EVEREST CLIMBED BY HAIRDRESSERS
Fade up on stock film of Everest. Whistling wind, stirring music.
Voice Over: (M.P.) Mount Everest. Forbidding. Aloof. Terrifying. The mountain with the biggest tits in the world.
Sound of gong.
Second Voice Over: (E.I.) Start again!
A very silly loony leans into shot, in front of the mountain, and waves to the camera. He goes out of shot again.
Voice Over: (M.P.) Mount Everest. Forbidding. Aloof. Terrifying. This year, this remote Himalayan mountain, this mystical temple, surrounded by the most difficult terrain in the world, repulsed yet another attempt to conquer it. This time, by the International Hairdresser's Expedition. (cut to shot of tents in an arctic blizzard) In such freezing, adverse conditions, man comes very close to breaking point. What was the real cause of the disharmony which destroyed their chances at success?
Cut to three head-and-shoulders shots. They look like typical mountaineers: frost in their beards, tanned, with snow glasses on their foreheads and authentic Everest headgear.
First Climber: (M.P.) Well, people would keep taking my hairdryer and never returning it.
Second Climber: (G.C.) There was a lot of bitching in the tents.
Third Climber: (E.I.) You couldn't get near the mirror.
Cut to our friend the Colonel, working in his garden.
Voice Over: The leader of the expedition was Colonel Sir John 'Teasy-Weasy' Butler, veteran of K2, Annapurna, and Vidals. His plan was to ignore the usual route around the South Col and to make straight for the top.
Cut to a photo of Everest with dots superimposed, showing the route.
Colonel: (G.C.) We established base salon here, (on the photos, we see the words 'base salon') and climbed quite steadily up to Mario's here. (at the top of the route we see 'Mario's') From here using crampons and cutting ice steps as we went, we moved steadily up the Lhotse Face to the North Ridge, establishing camp three where we could get a hot meal, a manicure, and a shampoo and set.
Cut to stock film of people actually climbing Everest.
Voice Over: Could it work? Could this eighteen-year old hairdresser from Brixton succeed where others had failed? The situation was complicated by the imminent arrival of the monsoon storms. Patrice takes up the story.
Cut to interior of hairdresser's salon. Patrice speaks into the mirror, as he is blow-drying and curling a lady's hair.
Patrice: (E.I.) Well, we knew as well as anyone that the monsoons were due, but the thing was, Ricky and I had just had a blow dry and rinse, and we couldn't go out for a couple of days.
Cut to stock film of some people leaving a little tent on a mountain.
Voice Over: After a blazing row, the Germans and Italians had turned back (shot of a column of arctic explorers hiking though the snow), taking with them the last of the hair nets. On the third day a blizzard blew up. (close up on the tent in a blizzard; no people in shot) Temperatures fell to minus thirty centigrade. Inside the little tent, things were getting desperate.
We cut inside the tent. The wind is banging against the side of the material, sounds of a vicious blizzard. Ricky is sitting next to another member of the expedition (J.C.). Both are under hairdryers, in full climbing gear up to their necks. One is reading Vogue. Ricky is doing his nails.
Ricky: (M.P.) Well, things have got so bad that we've been forced to use the last of the heavy oxygen equipment just to keep the dryers going.
Woman: (off-screen) Cup of Milo, love.
Ricky: Oh, she's a treas. (he takes the drink)
Cut to a wide shot of Everest.
Voice Over: But a new factor had entered the race. A team of French chiropodists, working with brand new corn plasters and Doctor Scholl's Mountaineering Sandals, were covering ground fast. The Glasgow Orpheus Male Voice Choir were tackling the difficult North Col. (quick cut to film of lots of people climbing up Everest; dubbed over is the 'Proust' song from the "Summarise Proust Competition" sketch) Altogether, fourteen expeditions (cut to a diagram with hundreds of dotted lines over it, fourteen different routes) were at his heels. This was it. Ricky had to make a decision.
Cut back to Patrice in the salon.
Patrice: Well, he decided to open a salon.
Voice Over: It was a tremendous success.
Cinema-style adverts with still photos.
Advert Voice: (E.I.) Challenging Everest? Why not drop in at Ricky Pules' - only 24,000 feet from this cinema. Ricky and Maurice offer a variety of styles for the well-groomed climber. Like Sherpa Tensing and Sir Edmond Hillary be number one on top, when you're Number One on Top? (lots of stills of climbers with outrageous hairstyles)