S01E02 Lesson 2 – The Half-Open University: History

For those studying at home for the Third Degree course in Comedic Appreciation. Presented by Professors of Unqualified Achievement Timothy Davies, Chris Emmett, Christine Ozanne, Nigel Rees. Course 2: History, etc. Research compiled by Andrew Marshall, John Mason and David Renwick. Course produced by Simon Brett.

First broadcast on 1 December 1976

Male Announcer: This is Radio Three.

Female Announcer: Or for those of you who don’t have radios:


Male Announcer: And now on Radio Three: Comedy.

F/X: concert hall atmosphere, the orchestra members are tuning their instruments

Commentator: And tonight’s joke recital comes from the Royal Comedy House in Max Bygraves’ wallet. It’s Schubert’s unfinished Pound-Note-Knicker-Gag, opus thirty-seven. And now on to the stage come the two soloists for this performance, Rudolf Brendel and Christina Markover.

F/X: conductor tapping his baton


Rudolf Brendel: Why can’t a woman with a wooden leg change a pound note?


Commentator: Well that concludes the first movement, and now we wait for the second movement.

F/X: conductor tapping his baton

Christina Markover: Because she’s only got half a…

F/X: applause

Commentator: Oh and what a pity it was that Schubert never managed to finish that joke. Well, that’s the comedy on Radio Three for today and now:

Music: Open University theme – halfway through, weird noises start being overdubbed (honking, door bell, cuckoo clock, pig ?, something shattering, police siren, fog horn)

Announcer: This is the Half-Open University. There now follows part seventeen of our degree course in the Practical Histories. The programme is introduced by Professor Nigel Rees, Doctor Chris Emmett, Doctor Timothy Davies and Professor Christine Ozanne.


Announcer: Our first lecture today is a repeat of the second lecture, which will be broadcast for the first time tomorrow morning. It covers primitive historical patterns, and Professor the Confessor speaks first.

Professor the Confessor: Good evening. My name is Professor the Confessor, Edward The Confessor. And before we start this lecture, I have a word of warning for Miller of Cockfosters. When you posted me that banana skin during rag week and told me to place it on the floor in front of my foot, you must have thought I was stupid. In fact, I saw it just in time. Anyway, now on to our first subject, which is British prehistory, paleontology, et cetera. Our resident Half-Open University expert on prehistory, paleontology, et cetera is Professor Heinrich Schulman et cetera. My colleague, Doctor Frank Disraeli has been talking to him.

Frank Disraeli: Er Professor Schulman, you’re an acknowledged expert on the stone age and prehistoric man.

Professor Schulman: Er, hm haa, ha, haa hm ha…

Frank Disraeli: Er I belive this is because you are in fact a cave man yourself.

Professor Schulman: Hmm, yeah. Hmm ha. Hmm, a emm in fact a, er thirty thousand years old, hmm ha…

Frank Disraeli: Thirty thousand years old, amazing!

Professor Schulman: Yeah, ’ma’ing.

Frank Disraeli: That means, er you must have received some very interesting royal telegrams.

Professor Schulman: Er, yeah, that’s right. Er, I’ve got one from King Negupa… er Nebukan… Nebuchick… got one from King Herod.

Frank Disraeli: Incredible, incredible! Er, when did that arrive? Nearly two thousand years ago, I imagine.

Professor Schulman: No, no, this morning you see, came second class. Nya. Splash it all over, y’know? Hm.... ?

Professor the Confessor: Thank you Doctor Disraeli and our resident cave man. The cave man was the one on the left. Or on the right if you’re (getting quieter) facing.. the window… no matter. (normal) Now, Doctor Fiona Pankhurst, over to you.

Fiona Pankhurst: Thank you. Well, from prehistoric missing links we move on to sport. The following Half-Open University broadcast covers the development of sport from very early times. Half past six in the morning till well into Saturday evening. Matchsticks for your eyelids are supplied inside the programme notes.

