[???] signature tune
We present: The Cheapo Quiz! A panel game devised, produced and presented to save the BBC money by not having to pay for a proper comedy script. And on the panel tonight are: a man you’ve never heard of, a man you’ve certainly never heard of, a man you’ll never hear of even if you live to be as old as either of his jokes, and a man you’ll only have heard of if you were on duty in the local coroner’s office after his last stage appearance. And now, here is your chairman for the evening, the same person as usual!
Hello. Hello, and welcome to the Cheapo Quiz, and the first question I’m going to put to the panel tonight is this: Which one of you can do a funny adlib which will save the BBC money by not having to pay for a proper comedy script?
mixture between buzzer and raspberry
Ha ha ha, yes that’s very good, Freddie, but next time can you press your buzzer first? And straight on with the next question, which is this: Which one of you can do another funny adlib to save the BBC even more money by not having to pay for a proper comedy script?
This is the BBC Home Service.
And now it’s time for another edition of The Dinosaur Cheese Interlude.
a few bars of the ITN News Tune (Non Stop by John Malcom), then fades out
Haha well. Well hello, hello, god bless and welcome back to the Dinosaur Cheese Interlude, where, as you know, the contestants have to chat to me for about thirty minutes without mentioning cheese, or talking about any huge extinct land reptiles of the mesozoic era. So, straight away, god bless and, can we have the first contestant right along here, please?
Hello, hello. God bless and what’s your name, Sir?
Ha ha, bad luck there, what a shame! Ha ha! And the next one right along here, please. And what’s your name, madam?
Winifred Edith Stegosaurus.
Ah ha ha. Dear oh dear, what a pity there. Ha ha, and the next one right along here who wants to try his luck at the Dinosaur Cheese Interlude. Hello, god bless, Sir, and what’s your name?
Erm, erm, my surname is the same as one of the first two contestants, but my first name is Norman.
Ha ha, haa.
Veery good Norman, very good.
Ha ha. And is your wife here tonight at all?
Ha ha. Dear, oh dear, oh dear. Haha, well, we just caught him out there, didn’t we? And the next one right along here, please. And your name, Sir?
Ah, and is, haha, is your wife here tonight, Mr Pass?
Sh… she, she is.
Got your eye on any prizes at all?
I, I have.
Like to win some, would you?
Err, err, I would.
You did say you would, didn’t you?
Er I did.
Well, what do you do for a living then?
I pterodactyl cottage cheese.
We interrupt this recording of the Dinosaur Cheese Interlude to bring you a rather frightening newsflash: The news is read by Reginald Bosanquet.
And now, for an even more frightening newsflash, over to the BBC newsroom.
(overexcited) An enormous, gigantically huge cockroach, measuring a staggering eighty feet by ninety feet by Lord Goodman’s left buttock, is on a rampage in Britain! The cockroach, which—
(normal) Oh. Ohh. Sorry, I… seem to have read that wrong. Erm, yes er, what I, I should have said was: (overexcited again) An enormous gigantically normal-sized cockroach, measuring a staggering one inch by half an inch by a man with a severe marital problem, is on a rampage in Britain! This completely normal-sized cockroach, last sighted eight weeks ago near the British embassy in Shepherd’s Bush, is by now believed to be in the Shepherd’s Bush area! At this very moment, the cockroach, nicknamed ‘Normalo’ by those who have seen it, is reported to be crawling along the Goldhawk Road and devouring everyone in it’s path, very slowly. The police have issued this warning to the public: Do not smear yourself with mustard and lie down enticingly between two slices of bread, as this could be an open invitation for it to try and eat you! The authorities are of course doing everything they can to deal with the menace! Already, Scotland Yard’s crack Anti-Cockroach Combat Unit has been sent in to the scene of the cheddar!
Ha ha, ha. Oh what rotten luck there, he almost made it, ha ha. Well, god bless and now it’s time to wheel on our two gorgeous hostesses for the evening, both kindly loaned to us by the Stiffco Modelling Agency, to tell us all about tonight’s star prize!
And tonight’s star prize, The Burkiss Way to Dynamic Living.
