The Brownlegg Files: October 2002 

1 October 2002

And now we look into the heart of British television, as we pay a visit to Emergency – Ward 10, otherwise called Brownlegg at Large and never a parody of ITV1 in anyway. Honest.

The Brownlegg Files

The story so far:

  • Captain T N Brownlegg RN (Rtd) – owner-dominator of Brownlegg Media Group, Britain’s largest media empire (OfCom investigation pending).
  • Augustus ‘Gus’ Brownlegg – Ident designer and crim.
  • Ms Gloria Gaumont – Controller of BBC-1 (no, the other one, keep up) with a pregnant pause.
  • John Spencer-Wells – in charge of paperclips and sodomy at the Brownlegg Media Group.
  • Jean Morton – Cunning linguist.
  • Leslie Harblo – Know future.
  • Dame Mural Young, Bt – Director, presenter and mass-murderer (allegedly).
  • Lorraine Haggerty – A real person, apparently, but not featured here for obvious reasons. How dare you suggest otherwise?

John Spencer-Wells and Augustus Brownlegg-Fearn BA (Pentonville) sat at opposite sides of the desk, eyeing each other nervously… The Sidney Burnsting clock (with a huge dipole for a second hand) pointed north every minute, threateningly. The silence was electric, as the gas had been cut off.

Jean Morton's Word of the Month - Endowment

Every move Gus attempted to make was mirrored by Spencer-Wells, with occasional sotto voce interjections like “oh no you don’t!”, or “Oi, what d’y’think you’re doin’?” The genuine coffee substitute went cold and congealed in the cups. The arrowroot-style biscuits remained in the barrel. And then, explosively… Spencer-Wells went across the board, taking all the pieces with him.

Adverse movements

“Ha, Gus, you’re rubbish at draughts! That’s ten quid you owe me!”. Gus, grimacing and making a number of guttural noises, said as he handed over a creased and machine-washed ‘tenner’, said “You’re on a lucky streak, kidder. It won’t last. You’re only playin’ this one because you’re crap at Bod Snap.” With that he pressed the note into Spencer-Wells’s palm, making sure to apply maximum pressure to the bones, and said in a deep voice, “Just wait, pal, I’ll trounce y’ with me card tricks, whether it’s two aces or Mr. Bunn the Baker’s Son”.

Bear with us, we have a reference to John Major’s bonking habits coming up – always worth waiting for now it’s not libellous anymore.

So when are you going to return the harmonicas?

Spencer-Wells wiped the tears from his eyes, elevated his hand on the edge of the desk, and composed himself a tune before saying, “How long have we got to sit here like this? Muriel, Jean or Gloria should have stayed behind with us, at least we could have

[This pause is unnecessary, based on Spencer-Wells’s established behaviour. See previous editions of this farrago.]

done with the company. And anyway”, at this, he looked out to the river, “It’s only three o’clock, and the beauty contest doesn’t go out live until eight. What is the Captain playing at?”. Gus smiled and said, “Well, Johnny, I’ve got a great idea, and me and you won’t only get to see the contest, but we’ll be there, believe you me!” “And if the Captain doesn’t find us here?” asked Spencer-Wells anxiously whilst fidgeting with his schedule. “Well, he’s gonna have enough to do, I’ve got the YTS trainees in the Public Relations office to send out poison pen letters to everyone! Here’s one of ’em.

Dear Philip Blue,

We’ve come to the conclusion that Craptown are [censored]. Therefore, kindly [censored] next Wednesday because we’ll be getting someone else in instead.

Lots of love,

The Indefensible Television Commission

“Won’t Brownlegg be furious at this? After all, it’s going to cause a bloodbath, and millions of pounds will be lost by those broadcasters”, said Spencer-Wells carefully, as we can’t afford a libel action from ITV’s future owner (in La-La Land). Gus grinned, and tapped the side of his nose with his sovereign ring finger. “Oh, no. If we get all of those smug gets at each other’s throats, they’ll get upset at the ITC, the ITC will be upset at them, and Brownlegg Media Group will be asked to step in and rake in the mazuma. All we need to do is sit and wait. Until then, have an arrowroot.”



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Buy some for Loo Loo.



Under a beautiful London sky, the waters of the murky River Thames were churned by a fast-moving object, from which the sound of a bell could be heard.

Subtitle writer held against will in caption department. Please help. I’m begging you. They don’t even feed me any more. Well, just fast food.

The Captain sat at the controls of his yacht, the SS Red Mullet, on the way to meet the CBoobies team out on the River Thames. Gloria Gaumont, his PA and, almost, constant companion, was on an all-day shoot on the Saucy Bumfluff, a coalbarge converted into a floating catwalk for the first Miss Brownlegg Media Group beauty competition. The initial auditions, held at BMGHQ, TVH in KW, LDN, produced a rather motley crew – one of the first 15 through the heat was only there to issue a parking ticket and put it on the company Morris Oxford Series VI.