Music: World of Sport signature tune

Jimmy: Good afternoon, and welcome to Ancient World of Sport, where we’ve got a really packed programme of events for you today from practically every moment of history. We’ve got squash from the Black Hole of Calcutta, from old Salem there’s the two thousand guineas stakes with fifteen witches being burned at them, and later on we’ll be talking to the man who killed Robert the Bruce about his victory in the bobsleigh event. As usual, we’ve got a lot of sportsmen from the past who are present and even more sportsmen from the present who are past it. But straightaway, we start with the British monarchy events or Sport of Kings; we’ve just had a late flash that Charles II has whisked Nell Gwynn back to his place in two minutes flat, so that looks like a very good time for him there. And now let’s catch up on the Scottish league monarch results:

Monarch Results Announcer: James One, James Two. James Three, James Four. James Five, James Six. James Seven,—

Jimmy: Well, more of—

Monarch Results Announcer: —James Eight …

Jimmy: —those results later. But first, let’s see how we’re doing in that vital Royal Succession Cricket Tournament, and I’m afraid England are in trouble again, King John went out at twelve sixteen, and then we lost three more Edwards, a Richard, four Henrys and oh, we’ve just heard that Edward V has gone as well. Come in, John Arlott.

F/X: door handle

F/X: cricket match atmosphere

John Arlott: Hello and good afternoon. And as you join us, Richard III has just come out into the field here with one rather short square leg, one extra wide and not very fine long leg, one crooked shoulder, two crosseyes at twenty-seven silly points, and a lot of spectators are moving behind the side screens so they don’t have to look at him. And now, Henry Tudor has come in to bowl here on the Bosworth Field and – oh dear.

F/X: spectators clapping

John Arlott: That’s it, he’s caught. Richard III is caught. And so with the Plantagenets all out, we return listeners to the studio.

F/X: atmosphere stops

Jimmy: And now some more Scottish results:

Monarch Results Announcer: James Twenty-Nine, James Thirty. James Thirty-One, James Thirty-Two.

Jimmy: And the score is therefore James [??] James, James James, James [who ??] got a hattrick, James, James and James with an own goal. Well now it’s time for the highlight of today’s programme, over now to the ancient Majan city of Chichen Itza for edited highlights of Chichen Itza Knock-Out.

F/X: stadium atmosphere

Eddie Waring (yes, it’s an Eddie Waring impression): Ahh, hello and welcome to Chichen Itza, where six ancient cultures are about to battle it out to see just who is the original civilisation, apart of course from Sir Kenneth Clark, who is our adjudicator here tonight. Good evening, Lord Clark.

Kenneth Clark: And so, here we have embodied the most ancient of heritages, that prehistorical, almost primeval basis of the dark ages, before the very mists of time… (fades out)

Stuart: And while he’s examining Eddie Waring, let’s meet some of our competitors here tonight. From Egypt, Ramses the Second’s butler, better known as the Valet Of The Kings.

Ramses’s Butler: Hello.

Stuart: And with him, the puritanical Queen Nefatiti, and her aged mother, only occasionally nowadays titi… And from Imperial China, Empress Tang Ming Ping Li Wing Ling A Dong, a former entry in Eurovision song contest.

Empress (falsetto, various voices together): Hello. Hello. Hello. Hello.

Stuart: Then, from the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, some of the hanging gardeners.

Gardeners (various voices): Ahhh. Arrghh. Ahhhrhh. Arrhhhaa. Ahgh.

Stuart: And fresh from constructing a huge stockade around the elders of their tribe, the Philistines, who fortify the over-forties. Oh, and I’ve just had an urgent monolith from Ur, that their competitors fell off the Ziggurat there last night, proving that Ziggurats can be harmful to your health! Well now on with the first game.

F/X: referee’s whistle

F/X: stadium atmosphere fades up for a moment

Eddie Waring: And the Egyptian slaves are up to a good start carrying the granite slabs up the greasy slope to try and build a pyramid. Personally, I think the building looks ridiculous and I don’t think the Pharaoh will be seen dead in it, ehhhhh, but I see the Philistine lad is in trouble, he’s attempting to mummify himself, he’s er, he’s trying to pull out his brains with a hook stuck up his nose to put in a sacred jar and ahhhhheehhhh, it slipped into the corner of his head and the hook won’t reach. Stuart?

Stuart: And the Phoenicians seem to be enjoying themselves over there, but if they keep that sort of thing up any longer, there’ll be at least one Phoenician blind before the finish. Eddie.

Eddie Waring: Stuart?

Stuart: Eddie.

Eddie Waring: Thank you. Well I’m afraid as usual the ancient Britons have trailed in last. They had to build a temple on Salisbury plain in three months, but they’ve still only got as far as the stone scaffolding. So they loose out to the ancient Romans, who had to build their own city and did it in just over twenty-four hours. And now back to Jimmy in the studio.

