The Ex-PM (2015) s01e01 Episode Script


1 WOMAN: I know you never voted for him.
Dad would not be spinning in his grave because Dad's not dead -- he's in Byron with that iridologist.
Listen, if I want to write this guy's memoirs, I've got to spend a bit of time with him.
Get inside of him.
Although, you never know -- Malcolm Fraser mellowed once he got out of office.
Andrew Dugdale might be a really nice guy now.
Yeah, well, the last thing I need is some femo-Nazi uni student sticking her nose into my private life.
If I want a cadet journalist rummaging around through my bins, I will ring what's-his-name from News Limited, and I do mean limited.
MAN: Andrew, you should have finished the first draft six months ago.
Hey, the memoirs were your idea, not mine.
Well, I had to say yes to her.
For goodness sake, they wanted us to pay the advance back.
Well, then, pay it back.
Sonny's here.
He'll tell you.
Pay it back, Henry.
Tell him he doesn't have a million dollars, will you? You don't have a million dollars.
Oh, I see, I see.
So, you agree to the memoirs, they pay us the advance but I have to pay it back.
Well, it's your money, Andrew.
I can't obviously get to it at the moment with the tax people breathing down my neck.
My hands are tied.
Not so much your hands being tied as your ankle being monitored.
(Chuckles) That got him.
Another couple of months of this and I can leave the house and fly to the islands and Bob's your uncle.
Well, just so long as he's a very rich uncle.
- Tell him, Sonny.
- Bye, Henry.
I think the book's a good idea.
Great, ten years in Kirribilli and this place is falling down around my ears.
How I let him talk me into letting it to - Who were they again? - Wolfmother.
Wolfmother is beyond me.
Fixing it up is beyond me.
I mean, look at those cracks.
I haven't been up a ladder since I hung the chancellor in effigy at Adelaide Uni.
That's a good story, you should put it in the book.
I don't have time to write a book.
That's my point.
- (Knock at door) - Come! First thing that other lot did when they got in was reduce my staff allowance.
All I get is you, a second-hand COMCAR driver, a security detail of one and a cook on a 457 visa.
(Speaks French) Yes, I'm done.
Thank you very much, Rita.
Everything else I've got to do myself.
Well, now you've got your own live-in ghostwriter, haven't you? Yeah.
Not today, thank you, Curtis.
I'll clean the egg off the car, then, sir.
Can't find him, Mr Dugdale.
Looked everywhere.
Try the wine cellar.
And she's not moving in here.
Carol's back.
Plus the boy.
Catherine and I are in separate wings now, nothing's unpacked and most of that's in the spare room.
She's not moving into here or the games room.
You can't afford to put her up in a hotel and she's gotta be here at the crack of sparrow's if she's gonna get this done in a month and a half.
Can't the publisher pay to put her up somewhere? Henry says it's contractually part of the advance.
Which I don't see until he's out from under house arrest.
He's got a very interesting way of generating customer loyalty, hasn't he? I told you to go with Max Markson.
(Bones cracking) Theme music (Splatting) Why can't you write my autobiography for me, Sonny? You know me better than anybody.
I didn't think you would want anything that candid.
I don't mind candid.
I've got nothing to be ashamed of.
- Ooh, the Condoleezza Rice incident.
- We'd leave that out, obviously.
A bit of scandal would make it a bestseller.
I don't want anything in there that's awkward.
Well, it's certainly quicker to write that way, but do you think they'd be happy with a half-page biography? Why am I signing these? You're perfectly capable of forging my signature.
And what's this? That's your OK for the girl to talk to the staff, members of your family and various so-called friends.
I don't like the idea of people talking about me unless I'm in the room glaring at them.
I'm sure they'll be discreet.
I'm sure the staff will be discreet 'cause they know they can be fired.
- No threat intended.
- None needed.
It's the family and so-called friends I'm worried about.
Oh, look -- she's even got an ex-girlfriend in here.
Preor post-marriage? I don't know why they couldn't have sent someone like Blanche d'Alpuget.
Ooh She only does fiction now.
I know, that's what I mean.
If she thinks she can blindside me, then she's severely underestimated Andrew Dugdale.
You know, you should speak about yourself in the third person when you talk to her -- it makes you sound more humble.
- Where is she? Sydney? - She's FROM Sydney, yes.
