The North Pole Story
My second attempt at an original script, started in September 1993 and finished on 15 March 2003 during a weekend of extreme boredom.
Greenslade: This is the BBC. GRAMS: Wild applause Greenslade: Thankyou, Greensladers. Here is a weather forecast: snow in all areas except for the north, south, east and west where there will be heavy snow, ice, sleet, rain and unpleasant winds. GRAMS: Unpleasant wind Greenslade: That gramophone record of unpleasant winds was found in a BBC Christmas cracker. Harry: Ah yes, Christmas. This is the season of roasted chestnuts, ice, snow and bad pantomime. Peter: Oh no it's not! Harry: Oh yes it is! Orchestra: Oh no it's not! Harry: Oh yes it is, (sings) yes it is, yes it iiiiiiiis! Greenslade: Mr Secombe is now appearing in Mother Goose at the Hackney Empire. Tickets are available from all good dustbins. And now.... ORCHESTRA: Fanfare Eccles: Ooo.. Greenslade: Must you? And now we present.. Harry: The highly esteemed Goon Show! Peter: Yes, once again it's the Goon Show. Brought to you by Fred Bogg's Knee Selling Emporium, High Street, Scunthorpe. Bogg: I am Fred Bogg of Fred Bogg's Knee Selling Emporium - the best nees this side of the North Pole. I would like to draw your attention to our latest model, the AA31B. Note the built in saxophone stand. Priced at only 4 pounds each. Greenslade: Mr. Bogg? Bogg: Yer? Greenslade: There are two men in white coats waiting for you at the stage door. Bogg: Right. And remember folks, the best knees this side of the North Pole. FX: Thud Bogg: Oooowwww!!! Greenslade: And now we present... Orchestra: drum roll Harry: The North Pole Story! Orchestra: Fanfare Greenslade: That fanfare was brought to you by Fred Bogg's Knee Selling Emporium. Bogg: The best knees this side of... FX: gunshot Greenslade: That gunshot was brought to you by the BBC. Orchestra: change of scene music GRAMS: outdoor traffic, carol singers, etc. Ned: Christmas Eve in the fair City of London. The streets packed with happy shoppers and the occasional carol singers in perfect harmony. Eccles: (singing, badly) Jingle bells. Jingle bells. Jingle all da... (speaks) Ooo. Hello. Are you Father Christmas? Ned: No. Eccles: Oh. Do you know where he is? Ned: Try the North Pole. Eccles: Thankyou my good man. You see last year I said that if he gave me a bow-wow I would give him half a crown and he gave me my bow-wow but didn't get his half a crown so now I'm looking for him so I can give him this half a crown wot I got here. Ned: Ahem! FX: Hand bell ringing under next line Ned: Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas! Eccles: It's Father Christmas. I'm glad I found you 'cos I've got your money here. Are you the real Father Christmas? Orchestra: No.... He's not.... I am.... He's lying.... rhubarb rhubarb Ned: From behind the bushes, out sprang several dozen men wearing white beards and red suits. Eccles: 'Ere, 'ere, 'ere. Which one of you is the real one? Crowd: (pre rec) I am... I am.... etc. Grytpype: One moment please, gentlemen. One moment, please! (record winds down) Ned: Standing next to me was a man about 2 feet tall wearing a green suit. I stared him straight in the shins and said "Who are you sir?" And I said it like this.... Ned: (pre rec) Who are you sir? Grytpype: I am Hercules Grytpype-Gnome, the chief assistant to the real Father Christmas. Ned: Then who are all these men clambering for a measly half a crown? Grytpype: Inland Revenue. Ned: The country must be in a bad way. Grytpype: It has been since 200 BC. Ned: How do you know? Grytpype: I was there. Ned: Gasp! You're over 2,000 years old! Grytpype: 2,350 in my high-heeled shoes. Ned: But how do I know that you're not lying? Grytpype: Quite simple, dear boy, quite simple. I'll take you to see the real Father Christmas. Ned: But he lives at the North Pole. And it's parky out there. Grytpype: Then put on this brown paper overcoat, leather scarf and electric socks. Ned: Ah, much warmer. Just what I need for a trip to the North Pole. Eccles: Can I come too? Ned: It's about time. Grytpype: Of course he can come. Eccles, bend over. Eccles: Okay. Grytpype: Now