T-Bag Strikes Again Episode 5: Ali Barber

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UK Air Date24/09/1986, 4.20pm
Repeat Screening11/05/1988, 4.20pm
Copyright YearMCMLXXXVI (1986)
VTR Date23/08/1985
Fremantle Archive Ref33212 (series ref)
Consecutive Episode Number15
IMDB LinkEpisode page

T. Bag (Tallulah Bag)Elizabeth Estensen
T. ShirtJohn Hasler
DebbieJennie Stallwood
Ali BarberDavid Janson
Sultan VinegarNorman Mitchell

Make UpPearl Rashbass
Costume DesignerRaymond Childe
Graphic DesignerAlex Forbes
Stage ManagerBobby Webber
Production AssistantPat Lees
Written ByLee Pressman
Grant Cathro
DesignerJohn Plant
Executive ProducerMarjorie Sigley
ProducersCharles Warren
Leon Thau
DirectorLeon Thau

Sultan Vinegar is collecting his taxes from Ali Barber but Ali has no money because he has had no customers. Debbie arrives and Ali cuts her hair for her but when she has no money to pay he takes her silver numbers as payment. The Sultan takes them as Ali’s taxes. Can Debbie get them back?
The High-T Website synopsis
Debbie finds herself in the storybook land of the Arabian nights where she meets Ali, a young barber.
TV Times listing

If you would like to contribute your favourite/funniest etc quotes from this episode please contact me.

Spick and span

(T-Bag runs her finger over the dusty tea caddy).
T-Bag: T-Shirt.
T-Shirt: What is it now?
T-Bag: What do you call that?
T-Shirt: A finger.
T-Bag: I thought I told you I wanted this place spick and span.
T-Shirt: It is spick and span, I’ve been spicking and spanning all morning.
T-Bag: Well it's not good enough. There's enough dust in here to stuff a sofa. Look here. (T-Bag picks up the dusty teapot).
T-Shirt: Where?
T-Bag: There.
T-Shirt: Where?
T-Bag: There.
T-Shirt: I don't see it.
T-Bag: It must be at least an inch thick.
T-Shirt: Oh yeah (he blows the dust off into T-Bag's face).
T-Bag: (Coughs and splutters) Clumsy clot. What do you think you're playing at?
T-Shirt: Sorry.
T-Bag: Don't sorry me, go make me a cup of tea. My throat feels like a sheet of sandpaper. (Coughs) Well hurry up.
T-Shirt: I'm hurrying.
T-Bag: Thank you. (Drinks tea) Ohhhh, glorious, glorious. Well don't just stand there looking gormless boy, back to work.
T-Shirt: Work, work, work, work.
T-Bag: And don't mutter. Oh let's have a quick squint at what's going on down here. (T-Bag looks in the saucer) Oh, Ali Barber the hairdresser. Come to think of it, I could do with a shampoo and set, get some of this dust out of my hair. Good idea. T-Shirt, I'm just popping out for a while to get my hair done, be good.
T-Shirt: Oh you don't have to bother going out.
T-Bag: What do you mean?
T-Shirt: I could do you hair for you.
T-Bag: You, don't be absurd.
T-Shirt: I could, let me try.
T-Bag: You must be joking. Hair as beautiful and delicate as mine requires the deft touch of a professional. I don't want your inky little fingers tangling it all up.
T-Shirt: I could do it with my magic.
T-Bag: Forget that.
T-Shirt: Oh let me.
T-Bag: No fear, I'm off to where the smart people get their hair done. (T-Bag looks in the saucer) Wait a minute, it looks as if he's got a customer already. That cool customer clever clogs.
T-Shirt: Debbie.
T-Bag: Quiet, I want to see what's what here.

Added: 04/04/2020

Just my usual hair style

Ali Barber: A-Ha, Arggh.... argghhhhhhh.... argghhhhh....
T-Bag: What is it?
Ali Barber: Argghhhhh... That is extraordinary.
T-Bag: What is?
Ali Barber: That, on your head.
T-Bag: Ohh, my tiara.
Ali Barber: No, no, no, no, that hairdo it, it's whur.. words fail me, it's breathtaking.
T-Bag: Do you really think so? I wouldn't have said it was anything special.
Ali Barber: Special, it's a miracle, who on Earth could have created such a masterpiece? What genius?
T-Bag: It's just my usual hair style. I wouldn't have said I'm a genius exactly, well...
Ali Barber: You mean it's all your own work, hmhmhmmm, I would never have guessed, hmhmhmmm (laughs).
T-Bag: What is the matter with you?
Ali Barber: (Still laughing) It's ridiculous. It's dreadful, It's outrageous, you look like a Christmas tree.
T-Bag: How dare you? I happen to be very proud of this hairstyle.
Ali Barber: Oh, yes, of course, quite right, I do apologise, I don't know what came over me.
T-Bag: I want a shampoo and set and less of your cheek.
Ali Barber: Yes Madam, certainly Madam, right away Madam, take a seat. Erm, I'm going to need some pretty special tools for this job.
T-Bag: Well hurry up and get them I haven't got all day.
Ali Barber: One moment.
(He leaves and T-Bag opens the cash register and sees the numbers have gone).
T-Bag: Gingernuts, the numbers have gone, but where?
Ali Barber: Here we are.
(Ali walks back through with some garden shears).
T-Bag: Ourghhh, what are those for?
Ali Barber: Your hair.
T-Bag: My hair, are you mad? My hair is delicate (she touches her hair and realises), what the? Quick, a mirror, Arrghh, orrhhhh. Cream crackers and clotted, that boy, that boy, that…
Ali Barber: When you're ready.
(T-Bag disappears)
Ali Barber: Oh well, hair today, gone tomorrow.