Burkiss Way opening signature tune
Yes, it’s true. Have you got something personal that needs ironing out, or is it just the effect of the cold weather? Lacking in confidence? Then write now to Jo Kendall, Chris Emmett, Nigel Rees and Fred Harris and we’ll show you how to cause a sensation among the ladies. Simply walk in and behave as if it was the Gents’. Yes, these and other amazing secrets have just been cut by the BBC’s censor in Lesson 26, First Prize The Burkiss Way.
out, then followed by [??? advertising/presentation-type music]
Yes, and these are some of the gorgeous delights awaiting the lucky winner of a trip to the humorous wireless programme The Burkiss Way to Dynamic Living. Interested in historical remains? Then why not visit the ancient ruins of the joke about the scientist who discovered the best form of birth control for [hippopotami is sex ?]. Or, if this isn’t to your taste, and why should it be, you can always languish in the shade of this:
door handle, followed by door closing
Ahh, come in, Preskins. Now then, how long have you been a public relations officer here at Whizzo Holidays?
Er, fifteen sun-kissed weeks, Sir.
Yes, I’m sorry about my son. Nasty habit he’s got.
Err, it’s alright, Sir.
Anyway, the thing is, Preskins, I’m afraid I’ve been receiving several complaints from our foreign associates.
Yes, Preskins. Complaints about the tourists spots.
Oh. Have they tried TCP, Sir?
Preskins, no amount of TCP would in any way compensate for the things, and things is the only word for it, you have been doing to some of the world’s leading monuments.
Oh. Oh, that, Sir.
Yes, Preskins, that, Sir.
(quietly) Yes, Sir.
Perhaps you would like to tell me, would you, what exactly you did to the pyramids last week?
Well I…, I.. put—
—brassieres on them, Sir.
Put brassieres on them, exactly.
And er, tell me Preskins, why exactly did you put brassieres on them?
Well, to er, to lift and separate them, Sir.
To lift and separate—
—them. I see.
Yes, Sir. Well, it’s so they’ll get—
—noticed when, when, when they’re running for the elevator, Sir.
Erm, have you any idea how embarrassing it was for the Egyptian government when a coachload of tourists arrived there last Wednesday morning, only to find that Ramses the Second’s tomb and the Great Pyramid of Cheops had been accented by a five hundred foot high [Burley Gazelaunt ??]?
Yes, Sir, I’m verry sorry, Sir.
And that’s not all, is it, Preskins? Next, Preskins, we come, to the Post Office Tower!
Oh, I, I, I er, I’ve just remembered, Sir, I’ve got to go and change my library books now…
(shouting) Stay, Preskins!!
Yes, Sir, yes, Sir.
Now then, come a little closer.
Come a little closer. Have you anything you want to tell me about the Post Office Tower?
No, Sir. No, Sir.
Are you sure you haven’t done anything to it lately?
Ah, ohh. You mean the er…
Yes, Preskins, I do! You have put something far too rude to mention on Radio Four right over the Post Office Tower.
So, so you don’t mean…
Then you must mean—
Yes. The GPO are very angry indeed, and the National Barbers Union are threatening to sue!
I’m ever so sorry, Sir!
And I shouldn’t be at all surprised if it blacks out the radio transmitters as well before we’re—
weird electronic noises followed by a persistent humming
—through with this pr—
Yes, a really fantastic time awaits the lucky person who wins a trip to the Burkiss Way. Why not sample the ice-cold paddling pool, which will chill your kneecaps and bring tears to the eyes of Pygmies. Or, you could always visit the strange natives of the Burkiss Way’s intermission.
vibraphone glissando, then Theme from a Summer Place
There will now be a short intermission.
(over) Coming soon to this intermission: Jules Verne’s Rocket To The Moon, the greatest piece of science-fiction since Son Of John Inman. Adapted for radio in sixty-nine weekly parts, each sixty-nine minutes long, by a man with his mind on other things. (pause) The story so far:
First, we started playing this music:
(over) Then I said ‘Coming soon to this intermission: Jules Verne’s Rocket To The Moon, the greatest piece of science-fiction since …’ (fades out)
small crowd atmosphere
Ladies and non-ladies, being a humble lady mayoress, I often squiff it difficult to find the right words to snickle on these auspicious prunties. So instead, I’m just going to introduce you to the man who has organised this amazing journey to the Moon today. His name is Mister Simon Dee, and I would like now to welcome him in the usual manner, but unfortunately his wife’s looking. Ladies and gentlemen, Mister Simon Dee.
polite applause and cheering
Good afternoon, Mister Dee, how long did it—
No no, it’s er Nemo, Captain Nemo.
