And now for something remarkably familiar

 

This is a 'TV script' that I wrote just for fun to pay homage to my favourite TV comedy sketch characters.

 

SCENE 1: CONTINUITY

 

ERIC IDLE CHARACTER (EI) SAT BEHIND A DESK. JOHN CLEESE VOICE (JC) IS HEARD IN SARCASTIC TONES.

 

EI:

Welcome to this evenings performance where we pay homage to the heyday of BBC Television comedy.

JC (FROM AFAR):

Homage to the heyday of BBC television comedy. Oh my arenít we posh.

EI:

Where we pay homage to the heyday of BBC Television comedy. (PAUSES, THEN CONTINUES WITH A SENSE OF RELIEF) And to start us off weíll go back to the beginning.

JC (FROM AFAR):

Go back to the beginning of what?

EI:

BBC television comedy.

JC (FROM AFAR):

Donít you mean British television comedy? It wasnít all the BBC you know. Thatís the trouble with you BBC types. Think the world begins and ends with you. Let me tell you

 

FADES

 

SCENE  2: HANCOCK

 

HANCOCK LOOK ALIKE OPENS THE DOOR TO HIS STUDIO FLAT. SLINGS BAG DOWN. TURNS AND PICKS UP POST. READS THE FRONT OF ONE OF THE LETTERS.

 

HANCOCK:

Isnít it marvellous. Typical! Another letter for Mr Tony Hancock. And me Anthony Handcross. This is beyond a joke you know. Oh yes. Nearly half the post I get is addressed to Mr Tony Hancock. Canít they read Handcross. Hand-Cross. Han-d-cross. Handycross. Andy Cross. Not Tony Hancock.

 

WE SEE HIM OPEN THE LETTER AND START TO READ IT.

 

Dear oh dear. This is the limit. Only the new credit card Iíd applied for. I ask you. What use is it to me in the name Tony Hancock. How can they get Handcross mixed up with Hancock? What am I supposed to do with this? Five thousand pounds worth of credit for you, Mr Hancock. Iím not him. He died forty years ago. Gone. Caput. No more. Living on only in grainy black and white images. Images of Black and White. He lives on. But  not through me. Iíll tell you mate. Not through me.

 

(TURNS TO CAMERA IN MORE LIGHT HEARTED TONE) I did enjoy Hancock. Who did he play with now? (PAUSES) Sid James. That was it. He was good Sid James.

 

DOES SID JAMES LAUGH. RETURNS TO LOOKING AT LETTER.

 

Hang on a moment. Spend more than fifty pounds in the first month and you can claim dinner for two at a top restaurant near you. Thatís more like it. Hang on a minute. Iím single. Canít go on my own.

 

(TO CAMERA) I wonder if theyíd let me go twice?

 

PICKS UP BAG AND WALKS TO KITCHEN AREA. STARTS TO PUT ITEMS AWAY. EXAMINES BOX OF TEA BAGS.

 

Isnít that typical. My PG is out of sell by. Iíll have to have words with that shopkeeper.

 

(TO CAMERA)Itís not much to ask is it? To buy a box of tea bags and expect them to be in date.

WANDERS BACK INTO LIVING AREA. PICKS UP TV REMOTE AND SWITCHES ON TV. HANCOCKS HALF HOUR IS JUST STARTING.

 

Marvellous isnít it. Bloomin marvellous.

 

SWITCHES TV OFF. PICKS UP LETTER AGAIN.

 

I suppose Iíll have to write to them. ďDear Sir, I recently applied.Ē No thatís not right. ďDear Sir, Regarding the credit card you recently sent me.Ē No. No. Iíll phone. Thatís it. Iíll phone. ďHandcross here. Tony Handcross. Not Hancock.Ē Thatís no use. Hold on. Whatís this. I can now email queries. Why didnít they say before. Thatís more like it. The world wide web. The world wide web of intrigue. The Internet. Or as they say up north tinternet.

(SITS BEHIND THE SCREEN, FACING CAMERA)

This is it. Email. Talking with my friends in England and abroad. (PAUSES) Well abroad then.

 

STUDIES AN EMAIL VERY HARD. HE HALF HUMS THE WORDS ALOUD.

 

Interesting. Interesting.

GETS UP. WALKS TO A CHESS BOARD AND MOVES A PIECE. PONDERS. MOVES A PIECE OF THE OPPOSITE COLOUR. RETURNS TO COMPUTER AND KEYS REPLY.