Added: 04/04/2013

Open sesame

T-Bag: So that's where those accursed silver numbers have got too. T-Shirt come here. Now's your chance to redeem yourself, I want you to go to the Sultan's palace and get those silver numbers.
T-Shirt: Why can't you go?
T-Bag: Less of your lip, how can I go, looking like this? I feel such a fool.
T-Shirt: Alright then, what do I have to do?
T-Bag: Get the silver numbers from the Sultan's safe.
T-Shirt: How will I do that?
T-Bag: It's easy, just say after me, open sesame.
T-Shirt: Open sesame.
T-Bag: And again.
T-Shirt: And again.
T-Bag: No, no, no.
T-Shirt: No, no, no.
T-Bag: T-Shirt, Open sesame, that's what you have to say to open the safe.
T-Shirt: Open sesame.
T-Bag: Good boy, off you go and T-Shirt don't let the Sultan see you.
T-Shirt: I won't (he disappears).
(T-Bag looks in the mirror).
T-Bag: Ohhhhh.

Added: 04/04/2017

Old Sultan Pinkylocks

Sultan Vinegar: Now there's my sword (sees T-Bag), who are you?
T-Bag: Never mind who I am, the point is (The Sultan laughs), what is it?
Sultan Vinegar: What's that on your head?
T-Bag: Don't you start, now listen I... Stop that, you're asking for trouble Mister.
Sultan Vinegar: I've never seen anything so ridiculous in my whole life.
T-Bag: Oh you haven't?
Sultan Vinegar: No, no, it's preposterous, it's ludicrous, it's bizarre.
T-Bag: Well it's certainly a lot better than this.
(She turns the Sultan's hair pink).
Sultan Vinegar: What have you done?
T-Bag: Oh dear. You seem to have stopped all that merry laughter, whatever is the matter?
Sultan Vinegar: A Sultan with pink hair, I shall be a laughing stock. Give me back my hair.
T-Bag: Put that away (she makes the Sultan's sword disappear). Now, first things first: you have what I want.
Sultan Vinegar: What?
T-Bag: Silver numbers. Hand them over, quickly.
Sultan Vinegar: I will not!
T-Bag: Otherwise you know what everyone will say.
Sultan Vinegar: What will everyone say?
T-Bag: Here comes Old Sultan Pinkylocks!
Sultan Vinegar: Pinkylocks? Oh no!
T-Bag: Stinky-winky Pinkylocks!
Sultan Vinegar: No! Anything but that!
T-Bag: Well?
Sultan Vinegar: Alright, alright, I'll get the blessed things for you. Open sesame. (He opens the safe and gives the numbers to T-Bag) Here you are, here you are. Take them, take them all.
T-Bag: Thank you.

Added: 04/04/2014

It wasn't my fault

T-Shirt: Ow, ow, ow.
T-Bag: Will you ever do anything right boy? Will you? Will you?
T-Shirt: It wasn't my fault.
T-Bag: Oh, oh! I suppose it was my fault.
T-Shirt: Yes.
T-Bag: What?
T-Shirt: You wouldn't listen, I tried to tell you.
T-Bag: Be quiet.
T-Shirt: But you sent me back here.
T-Bag: Shut up.
T-Shirt: You can't blame me.
T-Bag: Silence. Ohhhhh, I despair of you. I do, I do. Now thanks to you, little madam has got all those silver numbers back.
T-Shirt: And the number five.
T-Bag: And the number fi... drat it. Oh but not to worry T-Shirt, look where she's heading. That fearful creepy forest in story number six. That ought to take the wind right out of her sails.

Added: 04/04/2015

"Missing Numbers"
When Ali takes Debbie’s silver numbers for payment for her haircut he shakes her bag and one of the numbers falls to the floor instead of into his hands. When we see the numbers close up there are no number 2's!

"Just Dust"
When T-Bag shows T-Shirt the teapot he has failed to dust, she blows some of the carefully placed dust off it, before T.Shirt has a chance to himself! This happens when she says 'it must be at least an inch thick'!

For more mistakes from other episodes, please see the Nitpicker's Guide

  • This episode reached number 96 in the most watched programme of the week (week ending Sept 28th) with a peak of 3.76 million viewers beating Doctor Who on BBC (Doctor Who chartered at #97 with 3.72 million viewers, the episode of Doctor Who was 'The Mysterious Planet part 4' with Colin Baker as the Doctor)!
  • If you look closely at T-Bag when she has the Christmas-tree hair you can see some of the decorations are actually Quality Street sweets!
  • Norman Mitchell, who played Sultan Vinegar, sadly passed away on 19th March 2001, aged 82.
  • The character name Sultan Vinegar is a play-on words for 'Salt and Vinegar'.
  • During the repeat screening of this series, this episode was aired after episode six.
  • The character name Ali Barber is a parody of the character from the tale of 'Ali Baba and the forty thieves'.

  • Norman Mitchell, who plays Sultan Vinegar, appears in two episodes throughout the nine series of T-Bag. This is his first of his two appearances. At 70 episodes Norman Mitchell has the longest running number of episodes between his two appearances of any guest actor of the series. Norman Mitchell plays the character of a Sultan in both his episodes.
    (Take off with T. Bag, Episode 2: Thief Of Baghdad)
  • A character who is a barber also appears during an episode of T. Bag and The Rings of Olympus played by Alex Bartlette, who coincidently appears with Norman Mitchell in Take Off With T. Bag.
    (T. Bag and The Rings of Olympus, Episode 2: Bandits)