Here, stop that down there, will you? Stop that. Cut it out, over there, you know… Oh, they’re a dirty lot,
they really are. What a lot of flocks they are,
I got here… ♪ Oh, when the saints
go marching in… ♪ ♪ Oh, when the saints
go marching in… ♪ ♪ I want to be amongst that number… ♪ – Good afternoon.
– ’Ello. I believe you are Mr Arthur Shepherd. Yeah, correct. Shepherd by name,
shepherd by nature. Lo! My flock are lowing. Ello-ello. Ello-ello, that’s rather good,
I like that. Yeah. It’s very good indeed.
Ello-ello… – I never thought of that one.
– No, it’s a bit tricky, that one, really. – Yeah, it’s very good.
– Can I introduce myself? My name is Matthew. You may have
heard of me and my colleagues – – Mark, Luke and John.
– Oh yeah, I know you lot, yeah. Well, we are doing
an in-depth profile of Jesus – or the Messiah,
as you may know Him. – Yeah, I know Him as Jesus.
– Oh, that’s right. – What paper do you work on?
– The Bethlehem Star. Oh, the Bethlehem Star.
The wife and I take that, actually. – Oh, really?
– Don’t think much of your racing correspondent. I had three shekels on that camel in the
3:15 at Galilee; it’s still bloody running. I think one of his humps
had been nobbled. Yeah, well, something’s wrong,
perhaps he doesn’t like soft sand. I don’t know, but three shekels down the drain,
that’s a lot for a working shepherd. Oh, sure, well,
I’m sorry to hear about that, Arthur. I don’t actually work on the betting side
of the paper, the sporting side, – I work on the more serious side – reportage.
– Oh, reportage, that’s very different, innit? – Anyway, Arthur…
– Can I just do this, If I take this off,
I can hear better. Oh, good idea, son. Yeah. I believe you were in on the very first moments
surrounding the birth of the Holy Child. Now, I wonder if you could possibly tell me
what happened, in your own words. – In me own words?
– Yeah. Yeah, well, basically
what happened, Matthew, was that me and the lads
were abiding in the fields. “Abiding in the fields,” yes. Mind you, I can’t abide
these fields, you know. Well, they are unabidable fields. I mean, look around you.
They are unabidable. These are about the most unabidable fields
I’ve ever had to abide in. Yes, I must abide by that, Arthur. It’s not so funny
when you have to abide in it. No, agreed, agreed. We were abiding in the fields,
watching our flocks by night. “Watching our flocks by night,” yes. ’Cause that’s when you have
to watch them, at night. ’Cause that’s when they
get up to all their rubbish. Hot summer nights,
the rams go mad, you know. Especially that one over there,
he’s a dirty little bugger. Stop it! Cut it out! Doing it in broad daylight,
in front of you, a holy man! Oh, dear.
Stop that! Stop that! Well, it’s only ewe-man, innit? Yeah, I suppose you’re right there.
Yeah. – He’s certainly an enthusiast, isn’t he?
– Yeah, he’s a little go-er, that one. Oh, those were the days…
Anyway… You were abiding in the fields,
watching your flocks by night. And then what happened? Well, much to our surprise,
the angel of the Lord come down. Oh, that must have been
a fantastic experience! Well, it made a bit of a break, you know. Bit of a change from just
abiding in the fields, like. How did you know
it was the angel of the Lord? Well, I tell you what
the give-away was, Matthew: it was this ethereal glow
that he was emanating. He was emanating
this ethereal glow. And as soon as I saw him
emanating this ethereal glow, I said, “Hello, that’s
angel of the Lord, there.” – Halo?
– Halo, certainly. “Halo and goodbye,” we said afterwards. You know, he wasn’t there for long. As soon as he gave his little message,
he was off like a bat out of hell. Straight up in the sky he went,
he vanished, the clouds parted, – and that’s the last I saw of him.
– He had wings? Oh, lovely pair of wings, Matthew. All gossamer, shimmering in the starlight.
It was a lovely sight. – Must’ve been wonderful sight.
– Wonderful sight, yeah. – What did he say to you, Arthur?
– Well, he sort of… He picked me out, like,
from the other lads, – and he said, “Unto ye a child is born.
– Right. “Unto ye a son is given.” – What was your reaction?
– Total shock. You know, I wasn’t even
married at the time. I thought to meself, you know, “Blimey, what was I doing
this time last year,” you know? “Could it be that little bird
I met down the Shepherd’s Delight?” I often nipt down there
for a pint of goat’s foam, you know. But then, ehm…
Do you know the Shepherd’s Delight? Yeah, lovely place.