 

Thatíll keep him happy for awhile. Thereís an error on your hard disk. An error on my hard disk. Oh itís mine is it. When itís all working well the computer takes the credit. When it goes wrong it belongs to me. Marvellous. All this new fangled technology. I tell you we were better off with a forty watt bulb, a gas ring and a phone box on the corner. Good job I paid for the telephone support.

 

WE SEE HIM DIALLING AND WAITING AND WAITING.

 

Oh hello. Is thatÖ Yes, yes. I thought it might be. My name. Handcross. H A N (PAUSES)  N for Norman. (PAUSES)  No Iím not called Norman. H A N D yes D for DAVID C (PAUSES)  I beg your pardon R O S S. Hand as in on the end of your arm. Cross as in annoyed. (PAUSES)  It might be three am in the morning where you are but itís nine thirty in the evening here. (PAUSES)  Thatís better. I should think so too. (PAUSES)  What do you mean my support contract has expired. (PAUSES)   Oh. Oh. I see. You need a credit card number. Yes. Okay.

 

REACHES FOR THE NEW CREDIT CARD.

 

My name. Again? Oh Yes. Okay. Han (PAUSES. MISCHIEVOUS GRIN TO CAMERA) cock. Tony Hancock. One H two Cís. H-A-N-C-O-C-K.

 

SCENE 3: CONTINUITY

 

EI:

Some of our comedians have disappeared into the realms of obscurity. Some were such gems that they were completely one offs. As Lady White Adder recalled two spikes would be an extravagance.

 

SCENE 4: SPIKE MILLIGAN TAKE OFF

 

A SPIKE MILLIGAN LOOK ALIKE IS PAYING FOR AN ITEM AT A CASH CHECKOUT. ASSISTANT HANDS HIM THE CREDIT CARD SLIP.

 

ASSISTANT:

Can you sign in the box?

 

CAMERA PANS TO A LARGE BOX THAT THE CHAP THEN STEPS INTO.

 

SCENE 5: CONTINUITY

 

JC (FROM AFAR):

That was silly.

EI:

No it wasnít.

JC (FROM AFAR):

Itís all chip and pin now.

EI:

But it was paying homage. Set in the past.

JC (FROM AFAR):

Still silly if you ask me.

EI:

And now for a comic duo that graced our screens through three decades.

 

SCENE 6: THE TWO RONNIES

 

INTRODUCTION SIGN ďCAN YOU TAKE ME TO EALINGĒ. FOLLOWED BY THE COMIC DUO IN A LONDON CAB.

RB PLAYS A FLAT CAPPED WEARING ATYPICAL, HARD OF HEARING, LONDON CABBIE. HIS CHARACTER IS PLAYED IN SHADOW. RC GETS INTO THE CAB WEARING A SMART PINSTRIPE SUIT. RC IS WELL SPOKEN. RB IS DOWN TO EARTH.

 

RC:

Can you take me to Ealing?

RB:

Certainly sir.

 

CAB GETS MOVING. RC LOOKS OUT OF THE WINDOW.

 

RB:

Whatís your business then sir?

RC:

Iím in catering.

RB:

Caterham sir? Caterham it is.

 

TAXI SWINGS AROUND.

 

RC:

No, no. Iím in catering, a catering manager (LAUGHS). I just want to go to Ealing.

RB:

Oh, oh, I see sir. Very well. Ealing it is sir. I thought I heard you say Caterham back then sir.

RC:

No, no I said caÖ

RB:

Looks as if youíve done well Sir. Nice whistle youíve got there.

RC:

Well Iím not a rich man.

RB:

Richmond sir? Richmond?

RC:

(WITH TENSION IN VOICE) No, Ealing.

 

PAUSE IN DIALOGUE WITH RC OBSERVING SOME LONDON SCENES ON ROUTE.

 

RB:

Nice evening planned sir, in Ealing like?

RC:

Iím playing bridge actually.

RB:

Oh bridge is it. Thatís nice sir. A game of bridge. How lovely.

RC:

Actually Iím just making up the numbers, (NERVOUS LAUGH) Iím just being the fourth at bridge.

RB:

Forth Bridge sir? Forth Bridge sir. Bit off my patch that.

RC:

No, no. Can you just take me to Ealing?

RB:

Why did you say Forth Bridge then sir?

RC:

I didnít.

RB:

I was sure I Ďeard you sir.

RC:

No, that was the fourth at bridge.

RB:

Oh, I see sir, I see. The card game.

 

PAUSE IN DIALOGUE WITH RC OBSERVING SOME LONDON SCENES ON ROUTE. A CAR HORN BEEPS REPEATEDLY.

 

RC:

Stop, stop tooting.

RB:

Tooting sir. Tooting? Very good sir.

