Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you very much indeed. Thanks.
Uh, ta. Um… Grazie. Hello, ladies and gentlemen.
I don’t know if you know what this is. I expect most of you will recognise it.
It’s a brain. A human brain. But I wonder if you know whose brain it is. But before I tell you, I should let you into
a little secret. I’ve, for some years now, been earning myself quite a reputation
as something of a practical joker. And what’s happened is this, that earlier this
evening, I crept into Hugh’s dressing room while he was asleep, and very carefully, took out his brain,
making sure not to wake him up. So this is Hugh’s brain.
He’s about to come on any minute, so let’s see if he notices anything’s amiss. Um… Here he comes. -Hello. Hello, Hugh, what’ve you been up to?
-Hi. Oh, I’ve just been watching that Noel Edmonds
on television. Oh, he’s just… Oh. -I see.
-Oh, dear. He is brilliant, that is fantastic. -You feeling all right, are you, Hugh?
-Yeah, fine, fine. -Yeah.
-And then I saw a bit of an interview with Kenneth Baker. Oh, that man is fantastic. -Really?
-Oh, well, he’s just what this country needs, he’s… He’s firm, he’s courageous. And his views on education, well, I mean, they’re just so enlightened and
sophisticated and enthralling. Well, of course,
he’s an utterly enthralling man. Well, we can see what’s happened
but I don’t think he’s got a clue, has he? -Hugh, do you recognise this?
-It’s a cauliflower. He’s been a great sport,
hasn’t he, ladies and gentlemen? -What are you off to do now, Hugh?
-I’m going to write a letter to Points of View. I think I may have gone too far. Well, not without falling over
and hitting someone rather old. Gerald Kaufman is a member of the Labour Party, and Daphne du Maurier lived in Cornwall,
is that it? No? Yep, I like to eat Greek
at least once in a time, Gordon. It’s… -It’s a plain cuisine, simply prepared.
-Yeah, I’m not averse myself, Stuart. -No?
-I’m substantially partial to a plate of Greek. -Substantially partial.
-Good. Well, we won’t worry about this. I’ll chat to the top waiter personally. This is strictly for the walk-in punters. -Right you be.
-Ah, listen to that bazooka music, Gordon. -East meets West.
-Yeah, love it. Yeah, of course,
there’s a lot to be learnt from your Greeks,
you know. After all,
they gave us the word “civilisation”. I thought that was the Romans. Yeah, well,
ethnically the same peoples, Gordon. Also, of course, they gave us the word
“economics”. Very sharp folk, your Greeks. And, of course, the word “genoymeen”. -What?
-The word “genoymeen”. Only, I think we gave
that one back straightaway. Yeah, yeah. Oh, yeah, very tough folk your Hellenics,
tough as the rocks and boulders that shape the islands
and hills of their landscape. I wouldn’t be surprised if there wasn’t
a lesson in there somewhere, Stu. Certainly there is. I’ve often thought of putting
out a paper on the correlation between landscape and business acumen. You could really set fire to some arses
with a paper like that. -I hope so. I hope so.
-Yeah, with a theory of that kind, I reckon the Institute of Executive Salesman
would just go ape crazy on all fours. It wouldn’t surprise me.
I mean, take my own case, for example. Myself, way back when,
my folks originally hailed from Yorkshire. You see what’ve we got? We’ve got limestone
uplands, unforgiving moors and scarred dales. A beautiful, uncompromising,
hard and wide nurse of men. Yeah, but you were born in Surrey. Yeah, but the limestone’s in my blood, Gordon.
It’s in the way I do business. -So, where are you from first off?
-Lincolnshire. Ah, you see? Flat, sodden, yielding, chalky,
cautious. Always late for meetings. Well, Lincolnshire’s flat, Stu,
but I wouldn’t say
it was always late for meetings. Yeah, maybe I’ll do that,
maybe I’ll put that paper out after all. Service is a bit slow, isn’t it? Ah, you see,
that’s your typical lowlanders reaction.
That’s got Lincolnshire written all over it. You got to understand that the Greek
does things at his own tempo, you know, natural rhythms and cycles deep within them.
The Yorkshireman in me respects that. Yeah, but we don’t want to be late
for the basketball game. Right. Service here,
let’s get some action at this table. Good afternoon, my lovely friends. -Okay, kali spera.
