Skip to main content
BFI logo











Screenonline banner
Drop the Dead Donkey (1990-98)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

'A Clash of Interests', originally transmitted on Channel 4, 23 August 1990

The news team discuss items including looming war in Iraq and a BSE outbreak (Damien has staged footage of infected cows). George is distracted by calls from the worryingly uninformed builder working on his house.

A report into a chemical spillage in Scotland implicates ChemGreen, a company owned by GlobeLink's owner Sir Roysten. Gus (Sir Roysten's appointee) suggests the story is not worth covering. Concerned for their integrity, George insists they will run the story, despite awareness of Sir Roysten's fearsome reputation for sacking staff. Gus hands him a management consultant's report on GlobeLink.

Henry interrupts Dave - who is updating obituaries for living celebrities - and joins Dave's sweepstake on which tape will be used first. Henry is shocked to find his own obituary.

George, despite dreaming a news bulletin in which Sir Roysten replaces him with a hamster and his builder is revealed as an escaped psychopath, dismisses the management consultants' suggestion that he is disorganised and prone to stress. Henry is difficult in the studio, repeating his colleagues' unflattering comments from his obituary.

Gus weakens George's position by overruling him to erode the support of his colleagues. He lets Henry re-edit his obituary tape; gives Sally her own tape, grants Damien permission to make a pilot live discussion programme and informs Alex of the consultants' suggestion that she replace George. George insists that the chemical story stays, but places it low enough on the agenda to guarantee that it will be pushed out before broadcast. The builder has needlessly destroyed George's conservatory.