 

TAXI SWINGS AROUND.

 

RC:

No, no. No tooting. I was just yelling at the jerk sounding his horn.

RB:

The what horn sir?

RC:

The horn jerk back there.

RB:

Hornchurch sir? Hornchurch. That aint back there.

RC:

No, no I want to go to Ealing.

RB:

Ealing, very good sir.

 

TAXI SWINGS AROUND.

 

RB:

You alright sir? Might say youíre looking a little peaky.

RC:

Itís been a harrowing day.

RB:

Harrow sir? Do you want me to go to Harrow before Ealing?

RC:

No, no. Just Ealing.

RB:

Very good sir. Very good.

 

SHORT PAUSE SHOWING THE CONTINUATION OF THE JOURNEY.

 

RC:

(SOFTLY) Barking.

RB:

Barking sir?

RC:

No, no. Ealing.

 

CAMERA SHOWS THE METER WITH A HIGH FARE. PAUSE FOR AUDIENCE TO REACT.

 

RB:

Here we go sir. Here we are in Ealing. All safe and sound. Oh dear, oh dear. Look at that meter. Oh dear. That was an expensive trip.

RC:

(SHAKEN) Iíll never go by Hackney again.

RB:

Oh donít say that sir. Donít say that. Tell you what itís on my way home. Iíll take you there now.

 

TAXI SHOWN SWINGING AROUND AND SHOOTING OFF.

 

SCENE 7: CONTINUITY

 

EI:

Although each show had its own style and own writers there were some scripts offered to more than one show. For example the Ďnudge nudge wink winkí was turned down by The Two Ronnies before it was performed by the Pythons. And if I may say

JC (FROM AFAR):

You may not.

EI:

If I may say Monty Python made a better job of it.

JC (FROM AFAR):

How do you know?

EI:

Well. We just do.

JC (FROM AFAR):

Thatís rubbish. Unless we see the Two Ronnies performing it weíll never be able to compare.

EI:

Iím sorry about this. Bare with me for one moment. (PAUSES) Do you mind?

JC (FROM AFAR):

Do I mind? Of course I bloomin mind. You come on here. Spouting rubbish about being better than the Two Ronnies and expect the British public to swallow whatever you tell them. Itís not Thatís Life you know.

(SOUNDS OF BEATING) Ouch, ow, you big bully.

EI:

Again sorry for the interruption there. I think normal service can now be resumed.

 

GROANING SOUND.

 

EI:

There was one unseen sketch that never made it to our screens. Gwyneth Guttering, a typist with the BBC, was given two scripts to type up. One intended for The Two Ronnies and the other for Monty Python. Unfortunately she mixed them up and they were never used. This evening we can bring you Gwyneth Gutteringís script. Now for something remarkably similar.

 

SCENE 8: TWO RONNIES MEET MONTY PYTHON

 

THE OPENING SCENE IS THAT OF A TRADITIONAL BRITISH PET SHOP. JOHN CLEESE (JC)  ENTERS HOLDING A LIST. RONNIE CORBETT (RC)  IS SERVING.

 

JC:

What can you do for sick squid?

RC:

Well thereís our bumper pack of food, a fish pond light or this bird table.

JC:

Nah, sick squid. What can you do for sick squid?

RC:

Six quid?

JC:

No, sick squid. My squid itís sick like.

RC:

Oh I see sir. I thought you meant six quid, six pounds.

JC:

I donít know how much it weighs.

RC:

Try our fish happy supplement sir?

 

RC HANDS OVER PACKET TO JC. JC PAUSES TO READ THE PACKET.

 

JC:

Do you have anything to stop my hares falling out?

RC:

Have you tried the chemist sir?

JC:

The chemist?

RC:

To stop your hairs falling out.

JC:

Nah, me hares falling out. They keep sitting up and boxing.

RC:

Have you tried splitting them?

JC:

Splitting hares?

RC:

Iím not trying to argue sir.

JC:

So youíve nothing to stop me hares falling out?

RC:

No. What next sir?

 

JC EXAMINES LIST.

 

JC:

Iíve got no eye deer.

RC:

No idea. Surely youíve written it on your list.

JC:

No eye deer. Iíve got three deer and theyíre all blind. Iíve got no eye deer.

RC:

Oh, I see sir. I think the vet would be better for that one. Next?

 

JC EXAMINES LIST.

 

JC:

Anything going cheap?

RC:

Just the budgerigars. (LAUGHS)

 

JC GIVES A BLANK REACTION.

 

JC:

My wifeís got a little thrush?

