Jeremy Paxman: "Good evening. Tonight we will be devoting our programme to the newly emerging question of gnome rights: Do they have any? And if so, why? I will be interviewing a leading figure from Government, a local housewife and, as a token gesture towards balance, I will also speak in an aggressively patronising manner to a gnome rights activist.
To re-cap. We have seen a very disturbing rise in gnomish activism over the past two weeks. Despite the repeated calls for calm from Chairman Tenji vigilante groups have taken control of many areas of suburban Britain—the natural habitat of the garden gnome. Police have suffered injuries in attempts to capture gnomish leaders and at least one member of the public has been shot in error—fortunately he did not suffer injury but some maggots were damaged and a copy of the Angling Times was destroyed in a controlled police explosion.
Despite this, there are still some members of society who espouse the rights of gnomes and question the increasingly hard-line tactics being pursued. I have with me in the studio this evening Miss Samantha Goldworthy of the newly formed Gnome Rights Alliance or NRA."
(Camera pans to ‘homely’ girl with pebble lenses, cardigan and buck teeth who is clearly no stranger to a fish supper.)
Paxman: "Miss Goldsworth, first may I ask you how we are supposed to take you seriously if you cannot even spell gnome."
Goldsworthy: "Goldsworthy, Ms…"
Paxman: "Don’t change the subject Miss Goldworthy. Do you or do you not call yourselves the NRA?"
Goldsworthy: (becoming annoyed) "It's GOLDSWORTHY. And I’d prefer to be addressed as Ms…"
Paxman: "It is no use evading the issue. Do you or do you not call your organisation the NRA when it is obviously incorrect. I put it to you that you that it should be called the GRA."
Goldsworthy: "Well I think, Jeremy, it is more about what we stand for than what we are called."
Paxman: "Miss Goldsworthy I would prefer it if you called me Mr Paxman."
Goldsworthy: "I think, Mr Paxman, it is more about what we stand for than what we are called."
Paxman: "Simply repeating something does not make it true, Miss Goldsworthy. Now I understand that you allege that excessive force has been used on the gnome leader, the so-called ‘Gerald P Floyd?"
Goldsworthy: "Yes, that’s right and we have pornographic evidence of systematic torture."
Goldsworthy: "Sorry...I meant 'photographic.' Those are...um...different pictures we'll be talking to Channel 4 about later."
Paxman: "I think you need to be very careful, coming onto national television and making claims of torture without a shred of evidence to substantiate them."
Goldsworthy: "But we have photographs!"
Paxman: "So you keep saying, but where are they? I challenge you to produce your evidence!"
Goldsworthy: "They are here in my bag. (reaches into handbag) and we emailed them to you this afternoon and had prints delivered by a courier."
Paxman: "Well this is typical of the tactics of fanatical pressure groups, to produce highly questionable evidence at the last minute and not allow a responsible programme like mine any time to verify the provenance or accuracy of the documents. I am not going to insult my viewer’s intelligence by showing the pictures. Perhaps you'll have better luck with Channel 4."
(Camera pans away from an ashen-faced Goldsworthy, across Paxman and on to a fat, balding man sitting on a stool)
Paxman: "I am very pleased to welcome to the studio Vice-Chairman Derek Tree of the National Satirist Party of England. Mr Tree, we had hoped that Chairman Tenji would be able to join us, is there a problem?"
Tree: "Well, Mr Paxman..."
Paxman: "Please, call me Jeremy."
Tree: A pleasure, and you must call me Derek."
Paxman: "Derek Tree? Not twiggy Tree? Didn’t you use to fag for Tomkins major when we were new bugs?"
Tree: (leaning forward excitedly) "Good Lord, is that you Paxo? I recognised the tie but I didn’t think it could be, not after all these years. Still playing the fool I see. Well, well, well. Stuffy Paxo. D'you know, you're the only chap I knew at (name of school beeped out) who could take a hot crumpet from behind without blubbing. Even Tompkins was impressed and he didn't impress easily..."
Paxman: (coughing self-consciously). "Er...um...well—this is quite astonishing Ladies and Gentlemen, Twiggy…er Derek…and I were at school together. Quite amazing. So Twiggy, where is Tenji?"
