Bernie Clifton's Dressing Room Inside No. 9


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Bernie Clifton's Dressing Room

Dark comedy. Len and Tommy last performed together 30 years ago. Tommy walked out and that was that for the double act - until now.


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This programme contains some strong language

0:00:020:00:08

DOOR CREAKS OPEN

0:00:540:00:57

HE SIGHS

0:01:200:01:22

-I wondered if you were going to turn up.

-Sorry, Tommy.

0:01:240:01:28

You know what I'm like with time.

0:01:280:01:29

It's always half past my left freckle.

0:01:290:01:32

What's all this?

0:01:320:01:34

I just wanted to get a few extra bits and pieces.

0:01:340:01:37

I thought, if we had some funny props,

0:01:370:01:39

that it might inspire us.

0:01:390:01:40

You know, like we used to, back in the day.

0:01:400:01:42

Novelty items and whatnot.

0:01:420:01:45

This was such a bad idea.

0:01:450:01:47

It's just, I had to get rid of a lot of the old props.

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I kept them for years, all boxed up in my mother's back bedroom,

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but then she passed and I had to chuck them all in an old skip.

0:01:580:02:03

Hey, that could be a bit, couldn't it?

0:02:030:02:05

What do people do with their old skips?

0:02:050:02:07

-Where do they dump them?

-HE CHUCKLES

0:02:070:02:08

Sorry. Sorry, I'm babbling.

0:02:080:02:12

-It's good to see you, Tommy.

-People call me Thomas now.

0:02:130:02:18

-I haven't been Tommy for 30 years.

-Well, you look well.

0:02:180:02:23

What do we do? Do we hug, shake hands, rub noses?

0:02:230:02:26

Let's just get on with it, shall we? I haven't got long.

0:02:260:02:30

OK. What do you want to do first? Shall we try the interview sketch?

0:02:320:02:36

"Ease ourselves in gently," as the bishop said to the choirboy?

0:02:360:02:40

If you wish, yes.

0:02:400:02:41

I hope I remember it all. I think I have it.

0:02:430:02:46

I listen to the albums from time to time.

0:02:500:02:52

I still have VHSs of all the telly stuff,

0:02:550:02:56

but I can't play 'em.

0:02:560:02:58

Hey, did you ever hear anything back

0:03:010:03:02

from those lads who wanted to bring out a DVD?

0:03:020:03:04

-No. Are you ready?

-One sec.

0:03:040:03:07

-And no looking out at the audience.

-What do you mean?

0:03:120:03:15

You know what I mean. You always used to do it.

0:03:150:03:17

-Mugging to the front row.

-No, I never.

-You did!

0:03:170:03:20

Especially if I had a funny line.

0:03:200:03:21

You'd look out and take it, as if you'd earned the laugh. Don't.

0:03:210:03:24

-Pisses me off.

-I don't think I do that.

0:03:240:03:26

-Right, well, next time you do it, I'll click my fingers and you'll see, all right?

-OK, fine.

0:03:260:03:30

-Good to see you, too.

-Start.

0:03:300:03:32

HE IMITATES KNOCKING ON DOOR

0:03:350:03:38

HE CHUCKLES

0:03:380:03:40

Sorry.

0:03:400:03:41

Come in.

0:03:430:03:44

HE IMITATES DOOR CREAKING

0:03:450:03:48

Hello. I'm here for the interview.

0:03:480:03:50

Ah, yes. Would you like to take a seat?

0:03:500:03:52

Nah, you're all right. I've got some at home.

0:03:520:03:54

-No, no, I mean would you like to sit down?

-Oh, yes. Thank you.

0:03:540:03:57

-Ooh.

-So, you found us all right?

-Yes.

0:03:580:04:02

Your map was extremely comprehensive.

0:04:020:04:04

Like your education, I see. HE CHUCKLES

0:04:040:04:06

-All right, you don't have to do it every time.

-I do. My laugh.

0:04:080:04:13

So, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Mr Kirk.

0:04:130:04:15

-SCOTTISH ACCENT:

-Och, Mr Kirk. Is that a wee Scots name, Jimmy?

0:04:150:04:18

No, I don't think so. As a matter of fact, my father was born in Ireland.

0:04:180:04:22

-IRISH ACCENT:

-Ah, the Emerald Isle.

