The Brownlegg Files: July 2002 

1 July 2002

A silhouette appears in a doorway. We hear a horrible, rasping sound that sends shivers down the spine. It says “another dram, please, barkeep.”

The sun had been beating down heavily on the steel, glass and concrete-effect headquarters of the Brownlegg Media Group, and everyone was working hard in the heat. Actually they dare not do otherwise. Opulent, modern, indomitable… all the qualities one attributes to the man himself, and to his magnificent erection opposite Bush House.

Speaking of which, Captain Tom Brownlegg RN (retired) was in his office, busy counting a rather large pile of assets from A-R Digital’s takeover of the ITV Digital network, with help from his glamorous PA, Gloria Gaumont. The problem, this month more than most, was what to do with the 8,637 stuffed monkeys the company had inherited.

The facts were simple: they were too young to make up a party to rival the Conservatory Party, ‘Toys R’nt Them’ can’t stock anything wearing a Broccoli Spears top because it’s been unfashionable since 4.15pm last Friday.

The Captain speaks. “Come up with an idea, and quick, Gloria. Muriel’s been buried in there for almost five days, and she can’t live off the kapok forever. I wonder how the monkeys fell on top of her?”

Gloria didn’t reply, but that swing of those not-inconsiderable hips and the tap-tap of her Prada stilettos managed to distract the captain from the look of sheer delight on her face.

Ms. Gaumont walked back to her plush office, otherwise known as the BBC1 Controller’s office or the Pink Pussy Parlour, where her eleven o’clock appointment arrived to paint her nails. Her eleven-thirty was poised, with scissors and hair-dryer at the ready to perform yet another act of tonsorial topiary on her pretty little head. “Oh, why are my days always this busy? Haven’t I even got the bleedin’ time to stand and stare?” she asked rhetorically, or would have had the word been in her copy of “My First Spelling Book”.

“Look, love”, piped Jody from the trendy nail boutique in White City, named with wry amusement ‘Oh Gawd, I Feel Ashamed!’, “it gets worse after yer leg waxin’ so shut up, I’m shakin’ getting yer nails glued on”.

The squawk box let out a rasp. Gloria pressed the big red button marked “if this makes a noise, press this big red button you dozey slut” by one of the BBC (Brownlegg Bullfighting Channel, no relation) executives who were always on hand to guide the controller of BBC-1 in her job and help massage her slingbacks in an emergency.

“Spencer-Wells here,” the box announced. “How’s that series on beauty tips for the CBoobies channel coming along? I haven’t received the scripts yet Gloria, and time’s getting on…”

The high-powered BBC-1 (Brownlegg Bullfighting Channel number 1. Please do keep up) controller puffed out her considerable chest and leaned seductively towards the pick-up. He pushed her in the direction of the microphone.

“Darling”, Glo replied, her toe pressing seductively on the talk button. “I’m still doing the research, but I promise that I’ll get it to you later” she lied.

Meanwhile, Crystal Watkins came in, arms open wide, and said, “Gloria! Honey! Have I a surprise for YOU! Every woman will want one of these! Include it in the programme and I’ll give you one free!”

BBC 1 'cow' ident

Not surreal, not satirical, just plain stupid. Welcome to ITV1.

Crystal had previously found that holding up a big sign with an exclamation mark on it was quicker than trying to imply it verbally, and it had got her a place on both “I Love 1820” on BBC-2 and “Question Time”. All she needed now was a column in the Sun and her life would be complete.

“Crystal, I already have that kind of understanding with the director. I’m not allowed to advertise anything on the programme. However, I can accept large wodges of mazuma”.

Gloria adjusted an ample cleavage, whilst thinking of Barbara Windsor and ways to have her main rival killed.

“No, Gloria!” exclaimed the media whore – well, a 50% accurate description – Crystal, “This is unique! It’s an Electronic Bra, that makes your bust bigger!”.

Gloria stood up, and let her assets speak for themselves. They demurred, having arranged a photo shoot for GQ next week, so she spoke for herself and said “I don’t need one, and people get a shock when they see them anyway! Send it to Jean Morton’s Impulse Buy Channel! They buy any old tat!”

So Crystal Watkins took the gadget to Jean’s office, where as usual she was trying to motivate the staff by the use of key words. “Re-cept-tacle”, she said in her fruity voice, pointing to the word on a flipchart. The staff replied, as one, in a strange monotone, “Re…cept…acle”. “No! No!” Jean shouted, taking her shoe off and banging it on the desk, “remember, if you don’t say it properly, Tingha and Tucker are locked in my drawer, and will remain there until you do.” Her demonic glare faded as she realised she had unwelcome company in the form of the former editor of popular music magazine ‘S Hits’. “Excuse me,” she said demurely. Turning to Crystal she said, “What the tumescence do you want?”

Jean Morton's Word of the Month: ergegious

“Jean! Darling! I have the latest in lingerie! It’s an Electronic Bra that makes your bust bigger!”

“Well”, Jean replied, unconsciously fluffing her own contribution, “are you going to leave one here for me to demonstrate on the Impulse Buy Channel? Or do I have to set the Tree House Family on you?” Crystal reached in her tote bag and handed the package to Jean, who then told her to go, using short, challenging words. But “receptacle” was not mentioned.

