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    • 00:00


    • 00:32

      NARRATOR: Gerry Robinson has made his reputation,and his millions, from sacking bosses and turning around someof Britain's biggest companies.But now, he has a different targetin his sights, family businesses in trouble.Businesses like County Linen Laundry.It's been in the same family for nearly 100 years,and has worked for the Savoy and the House of Commons.

    • 00:53

      NARRATOR [continued]: But fortunes are tumbling, and theyneed the Robinson treatment.They've no idea what's about to hit them.

    • 00:58

      GERRY ROBINSON: I want to get all [INAUDIBLE] this afternoon.Just do it.So annoying.I really want to find out what happened?

    • 01:09

      NARRATOR: We'll be there as Gerry confronts the familyhead on.

    • 01:11

      GERRY ROBINSON: You can say, oh, no, no.I don't know the last thing.But you bloody well do, and you've just said it.You know, the lack of honesty here, Dudley.

    • 01:17

      DUDLEY MOORE: And I disagree.

    • 01:18

      NARRATOR: Unleashes fury on the shop floor.

    • 01:20

      SPEAKER 1: We all know it here that we're notgoing to get nothing.

    • 01:22

      SPEAKER 2: Yeah, we all know it.

    • 01:23

      SPEAKER 3: Total crap.

    • 01:24

      SPEAKER 4: If I start crying, then I start crying.

    • 01:26

      SPEAKER 2: That's [INAUDIBLE].

    • 01:27

      NARRATOR: And uncovers the secretbehind the company's crisis.

    • 01:30

      GERRY ROBINSON: There are times in businesswhere you make one single mistake, thatis the most important mistake of your life, and that's it.Believe me, that's it.You read it wrong, or you got it wrong.[MUSIC PLAYING]

    • 01:60

      GERRY ROBINSON [continued]: [I'll Show Them Who's Boss]

    • 02:05

      NARRATOR: Gerry Robinson's business advice normallycosts thousands, but for these family businesses, it's free.He receives his brief before visiting the firm.[MUSIC PLAYING]

    • 02:26

      NARRATOR: County Linen Laundry has seen better days.It used to be one of the most successful laundrycompanies in the country, but in just four yearshas gone from making one million poundsprofit, to losing 700,000.The company was recently handed downto the next generation of the Moore

    • 02:46

      NARRATOR [continued]: family, owners since 1920.Father Dudley brought his 30 year reign to an endwhen he retired, officially at least.

    • 02:57

      DUDLEY MOORE: I don't think I soft of interfere with them toomuch, from the point of view.But I have got quite a vast amount of knowledge, I suppose,stacked up through the years.

    • 03:10

      SPEAKER 5: He might say he's retired--

    • 03:11

      SPEAKER 6: I don't think he is.

    • 03:12

      SPEAKER 5: He might say he's retired,he said he was retiring 6 years ago.His father was the same.

    • 03:17

      NARRATOR: Dudley stayed on as chairman,but passed control to his two sons.Tim, the elder, inherited the original laundry in Chelmsfordwith a staff of nearly 100.

    • 03:26

      TIM MOORE: I suppose it is fairly stressful.Yes, I think we'd make a good soap opera at times.

    • 03:35

      SPEAKER 5: If you asked Tim what we did, he'd say I don't know.

    • 03:38

      SPEAKER 6: He doesn't know.He'd be more interested if I hadn't gone outand got his crisps.

    • 03:43

      NARRATOR: Younger son, Antony, becameproud boss of a high tech plant at Clacton, with 250 staff.The two brothers run the company together,and now they're feeling the pressure.

    • 03:58

      ANTONY MOORE: I need it to work, it'sa family business that's been with us for some time.I don't want to be the one that was in the generational thatlet it slip, but I feel like we're running out of time.

    • 04:15

      GERRY ROBINSON: Well, we're straight into our problem here.You've got two people running two completely separate plants,and because neither of them are in overall charge,you have to ask, who's actually running the businessas a whole?And I suspect the answer is nobody.[MUSIC PLAYING]

    • 04:34

      SPEAKER 7: The boss in here at the moment?Haven't really got one.

    • 04:45

      NARRATOR: Country's biggest headache is Antony's factory.It might have state of the art machinery,but it's now so badly run that staff morale is rock bottom,and productivity has dropped by a third.

    • 04:58

      SPEAKER 8: They say in the adverts in the paperit's a happy family business.Them, the family might be happy, they might be over the moon.I know we ain't.

    • 05:09

      NARRATOR: There's nothing high tech about Tim's Chelmsfordplant.It might be moved, but until it is,staff face appalling conditions.

    • 05:18

      SPEAKER 9: This is the fire exit,and this is like, the state of it.I could not get out of here if there was a fire.We definitely have a problem with cockroaches.The toilet's down here for the factory.Because they're so bad, they've ruined the main factoryand started using here even more.

