Monty Python's Personal Best (2006) s01e05 Episode Script

Michael Palin's Personal Best

Hello and welcome to Teddington Lock in London, the world home of fish slapping, for a documentary programme which examines the complex and intriguing rituals of this ancient art.
I've been a slapper for many years.
And I'm proud to say I was the first person to slap on television, during the making of the Monty Python's Flying Circus television series over 30 years ago.
Since then, it's become a global phenomenon, with slappers in 300 countries, an extraordinary figure when you consider there are only 196 countries in the world.
Rumour has it that Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands and Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, for so long President of Iceland, are both great slappers.
But what of Monty Python's Flying Circus? Well, they've had a harder time of it, but by some miracle, recordings of their skits and sketches have survived.
And what a fascinating and extraordinary portrait they present of a world before fish slapping.
Surely it can't be just coincidence that the opening sketch of the very first programme begins in the sea.
It's Vive Brian, wherever you are.
And now for something completely different.
I will not buy this record, it is scratched.
Sorry? I will not buy this record, it is scratched.
No, no, no.
This Tobacconist's.
I will not buy this tobacconist's, - it is scratched.
- No, no, no, no.
- Yeah, yes, cigarettes.
- Yeah? My hovercraft is full of eels.
What? My hovercraft is full of eels.
- Matches, matches.
- Yeah, yeah.
Do you want Do you want to come back to my place, bouncy bouncy? - I don't think you're using that right.
- You great poof.
That'll be six and six, please.
If I said you had a beautiful body, would you hold it against me? - I am no longer infected.
- May I May I? Yeah, yeah.
Costs six and six.
Costs six and Here we are.
What's going on here, then? You have beautiful thighs.
- What? - He hit me.
Drop your panties, Sir William, I cannot wait till lunchtime.
Right! My nipples explode with delight.
Well, to discuss the implications of that sketch and to consider the moral problems raised by the law-enforcement methods involved, we have a duck, a cat and a lizard.
Now, first of all I'd like to put this question to you, please, lizard.
How effective do you consider the legal weapons employed by legal customs officers, nowadays? While you're thinking about that, I'd like to bring the duck in here and ask her, if possible, to clarify the whole question of currency restrictions and customs regulations in the world today.
Perhaps the cat would rather answer that.
No? Lizard? No.
Well Let's ask the man in the street what he thinks.
Inspector, Inspector.
I'm terribly sorry, but I was sitting on a park bench over there, took my coat off for a minute and then I found my wallet had been stolen and £15 taken from it.
Well, did you see anyone take it, anyone hanging around or No, no, there was no one there at all.
That's the trouble.
There's not very much we can do about that, sir.
Do you want to come back to my place? Yeah, all right.
Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, Liszt, Brahms, panties I'm sorry.
Schumann, Schubert, Mendelssohn and Bach.
Names that will live forever.
But there is one composer whose name is never included with the greats.
Why is it the world never remembered the name of Johann Gambolputty de von Ausfern-Schplenden- Schlitter-Crasscrenbon- Fried-Digger-Dingle-Dangle-Dongle-Dungle- Burstein-von-Knacker-Thrasher- Apple-Banger- Horowitz-Ticolensic- Grander-Knotty-Spelltinkle- Grandlich-Grumblemeyer- Spelterwasser-Kurstlich- Himbleeisen-Bahnwagen-Gutenabend- Bitte-ein-Nürnburger-Bratwurstle- Gerspurten-Mitz-Weimache-Luber- Hundsfut-Gumberaber-Shönedanker- Kalbsfleisch-Mittler-Aucher von Hautkopft of Ulm? To do justice to this man, thought by many to be the greatest name in German Baroque music, we present a profile of Johann Gambolputty de von Ausfern-Schplenden- Schlitter-Crasscrenbon- Fried-Digger-Dingle-Dangle-Dongle-Dungle- Burstein-von-Knacker-Thrasher- Apple-Banger-Horowitz-Ticolensic- Grander-Knotty-Spelltinkle- Grandlich-Grumblemeyer- Spelterwasser-Kurstlich- Himbleeisen-Bahnwagen-Gutenabend- Bitte-ein-Nürnburger-Bratwustle- Gerspurten-Mittz-Weimache-Luber- Hundsfut-Gumberaber-Shönedanker- Kalbsfleisch-Mittler- Aucher von Hautkopft of Ulm.