Yes, yes, I know the type.
Probably writes gaming reviews for The Guardian.
- What's her number? - She's downstairs.
Downstairs? Even better.
Because if politics has taught me anything, Sonny, it's that a direct assault often bests an ambush.
There he is.
That's the Andrew Dugdale I remember.
Although what about Catherine, though? Because I am supposed to let her beat me at tennis this morning.
I'll handle Catherine.
You get changed.
Ah moleskin pants, tweed jacket, I think.
(Exhales sharply) Shh, shh, shh, shh.
- Do you pack heat, as well? - Yeah.
Just the standard M&P40.
Although I have sent away for a Crimson Trace Lasergrip.
- What's her name? - SONNY: Ellen.
Ellen, I am so sorry to have kept you waiting but I've been playing hide-and-seek with my grandson.
- He's very good at it, isn't he? - He is very good at it.
Still no sign of him though, Mr D, although I am about to do a sweep of the garage.
Yes, yes, thank you very much, Myles.
Ooh, you seem to have a lot of bags here.
But, uh but welcome.
MYLES: I've been taking care of Mr D since he was voted out.
My job as CPO is to bodyguard, plain and simple, and, if necessary, take a bullet.
Thing is, though, no-one really wants to assassinate an ex-prime minister.
You know.
But, hey, it's a gig until they find something for me in counterterrorism.
In the meantime, I've got my fingers crossed.
Yes, yes, I think one of the great advantages of retiring from public office is that you get your private life back.
New glasses, I see.
Ah, well, you've done your research.
I thought you might have had them lasered like John Howard.
No, well, um, I've always been more fiscally conservative than Mr Howard.
I wouldn't have thought you needed to be worried about money with this joint.
(Chuckles) And he just let you in, did he? - I've got those papers you wanted.
- I think I need to check those.
(Speaks French) Sounds lovely, Rita.
Uh, you will stay for lunch of course, um? - Oh - (Whispers) Ellen.
- Ellen.
- I'm a vegetarian.
Thank you, Rita.
Rita will do you a salad.
An invaluable member of the staff is Rita.
- Can I get you a coffee, Ellen? - Thank you, but I'm No, no, please, allow me to do that.
Sonny will get your bags for you.
Sonny's worth a chapter of his own, aren't you, Sonny? Sonny's been by my side for, oh, what? Some sin I committed in a past life.
(Laughs) Yes, yes, you don't build up this sort of rapport without spending a few years together.
I could tell you a few stories.
Sonny, you forgot one.
Thank you.
Yes, I perform all the duties of a chief of staff, although I've never really concerned myself with that nameplate on the door.
It's more about the work that goes on behind the door that's important.
I think that's the relevant thing.
Uh, I mean, I like to think of myself as experienced.
I've worked for three prime ministers, two opposition leaders and I almost had to work for a certain Speaker of the House who shall remain nameless but I managed to extricate myself from that.
(Whispers) Bronwyn Bishop.
Can we take that bit out? Yeah, sure.
Andrew I first met when he was a naive, wide-eyed junior minister with so much to learn, and he really hasn't changed.
Um and we work well together and I think that's because of our, uh .
our mutual respect.
Chop chop, Sonny.
I don't mind carrying them, really.
No, nonsense, nonsense.
Sonny's as strong as an ox.
He once took down Christine Milne at a federal member's State of Origin match, didn't you, Sonny? - Where am I taking these? - Uh, box room, I think.
You'll love it there.
What are you, 5'2"? 161cm.
Ceiling slopes, you'll be fine.
I'll leave that authorisation for the interviews on your bed, - if there is one.
- Oh, cheers.
No, I don't think I've signed those yet, have I? Oh, I think you did.
- Excuse me.
- No, no, no.
- Mr Dugdale? - Yes? - I just want to make something clear.
- By the way, it's Andrew, OK? We don't stand on ceremony around here.
None of this 'Mr Dugdale' nonsense.
- I assume you're OK with me calling you 'Helen'? - Sure.
Though my name is actually Ellen.
That's even better.
That's one letter less.
Now, I haven't got you that coffee yet, have I? - I'm really not needing a coffee.
- No, no.
I'll show you round the Dugdale pile, we'll have a cuppa and get better acquainted.
Come on.
