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Tandoori Nights (1985-87)


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!

'Welcome Home Sweetie' originally transmitted Channel 4 11/7/1985

Jimmy, the manager of an Indian restaurant in London's Brick Lane, is hastily preparing for the arrival of his only niece, Sweetie, from Bombay. As this will be her first visit to England, Jimmy asks his chef, Alaudin, and head waiter, Noor, to help him make her feel at home.

Jimmy's daughter Bubbly, a solicitor, receives a visit from her boyfriend Derek at the community centre where she helps out. Bubbly's sister, Asha, drops in and is introduced to Derek. Back at the restaurant, Bubbly tells Asha that she has cancelled a weekend away at Derek's parents' country retreat because of her cousin's arrival.

Jimmy, his mother, Asha, and Bubbly await Sweetie at the airport. After a discussion about how 'good' Indian girls should dress - gracefully and with decorum, in Jimmy's opinion - Sweetie appears,short, low-cut dress and plenty of make-up, and drops a vodka bottle from her duty free bag.

Sweetie tells Jimmy about her liking for Chinese food. Eager to please, Jimmy tells Noor to get a Chinese takeaway. Sweetie is not keen on what Jimmy has planned for her stay: she prefers to go to Asha's college gig the following day rather than see the sights and visit the temple. At the gig, Bubbly introduces Sweetie to Derek, who she drags onto the dance floor.

On Sweetie's last night in England, Alaudin - unimpressed with her late return the previous night - is reluctant to cook a seven-course meal for her send-off. Sippy, the manager of the car-hire company, through which Jimmy ordered a Mercedes for the duration of Sweetie's stay, turns up at the restaurant. He invites himself and his 'guest of honour' to the meal that evening.

Bubbly is perturbed to discover that Sweetie has invited Derek to the dinner. Sippy arrives at the restaurant with his son Bipan, an Oxford undergraduate. Trying to set Bubbly up with Bipan, Jimmy seats her next to Sippy. Sweetie arrives, dressed in a sari, and announces that she is to marry Bipan in a marriage arranged by her father (Jimmy's brother) and Sippy. The family drink champagne to celebrate.