GESTURES TO INDICATE PAUSES IN A TELEVISED TALK/ NEUROTIC ANNOUNCERS/ THE NEWS WITH RICHARD BAKER
  

Caption: 'THE BOLS STORY'   

Caption: 'THE STORY OF HOLLAND'S MOST FAMOUS APERITIF'   

   

Mr. Orbiter-5 is sitting in a swivel chair facing camera in a TV presentation set. Behind him is a set with enormous lettering which says 'Is the Queen sane?' Zoom in on Mr. Orbiter-5. He starts talking immediately   

    

Mr. Orbiter: (M.P.) Good evening. Well tonight, we are going to talk about... well that is... I am going to talk about... well actually I am talking about it now... well I'm not talking about it now, but I am talking... I know I'm pausing occasionally, and not talking during the pauses, but the pauses are part of the whole process of talking... when one talks one has to pause... er ... like then! I paused ... but I was still talking ... and again there! No the real point of what I'm saying is that when I appear not to be talking don't go nipping out to the kitchen, putting the kettle on ... buttering scones... or getting crumbs and bits of food out of those round brown straw mats that the teapot goes on... because in all probability I'm still talking and what you heard was a pause ... er ... like there again. Look! To make it absolutely easier, so there's no problem at all, what I'll do, I'll give you some kind of sign, like this (makes a gesture) while I'm still talking, and only pausing in between words... and when I've finished altogether I'll do this. (he sits upright and crosses his arms) All right?  

    

Superimposed Caption: 'THE END'   

    

Mr. Orbiter: No, no! No sorry - just demonstrating... haven't finished. Haven't started yet. (the caption is removed; he sits and tries to gather his thoughts then suddenly, remembers) Oh dear. (does the "pause" gesture hastily) Nearly forgot the gesture. Hope none of you are nipping out into the kitchen, getting bits of food out of those round brown mats which the teapot... Good evening (gesture) Tonight I want to talk about...   

   

Cut to the BBC world symbol.   

    

Adrian: (E.I.) (voice over) We interrupt this programme to annoy you and make things generally irritating for you.   

   

Cut back to Mr. Orbiter-5.   

    

Mr. Orbiter: ... with a large piece of wet paper. (gesture) Turn the paper over - turn the paper over keeping your eye on the camel, and paste down the edge of the sailor's uniform, until the word 'Maudling' is almost totally obscured. (gesture) Well, that's one way of doing it. (gesture)   

   

Cut to the BBC world symbol again and hold throughout the following dialogue.   

    

Adrian: (voice over) Good evening, we interrupt this programme again, a) to irritate you and, b) to provide work for one of our announcers.   

    

Jack: (J.C.) (voice over) Good evening, I'm the announcer who's just been given this job by the BBC and I'd just like to say how grateful I am to the BBC for providing me with work, particularly at this time of year, when things are a bit thin for us announcers... um... I don't know whether I should tell you this, but, well, I have been going through a rather tough time recently. Things have been pretty awful at home. My wife, Josephine... 'Joe-jums' as I call her ... who is also an announcer...   

    

Joe-jums: (C.C.) Hello.   

    

Jack: ... has not been able to announce since our youngest, Clifford, was born, and, well, (tearfully) I've just got no confidence left... I can't get up in the morning... I feel there's nothing worth living for... (he starts to sob)   

    

Dick: (M.P.) Hello, I'm another announcer, my name's Dick. Joe-jums just rang me and said Jack was having a bad time with this announcement, so I've just come to give him a hand. How is he, Joe-jums?   

    

Joe-jums: Pretty bad, Dick.   

    

Dick: Jack... it's Dick... Do you want me to make the announcement?   

    

Jack: No, no Dick. I must do it myself... (emotionally) it's my last chance with the BBC, I can't throw it away... I've got to do it ... for Joe-jums... for the kids... I've got to go through with it...   

    

Dick: Good man. Now remember your announcer's training: deep breaths, and try not to think about what you're saying...   

    

Jack: Good evening. This (a trace of superhuman effort in his voice) is BBC 1...   

    

Joe-jums: Good luck, Jack.   

    

Dick: Keep going, old boy.   

    

Jack: It's... nine o'clock... and... time... for... the News... read by... Richard Baker.   

   

Cut to start of the 'Nine O’clock News '.   

    

Joe-jums: You've done it.   

    

Dick: Congratulations, old man!   

   

Richard Baker is sitting at a desk. As Richard Baker speaks we hear no sounds apart from the sounds of celebration of the announcers - champagne corks popping, etc. At the beginning of the news Baker uses the gesture between sentences that we saw Mr. Orbiter use, plus other gestures. Behind him on the screen a collage of photos appear one after the other: Richard Nixon, Tony Armstrong-Jones, the White House, Princess Margaret, parliament, naked breasts, a scrubbing brush, a man with a stoat through his head, former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, a lavatory, a Scotsman lying on his back with his knees drawn up, a corkscrew, former UK Prime Minister Edward Heath, a pair of false teeth in a glass. During this Baker has been making gestures starting with elbow-up gesture and getting progressively more obscure and intriguing. We don't hear him at all, we hear all the announcers having a party and congratulating Jack.   

    

Joe-jums: Fantastic darling, you were brilliant. No, no, it was the best you ever did.   

    

Jack: Thank God.   

    

Joe-jums: It was absolutely super.   

    

Dick: ... have a drink. For God's sake drink this...   

    

Jack: Fantastic.   

    

Dick: The least I could do - super - I must come over.   

    

Jack: I can't tell you how much that means. (etc.)   

   

Eventually the voices stop and for the first time we hear Richard Baker's voice.   

    

Baker: (Richard Baker) ... until the name Maudling is almost totally obscured. That is the ned of the nicro-not wens. And now it's time for the late night film.  

      

 

             
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