The Brownlegg Files: January 2003 

1 January 2003

But yes! It’s that man again. And his retinue. And retina. And some thinly disguised protestors. In a skin.

The Brownlegg Files

Pretty boys:

  • Captain T N Brownlegg RN (Rtd) – Put that away, she’s already got one to cope with.
  • Augustus ‘Gus’ Brownlegg-Fearn – The one she’s got to cope with.
  • Ms Gloria Gaumont – Mother of one and lover of many.
  • John Spencer-Wells – The ex-manager of ITV1 (not that one) now reduced to touting for business around Fleet Street and Kings Cross.
  • Jean Morton – Happily married to fellow announcer Pat Gastley.
  • Leslie Harblo – The Earls Court Exhibitionist.
  • Muriel Younger – Tory DTI minister who has fun in the clubs at 5pm. Allegedly.
  • John Major – Hypocrite and adulterer. In case you forgot.

Pretty scenes:

Picture a large art-deco office in the middle of the City.

Okay so far? Now, look around you at the steaming piles of baby clothes, towelling nappies and suchlike on every desk, cupboard, radiator, hat stand, wall planner and trouser press. Worried? You should coco.

Pretty awful:

It is now a little after New Year and sweet, cute little Carlton Loomis Gaumont sleeps softly in his cradle, after a nourishing feed from his mother Gloria. Slumped on a nearby sofa, Gloria is at one end, snoring her not inconsiderable assets off, and Captain Brownlegg RN (Retd) has his head on one hand, and an ice pack applied to his forehead. Meanwhile, Augustus “Gus” Brownlegg-Fearn is in the next office, natty in his new suit and speaking in a low voice on the speakerphone.

“Oi! Ya call yerself an ITV person, and I asked ya to do something really special for the Christmas season promos,” he said sweetly.

Jean Morton's Word of the Month - Pungent

“Yeah, I’ve heard that cack before that ya need all the tinsel to dress ya PC monitor but it would have been nice for the folks at home who don’t go to all them cocktail dos that you lot ‘ave – ya see, I’m a card, me, like cheering everyone up…”

Gus’s purple end

The reply on the other end sent Gus into one of his inevitable and unenviable fits of rage. “Look, I don’t care that ITV1 cost a lot to set up an’ that, so all ya could afford was to spark ya Zippo lighter over the logo. Ya could still have set the logo on fire, or Cilla’s outfit.”

His face turned a deeper shade of puce. “And yeah,” Gus acknowledged, “so you couldn’t get any cute kiddies to dance ’cause the stage school was closed. Do better next time or I’ll make you wear a Santa costume and come down the chimney when the fire’s in the grate – it won’t be port and a mince pie then, pal, it’ll be barbeque time, and you’ll be main course.”

Calming himself with a dozen valium and some unusual tasting milk in a nearby bottle, he interjected “Oh yeah, one more thing – ask those stars in the promos to do something, ’cause they’re all standin’ round like one at Lewis’s and if they’re actin’ bored, people’ll think the channel’s borin’ as well. Make ’em stand on a hot plate or whatever.”

Like a cat on a hot tin plate

Evidently warming to his theme, he continued “Anyway”, but broke off, suddenly, seeing John Spencer-Wells leaning out of the photocopier holding hands and looking longingly into Jean Morton’s eyes. “Gotta go and pour something over two of ’em ‘ere, it’s like living in a knockin’ shop. Again. See ya soon, ya git!!”

Here is a fault

Spencer-Wells, full of the confidence of a young lover, said boldly from the Tray 2 aperture, “Gus, that was a bit uncalled for. Just ’cause you’ve been ditched. If you had come in from the Boxing Night party in early hours of the 27th, and not the 31st, you’d have had a happy young lady on your hands. In the event, both Muriel and Jean found my company more interesting than yours, and Jean says the words I long to hear, don’t you, my sweet?”

Ooh, luscious

Jean licked her lips, and said “like… and dogspikes, and fishplates?” Spencer-Wells could hardly contain his excitement, and it was beginning to show, even through the engineer’s access flap.

“Yeah” said Gus, ” I wasn’t there, dimbo! Anyway, how was I know that the young lady offering us whisky from a still was Sargeant Thomson of Scotland Yard? She reckoned havin’ a still was a licence to print money, but she got me good and sloshed, had her wicked way with me – several times – and then arrested me!”

The Italian menu, please

“What for?” asked John and Jean in unison. And the TGWU.

“Being drunk in charge of a weapon! Mind you, there were fringe benefits…”

My stomach is turning

Jean enquired, “Such as?”

“Conjugal visits to the custody cell.” At this, Gus sat back in his chair, put his hands behind his head and looked to a spot in the corner of the office between the drying Babygros. “She said, if I co-operated, I would get a shorter sentence. I wanted a longer one… and so did she. Ditched again, eh?”


Post Christmas blues? Tired of tinsel? Cards causing chaos? Presents peeing you off?

New from GUSCO – the Seasonal Shredder! Take everything off the walls, put it in the hopper, and, hey presto – lots of sparkling paper mulch to use in your rabbit hutch or tortoise hibernation box. If all else fails, get an Arts Council grant and display the bags of shredded paper in the local gallery! Only £99, and why not get two while they’re on offer? Only from GUSCO – other firms rip you off, why not trust us to do the same?