Egg McMuffin

Gloria, by nature an accommodating lady – she ran a short-stay bed and get-your-own-breakfast – with a great future in most of her chosen professions, managed to persuade Margaret Shacklady that her future was in the world of beauty and that the parking ticket, if issued, would not only be rolled up tightly and inserted in a secret place, but that her gynaecologist, Mr Whippit-Out, Esq, would assist in the said procedure if required. Leslie Harblo had predicted rain, and yet the sun was high in the sky. What had gone wrong, he was asked? He claimed that his I Ching stones had been sucked and chewed by his granddad, who thought they were Victory Vs and he was Theodore Roosevelt.

The Saucy Bumfluff continued to roll on the swell as Jean schooled her charges in how to walk the walk and talk the talk. “Right, ladies, poise-posture-pout, that’s the way that we put out! Atten-shun, you ‘orrible little ‘arlots! Right Turn! Quick!” Par-ade!” At this command Bob Jumper and his band struck up “The Girl from Ipecacuana” as the final fifteen walked to the top end of the catwalk, posed and smiled whilst holding their number. A shout rang out. “HEY! You! Why weren’t YOU smiling while you told everyone how much you liked animals?” Brownlegg was red-eyed with rage, or, given the circumstances (a swimsuit parade) with embarrassment. He slammed down his copy of this month’s The Abyss, AR’s house magazine.

The Test Card is temporarily unavailable. We will get it back for you as soon as we can.

Unfortunately, no one had told him that it wasn’t for the organizer of the contest to wear a swimsuit too. But he’d never felt so free, and being ex-navy, didn’t intend to go back. At this point, we’d like to remind you that Brownlegg is not Mr Dike of the BBC, nor Mr Alien of Granada, and point out that you are reading too much into this. Obviously.

Little did Gloria, Muriel (who was directing the show), Jean or the Captain see the ketch that had pulled alongside on the port bow. Two shadowy figures were making their way towards the wardrobe department (set up in the galley of the barge) and ready and waiting with a large net and a coil of rope…

Leonardo DiCaprio in a skin

All too soon eight o’clock rolled around. Bob Dangerous-Walker made the announcement: “Goodnight from London, it’s Miss Brownlegg Media Group! Welcoming to your hostess trolley, Captain Tom Brownlegg!” His nibs (Est 1879) appeared with Gloria on his arm, obviously not aware of the viewers’ reaction to Gloria’s very large bumps.

At this point, it’s worth mentioning – well, it’s not, but you don’t really have any choice – that, owing to a mix up, Brownlegg has been named as “Jute Mill manager of the year” by “Flax, Hemp and Jute magazine”. He is unsure whether he should accept, because he also won it last year. To vote on whether he should, send a postcard.

“Ladiesandgennelmen. Hellogoodeveningandwelcome to the first of many more competitions to find Miss Brownlegg Media Group. As you will all know from the pull-out in the ‘VTimes’ and ‘Broadcast Donkey Breeders Gazette’, the prizes include a night with myself – from 7pm to 7am, open to negotiation – a holiday in either Llandudno or Lisbon, at my choosing, and there is a also a chance of winning a car, assuming the road tax on the Morris is still valid until the end of the month”.

“But first, why don’t we meet all of those lovely ladies? Here they are!”


And so it went on, until the grand swimsuit parade, for there went Liz, Diane, Cathy, Ellie, Donna, Chris, Sandra, Trish, Lynn, Annette, Judy, Janet, Margaret, Carol and Susan [Editor’s note: this drivel gets worse each month. Have you people nothing better to do?] – straight into the water, aided by a large piece of rope that knocked them off the top deck of the barge.

Aware that this chaos was going out live, Brownlegg said, “Well, we seem to be having technical difficulties here, aha ha… if we have any more contestants…aha… er…” Two young but muscular ladies appeared all of a sudden. “Yes! We do! And in the absence of any other competitors, you win first and second prize!” Brownlegg wondered if there was a support line he could call. But, he reflected into the water, the last time that had happened he had called the Virgin helpdesk, only to be told that their cause was not his and he walked away empty handed. Fairly.

The first contestant in the purple bikini, with the hairy tattooed arms, made a brief speech to camera while wearing the crown, “Thanks mate”, the deep familiar voice said, “But this is a raid, pal!” The wig came off to reveal the very unlovely features of Gus Brownlegg, and he then said, “Oi, Johnny! Get the rest of that net, and the rope, we’re capturing you Unc, and all the crew, ’cause we’re startin’ a pirate TV station! Johnny, splice the mainbrace and tie Gloria, Jean, Muriel and the control room crew to the mast.” The Captain said, “Mutiny on the Saucy Bumfluff! You will hang from the highest yardarm in the British Navy for this, Mr Christian… er, I mean Mr Brownlegg-Fearn. Either that, or I’ll kick your teeth in, you little swine!”

We are sorry for the loss of your programes. We're sure we left them round here somewhere

Just at the point of his triumph over his Uncle’s oppression, a helicopter hovered overhead, letting a ladder out over the deck. “The Coastguard!” shouted Gus, “Everybody scarper!” But it wasn’t, it was a gang of strangely dressed individuals coming down the ladder, and the first – an attractively dressed woman – identified herself to Gus and the Captain. “We have received a message in our glorious Russian capital that you are now ready for a revolution in England. I am Agent Tatanya Tungsten, and we have been monitoring your broadcasts from Associated-Revolution! You want us as your advance guard, Comrade Brownlegg?” Brownlegg, tied expertly by Spencer-Wells (see previous episodes and look anew) said, “We didn’t send any messages, did you, Gus?”