    • 05:44

      SPEAKER 9 [continued]: And the hand basin is right in the corner over here,which you can just see that little gap there.You might even see the one tap on the wall.

    • 05:52

      SPEAKER 10: So how do you get in there?

    • 05:53

      SPEAKER 9: You don't, you just can't get in there.

    • 05:58

      SPEAKER 11: When I started at this company, it was superb.It really was.I used to enjoy coming to work.It's now a very big company, but we're still tryingto run it like a small company.Don't see lights at the end of the tunnel.At the moment, there isn't even a tunnel.

    • 06:19

      GERRY ROBINSON: I'm confused here,because this is a business that's done incredibly wella very short time ago.And as far as I can see, it's the same people involved.You've got the father and the two sons,and I don't really understand.I just don't understand how it can of gone wrong that quickly,with the same people.[MUSIC PLAYING]

    • 06:43

      NARRATOR: Gerry's trail begins in Clacton.He turns up at Antony's plant.And he's taken on a tour by both Moore brothers.

    • 06:56

      ANTONY MOORE: All of this linen is mine.I like it.

    • 06:58

      GERRY ROBINSON: Right, right.

    • 07:01

      ANTONY MOORE: One washing machine, two [INAUDIBLE],our new rail system delegates the condition up there.The five machines up here are big tumble dryers.

    • 07:08

      GERRY ROBINSON: These are the washing machines?All of this back here runs?

    • 07:11

      ANTONY MOORE: Yeah.

    • 07:13


    • 07:15

      ANTONY MOORE: Yeah.

    • 07:18

      GERRY ROBINSON: There's like, kind of a positioning problemthere.How long do you think that's been doing that like that?

    • 07:27

      TIM MOORE: We've been here three years.

    • 07:29

      GERRY ROBINSON: So at least three years, yeah.I'd use incentives to do something about that.

    • 07:35

      TIM MOORE: Yeah.

    • 07:36

      GERRY ROBINSON: It really drives me up the wall, that.I want to get hold of someone and say, for Christ's sakethis afternoon, either sort out the right shoot under there,or just do it.It's just all very slovenly.This is a laundry business after all.That attention to detail, that desire to have it look right,

    • 07:59

      GERRY ROBINSON [continued]: perform well, it's not there.And it is symptomatic, I think, of the problemswe've got on a larger scale.

    • 08:11

      NARRATOR: Gerry gives the brothers the slip,and goes to meet County's staff by himself.It's time to find out the truth about how they'remanaged by the brothers.

    • 08:22

      SPEAKER 9: Tim will hold a grudge against youand make your life hell.And that's how sort of quite a few people departed from here.

    • 08:28

      GERRY ROBINSON: Oh, is that right.I mean a lot of people have gone, because he--

    • 08:31

      SPEAKER 9: Oh yeah, if he gets it in for youand don't like you, then--

    • 08:35


    • 08:37

      SPEAKER 6: His relationship with the person breaks down--

    • 08:40

      SPEAKER 5: And ultimately they--

    • 08:41

      SPEAKER 6: They leave in the end,because whatever they want to do, Tim says no.

    • 08:47

      GERRY ROBINSON: One single patternis emerging that make sense, and thatis that good people are not being retained.

    • 08:56

      SPEAKER 12: Morale's just gone down,and down, and down, since one of our previous directors left,which is--

    • 09:02

      GERRY ROBINSON: Who was the previous director?

    • 09:04

      SPEAKER 12: Which was Gordon, Gordon Dick was his name.He was the operations director, so he was on sitebasically every day.

    • 09:13

      GERRY ROBINSON: Right.

    • 09:14

      SPEAKER 12: Which gave us a sort of central point to go to.

    • 09:19

      SPEAKER 13: I personally believe that if it wasn't for Gordon,the company wouldn't be as big as it is now.It was his drive to say, look we've got to grow.

    • 09:32

      GERRY ROBINSON: Becomes literally more and morecurious.And when did Gordon go?

    • 09:38

      SPEAKER 12: Probably about two years ago, about two years.There was a cutback that was madethat we all saw as pushing Gordon out of the way,if you like.

    • 09:48

      GERRY ROBINSON: We really need to understand whatthe devil is going on here.It's turning into an investigation.

    • 09:56

      NARRATOR: Disturbed by his discovery,Gerry tracks down Antony to confront himabout the missing operations director.

    • 10:03

      GERRY ROBINSON: Gordon Dick, are youaware that people are very kind of sad about is having gone?That's certainly coming to me, in talking to people.

    • 10:10

      ANTONY MOORE: I think probably maybe, I mean,Gordon had been part of the establishment.And we're a family business, nobody disappears like that.And suddenly out of the blue, as far as everybody elseis concerned.Gordon's up and gone.

    • 10:24

      GERRY ROBINSON: I don't think youunderstand just how important the loss of Gordon was.It felt very, very strong in that.

    • 10:35

      ANTONY MOORE: You have?

