The Rebel. Henry Palmer (Simon Callow). Copyright: Retort
The Rebel

The Rebel

  • TV sitcom
  • Gold
  • 2016 - 2017
  • 9 episodes (2 series)

Sitcom starring Simon Callow as a rebellious pensioner. Also features Bill Paterson, Anita Dobson, Amit Shah, Anna Crilly and Vivian Oparah

Episode menu

Series 1, Episode 3 - Art

The Rebel. Image shows from L to R: Henry Palmer (Simon Callow), Margaret (Anita Dobson), Charles (Bill Paterson). Copyright: Retort
Charles has been holding the fort at the charity shop when he sells an old urine bottle. Unfortunately it has great sentimental value for Margaret, and also seems to be an apprentice piece by Marcel Duchamp for his famous urinal art-work.

Preview clips

Further details

Charles has been holding the fort at Margaret's charity shop when he sells an old urine bottle to Harriet Cusp down from London. Unfortunately, it not only has great sentimental value for Margaret but also seems to be an apprentice piece by Marcel Duchamp for his famous urinal...

Margaret is distraught but Henry vows to get it back. The trouble is the urine bottle is already in the hands of Harriet's boss, Seb Koote who owns the Great White gallery in Hackney. Using a work of art made by painting a rat's bollocks red and bouncing them up and down on a canvas, Henry gets into the gallery only to discover Koote's put the urine bottle in an upcoming sale of Lavatorial art at Sebastian Cholmondley's auction house. Sebastian looks remarkably like a posh version of Seb... and he's refusing to give the urine bottle back.

Apparently defeated, our gang return to Brighton until Margaret comes up with a plan to get the beloved urine bottle back...

Broadcast details

Wednesday 3rd August 2016
40 minutes


Show past repeats

Date Time Channel
Thursday 4th August 2016 9:20pm Gold
Wednesday 21st September 2016 10:00pm Gold
Wednesday 8th February 2017 10:20pm Gold
Thursday 9th February 2017 1:25am Gold
Wednesday 15th March 2017 9:20pm Gold
Thursday 16th March 2017 12:30am Gold
Sunday 3rd February 2019 2:10am Gold
Thursday 12th March 2020 2:20am Gold
Sunday 15th March 2020 2:35am Gold
Tuesday 30th June 2020 2:55am Gold
Thursday 11th March 2021 2:35am Gold
Wednesday 14th April 2021 3:20am Gold
Sunday 20th June 2021 2:00am Gold
Sunday 11th July 2021 3:20am Gold
Wednesday 27th October 2021 12:30am Gold
Thursday 13th January 2022 1:05am Gold
Tuesday 8th March 2022 2:45am Gold
Saturday 21st January 2023 3:25am Gold
Monday 13th February 2023 3:25am Gold
Wednesday 22nd May 2024 2:30am Gold

Cast & crew

Simon Callow Henry Palmer
Bill Paterson Charles
Anita Dobson Margaret
Amit Shah Jeremy
Anna Crilly Cath
Guest cast
Paul Kaye Sebastian/Seb/Bastian
Jan Carey Retirement Home Art Secretary
Sarah Winter Harriet Cusp
Katrina Nare Poppy
Robert Portal Auctioneer
Writing team
Andrew Birch Writer
Production team
Vadim Jean Director
Vadim Jean Producer
Simon Lupton Executive Producer
Jon Rolph Executive Producer
Tanya Qureshi Executive Producer
Daniel Gethic Editor
Adrian Smith Production Designer
David Isaac Feldstein Composer


Cremation Over Creation

Cath and Henry meet Margaret at an art exhibition.

Featuring: Simon Callow (Henry Palmer), Anita Dobson (Margaret), Anna Crilly (Cath) & Jan Carey (Retirement Home Art Secretary).

Marcel Duchamp's Piss Pot

Henry meets an art dealer.

Featuring: Simon Callow (Henry Palmer), Paul Kaye (Sebastian/Seb/Bastian) & Katrina Nare (Poppy).


When an unscrupulous art buyer from Shoreditch gives charity-shop worker Charles a tenner for an apparently worthless old urine bottle (conspicuously signed with a tell-tale "R Mutt", history-of-art lovers), a horrified Henry and co hotfoot it to Hackney to get it back, in the last part of this baby-boomer comedy based on the Oldie cartoon strip. Worth catching for Paul Kaye's triple role, Dr Strangelove-style, as three flavours of absolute berk.

Ali Catterall, The Guardian, 3rd August 2016

As the three-part comedy bows out, the irascible Henry (Simon Callow) ends up reinventing himself as an art dealer to help Margaret (Anita Dobson) recover a precious item. Unfortunately this means a visit to London, home of the hipster culture he detests. 'What's the worst thing that could happen to me in Hackney?' he wonders. 'Get entangled in someone's beard?' Henry's attempts to fit into the modern art scene ('I hate shapes and colours') are very funny, and the brilliant Paul Kaye guests as a trendy gallery owner.

TV Times, 28th July 2016

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