Douglas is Cancelled episode 4 recap: Douglas and Madeline have an epic showdown

Hugh Bonneville in a dark jumper as Douglas in Douglas is Cancelled episode 4
Douglas is Cancelled episode 4 – Douglas (Hugh Bonneville) has to face the music. (Image credit: ITV)

The penultimate episode of Douglas is Cancelled saw flashbacks revealing Madeline (Karen Gillan) had endured a very awkward and uncomfortable interview for her Live at Six job with producer Toby (Ben Miles) and that Douglas appeared to think something was going on between them.

Now, the final instalment sees the long-awaited rehearsal between Madeline and Douglas get underway as she tries to prepare him for his upcoming interview at the Hay Festival, where the allegations that he made a sexist comment at a wedding are likely to be discussed. But it has become clear that Madeline thinks the story is about her, so how will she react?

Here’s everything that happened in episode 4 of Douglas is Cancelled

Karen Gillan in a green dress holding her hand over her mic as Madeline in Douglas is Cancelled

Madeline (Karen Gillan) gives Douglas a grilling.  (Image credit: ITV)

The episode begins at the Hay Festival and Douglas’ worried agent Bently (Simon Russell Beale) and Toby are talking. Toby says they are not going to change the interviewer and he knows they will use the video…

As the action switches back a week, we are at the practice interview between Madeline and Douglas. Bently and Live at Six’s comedy writer Morgan (Nick Mohammed) are in a booth watching, as a crew member Jenn (Ramanique Ahluwalia) sorts out the recording and she objects to Morgan’s sexist attitudes. Bently says they need a joke for Douglas to claim he told at the wedding that is misogynistic enough, but not so much that it gets him cancelled. Meanwhile, as she also watches on, Douglas’ wife Sheila (Alex Kingston) asks Toby how they can trust Madeline. 

We again see the moment where Douglas says it was just a stupid joke and Madeline puts her hand over her mic and says it wasn’t a joke, it was a story, all the men laughed and the story was about her. Douglas calls for them to stop recording. 

Madeline says she knows what was said and takes her hand off her mic and carries on as if she is interviewing Douglas. She asks him about the online discussion about his joke and asks what it was. But as Toby and Sheila come onto the floor, Douglas asks her to repeat what she said when she covered her mic. Sheila says she heard that too. But Madeline claims she was just being ‘Kirsty’, his interviewer, and claiming the joke was about her, to throw him off balance, as the real Kirsty could do the same. Madeline says she has been up all night thinking of all the dirty tricks she knows that could be used in the real interview, in order to help him, but he is clearly not ready. 

Hugh Bonneville seated as Douglas watches on as Alex Kingston as Sheila talks to Ben Miles as Toby in a studio in Douglas is Cancelled

Sheila (Alex Kingston) and Toby (Ben Miles) get ready to listen to the interview between Douglas (Hugh Bonneville) and Madeline. (Image credit: ITV)

Sheila then says she wants to sit and watch and so does Toby. As the interview picks up again, Madeline says she has been in touch with the wedding guest who claims to have overheard Douglas and she has a summary. Douglas gets angry that he is being called a misogynist and whatever the guest revealed will be a distortion of what he said, it’s just online gossip. Madeline then says the story was about when Douglas first met a co-worker in a hotel room of his senior colleague. Toby looks shocked. She says the story was a theory of how she got her current job and the implication is that it was sexual. Toby tries to get the recording to stop and demands that she doesn’t mention anyone by name, even if it is just a rehearsal. She promises she won’t name any individual who is not in the room…

Douglas continues to make denials but Madeline says he has repeatedly alluded to his first meeting with his current co-presenter in other interviews so how does he not remember the story now? Was he joking at the wedding or does he really think she owes her position to sleeping with a senior colleague? What opinion does he have of her? Madeline then cuts for a comfort break.

Toby says he has to know if Douglas thinks what happened in the hotel was inappropriate. They then spot Douglas' daughter Claudia (Madeleine Power) has arrived, as Madeline invited her. Sheila storms into the loo to confront Madeline about bringing Claudia there and Madeline says it was another of her dirty tricks and that Sheila has ruined lives in her paper and all that is now coming for Douglas. She has to make him ready and he is her friend. Sheila asks if she is sleeping with him and she denies it and asks if Sheila is sleeping with him…

Madeleine Power in a patterned jumper as Claudia in Douglas is Cancelled.

Douglas' daughter Claudia (Madeleine Power) listens in to the interview. (Image credit: ITV)

As Morgan comes up with ‘jokes’ for Douglas, Claudia challenges his sexism and Jenn is documenting all of it. Claudia then confronts Douglas and asks why he is having a joke written for him, why can't he tell the truth? He says because they work in TV and the truth needs help because their audience doesn't understand the truth. Bently then uses sexist language and says he has had a word with Jenn and she will be no trouble and Douglas should let him know if he needs his career saving again.