    • 10:37

      GERRY ROBINSON: Now, obviously I don't know him so--

    • 10:41

      ANTONY MOORE: It got to the stage I think,where it was-- he wasn't making headway as he used to.And he was-- to put it bluntly-- heturned into an overhead that wasn't giving usvalue for money.And that's my opinion on it.[MUSIC PLAYING]

    • 11:04

      NARRATOR: Gerry is starting to suspectthat getting to the bottom of Gordon's disappearancemight help them get to the bottom of County's crisis.But before he digs any deeper, heneeds to explore how the family run the company today.His first chance is over dinner at Dudley's.

    • 11:21

      GERRY ROBINSON: I'm a passionate believerthat at the end of the day one person has to run the business.A decision is going to have to be taken,who runs this business?

    • 11:30

      DUDLEY MOORE: Quite honestly, I know these two betterthan you do, quite honestly.

    • 11:33

      GERRY ROBINSON: Hell of a lot better than I do.

    • 11:34

      DUDLEY MOORE: And they both have their strengths.

    • 11:36

      GERRY ROBINSON: But a lot less impartially.[LAUGHTER]

    • 11:39

      DUDLEY MOORE: No, not at all.I don't believe for one minute that a man couldrun the whole company successfully,without a lot more management in God knows what.

    • 11:48

      GERRY ROBINSON: I'm listening to a man who'sstill running this business.

    • 11:53

      DUDLEY MOORE: No way, no, I'm not.No, good God, no, I'm definitely not, Gerry.There's not-- I'm not as good as I used to be.No way am I, and nor do I want to be, even now.I am sort of running down, and that's the wayI really want it, quite honestly, but I still--

    • 12:08

      GERRY ROBINSON: But you;re not out of it, are you,you're not out of it?

    • 12:11

      DUDLEY MOORE: Not yet.

    • 12:18

      NARRATOR: Gerry calls the whole board together.

    • 12:21

      TIM MOORE: Don't you think?

    • 12:22

      NARRATOR: He's convinced that to move forward,they need to get back to basics.

    • 12:27

      GERRY ROBINSON: Hello there, hello.Hello, good to see you all again.I think things are-- actually they're at pretty poor state.Why don't you clean the bloody place up?For Christ's sake, clean the place up.It's absolutely bloody filthy, and the effect on moraleis not good.Let alone what it doess-- what it

    • 12:48

      GERRY ROBINSON [continued]: must do, in terms of how clean arethings when they're dropped on those floors,it's just horrible.There's a real task to be done, to really talkto people about what they feel about things.I think you will get a hell of a lot from that as an exercise,in terms of starting to understandhow angry people are.

    • 13:08

      NARRATOR: Gerry feels strongly that the board have lost touchwith the company.They need to see for themselves what's gone wrong.He returns to London, where he'll keep a long distanceeye on life in the laundry.[MUSIC PLAYING]

    • 13:26

      NARRATOR: With Gerry's criticismsstill ringing in their ears, the directorstry to get to grips with the problems.A Cleanup operation starts.Tim and Antony gather the staff togetherto hear why they're so unhappy, and sales director Gina Goodall

    • 13:46

      NARRATOR [continued]: finds out why customers are deserting County.

    • 13:49

      GINA GOODALL: I'm a salesman, and I reallywork very hard at keeping high and up.Can't let things pull you down, although they do, they do.[MUSIC PLAYING]

    • 14:10

      ANTONY MOORE: I don't want to take up a lot of your time,because we haven't got time, I know that.

    • 14:17

      GINA GOODALL: Oh, I have not been in one of these suites,it's fantastic!

    • 14:22

      SPEAKER 13: I know, it's been done now a few months.

    • 14:24

      GINA GOODALL: The linen looks good.

    • 14:26

      SPEAKER 13: Yeah, leading on to that.

    • 14:28


    • 14:33

      SPEAKER 11: We've seen it better.This laundry used to be the best in the business,the best in business.

    • 14:39

      SPEAKER 13: We are having a few problems.

    • 14:41

      GINA GOODALL: Duvet cover wise.

    • 14:42

      SPEAKER 13: Yes, some of them are stained.[MUSIC PLAYING]

    • 14:48

      SPEAKER 9: People go out to Tescos when they want,they go off to the betting office when they want.Notice if they're nothing-- I thinkthey actually want discipline.

    • 14:56

      SPEAKER 13: It's the same with the pillow cases,sometimes there's marks on them.

    • 14:60

      GINA GOODALL: Goodness me, OK.

    • 15:04

      SPEAKER 12: Probably come in to work today, and think like,what's the point?

    • 15:08

      SPEAKER 13: You are finding the occasional stains on themas well, and of course guests think that youhaven't changed the towels.

    • 15:15

      GINA GOODALL: What can I say, that's classic, actually.

    • 15:17

      SPEAKER 14: Quality has gone down, and down.

    • 15:19

      SPEAKER 15: Yeah, the more you do, the less youget thought of.

    • 15:22

      SPEAKER 16: I think you need to listen to people more.