We start with an interview with his only surviving relative, Karl Gambolputty de von Ausfern I first met Johann Gambolputty de von Ausfern-Schplenden- Schlitter-Crasscrenbon- Fried-Digger-Dingle-Dangle-Dongle-Dungle- Burstein- von-Knacker-Thrasher- Apple-Banger-Horowitz-Ticolensic- Grander-Knotty-Spelltinkle- Grandlich-Grumblemeyer-Spelterwasser- Kurstlich-Himbleeisen-Bahnwagen- Gutenabend-Bitte-ein-Nürnburger- Bratwustle-Gerspurten- Mitz-Weimache-Luber-Hundsfut- Gumberaber-Shönedanker-Kalbsfleisch- Mittler-Aucher von Hautkopft of Ulm, when he was with his wife, Sarah Gambolputty de von Yes, if I may just cut in on you there, Herr Gambolputty de von Ausfern- Schplenden-Schlitter-Crasscrenbon- Fried-Digger-Dingle-Dangle-Dongle-Dungle- Burstein-von-Knacker-Thrasher- Apple-Banger-Horowitz-Ticolensic- Grander-Knotty-Spelltinkle- Grandlich-Grumblemeyer-Spelterwasser- Kurstlich-Himbleeisen-Bahnwagen- Gutenabend-Bitte- ein-Nürnburger-Bratwurstle- Gerspurten-Mitz-Weimache-Luber- Hundsfut-Gumberaber-Shönedanker- Kalbsfleisch-Mittler-Aucher von Hautkopft of Ulm, and ask you just quickly if there's any particular thing that you remember about Johann Gambolputty de von Ausfern-Schplenden- Schlitter-Crasscrenbon- Fried-Digger-Dingle-Dangle-Dongle-Dungle- Burstein-von-Knacker-Thrasher-Apple- Banger-Ticolensic-Grander- Knotty-Spelltinkle- Grandlich-Grumblemeyer-Spelterwasser- Kurstlich-Himbleeisen-Bahnwagen- Gutenabend-Bitte- ein-Nürnburger-Bratwustle-Gerspurten- Mitz-Weimache-Luber-Hundsfut- Gumberaber-Shönedanker-Kalbsfleisch- Mittler-Aucher von Hautkopft of Ulm? Cut! That's it! We're not about to allow this sort of smut to be shown onscreen! Right! I've got some of your prescriptions here.
Who's got the pox? Come on, who's got the pox? Come on.
Who's got a boil on the bum? Boil on the botty? Who's got the chest rash? Have to get a bigger bottle.
Who's got Who's got wind? Catch.
The BBC would like to apologise for the poor quality of the writing in that sketch.
It is not BBC policy to get easy laughs with words like bum, knickers, botty or wee-wees.
These are the words which are not to be used again on this programme.
- Semprini? - Out! Right, who's got a boil on his Semprini, then? What's your name? Eric.
Would you like to have a 16-ton weight dropped on top of you, Eric? Don't know.
How about you? I want to have What do you want to have? I want to have What? I want to have Raquel Welch dropped on top of me.
- Dropped on top of you? - Oh, yes, not She's got a big bottom.
- And what's your name? - Trevor Atkinson.
- And how old are you, Trevor? - I'm 42.
Are you a friend of Trevor's? Yes, we're all colleagues from the Empire and General Insurance Company.
And what do you do? Well, I deal mainly with mortgage protection policies, but I also do certain types of life assurance.
Now, if you and your pal had one big wish, Trevor, what would you like to see on television? I'd like to see more fairy stories about the police.
And so you shall.
Good evening.
On Ethel the Frog tonight we look at violence.
The violence of British gangland.