I often drop in there meself. Well, the angel of the Lord,
gentleman that he is, went on to explain that when he said,
“ye,” he didn’t mean me personal, like, he meant “ye” in the sense
of the whole world. Unto the whole world a child is born,
unto the whole world a son is given. He was using the Universal Ye. That is what he was using,
the Universal Ye, yeah. Then he went on to say,
“Ye shall find the child,” this time he was using
the Personal Ye, ’cause the whole world wasn’t there,
you know? Just me and the lads. To be perfectly frank –
and strictly off the record, Matthew – I think he’s getting a bit
muddled up with his ye’s. Well, mind you, I suppose you get
a bit muddled up with your ewes. That’s a good point, yeah. So is that bloody ram over there.
Will you cut that out? I don’t think he gets muddled up at all. He knows exactly where he’s going, I think. – You’re right there, yeah.
– Now, anyway… No, he said, “Ye” –
the Personal Ye – “Ye shall find the child lying in a manger,
all meanly wrapped in swaddling clothes.” Yes. “… all meanly wrapped
in swaddling clothes.” Now, I suppose your first reaction
was to whip over there and have a peep, eh? Yeah, it certainly was,
but when I got to the stable, Matthew, – I was in for a bit of a shock.
– Oh? ’Cause when he said, “Ye shall find the child
all meanly wrapped in swaddling clothes,” I thought, you know, “Fair enough,
he’ll be fairly meanly wrapped,” you know? – Nothing flash, nothing gaudy.
– Right. But when I arrived,
it was abominable. It was the meanest bit of wrapping
I have ever seen. – Really?
– And what’s more, the kid was barely swaddled. I would say it’s the worst job of swaddling
and wrapping I have ever seen in my life. You would say a very hasty job of wrapping
and swaddling had been inflicted on the child? You may quote me on that, Matthew.
Yeah, very hasty indeed. Now, Arthur, think back and tell me:
what was the atmosphere like in the stable, on this tense,
historic night? The atmosphere in the stable, Matthew,
was very, very smelly. All these cows and goats
and sheep about, you know? They weren’t being careful about, you know,
it being a special occasion or anything, – it was just like normal.
– Yeah. Yeah, well, that’s
an interesting side-line. You can understand that. Now, was the Holy Ghost there? Hard to say. He’s an elusive creature,
the Holy Ghost, isn’t He? Flips in and out of windows,
you can scarcely see Him. Mind you, I think He ought
to have been there, you know, in His capacity as kind of,
you know, God-Father. But I couldn’t say I saw Him.
Not in sight. You know, I couldn’t see Him. No. I suppose, even if He wasn’t there,
He was probably there in spirit. Yeah, certainly. Anyway, I gather that later on in the evening,
the three wise men came by. Is that so? Uh, three “wise men” arrived, yeah.
Three bloody idiots if ever I saw any! In they come, bearing gifts
of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Well, gold, fair enough, you know, little nugget
of gold always comes in handy, doesn’t it? – You could always do with a bit of gold.
– Oh, yeah. But what is a little kid gonna do
with frankincense and myrrh, I ask you? I mean, myrrh is the stuff
what puffs put behind their ears. But Jesus – give Him all credit,
oh, He was so polite about it – He sat up in the manger,
adjusted His swaddling and said, “Thank you, gentlemen,
for the lovely prezzies, “I hope you’ll have
a nice trip back,” you know? Delightful little kid, He really was. What a lightful, what a little lightful. Very precocious, of course. Well, speaking at half an hour old
is pretty good going. Mind you, not long after that
He was confounding the elders, you know. – Was He confounding the elders?
– Oh, yeah. Oh, they can’t stand that, the elders,
being confounded, can they? It’s the one thing they can’t stand,
is being confounded. And He was confounding them
left, right and centre, you know, with His tremendous knowledge. He had this fantastic knowledge
of algebra, trigonometry, philosophy, billiards, tapdancing, music… – Tapdancing and music?
– Oh, yeah! Wonderful musician, Jesus.
Wonderful musician. As a matter of fact, Mark was able
to trace down His old music master, and have a word with him. Christ J. was one of the outstanding
boy sopranos of His day. Had an enormous range,
went from AH to PEEP. And I was only sorry to see Him
leave the choir at the age of thirteen. – I never saw Him again.
– He never saw Him again. – ♪ I never saw Him again. ♪
– He never saw Him. – ♪ I never saw Him again. ♪
– He never saw Him. – ♪ I never saw Him. ♪
– He never saw Him. – ♪ I never saw Him again! ♪
– He never saw Him again! He never saw Him again. Oh, I’m interested about that musical side
of Jesus. I’ve never heard about that. I always thought that carpentry
was His main line of business, you know. Yes, well, it was. As a matter of fact
I talked to somebody – who had an example of His work.