F/X: atmosphere stops

Jimmy: And thank you there Eddie and Stuart, well that’s just about all from Ancient World of Sport today, but we’ve just got one more late result: Er James Ninety-Seven, James Ninety-Eight. Well, what an upset there, and the scorer was Mary… was Mary Queen of Scots. Er no, sorry, James. So that’s all from us and good night!

Music: World of Sport signature tune

Announcer: (yawns)

F/X: paper rustling

Announcer: This is the Half-Open et cetera. (intake of breath) Now news of some Half-Open University publications.

F/X: First bar of Westminster Quarters

Announcer: These together with books, magazines, et cetera are available from the Half-Open University bookshop, priced at just a few pence, pounds, et cetera. Include ‘Richard II’, paperback, and ‘Richard III’, hunchback. ‘Medieval Prison Techniques’, handbound; ‘The American Civil War’, Alabamy bound; ‘History of Scouting’, Outward Bound; and ‘These Are The Worst Puns Since 1066’, I’ll be bound. And now Programme 5, Group 2, Block 6, forward three and collect two hundred as you pass Go, for students studying Pieces of Roast Beef with the OBE on our joint honours course. Professor the Confessor speaks first.

Professor the Confessor: Good evening et cetera. Britain before the Norman conquest was constantly being invaded by the Vikings. The Vikings had their own set of ethics, or Norse code. And it was not uncommon for one of them to charge into a woman’s hut and make love to her against her will. Naturally, her Will was none too pleased about it, but there was nothing he could do.

Fiona Pankhurst: This brings us to King Ethelred. Now—

Male voice: Psst. (unintelligible whispering)

Fiona Pankhurst: (silently) Oh? Oh, isn’t he? Oh, well, we’ll have to come back to him when he is, then. Ahem. (voice back to normal) In that case we move on to the Battle of Hastings. The year was 1066, and as William the Conqueror’s men took over the country, everyone knew what was to follow –

Frank Disraeli: 1067.

Professor the Confessor: Well now, some – look, I say pay attention, Jones up there in John o’ Groats! You’re miles away, man. Now, some important dates:

Frank Disraeli: Half a million BC.

Fiona Pankhurst: The first broadcast of Animal, Vegetable or Mineral took place under the title Ice, Ice or Ice.

Frank Disraeli: 1170 AD.

Fiona Pankhurst: Henry II kicked the Becket.

Frank Disraeli: 1263.

Fiona Pankhurst: Carl Nicholas Henty-Dodd Montfort changed his name to Simon Dee Montfort.

Frank Disraeli: 1337.

Fiona Pankhurst: The Hundred Years’ War began.

Frank Disraeli: 1387.

Fiona Pankhurst: Slices of oranges were passed round to the soldiers.

Professor the Confessor: Thank you. Well, this of course brings us… (pause, audience reaction) Thank you. Well, this of course brings us to 1423. 1423 was a particularly uneventful year for King Henry V, as he had died in 1422. Next, we come to the Wars of the Roses, and…

F/X: radio tuning noises, fragments of music

Music: The Archers signature tune

Doris Archer: Well, Dan. What did Walter Gabriel have to say?

Dan Archer: Bad news, Doris. It seems that Ralph Bellamy is [??]

F/X: door handle

Professor the Confessor: Excuse me, Mr and Mrs Archer, but I think some of my students are here. Ah! There your are! Get back to my lecture on Radio Three at once!

F/X: radio tuning noises again

Professor the Confessor: Now then – don’t you dare skip my lessons again! Right. Now, who can tell me the names of the two sides in the Wars of the Roses? Nobody? Nobody at all? (muttering under his breath) Damn, (normal) in that case I shall have to go and look it up.

Frank Disraeli: And while he’s doing that, we look again at King Ethelred.

Voice: (unintelligible whispering)

Frank Disraeli: What, still?

Voice: (more whispering)

Frank Disraeli: Oh, very well. (slight pause) The reign of King Edward IV. Edward IV is popularly believed to have been very debauched. And you can imagine what effect this would have had on some of his contemporaries, such as William Caxton. Well if you can’t imagine it, listen closely to the following oil painting.

F/X: some machinery working in the background

F/X: knocking on door

Assistant: Look out Mr Caxton, outside, it’s the fuzz!

William Caxton: Oh!

F/X: knocking on door

F/X: door handle

Policeman: Hello, hello, hello. Mr William Caxton? Publisher of printed books in periodic use?