Last Tuesday, a reign of terror was ended when the notorious Piranha brothers, Doug and Dinsdale, after one of the most extraordinary trials in British legal history, were sentenced to 400 years imprisonment for crimes of violence.
Tonight Ethel the Frog examines the rise to power of the Piranhas, the methods they used to subjugate rival gangs, and their subsequent tracking down and capture by the brilliant Superintendent Harry "Snapper" Organs of Q Division.
Doug and Dinsdale Piranha were born on probation in this house in Kipling Road, Southwark.
The eldest sons in a family of 16.
Their father, Arthur Piranha, a scrap-metal dealer and TV quizmaster, was well known to the police and a devout Catholic.
In January 1928, he had married Kitty Malone, an up-and-coming East End boxer.
Doug was born in February 1929, and Dinsdale two weeks later, and again a week after that.
At the age of 15, Doug and Dinsdale started attending the Ernest Pythagoras Primary School in Clerkenwell.
Anthony Viney, you taught the Piranha brothers English.
What do you remember most about them? When the Piranhas left school, they were called up but were found by an Army Board to be too mentally unstable even for national service.
Denied the opportunity to use their talents in the service of their country, they began to operate what they called "The Operation.
" They would select a victim and then threaten to beat him up if he paid them the so-called protection money.
Four months later they started another operation which they called "The Other Operation.
" In this racket, they selected another victim and threatened not to beat him up if he didn't pay them.
One month later they hit upon "The Other Other Operation.
" In this, the victim was threatened that if he didn't pay them, they would beat him up.
This, for the Piranha brothers, was the turning point.
Doug and Dinsdale Piranha now formed a gang, which they called "The Gang.
" A small-time operator who fell foul of Dinsdale Piranha was Vince Snetterton-Lewis.
Oh, one day, I was sitting at home threatening the kids and I looked out of the hole in the wall and I saw this tank drive up.
And one of Dinsdale's boys gets out and he comes up, all nice and friendly like, and says Dinsdale wants to have a talk with me.
So he chains me to the back of the tank and takes me for a scrape round to Dinsdale's.
And Dinsdale's there in the conversation pit with Doug and Charles Paisley, the baby crusher, and a couple of film producers and a man they called Kierkegaard, who just sat there biting the heads off whippets.
And Dinsdale said, "I hear you've been a naughty boy, Clement.
" And he splits me nostrils open and saws me leg off and pulls me liver out.
And I said, "My name's not Clement.
" And then he loses his temper and nails my head to the floor.
He nailed your head to the floor? At first, yeah.
Another man who had his head nailed to the floor was Stig O'Tracey.
Stig, I've been told that Dinsdale Piranha nailed your head to the floor.
No! No.
Never, never.
He was a smashing bloke.
He used to give his mother flowers and that.
He was like a brother to me.
But the police have film of Dinsdale actually nailing your head to the floor.
- Oh, yeah, well, he did that, yeah.
- Why? He had to, didn't he? I mean, be fair, there was nothing else he could do.
I mean, I had transgressed the unwritten law.
What had you done? Well, he never told me that.
But he gave me his word that it was the case and that's good enough for me with old Dinsy.
I mean, he didn't want to nail my head to the floor.
I had to insist.
He wanted to let me off.
There's nothing Dinsdale wouldn't do for you.
- And you don't bear him any grudge? - A grudge? Old Dinsy? He was a real darling.
I understand he also nailed your wife's head to a coffee table.
- Isn't that right, Mrs O'Tracey? - Oh, no.
Yeah, well, he did do that.
He was a cruel man, but fair.
Vince, after he nailed your head to the floor, did you ever see him again? Yeah.
After that, I used to go around to his flat every Sunday lunchtime to apologise and we'd shake hands and then he'd nail my head to the floor.
- Every Sunday? - Yeah.
But he was very reasonable about it.
I mean, one Sunday when my parents were coming round for tea, I asked him if he'd mind very much not nailing my head to the floor that week and he agreed and just screwed my pelvis to a cake stand.
He was the only friend I ever had.
Clearly, Dinsdale inspired tremendous loyalty and terror amongst his business associates, but what was he really like? I walked out with Dinsdale on many occasions and found him a most charming and erudite companion.