RC:

Youíre meaning a small songbird birdÖ arenít you, sir?

JC:

Yes.

RC:

This seed will do. Next?

JC:

Too small rabbits.

 

RC LIFTS OVER TWO SMALL RABBITS. PAUSE FOR AUDIENCE TO SIGH.

 

RC:

These do sir?

JC:

No, too small rabbits. Me rabbits theyíre too small. They needing feeding up.

RC:

Oh, I see sir. Try our superior bran.

 

HANDS OVER PACKET.

 

JC:

Do you have the runs?

RC:

I beg your pardon. Iíve had enough of this. (CALLS TO BACK OF SHOP) Mr Robinson?

 

MR ROBINSON APPEARS.

 

MR ROBINSON:

Can I help you sir?

JC:

Do you have the runs?

MR ROBINSON:

Runs sir. Very good.

 

MR ROBINSON POINTS TO RABBIT CAGES AND RUNS.

 

MR ROBINSON:

What size were you thinking of?

 

SCENE 9: CONTINUITY

 

EI:

I hope you are enjoying our little foray into the past. Of course it wasnít all The Two Ronnies and Python. Not only were they big stars but also

JC (FROM AFAR):

I canít guess whatís coming now.

EI:

You feeling better?

JC (FROM AFAR):

Just. But this is so predictable.

EI:

What do you mean?

JC (FROM AFAR):

Not only were they big stars but also Ė itís going to be Pete and Dud isnít it.

EI:

Might not be.

JC (FROM AFAR):

It is isnít it?

 

SCENE 10: PETE AND DUD

 

SCENE OPENS WITH MANY BENCHES ALONG A CANAL. ON EACH IS A PETE AND DUD. THE ĎREALí TWO SIT DOWN BUT WITH ANGEL WINGS ON THEIR BROWN COATS AND FLAT CAPS.

 

DM:

So where are we then Pete?

PC:

By the canal Dud, by the canal.

DM:

Who are all those people then Pete?

PC:

Theyíre us Dud, us.

DM:

Us Pete?

PC:

They are celebrating our lifeís work.

DM:

Are we still famous then?

PC:

Iím still famous Dud, I donít know about you though.

DM:

I was famous too, Pete.

PC:

Yes, yes you were Dud. For a short while. About forty years ago.

DM:

Why the canal then, Pete?

PC:

I suppose itís nearby.

DM:

Nearby to what?

PC:

To wherever all the other usíes came from?

DM:

Is usíes a word then Pete?

PC:

I believe so, yes Dud.

DM:

Oh, you see Iíd never heard it before.

PC:

Probably one of those words that goes way above your head. In fact many things go way above your head Dudley. I think in fact ďusíesĒ Ö

DM:

So if this canal is near then, Pete it would make it the near canal.

PC:

Thatís in contrast to the ďfar canal.Ē

DM:

Far canal, Pete?

PC:

Yes, far canal Dud.

 

DUD STARTS TO ĎCORPSEí WHILST EATING A CIABATTA.

 

PC:

Your enjoying that ciabatta arenít you Dudley.

DM:

Whatís that duck called?

PC:

Itís a Ruddy Duck, Dud.

DM:

A Ruddy Duck on the near Canal. My Mum used to bring me here when I was a boy. Stopped coming when I hitÖ you know.

PC:

You know what Dud.

DM:

You know, started to develop.

PC:

You mean when you started to get feathers on your Duck, Dud?

DM:

Thatís right Pete. Feathers on me duck.

PC:

On your Ruddy Duck, Dud.

DM:

Iíve never heard mine called a Ruddy Duck.

PC:

No but Iíve heard others say so, Dud.

DM:

So what became of us then Pete?

PC:

I donít know about you Dud but it was all the sex and drugs that finished me off.

DM:

Sex and drugs, what about the rock and roll?

PC:

That always disturbed the neighbours. I gave that up.

DM:

And the sex didnít?

PC:

It was the neighbour I was having sex with, Dud. Only when she left me did I try the rock and roll.

DM:

Is this going anywhere?

PC:

No but itís nice having had this little chat. We must do it more often.

 

SCENE 11: CONTINUITY

 

JC (FROM AFAR):

Canít we have something more up to date?

EI:

This is paying tribute to the comedy stars of the past.

JC (FROM AFAR):

At least the nineteen eighties then?

EI:

(TALKING TO THE PRODUCER) Can we shuffle it around a bit? (PAUSES). Will you stop interrupting if we go to the nineteen eighties for awhile?

JC (FROM AFAR):

Only if itís good.