William Caxton: Er, yes.

Policeman: I have reason to believe, that you have been publishing here, on these premises, journals of a certain unsavoury nature. To wit: ‘Edwardian Kinkorama’, ‘Confessions Of A Gay Yorkist’, and, ‘Plantagenets In Bondage’.

William Caxton: Nah, nah, I, I swear it, I haven’t, I haven’t!

Policeman: And have you, or have you not, got here copies of ‘Spanked Villains’, ‘Lancastrians In Leather’, and ‘Whip Me, Edward Of [Voik?]?

William Caxton: Straight up, I haven’t got any of ’em, honest. None of ’em!

Policeman: Oh. Well in that case, I’ll have to take a copy of ‘Crooked Back Discipline’.

William Caxton: That’ll be, that’ll be three and a half groats, Sir. Thank you.

Policeman: Thank you.

F/X: cash register operating

Professor the Confessor: Copies of that oil painting are available from the Half-Open University bookshop in plain brown frames.

Announcer: This is the Half-erm… the et cetera.

F/X: paper rustling

Announcer: And now er section 74 in our series on revolting 17th century events. Professor the Confessor speaks first. Professor Zimmermann speaks German, and Professor Schultzenheimer speaks badly, but is having treatment.

Professor the Confessor: Good evening. King Ethelred.

Voice: (unintelligible whispering)

Professor the Confessor: Well tell him to get a move on, then! 17th century revolting events. Er, Doctor Disraeli, perhaps you would like to introduce the next documentary.

Frank Disraeli: Certainly. In 1665 came a disaster that was to rock England’s capital. It all started off harmlessly enough in a little tenement dwelling in London’s East End.

F/X: street atmosphere

F/X: carriage driving past, wheels rattling

F/X: knocking on door

F/X: door handle

Doctor: Yes?

Mrs Pauper: Oh, it’s you, doctor. Thank heaven! Oh you must help me, doctor. It’s my husband here, he needs help! Look at him, lying here in his scraggy old bed, a-shivering all over and a-moaning!

Doctor: Mmm, yes, yes, you’re right, yes. If you’d better bring him inside…

F/X: another carriage driving past

Husband: Nyiii…

F/X: door closing

Mrs Pauper: Oh! I think he needs emergency treatment, doctor.

Husband: (further moaning in background)

Doctor: You’re right, yes. Yes. Can you make an appointment next Thursday afternoon? Say about four twenty-five?

Mrs Pauper: Next Thursday?! Doctor, he might be dead next Thursday!

Doctor: Alright, how about the week after?

Husband: Nyiii… nyiii…

Mrs Pauper: Oh doctor, look, oh I think he’s coming round!

Doctor: Good god, Mrs Pauper, he looks serious!

Husband: Nyiiihh! Nyiiiihh!

Mrs Pauper: Ohh, he doesn’t look very serious to me!

Husband: Nyiiihh! Nyiiihhh!

Doctor: Oh, oh god, no!

Mrs Pauper: Oh! Oh, what is it, doctor?

Doctor: Stand back! It’s what I’ve feared!!

Husband: Nyyiiihh! (turning into David Frost impression) Hello, good evening and welcome to…

Doctor: Your husband has got – the Frost!!!

Mrs Pauper: Ahhhhhhhhhhh!

Frank Disraeli: The patient was rushed immediately to hospital. But it was too late. It was nearly quarter past twelve. Within days, the Frost spread through the frightened city like wildfire. The horrible symptoms became all too familiar: Large, gleaming front teeth. Striped shirts with white collars. And moths in the wallet.

Various people (all doing David Frost impressions): Hello, welcome.

F/X: hand bell ringing

Various people: Super. Hello, welcome. (continuing in background)

F/X: hand bell ringing

Frost Collector: Bring out your Frosts. Bring out your Frosts.

F/X: knocking on door

Frost Collector: Bring out your frosts, Mrs?

Lady: Way, I got no Frosts here, Mr.

Frost Collector: No Frosts? But isn’t that the Lord Mayor of London’s coats parked outside yer hovel?

Lady: What if it is?

Frost Collector: Then the Mayor must be inside. And if he’s inside, can only mean one thing – he’s come here to appear on a chat show!

Lady: Noo! Noooo!

Music: [?? – some current affairs-type programme’s signature tune?]

Interviewer (another David Frost-impressionist): Ehehehheheh… Thank you, thank you Mr Mayor, we’ll take a break there as my tongue’s wearing out on your shoes. But we’ll be back in a [trifle ?]