just sit on his back... GRAMS: Metal springs straining Eccles: Ooowwwww! Grytpype: Neddie, you must be carrying excess weight. You'll have to leave something behind. Ned: I'll throw away what I don't need. FX: Series of thuds, clangs, empty dustbins crashing, cows, sheep, breaking glass, concludes with explosion. Grytpype: Is that all? Ned: No, one more. FX: small clink Ned: That's all. Grytpype: We'd better weigh you to make sure. Stand on these scales. FX: scales groaning Grytpype: 58 stone. Still too heavy. Neddie, step into this cannon. Ned: Right ho. Eeeeeeeeeup, straining, aaaaaaa-oop! (with echo) There. I say, it's dark in here. Grytpype: Yes, I.... turned the light out. Ned: (echo) How are you going to get there? Grytpype: On Eccles. AIM! Ned: (echo) Then I'll see you at the North Pole. Grytpype: FIRE! FX: explosion Grytpype: Now to follow Neddie. Geldray: Any chance of a lift, boys? Grytpype: Curses, it's Max Geldray! Eccles, the North Pole and step on it. FX: Pair of boots running into the distance. Max and Orchestra: music Greenslade: That was Mr. Max Geldray imitating music. Meanwhile, we present The North Pole Story, part two. GRAMS: blizzard, shell dropping, explosion Ned: Hello folks! Calling folks. This is Ned speaking to you from the snow. I must be here. But where is here? Greenslade: For days he wandered, lost in the blizzard. Ned: For days I wandered, lost in the blizzard. Greenslade: I just said that. GRAMS: blizzard stops Ned: You don't count, it's the listeners I'm worried about. Greenslade: Oh, shut up you greasy Welsh blubber! GRAMS: blizzard continues Greenslade: For days Ned wandered, lost in the blizzard. Ned: Is this the same blizzard of a new one? GRAMS: blizzard stops Greenslade: Quiet, you're ruining the mood. GRAMS: blizzard Greenslade: For days Ned wandered, lost in the blizzard. ANY blizzard. Ned: I'm sure this is a different blizzard. GRAMS: blizzard stops Ned: The old one was much nicer. Greenslade: You've completely ruined this scene now. After the show I shall report you to John Snagge. Ned: Have it your own way. For days I wandered, lost in the blizzard. Greenslade: There, you've done it again. Ned and Wal argue into background Peter: (foreground) Listeners, for those of you who have been unable to follow the story so far, briefly it is that Neddie has wandered for days, lost in a blizzard. We present this update as a community service announcement. GRAMS: blizzard continues, stops abruptly with scratching record. Ned: Now look what you've done. For days I wandered, lost in...... silence. Will nobody show me the way? Bluebottle: I heard you call, my Captin! I heard you call me! Enter Bluebottle. Pauses for audience applause, not a sosinge. Ned: At last a guide. Who are you, little liquorice-stained lad? Bluebottle: I am Secret Agent James Bottle, leader of the East Finchley Junior Secret Agents club. See here, my card. Ned: "Jim Jones and Sons, plumbers". Bluebottle: I'll get that rotten swine printer! Ned: Tell me little spotted lad, do you know the way to the North Pole. Bluebottle: Yes, I do. I have gotted a cardboard map in the lining of my boots. Ned: Then read it, little frosted lad. Bluebottle: East is east and south by south west is dat way. West points to the left and east by north east points dat way and.... Ned: So, where are we? Bluebottle: Dee hee. Dis isn't a map, it's a book about a lady. Ned: What's is called? Bluebottle: Ahem, reads book. (slow) Lay-dee Chaaatt... FX: whoosh followed by feet running into distance Bluebottle: You rotten swine you! Come back with my book! GRAMS: Pair of boots approaching, slows and stops. Eccles: Hello Bottle! Bluebottle: Hello Eccles. I say, why are you bended over like dat? Eccles: Can't you see dere's a man on my back? Bluebottle: There is no man on you back. Eccles: He must have fallen off over the North Sea. Bluebottle: Den why didn't you stop and let him get back on? Eccles: Ooooo. I can see why you're the secret agent. I better go back and get him. GRAMS: single pair of boots running into distance. Bluebottle: I say, don't leave me here. I'm frighted. Ned: Never fear shivering