– Really? Hulloh. Yes, actually He was round here the other day,
to do a bit of carpentry for me. Submitted a very
reasonable estimate, far cheaper than all the other
carpenters of Nazareth, I must say. Two shekels for a chair,
which is pretty good going in Nazareth these days,
with current prices. And it’s a simple, rustic garden chair, nothing spectacular or anything like that,
but sturdy, well-made, and I’m very happy with it, indeed. Oh Lord, it’ll take a bloody miracle
to get this lot together. That was the marvellous thing
about Jesus’ carpentry, He had a sort of built-in guarantee. It wasn’t much for a chair
to start with, was it? Oh, no. Well, no, Jesus as a
conventional carpenter wasn’t much cop. It was His little brother, Jimmy Christ,
who did all the joining. – He had a brother?
– Yeah, little Jimmy Christ. Jimmy Chri…
I’ve never heard of Jimmy Christ. – Never heard of Jimmy Christ?
– Never heard of Ji… Jesus, yes. But I’ve never
heard of Jimmy Christ. Oh, lovely boy, Jimmy Christ.
Yeah, lovely. – Very shy, you know. He shun publicity.
– Yeah. In fact, he used to say
to Jesus, he said, “You save the world,
I’ll take care of the built-in cupboards.” Oh, it’s a fair division
of labour, I suppose. – He knew his place, yeah.
– Yeah. Never heard of him. – Jimmy the Joiner?
– Yeah, that’s it. Never ever heard of him. About Jesus,
getting back to Jesus, He never got married, did He? Well, He had a very nice landlady,
a certain Mrs McMyre. A really nice old girl,
Mrs McMyre, and Mark was able to trace her down
and have an interview with her. – Oh.
– Yeah. Mrs McMyre, I understand
that you actually knew Jesus. Yes, thank you and hello. Mr Jesus was in residence
at Dead Sea View for many happy years. He was a model martyr, you know,
very well-behaved. He didn’t have girls in His room,
or anything smutty like that. I believe also that you
did the cooking for Him. Oh, yes, I used to do Him
a packed lunch every day, mostly low-calory stuff, you know – unleavened bread, goats’ cheese,
and that sort of thing – because He tried to keep Himself in trim.
He used to say to me, “Mrs McMyre, if I’m going to save the world,
I’ve got to keep myself in trim, not go to sea
like that great, fat Buddha. Any troubles at all with His health? His health? No, not at all.
No, He was a very healthy man. I do remember one time, however,
He came back from an afternoon out with His feet absolutely sopping wet. I said, “Mr Jesus, where on earth
have You been?” He said, “Mrs McMyre,
I’ve been walking on the water.” I said, “Mr Jesus, You’re playing with fire,
walking on the water!” – And sure enough He got a sniffle.
– A slight sniffle. Now, tell me, Mrs McMyre, is there anything
else you remember about this remarkable man? Well, I could go on
for eternity, of course, but I don’t suppose
you’d be interested in that. No, I do remember, however,
one amusing episode. One afternoon Mr Jesus
came to me and said, “Mrs McMyre” – He always used to adress me like that,
Mrs McMyre – “I’ve got 5,000 people
coming for a picnic lunch today. “Could you provide me with some food?” I said, “Mr Jesus,”
I said, “5,000 people for lunch?” I said, “This is bed and board for one!” He said, “Well, do me a favour, would you?” I said, “Well, look, I only got
five loaves and two fishes in the house. He said to me – and you could’ve
knocked me out with a feather – “That is ample sufficiency.” Well, off He went
with the five loaves and two fishes, came back a few hours later
with twelve basketsfuls of left-overs. All I can say
is that He was very delicate carver. She seems like a very nice lady,
that Mrs McMyre. Oh, lovely old girl, Mrs McMyre, yeah. I did hear a rumour
that Jesus travelled abroad. Didn’t He go to England,
or some strange place like that? Yeah, well, I heard He went to England,
and in fact, I went over there to check up. Oh. – Excuse me. Enoch?
– Yes? ♪ And did those feet in ancient time
walk upon England’s mountains green? ♪ ♪ And was the holy Lamb of God
on England’s pleasant pastures seen? ♪ – Actually, no.
– Oh. He did come over here, but ehm… we have a rather severe unemployment problem
amongst our own saviours at the time, and we were really looking
for sort of road-builder types, so I had to, ehm…
send Him on His way back. It had nothing to do with the fact
that He had this rather… long hair and was ehm… – Jewish.
– Oh, thank you very much for you cooperation. Blimey, look at the time. Here, could you tell me the quickest road
back to Galilei? As far as I’m concerned,
all roads lead to Rome. Tickle your arse with a feather. – Pardon?
– I said, “particularly nasty weather.” I didn’t really like
that Enoch bloke, you know. No, nasty type.