<Optical, then…>

Spencer-Wells Records present 40 fantastic hits from Bone Idols – the unknown boys and girls who became stars on Brownlegg Broadcasting Channel One’s “Fame Youth Training Scheme“, and can really sing if you hear them in the bath. Live from their bathrooms, hear Cath sing Hearaid’s “Pure and Simple” while shaving under her arms, Billy singing “Parklife” while washing his hair, and witness the fabulous spectacle of Danielle doing her bikini line to the “Captain Scarlet” theme!

There’ll never be another collection like it, so, get it at the full price of £14.19.6 inc Purchase Tax before it ends up in the local Oxfam with the inner sleeves missing. Remember, today’s “Bone Idol” is tomorrow’s personality with regular appearances and signing autographs, if only at the local Benefit Office!

<Another optical, then…>

Remember, this time of year

don’t drink and drive

You’ll spill it.

issued by

John Prescott’s Department, the Tower of London, Birmingham


Brownlegg, having finished his research at the Shakespeare’s Head, breezed into Television House reception. He smartly pressed the button on the lift and, humming a few bars a famous march, waited for the doors to open.

With a smart ‘ping!’ the doors opened and Brownlegg entered.

You know where this is going

“Fourth floor!” he barked kindly at the prepubescent lift boy. The doors closed but the boy didn’t press any button and remained stood still grinning inanely.

“What’s wrong with you, lad?” Brownlegg asked in a sweet but threatening tone. The boy remained placidly grinning, and Brownlegg noticed the cable-jockey’s t-shirt. It read “I’m Aren’t you?”.

Transmitters out of service

“You look faintly familiar,” said Brownlegg. “And your t-shirt makes no sense whatsoever… Wait a second whilst I put all the pieces together.”

Dawning realisation mixed with horror cascaded over the Captain’s face. “You… you’re… you’re A Protestor, aren’t you?”

Give in, we’re funnier and cleverer and you know it

The grinning idiot answered back sharply “Redcap and for sure. Flowers and Finnistere. TDK or Memorex?”

“You don’t get me like that!” growled Brownlegg. “I know your game – playing with our minds by spouting drivel all the time. Your argument isn’t with me, it’s with the company that supplies your lithium. I’m not even a majority shareholder.”

“Looks like Godalming,” agreed the boy, “but let me write it down for you”.

“Oh no you don’t,” said Brownlegg, pressing the door open button and smartly exiting. “The last thing anyone needs is you people writing anything down. It’ll all be pretentious frightening rubbish.”

Back to rational behaviour. Well, not really.

Muriel was sitting back in the main office, sipping tea from a saucer while feeding Carlton with the other hand. Sweetly she crooned “There, there, honey bubble, enjoy your brandy Alexander like your dad does, and go to sleepy-byes before I throw a filing cabinet out of the window!”

The following programme may contain traces of nuts

She sang a lovely lullaby. Would you like to sing along too?

[Er, Andy, I suspect we wouldn’t, but I’ll see where this goes. Ed]

Go to sleep my baby, go to sleep right now,

Don’t be like your mother, and be a little cow

The sheep are nicely jumping

And all the dogs are humping,

Go to sleep, my baby, or there will be a row…

At this point both Brownlegg and Gloria woke up, and Glo said, “Bleedin’ ‘ell, Muriel, can’t you keep the noise down, I was dreaming about a gang of ‘Ell’s Angels there, and they were saying something about a train.”

Muriel asked, “What train?”

Remember the next line

Gloria said, stretching, “I dunno, but I could have done with the ‘oliday”.

The Captain said, “How’s he doing? Is he talking yet? I mean, I want to know if he says ‘Daddy’ or ‘you’re sacked’ yet”.

Muriel and Gloria took off on poor old Brownlegg. Here we go, he thought, the Harpies are in. “He’s only ten days old! He can’t talk, walk, hire or fire yet! He relies upon us for his every need, for feeds and that”.

Gus came in, closely followed by the photocopier and Jean and said, “Hey, Unc, gotta solution to your problem! You know all this laundry that’s around? Well, we’re gonna do a reality show, based in a real laundrette, called ‘Bagwash Watch’, presented by Jade from Big Sister, and ’cause it’ll be sponsored by Dazzle soap powder, it’ll be done for nothing!”

The following programme is not our fault either

“When does it start, Gus?”, the Captain asked excitedly.

“Now! So, John, Jean and Muriel, get all of this stuff down the Bagwash, go and see Jade and smile nicely for the camera, and don’t forget to take Carlton for the ‘uman interest bit. Take your bag of change – we ain’t been paid by Dazzle yet!”

How programmes get networked. These days

Everyone rushed around getting the scraps of attire into a large bag, which was put by Muriel into the empty baby buggy and down into the lift. Jean was carrying Carlton.

Brownlegg had inkling that Gus hadn’t been entirely honest with him. “Hold on, Gus. I knew nothing about this programme plan. How did you get this past Mr. Garage Handle at the Network Centre? And where’s this sponsorship money?”

We refer the viewer to our previous caption

Gus cackled evilly. “Well, I can tell you that there ain’t no ‘Bagwash Watch’, that was just my way of getting’ Carlton’s stuff done. And -” Then he produced a small wad of notes, and dished out some in Gloria’s hands. “I bet you that I could get them to do the washin’, here’s your cut, Glo!” They all laughed, and a bottle of scotch was cracked open.

Gloria asked, laughing, “What about the camera? And Jade?” “Load of twaddle. They’ve got closed-circuit over the dry cleanin’ counter, and Jade’s only gone in to wash her ‘smalls’!”

A Transdiffusion Presentation

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