 

SCENE  12: ALAS SMITH AND JONES

 

BUILDING WITH SIGN OUTSIDE ďTONIGHT. ALAS SMITH AND JONES ON STAGEĒ.

MAN1 PARKS HIS CAR, USES REMOTE CENTRAL LOCKING DEVICE AND CROSSES ROAD TO BUILDING WITH THE SIGN. MEETS MAN2 STANDING BY A PARKING METER.

 

MAN1:

Going to the Alas Smith and Jones?

MAN2:

Yes, should be great.

MAN1:

Yes. Iím really looking forward to it.

MAN2:

Do you have change for the meter?

MAN1:

In my car.

 

MAN1 THEN UNLOCKS HIS CAR FROM THIS SIDE OF THE ROAD AND PROCEEDS TO CROSS. AS HE DOES THE TRAFFIC BUILDS UP AND HE IS UNABLE TO CROSS. A THIEF HOPS INTO HIS CAR AND DRIVES IT AWAY.

 

MAN2:

Silly me. I had change all the time.

 

MAN2 THEN INSERTS COIN IN METER AND IT STARTS TO BEEP AS IT PRINTS THE TICKET. THE CAMERA PANS OUT TO A LORRY REVERSING TOWARDS HIM AND CRUSHES THE METER.

 

MAN1 ENTERS THE CONCERT, PASSING BIG SIGNS ADVERTISING ALAS SMITH AND JONES. AS HE ENTERS HE FINDS HIMSELF IN FRONT OF AN AIRPORT SECURITY CHECK. BEWILDERED HE GOES OUTSIDE AND SEES THE ALAS SMITH AND JONES SIGNS AGAIN. HE ENTERS IN AND OUT A FEW TIMES AND GETS MORE BEWILDERED. SO HE PROCEEDS THROUGH THE METAL DETECTOR. IT GOES OFF SO HE REMOVES HIS KEYS, IT GOES OFF AGAIN AND HE REMOVES HIS WATCH. IT GOES OFF AGAIN AND HE CANíT FIND ANYTHING SO HE TRIES AGAIN. IT GOES OFF AGAIN. HE THEN DOUBLE CHECKS HIS POCKETS AND PRODUCES A SMALL KNIFE WHICH HE HANDS TO THE SECURITY CHECK GUARD. HE THEN WALKS THROUGH AGAIN, NO ALARM GOES OFF. THE SECURITY GUARD AND MAN1 SMILE, MAN1 TAKES BACK HIS KNIFE AND PROCEEDS.

 

SCENE 13: ALAS SMITH & JONES (TALKING HEADS)

 

GRJ:

So what are we doing here?

MS:

Itís a celebration.

GRJ:

Celebration?

MS:

Celebration of classic television comedy.

GRJ:

Oh. So what are we doing here then?

MS:

Beats me.

GRJ:

Are you into all that old television then?

MS:

Indeed I am. I joined that Dadís Army Appreciation Society

GRJ:

Whatís that about then?

MS:

Itís an appreciation society for Dadís Army.

GRJ:

Oh. What do you do then?

MS:

We meet and discuss.

GRJ:

Discuss what?

MS:

Dadís Army

GRJ:

Oh, is there much to talk about.

MS:

Oh yes. Did you know that there are three lost episodes.

GRJ:

Three lost episodes. Well I never.

MS:

Gone, caput. Lost forever. Wiped from the BBC archives. Not a trace. Not kept on video tape anywhere.

GRJ:

Youíve not tried W H Smiths then?

MS:

No we have not. If the BBC have lost them they are lost forever.

GRJ:

Oh dear. Oh dear oh dear oh dear. Youíd have thought theyíd have taken more care wouldnít you.

MS:

Just like Doctor Who. Did you know that there are one hundred and eight missing episodes.

GRJ:

Oh dear. That is a shame.

MS:

One hundred and eight missing episodes of the travels of the time lord.

GRJ:

Why canít he go back and get them then?

MS:

Sorry.

GRJ:

Well if heís the time lord why does he not travel back in time and get them then?

MS:

Donít be ridiculous. He doesnít actually travel back in time.

GRJ:

But you said he was the time lord.

MS:

Well he does not actually travel back in time.

GRJ:

Forward in time then?

MS:

No. He does not travel in time at all.

GRJ:

Why is he called the time lord then?

MS:

Itís just make believe.

GRJ:

How do you know?

MS:

Doctor Who is just a story produced by the BBC.

GRJ:

The BBC are good at making up stories.

MS:

Like our promised new series.

GRJ:

Thatís right. Whatever happened to it?

MS:

They claimed weíd be dumbing down television.