Salad Necrosis

Gus, by now in a spin, also said no, but Ms. Tungsten was about to reveal all. This being a family website, there are no pictures, mind.

Scrambled eggs

“You did send us messages. Every time you showed your star – and it was a white one, not a red one – we heard five Morse code notes under a trumpet call. After our monitors and cryptologists deciphered it, it said ‘Come On And Get It’. We worked out it wasn’t from your useless former Prime Minister and stud-muffin, so here we are.”

Brownlegg patiently said, “That was a message for Miss Gloria Gaumont, single mother-to-be of this parish, not for you. I’ve already got one revolution to deal with, thank you so much. Why don’t you just go away and conquer somewhere else instead?”

Molly Weir cleans without scratching

With that, Tatanya, her adenoids going like the clappers, and her soldiers of fortune got back into their helicopter and flew off with a heavy and disappointed heart from the Halal butchers. Meanwhile, the Captain still had to work out what to do. “I will negotiate with you, Gus”, he said slowly, “but here’s what I want to ask you.” “Go ahead, Unc”. “What transponder do you want for your pirate TV station?”

[Andy, why wasn’t Gloria featured much this month? Her contract insists she has a really large part. Ed]

Submission to the bored of the Brownlegg Media Group by Leslie Harblo, seer and cobblers:

Gazing into me crystal balls, I see the idea of Associated er, thingy, diversifying into waste disposal and rat traps. This will make you a fortune – not that you need one as the franchise will, of course, last a long time beyond 1968.

To aid staff retention (current staff turnover at the BBC [Brownlegg yada yada] being what it is), sheep dip should be made available to all staff.

Having examined the highly successful workings of the modern British railways and the man who was responsible for the fantastic state they’re now in (he’s a stud-muffin, according to my balls), the installation of ‘Kelp Points’ in strategic corners of Television House will improve service no end.

Diversification into merchandise is well-favoured by the stars this month. Will from Pop Idol is for sale everywhere, so offering Calomine Lotion, Hat Pins, Press Studs and transparent pelmets with our logo emblazoned on them can only ride the wave, according to my Spirits Guide.

Please now cross my palms with silver, or I’ll set that woman who was shagging the Prime Minister on you.

[Please note – I’m never going to get tired of insulting John Major, the philandering hypocrite, so don’t write in. Ed]

Brownlegg Media Group (incorporating the Freedom of Information Act, Limited) press release:

Forthcoming programmes for the Autumn season on the Brownlegg Media Group’s family of channels includes the following big-budget spectaculars:

Brownlegg Gold: Sitcoms feature largely in our Autumn season, including many comedy classics. Hilarity ensues as a middle-class black couple move into a working class white neighbourhood for no reason at all in “My Neighbour is a Darkie” (sponsored by the Daily Male). Hilarity also ensues when a bunch of British actors playing foreigners meet in the series “Mind your Racism“, originally made for over a pound in 1974. Our big presentation for Autumn, though, is “Are You Being Rogered Over The Counter“, where hilarity ensues based on the number of times one character refers to her cat-like front bottom.

Brownlegg Horizontal: Our serious channel presents encore presentations of your favourite fly-on-the-wall documentaries, including “Aerodrome“, narrated by that guy who was in that thing on that island where that woman was always getting kidnapped in blouses, you know which one, remember? “Motel” follows the comings (mostly) and goings of the famous Liverpool “short-stay” hotel “The Delfont” with dozens of businessmen, and one former Prime Minister, covering their faces when they see the cameras and running away. “Kebab” follows a group of serious, hard-working and dedicated students getting rat-arsed in a northern city.

Brownlegg Stool: Our home-makeover-and-gardening channel sets the trend with such popular repeats as “Charlie’s Dimmocks“, where a group of designers force a woman to wear a bra because the alternative is just too, too disturbing; “Ground Down by Force” where Alan Pornmarsh narrates his latest bonk-buster whilst turning over the potato beds; and the surprise hit “Hang That” where Mark Curried executes Anna Rider-Anything and Laurence Llewellen-Hideous in front of a live provincial audience of unemployed people.

Brownlegg Movies Gold: Our access to the back-catalogue of “3.5 Minutes Films Inc” means a glorious choice of movies for the discerning viewer. Classic presentations this Autumn include “Deathwish XXXVII“, where Charles Brownson kills Michael Loser and gets an honorary knighthood, “American History XI“, the sequel to “It’s A Wonderful Life“, and “Lessons in the Art of Living“, a sensitive black and white Norwegian film looking at the true meaning of life and death in a small Icelandic community, with lots of vigorous and obscene sex.

Brownlegg Plus: This channel will be replaced by some soothing music and an illustration from Country Life magazine. Half the viewers won’t notice, and the other two will need a lie down to get over the excitement. The channel will also be showing ‘Heartbeat’ from Yorkshire Television.

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