Particularly nasty fellow. Particularly nasty fellow,
I’d say, what? Very nasty. I’ll tell you one thing I always felt
very sorry for Jesus about: that He was having His birthday
on Christmas day. You know, that He’s only got
one lot of presents, like. Yeah, shame, that, really, wasn’t it? Did He have any other problems
of any kind, you know? Well, not that He ever
discussed with us, you know. He was a very well-balanced
sort of bloke, you know. I think, if anything, He had a bit
of a father complex. But you know… A bit overruled by His Dad. Yeah, well, you can understand this,
can’t you, Matthew? ’Cause it was His Old Man
what’ve done the Universe, wasn’t He? – Oh, yeah.
– Bit hard to follow, that, isn’t it? – Top that, mate.
– Top that, yeah. Did Jesus ever explain why His Father
created all those horrible things – those nasty things like flies
and fleas and stinging spiders, snakes and alligators, bubonic plague? I never saw much use for them,
it don’t seem to do anybody any good. Yeah, but be fair,
it was His first Universe. – Yeah.
– Right? – He’d done it all in seven days.
– Yeah, bit of a rushed job. He must’ve been hurtening about the place. – Seven days for a Universe, good going.
– Seven days. Oh yeah, marvellous.
And you say flies and fleas, Arthur, but be fair, think of all the successes –
birds and bees, – Persian cats,
– Yeah. – geraniums,
– Yeah. – budgerigars,
– Yeah. lovely, cuddly things like that. Yeah, lot of nice things about,
when you come to think, yeah. – Yeah, I think you know…
– Must look beyond the gloomy side. Oh, no… Anyway… Thank you very much indeed, Arthur,
for all your cooperation. – Not at all, been delighted, you know.
– Been really nice talking to you. I’ll tell you what I’ll do: I’ll send you
a copy of the article when I’ve finished it. Oh, that’ll be great, ’cause, you know,
you get a bit bored up here, just abiding in the fields
with your flocks, you know. Of course, you must do, yeah.
We’re calling it The Gospels, actually. Oh, that’s a good title, that.
Yeah, The Gospels, good title. Nice and catchy, you know. I think, in fact, it’ll be a better seller
than the Old Testament. Yeah. I think you got all the ingredients there,
haven’t you? You know, from what you’ve told me,
it’s an unbelievable story. – Oh, yeah.
– Incredible. Well, it’s got all the stuff in it.
I mean, you know – adventure, romance, tragedy,
happy ending, you know, – It’s lovely.
– You got the lot. Yes, indeed. Anyway, I got to go off and try
to get an interview with Pontius Pilate, but I don’t know if will, he’s always
in the bathroom, washing his hands. I’ve heard he’s been
a bit evasive recently. Hey, Matthew, before you go,
could you tell me one thing? All those miracles,
like Mrs McMyre talked about, – like walking on the water,
– Yeah. were they really true,
or was that just, you know, publicity? – That’s all true.
– True? True, Arthur. Yes. In fact, we had an eye witness
to the walking on the water – the late George Griddle.
Do you remember him? – George Griddle?
– Hm. Yeah, he used to have a column
in the Bethlehem Star, didn’t he? That’s it, yeah. “Round and about Jerusalem
with George Griddle”. Very good, that. It was all spicy,
you know, tittle-tattle stuff. – “My true confessions by Salome.”
– That’s it. – You ran that for 52 weeks, didn’t you?
– Oh, yeah. Terrific stuff.
What happened to George? Well, it’s a tragic story, really.
Very unfortunate. It might’ve been Matthew, Mark,
Luke, John, and George Griddle. But fate decreed otherwise,
that’s… like she is wont. Anyway, George had been given
this assignment – you know, to do
“24 hours in the life of Jesus” – you know, and he’d been following Him
around, you know, during the morning, and he hadn’t got very much
to report by the end of the morning, you know, just sort of
ordinary things, like, – “Jesus sits down,”
– Yeah. – “Jesus stands up,”
– Yeah. – “Jesus has a cup of tea,”
– Yeah. “Jesus calls out to His dog,
‘Get thee behind Me, Satan!’” – Nothing sensational there, is there?
– No frontpage material, Arthur. “Read all about it! Jesus’ sensation!
Jesus sits down!” – No, he couldn’t that.
– No use at all. Wouldn’t sell a newspaper;
“Sensation! Jesus stands up!” – No, no good.
– It wouldn’t exactly be a grabber, would it? – No, hardly.
– Anyway… – Jesus eventually come to this lake.
– Yeah? And He was walking
towards this lake, with the late George Griddle
in hot pursuit, as you can see. – Oh, there’s George behind Him.
– That’s right. Yeah.