-Ah, is lunch time. You mean kali mera. Yeah, well, obviously in some dialects, yeah. Good, good. So… The dish of the day is octopus. Yeah, I know that, Gordon, I know that.
I’m well aware. Now, this octopus, where was it caught? Where was it caught?
What a question. In the sea. Yeah, right. So that should be okay, Gordon,
if you want to have that. I don’t know. So? -What?
-And for you. Oh, I’ll have the same
the parakalo, definitely. Certainly, gentlemen. Oh, and we ought to order up some wine
while we’re at it, shouldn’t we? I just did that, Stu. Oh, yeah, of course you did. Sorry, Gordon. I was miles away there. He’s a bit forward, isn’t he?
All that “my lovely friend” stuff. Ah, well, you see, Gordon,
he’s spotted a kindred spirit. What he’s done is he’s spotted
the craggy moorlander in me and he knows that we’re clients
to be treated with respect. Not your average, walk-in,
quick turnover merchants. Ah, dolmades for my two beautiful
English gentlemen. -Great.
-Looks good. Ah, it’s very good. To my special friends, eh? -What is this?
-Dolmades. Stuffed vine leaves. Stuffed vine leaves?
Is he trying to take us for a ride? -No, it’s a classic Greek dish.
-A classic Greek… Gordon, what am I?
A peasant or a busy executive? -Everything all right, my absolute darlings?
-Yes, everything’s fine, thank you. Yup. My friend doesn’t like dolmades. -But you asked for dolmades.
-Yes, he didn’t know what they were. I knew…
No, everything’s just fine, thank you. Come on, Gordon, let’s get out of here.
This is just a tourist trap. -In Stevenage?
-Why not? But this is good, Stuart. Jesus, Gordon, these guys must’ve
seen you just coming a mile off. Don’t you want your dolmades, then? Do I want to push a stuffed vine leaf
through my face? No, incredibly, I don’t. Well, if you don’t mind, I’ll have yours.
I’m starving. Oh, that is it, this wine is corked. It can’t be corked, it’s got a metal top. Don’t get clever. Just taste it. Waiter! -Delicious.
-Delicious? It’s got something in it. -Yes, my excellent friends.
-It’s resinated. -Exactly. Waiter, this wine is… What was it?
-Resinated. -This wine is resinated in the bottle.
-Yes, it’s retsina. It’s supposed to be like that, Stu.
They add pine needle resins. Yeah, thanks for your input, Gordon,
but I hope I know my wines. I didn’t fork out on an encyclopedia
of world wines for nothing. The retsina is very good. This is a very good one, actually.
It’s one of the best I’ve ever tasted.
What is it? You’re going to invite me
to the wedding, presumably? -What?
-Give me pardon? You two are getting married, I take it. -Oh, Stuart.
-No, no, obviously. I mean, a six-year friendship
just goes out the window if you’re gonna start siding
with some Greek-o against me. I think, maybe, everything’s not so right
for my two lovers, eh? And you can cut that out for a start. -Listen, Stuart…
-No, you listen, mush. While you were marking time doing
linguaphone courses of the ancient world, I was out there pounding the streets
of Tiverton learning the selling trade. -Stuart…
-While you tanned your hairy arse on the nude beaches of Crete,
or wherever it was, swilling turpentine and stuffing vine leaves
with a bunch of perverts,
I was out there getting my masters degree in the university of hard knocks
and tough surprises. I make no apologies, mister,
to you or your fancy lover boy. Stuart, where are you going? -I can do you an omelet if you like, sir.
-Ah, forget it. I’ve had enough, Gordon. I’m going out for an honest British kebab. Daphne du Maurier is a novelist
and Gerald Kaufman is bald. Is that it? -Now, Theresa, you are a…
-A costume designer. A costume designer, right, yes. And you’ve put
together this magnificent costume for me to wear in the next sketch. I suppose a lot of people must be very keen
to know where you actually start from -when designing a costume.
-Well, obviously, the first thing to do -is to start from the script.
-Right. As a costume designer,
we have to read the script to get a feel for what the
writer’s trying to do for the period and for whatever little details
there are that will help the story. -Right. To fit the character and so on.