So, how do you want to do this? 'Cause Sonny says you want to record everything.
Well, I usually sit down and have a chat, but if it'll make you more comfortable, you can give me ASIO clearance and I'll just hack into everyone's phones.
(Chuckles) Feisty, like it.
No, we haven't done that forever.
We've never done that.
Never done that at all.
Oh, good morning, Carol.
Have you no shame? Rita's buchimagae is very good this morning, sweetie.
Are they? Yes Uh have you eaten, by the way? They gave me a sultana on the plane.
Yeah, well, yeah, he runs a tight ship, that Alan Joyce.
Very tight ship.
Young enough to be his granddaughter.
Now, now.
Don't you take the moral high ground.
Mum up here somewhere, is she? (Sighs) K-ssss! Yes, my daughter's recently divorced.
Laundry is through there.
Just give Rita your things.
Her mother and I do what we can to help but we weren't exactly there for her when she was growing up.
I want to knock out this wall and put in a glass atrium.
So I think the very least I can do -- and am, in fact, doing -- is be there now for my grandson.
That's great.
My dad Do you wanna hear all this stuff now or should I wait till we start? I thought we were just having a conversation.
OK, off the record.
Ooh, we should have a safe word.
Something like 'apricot', for the more sensitive stuff.
- Would you like to start? - May as well.
Good idea.
Don't you think? The sooner you've got enough material to type up, the sooner you can get the hell outta here.
Very thoughtful of you.
Now, if it doesn't make me sound too elitist, I would really like to work in my collection of antique clocks.
Why clocks? (Clock ticking) Well, they pass the time.
(Clocks chiming) No, I am gonna fix up those cracks at some point.
So, what, married, children, what's your story? No, no.
I'm only 24.
None of my business, obviously.
It's not relevant.
I don't even want to know who you voted for.
But let me tell you something, though, when you do get married, if you do of course, your choice, and you have children -- again, entirely up to you -- love them and cherish them and make sure that under no circumstances do they marry their cocaine dealer.
That's 'apricot', by the way, till I check with Carol.
Can you give me a level? Uh, yes, certainly.
(Clears throat) The Dugdale tapes, part one, I am not a crook.
Yeah, you'd be probably a bit young for that joke.
I should have made it about Edward Snowden or somebody.
I know who Richard Nixon is, Mr Dugdale.
Andrew, please.
It's just that, you know, I would like my sense of humour to come across in the book, if possible.
Do you find people don't quite respond to it in the same way as they did when you were in power? Nicolae Ceausescu said it was the main thing he noticed after his regime collapsed.
Ah, well, well, he did spend a lot of time with his wife afterwards and she was notorious for treading on his punch lines.
My wife, on the other hand, understands about such things.
Oh, for God's sake, you foolish, foolish old man.
Oh, hello again, sweetie.
I don't think you've met Helen, have you? Uh, this is Helen.
Helen, this is Carol.
Ellen, actually.
Can't even remember their names.
Well, Ellen is helping me with my memoirs.
You should introduce her to Mum.
I think Sonny knows where she is.
Good idea.
Thank you very much, uh, Carol.
Yes, she's probably out having a hit.
Catherine and I often play tennis together -- more so in fact since my un-election.
Oh, she must be wiping you off the court at the moment.
- Hmm? - You being in here and all.
Oh, yes.
No, no.
Well, Sonny sometimes steps in when I'm busy and sees to her.
So, when did you meet Catherine? Was it love at first sight at a young whatever's ball? Actually, speaking of Catherine, you don't have your coffee, do you? What's that got to do with Catherine? Um yeah, well, good point.
Yes, no, it's just that she's put an espresso machine in the games room.
Yeah, she likes a bit of caffeine when she's doing her hot yoga.
- (Billiard balls clink) - God, look at that crack.
- Hello, darling.
- Oh, hello, darling.
Sonny was just helping me with my service.
Yeah, foot faults, they're ruining her game.
- Well, I can vouch for that.
- Right.
I suppose you get a better view of the court from up here? Oh, yes, you do get a bird's-eye perspective of the, um the line placement from this vantage point.
Oh, we were, uh, just about to go down, weren't we? - That's right, yes.
- Oh, well, I don't want to keep you.
I just wanted to introduce you to my biographer, Ellen.
This is my wife, Catherine.