GRJ:

Dumbing down television. Iíve never heard anything so stupid in all my life. Us dumbing down television. Whatever next.

MS:

Whatever next.

 

SCENE 14: CONTINUITY

 

JC (FROM AFAR):

What about Spitting Image?

EI:

What about it?

JC (FROM AFAR):

Arenít we going to have any?

EI:

Itís hardly comedy characters is it?

JC (FROM AFAR):

I thought we were paying homage to the heyday of BBC Television comedy.

EI:

(SOFTLY TO PRODUCER) Can we pacify him?

PRODUCER:

(SOFTLY) We could call this a Spitting Image sketch?

EI:

(SOFTLY) Iíll try it.

EI:

Okay then. A short Spitting Image sketch.

 

SCENE 15: SPITTING IMAGE

 

SHAPE OF THE USA, WITH UK BELOW ON STRINGS.

 

VOICE OF DUDLEY MOORE:

Whatís that then?

VOICE OF PETER COOK:

Itís satire. Satire for puppets

VOICE OF DUDLEY MOORE:

I was big in America

VOICE OF PETER COOK:

You were never big anywhere, Dudley.

 

SCENE 16: CONTINUITY

 

JC (FROM AFAR):

That was Pete and Dud!

EI:

No it wasnít.

 

SCENE 17: SPITTING IMAGE

 

FROM BEHIND THE SHAPE OF AMERICA A PUPPET OF GEORGE W BUSH APPEARS, DRESSED REMARKABLY LIKE THE DICK EMERY BOVVER BOY CHARACTER. CAMERA PANS OUT TO NOT ONLY SHOW THE UK IS HANGING ON STRINGS BELOW THE USA BUT IRAQ IS HANGING BELOW THE UK ON STRINGS. THE STRINGS BREAK AND IRAQ FALLS AWAY.

 

GEORGE W BUSH:

Dad, dad I think I got it wrong again.

 

SCENE 18: CONTINUITY

 

JC (FROM AFAR):

That was Dick Emery.

EI:

George W.

JC (FROM AFAR):

Dick Emery.

EI:

George W.

JC (FROM AFAR):

Itís all men anyhow.

EI:

And your point is?

JC (FROM AFAR):

(SARCASTICALLY) Well this is the twenty first century. Weíve stopped making Carry On Films you know.

EI:

Whatís that got to do with it?

JC (FROM AFAR):

Well they were sexist and full of innuendo.

EI:

And your point is? Name me one all female comedy sketch show.

JC (FROM AFAR):

French and Saunders.

EI:

(SOFTLY TO PRODUCER) Have we got any French and Saunders?

PRODUCER:

We were going to do ĎFrench and Saunders at Wimbledoní but we got part way through shooting when they fell out.

EI:

(SOFTLY TO PRODUCER) Oh dear. Not talking are they?

PRODUCER:

No. When I said they fell out. I was meaningÖ Oh never mind weíll run with it anyhow.

 

SCENE 19: FRENCH AND SAUNDERS

 

SCENE IS DAWN FRENCH PLAYING TENNIS AGAINST AN UNIDENTIFIED SLIM LOOKING FEMALE OPPONENT. THERE IS NO BALL BUT GREAT ORGASMIC GRUNTS ARE GIVEN AT EACH SWING OF THE RACKET.

 

COMMENTATOR:

Welcome to centre court in this thrilling third set between our British hopeful Dawn French and the young Russian Regina IamAVitch. Itís neck and neck out there at one set a piece. Oh no, French has just let one get away from her.

Scene shows Jennifer Saunders as her coach speaking into a microphone

 

JS:

You bloody idiot.

 

SCENE SHOWS DAWN FRENCH ADJUSTING EARPIECE. ANOTHER BALL PASSES HER.

 

JS:

Iím ruined as a coach if you donít win this match. Do you realise that? Ruined.

 

SCENE SHOWS DAWN FRENCH LOOKING ANGRILY TOWARDS JENNIFER SAUNDERS.

 

JS:

Iíve slept with your boyfriend you know.

 

SCENE SHOWS DAWN FRENCH RETURNING A ĎBALLí IN ANGER.

 

JS:

Iíve actually slept with all of your boyfriends.

 

SCENE SHOWS DAWN FRENCH RETURNING MORE ĎBALLSí IN ANGER.

 

COMMENTATOR:

A bit of a recovery from Dawn French here.

 

MORE ORGASMIC GRUNTING.

 

COMMENTATOR:

Is that rain? Just as we were reaching the climax. Is it love or deuce? I think the covers are about to come out.