-Precisely. Yeah. I suppose you must have to be
quite a historian, really, to know about the details
of the period and how wide the lapels
were and all that sort of thing. That’s right, because obviously audiences
are so quick to spot mistakes. -Are they?
-Oh, yes. They’ll write in about the tiniest detail
if they think you haven’t got it right. -Really?
-I once had a letter… Well, that’s incredible. Well, let’s… Let’s hope that nobody writes in
about this next sketch. -Fingers crossed.
-Fingers crossed, exactly. -Theresa, thank you very much.
-Oh, my pleasure. Right. Well, here goes. “Dear Mr Povey, thank you
for your letter of the 14th. “I’m enclosing your application herewith
as the vacancy has already been filled.” Sorry I’m late, Brian.
The traffic was an absolute pig. That’s all right, I was just catching up
on some correspondence. -Yeah, it’s good to get it out of the way, isn’t it?
-Exactly. Right, now, shall we crack on? As I see it, there are a number of routes
we can take. -Yeah. Care to list them for me?
-Sure. We can tackle the problem of restructuring
distribution lag almost immediately. -Can I just interrupt you here?
-Certainly, Peter. -Thanks.
-Pleasure. The second option is a little more drastic and that’s to examine
the initial premise of setting up distribution as a lateral department. -Ah, now, well, you see, that may not be popular.
-Exactly. But then again, you and I didn’t get into this
business in order to be popular, did we? I hoped you’d say that, Peter,
and you haven’t let me down on that score. -Oh, blast.
-What? -Sorry, I’ve still… I’ve still got my watch on.
-Oh, no. -Well, no, somebody would have noticed.
-You’re right. Sorry. Daphne du Maurier wrote Rebecca and Gerald Kaufman has extremely strong
views on community policing. That must be it. -Say “99”.
-99. Say “thank you”. Thank you. Say “breasts”. Breasts. Hmm. “R”. R. -Good.
-Good. Yes. Do your shirt up now, Mr Pepperdyne. Everything… everything as it should be? I don’t think there’s anything to worry about. Now, you say you’ve had a little difficulty
breathing at nights? -Ah, yes. That’s right, yeah.
-Been bringing up any sputum? -Er, no, not really.
-Any yellow or green in your phlegm, blood? -No.
-Mmm-hmm. A bit of tightness in the chest? -Ah, yes, a little, yeah.
-Uh-huh. Headaches? What, apart from the children, you mean?
No. Not really, no. Um… Right. Well, I think I’m going
to put you on a course of these. I don’t know if you’ve ever had them before.
One 20 times a day. What are they? Well, it’s a simple arsinous monoxide
nicotinal preparation -taken bronchially as an infumation.
-An infumation? Yes, you light the end and breathe in. -Oh, like cigarettes?
-Oh, you know them, then? Yes, little hard for a doctor to admit,
but they’re basically a herbal remedy. -Oh, herbal cigarettes.
-That’s right, yes. Um, the leaf originally comes from America,
I believe. It’s called tobacco. -But medicated?
-Medicated? No. -What? These are ordinary cigarettes?
-That’s right. But they’re terribly bad for you, aren’t they? I hardly think I’d be prescribing them
if they were bad for you, would I? -What, 20 a day?
-That’s right, ideally rising to 30 or 40 if they begin to be…
If they seem to be doing the trick. But these give you lung cancer and bronchitis
and emphysema, don’t they? What on earth gave you that idea? -Well, I thought everybody knew that.
-Are you a doctor? -No, but it stands to reason.
-What are you talking about, stands to reason? You wouldn’t know what a pair of
lungs did if you hadn’t been told, would you? It’s taken mankind thousands of years
to work out what a heart does, what blood vessels are for, what kidneys do. And now, just because you’ve read
a few weedy magazine articles, you think you know more about
the human body than I do? -No, but it can’t be natural, can it?
-It’s a perfectly natural leaf. Yes, but setting fire to it and inhaling. It’s more natural
than Baked Alaska or nylon socks. Yeah, well, yes,
but you don’t inhale nylon socks.
At least, I don’t. A bit of leaf smoke to loosen the lungs,
clear the head, ease that tightness. Perfectly sound. You’ll be telling me that cholesterol
isn’t bad for you next. What’s cholesterol? -Well, you know…
-Yes, I know perfectly well, but I don’t suppose you’d even heard
of it until about five years ago, had you? -You’d die without the stuff.