Of course, Sonny, you know.
- Mrs Dugdale.
- Oh, please, let's not be too formal.
- Call me Cath.
- I told her.
One doesn't stand on ceremony round here, does one? No.
One doesn't.
OK, Sonny, grab my balls.
Let's put some of this theory of yours into practice.
Well, we'll leave you to it, then.
Yeah, Catherine's game went to hell while we were in Canberra.
I just didn't have time to practise with her.
Must be good to have Sonny working on her game.
Yes, good man Good man.
You think he suspects? I think he suspects you.
He's got no idea about me.
Well Fire away at this old grey head.
So when was it you first got interested in politics? What piqued your interest and did you always see yourself as winding up as prime minister? Mm Oh, poo, I haven't got you that coffee yet, have I? No, no, I didn't No, tell you what, let's brew one up the old-fashioned way.
I really don't want one.
Come on, I'll put the jug on, we'll have a cuppa, a nice cosy chat in the kitchen.
Thanks, Rita.
These flapjacks are the cat's pyjamas.
(Speaks French) - Bu - Oh! I think she likes me.
Ah, well, not quite as cosy as I was hoping.
It is a bit like an Aussie sitcom here at the moment.
Particularly with Carol and the boy moving back in.
Oh, hi, sweetie.
You got a shift today? She's a nurse.
We're very, very proud of her, considering.
You found him yet, Myles? Next on my list of things to do, Mr D.
And you'll also be pleased to know, sir, the old girl is now completely egg-free.
- He say he washed the car.
- Oh.
Do you like it being a bit like an Aussie sitcom? Absolutely, yes! Although I don't think our characters are quite as broad.
Oh, wait till I bloody tell the wife I've been installing Andrew bloody Dugdale's home security system.
I didn't vote for you myself, sir, but I like the way you bloody stood up to all them human rights buggers about those asylum seeker bastards.
Well, that's very nice of you to say so.
I thought we installed a perfectly good security system - before we went to Canberra? - We did, but it got stolen.
- By who? - Wolfmother.
I told Henry we should have gone with the Hoodoo Gurus.
Not to worry, Mr Dugdale.
I'm putting in a brand-new, state-of-the-art, bloody ripper.
What, in the fridge? Well, I suppose it'll protect what's left of the food? Uh, no, thank you.
No, no, no, no, she wants a coffee.
A coffee.
You know, drinking.
I really don't want one, honestly.
- No, no, it's no trouble at all.
- Alright.
Just a green tea, please.
I don't drink coffee.
No, no, no, I think we can do a green tea.
- She wants a green tea.
- No tea, just coffee.
- I wouldn't mind a bloody coffee.
- Myles.
Oh, only if everyone else is having one.
Milk and one, thanks.
Like my women.
Myles, get out and take him with you.
And check the garage like you were supposed to.
OK, we're rolling.
Come on, we're on the move.
And if he's not there, look in the potting shed.
Potting shed.
- Right, so, um, green tea.
- Sure.
Can do.
Will do.
Am doing.
It's been years since I had a cup of coffee.
- I'll be up all night.
- Yes, I'm sorry about that.
I was sure we had some green tea because we had the Indonesian President over once and his wife gave us a hamper.
- Too much sugar? - I think it's sea salt.
I have no idea where anything is.
I was in The Hague when we moved.
I should say no to these things but they're so bloody insistent.
- The Dutch? - No, no, speakers bureaus.
Now, what do you want to start with? Childhood, family, marriage, rivalries? Well, I was just thinking maybe this isn't the best place to do this.
It's not quite the right atmosphere for sitting and talking, is it? - It's your office.
- Yeah He's not in the garage, Mr D.
Where else was it you mentioned? - The potting shed.
- Potting shed, right.
It's a big house.
Plenty of places to hide.
Yeah, I was right -- you are feisty.
I can see I'm gonna have to watch you.
No, no, I meant literally play hide-and-seek with your grandson.
Oh, I see, yes.
Mm Do you think the place is big? It seems tiny after Kirribilli.
I suppose once we unpack it, it'll fill up a bit.
Mind you, the move is a good chance to get rid of some of this rubbish.
Is that Nelson Mandela next to you there? Yes.
Yes, it is.
Yes, I visited him in Pretoria and he showed me around his cell.
