hi-de-Hi script was a no-de-no with some viewers, however, who called the BBC to complain.

It was the only episode in the successful comedy series to receive complaints from viewers.

David’s script joins a trove of celebrity mementos which include exclusive books from comedian and author David Walliams, including a a copy of Baby Eric which was a story written for Simon Cowell when he his son was born.

A special £10 note created for Doctor Who has been donated by actor David Tennant and will also be auctioned.

The likes of Ant and Dec, Ian Hislop, Joanna Lumley, Matt Lucas and Ralph Fiennes have also been delving through their drawers for the auction.

As a result of shops being closed and fundraising events being cancelled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, EACH, which cares for children from north Essex with life-limiting illnesses, has experienced a huge drop in income.

Just before the latest national lockdown, the charity forecasted a loss of £1.7 million in funding over the next 12 months, which is almost a third of the total it needs to support families across East Anglia.

It is now losing a further £100,000 a week in retail income whilst its shops are shut in this second lockdown.

Griff said: “I’ve been involved in many charities over the years, but EACH is one that makes a direct difference to people’s lives, to their happiness and their expectations.

“Don’t think that these hospices are about dying. They are about living. They offer the chance to get the most out of precious time.

“The Treehouse, run by EACH, is a joyous place, full of light and hope. I have never been as emotionally moved. I met some of the parents of the children who go to the hospice. Their commitment, their love and their dedication is overpowering.

“It’s often a lonely and all-encompassing battle that utterly alters their own expectations of life. EACH supports them in practical ways.

“When care has to be intense and constant, these havens can offer, say, a single weekend of respite. It really matters.”

“You are lucky. We are lucky. I was lucky. Many of us have never had to face this challenge. But those that do need and deserve our support.

“You don’t even have to bid on an auction item. You can just give.”

This is the fourth Christmas in a row Griff has raised money for EACH.

The auction will be hosted by online auction experts Bid In.

For more information and to start looking at lots announced so far visit celebritybottomdrawer.com.

You can also make donations straight to EACH by visiting each.org.uk.