lad. Bluebottle: You rotten swine, you took my book. Ned: It wasn't very good anyway. Aha ha ha. Hmmm! Bluebottle: I still say you're a rotten stinking swine. Ned: Never mind that. Eccles and Grytpype should been here by now. Bluebottle: Eccles has been here and gone away again. Ned: Well, where are they then? Bluebottle: Mr Grytpype fell off. GRAMS: car pulls up fast with a screech of brakes. Willium: That'll be 10,000 pounds, mate. Grytpype: There, a cheque for your trouble. Willium: I ain't got no trouble, mate. Grytpype: You have now, that's cheque's a forgery. Willium: Oh, matey! Ned: Ah, there you are. Weren't you with Eccles? Grytpype: Yes, but I took a taxi. Ned: How jolly for you. Perhaps now you can take to Father Christmas. Grytpype: Hold up this brown paper door. FX: knock knock, door opens Moriarty: Ah. Oowww. Come in steaming lad. Ned: Thankyou. Bluebottle: What about me? Ned: Just step on this spring. FX: twang Bluebottle: (screams into distance) Ahhhhhhhhhhhh........ GRAMS: telephone ringing FX: telephone pickup Ned: Hello. Bluebottle: (pre rec) You rotten swine you! Ned: So you are the real Father Christmas? Moriarty: Yes. Christmas runs in our family. Grytpype and Moriraty: (sing) Christmas in Capri, we've found a charlie. Greenslade: Meanwhile, in a retirement home in Newcastle-upon-Twinge. Crun: Mnk... mnk.... Hurry up, Min. We'll miss the carol singers. Min: Okay, buddy. Crun: Minbie, where is my hat? Min: It's on your head, buddy. Crun: So it is. Mnk... Mnk.... Min, where is your hat? Min: On my head. Crun: So that's where it is. Min: That's where what is? Crun: Your hat. Min: My hat? It's on my head. Crun: I know it's on your head, you silly. Min: If you know it's on my head then why did you ask, buddy? Crun: Ask what? Min: About my hat? Crun: What about your hat? Min: Where it is. Crun: It's on your head. Min: I know it's on my head. Crun: Well then, if you know it's on your head there's no need to ask me about it. Min: I didn't ask you, buddy! Crun: Ask me about what? Min: About my hat. Crun: It's on your head. Min: I know it's on my head. Crun: What is? Min: My hat, buddy. Crun: Your hat, buddy? Min: Yes, buddy. Crun: It's on your head. FX: knock knock, door opens Crun: Yes? Greenslade: Excuse me, I'm from the BBC. Min: We'll all be murdered in our beds! Greenslade: I'm sorry to bother you but this next announcement requires an open door. Crun: I don't think we've got an open door. Min: We'll have to go out and buy a door. Greenslade: At this time of night? Min: The shop down the road. Crun: He doesn't have any doors. You can't buy doors around here. There's a shortage of doors. You can't get the wood, you know. Greenslade: In the absence of a real door, we shall have to turn to the great BBC sound effects department. FX: door opening Greenslade: Through the open door, I can see the audience. And it is to this audience that I introduce Mr Ray Ellington. Ray Ellington Quartet: music Greenslade: Mr Ellington has been nominated for Charlie of the Year. And now to last year's winner in The North Pole Story, part 3. Ned: Father Christmas lived in what looked like a 2 bob a week bed sitter west of Neasden. Moriarty: Ah, Neddie. I am Father Christmas. Ned: Really? Grytpype: Of course he is. Now just sit on his knee. Moriarty: OOOOWWWWWW! OOOWWWWWWWW! AAAAHHHHOOOOWWWWWWW! (soft) Ow. You've squashed my quinns. Grytpype: I'm sorry Neddie, you'll have to sit on a chair. Father Christmas has very fragile knees. You see he bought a pair from Fred Bogg's Knee Selling Emporium and they don't work. Bogg: What? My knees faulty. I never heard such... FX: gunshot Bogg: Ooowwww! FX: thud Ned: Wait a minute, you can't be Father Christmas. He would never shoot anyone. Grytpype: Run for it, Moriarty! He's on to us! GRAMS: double whoosh Greenslade: I say, that was jolly good wasn't it? Having foiled the fake Father Christmas racket, Neddie caught a low flying submarine to Scotland Yard where he reported it to an Inspector of Police. Orchestra: Bloodnok theme GRAMS: Bloodnok explosions Bloodnok: Arararrarar! Oheheheheoeooeoeoe! Arghghghghghghghgh! Howoowowowowo! Take this sample to the lab for testing. Ned: Inspector Denis Bloodnok? Bloodnok: Yes, Bloodnock of the Yard. Specialist in the fake Father Christmas trade. Ned: It must be exciting work. Bloodnok: Yes, it does get jolly tiring sitting behind this desk. Ned: You should exercise more. Bloodnok: Yes. Actually I think I'll just take a quick stroll around the room. Oh, my goodness. My hand just happens to brush past your pocket and grasp your Wallet. And there just happens to be ... 