It was very difficult for him going back in there because, you know, he's got a back condition and the ceiling was very low.
But, no, I keep that one.
The high school Rock Eisteddfod stuff could probably go.
- Is that Christopher Pyne? - Yeah.
Yeah, you don't want to remember everything.
Rosebud? I don't remember visiting Rosebud.
(Sonny laughs) Ow! I get the impression you don't really want this book written.
No, no, no, no, no.
Well, I want the book written, yeah.
It's just that I don't like the idea of being the keeper of my own flame for the rest of my life like some of them do, you know? I got boards to sit on and dinners to speak after and international appointments to lobby for.
- And playing with your grandson.
- And playing with my grandson.
Actually, he's probably hiding in one of those bloody boxes.
Myles! Uh, he's not in the potting shed, Mr D.
And I checked down the ornamental well.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Look, just try those boxes upstairs with the polystyrene beads 'cause he likes them.
Roger that.
Yes, pretty impressive, isn't it? That was a personal gift to me from the Chief Minister of Brussels.
Actually, we should have our chat out here.
- It's quite pleasant, isn't it? - Absolutely.
What shall we talk about? Well, uh, your call.
I'm an open book.
This thing has never worked, by the way.
How about your leadership spill back in '93, the whole thing with you and Neil Blanchard? One thing I would really like to do is rip out all these trees and have it re-landscaped back to how it was before European settlement.
Back to how it was before white man came and ruined everything.
Do you want to talk about your reconciliation policy? God, no.
Although that that preamble we almost held the plebiscite on remains one of my proudest achievements.
- (Catherine grunts) - (Tennis ball pops) - Shall we? - (Sonny grunts) Is it important to you how you're remembered? Ah, well, I think history will be the judge of that.
History was written by the victors, though, wasn't it? Yes, yes, Victor Hugo, Viktor Aurelius.
CATHERINE: Ohh! Um, we should go over to the North by Northwest wing 'cause it's getting a little hot here.
A little bit too sunny.
Ohh I won't be able to walk for a week, Catherine.
Don't sell yourself short, Sonny -- you're much harder than Andrew.
Yeah, that's true.
Anyway, I'm not sure that history is written by the victors.
I mean, I won four elections, had a popularity rating of 76%.
No matter how much on top you think you are, there's always someone ready to piss on you from a greater height.
You see, that's interesting.
That sort of vulnerability in someone of your position a lot of people would find surprising.
Can we talk more about that? - Absolutely.
- Great.
When you say Ooh, look at that! Oh, there's a very interesting story behind this.
This is Carol's.
I remember putting it up when she was about five, I think.
She wanted to be a professional basketballer when she grew up.
- I wanted to be David Marr.
- Ahh.
That's the trouble with dreams -- they're impractical.
Alright, show us what you've got.
See what happens when you give me coffee? Yeah.
Look, I should warn you, though, that my own backyard basketball skills are just as rusty as my tennis.
It's the trade-off when you're in public office.
I guess you didn't get to play much with Carol? Well, she was only five when I put that up at regulation height, so wouldn't have been much of a contest even if I was home.
You could've just lowered it a few inches.
No, that would've compromised the integrity of the game.
Politicians compromise all the time, don't they? They compromise on strategy but never principle.
That'd make a nice title.
Well, you can't use it 'cause I stole it from a Robert Redford movie.
Brubaker, I think.
Alright, now watch this shot.
Bloody hell! Much to the disappointment of my mother, Mr Dugdale, I think I'm going to enjoy working with you.
I wouldn't count on it.
I can be bloody difficult sometimes.
- I'm not saying 'bloody' too much, am I? - No, no.
- 'Cause, you know, you could lose a few.
- It's fine.
I think I picked it up from that guy in our fridge.
This is just an apricot chat.
'Cause 'bloody' is OK now and again, isn't it? It's important to show people what I'm like when I'm not on, isn't it? - We can turn the mike off.
- No, no, no.
Just so long as it sounds like I am being unguarded and real.
Andrew, have you lost our grandson? Sorry, Mr D, she forced it out of me.
Hello! We're playing hide-and-seek.
You should be proud he's actually good at something.
I always thought he was a little What's the word people use nowadays instead of backward? - How long has he been missing? - He's not missing.
He's hiding.
How long, Myles? Two and a half hours.