In the next cubicle, Augustus Brownlegg, his left ankle bleeping softly, was designing yet another logo to go on the side of the outside broadcast truck. He turned to his faithful team, none of them faithful – graphic designers generally being known to put it about a bit – and said, sternly: “Right, lads, we’ve got to get rid of the tatty Olde Englishe writing on the back window, ’cause it makes it look like we’re runnin’ a knocking shop. Any ideas?”

Martin, an earnest young artist, once, said, “But, aren’t we?”

Gus went head to head with him and hissed: “Yeah, maybe, but this is a telly station, alright? So make with the broadcast symbols before I plant my boot somewhere where the sun don’t shine. It ain’t Gloria’s passion wagon anymore, since we placed a mixing console in front of the paliasse, it’s an OB vehicle!”

Gloria's van

OB unit or passion wagon? You decide. Quickly. [Spotter – Brandon Campbell]

Martin was obviously discombobulated. His experience at the original Rediffusion and later (though he was hazy on this point) LWT hadn’t allowed for such rigorous demands. He was used to cobbling any old crap together and selling it to the state broadcaster or the wannabe ATV. They’d buy any old nonsense, yet here was a demanding customer who wanted change for change sake – and obviously, poor old Martin didn’t know what to do. That fake double-barrelling of his surname was obviously for nothing, and he felt the first pricks of tears in his eyes. For a change. Augustus was continuing to bellow.

“So get yer Osmiroids workin’ before I gives ya osmiroids!” Gus decided to email Mr. Ernest Frogsleeper, Chief Engineer, to ask if the OB vehicle aerial could be altered too, as the signal from four bent coat hangers tended to be disturbed by the smoke from diesel exhausts.

John Spencer-Wells sat at his desk, or to be more exact, stood at his desk clutching his favourite ex-ITV Digital monkey, fighting off attempts by Gloria and the Captain, amongst others, to relieve him of it. “But he’s my favourite, aren’t you, Rodney? Snookums, num-nums…um..”

The Captain was obviously unamused. Here was his deputy dogsbody behaving like the Managing Director of Grandad Television of Manchesterford. “Spencer-Wells!”, he bellowed, “I will not tolerate such brazen behaviour from one of my executives. You know perfectly well that my office is completely overrun with these blasted toys. Muriel is missing presumed dead, and Gloria has offered these to everyone in the entire world without success. Give that back this minute!”

But Spencer-Wells was determined to cling on to his prize, the only thing he had left from his association with the defunct ITV Digital. “There are 8,636 left, give them away, or use them for the management of Crapton Television, but leave Rodney with me!” he whined.

At that point, Gloria put her hands out towards John’s prised possession, saying, “Look, I understand… Don’t worry… Place it in my hands and I’ll make sure you get everything a man could want.”

Then the Captain lunged at him like a rugby three quarterback and ripped Rodney from his arms. Spencer-Wells feel to his knees, a broken man, bereft of the one thing that brought him happiness. Well, judging by that reaction, obviously none of you cared.

BBC - A Brownlegg Media Group company

All of a sudden the red phone flashed its lights, and buzzed loudly. The Captain stood to attention as it played the specially commissioned “Adastral March” by the world’s greatest composer and conductor, and Brownlegg answered it.

“Yes? Yes? Well, thank you. Thank you. Is there money involved? Well, that’s good. Yes, yes, goodbye”.

Obviously a cryptic message for the man who defined the art of creeping into a crypt, receiving a cryptic message and creeping out again.

“Gloria! Gloria!” he shouted to the woman less than 3 inches away from him. More on a less cold day.

“Tommy, whatever’s the matter? You look as if you’re fit to bust!” the woman in question said, adoringly.

“Yes, Gloria, I probably am. But that’s not important right now. That was the P. M., from D. S., asking me if I still had the D.T.s. I told him N.O., but I still had the I.D.M.s as given to me by I.D.S. his successor in the bizarre fantasy world I live in.

“And they’ve accepted the lot of them, to be collected any minute”.

“Whatever for?”, Gloria asked, as if the previous paragraph had made any sense whatsoever.

“Well, the UK still want the Rock of Gibraltar, and the rest of it, I’d imagine, so they’ve decided to populate it with ex-ITV Digital monkeys so that we retain sovereignty. And I’ve been offered a knighthood, if I want it.” Sir Thomas Brownlegg, RN (Rtd) stood proud. Gloria noticed immediately.

“But that’s wonderful news, Tommy” she said to him, casting an admiring glance at the saviour of the Rock himself.

“Maybe, but they wanted the monkeys plus a couple of monkeys, if you get my meaning…” added Brownlegg cryptically (yes, we’ve done that one, thank you).

Gloria unbuttoned her blouse, reached into her décolletage and handed Brownlegg

Brownlegg Media Group. We are sorry for the loss of your programmes, which have just blown away in a high wind. We are now running down the street after then while holding our hat on tightly

Sorry, where were we?

A large bundle of notes. “For me?” he said, both pleased and touched, the result of most encounters with the controller of BBC-1.

“Well,” he said, “I always wanted to be Sir Thomas Brownlegg, and this is the culmination of a navy dream”.

However, on going back into the office to get a bottle out of the desk to rub on, he became alarmed. “The monkeys have all gone! And where’s Muriel?”

Glo smiled and replied, “Probably on her way to Gibraltar with Pussy Cat Willum by now. Why do you ask my darling Tommy?”

“Oh nothing”, he said, “I just need to know who’s linking the ‘Five O’Clock Club’ tonight”.

A Transdiffusion Presentation

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