 

SCENE SWITCH TO CLIFF RICHARD STANDING IN THE CROWD.

 

CR:

Got myself

COMMENTATOR:

No, I thinks that was a false alarm. Wait a moment. No, no I can see the covers coming out again.

 

SCENE SWITCH TO CLIFF RICHARD.

 

CR:

Cryiní

COMMENTATOR:

This is pandemonium here. They canít decide whether to stop the game, bring the covers out or what.

 

SCENE SWITCH TO CLIFF RICHARD.

 

CR:

Liviní doll

COMMENTATOR:

I think Sir Cliff has saved the day there. Despite the rain we are going to play on.

 

SCENE 20: CONTINUITY

 

JC (FROM AFAR):

That was silly. It started off very cleverly then descended into an appalling  mickey take of a knight of our realm.

 

EI:

And your point is?

JC (FROM AFAR):

It was just daft, barely funny at all.

EI:

And this ladies and gentlemen is nearing the end of our evening of entertainment. May I now introduce some archive footage being shown for the first ever time. Itís a recording of the first meeting between Mr Eric Morecombe and Mr Ernest Wise.

 

SCENE 21: THE PLAY WOT I WROTE (MORECOMBE AND WISE)

 

SCENE STARTS WITH EM BEHIND A DESK IN A SMALL OFFICE. EW ENTERS AND SITS OPPOSITE.

 

EM:

So you want to be a playwright?

EW:

I am a playwright.

EM:

So what are you doing here?

EW:

This is an interview for the BBC to be a playwright?

EM:

(ADLIBBING) No itís an interview with the BBC to be a playwright. The BBC will never be a playwright.

EW:

I know (SUPPRESSING CORPSING)

EM:

Just thought Iíd help you there with your lines (END OF ADLIBBING)

EW:

This is an interview to be a playwright?

EM:

Yes (ADLIBBING TO THE AUDIENCE) Ė this boy is learning. Heís good you know. Heís good.

EW:

I am a playwright.

EM:

I think weíve established that. Itís a start.

EW:

Iíve written

EM:

(CUTTING IN) What makes you think you could be a playwright for the BBC?

EW:

Iíve written

EM:

(CUTTING IN) It takes a special person to write for the BBC.

EW:

Iím sure that it does. Iíve written

EM:

(CUTTING IN) And how many plays have you written?

EW:

Oh, so many Iíve lost count.

EM:

And how many have you had performed?

EW:

Well, to date?

EM:

Yes, to date.

EW:

None. (PAUSES) The BBC keeps rejecting them.

EM:

Iíve heard that they are very choosy.

EW:

I thought if I could get a job as the resident BBC playwright then theyíd have trouble turning them down.

EM:

So how many have you written?

EW:

Youíve already asked me that.

EM:

Youíll get used to repeats at the BBC.

EW:

Iíve written one about the BBC.

EM:

Whatís it called?

EW:

The play what I wrote.

EM:

Yes, the play what you wrote.

EW:

No the play what I wrote.

EM:

Yes, thatís what I said.

EW:

No you said the play what you wrote.

EM:

Iíve not written any plays.

EW:

I know. But the play I wrote is called ďThe play what I wroteĒ

EM:

I see and whatís it about?

EW:

A struggling playwright continually getting turned down by the BBC.

EM:

And you felt qualified to write such a play.

EW:

Yes.

EM:

Excellent. Iím sure we can inspire you some more. May I take a look?

EW:

Well, Iíve not actually brought it with me.

EM:

Whatís that there in your hand?

EW:

Thatís a play about an overweight Australian criminal.

EM:

Whatís it called?

EW:

The outsized fed belly.

 

DRAMATIC MUSIC.

 

EM:

Not the outsized fed belly.

 

EW LOOKS AROUND TO THE MUSIC.

 

EM:

We made half the sound effect guys redundant but the union insisted we kept them on. We only use them in interviews now. May I take a look?

EW:

Itís still in draft format.

EM:

What else?

EW:

A play about the life and times of Lady Churchill.

EM:

Whatís it called?

EW:

A knight with Clementine.

 

DRAMATIC MUSIC.

 

EM:

Not a knight with Clementine. May I take a look?

EW:

(CHANGING THE SUBJECT) Thereís a spy thriller staring Alec Guinness.

EM:

Alec Guinness is dead.

EW:

Most great actors are!

EM:

Whatís it called?

EW:

Tinker Tailor Hello Sailor.

EM:

Not Tinker Tailor Hello Sailor.

 

EW LOOKS AROUND TO THE LACK OF DRAMATIC MUSIC.