As the interview starts up again, Madeline asks how Douglas could forget his meeting with her and he says he didn’t forget, he was lying, he just didn’t want to lend credence to gossip about Madeline sleeping with their producer. He didn’t tell the story, maybe the guest is lying, and he dares her to read out what she has been told. She says the guest claims the joke was about a colleague but doesn't go into the details. Madeline then asks Jenn to play a video of a drunken Douglas dancing at the wedding, which is on Facebook. 

Madeline says there is bound to be more footage, which could show up at any time. Douglas is confident there is just dancing but Madeline says they can put that to the test as she has a tweet ready to go asking people to post footage of Douglas and his joke. Douglas gets angry but tells Madeline to send it. She says that people there know him so they might be reticent but if he gives them his blessing it would encourage them and she urges Douglas to also tweet himself. Despite Sheila’s desperate pleas to stop him, Douglas prepares to tweet that to his followers asking them to post any video evidence of his ‘unprofessional conduct’. He believes they will find nothing as, after all his years in telly, he knows when cameras and mics are on him and he can guarantee no one recorded it when he told ‘that story’. He then realises he has made a big mistake – Madeline asks how he can't remember telling the story but remembers checking for cameras. As he claims he ‘misspoke’, Madeline summarises that he told a sexist story, he remembers doing it and he lied to everyone out of shame and she brings the interview to an end.

Ben Miles in a brown shirt as Toby in Douglas is Cancelled

Will Toby's (Ben Miles) chickens come home to roost? (Image credit: ITV)

Toby is eager to clarify that nobody really tweeted and Madeline says there is never a phone signal in this room on her phone, so she always has to borrow Douglas’ device, which means that Douglas’ tweet was able to go through… A furious Sheila tells him to delete it but Douglas says there can’t be footage, he always checks and he tries to reassure Claudia, who is keen to believe him as he never lies to her. 

Anxious Sheila says the story will now be coming out if he told it. As they leave, Madeline again asks him what he said about her, if it will now turn up on Twitter, she needs to know. He says sometimes people ask him about when he first knew she was going to be a big star and he says that is was when he found her in his boss’ hotel room... 

Claudia is devastated. Douglas says that Madeline made him self-destruct on Twitter. He asks why is he being punished, it was nothing to do with him, it was Toby and her. Toby says they are untrue allegations. Madeline says she will deny any allegations, he was just drunk telling a story and being cross she is more popular than him, but she will be protecting herself not Toby, because she doesn’t want the story out. Again, Douglas says it was not his fault, he is not like Toby, and Madeline agrees that Toby is a monster, as Sheila says they could destroy his career in the papers... 

Madeline ask why Douglas walked away from the hotel room and left her there and made it into a joke. Douglas says if she was raped she should tell the police and if she slept with Toby to get a job she should tell her mum or a friend, but why is it his fault? Madeline asks who said she slept with Toby? Douglas claims he knows she did, she was in his room and he saw what was going to happen, she looked terrified... 

An upset Madeline said she was terrified but he still walked away and the moment she heard there was a story, she knew it was about her. She hates Toby, but he’s not worth the effort, what really hurts is that Douglas was supposed to be her friend and the person she wanted to impress. As Douglas tries to say sorry, she walks out. 

We then flashback again to what really happened in the hotel room after Douglas left. With Toby now in the bath, Madeline picks up his papers and chucks them and her wine in the bath with him. She says she would love the job but would never sleep with anyone she works with and she is out of his league. She then takes his picture and says she doesn’t believe in women’s rights, there are human rights and not to mess with her, and she walks out.

Then we head back to the Hay Festival where Kirsty Wark is interviewing Madeline, who has taken over as lead presenter on Live at Six from her former colleague Douglas after he resigned when a video went viral. Madeline doesn’t want to comment but Kirsty said there had been rumours about his problematic attitudes and that her appointment is seen as a victory for women everywhere, but Madeline says it’s a victory for her. 

Kirsty says the video has ended his career and plays it – it is footage of Bently asking Jenn to stop recording and Douglas telling Claudia that the truth needs a little help and Bently asking Douglas to let him know if his career needs saving again.

As the credits roll, Toby’s driver Tom (Joe Wilkinson) is now driving Madeline and he asks if she minds him doing some work – he has an idea for a sex comedy set in a TV newsroom…

All episodes of Douglas Is Cancelled are available on ITVX

Caren Clark

Caren has been a journalist specializing in TV for almost two decades and is a Senior Features Writer for TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and What’s On TV magazines and she also writes for What to Watch.

Over the years, she has spent many a day in a muddy field or an on-set catering bus chatting to numerous stars on location including the likes of Olivia Colman, David Tennant, Suranne Jones, Jamie Dornan, Dame Judi Dench and Sir Derek Jacobi as well as Hollywood actors such as Glenn Close and Kiefer Sutherland.

Caren will happily sit down and watch any kind of telly (well, maybe not sci-fi!), but she particularly loves period dramas like Call the Midwife, Downton Abbey and The Crown and she’s also a big fan of juicy crime thrillers from Line of Duty to Poirot.

In her spare time, Caren enjoys going to the cinema and theatre or curling up with a good book.