-Yes, but too much is bad for you. But of course too much is bad for you.
Too much of anything is bad for you,
you blithering twat. That’s what “too much” means,
too much water would be bad for you. Obviously, too much is precisely that quantity
which is excessive, that’s what it means. Jesus. -Well, I thought…
-You thought? You didn’t think at all, did you? Cigarettes are healing, harmless and natural. Well, if you don’t mind,
I’d like a second opinion. -That is your privilege.
-Right. My second opinion is that they are also
cheap, stylish and nutritious. -Really?
-Yep, and if you want a third opinion, I’ll tell you that they’re
healing, soothing and sexy. -Well, that seems to clinch it.
-Exactly. 20 a day rising to 30 or 40 as necessary. -And the tightness in the chest?
-Should disappear completely. -Right, well, you’re the doctor.
-Hmm? -I said, “You’re the doctor.”
-What on earth gives you that idea? -Well, you did.
-You’re pathetic, aren’t you? I’m a tobacconist. Isn’t it obvious? Well, no. Well, I do grant you it does look
a little bit more like a doctor’s
surgery than a tobacconist’s. But why? Because you’re the kind of git
that falls for that sort of thing, that’s why. It’s the same reason that cosmetics sales staff
wear white coats, because fools like you think that something
with a Swiss name that calls itself a skin treatment is better for you
than a tub of cold cream,
which is all you’re actually getting. You’re a credulous git, Mr Pepperdyne. A stethoscope and a plausible manner
do not make a doctor. I’m a conman. And you are a moron. -So you’re not a doctor?
-Could be. What do you think? -You really want to know?
-I’d be fascinated. Well, I think you’ve taken a reasonably
interesting idea and you’ve basically just completely
overworked it. I think what started out as quite an interesting statement
on our susceptibility to received ideas, has just turned into a rambling, vague,
ill thought out piece of drivel, frankly. And I think you ought to end it now. -Oh, really?
-Yeah. Well, I think that shows
you’ve just completely… No, I can’t read that. I’m a Methodist. Oh, out loud? Oh, sorry. Um… It… Who wrote this? I can’t… I can’t read that.
There’s nothing there. Oh, why’d you put it on the back? I can’t read. You know, some of the funniest things
that ever happen here in TV never actually make it to our screens. I’m talking about the out-takes or mistakes that we here in television land
get so embarrassed about. Here’s one of my all-time favourites.
It’s a great blooper and it was recorded for an edition of
Open University way back in 1973. As we can see, if we increase
the non-reflexive integers in the equation by a quantity denoted by D5,
the parallel quantities D3 and D7 are inverted in the same direction, giving us a resultant modular quantity
of 0.567359. Now, this should begin to give us some clues
as to where the… Sorry, Brian, I’m sorry.
I’m sorry, I’ve got to stop you there. What? What’s happened? You said… You said 0.567359. -Oh, no, I didn’t, did I?
-Yes! -It should be 0.567395.
-395. I don’t believe it. Oh, no! F… hell! Oh, Christ! Oh, that was marvellous. 567359. Oh, dear. Vic. I killed her because she said she was going
to marry Noel Edmonds. Until then, she’d really been
pretty much a model daughter. Oh, every time, every time. The judge was very sympathetic,
thank goodness. -Oh, hello, Murchison.
-Oh, Control. You gave me quite a fright there. -I nearly spilt your coffee.
-Oh, that’s all right. I can easily mop up that quite small drop
just here and, anyway, it was very kind of you to bring me in
any coffee at all. Not at all. I was coming in anyway
and I thought, “Why not bring Control a cup? “It’s 11:00,
I’d expect he’d welcome some coffee.” Greatly appreciated. I spoke to Valerie and she said
you like a little bit of milk,
not too much, and no sugar. -I hope that’s right.
-That’s exactly how I like my coffee. I suppose I’d better tell you why I came in. Yes, did you have something
you wish to say to me, or perhaps you’d like to ask me a question? It’s sort of a mixture of both really, Control. Do you remember how some time ago
we decided to put a tail on that new cultural attaché
at the Russian Embassy? Yes, I remember it very well. We thought he might be a spy
working for the KGB. So I said, “Why not follow him around a bit “and see if he does anything
that might look suspicious.” That’s right.
