Sunday, 19 June 2016

Now that I Own the BBC

I love this piece. This is me. This is my humour all the way through. If I ever find an outlet that could possibly take this I will delete this post instantly. I'm feeling generous though, or vicious. Enjoy, or don't. The picture is a still from this, from which this piece also gets its title.

On screen there is an animation of hippos swimming in a circle. A logo emerges, then a voice:

Voiceover: Coming up next on Sky Mandatory, Pro-Celebrity Slug Tennis, but now it's time for the National Lottery draw coming live from the Salford Special Economic Zone, presented by Ruby Breslin and Rick Coles.

Cut to a shot of a television studio. The audience, lighting and set are all visible. The camera sweeps rapidly across the room toward the two presenters, who are both smiling, waving, wincing and shuffling with practiced humility. The audience applauds. The camera hits its mark. There is a big cheer. Cut to a three-quarter shot of Ruby and Rick standing together. They each look at the camera. The applause dies down. There is a brief pause. The presenters suddenly look uncomfortable. The sound of cackling is audible but is hastily faded down. The presenters relax and begin.

Ruby Breslin: Hi, I'm Ruby Breslin, probably faultless to a T, why have I been picked for this?

Rick Coles: [Hands in pockets] And I'm Rick Coles, instantly forgettable and yet [points] with a latent hint of menace, a sinister avatar for TV masculinity.

Together: Welcome to the National Lottery draw!

Cut to montage of bright, meaningless graphics, sound tracked by a hit pop song.

Voiceover: Live from the recently liberated Special Economic Zone!

Cut to head and shoulders shot of Ruby Breslin. The cackling is faintly audible again.

RB: [To camera] Now... folks...

Cackling fades out.

RB: This week is another roll-over week.

Audience: Woo! 

RC: [Off camera] Third week in a row, Ruby.

A quick cut to Rick from the wrong angle.

RC: That's the smallest prime number.

Voiceover: No it isn't...

Back to Ruby.

RB: That's right, Rick.

V: No it isn't!

RB: [Shakes head - smiles] Anyway, I see circles within circles, help me. What's the prize this week?

RC: [Leans into shot and rests head on Ruby's shoulder] Nobody knows.

Audience says "woo!" backwards. Rick stands upright. Cut to head and shoulders shot of Rick.

RC: But it's getting bigger! [Woodenly] Ha, ha, ha, but that's not all. Tonight we've got special musical guests, we're not going to...

Static, audible gibberish and distortion temporarily resolves into rear-view, ground-level footage of a naked, liver-spotted old man running down a dimly lit hallway, howling, then back to the studio.

RC: [Gesturing to audience] THERE ARE SEVEN LEVELS!

Audience convulses in laughter. Rick folds his arms, looking pleased with himself then he points.

RC: Ruby, I think we should call a paramedic. That woman's head is about to explode.

Two men in high-vis vests emerge from behind the stage, trotting along, carrying a stretcher. They disappear from shot. Cut to Ruby.

RB: [Serious face] Before all that we would like to take an important moment to acknowledge the special work [distracted] my goodness, the raspberries, the, uh, the special, important work people do that [there is a short gasp followed by a wet, cracking sound - Ruby laughs] Too late for some...! Where was I? We must acknowledge work special important done people acknowledge. [Smiles] Watch this short film while someone cleans up the mess. 

The sound is lowered and Ruby silently bursts into laughter. Cut to a two minute film about a young man's search for gills then cut to three-quarter short of Ruby and Rick together. Ruby is now wearing an ARP helmet. Rick meanwhile has a foot long beard that wriggles independently. Sound fades up.

RB: Important work there.

RC: [Echoes] Important work here, there are known knowns. 

New shot: Rick Coles turns to a camera on his left.

RC: There's no time like the present. Like the time no present. Present no time than like. Like time like present. Present time to give a warm salute to...

Feint cackling resumes.

RC: What's that sound?

Voiceover: NEVER MIND!

Both Ruby and Rick jump as if startled. The cackling fades out.

Voiceover: [Narky] Get on with it.

RC: OK, it's time for our first special guest. Here to push the button and start the draw it's A Cardboard Cut-Out of Heston Blumenthal.

A cardboard cut-out of Heston Blumenthal is wheeled on stage by two men dressed in grey overalls and put next to Rick. The audience applauds for exactly seven seconds.

RC: So, Heston, [claps hands] has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go what to do more like?

Ninety seconds of complete silence and motionlessness. Cut across various cameras randomly.

RC: Heston Blumenthal, everybody!

V: No it isn’t!

More applause. The cardboard cut-out is wheeled back off stage. Cut to head and shoulder shot of Ruby.

RB: Now...


RB: The moment...

Rising screams.

RB: [Shouting above the noise] That moment you've ALL been waiting for...!


RB: Yes, the rumours are true. [Almost inaudible] They're back, fresh from their tour of the underworld. It's Cootie Dinners with their new single: Hrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Voiceover: That's an anagram, folks!

RB: Sure is!

Ruby steps out of shot. Four young male corpses appear and advance on the audience, arms outstretched. For the next three minutes they savage and devour various people then cut to Ruby and Rick and the Cardboard Cut Out of Heston Blumenthal standing around an elaborate tombola, spinning.

RB: [Over the ongoing noise] Without further ado let's get to the numbers. How has it come to this?

RC: I like turtles Ruby.

RB: Thanks for that Rick, I like your beard. OK, Heston, if you will.

Voiceover: The Cardboard Cut-Out of Heston Blumenthal would like to wish everyone good luck.

Somehow the cut-out manages to press the button to release balls into the tombola.

V: OK everybody... first ball out tonight is... [tense synthesiser sounds] ZERO! That's never happened before.

Sound of mad laughter re-emerges.

V: The next number is... zero again!

Laughter gets louder then devolves into howling.

V: Third up is... zero. I think I know where this is going... If this continues... another zero... folks it might, yep [another zero emerges], it's going to... [zero] and the bonus ball... zero... there it is...

A vortex opens up in the tombola.

V: A singularity... to produce... ineffable doorway to infinity.

The vortex expands. Out steps a man, an old, liver-spotted man, balding, naked and dripping with ooze.

Everyone: All hail Definitely Not Rupert Murdoch!

Definitely Not Rupert Murdoch tips his head back and howls. His spine cracks and stegosaurus plates emerge. His arms become distended and his fingers become claws. He sweats sewage. His penis detaches itself and crawls away. Definitely Not Rupert Murdoch stops howling, tilts his head forward now and opens his mouth to reveal a pharyngeal jaw. Everything else falls silent. The Jaw speaks.

Jaw: We are sorry for what has just happened. We are sorry but we realise that apologies are not enough. In the coming days we will take concrete steps to resolve the problems that have occurred and make amends for the damage we have allowed to happen. You will hear more from us. Oh yes. Come now, Mr Coles, Ms Breslin.

Rick and Ruby climb into a pantomime horse costume. Definitely Not Rupert Murdoch mounts the horse.

J: We must ride.

Rick/Ruby rears up.

Rick/Ruby: Neigh!

J: And come, come, my apes of death.

Cootie Dinners return to shot. They have devolved into skinless, simian beings.

J: We will not have vanquished the BBC just to have filthy leftist subversion sneak in by the back door. Brothers, to battle!

Definitely Not Rupert Murdoch batters down the set to reveal the cold wasteland of public broadcasting before charging off into the sunset.

Credits roll.

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