Oh. Are you sure?
Oh. Well, Captain Nemo, how long is it since you started to organise this incredible Moon expedition?
About three times a week usually.
I beg your pardon?
Oh, sorry erm… What was the er question again?
I said ‘How long is it since you started to organise this expedition?’
Well er, let me see…
Certainly not, just answer the question.
Oh er, about ten years.
And you’re absolutely certain that you can make it to the Moon in this strange craft of yours, this erm, er what do you call it?
Yes, this er, this submarine of yours. I mean it does all sound a little bit unlikely.
Don’t worry. Remember, they laughed at Bernard Manning.
No they didn’t.
Oh that’s true, they didn’t. Anyway, I have every confidence in the Nautilus here of getting me to the Moon er and back.
Erm, er Captain Nemo, you’re sure you’re not in the wrong Jules Verne adventure, or anything like that?
Absolutely positive. Now stand clear please, Lady Hacknebottmo.
Are you about to blast off?
No, I was just leaning over to open the hatch. Right, here I go, Lady Hacknebottmo, wish me luck.
metallic hatch opening and closing, rocket blasts off
crowd cheering as the rocket lifts off into the distance
rocket falling down again and plummeting into the sea with a big splash
underwater bubbles, sonar tracking noises
Hmmm, this must be the er Sea of Tranquility er. Amazing how fish-shaped the moon rocks appear. Almost as if I made some… almighty cock-up, and ended up plummeting back into the sea.
Now who can that be at this depth?
hatch opening, sound of water gushing in
Oh Mister Dee? Er, can I have your autograph please? Oh it’s not for me you understand, it’s for me wastepaper basket.
You are Simon Dee, ain’t you?
No, no no no no, Nemo, Captain Nemo.
Oh sorry. In that case I’ve got a letter for you. Special delivery like, here we are, plain brown wrapping eh, know what I mean? Good day, Sir.
Oh. Good day.
hatch closes, water stops gushing
Plain brown wrapping? Now what can it be, I wonder?
wrapping being torn open
Ohhh… oh. ‘Big Tentacles – The Magazine for the Broad-Minded Squid’. Oh that’s, that’s ridiculous. Doesn’t usually arrive till Tuesday. Hey hold on, I wanna have a look at the small ads…
At the back here, ah, here we are: North Atlantic, slim squid, over twenty-one, wants meet friends interested in polaroid fun, shorts, leather gear – and octopoidal threesome, no fees. No I don’t, I don’t fancy that. Errr, oh, Sargasso Sea, bearded dominant squid offers free holiday South of France, for friendship with young winkle. Your place only. No, that wouldn’t do. Twenty-thousand leagues under the sea, active squid, likes wrestling large mussels, friends in big rubber boots and er… wrapping itself round enormous submarines with mis… misguided spacemen inside, crate number three four five, Billingsgate. Oh, that sounds just my cup o’ tea, now where’s my writing pad?
Now who could that be?
hatch opening, sound of water gushing in
(speaking through loudhailer) Alright cockroach, the party’s over. We’ve got the entire North Atlantic sealed off.
We know you’re game alright, exoskeleton [vicious ??]. There’s no possible way you can get out of here now, except by escaping.
Who are you?
Ah, listen to ol’ Cockroach Joe. You know full well who we are: Scotland Yard’s crack anti-cockroach unit. So come on out, six-legs, the game’s up.
Look, I am not a cockroach! I am an astronaut!
Don’t give me that load of shenanigans. I happen to know you are ‘Normalo’, the normal-sized cockroach, who is at this very moment at large in Shepherd’s Bush. Alright, [Anthropoid Harry ?], the choice is yours, jacket potatoes or french fries, it’s up to you. (short pause) I’ll give you a count of twenty.
Er no, thank you.
Alright then, a fifteen year old marquess.
Haha, I knew it would work.
Now for god’s sake would you please close that door? I’m getting drenched to the triceratops—
Ha, dear oh dear, wehell, bad luck there, Mister Dee. So, there we are and god bless. Well, that’s the star prize on offer tonight, so it only remains for Stiffco model two seventy-eight to tell us all about the booby prize.
Yes. And tonight’s booby prize is:
Eric Pode of Croydon. Haaaa.
