COMMERCIALS/ HOW TO FEED A GOLDFISH/ THE MAN WHO COLLECTS BIRDWATCHER'S EGGS

Crelm toothpaste

Fibro Val

Animation: a sketch advertising Crelm Toothpaste. Cut to a soap powder commercial. Slick adman against neutral background. On his left is an ordinary kitchen table. On his right is a pile of sheets on a stand.

 

Adman: (E.I.) This table has been treated with ordinary soap powder, but these have been treated with new Fibro-Val. (cut to top shot of interior of washing machine with water spinning round as per ads) We put both of them through our washing machine, and just look at the difference. (cut back to the original set-up; the sheets are obviously painted white; the table is smashed up) The table is broken and smashed, but the sheets, with Fibro-Val, are sparkling clean and white.

 

Traditional expanding square links to next commercial. Animated countryside with flowers, butterflies and Babycham animal. A boy and a girl (real, superimposed) wander through hand in hand.

 

Man's Voice: (M.P.) I love the surgical garment. Enjoy the delights of the Victor Mature abdominal corset. Sail down the Nile on the Bleed-it Kosher Truss. 

 

The adman comes into view over the background; he holds a tailor's dummy - pelvis only - with a truss

  

And don't forget the Hercules Hold-'em-in, the all-purpose concrete truss for the man with the family hernia.

 

He throws away the truss. The background changes to blow-up of a fish tank. The adman is sitting at a desk. He pulls a goldfish bowl over.

 

Adman: Well last week on Fish Club we learnt how to sex a pike ... and this week we're going to learn how to feed a goldfish. Now contrary to what most people think the goldfish has a ravenous appetite. If it doesn't get enough protein it gets very thin and its bones begin to stick out and its fins start to fall off. So once a week give your goldfish a really good meal. Here's one specially recommended by the board of Irresponsible People. First, some cold consommé or a gazpacho (pours it in), then some sausages with spring greens, sautée potatoes and bread and gravy.

 

He tips all this into the bowl. An RSPCA man rushes in, grabs the man and hauls him off.  

 

RSPCA Man: All right, come on, that's enough, that's enough.  

 

Adman: ... treacle tart ... chocolate cake and ...  

 

Voice Over and caption: (J.C.) 'THE RSPCA WISH IT TO BE KNOWN THAT THAT MAN WAS NOT A BONA FIDE ANIMAL LOVER, AND ALSO THAT GOLDFISH DO NOT EAT SAUSAGES. (the man still shouting) SHUT UP! ... THEY ARE QUITE HAPPY WITH BREADCRUMBS, ANT'S EGGS AND THE OCCASIONAL PHEASANT ...'

 

 The last four words are crossed out in the caption.  

 

Voice Over: Who wrote that?

 

Mix to a lyrical shot of wild flowers in beautiful English countryside. Gentle pastoral music. The camera begins to pan away from the flowers, moving slowly across this idyllic scene. Mix in the sound of lovers - the indistinct deep voice, followed by a playful giggle from the girl. At first very distant, but as we continue to pan it increases in volume, until we come to rest on the source of the noise - a tape recorder in front of a bush. After a short pause, the camera tracks round behind this bush where are a couple sitting reading a book each. Pan away from them across afield. In the middle of the pan we come across a smooth, moustachioed little Italian head waiter, in tails etc. We do not stop on him.

 

Waiter: (G.C.) (bowing to camera) I hope you're enjoying the show.

 

The camera pans to the end of the field where we pick up a man in a long mac crawling on all fours through the undergrowth. We follow him as he occasionally dodges behind a bush or a tree. He is stealthily tracking something. After a few moments he comes up behind a birdwatcher (in deerstalker and tweeds) who lies at the top of a small rise, with his binoculars trained. With infinite caution the man in the long mac slides up behind the birdwatcher, then he stretches out a hand and opens the flap of the birdwatcher's knapsack. He pulls out a small white paper bag. Holding his breath, he feels inside the bag and produces a small pie, then a tomato and finally two hard-boiled eggs. He pockets the hard-boiled eggs, puts the rest back and creeps away.

 

Voice Over: (E.I.) Herbert Mental collects birdwatchers' eggs. At his home in Surrey he has a collection of over four hundred of them.

 

Cut to mantle in a study lined with shelves full of hard-boiled eggs. They all have little labels on the front of them. He goes up and selects one from a long line of identical hard-boiled eggs.

 

Herbert: (T.J.) 'Ere now. This is a very interesting one. This is from a Mr P. F. Bradshaw. He is usually found in Surrey hedgerows, but I found this one in the gents at St Pancras, uneaten. (he provides the next question himself in bad ventriloquist style) Mr Mental, why did you start collecting birdwatchers' eggs? (normal voice) Oh, well, I did it to get on 'Man Alive'. (ventriloquially) 'Man Alive'? (normal voice) That's right, yes. But then that got all serious, so I carried on in the hope of a quick appearance as an eccentric on the regional section of 'Nationwide'. (ventriloquially) Mr Mental, I believe a couple of years ago you started to collect butterfly hunters. (normal voice) Butterfly hunters? (ventriloquially) Yes. (normal voice) Oh, that's right. Here's a couple of them over here. (he moves to his left; on the wall behind him are the splayed-out figures of two butterfly hunters, with pins through their backs and their names on cards underneath) Nice little chaps. But the hobby I enjoyed most was racing pigeon fanciers.

 Racing pigeon fanciers

An open field. A large hamper, with an attendant in a brown coat standing behind it. The attendant opens the hamper and three pigeon fanciers, (in very fast motion) leap out and run off across the field, wheeling in a curve as birds do. Cut to a series of speeded-up close ups of baskets being opened and pigeon fanciers leaping out. After four or five of these fast close ups cut to long shot of the mass of pigeon fanciers wheeling across the field like a flock of pigeons. Cut to film of Trafalgar Square. The pigeon fanciers are now running around in the square, wheeling in groups. Cut to Gilliam picture of Trafalgar Square. The chicken man from the opening credits flies past towing a banner which says 'This Space Available, tel 498 5116'. The head of a huge hedgehog - Spiny Norman - appears above St Martin's-in-the-Fields.

  

Spiny Norman: Dinsdale! Dinsdale!

  

 

Back to Season Two index