    • 15:24

      SPEAKER 17: The majority of people feel they're underpaid,they need more money.

    • 15:27

      TIM MOORE: I know exactly, there are a million and onethings we can do to improve it, so that wecan make this operation work.When we get this right, we will have a blinking good companyagain, I know we will.Things are going to change.And it will go forth, OK?

    • 15:48

      TIM MOORE [continued]: Yeah?We'll see you later.

    • 15:55

      GERRY ROBINSON: People desperatelywant leadership in their lives, and my God, youwant it in the workplace.They want it here, and they're not getting it.And they intuitively know they're not getting it,and it causes them very deep discomfort.

    • 16:14

      TIM MOORE: I think Gerry's right.Everybody really is going in different directions.

    • 16:23

      NARRATOR: Life for the Moore familyis no more peaceful at home.Dudley has been organizing meetings at Clactonwithout Antony, and it hasn't gone down well.

    • 16:32

      DUDLEY MOORE: I wanted this laundry tackled straightaways,I started tackling it.Didn't do any harm, did it?

    • 16:39

      ANTONY MOORE: Stepping on my toes a bit, maybe.

    • 16:41

      DUDLEY MOORE: Well, you were not there.

    • 16:43

      ANTONY MOORE: Well, exactly.Well, it makes me feel-- it makes me feel like, well, I'mnot doing the job.

    • 16:50

      DUDLEY MOORE: Perhaps you're not.

    • 16:51

      ANTONY MOORE: What does that mean?Is that what you think, then?

    • 16:54

      DUDLEY MOORE: Not really, but you weren't thereto do it another week, couldn't geton leaving another week to lose all this amount of money we'relosing.That's just another week gone and wasted, as I saw it.Yeah.

    • 17:07

      ANTONY MOORE: Do you not see that when I turn my backand go on Holiday, and you're in theretalking to all my managers, doesn't make me feel too good.

    • 17:14

      DUDLEY MOORE: Right, OK.

    • 17:16

      ANTONY MOORE: Do you not see that?

    • 17:18

      DUDLEY MOORE: No, not really, no I don't.

    • 17:20


    • 17:21

      DUDLEY MOORE: No, but I don't really.What harm did it do?Except for your feelings about it.

    • 17:28

      ANTONY MOORE: Well-- but it's-- I don't know,it seems when my backs turned, isn't it.

    • 17:41

      DUDLEY MOORE: It seemed a good idea to meat the time, and this-- and everybody else.

    • 17:45

      GERRY ROBINSON: I really find it depressing,because Dudley, who's this dominant figure,actually makes this grown-up man feel like he's a boy again.

    • 17:59


    • 18:01

      DUDLEY MOORE: That's all?

    • 18:03

      GERRY ROBINSON: Christ.

    • 18:07


    • 18:08

      TIM MOORE: Should we talk about something else?

    • 18:10

      DUDLEY MOORE: Yeah, let's do it.OK.All right.[MUSIC PLAYING]

    • 18:29

      GERRY ROBINSON: Here's a man who,however good or otherwise he is, is given no confidence,and you can just see it being crushed in front of your eyes.It's heart breaking, actually.

    • 18:45

      NARRATOR: Beleaguered, Antony rushes into drastic action.His plant hasn't paid a bonus for two years,but he thinks if he makes it easier to earn,the staff will work harder to achieve it.But he's nervous about the cost.

    • 18:59

      ANTONY MOORE: Big decision, you know,I'm looking at a figure here of around 300,000 pounds.If I'm wrong, that's a big way to go backwards, isn't it?What's the problem?

    • 19:20

      NARRATOR: He calls the workforce togetherto tell them the good news.

    • 19:24

      ANTONY MOORE: I'm going to get down, and putthis to-- put this to a stop.They'll be delighted, but it's a-- somethingthat can't go backwards.Can't go backwards.Giving me a really dry throat thinking about it.[MUSIC PLAYING]

    • 19:46

      ANTONY MOORE: Give me a leg up, then?Can you hear me?You wanted to know if we get the company going properly again,what's in it for you?We mentioned our production bonus,

    • 20:08

      ANTONY MOORE [continued]: we're actually going to start paymenton productivity bonus quicker, or sooner,and on improved rates.A little bit more effort from all of us, and we'll get there.I know we can, and we will.Does that sound like good news?

    • 20:26

      CROWD: Come on.

    • 20:31

      ANTONY MOORE: OK.Thank you very much.Good news, John?

    • 20:35

      JOHN: I suppose.

    • 20:36

      ANTONY MOORE: Good, right.

    • 20:38

      SPEAKER 18: He's gone a big hell of a step forward now.We'll get there, now.There's smiles coming back on the floor now.

    • 20:46

      SPEAKER 19: I'm just a bit skeptical about it all[INAUDIBLE], because we've given him the benefit of doubtbefore, but--

    • 20:52

      WORKER: But then--

    • 20:52

      SPEAKER 19: Yeah, and it never happened, so.