He was wont to introduce one to many eminent persons, celebrated American singers, members of the aristocracy and other gang leaders.
- How had he met them? - Through his work for charity.
He took a warm interest in Boys' Clubs, Sailors' Homes, Choristers' Associations, Scouting Jamborees and of course the Household Cavalry.
- Was there anything unusual about him? - I should say not.
Dinsdale was a perfectly normal person in every way.
Except inasmuch as he was convinced that he was being watched by a giant hedgehog whom he referred to as Spiny Norman.
How big was Norman supposed to be? Normally, he was wont to be about 12 feet from snout to tail, but when Dinsdale was very depressed, Norman could be anything up to 800 yards long.
When Norman was about, Dinsdale would go very quiet and his nose would swell up and his teeth would start moving about and he'd become very violent and claim that he'd laid Stanley Baldwin.
Dinsdale was a gentleman.
And what's more, he knew how to treat a female impersonator.
Most of these strange tales concern Dinsdale, but what of Doug? One man who met him was Luigi Vercotti.
Well, I had been running a successful escort agency, high class.
No, really, high-class girls.
We didn't have any of that.
That was right out.
And I decided Oh, excuse me.
No, not now.
Yes, we'll have the watch ready for you at midnight.
The watch.
The Chinese watch.
All right.
Bye-bye, Mother.
Anyway, I decided then to open a high-class nightclub for the gentry at Biggleswade.
With international cuisine, cooking, top-line acts, and not a cheap clip joint for picking up tarts.
That was right out.
I deny that completely.
And one night, Dinsdale walked in with a couple of big lads.
One of whom was carrying a tactical nuclear missile.
They said I'd bought one of their fruit machines, and would I pay for it? - How much did they want? - Three-quarters of a million pounds.
Then they went out.
Why didn't you call for the police? Well, I had noticed that the lad with the thermonuclear device was the chief constable for the area.
Anyway, a week later, they come back, said that the cheque had bounced and that I had to see Doug.
- Doug? - Doug.
I was terrified of him.
Everyone was terrified of Doug.
I've seen grown men pull their own heads off rather than see Doug.
- Even Dinsdale was frightened of Doug.
- What did he do? He used sarcasm.
He knew all the tricks, dramatic irony, metaphor, bathos, puns, parody, litotes By a combination of violence and sarcasm, the Piranha brothers, by February 1966, controlled London and the Southeast.
In February, though, Dinsdale made a big mistake.
Latterly, Dinsdale had become increasingly worried about Spiny Norman.
He had come to the conclusion that Norman slept in an aeroplane hangar at Luton Airport.
And so, on February the 22nd 1966, at Luton Airport Even the police began to sit up and take notice.
The Piranhas realised they had gone too far and that the hunt was on.
They went into hiding and I decided on a subtle approach, viz.
Some form of disguise, as the old helmet and boots are a bit of a giveaway.
Luckily, my years with Bristol Rep stood me in good stead, as I assumed a bewildering variety of disguises.
I tracked them to Cardiff, posing as the Reverend Smiler Egret.
Hearing they'd gone back to London, I assumed the identity of a pork butcher, Brian Stoats.
On my arrival in London, I discovered they had returned to Cardiff.
I followed as Gloucester from King Lear.
Acting on a hunch, I spent several months in Buenos Aires as Blind Pew, returning through the Panama Canal as Ratty in Toad of Toad Hall.
Back in Cardiff, I relived my triumph as Sancho Panza in Man of la Mancha, which the Bristol Evening Post described as "A glittering performance of rare perception.
" Although the Bath Chronicle was less than enthusiastic.
In fact, it gave me a right panning.
I quote.
The Western Daily News said Never mind, Snapper, love, you can't win them all.
True, Constable.
Could I have my eyeliner please? - Telegram for you, love.
- Good.
I bet it's from Binkie.
Those flowers are for Sergeant Lauderdale from the gentleman waiting outside.
Oh, good.
- Thirty seconds, Superintendent.
- Oh, blimey, I'm on.
