Brownlegg at Large: March 2002 

1 March 2002

After my bingo win at last month’s meeting of the Assembly for Middle England, I have managed to hire a room for tonight’s meeting, at a very reasonable price.

Travel Grange have pulled out all the stops for our soiree, by providing four tea bags, two small packets of sugar and an electric kettle that’s bolted to the worktop, but I’m sure that after the first few sips of water from the basin tap you won’t want any of this richer fayre. Good, because it’s for myself and Gloria, who will be taking minutes down now and my particulars down later. I’d like to press on right now, as we have to vacate the room at noon tomorrow. Gloria and I that is: you will all be going home at 8.30 pm sharp, after all, I’ve work to do.

These modern hotels are a truly great invention – cold, impersonal, uncomfortable and generally overpriced, much like the Sluttish Media Group’s output from Glasgow.

May I remind you, gentlemen, that if you DO have to sit on the bed, I shall be watching which of you doesn’t keep their foot on the floor – we had words for those like you in the Navy. Speaking of which, ignore the wailing of Spencer-Wells: he insists on listening to the Easy Listening radio channel through headphones, and James Last is torturous enough without hearing his attempts. Still, I knew when I bought him from his foster father for £2.7.9d and a soap powder coupon that I needed a ship’s mascot, but the stupid boy wouldn’t stay still long enough for me to nail him to the prow of the boat, so I stuck him in the foc’s’cle. Note to self – remove previous mascot and bury at sea immediately, then deny everything. Again.

To business. Associated-Radiation digital celebrated its 17th customer this week! Mrs Elsie Frogsleeper of 7 Windy Mews, West Skirting, was delighted with the system, couldn’t praise it enough. But the A-R call centre (c/o Alfie’s Caff payphone, ask for Joey) received an urgent call from Mrs. Frogsleeper. “What was the problem, and could we help?” we asked. Well, the installation engineer had brought the dish, the cable, the digibox, the tools, the van was on the driveway, but he never completed the job for some reason. He ran off screaming, saying, “stuff this for a lark, Brownlegg, I’m bankrupt, I’m getting a shelf-stacker’s job in the Kwiki!” What the shelfstacker thought about this wasn’t vouchsafed unto me. So, we had to placate our customer somehow: in an act of gross generosity and to save face, Mrs. Frogsleeper and her lodger are now our chief installation team for the entire country. All we need now is a few more customers, so let’s get busy! For the Frogsleepers’ sake anyway, as the second mortgage payments are expected shortly, and their food’s run out. Note to self: send the spare packet of Ginger Nut biscuits round. Half of them. One to share.

Mind you, I feel that our programming needs a bit of style and glamour. Watching “Three After Six” the other night around at Gloria’s pied-a-tierre in Chelsea, I found it hard to get excited. “A sideways look at what’s going on”, indeed! I only tuned in because I thought it was on our adult channel, “Watching all nude kinfolk in nature’s garden” – I did tell Gloria that the name needed shortening, but she had a fit of the giggles and turned away – and Jack Hasgroves looked a little too much like he’d been around for my liking, if you can sense my meaning. All those fishing rods and flies are obviously just a cover for his real activity at the Edward Essoldo Lap-Dancing Bar, I find.

What I then thought would be a good idea would be to get Peter Willswhiffs to produce and direct a big prestigious series featuring those who wish to become media pundits who learn how to judge, manipulate and rip-off upcoming musical talent, in the new live 26-week show “Bone Idol”. My spin-doctor, Basil Hammer, has all of the publicity worked out: “get a job on a local rag!” “live off the backs of others” “Be on the panel of ‘Have I Got Smug Gits for You?'”. Needless to say, it attracted some unsavoury elements, like Dick Gryke, Director-General in charge of toothpaste at the BBC, but he got an audition by slagging off Bert Johns, and he’s tipped for the top, as these young swingers say in the coffee bars before slashing the seats (or each other, or the patron).

Play 'spot the difference' with Brownlegg!

A fun game this month. Spot the difference between the two pictures above, and send me one of those electronic telegrams that seem so popular these days with the answer. You could win, well, I’ll look in my bin and get back to you.

“TOPS” – Time to Obey Parents Silently – has reacted to this type of thing in the proactive way I fully expect of Associated-Radiation. Spencer-Wells has been telling youngsters that if they don’t stay in and watch, and stop their felonious pursuits, the Bogey Man will come and get them. Now, this is good advice, for the rule of fear far overshadows the rule of corporal punishment, but the spate of hangings after our last campaign, “Get Your Bloody Hair Cut” meant that the viewing audience dwindled rapidly. We’re really aiming the Bogey Man campaign at the teddy boys, one of whom, Tommy “Slasher” McGinty once took Gloria out and found it hard to put her back in again.