    • 20:56

      GERRY ROBINSON: We've jumped the gun here,there's no question about that.We have jumped the gun.There was no need to move this quicklyon the bonus issue, which is a central issue, no question.Just makes it more difficult if it's wrong.God I hope it's right, but it feels wrong to me.[MUSIC PLAYING]

    • 21:22

      ANTONY MOORE: If we're not there in two weeks time, thenI'll be-- I won't be amazed, but I'll alsobe scratching my head trying to think what else we can do?[MUSIC PLAYING]

    • 21:52

      NARRATOR: When he returns to Clacton,Gerry discovers that some progress has been made.

    • 21:58

      GERRY ROBINSON: Yes, look at that.That's fantastic.

    • 22:04

      ANTONY MOORE: We're still--

    • 22:05

      GERRY ROBINSON: Still getting the odd ones thrown out.

    • 22:10

      NARRATOR: But Gerry's major doubts remain.He's convinced that there has to be oneoverall boss in the company.The family will have to face up to some home truths.Tim is first in line.

    • 22:23

      SPEAKER 20: Tim can walk by and nobody seems to notice.

    • 22:26

      SPEAKER 21: Tim's a bit scatty, impolite.

    • 22:30

      SPEAKER 9: There's no Respect for Tim at all, I don't think.

    • 22:38

      GERRY ROBINSON: I think it would be a really useful thingfor you to think-- you're going to findthis horribly difficult-- am I really--is the best thing for me?I personally don't think it is the right thing.

    • 22:57

      TIM MOORE: I believe it's right, yes.I really do.I don't-- yeah, I mean, I enjoy doing it.I enjoy the [INAUDIBLE].

    • 23:06

      GERRY ROBINSON: Honestly Tim, I reallyfeel it's not right for you.I feel that with such passion.I don't think it suits you, Tim, I really don't.I think you struggle with it in lots of ways.You say you love it, but that's just the only thing you know.You come across this a lot in family businesses,that sense that you have to, it's your turn.And I wonder whether there's anything of that in your being

    • 23:28

      GERRY ROBINSON [continued]: here.It's your shift, and that's it.

    • 23:35

      TIM MOORE: I-- never really occurred to meto do anything else.

    • 23:38

      GERRY ROBINSON: But in a way that's bizarre, isn't it?If you think about it, isn't that bizarre?

    • 23:45

      TIM MOORE: I just can't imagine myself doing anything else.

    • 23:47

      GERRY ROBINSON: No, I know.

    • 23:48

      TIM MOORE: That's how narrow minded I am.

    • 23:53

      GERRY ROBINSON: Tim just does nothave the skills or characteristicsnecessary to be the manager in charge of Chelmsfordor another Laundry.It's just not his skill set.I think he doesn't want to see that,but I'm afraid it's really clear he doesn't have it.And it's sad, but he doesn't.

    • 24:18

      NARRATOR: Next up, Antony.Gerry thinks he could lead the whole company,if only he had the right support and the confidence.But he suspects the youngest son isbeing held back by the powerful presence of his father.It's time for a showdown.

    • 24:36

      ANTONY MOORE: Maybe Gerry's right,that we do need some sort of single direction.If I thought I could do it, if Tim thought I could do it,and Dad thought I could do it, then I would do it.

    • 24:47

      DUDLEY MOORE: I think you could, but Idon't think it's a bit as good as if you both do it.You think you would do it better by yourself than with Tim.

    • 24:54

      ANTONY MOORE: I wouldn't say by myself,I wouldn't do it by myself.

    • 24:57

      GERRY ROBINSON: Antony can run on it on his own,and have lots of help from both Tim, and other people,as appropriate.

    • 25:03

      ANTONY MOORE: There's no way I could do it on my own.

    • 25:04

      GERRY ROBINSON: No, of course not.No, of course not

    • 25:06

      ANTONY MOORE: Not a hope in hell.

    • 25:08

      DUDLEY MOORE: No, so what's different?

    • 25:09

      GERRY ROBINSON: The difference is the clarity of-- oh,come on, Dudley, you can see what's different.I mean, I just don't believe that youcan't see that having someone in controldoes not mean them doing it on their own.

    • 25:21

      DUDLEY MOORE: Well, what can I say?Nothing.

    • 25:25

      GERRY ROBINSON: But you can see that, can't you?

    • 25:27


    • 25:28

      GERRY ROBINSON: The best that will comeof that is you'll go nowhere.The worst that will come of it, is that you'll hit the buffers.

    • 25:33

      DUDLEY MOORE: I don't agree with you, sorry.

    • 25:36

      GERRY ROBINSON: And you have the final say in allof this, is that how it works?

    • 25:39

      DUDLEY MOORE: No, no.No, I don't.

    • 25:41

      GERRY ROBINSON: Sounds like you do.

    • 25:43

      DUDLEY MOORE: Let's say I disagree.

