THE BBC IS SHORT OF MONEY/ PUSS IN BOOTS/ IT'S 

      

Cut to a newsreader in a 'News at Nine' set with a bare light bulb hanging in shot. He wears only an old blanket around his shoulders. He is shivering. 

    

Newsreader: (E.I.) The BBC wishes to deny rumours that it is going into liquidation. Mrs. Kelly, who owns the flat where they live, has said that they can stay on till the end of the month ... (he is handed a piece of paper) and we've just heard that Huw Weldon's watch has been accepted by the London Electricity Board and transmissions for this evening can be continued as planned. (he coughs and pulls the blanket tighter round his shoulders) That's all from me so... goodnight.   

   

Knocking on the door.   

    

Mr. Kelly's Voice: Are you going to be in there all night?   

    

Newsreader: It's just a bulletin, Mr. Kelly... and now back to the Story (banging)... All right!   

   

Cut back to the Police chief's office from the World War One sketch. Noises off of people walking down. The door opens and the same crowd is pushed in. No one has any trousers on.   

    

First Guard: (T.G.) Ve found ze men, valking on ze beach, my capitain.   

    

Captain: (T.J.) We're British Naval Officers, and entitled to be...   

   

Enter a pantomime principal boy holding a stuffed cat. All the rest of the group break back in a well-choreographed panto arrowhead and raise their hands toward her.   

    

All: It's ... Puss!   

    

Audience: Hello, Puss!   

    

Principal Boy: (Julia Breck) Hello, children!   

    

Police Chief: (J.C.) Stop! Stop this adaptation of 'Puss-in-Boots'! This is the Police Department of the State of Venezuela!   

    

Principal Boy: Oh no it isn't!   

    

Police Chief: Oh, yes it is!   

    

Principal Boy: (kids joining in voice over) Oh no it isn't!   

    

All: (plus kids) Oh yes it is!   

    

Principal Boy: (plus kids) Oh no it isn't...   

    

Police Chief: Shut up! Shut up! (getting up, holding a pistol; he has no trousers; silence) Now I'm going to ask you some questions, and remember, if you do not give me correct answers, we have ways of making you answer!   

    

Voice From Back: Like not paying twenty-eight guineas.   

    

Police Chief: Shut up! Now, what ship are you from?   

    

Captain: We are from the SS Mother Goose, we were twelve days out from Port of Spain, and I ...   

  

 The door is flung open and the second (now trouser less) guard sidles in.   

    

Second Guard: (E.I.) (muttering to Police Chief) I got thirty bob for the trousers!   

    

Captain: We are from SS Mother Goose. We were twelve days out from Port of Spain, and one night I was doing my usual rounds, when I had occasion to pass the forward storage lockers...   

   

Slightly eerie music has crept in under his words and the screen goes into a ripple. It gets right out of focus and continues to ripple as it pulls back into focus. Ripple stops and they are still in the same set as they were.   

    

Police Chief: Go on!   

    

Captain: Well, I noticed something unusual, the main bilge hatches had been opened... (at this point three men in brown coats come in and start taking pictures off the wall, clearing props and chairs from the set, etc.) and there, crouching amidst the scuppers was the most ghastly creature I'd ever seen in my life. (the flats start to be flown up, revealing behind a sitting room - so that we can see the police office has been built in the Kelly's sitting room) As soon as it saw me, its horrible face split aside in a ghastly look of terror. His head, which was like ...   

    

Scene Shifter: Could you sign this please? (handing the captain a piece of paper) Thank you.   

    

Captain: A small, small rat was ghastly and horrible and befurred... its little red eyes glinted in the unaccustomed glare of the midday sun and before I could shut the hatch, it sprang upon me with one almighty...   

   

By this time the whole office set has been removed revealing the Kelly's boarding house sitting room. Mr. and Mrs. Kelly come in through door and put their heads round.   

    

Mrs. Kelly: (M.P.) What's this about doing the 'Horse of the Year Show' in here tonight?   

    

Police Chief: I'm sorry, Mrs. Kelly. We don't know, I'm afraid - this is drama.   

    

Mrs. Kelly: Mr. Fox told me, before he went down to the pub, that they were doing 'Horse of the Year Show' in here tonight at 9.10.   

    

Police Chief: This is BBC 2.   

    

Captain: I think BBC 1 are in the kitchen.   

    

Mrs. Kelly: Well, I'm not having Harvey Smith jumping over my binette.   

    

Mr. Kelly: (G.C.) No, come on. (they go)   

    

Captain: ... tearing at my throat, ripping my clothes...   

   

Mr. Kelly puts his head round the door.   

    

Mr. Kelly: And turn the gas off before you leave!   

    

Police Chief: All right!!   

   

Mr. Kelly goes.   

    

Captain: I fought it with all my strength, but it was too much for me...   

   

Cut to Mr. and Mrs. Kelly coming through the hall. We can hear the captain's voice growing faster. Mr. and Mrs. Kelly go towards the kitchen door and stop and listen. We have lost the captain's voice by now, but from inside the kitchen we hear 'Horse of the Year Show' sound track.   

    

Dorian Williams: (voice over) Another clear round for Harvey Smith on 'Orealley'.   

    

Commentator: (voice over on tannoy) And now it's Mrs. David Barker riding 'Atalanta' Number 3.   

   

Crash of breaking pottery, falling pots and pans, horse neighing.   

    

Mrs. Kelly: Right! That's it! (they throw door open and march into the kitchen; a horse plus Pat Hornsby Smith and the commentator and the wreckage of a jump) Come on now, out! All of you - get out of my kitchen, all of you - come on! Harvey Smith, get out of here!   

   

She chases them out and down the hall.   

    

Paul Fox: (T.J.) (emerging from another door) It's one of our most popular programmes.   

    

Mrs. Kelly: That's what you think, Mr. Fox!   

   

She shoos them all out down the passage and out of the front door. The newsreader with a blanket over him joins them and tries to read off a piece of paper.   

    

Newsreader: Well, that's all from BBC Television for this evening...   

    

Mrs. Kelly: (slamming door on him) Shove off! Go and find yourself another flat! Get out!   

   

As she slams the door, a piece of paper (obviously a tax return form) is shoved through the door. It has the credits scribbled hurriedly on it; the camera pans into it. After the credits Mrs. Kelly stamps on the paper.   

    

Fade out.   

    

Showbiz music, cut to a sign saying 'It's'. Pull out to reveal glossy, spangley, opulent showbiz set. Two extraordinarily famous guests sitting on sofas.   

    

Announcer's Voice: Tonight from London your special guests are Lulu, Ringo Starr (THE Ringo Starr) and the man you've all been waiting for - your host for tonight...   

   

More music. The 'It's' man, tattered and ragged as usual, emerges onto set.   

    

Lulu: (yes - THE Lulu) Love the outfit dear, it's gorgeous...   

    

It's Man: (M.P.) Hello, good evening, welcome. It's...   

   

The signature tune and opening animated titles start. The 'It's' man, still visible through the titles, tries in vain to stop them. The guests walk off in disgust. The 'It's' man tries to drag them back. Failing, he sits down as the music ends. Fade out.    

     

     

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