Tree: "Well Paxo—he had hoped to be here obviously, but managed to get a chap in to repair a hole which had mysteriously appeared in his cellar at short notice, so he sent me along instead. You know what it’s like in Purley—if you can get a builder to come out you make bloody sure you don’t keep him waiting! Anyway he said ‘You’re a bloody fool, Tree, but no more so than that prat Paxman, so go to it.’ So here I am."
Paxman: (Laughs loudly) "Old Tenji, always likes a joke. So Twiggy what do you make of these ridiculous torture allegations?"
Tree: "Well I think they are ridiculous."
Paxman: "We are of one mind on that old chap, very perceptive."
Goldsworthy: (Walks into shot) "Sorry to break up this cosy reunion but I’d like to ask Mr Tree to take a look at this. (Thrusts picture into the hand of startled satirist).
Tree: "Hello young lady, nice to see you. I’m afraid we are doing a television interview at the moment. Who would you like me to say it is to? (Pulls out an ornate fountain pen and prepares to sign autograph, then sees the picture). Good grief, how did you get hold of one of these? There were supposed to be only four copies!"
Goldsworthy: "That doesn’t matter. The question is have you seen this image before?"
Tree: "Absolutely not."
Goldsworthy: "Damn, I was sure you would have. Never mind, what does the image show?"
Tree: "A scantily-clad young girl tied to a tree surrounded by grinning goblins."
Paxman: (craning forward) "What? Good Lord!"
Goldsworthy: (hurriedly snatching back the photograph) "No, not that one, this one."
Tree: "It looks like a gnome taking a bath."
Goldsworthy: "With his outdoor hat on?"
Tree: "Shower cap?"
Goldsworthy: "And the sinister acid smoke?"
Tree: "A hot bath?"
Goldsworthy: "And the electrodes?"
Tree: "I don’t think we can assume they are electrodes."
Goldsworthy: "But they are connected to this machine which says 500 VAC."
Tree: "Well, I am not a scientist, and neither are you; that could mean anything."
Goldsworthy: "Actually I have a PhD in theoretical physics."
Tree: "Not real physics then?"
Goldsworthy: "And the sparks flying around his head?"
Tree: "Er…northern lights? Aura? His magnetic personality?"
Paxman: "I don’t think this speculation is serving any purpose. I propose to move on to my third guest."
Goldsworthy: "I think the viewers should see these pictures and judge for themselves."
Paxman: (Snatches pictures) "Listen Miss Goldfinch or whoever you are. I form public opinion in this country, not you, not your precious gnomes, and not even that drivelling idiot Tenji." (Rips images to shreds, Goldsworthy stamps foot and runs off in tears)
Tree: "Steady on Paxo, old boy. You don’t want to cross Tenji...acid baths, electrodes. Sharp, pointy things. Know what I mean?"
Paxman: "Well I think we should round of with an opinion from the man in the street. Or in this case Mrs Fish, a local housewife."
(Camera zooms out to reveal large middle-aged lady in twin-set and pearls.)
Paxman: "Mrs Fish, You have been watching the debate this evening. I wonder if you would like to give us your opinion?"
Mrs Fish: "Yes indeed."
Paxman: "Excellent. And I imagine you have some concerns about the gnomes on the loose in your neighbourhood?"
Mrs Fish: "I certainly do!"
Paxman: "I’m not surprised. Chairman Tenji is handling the situation very well. Do you have a view?"
Mrs Fish: "Yes."
Paxman: "So there we have it, a considered opinion from a member of the public who has listened to both sides of the debate, has real personal concerns and supports Chairman Tenji’s hard-line stance. I don’t think there is a better place to end this programme than with those words of down-to-earth English common sense. Goodnight."
(Jack-booted satirists in black shirts run on and drag Paxman off-stage. Sound of blows and muffled cries. Tree stands, straightens cuffs, picks up Goldsworthy's handbag and walks in the opposite direction.)
Mrs Fish: (Struggling in the arms of a satirist who is attempting to silence her) "Oh no, poor Gerald has suffered enough. Let him go!"
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