    • 25:44

      GERRY ROBINSON: So we might decide that one personmight run it, might we?

    • 25:47

      DUDLEY MOORE: No, no.

    • 25:48

      GERRY ROBINSON: Well, there you go.There you go.

    • 25:51

      DUDLEY MOORE: Well, I can't say it clearer, can I?I've said how many times I've said--

    • 25:54

      GERRY ROBINSON: Well, no you say that clearly,but you then on the other hand do this nice bluff old boy bit,don't you.You do this nice bluff old boy, which is, oh no,good Lord, no not me.You are in control of this thing,and you are failing to take a decision.And you're not acknowledging it.

    • 26:08

      DUDLEY MOORE: I've taken it.

    • 26:09


    • 26:10

      DUDLEY MOORE: As far as I'm concerned--

    • 26:11

      GERRY ROBINSON: So when I ask the question,is it your decision, the answer is yes.

    • 26:15

      DUDLEY MOORE: Yeah, as far as I'm concerned.I've taken it.

    • 26:18

      GERRY ROBINSON: Where does it leave you, this--

    • 26:21

      DUDLEY MOORE: Antony running Clacton, Timrunning Chelmsford.

    • 26:26

      GERRY ROBINSON: So it isn't going to happen, is it.

    • 26:29


    • 26:29

      GERRY ROBINSON: It's not going to happen.

    • 26:30


    • 26:41

      GERRY ROBINSON: What can you say?Something has to be introduced outside this little triangle.Otherwise, we're just going to go round, and round,and round, between the three pointsof the triangle, same issues over and over again.And it never expands, and it never--it just doesn't go anywhere.So we have to find something outside.

    • 27:06

      NARRATOR: Gerry retreats to London.Another plan may be needed to save County Linen.While he's away, things go from bad to worse.County is losing 75,000 pounds a month,and despite Antony's pledge to pay a bonus in two weeks, twomonths later the factory is still notbeing run well enough to meet the targets.

    • 27:29

      SPEAKER 1: We all know in here that we're notgoing to get nothing.

    • 27:32

      SPEAKER 2: Yeah, we all know it.I think they just say it to get people into work here.

    • 27:36

      SPEAKER 1: Yeah.

    • 27:37

      SPEAKER 3: Did you believe them?

    • 27:39

      SPEAKER 23: What, when they said about the bonus?No, did I hell.

    • 27:42

      SPEAKER 24: Do you realize how unhappy the staffare by the lack of bonus?

    • 27:46

      ANTONY MOORE: Well, obviously not,as you're about to tell me that they're really pissed off.

    • 27:51

      SPEAKER 24: You don't know that?

    • 27:53

      ANTONY MOORE: Not really.

    • 27:54

      SPEAKER 1: They advertise a productivity--

    • 27:56

      SPEAKER 2: They do, they advertise a productivity bonus,and no one gets it.

    • 27:60

      SPEAKER 1: No one gets it.

    • 28:01

      SPEAKER 23: They say one thing, and do exactly the other.

    • 28:04

      GERRY ROBINSON: Things were bad, and thenyou had this full storm, and now they're worse.

    • 28:10

      SPEAKER 2: That's [INAUDIBLE].

    • 28:11

      SPEAKER 3: Total crap.

    • 28:12

      GERRY ROBINSON: That's very much partof what I wanted to avoid in the first place,was this jumping in and doing something.And it happens a lot, people feel-- they panicand they have to get on with it.I think staff morale is now lowerthan it was at the beginning of the exercise.[MUSIC PLAYING]

    • 28:28

      NARRATOR: The deepening crisis meansstaff feel the lack of leadership more than ever.And Gerry's visits have left them questioningwhy, after 10 years service, their boss, Gordon Dick,had to leave.

    • 28:40

      SPEAKER 11: I wonder if the family actually looksat Gordon, and thought, it's becoming more Gordon'scompany than ours.And maybe that was why he was ears down.Because he was the figurehead.

    • 28:55

      GERRY ROBINSON: Gordon Dick, he's around,he's in the atmosphere in the factory, isn't he?He's there, somewhere.He's a crucial part of the story,and obviously I have to meet Gordon to try and makesome kind of a sense of all of that.[MUSIC PLAYING]

    • 29:22

      GERRY ROBINSON: Gordon.

    • 29:23

      GORDON DICK: Morning, Gerry.

    • 29:23

      GERRY ROBINSON: Good to meet you.Beginning to wonder whether you existed or not.

    • 29:25

      GORDON DICK: Oh, I do, I certainly do.

    • 29:30

      GERRY ROBINSON: Do you miss involvement with the laundry?

    • 29:36

      GORDON DICK: If I said no, I'd be lying, I think--

    • 29:38

      GERRY ROBINSON: Right.

    • 29:39

      GORDON DICK: --in all honesty.

    • 29:39

      GERRY ROBINSON: Right.Well, what happened?