Frost Collector: I thought so. Out you come. Into the [??].

Interviewer: Ehehhhhehehn…

Lady: Oh no! No! Oh don’t take him away! Oh Mr Mayor, you won’t let ’em take him away, will you?

Mayor: Er, we…

Lady: Say you won’t!

Mayor: Well… (turning into a David Frost impression as well) errr I will, I will, [??]

Frank Disraeli: Doctors soon discovered that the Frost could only be transmitted by having an interview with an infected person. But the problem was getting people to come forward.

Fiona Pankhurst: Everywhere, men dropped like flies. Then, one day, an enormous fire swept London, destroying all the city’s paper, scripts, pages of gags, clipboards, wads of money, the very lifeblood of the Frost virus. Within hours, the Great Frost of London was over.

Frank Disraeli: Thankfully, with modern medicine, the Frost is much less common today. And we need never fear any similar outbreaks. And now, for a further analysis of 17th century London, over to Professor Heinrich Hornrim. He’s a man who specialises in this particular period of history (turning into a David Frost impression, too), and I’m sure you’re all going to love him, nyiiha, so will you welcome pleeease, Professor Heinrich Hornrim. Hello, welcome, super, terrific. Oh… ha ha, hihihihihihi…

F/X: ambulance siren approaching and passing, then sound of running feet

Announcer: This is the er… et cetera. And that lecture was (turning into David Frost) nayiiihihiih… (back to normal) Ahem. Excuse me. That lecture on the Great Frost of London was researched by Mr Frost’s fiancée, a list of which can be found on the last five (unintelligible due to audience reaction). The next broadcast is Study Block Section 17 at the start of Course 25, on its own number six, Two Fat Ladies 88, Key of the Door 21. It covers England in the 18th century et cetera, and Professor the Confessor coughs first. Then swallows, then sniffs, then speaks.

Professor the Confessor: (coughs, swallows and sniffs in rapid succession) Good evening. Well now, we come to another of our practical history experiments. Half-Open University lecturer Clifford Gannett sends us this report:

F/X: crowd atmosphere

Clifford Gannett: Good evening. I’m speaking to you now from 18th century France, so I’m the sound quality isn’t too good. One of the most interesting aspects of the current French revolution is the use of the machine called the guillotine to behead the prisoners. Now, in order that you can get a good idea of how it works, I have actually managed to get myself condemned to death. As you can see, I’ve got my head in the wooden frame here, and I’m struggling like nobody’s business to get out before my head is sliced off. Ah, and now, this is interesting, here comes the executioner, and he’s winding the great blade right up—

F/X: creaking/squeaking

Clifford Gannett: —to the top of the guillotine. There he goes, there he goes… if you’re watching this in colour, it’s the white object at the top of your screen. Now then, I think that, yes, yes, the lever is being pulled, and, here we go!

F/X: guillotine blade falling down

F/X: crowd cheering

F/X: heavy object clunking down and rolling around

Clifford Gannett: (from the right) Well, as you can see my head has been completely severed at the neck, has missed the wicker basket and is now lying at the foot of the scaffold. This means that I am now completely dead. Oh. Arrrrggghhh…

Fiona Pankhurst: Thank you, the late Doctor Clifford Gannett. Incidentally, you won’t try and do anything like that yourselves at home, will you?

Frank Disraeli: No, you must always go to a qualified guillotine operator, who knows what he’s doing.

Professor the Confessor: Doctor Pankhurst.

Fiona Pankhurst: In 1553, Mary became the new English monarch. It was the first time England had had a woman on the throne and it was difficult for people to adapt properly – as King Mary I soon found out.

Frank Disraeli: But hard on the heels of Mary, came her ankles. (audience reaction) Then came Queen Elizabeth. Elizabeth was half-sister to Mary. And half her brother. And it was during Elizabeth’s reign that many and famous men came to the fore.

Fiona Pankhurst: Men like William Shakespeare, many of whose plays are said to have been written by Francis Bacon. For example: ‘Hamlet, Prince of Denmark’. A bit of Danish which has Bacon written all over it.

Professor the Confessor: Well, not long after Elizabeth came Charles et cetera. And after him, Charles et cetera II. It was the first Charles’s attempt to reign as absolute monarch that sparked off the Civil War. A bloody, merciless battle to see who could grab power in parliament. Today, this is known as a general election.