Oh, sorry, Mr D.
Yeah, you would've been great in Afghanistan, Myles -- you would've cracked getting off the plane.
Two and a half hours? Andrew! I'm calling the police.
Catherine, this is not Harold Holt we're talking about, is it? This is a small, easily concealed six-year-old playing hide-and-seek last seen somewhere on our property.
Yes, under your care and you lost him.
- Who's lost? - Nobody's lost? - Stefan.
- You lost Stefan, you fucking idiot? Exactly.
No-one's lost.
No-one's even missing.
I just heard you talking about Harold Holt.
Well, he's missing, obviously.
But Stefan's out playing hide-and-seek.
It's not as if he's been spirited away by a Chinese midget sub.
There was a Chinese midget here this morning talking to Rita.
You're a liar, fat man.
That was Mr Han from the market.
He was delivering some fish, Curtis.
He's very short, though.
- Well, have you called the police? - I'm the police.
The real police.
Look, you're all overreacting, alright? Overreacting! Typical of this family.
You, you, you, you, especially you, overreacting.
Alright? We don't need a policeman manhunt.
This isn't like back when before, years ago, when that small child went missing.
You remember, it was in all the newspapers.
- Is that the Lindbergh kidnapping? - Oh, my God! No, no, no, no, no, no.
They did that song.
Um - Wrecking Ball? - Little Boy Lost by Johnny Ashcroft.
(Clicks fingers) That's it.
Talented man -- he wrote the Patriot Act, too.
15 more minutes and if we haven't found him, we're calling police search-and-rescue, understand? Absolutely.
Fucking idiot.
BRIGHT ACOUSTIC GUITAR MUSIC And their hopes are slowly fading For this little boy lost And their hopes are slowly fading For this little boy lost A blaze of So, still think you're going to enjoy working with me? If the work ends up half as interesting as the distractions, then it'll be fascinating.
Aha-ha-ha! Sauropod.
Unless I'm very much mistaken, he's close by.
- Shall I tell the others? - No, no, no, no.
First rule of politics, Ellen, take all the credit yourself.
Gotcha! Oh.
(Trickling) (Stefan giggling) It's nearly dinnertime, Stef.
Don't forget to wash your hands.
(Stefan giggles) Well, what it lacks in space, it more than makes up for in cardboard boxes.
Who knows what secrets I'll uncover? Anyone you want to speak to, anywhere you want to go.
Access all areas, eh? Well, think of yourself as a VIP and Andrew Dugdale as a Wolfmother concert.
I'd start with the top box on the left.
I don't think he's half as difficult as he pretends, you know.
Wait till you ask him about the Condoleezza Rice incident.
The what? You'll see.
Well? You've double-bluffed her.
She thinks you're not as bad as your contriving not to appear.
Hey, Ma, it's me.
I know it's late.
I drank coffee.
I'll be up till February.
Well, he hasn't mellowed as much as Malcolm Fraser did.
But he's not quite as full of himself as Kevin Rudd, either.
Somewhere in that velvet glove beats the stone heart of a cold exterior.
- ANDREW: Let's celebrate.
- SONNY: Why not? How about a second helping of Rita's hot apple bungeoppang? - Ooh.
- Maybe a brownie and a cigar.
- Yes.
- Watch a bit of Lateline.
They're ripping into Jason Clare this week for balance.
- You had me at bungeoppang.
- (Chuckles) Loyalty and integrity -- they're the things that sell best.
Um I've been Andrew's business manager for 20 years but the truth is he's more than the client.
Um, Andrew's been a very loyal friend to me.
I mean, case in point, I've got to wear this ridiculous ankle monitor.
Do you want to see one? This is a top-of-the-range one.
I've got to wear one of these due to some cock-up at ASIC and it's very sensitive.
It literally goes off the minute you step out the gate.
So, once a week, Andrew pops around and gets my bins in for me.
And not a lot of ex-prime ministers are gonna do that, are they? You know, he doesn't mind getting his hands dirty, he's just like the common folk.
I think this is what made him a great prime minister.
ELLEN: And who takes the bins out? A guy called Curtis does that.
A very nice man.
You'll probably run into Curtis.
Curtis is a cracker if you need anything done.
Just mention it to Curtis.
In fact, just think it.
Is he telepathic? He's almost telepathic.

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