Monday, 31 December 2012

On New Year's Eve - "the same procedure as every year..."

Dinner for One

Image: COTE SUD 93

Dinner for One, also known as The 90th Birthday,
or by its corresponding German alternative title, Der 90. Geburtstag,
is a two-hander comedy sketch written by British author Lauri Wylie for the theatre in the 1920s.
 German television station Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) recorded a performance of the piece in 1963,
in its original English language, with a short introduction in German.


The sketch presents the 90th birthday of elderly upper-class Englishwoman Miss Sophie,
who hosts a celebration dinner every year for her friends:

Mr Pommeroy, 
Mr Winterbottom, 
Sir Toby, 
and Admiral von Schneider. 

The problem is that due to Miss Sophie's considerable age,
she has outlived all of her friends,
and so her equally aged manservant James makes his way around the table,
impersonating each of the guests in turn.

Miss Sophie decides on appropriate drinks to accompany the menu:
Mulligatawny soup (Miss Sophie orders dry sherry),
North Sea haddock (with white wine), chicken (with champagne),
and fruit for dessert (with port)
 served by James.

The crucial exchange during every course is:
"The same procedure as last year, Miss Sophie?"
Miss Sophie:  
"The same procedure as  every year, James!"

Diner for One with Freddie Frinton and May Ward



Since the 1960's, this sketch has become a tradition in Germany,
where up to half the population may watch it every year on New Year's Eve,
but it is relatively unknown in Britain
and has never been seen on television in Canada or the United States.
It is also shown on New Year's Eve in many other mainland European countries,
particularly Nordic countries, and also screens on SBS in Australia
 This comedy sketch went on to become the most frequently repeated TV programme ever
 (according to the Guinness Book of Records, 1988-1995 eds.)
On New Year's Eve 2003 alone,
the sketch was broadcast 19 times (on various channels).
As of 2005, the sketch has been repeated more than 230 times.



 So, as we leave this year with laughter...

...we will start tomorrow the new one with friends,
a glass of Champagne - or two,
a big smile


.... the New Year's Concert from Vienna....

just simply

..."the same procedure as every year"

:) :) :)

Wish you all a good "slide" into the New Year!

Einen guten Rutsch in's Neue Jahr!


  1. Liebe Karin,
    ja dieser Film ist Tradition geworden und amusiert jedes Sylvester auf's Neue!

    Ich wünsche dir ein gesundes neues Jahr!

    ♥ Franka

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  2. Dear Karin, This was soooo much fun. Was not familiar with this New Year's Eve tradition. It is hilarious. What a wonderful way to start the new Year...with laughter.
    Wir wünschen dir und Mr R einen guten Rutsch ins Neue Jahr, und vor allem, Gesundheit und alles gute das Leben offert.
    Gene and Gina

  3. How charming !
    Happy New Year Karin !
    Gail x

  4. Oh Karin,
    We watch this every Christmas ..... my Dad used to LOVE it up until he died at the age of 91 ! You could always hear him saying ' same procedure as last year' when he was doing something more than once, whatever it may be !
    Wishing you and all of your family a happy and healthy New Year filled with kindness and love. Thanks for your blogging friendship and here's to the same procedure as last year !! Much love. XXXX

  5. Karin I had never heard of this and loved it! You always give us the best! Wishing you, Mr. B and Oskar the very best for the coming New Year!


  6. Karin, thank you for sharing this with us. I had never seen it before and loved it! So very funny and very charming. I wish you,your husband and Oskar(of course)all the very best for the coming year. XO

  7. Que cette nouvelle année nous donne la joie de vous recevoir. Recevex tous nos bons voeux et une très bonne santé a chacun. Bisous

  8. Wish you happy new year to you and your family ..Nice blog..good article..

  9. wonderful wonderful wonderful

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