- Is me hat straight, Constable? - Oh, it's fine.
Here we go, then, Hawkins.
- Merde, Superintendent.
- Good luck, then.
Read all about it.
Piranha brothers escape.
Dinsdale? Dinsdale? Dinsdale? Dinsdale? Dinsdale? Dinsdale? Welcome back to Teddington, for a long, hard look at fish slapping.
The 423rd fastest growing participation sport in the world.
Under the Billingsgate rules there are three stages to Fish Slapping.
Approach, delivery and whack on the side of the head.
We are gonna look at three vital areas.
Choice of fish, grip and swing.
Choice of fish is very much a personal matter.
There are a few do's and don'ts.
Piranha are not recommended as they'll chew your hand off before you've even started slapping.
Some favour the oily options, the sardines or the little pilchards here.
Others, the beautiful Cornish mackerel with its fine aerodynamic qualities.
But I always slap with the mullet.
It has a distinctive aroma and a scaly skin, which irritates the slappee, and encourage the point of impact in the delivery of a big fish.
The fish majeur.
The world record for an offensive delivery is still held by the huge Canadian, Craig Von, who took a 15-pound Arctic chub to plucky Gill Sanchez, and knocked him 46 feet into the icy waters of the St Lawrence Seaway.
It was fish slapping's first fatal accident.
Hi there, big boy! Hey, cutie! Hello, tiger! Tiger.
Tiger! Tiger! Hello, good evening, and welcome to Blackmail.
And to start tonight's programme, we go north to Preston in Lancashire and Mrs Betty Teal.
Hello, Mrs Teal! Now this is for £15 and it's to stop us revealing the name of your lover in Bolton.
So, Mrs Teal, send us £15 by return post, please, and your husband, Trevor, and your lovely children, Diane, Janice and Juliet, need never know the name of your lover in Bolton.
And now, a letter, a hotel registration book and a series of photographs, which could add up to divorce, premature retirement and possible criminal proceedings for a company director in Bromsgrove.
He's a freemason and a prospective Tory MP.
That's Mr S.
Of Bromsgrove.
£3,000, please, to stop us revealing your name, the name of the three other people involved, the youth organisation to which they belonged, and the shop where you bought the equipment.
We'll be showing you more of that photograph later in the programme.
Unless we hear from Charles or Michael.
And now it's time for our "Stop the Film" spot.
The rules are very simple.
We have taken a film which contains compromising scenes and unpleasant details, which could wreck a man's career.
But the victim may phone me at any point and stop the film.
But remember, the money increases as the film goes on.
The longer you leave it, the more you have to pay.
So now, with the clock at £300, this week's Stop the Film visited Thames Ditton.
Yes, you're really brave here.
Hello, sir.
Hello, yes.
No sir.
No, I'm sure you didn't.
No, it's all right, sir, we don't morally censure, we just want the money.
Yes, and here's the address to send it to.
Well, madam, I'm glad you've come to see me.
As a doctor I shall be trying to help you and do everything I can to assist you in any way I can.
Now, of course very high estate Could you repeat that? I'm a bit deaf.
Now the BMA, the British Medical Association Louder please, I still can't hear.
I do make certain Now for the very first time on the silver screen comes the film from two books that once shocked a generation.
From Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights, and from the International Guide to Semaphore Code, Twentieth Century Vole presents From the pulsating pages of history, from the dark and furious days of Imperial Rome, we bring you a story that shattered the world.
A tale so gripping that they said it could not be filmed.
A unique event in cinema history.
And now for something completely different, a man with a tape recorder up his nose.
Come in.
- What do you want? - I'd like to leave the Army please, sir.
Good heavens, man, why? - It's dangerous.
- What? - You got people with guns out there, sir.
- What? Real guns, sir.
Not prop ones, sir.
Not toy ones, sir.
Proper ones, sir.
They've all got them.
All of them, sir.
And some of them have got tanks.
Watkins, they are on our side.
And grenades, sir.
And machine guns, sir.
So I'd like to leave, sir, before I get killed, please.
Watkins, you've only been in the Army a day.