 

EM:

(IN EXPLANATION) Tea break. They had to fight for it. May I take a  look?

EW:

Erm (STALLING)

EM:

Youíve not brought any plays with you. Have you?

EW:

No.

EM:

In fact let me put it to you that all youíve got there is your rejection letters from the BBC. (GRABS ONE) Dear Mr Wise. Thank you for your idea about the life and times of Charles Schulz entitled ďWriting for PeanutsĒ but without the script we have to reject it on this occasion.Ē (LOOKING UP) Youíve never written a play have you?

EW:

No.

EM:

Just titles.

EW:

Yes.

EM:

You just come up with titles donít you?

EW:

Yes.

EM:

Goodbye Mr Wise.

 

EW STARTS TO LEAVE.

 

EM:

No, ďGoodbye Mr WiseĒ is the title of my new play.

EW:

You only have the title donít you?

EM:

Yes.

EW:

Perhaps I can help you.

EM:

Good I was hoping youíd say that.

 

PANS OUT TO THE TWO HUDDLING TOGETHER DISCUSSING.

 

SCENE 22: CONTINUITY

 

EI:

And now here is the news.

JC (FROM AFAR):

You havenít done Benny Hill yet.

EI:

And now here is the news.

 

SCENE 23: BENNY HILL READING THE NEWS

 

BENNY HILL WITH A HEADSET ON, PRESENTING A RADIO SHOW. BEHIND HIM IS A SIGN SAYING ĎRADIO ULSTERí. BENNY HILL DOES THE ANNOUNCEMENT IN AN IRISH ACCENT.

 

BH:

That was the news. And now time for a phone in.

 

PHONE IN JINGLE.

 

BH:

Hello caller.

CALLER:

Hello there Benny, Patrick calling.

BH:

Hello there Pat?

CALLER:

So you know me then?

BH:

Go ahead caller.

CALLER:

Well I want to complain about the English visiting Ulster and continually complaining about how often we use the word feck.

BH:

Nothing wrong with a good feck.

CALLER:

Thatís right Benny. Only we Irish can make is sound musical. I work in the hotel business and the other day an English visitor said he could only make out half of what I was saying now. He asked me to stop saying feck all the time.

BH:

Did that help?

CALLER:

No, he then claimed he could not understand a word I was saying. Told me I was a feckless hotelier.

BH:

Next caller please.

CALLER:

Hello there Benny. Patrick calling.

BH:

Hello there Pat?

CALLER:

So you know me then?

BH:

Go ahead caller.

CALLER:

I want to complain about the sewer system on the south side of the city. Itís not working again.

BH:

I hear the water company say theyíll be looking into it.

CALLER:

They need to do something. Thatíll be the third (PRONOUNCED TURD) blockage this week.

 

SCENE 24: CONTINUITY

 

JC (FROM AFAR):

I thought that was going to be The Two Ronnies.

EI:

And now here is the news.

 

SCENE 25: RONNIE CORBETT AT THE NEWS DESK

 

RC:

Here is the news. There was confusion today at the funeral of Herbert Pocket, Britainís most loved football referee. When the choir sang the traditional referee anthem, ďWhoís the bastard dressed in blackĒ the vicar walked out. This followed earlier confusion when 83 year old Sir Clive Tingley, Britainís most celebrated Sudoka Compiler, was buried in the same church yard.  It took over an hour and a half to find a suitable grave site which did not have another grave with an 8 or a 3 on it in the same row, column or within two graves.

 

SCENE 26: CONTINUITY

 

BBC GLOBE SPINNING AS OF 1970S TV

 

EI:

And now here is the news.

JC (FROM AFAR):

You just did the news.

EI:

Well that brings us nearly to the end of our little show. I hope you enjoyed it. We were going to bring you Match of the Day next but due to industrial action by scene shifters that has been cancelled.

JC (FROM AFAR):

Strike by scene shifters cancelling match of the day. Thatís ridiculous. You donít have scene shifters on Match of the Day.

EI:

Well thatís what it says here.

JC (FROM AFAR):

Poppycock.

EI:

If we had been showing match of the day itíd now be my duty to say George Best is currently playing at the theatre of dreams, Old Trafford Manchester.

 

GEORGE BEST CHARACTER RUNS ON AND KICKS THE GLOBE AWAY.

 

JC (FROM AFAR):

But you didnít show Match of the Day. So why say where George Best is playing?

EI:

We donít want to risk upsetting the union.

JC (FROM AFAR):

Oh my we donít want to upset the unions do we now. You yellow bellied ba

EI:

And thatís all we have time for.

 

THE END

 

© Steve Smith
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