Gloria asked me in the bath the other day why A-R Digital can’t buy up some old programmes for TOPS. What ones? asked I. “Rocket Robin Hood”, she replied. (Now I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure that that Dick James never sang the theme tune for it). Gloria reminded me of how impressive it all was: the entire band of lusty young Merry Men, and RRH had an electro portostaff, whatever that is. I ventured that it might have been a hollow glass walking stick containing a miniature flannel shirt, but Gloria went all dewy-eyed and dreamy, saying, “Wow! what an electro portostaff! Hmmm?” It seems to be very suitable for children. Anyway, as she impressed me, talking about his mighty weapon, I am in negotiations with the man who does pirate videocassettes to get some episodes for pre-viewing. Watch this space.

Gloria on holiday in Tenby Gloria doing continuity announcing on Border in 1964 Gloria at the Royal Wedding of 'Anne and that other bloke' as the invitation put it Gloria at her mother's funeral

Four pictures of Gloria Gaumont for you: Gloria on holiday in Tenby; Gloria doing continuity announcing on Border in 1964; Gloria at the Royal Wedding of ‘Anne and that other bloke’ as the invitation put it; Gloria at her mother’s funeral

I think all of these TV people now think we are a little light-headed upstairs, because they are saying things like “Now on the Boring Channel, welcome to the Cushion Hour”. It’s on the screen logo, the corner of the picture, they are saying it… I reckon, like Forrest Gump, that television is like a box of chocolates: you’re always going to hate the ginger sling.

Note to self: read this back later and see if it makes any sense at all.

The contents reflect the packaging, (except when looking at CDQ, because home shopping should be about selling – “Nothing acts faster than Attenborough”). They call these little pictures on the screen DOGS, I believe, but to me they’re just an unwelcome intruder, licking my face, drinking water from my toilet and so on. These DOGS, like their channel owners, should be put down! Although I’ve arranged for them to be put on my channels, having received a lovely letter from a young boy who explained he really was a cretin and did need these things on all the time or he got lost and started to wander fretfully up and down the EPG, rubbing his remote and moaning. Gloria has taken down his address and will be visiting to see what this looks like.

One of the benefits, I find, of being so famous in the broadcasting industry – indeed, having invented it, no matter what John Wreath may say – is that I regularly get invited to attend important functions. Last week, I was lucky enough to be invited to a wedding. Well, I say “lucky” ? the entire thing was a disaster. It started off well, with bride and groom walking to the registry office hand in hand with a large group of bodyguards between them to prevent trouble.

On arriving at the registry office, however, there were some disturbing scenes, with the bride, Michael Groin, suddenly diving under a pew and sobbing loudly. This was before they even handed round any sherry, so I was pleased to note that Margaret had filled my hipflask with a proprietary brand of drain cleaner, which usually does the job. The whole event started to resemble a farce as the groom, Charles Alien, tried to drag his reluctant bride down the aisle by the veil, whilst muttering “Ee up, our lass, this won’t do at all – what’ll they say down t’working man’s club?”

Needless to say, the wedding didn’t take place, with the bride eventually being taken away by people from the City for a share price inflation. I took some of the cake – it has rum in it – and left to the sounds of the groom shouting something about returning the ring. All very unpleasant, but fairly normal in broadcasting circles. Something similar happened when John Spencer-Wells, my minion, married Howard Thomabc in 1968.

News in brief now, sponsored by News in Briefs, the forthcoming new name for the Independent Television News News Channel for News from Independent Television News.

  • Gloria’s channel should be launching soon, devoted to things she likes like little kittens, teddies, rubber and baby doll nighties. It’s to be called CBoobies.
  • The Brownlegg Bullfighting Channel are launching BBC 5 on Tuesday as soon as the cheque clears, featuring alternating news of bullfights in Streatham with Pitch and Toss live from the Johnny Todd, and we’ve signed Smigger and Quinny to commentate, as they’ve threatened me with cranial rearrangement, or something like that.

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Total money raised so far…


towards our goal of £250million

Donations to date:

Captain Tom Brownlegg
£0 4s 3d
Gloria Gaumont
Negligee (not accepted)
John Spencer-Wells
My milk bottle top collection
Russ J Graham
Shoelaces (worn)
Kif Bowden-Smith
Unwanted carpet
Dafydd Hancock
A bucket (missing handle and bottom)
Andrew Bowden
One plastic toy sheep

Phil Paterson
A discount voucher (expired)
Andrew Hesford-Booth
A piece of wet string to act as an aerial (as they are losing ITV Digital)
Kirk Northrop
Unwanted ITV Digital digibox
Ian Beaumont
3 dead batteries
Jon Bufton
ITV Telethon ’90 badge (pin missing)
Jim Johnson
A BSB Squarial (previously used as a coaster)

Well, any other business? No, I mean pertaining to this meeting? Good. Sod off home then.

Dedicated to Spike Milligan, 1918-2002

Goon but not forgotten

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