I know, sir, but people get killed.
Properly dead, sir, no barley cross fingers, sir.
Look, sir, a bloke was telling me, if you're in the Army and there's a war, - you have to go and fight.
- That's true.
Well, I mean, blimey, I mean, if it was a big war somebody could be hurt.
- Watkins, why did you join the Army? - For the water-skiing and for the travel, sir.
And not for the killing, sir.
I asked them to put it on my form, sir.
"No killing.
" - Watkins, are you a pacifist? - No, sir, I'm not a pacifist, sir.
I'm a coward.
- Fine.
- Fine.
And now for something completely different, a man with a tape recorder up his brother's nose.
Gentlemen, we have two basic suggestions for the design of this architectural block, the residential block, and I thought it best that the architects themselves came in to explain the advantages of both designs.
That must be the first architect now.
Oh, yes, it's Mr Wiggin of Ironside and Malone.
Good morning, gentlemen.
This is a 12-storey block combining classical neo-Georgian features with all the advantages of modern design.
The tenants arrive in the entrance hall here, are carried along the corridor on a conveyor belt in extreme comfort and past murals depicting Mediterranean scenes, towards the rotating knives.
The last 20 feet of the corridor are heavily soundproofed.
The blood pours down these chutes, mangled flesh slurps into these large Excuse me.
- Did you say "knives"? - Rotating knives, yes.
Are you proposing to slaughter our tenants? Does that not fit in with your plans? No, no.
We wanted a simple block of flats.
I see.
I hadn't correctly divined your attitude towards your tenants.
You see, I mainly design slaughterhouses.
Yes, pity.
Mind you, this is a real beaut.
I mean, none of your blood caked on the walls and flesh flying out of the windows, inconveniencing the passers-by, with this one.
I mean, my life has been building up to this.
Yes, and well done, but we did want a block of flats.
Well, may I ask you to reconsider? I mean, you wouldn't regret it.
Think of the tourist trade.
No, no, it's just that we wanted a block of flats and not an abattoir.
Yes, well, of course, that's just the sort of blinkered philistine pig ignorance I've come to expect from you non-creative garbage.
You sit there on your loathsome, spotty behinds, squeezing blackheads, not caring a tinker's cuss about the struggling artist! You excrement! You lousy, hypocritical, whining toadies with your lousy colour TV sets and your Tony Jacklin golf clubs and your bleeding Masonic handshakes! You wouldn't let me join, would you, you blackballing bastards? Well, I wouldn't become a Freemason now if you went down on your lousy, stinking, purulent knees and begged me! Well, we're sorry you feel like that, but we did want a block of flats.
Nice though the abattoir is.
The abattoir, that's not important.
But if one of you could put in a word for me, I'd love to be a Freemason.
Freemasonry opens doors.
I mean, I was a bit on edge just now, but if I was a Mason I'd just sit at the back and not get in anyone's way.
Thank you.
- I've got a second-hand apron.
- Thank you.
- I nearly got in at Hendon.
- Thank you.
I'm sorry about that, gentlemen.
The second architect is Mr Leavey of Wymis and Dibble.
- Good morning, gentlemen.
- Good morning.
This is a scale model of the block.
There are 28 storeys with 280 modern apartments.
There are three main lifts and two service lifts.
Access would be from Dibbingley Road.
The structure is built on a central pillar system with cantilevered floors in pre-stressed steel and concrete.
The dividing walls on each floor section are fixed with recessed magnalium flanged By avoiding wood and timber derivatives and all other inflammables, we've almost totally removed the risk of Quite frankly, I think the central pillar system may need strengthening a bit.
- Isn't that going to put the cost up? - It might.
Well, I don't know whether I'd worry about strengthening that much.
After all, they're not meant to be luxury flats.
No, I quite agree.
I mean, provided the tenants are of light build and relatively sedentary, and given a spot of good weather, I think we're on to a winner here.
Oh, thank you.
A Scotsman on a horse.
For Mrs Emma Hamilton of Nelson, a Scotsman on a horse.
Well, they certainly seem to be in a tight spot.