1, 2, 3, 4, .... fifty pounds in it. My hand just happens to slip it into my own pocket as my other hand slips your empty wallet back into your pocket. Oh, the power of money. Now, who did you want to see? Ned: The police. Bloodnok: (panics) Where? Ned: You are. Bloodnok: Yes, of course I am. Now what seems to be your problem, apart from the obvious one. Ned: I wish to report a fake Father Christmas. Bloodnok: I'll just get my secretary to take a few details. Gertrude, darling! FX: door opens Throat: Yes darling. Bloodnok: Make a note of this. What's his name. Ned: Father Christmas. Bloodnok: Address? Ned: The North Pole. Bloodnok: Did you get that? Throat: Yes. Bloodnok: Sure? Throat: Yes. Bloodnok: Any questions? Throat: No. Bloodnok: In triplicate. Throat: Right. FX: door closes Bloodnok: Worth her weight in money, she is. Ned: But what about the fake Father Christmas? Bloodnok: Leave it all to me, lad. We'll catch the coward. Ned: He's armed. Bloodnok: I surrender! Ned: Please, Inspector Bloodnok, come out of that suit of armour. Bloodnok: I can't! It belonged to my mother. Ned: But what about the fake Father Christmas? Bloodnok: We shall start by searching a deserted warehouse in Bond Street. Orchestra: mysterious music GRAMS: Westminster clock tower striking. Ned: Midnight. Inspector Bloodnok and I entered the deserted warehouse in search of the fake Father Christmas. Bloodnok entered first, prepared for whatever fate awaited him, be it assassins, deadly poisons or any one of a number of painful deaths. Bloodnok: I say, steady on. Ned: As we crept forward I thought, 'I hope we don't step on a trip wire and end up trapped'. FX: twang, metal squeak Ned and Bloodnok: (falling) Aaarrrrgggggghhhhhh.... FX: double thud Ned: Curses. Trapped in a secret dungeon. Bloodnok: I say, there's an open window up there. I can hear voices. Grytpype and Moriarty: Christmas in Capri, we've caught a charlie. Ned: It's the fake Father Christmas! Bloodnok: I wouldn't be too sure about that. Ned: What do you mean. Bloodnok: Never mind, lad. I'll explain later. But first we've got to get out of here. Ned: We could try reaching that window, but it's too high. If only there was somebody else in here. Eccles: Hello. Ned: Eccles! Just the man we were looking for. Eccles: Yer, people are always looking for me. They say "Eccles, I've been looking for you!" And I say "No you haven't!" And they say "Yes we have!" And then I run away, and... like that. Ned: How jolly for you. FX: door opens Grytpype: I say, it's little Neddie. Ned: You swine, Grytpype! I'll get you for this. Grytpype: Settle down, lad. You and your monkey are quite safe. Eccles: Ere! Just you be careful how you speak to me. Have you heard of the Earl of Oxford? Grytpype: Yes. Eccles: Blast! Ned: What's all this about? Bloodnok: I do believe I have the answer, and the payoff. In fact, I am the real Father Christmas. Eccles: I have half a crown to give to Father Christmas. Bloodnok: I say, what shape is this half a crown? Eccles: Round. Bloodnok: It's mine! Now I'll just take my half a crown and ...... FX: one pair of boots running into the distance. Grytpype: He's left his knees behind. Methinks me can sill make a few quid before the signature tune. Mr Bogg? Bogg: Yer. Grytpye: Would you perchance care to purchase a genuine pair of North Pole knees? Bogg: How much do you want, then? Grytpype: Ten pounds. FX: cash register Grytpype: I thank you. Bogg: They're very good knees. In fact they're ... Grytpype: Please don't! Bogg: The best knees this side of the North Pole! FX: gunshot Greenslade: And with that, I bid you a Merry Christmas, and goodnight. Orchestra: signature tune