Ha, you’ve got a few friends out there tonight, Mr Croydon, haha ha—
Yeah, I have a few friends, yeah.
—Haha. Ell ha erm, what have you been doing with yourself?
Nothing, I’ve always worn these glasses.
Haha, aha… Yees, err, but err… what made you come here tonight as the booby prize?
I need the money. I got, I got six mouths to feed, you know?
Yeah, I cut meself shaving. Haaaahh…
A ha, a haha ha, yes.
Anyway, I just lost my last job – hanging upside down from a pole.
Hanging upside down from a pole, er well, what were you working as?
A pawnbroker’s sign, mate.
—and what qualifications did you need for that?
Haha. Ahahahaha. Well, isn’t he a panic? And now it’s time to get straight on with the rest of—
I’ve, I’ve I’ve, I’ve really been suffering this winter, I, I always feel it when it’s cold, you know?
Yes, it gives me summat to do in the evening, see.
Haha haa, ha yes, still still, I expect you could always play with your children.
I can’t bear children.
No, I got a wife does that sort o’ thing, haaaaahhh haahaa, haaah…
A-haha, ha, well, now let’s bring on the next person who wants to play—
Besides, besides they, they say too much of it makes you go deaf.
Ha ha. Too much of what?
A-hahaha, a-haha. Well, now will you please show in the next contestant—
We, we we we buried my uncle Sid at the weekend.
Oh I’m sorry to hear that.
Yeah, he wasn’t too pleased about it, either. Haaaaahh, I got that off a fag card.
A-hahaha, yees, I’m sure. Well, god bless and can we have the next contestant—
You know something, my, my dandruff was offered a leading part in White Christmas, you know.
Ha ha. Ha ha. Yee-es, well, er can we have the next person right along here please who wants to play the Dinosaur Cheese Interlude.
Well, hello and its Mrs.. Ada Fat, Ada Fat of Basingstoke. Ha ha. And what price have you got thoughts on, Ada?
Er, well I rather fancy the three minutes for four on the film of your choice.
I see, on the film of your choice. Well, in that case Ada, all you have to do is to answer this question:
Is everybody here?
Yes, all present, Mr Producer.
Right, well welcome gentlemen to the first script conference of my brand-new film production: Er ‘Confessions Of A Load Of People Who Show Off Spherical Bits Of Anatomy’.
Erm, I thought we’d done that one, Sir?
Oh no no no no, no, we’ve, we’ve done er ‘Confessions Of A Different Load Of People Who Show Off Spherical Bits Of Anatomy’, and er ‘Confessions Of More Different People Who Show Off Different Spherical Bits Of Anatomy’, er ‘Confessions Of A Different Load Of People Who Show Off The Same Spherical Bits Of Anatomy From A Different Angle’, err ‘Confessions Of The Same Different Load Of People Who Show Off The Same Bits Of Anatomy, Only By Now They’re Not Quite So Spherical’, but we definitively haven’t done ‘Confessions Of A Load Of People Who Just Show Off Spherical Bits Of Anatomy’.
Oh. Erm, well what was that awful thing we were shooting this morning, then?
Erm, er no no no, no no, the one were the colours never came out.
Oh Enoch Powell.
Erm, er no no no, that girl was in it, er what’s her name er, I’d recognise her anywhere – well apart from the face of course.
Oh yes, that’s her.
Oh. Well, never mind that now, let’s get back to the script, err… any ideas on this one chaps?
Er yes, well, basically Mr Sausagemachine, my idea is, my idea, is to have Timothy Groin—
—as a petrol pump attendant, you see.
And what I thought was, he goes to serve a woman with some petrol, —
Mmmm mm mmm…
—and she shows off her spherical bits of anatomy.
Hmmm… no I-I, I don’t see that one somehow… What about you er, same person, erm did you have any ideas?
Well yes, well, well, the idea I had was that Timothy Groin goes to serve a woman with some petrol, —
—and she shows off—
—his spherical bits of anatomy.
Better, better, but-but-but it’s still a bit erm, gratuitously smutty somehow.
Then how about: Timothy Groin goes to serve a woman with some petrol, —
—and they both show off—
—spherical bits of anatomy, —
—but, with Irene Handl standing in the back.
I like it! I like it! Now that’s pretty sophisticated stuff! We haven’t done anything that sophisticated since we showed one of our scenes back-to-front and everyone thought it was ‘Last Tango in Paris’. Yes, it just needs that one extra ingredient.