Fiona Pankhurst: Let’s examine more closely by looking at the diaries of one of the great literary men of the time – Samuel Pepys.

F/X: page being turned

F/X: quill scraping on paper (continues in background while Pepys speaks)

Samuel Pepys (Eric Pode-like voice): February the 6th, got up. Had toast for breakfast.

F/X: soft snapping noise

Samuel Pepys: Broke quill, con… continued with ballpoint. Put on clean socks. Royalists in another battle with Roundheads. King Charles took refuge in oak tree while awaiting news of the latest casualty figures.

Servant: Your Majesty, er are you sure we’re safe standing inside these dummy oak trees?

King Charles: Of course we are. Covered in all this bark and foliage, no one will spot us.

Servant: Er, whatever you say, Sir, but I can’t help feeling conspicuous in the middle of the Royal bedchamber.

King Charles: Hmmm. Maybe you’re right.

Samuel Pepys: And so Charles and his men went to a real oak tree in the country. Paid gas bill.

F/X: countryside atmosphere with birds chirping

King Charles: Lord Stuart, what news is there from the battle front?

Lord Stuart: ’Tis not good, Sire. I have just received the figures. Listen. Lord Fairfax…

Election Commentator: Roundhead.

Lord Stuart: … three thousand (audience reaction), three thousand six hundred and seventy-five dead.

F/X: crowd cheering

Lord Stuart: Prince Rupert.

Election Commentator: Royalist.

Lord Stuart: Five thousand nine hundred and ninety-seven dead.

F/X: crowd booing

Lord Stuart: Earl Carstairs of Barnstaple.

Election Commentator: Moderately roundhead with protruding ears.

Lord Stuart: Three dead. I therefore declare that the Roundheads have taken Marston Moor.

F/X: crowd cheering

Samuel Pepys: Thus Charles learned of his impending defeat. Windy out, but brightened up early in the afternoon. Had bath. The King called in his chancellors to discuss the situation.

King Charles: Lord Robert of McKenzie, what say you of how the war is going?

Lord Robert: Very glad you asked me, your Majesty, because if we look at the battle ground, we see that Cromwell already has all the pocket boroughs in his pocket, most of the safe constituencies in his safe and a good many solid seats around his dining room table. Now, if this trend is reflected right across the country, we should soon see Cromwell in a very strong surge, with rather long sleeves, nicely trimmed in urban and lace. Apart from that, what else can we expect? Well, I’ve been looking all morning at my projection, and (audience reaction) I’d say we’ll be faced with probably a Rump Parliament, or possibly a Sirloin Parliament and then, if things get really tough, a Scrag-End and Chewy Gristle Parliament.

King Charles: Hmmm… I find that hard to swallow, Lord Robert. What of my fate, though?

Lord Robert: Well, I’d say execution in some form your Majesty, er possibly even a hanging er, now a Royal hanging would be quite an interesting development and to illustrate it, I’ve developed a completely new Swingometer here, which I think demonstrates the idea…

King Charles: Silence, you fool! I think the vital result is coming in. Yes, the one result that my very life depends upon is coming in now on a Household Cavalry Gallup Poll.

F/X: hoof beats approaching

Messenger: Sire! Montrose one!

F/X: crowd cheering

Messenger: Queen of the South two!

F/X: crowd booing

Samuel Pepys: And so the King’s fate was sealed. The government of England was seized by Cromwell’s men, the monarch beheaded and the country plunged into disorder. Put cat out and went to bed.

Music: Open University theme – halfway through, weird noises start being overdubbed (honking, door bell, cuckoo clock, pig ?, something shattering, police siren, fog horn)

Announcer: Et cetera. In that Half-Open University broadcast you heard Nigel Rees, Chris Emmett, Timothy Davies, Christine Ozanne, et cetera. The programme literature was written by Andrew Marshall, John Mason, David Renwick, et cetera. And the broadcast was produced by Simon Brett. Et cetera.

(audience applauding)

King Ethelred: (clears his throat) Ahem. Hm, er, er, good er, erm evening. Erm, my er name is er, erm King Ethelred and er, I’m now er…

Fiona Pankhurst: (half-whispering) Look, it’s too late for that now, we’ve finished.

King Ethelred: Er, er but I’ve er really—

Fiona Pankhurst: Well, you should have been ready earlier, shouldn’t you?

King Ethelred: —got to … [??] … well, the thing is …

(both talking across each other and fading out)