We gave him the codename Big Bad Wolf. And you said it would be a good idea
if we put Philip and his F-division in charge of the surveillance. That’s right. Operation Coathanger we called it
if memory serves. You were sitting over there,
it was quite a rainy day, and Philip was standing by the desk. Yes, although, if you remember, it was before you moved
your desk round this way,
so Philip would have been over there. Oh, yes. I must say, I much prefer it like this.
I don’t think I’ll go back. I can see all the door and I’ve got
quite a nice view over St Giles Circus. That must be nice. Anyway, I’m afraid it looks as if
Big Bad Wolf probably is a spy after all. Oh, dear.
Just as well we took the trouble to check up. It does show that it’s always worth
chasing things up thoroughly. Has he been meeting
known KGB agents, then? Yes, I’m afraid he has,
as you can see for yourself. I must say, I like this folder. -Didn’t the old ones used to be buff coloured?
-That’s right. It was Valerie’s idea to change over
to the new blue ones. She thought it might cheer the place up a bit. Very nice, too. Ah, “Big Bad Wolf has a meeting
with Colonel Andreyev in John Lewis’.” Do you think Philip took this
surveillance photograph himself? -It does look like Philip’s handiwork, doesn’t it?
-Hmm. You can’t see which department they’re in. Well, I do hope Big Bad Wolf
hasn’t been stealing any of our secrets or trying to persuade any of our agents
to defect to the East. That would be pretty galling, wouldn’t it? I tell you what,
you’d better leave this with me, Murchison. -Are you going to tell the Minister?
-I shall have to do that, yes. Meanwhile, Philip had better
keep up his surveillance. Would you like me to tell him to do that?
I shall be seeing him later on today. Would you?
That would certainly save me the trouble. No problem. -Right, well, thank you.
-You’re welcome. Anyway, I’d better get back to my office now. The Prague desk is in a bit of a flap. Uh-oh. I won’t keep you, then. I’ll let you know if anything else crops up. Thanks, Tony. Oh, and thank you again
for the coffee. It tasted very nice. An absolute pleasure. Bye-bye, Control. Bye-bye, Murchison. Well, I just told him to stuff it. But he said that it’d been dead too long. Douglas Hurd, that’s a tricky one.
Um… cauliflower? Just turn the handle. Look, look, turn the handle.
What’s the matter with you? Nothing. Why can’t you just…
Look, I didn’t carry this thing all the way from the bloody car park
just to turn the handle and walk in. Well, I’m going to if it’s all right with you. You do what you want,
I’m going to knock this bloody door down. Well, close it, close it. -What do you want?
-Mrs Catherine Popey? Yes. Oh! -Who are you?
-Sorry to disturb you, madam, we’re making some routine door-to-door
enquiries in the neighbourhood, and we wondered if we might come in. -Finished.
-Well, why didn’t you ring the bell? You see, I knew this was going to happen.
She’s asking why we didn’t ring the bell now. Oh, um, we thought you were out. -No, no, no, that’s the wrong answer.
-Was that not right? -We didn’t want to disturb you.
-No, no. No? If we’d rung the bell, there would’ve been no point
in my having carried this sledgehammer -all the way from the car park.
-I see. Yep, I think we might have got away
with that one. Good. Now then, Mrs Popey,
if you’d just like to sit down. -I like them. They’re good, aren’t they?
-Yeah. -I’d better turn the volume down…
-Yeah, all right. -He’s crazy that one. Great.
-He’s crazy. Right, Mrs Popey, your husband, is he at home? -What?
-Your husband, is he at home at the current time? -I haven’t got a husband.
-No husband. I see. -Well, when do you expect him back?
-What? -No, no. That is the wrong question.
-Was that wrong? It’s not right? -Now…
-Well, when do you expect her back? Mrs Popey, computer trace currently indicates
that you are the holder of one husband. Well, I’m not. I see. Well, I’ll have my colleagues
duly amend the record accordingly. -Now, then, Mrs Popey.
-Yes? Your husband’s been a bit busy lately,
hasn’t he? -What?
-He’s been giving us a right run around. He’s a scumbag, that’s what he is. He’s a great, big bag of scum. Scumming around in a big bag,
that’s what he is.
He always has been and he always will be. I haven’t got a husband. I’m not married. You can take the scum out of the bag,
but you can’t take the bag out of the scum. -Yeah.