    • 29:43

      GORDON DICK: Well, this joint managing directorshipwas the biggest mistake we ever made.You can't manage, unless you manage people.All right, so that's more people orientatedthan profit orientated.But I still believe that if you look after the people,the profit will come.

    • 30:04

      GORDON DICK [continued]: And towards the end, I mean, I had run out of energy,or I had run out of conviction.I was always taught by people at the very beginningthat you would never beat this family,and I think I'd come to realize that towards the last coupleyears.

    • 30:23

      GERRY ROBINSON: But ever since since, you'reactually quite hurt by it?

    • 30:27

      GORDON DICK: What hurt me was not the decision,because I accepted the decision, but on my last day,I actually saw Dudley get in his car and driveaway, about an hour before I'd been told this presentationwas.And I thought well, the bloke I worked hard for, and couldn't

    • 30:52

      GORDON DICK [continued]: even say goodbye.

    • 30:53

      GERRY ROBINSON: Have you spoken to any of them since?

    • 30:55

      GORDON DICK: Nope.Nope.I've never been out of work in me life.And then I come to 58, and I am.

    • 31:06

      GERRY ROBINSON: It feels like it's out of workas opposed to retiring?It's--

    • 31:09

      GORDON DICK: It's not retiring, it's out of work,in all honesty.

    • 31:15

      GERRY ROBINSON: Could you contemplatemeeting the family now?

    • 31:23

      GORDON DICK: I really don't-- I think I'd find it difficult.

    • 31:31

      GERRY ROBINSON: I don't think there's any doubtat all that he was central to the building of this business,from something quite small, parochial almost,into something of quite significant scaleand very profitable.And he's been shot in the head.

    • 31:52

      GERRY ROBINSON [continued]: I think it's deeply, deeply unfair.Outside they got-- God, I feel that.God, I really feel it's unfair.I mean, I am so bloody annoyed on his behalf.

    • 32:07

      NARRATOR: Gerry immediately summons the familyto a nearby pub.I've spent a couple of hours this morning with Gordon,and I can tell you, you have made the single biggest mistakeof your commercial existence in getting rid of Gordon.An enormous mistake, and there are times in business

    • 32:28

      NARRATOR [continued]: where you make one single mistake thatis the most important mistake of your life, and that's it.Believe me, that's it.I really would strongly recommend that you'rebig enough to talk to Gordon.

    • 32:42

      DUDLEY MOORE: I haven't the slightest problem about that.I didn't know there was a problem, until you've told me.

    • 32:47

      TIM MOORE: I mean, and if that puts to bed these shadowsand ghosts, then--

    • 32:50

      GERRY ROBINSON: I think it helps a great deal.

    • 32:53

      NARRATOR: Gerry has persuaded Gordon to wait in the wings,to meet the family for the first time since he left the company.

    • 32:59

      TIM MOORE: I think it is, yes.

    • 33:01

      GERRY ROBINSON: There's the man I've been looking for.

    • 33:04

      TIM MOORE: Buy your own.

    • 33:05

      GORDON DICK: Pint in hand as usual.

    • 33:10

      TIM MOORE: Gordon, Tim.

    • 33:12

      GORDON DICK: Hi, Dudley.

    • 33:13

      DUDLEY MOORE: Great to see you.Take a seat.[INTERPOSING VOICES]

    • 33:19

      DUDLEY MOORE: Oh dear me.

    • 33:22

      GERRY ROBINSON: How did you two part after 10 years, whateverit was.How did--

    • 33:26

      DUDLEY MOORE: As far as I knew, fine.I did--

    • 33:28

      GERRY ROBINSON: Was there a kind of farewellhandshake, or did you just kind of--

    • 33:32

      GORDON DICK: No.

    • 33:32


    • 33:33

      GORDON DICK: No, there wasn't.

    • 33:34

      GERRY ROBINSON: Don't you find that amazing?

    • 33:35

      DUDLEY MOORE: Yeah, extraordinary, yeah.Yes, I do.Didn't we do it sort of before, Gordon?Running out there?

    • 33:44

      GORDON DICK: No, because to this day,I still can't figure out-- that because

    • 33:50

      DUDLEY MOORE: That's not in my nature, Gordon.

    • 33:52

      GORDON DICK: I'd been around your house and everything else,and got drunk on your port, and all that.And then all of a sudden it just-- the last day I wasactually working, and nothing.

    • 34:05

      DUDLEY MOORE: I just don't think that's sort of within my natureto do it.That's been-- really quite honestly.I get on well with everybody, I think.But if you had that perception, I am really, really sorry,but it wasn't intended on that particular day.Quite good if we go back to being our old partnership,[INAUDIBLE] as years go.

    • 34:29

      GERRY ROBINSON: Is that impossible?

    • 34:31

      DUDLEY MOORE: Never crossed my mind before,but it's certainly worth a thought.I tell you what did cross my mind a little whileago, actually, though.When I retire as chairman, I reckon Gordonand make a bloody good chairman.