And I spot our next item.
So let's get straight on with the fun and go over to the next item.
Or dish! Well, I've been a hunter all my life.
I love animals.
That's why I like to kill them.
I never killed an animal I didn't like.
Good day, Roy.
Hank and Roy Spim are tough, fearless backwoodsmen who have chosen to live in a violent, unrelenting world of nature's creatures, where only the fittest survive.
Today they are off to hunt mosquitoes.
The mosquito's a clever little bastard.
You can track him for days and days until you really get to know him like a friend.
He knows you're there and you know he's there.
It's a game of wits.
You hate him, then you respect him, then you kill him.
Suddenly, Hank spots the mosquito they're after.
Now more than ever, they must rely on the skills they have learnt from a lifetime's hunting.
Hank gauges the wind.
Roy examines the mosquito's spoor.
Then It's a success.
The mosquito lies dead.
But Roy must make sure.
There's nothing more dangerous than a wounded mosquito.
Wherever there is a challenge, Hank and Roy Spim will be there, ready to carry on the primordial struggle between man and inoffensive, tiny insects.
Yes, mothers, it's time once again for Conrad Poohs and his dancing teeth.
Hello, and welcome to Wife Swapping from Redcar.
And the big news this afternoon is that the British boy, Boris Rodgers, has succeeded in swapping his nine-stone Welsh-born wife for a Ford Popular and a complete set of Dickens.
Well, now, I can see they're ready at the start, so let's go now over to the start of the 3.
And first, let's catch up with the latest news of the betting.
Number 12, Betty Parkinson, 7- to-4 on favourite, number 27, Mrs Colyer, 9- to-4, 5-to-1 bar those.
And here's the starter, Mrs Alec Marsh.
And they're off.
And Mrs Rodgers is the first to show.
There she goes into Mr Johnson's.
And Mrs Johnson across to Mr Colyer, followed closely by Mrs Casey on the inside.
Mrs Parkinson, number 12, going well there into Mr Webster's from the Co-op, Mrs Colyer's making ground fast after a poor start.
She's out of Mr Casey's into Mr Parkinson's.
She's a couple of lengths ahead of Mrs Johnson, who's still not out of Mr Casey's.
Mrs Penguin and number 8, Mrs Colyer, these two now at the head of the field from Mrs Brown, Mrs Atkins, Mrs Parkinson, Mrs Warner and Mrs Rudd, all still at Mr Phillips'.
Mrs Penguin making the running now, challenged strongly by Mrs Casey, Mrs Casey coming from very fast on the inside.
It's going to be Mrs Casey coming from behind.
Now she's making a break on the outside, Mrs Penguin running.
And at the line it's Mrs Casey who's got it by a short head from Mrs Penguin in second place, Mrs Parkinson in third, Mrs Rudd, Mrs Colyer, Mrs Warner.
And there's Mrs Griffiths who's remained unswapped.
We are here today to witness the opening of a new box to replace the box which used to stand on the corner of Ulverston Road and Sandwood Crescent.
Owing to a programme of road-widening being carried out by the borough council, the Ulverston Road box was removed, leaving the wall box in Esher Road as the only box for the people of the Ulverston Road area.
This new box will enable the people of the Ulverston Road area to post letters, post cards and small packages without recourse to the Esher Road box or to the box outside the post office in Turner's Parade, which many people used to use, but which has now been discontinued owing to the opening of this box.
And also the re-organisation of box distribution throughout the whole area, which comes into force with the opening of the new boxes at the Wyatt Road Post Office in July.
A perfectly ordinary morning in a perfectly ordinary English suburb.
Life goes on as it has done for years.
But soon, this quiet pattern of life was to change irrevocably.
- Morning, sir.
- Morning.
I was sitting in the public library on Thurmon Street just now, skimming through Rogue Herries by Horace Walpole, when I suddenly came over all peckish.
- Peckish, sir? - Esurient.
- I were all hungry like! - Oh, hungry.
In a nutshell.
So I thought to myself a little fermented curd will do the trick.
