Music: The Beatles - Paperback Writer, then fade out for Melvyn Bragg (m, nasal voice): Hello there once again, and in tonight's edition of The Music's The Only Good Bit About It, our three guest book reviewers are, in order of self-importance: an elderly intellectual with long hair and a denim jacket, who has heard of Julien Pettifer; an aristocratic intellectual, who wears frilly shirts open to the waist and has his toilet paper made to measure at Harrods; and an aristocratic female intellectual, who spells 'yes' E A R S, writes historical novels and must remain anonymous, although her family motto is 'A Pinter refreshes you most'. Well, later on we'll also be talking to four publishing agents, and a gentile, and I'll be talking, I'll be talking, taking a look at Charles Dickens's latest book, Around the World in Eighty Days. But first, elderly intellectual with long hair, which book have you choosen? Eldery Intellectual (m, speaking very quickly and prone to stuttering): Well, I.. I've chosen the newly dramatised version of er, of erm, of Leo Tolstoi's novel erm, Anna Karenina, ermm, mm mm, there'll be another dramatisation of the parfl.. parpl p ps psbl bl blbl blbl , but, b..but this to my mind, ttthis, this to my mind comes closest to the author's original vision o.. erm, brm brm erm, of, the erm awareness er... Melvyn Bragg: Er, yes of course, this is the er, the one by Tubby The Tuba? Elderly Intellectual: [??] yes, yes, I think er, Tuba have done a remarblrlrlrlrlrlrlrl..remarkable job here, and I..I, I..I..I, and of course, the Blblblblblblbl.. Blblblblblblbl..., BBC have er, have a.., have a.., ahhhhhhh.., have already [stepped ?] it up for.. for, fo.. fffff..for production. Melvyn Bragg: Er, er yes, yes, in fact, in addition to er talking through my nose all the while, I, I think we can now just see a short clip from that, Anna Karenina as dramatised by Tubby The Tuba. Music: dramatic music with male voice choir, then a shaky tuba, which finally breaks down and rather resembles the sound of blowing your nose, then the dramatic music with male voice choir again Melvyn Bragg: Tubby The Tuba's version of Anna Karenina there. Aristocratic Female, who spells 'yes' E A R S, well as me speaking as though I got a tea cozy stuffed up each nostril, I believe that er, you chose the new book of scripts from the TV series 'Are You Being Funny'. Female Intellectual (f): Ears. Ears, I did. I think what impressed me most about the 'Are You Being Funny' transcripts was the hilariously amusing scene, where Mrs Slocombe, brackets with purple wig on, says she's going home to give her hamster a shampoo and put a little pink bow on it. It's very funny. Melvyn Bragg: Er, ha, I, I'm sorry, but er, I, I think, I think it was her pussy. Female Intellectual: Sorry? Melvyn Bragg: I think the word was 'a pussy', not hamster. Female Intellectual: Oh, ears. Well, it was some pet or other, I know it's splendid family entertainment. Aristocratic Intellectual (m): No, no, I think you're both missing the point here. Surely, the whole cracks of the programme isn't Mrs Slocombe shampooing her pussy, and Mrs... Elderly Intellectual: (tries to say something, but only manages a few stutters) Aristocratic Intellectual: ... and Mr Humphries gaying around all over the shop, but the intrinsic corruptness of the Roman imperial system at that time. Elderly Intellectual: (starts saying very rapidly something incomprehensible) Melvyn Bragg: Erm, er, wha.. I think, I think that you're thinking of 'I, Claudius'. Aristocratic Intellectual: (put down) Oh, am I? Melvyn Bragg: Er, yes. Aristocratic Intellectual: Ah. Melvyn Bragg: Well, from me sounding like Cyrano de Bergerac with sinus trouble, er, let's move on now to me still sounding like Cyrano de Bergerac with sinus trouble, while I talk to our next guest about his latest book. Er good evening, Mr Seamus O'Rafferty Flinn Doherty de Dublin. Mr Dublin (m, with Irish accent): Er, good evening, Sir, good evening. Melvyn Bragg: Er you are, I believe, Irish? Mr Dublin: That's correct, Sir, that's correct, yes. Melvyn Bragg: Er, you come from the land where people shin up ladders? Mr Dublin: Correct, Sir, yes. Melvyn Bragg: You are of the race of men, who often do themselves a nasty injury er trying to lay a brick? Mr Dublin: Correct, Sir, yes. Melvyn Bragg: I see. Well, er, ha, obviously I don't want to labour that point because it is of course totally irrelevant to our discussion about your new book, which I see is entitled, er The Reviled and Savage Fruits of Spring. Mr Dublin: Correct, Sir. Melvyn Bragg: Er, now then, er, Mr Rafferty Flinn er Doherty de Dublin, one of the things which one notices most, aside from me the fact that vocally, I resemble a rhinitis-ridden elephant, the somewhat brief nature of this book of yours. Mr Dublin: Err, well, yes, I suppose it is a bit short, Sir, yes. Melvyn Bragg: Er, just one word in fact? Mr Dublin: Erm, is it? I.. I've never really counted, Sir. Melvyn Bragg: Er no, well, well er, I can assure you I have, and well, I can assure you it does just tott up to one word. Mr Dublin: Thank you, Sir, thank you. Melvyn Bragg: Er, don't you feel, that at er four pound ninety-five in hardback, the word 'Knockers' is... a wee bit expensive. Mr Dublin: Well, not really, Sir, it's no more expensive than my last novel, Sir. Melvyn Bragg: Oh yes, your last novel, ... Mr Dublin: Yes, Sir. Melvyn Bragg: ... Enthroned in the Hearts of Kings. Now this, if my memory serves me correct, was about the same length. Mr Dublin: Yes, that's correct, Sir. Melvyn Bragg: Just one word? Mr Dublin: Yes, Sir. That's quite correct, Sir, yes. Melvyn Bragg: Er, the word 'Knickers'? Mr Dublin: Correct, Sir. I wrote most o' that one while I was in Venice, three years ago, Sir. Obviously, it took quite a lot o' research, that one. But, I was able to go into it quite deeply, 'cause I believe... Melvyn Bragg: I understand also, Bog Irish, that er, at the moment, you are working on your thrid book. Mr Dublin: That is right, Sir, yes. Melvyn Bragg: Well er, so far we've had 'Knockers', and 'Knickers', and I understand this one will complete the trilogy. Mr Dublin: That's right, yes, Sir. Knackery. Melvyn Bragg: Knackery? Mr Dublin: It's got a surprise ending, Sir. Melvyn Bragg: Er, Mr O'Rafferty Flinn Doherty de Dublin, thank you, and get out. Well, and so finally we come to the moment you've all been waiting for: I'm going to blow my nose. (he does so loudly and quite extensivly) Melvyn Bragg: (still sounding as nasally as before) Ahhh, that's better. Er well, er as I said earlier, we're now going to have a look at Charles Dickens's latest book, which is 'Around the World in Eighty Days, by Jules Verne'.