Brownlegg at Large: September 2001 

1 September 2001

Welcome back, loyal members of my ragged army to the first autumn meeting of the Assembly for Middle England, to be held in Television House (if raining, in the church hall). What a summer it has been indeed. I missed the glorious twelfth, because my Royal Snowdrift Lubricants 1965 desk diary doesn’t tell me the correct bank holidays any more.

In the absence of game birds, I have attempted butterfly shooting, but I keep on missing the little beggars, and anyway, it’s a waste of a twelve-bore cartridge that could be better used on a trespasser, manservant or the head of a rival ITV company. Note to self: did we have any rivals? If so, please make a note of whom they were and what they thought they were doing

Mind you, talking of game, what’s this ITV1 doobree? Associated – Radiation Digital at 28/- down and 15 shillings a month aren’t allowed to take it, and yet we’ve got ITV2, so what are you supposed to do to receive ITV1? Even my dipole isn’t properly polarised (just ask Gloria, soon to be seen as Lady Bakewell in the J Arthur Rankle biopic “The Story of a Tart”, a very large roll for her). I would like to say, therefore, that I think ITV1 doesn’t really exist, and that it’s obviously a ploy put out by all these digital chappies to get you to buy something you don’t need. As one of these companies is Claptown, that mightn’t necessarily be a bad thing…

There are lots of new sports channels available on these digiboxes, I am told. However, I couldn’t watch them until I bought a TV set. The Huntin’, Shootin’ and Fishin’ Channel has been an unqualified success, but we at A-R Digital have to “expand the brand” as the media types say. The next step is to find a sport that no one has got exclusive rights to yet. Can’t have cricket, football, rugby or Formula 1 racing. Then, on a recent trip to Spain, I realised that bullfighting hasn’t been snapped up yet. Imagine, a sport for true red-blooded gentlemen everywhere! The colour, the spectacle, the senseless killing… it’s like the House of Commons. Margaret would watch, of that I’m sure. And in England, it could be the answer to the foot and mouth epidemic or mad cow disease! Mind you, the newspapers, especially that Lord Bolingbrook, would have a field day with the headlines: “Brownlegg Talks Bull”.

I do hope you spent your summer holidays poring over your battle plans, and you were looking out, at every opportunity, for our glorious symbol, the Adastral. By the way, I did receive a few postcards from exotic locations like Portugal, Majorca and Poulton-Le-Fylde, saying that you were looking out for the logo, but there were those of you who misunderstood, and accosted strangers in white coats saying, “Your name is Lobby Lud and I claim my five pounds and free Adastral badge”. Spencer-Wells, my butler and crumpet-butterer (that’s not rude, you perverts), has informed me that some of these white-coated men have taken you away: I have decided to stop paying bail, as I am now unable to pay my TV licence. As I said to Gloria yesterday, I said, “Glo, please, a stitch in that won’t save anything worth real money”, which is truer than you people think, I find.

A cursory look around our nation’s capital from my home here in the London Eye alerted me to the fact that Associated-Radiation’s name is associated only with second-hand TV sets and retired television engineers. All of the landmarks have gone from the heyday of Indefensible Television, but I am extremely concerned that Adastral House is now in the Government’s hands, without my express permission. It’s enough to make one drink bleach. I don’t suppose any of you people thought to bring any Harpic? As for “The London Studios”, all colour cameras and fancy whatnot… give me the great days of Wembley’s Studio 5 when A-R did drama productions of quality, like “Schererazade”, “Laudes Evangelii” and “Ready Steady Go”.

The camera turrets would be turning like catherine wheels, and we didn’t need colour to tell the viewers a story, just a lot of overpaid studio staff! Oh, the excitement, the thrills, the spills, the cost! That’s it, Gloria, keep that bunion file working

I’d just like to say some words about the culinary habits of the Germans.

Now, back again to the so-called Mr Victoria Lewis-Smith. He still fails – daily – to contact me, a state of affairs that I’m sure you agree is simply not good enough. So I have refined the plan – again – for liberating his copy of the adastral from his sticky grasp. Next week, you lot, with executive instructions from me behind the lines, will use a life-size cut out of Olivia Newton John in roller boots and a chic little beret to surprise him in a urinal. While he animatedly tries to engage Ms John in lively conversation, those of you on the right will throw peas at him while those on the left feel in his pockets. I don’t have time to go into details, so I’m sure I can rely on you to manage this simple task without getting the police or navy too involved. As ever, we retain the policy of plausible deniability, in that you people are sufficiently implausible as to be in denial, I find.

Speaking of which, Spencer-Wells has been telling me a really ripping yarn, which I promise I will tell you all soon. Unfortunately, I have to go, as I’ve just caught sight of a white van with a big aerial on it at the gate of “Heave To”, and I’ve got to go and hide behind the couch. Ssh – Mum’s the word!

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