I-I-I, I’ve got it, Sir:
Timothy Groin, —
—goes to serve a woman—
—with, with some petrol, —
—and then, —
—serves her with it.
Timothy Groin, you with me? … goes to serve—
—a woman with some petrol…
… and then—
—serves her with it.
Oh, I see. You mean he does actually give it to her?
Oh no, no, he serves her with the petrol!
Oh, I-I… er he serves her.. with some petrol…
… and then they show off spherical bits of anatomy.
Noo! No, no, no, you don’t know.
Oh, I, I-I-I.. I see, I see. They show off spherical bits of anatomy first, and… then he serves her with some petrol.
No, no no, they don’t show off any spherical bits of anatomy at all!
Are you mad?
W-what you’re doing on this film then?
[??] just that I thought maybe we could, as it were, drop the spherical bits of anatomy, er element this time.
Drop the spherical bits of anatomy?
(in parallel) … spherical bits of anatomy?
Ha ha ha.
…this, this time. We.. w-w-well yes, Sir, I, I mean to be honest, I’ll reckon the public are getting fed up with watching all these eyeballs on the screen anyway.
(speaking through loudhailer) Alright, nobody move. This is completely surrounded by fifty million trillion people and I’m not bluffing all that much. This time I know Normalo, the normal-sized cockroach is in here, because I— Ah! Aha! There he is. (normal) Private man’s voice?
Come on man, pull your finger out.
Ah, that’s better. Now then (audience reaction), there’s only one man who can deal with a zoological crisis like this. Send in David ‘Tahhlks Like Dis’.
Very good Captain. You heard him men, bring in David ‘Tahhlks Like Dis’.
Ah, welcome to the scene of the action, Mr ‘Tahhlks Like Dis’. There’s the cockroach, look, underneath that table. As a leading scientist and authority on these matters, what do you suggest we do?
Well. A cockroach of this completely normal size could prrroove very tricky to handle. So I think the only course of action open to me at the moment is to tahhlk like dis.
Fine, fine, fine.
It erm, it doesn’t seem to have been very effective in capturing the cockroach, Sir.
No, you’re right. I tell you what, Mr ‘Tahhlks Like Dis’, how about us all giving you a hand?
Well, alright then.
Okay, everyone. All sew your top lips to your nostrils, that’s it. That’s it. Now then, all together:
Noo, that doesn’t seem to have made a blind bit of difference, either.
Er, hang on, Sir, I, I-I-I’ve just noticed something.
What is it, private man’s voice?
Well, look closely at that cockroach. Ii-it’s not a cockroach at all… but, nothing.
(gasps) He’s right, Sir. It’s nothing at all, absolutely nothing. Funny how they look so similar in this light. Look, I’ll, I’ll bring it over and show you.
Noo! No, don’t touch that whatever you do.
Well, it’s my belief, that that absolutely nothing is in fact a rare Latvian nonexistent cockroach.
A nonexistent cockroach?
Yes yes, of the genus Blatella nonexisticus. They’re extremely rare, nobody’s ever seen one.
Er, excuse me, but isn’t this getting rather absurd?
Yes, I think so.
—is the right answer!
Haha, well, congratulations, Ada, god bless and that means that you’ve won tonight’s closing credits.
Burkiss Way closing signature tune
(over) Well, that just about winds up another thritty minutes the Burkiss Way. The closing credits you can hear now complete with labour-saving liberal pact, an eye level Jo Kendall which stands on tiptoe to make it more fun, plus an electronic Esther Rantzen which automatically turns off Chris Emmett, Nigel Rees and Fred Harris. Writers Andrew Marshall and David Renwick will enable you to cook up a special two-course script, although if it’s much too coarse it may be cut by producer John Lloyd of Europe. See you next year folks, and happy dynamic living.
to finish & out
Ha ha ha, well, god bless Ada, and I’ll tell you what I’ll do: I’ll offer you a dummy late motoring flash…
… for those credits.
How about that? It’s my last offer.
Go on. Go on, take it.
I’ll take it!
Reports are just coming in of an accident outside the BBC Television Centre in Wood Lane, where apparently the Black & White Minstrel Show has just been run over by a steam roller. Police are advising motorists to treat it as a zebra crossing.