-Boil in the bag scum, that’s what he is. Yeah, my colleague may be putting it
a little bit more forthright than
I would myself, Mrs Popey, but then I like to think
that’s why we work so well together. -We compliment each other.
-Really? Yes. Watch this.
You’re looking very smart today. Oh, thank you. That’s a very nice haircut. You see? Teamwork. Now, then, Mrs Popey, this husband of yours… Oh, for heaven’s sake. How many times do I have
to tell you? I haven’t got a husband. -Well…
-25. Excuse me just for a moment, Mrs Popey?
What? She’s got to tell us 25 times
that she hasn’t got a husband. Why? -Once for every day in the week.
-No. -That doesn’t… No.
-That doesn’t help. All right, then. Once for every year
he’s going to spend inside, the scumbag. Look, I don’t know who you are, or why you want to speak to a husband
I haven’t got, but I’m telling you… I assure you, Mrs Popey,
we don’t want to speak to him. -Oh, don’t you?
-No. No, no, no. Speak to him? No. I think you’ve been watching
too much television, Mrs Popey. Well, whatever.
The point is, I haven’t got a husband, and, therefore, do you think it’s possible
that you could have the wrong house? -No, no, no.
-No, no, no, no, no, no, no. -No.
-We’ve already been there. -Where?
-The wrong house. -We’ve just come from the wrong house.
-That’s right. What my colleague says
is substantially correct, Mrs Popey. We have just come from the wrong house.
So your argument doesn’t really stand up,
does it? No, that argument falls straight over. -Yeah, just lies there.
-Yeah. Now, well, since you claim to be alone
in the house, Mrs Popey, I’m sure you won’t mind
if we have a quick look around? -How quick?
-Oh, very quick. Very quick, I assure you. Well, help yourself. -There. That didn’t hurt, did it?
-Well, it did, actually, in fact. Just whatever you do, don’t wake up my son. -Oh.
-Oh. -I beg your pardon.
-Oh, so do I. Yes, I beg it as well. My son is asleep upstairs
and I’d rather you didn’t wake him. Now, just a moment, Mrs Popey,
just one moment. Whoa, there, boy! Whoa! Your son? -But you told us you didn’t have a husband.
-Well, I haven’t. Mrs Popey, Mrs Popey. Mrs Popey, Mrs Popey. Mrs Popey, Mrs Popey. We may be stupid, but we’re not clever. How can you have a son
if you haven’t got a husband? -That sounds rather miraculous to me.
-He was a sailor. -I see, in the navy, was he?
-No, the NatWest. Yeah, well, we’ll leave that for the moment,
Mrs Popey. Now this… this putative son of yours. Now, you say that he… Sorry. -You say that he’s upstairs?
-Yes, he’s asleep. What, tired, is he? I’m not surprised he’s tired after
the merry dance he’s been leading us. -Yeah, very merry dance he’s led us, yeah.
-Yeah. Right gay gavotte. -Ha, ha, ha, ha, I’m so merry.
-I think, if it’s all the same to you, Mrs Popey, you’d better ask this son of yours
to come downstairs and answer a few questions. Only if you promise to leave
as soon as you’ve finished. I assure you, Mrs Popey, we shall leave
just as soon as we’ve finished being here. -What a charming woman.
-Oh, a charming, super delightful woman. -Yes.
-Yes. -And rather a fabulous taste in decor.
-Oh, I agree. I agree entirely, yes. The furnishings and fitments are very A-one. -Exactly. I mean, look at these sofa coverings.
-They’re lovely. -They’re durable.
-Probably washable, I shouldn’t be surprised. -Just bung ’em in the machine.
-Yeah. Take them off the sofa first. -Did I not make that clear?
-No. Yes, take them off the sofa.
Unless, of course, you got a very big machine. -Yeah, yeah, or a very small sofa.
-Yeah, either/or. -I think she’s taking it very well.
-Well, this is it, you see. -Too well?
-Well, I didn’t want to mention it, but, yeah, maybe she’s taking it too well.
Yeah, yeah. This is my son William. Yeah, um… Well, you’ve been a bit of a naughty boy,
William, haven’t you? Ask him what he’s done with the stuff. Yeah, what have you done with the stuff? -Scumbag.