Guilty or Not Guilty – Mind Your Language

Guilty or Not Guilty” is the fifth episode of the third season of Mind Your Language. It was first broadcast on the 24th November 1979.


Miss Courtney is to serve on the magistrates. Case 1 is put back until after lunch so she is to take case 2 and the accused are none other than Mr. Brown’s students. This shocks Miss Courtney, as she recognises them and all these students in the dock as the cases were committed collectively.

Mr. Brown himself comes to court to speak on the students’ behalf. He paired them up and asked them to visit various places to improve their English, and each pair – Su-Lee and Taro, Ranjeet and Jamila, Juan and Max, Giovanni and Danielle, Anna and Ali – made some mischief in public that caused them to end up in court. The students tell their individual stories, and in the end, their lack of English and a speech by Mr. Brown gets them off.


(Giovanni and Danielle are having a look around London Weekend Studios and end up on the set of Russell Harty’s show.)

Giovanni: Scusi! Hey, I know you. It’s Michael Parkington!

Danielle: No, it’s not. It’s Eamonn Andrews!

Giovanni: Your honour, I rest-a my bag.

Mr. Brown: No, no, no, Giovanni, you rest your case!

Giovanni: Okey cokey, I rest-a my bag and-a my case!

Jamila: I am be swear to tell the obsolete truth, and nothing but the obsolete truth.


  • Dickie Davies and Russell Harty make cameo appearances in this episode while the police are chasing Giovanni and Danielle through London Weekend Studios.
    • When Giovanni mistakes Russell Harty for “Michael Parkington”, it’s likely that he means to say “Michael Parkinson” instead.
  • The zoo attendant is played by Harry Littlewood, who also plays the supermarket manager in “The Best Things in Life” and Henshawe in Season 4.
  • Josh MacRae’s “Messing About on the River” and a cover of Tom Paxton’s “Goin’ to the Zoo” can be heard in this episode (during the scenes with Ranjeet and Jamila at the River Thames and Ali and Anna at the zoo, respectively).
  • Miss Courtney calls Mr. Brown “Petrocelli” after hearing him speak in his students’ defence. This is a reference to Barry Newman’s character in the American legal drama of the same name.
  • This episode is not included in the home video release.

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