So I curtailed my Walpolling activities, sallied forth and infiltrated your place of purveyance to negotiate the vending of some cheesy comestibles.
- Come again.
- I want to buy some cheese.
I thought you were complaining about the music.
Heaven forbid.
I am one who delights in all manifestations of the terpsichorean muse.
Certainly, sir.
What would you like? Well, how about a little Red Leicester? I'm afraid we're fresh out of Red Leicester, sir.
Never mind.
- How are you on Tilsit? - Never at the end of the week, sir.
Always get it fresh first thing on Monday.
No matter.
Well, four ounces of Caerphilly then, if you please, stout yeoman.
Well, it's been on order for two weeks, sir, I was expecting it this morning.
Yes, it's not my day, is it? - Bel Paese? - Sorry.
Red Windsor? Normally, sir, yes, but today the van broke down.
- Stilton? - Sorry.
- Gruyère? Emmental? - No.
- Any Norwegian Jarlsberger? - No.
- Liptauer? - No.
- Lancashire? - No.
- White Stilton? - No.
- Danish Blue? - No.
- Double Gloucester? - No.
- Cheshire? - No.
- Any Dorset Blue Vinney? - No.
Brie, Roquefort, Pont I'Évêque, Port-Salut, Savoyard, Saint-Paulin, Carré de I'Est, Boursin, Bresse Bleu, Perle de Champagne, Camembert? - We do have some Camembert, sir.
- You do! Excellent.
- It's a bit runny, sir.
- Oh, I like it runny.
- Well, as a matter of fact, it's very runny, sir.
- No matter.
No matter.
Hand over le fromage de la Belle France qui s'appelle Camembert, s'il vous plaît.
I think it's runnier than you like it, sir.
I don't care how excrementally runny it is.
- Hand it over with all speed.
- Yes, sir.
- What? - The cat's eaten it.
- Has he? - She, sir.
- Gouda? - No.
- Edam? - No.
- Caithness? - No.
- Smoked Austrian? - No.
- Sage Derby? - No, sir.
You do have some cheese, do you? Certainly, sir.
It's a cheese shop, sir.
We've got No, no, no, don't tell me.
I'm keen to guess.
Fair enough.
- Wensleydale.
- Yes, sir? Splendid.
Well, I'll have some of that then, please.
Oh, I'm sorry sir, I thought you were referring to me, Mr Wensleydale.
- Gorgonzola? - No.
- Parmesan? - No.
- Mozzarella? - No.
- Pippo Crème? - No.
- Any Danish Fynbo? - No.
Czechoslovakian Sheep's Milk Cheese perhaps? No.
- Venezuelan Beaver Cheese? - Not today, sir, no.
Well, let's keep it simple, how about Cheddar? Well, I'm afraid we don't get much call for it around these parts, sir.
Not much call? It's the single most popular cheese in the world! Not round these parts, sir.
And pray, what is the most popular cheese round these parts? - Ilchester, sir.
- I see.
Yes, sir.
It's quite staggeringly popular in the manor, squire.
- Is it? - Yes sir, it's our number-one seller.
- Is it? - Yes sir.
- Ilchester, eh? - Right.
Okay, I'm game.
"Have you got any?" he asked, expecting the answer "No.
" I'll have a look, sir.
No! - It's not much of a cheese shop really, is it? - Finest in the district, sir.
- And what leads you to that conclusion? - Well, it's so clean.
Well, it's certainly uncontaminated by cheese.
You haven't asked me about Limburger, sir.
- Is it worth it? - Could be.
Have you Will you shut that bloody dancing up? I told you so.
- Have you got any Limburger? - No.
No, that figures.
It was pretty predictable, really.
It was an act of pure optimism to have posed the question in the first place.
Tell me something, do you have any cheese at all? Yes, sir.
Now, I'm going to ask you that question once more, and if you say no I'm going to shoot you through the head.
- Now, do you have any cheese at all? - No.
What a senseless waste of human life.
Well, I hope you've enjoyed this hour of fish slapping.
If you feel you want to get involved yourself, why not try our web site? Swing.
And don't forget that Python series.
They did do something worth remembering.