Gary returns from seeing Nicola and Zack in Bristol and is annoyed to hear from Nick that Derek has signed the rental contract with him. Ed opens his cards and looks forward to Dee-Dee's arrival. After he goes to work, Aggie gets the boys to help her get the house ready for the surprise party. Seeing Daniel needs a distraction, Sinead tells him to go to the party. Bernie suggests to Kel that he keeps away from Paul for a while. Derek doesn't return Gary's urgent calls. He is further annoyed when he hears about the contracted rent reduction. Paul is shocked to see Bernie and Kel out together. Izzy and Derek make plans to meet after work. Ken and Claudia prepare for their trip to Venice. Mary imposes herself on the Baileys as the party organiser. Shona receives a call from the school telling her that Max has walked out. The neighbours congregate in No.3 as the family try to prevent Ed seeing them arrive. Daniel buys a bottle of vodka from the Corner Shop and starts to drink it neat. Aggie gets a text from Dee-Dee saying she can't make the trip because of work commitments. The neighbours dislike the awful nibbles that Aggie has made. Steve is delighted to see some County players in attendance. Mary pretends that Aggie has had a heart attack to get Ed to walk into his surprise party. Not seeing the vodka, Jenny finds Daniel in Victoria Gardens and makes him join her in going to the party. He arrives in a tipsy state and starts drinking the rum punch. Gary sees Derek accompanying Izzy to Speed Daal. Daniel upsets Bethany when he's rude to her. Disappointed by Dee-Dee’s absence, Ed is cheered up by her present of a special reggae record, not realising that it was Michael who chose it for him. James comforts Bethany in the back yard. She leans in for a kiss but he pulls back, confessing that he's gay. Daniel gets more and more drunk and almost gets in a fight with Michael. Humiliated by James, Bethany rushes from the party, refusing to assure him that she'll keep his secret. Beth and Sinead enjoy pampering themselves with a face pack treatment. Sinead asks Beth to ensure she's dressed nicely for her funeral. Behind her back, Beth dissolves into tears. Steve is pleased when Emma introduces him as her dad. Adam is summoned to the party to help get Daniel out. Gary deliberately brings Jake into Speed Daal to distract Izzy from Derek. While her back’s turned, he demands in no uncertain terms that Derek finish with her. Paul tears a strip off Chesney for not kicking Bernie out. Gemma is puzzled by his boorish behaviour. Max comes home and refuses to give Shona an explanation for his actions. With Gary gone, Izzy can see that Derek's attitude towards her has changed. Oblivious to the truth, she tells him that he's Gary's boss and he can do as he likes. James goes to Bethany's flat where she lectures him about not being proud of himself. In turn, he educates her about the problems of being a gay and black professional footballer and grows tearful at the thought of what Ed would say. Sobering up on Rosamund Street, Daniel cries in Adam's arms. Ed's cake, made by Roy is presented to him and he thanks the neighbours for their welcome. Bethany returns to the party and apologises to James for walking out on him. They agree to be good friends to each other. Gary catches sight of Ryan and demands his money back but he can't take any further action with Jake stood nearby watching them. Having heard what happened, Beth comforts Daniel when he returns home. Derek spurns Gary's threats. He smashes a mirror in frustration. In No.3's back yard, Bethany and James chat about how he's covered his sexuality and they make an arrangement for her to be his "cover" girlfriend, not realising that Michael is listening to them from the kitchen.


Regular cast

Guest cast



  • This was a one-hour episode made up of two production codes and was transmitted at 7.30pm.
  • Mark Strange and Kate Waters were credited as the Fight Arrangers on this episode.
  • TV Times synopsis: The neighbours gather for Ed’s birthday party; Gary discovers what Derek has been up to in his absence; and Daniel drowns his sorrows.
  • Viewing Figures: First UK broadcast: 6,357,123 viewers (7th place).

Notable dialogue

Steve McDonald (seeing Daniel Osbourne arrive at the party): "I don't know whether I'd be out partying if Tracy was just about to kick the bucket."
Eileen Grimshaw: "The rest of us would be."


Roy Cropper (about Mary Cole): "She's a woman who finds the deepest joy in the smallest facets of everyday life."

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