    • 34:42

      GERRY ROBINSON: Well, I do, too, funnily enough.

    • 34:44

      DUDLEY MOORE: He understands the business,he understands what's going on, heunderstands this lot and most of the others on the board,I think.And he's certainly-- I don't know anybodywho has a clearer mind than him, on going straight to a problem.

    • 34:58

      GERRY ROBINSON: How do you react to that as a suggestion.

    • 35:06

      GORDON DICK: There would have to bea lot-- even if anything was offered,we'd have to look at it very carefully.But I don't think I've finished contributing to County Linenyet.

    • 35:23

      GERRY ROBINSON: I do think it's a brilliant idea, Gordoncoming back as chair.I think you would have a vehicle that had the capacityto really go into the next generation far more powerfulthan it is now.And this is in your hands.I think you'd be amazed at where this thing willbe in five years time, compared to where it's going to be,

    • 35:44

      GERRY ROBINSON [continued]: left to its own devices now.

    • 35:52

      GORDON DICK: Yes.Quite.

    • 35:58

      NARRATOR: Gerry leaves County Linen for the last time.He's done all he can, the rest is up to the family.Back in London, the return of Gordon is on his mind.

    • 36:10

      GERRY ROBINSON: It would solve so many things in one hit.It would solve the issue of the replacement of Dudley.It would give Antony a real mentor to look after himand give him the support he so desperately needs.It would turn around staff morale like that.It's a terrific answer to a whole series

    • 36:32

      GERRY ROBINSON [continued]: of problems in this business.[MUSIC PLAYING]

    • 36:45

      TIM MOORE: How you doing?

    • 36:46

      GORDON DICK: Hello, mate.

    • 36:46

      TIM MOORE: Nice to see you.

    • 36:47

      GORDON DICK: And you, and you.

    • 36:48

      TIM MOORE: Good, good excellent.Nice coming back again?

    • 36:51

      GORDON DICK: Yeah, well I hope it will be.

    • 36:54

      TIM MOORE: You recognize this young man?

    • 36:56

      SPEAKER 11: You all right, young man?This just a fly-in visit, or--

    • 36:59

      TIM MOORE: Dad's retiring soon, and Gordon's gonnatake over the chairman's role.

    • 37:05

      SPEAKER 11: Make sure the directors are doing whatthey're supposed to be doing.

    • 37:08

      GORDON DICK: To theory, yeah.

    • 37:10

      SPEAKER 11: It's about time.Really, I hope it's going to be a long relationship.

    • 37:13

      GORDON DICK: I'll see you soon.

    • 37:15

      SPEAKER 11: All right.

    • 37:15

      GORDON DICK: All right.OK.

    • 37:16

      GERRY ROBINSON: It's so often the casethat the person who really is the key to successin building up a business doesn't get the reward.This is very clearly what's happened here,and it's-- I suppose it's capitalism at its worst.

    • 37:34

      GORDON DICK: Rich, how you doing?

    • 37:36

      RICH: Not so bad, how about you?

    • 37:38

      GERRY ROBINSON: I think just in a particular,it's so important that Gordon will at last, at the age of 60,have some chance of getting some reward for what he's done.I think that's terrific.

    • 37:53

      RICH: Welcome back, welcome back.Good decision.

    • 37:57

      GORDON DICK: Thank you, Richard.

    • 37:57

      TIM MOORE: You think so?

    • 37:58

      RICH: I think so.Truly missed.

    • 38:02

      GORDON DICK: I'll see you soon.I think as you get older there's notenough time to sort of carry too many grudges, quite frankly.I'm 60 now, I've got to get on with it, haven't I?I just-- make the most of what's in front, not what's behind.

    • 38:22

      SPEAKER 11: You have only got to walk around the factory.Everybody's saying, it's Gordon.It's Gordon Dick.There's a buzz straight away, Gordon walks in.

    • 38:33

      RICH: And truthfully, I am just soshocked that they've done it.I'm sorry, but yeah.If I start crying, then I start crying.

    • 38:47

      SPEAKER 11: They've got to listen to what he says.And if they do, hopefully we'll still be here next year.[MUSIC PLAYING]

    • 39:05

      NARRATOR: Since filming, a factory managerhas been hired to help Tim run a new plant at Chelmsford.And soon after Gordon became chairman,County paid it's staff bonus for the first time in two years.[MUSIC PLAYING]

Soap Opera

View Segments Segment :


Sir Gerry Robinson is sent into County Linen and Laundry, a linen and laundry company that is going downhill. The company has been steadily losing money and the support of the staff since a management change. Robinson is brought in to try to get the management to make the necessary improvements, and hires back an old employee who was loved by staff.

Soap Opera

Sir Gerry Robinson is sent into County Linen and Laundry, a linen and laundry company that is going downhill. The company has been steadily losing money and the support of the staff since a management change. Robinson is brought in to try to get the management to make the necessary improvements, and hires back an old employee who was loved by staff.

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