0:04:220:04:23

They've got leprechauns and Guinness,

0:04:230:04:25

to be sure, to be sure.

0:04:250:04:27

So, the company is based in Leeds...

0:04:270:04:28

-YORKSHIRE ACCENT:

-Nay, lad! Ee, bah gum and ecky thump!

0:04:280:04:31

-..working closely with...

-Harry Ramsden's!

0:04:310:04:33

Best chips in th'all of Yorkshire.

0:04:330:04:34

..the Sony Corporation...

0:04:340:04:35

-JAPANESE ACCENT:

-Ah, so, number one son.

0:04:350:04:38

-..exporting to India... INDIAN ACCENT:

-Cor blimey, mister! 10,000 apologies.

0:04:380:04:41

-..via Buckingham. POSH ACCENT:

-Oh, I say!

0:04:410:04:43

-How terribly, terribly posh.

-We have an office in Moscow...

0:04:430:04:46

-RUSSIAN ACCENT:

-Vodka, comrade!

0:04:460:04:47

-..a branch in London... COCKNEY ACCENT:

-Lovely jubbly.

0:04:470:04:50

..and we're expanding into Madagascar.

0:04:500:04:51

-Really? How interesting.

-Look, would you concentrate, please?

0:04:530:04:55

I'm looking for a serious candidate to fill this position.

0:04:550:04:58

-Well, I did go to university.

-Really? Where did you study?

0:04:580:05:00

-Cambridge.

-When can you start? HE CHUCKLES

0:05:000:05:04

Ah, boom! It's a belter, that. Still works, doesn't it?

0:05:040:05:08

You won't be able to do any of that ending.

0:05:080:05:10

-What do you mean?

-Can't do Chinese and Asian voices any more.

-Why?

0:05:100:05:15

-Because, Len, it is what is known as racist.

-Oh, give over!

0:05:150:05:18

-That's the joke.

-What's the joke?

0:05:180:05:20

What are you inviting people to laugh at, exactly?

0:05:200:05:22

Just...a man doing all daft voices. We did it in our first series.

0:05:220:05:27

-We only had one series, remember?

-Yeah, but still, it's been on telly.

0:05:270:05:30

-Nobody complained.

-Well, things have changed. That was then.

0:05:300:05:33

All right, what about Goodness Gracious Me?

0:05:330:05:37

They were all Asian, Len.

0:05:370:05:39

It's like Jackie Mason telling Jew jokes

0:05:390:05:41

or Richard Pryor doing black material.

0:05:410:05:43

You're only allowed to take the piss out of your own tribe.

0:05:430:05:45

Eh, I don't think you should be calling them a tribe, Tommy.

0:05:450:05:48

-That IS racialist.

-Look, we can't do this sketch, all right?

0:05:480:05:52

-So, can we not do Ching Chong Chinaman?

-No.

0:05:530:05:57

In fact, I don't think we should be doing this at all. I've made a mistake. I'm going.

0:05:570:06:01

Oh, no. Tommy, please don't go. I haven't seen you in 30 years.

0:06:010:06:05

Let's at least give it a chance.

0:06:070:06:09

# If you're going to cry

0:06:100:06:15

# Cry tears of laughter

0:06:150:06:17

# A smile takes much less effort than a frown. #

0:06:170:06:21

Hey, Tommy, I've just finished my jigsaw!

0:06:210:06:23

-IMITATES TOMMY:

-Oh, was it difficult?

0:06:230:06:25

Well, it said three to five years on the box.

0:06:250:06:27

Only took me six months.

0:06:270:06:29

-You know I live in France now?

-Yeah.

0:06:340:06:37

Our Leanne said she'd read a piece about you in the Standard.

0:06:370:06:40

-You do computers, don't you?

-Digital marketing.

0:06:400:06:43

Got my own company - Angry Tomato. 15 offices worldwide.

0:06:430:06:48

-100 people working under me.

-Ooh. Does it not tickle?

0:06:480:06:51

I've moved on, Len.

0:06:530:06:55

All this Cheese & Crackers stuff...

0:06:550:06:58

You know I employ someone to take down those YouTube clips?

0:06:580:07:01

-No!

-Course I do.

0:07:010:07:03

I can't afford to go into a meeting with the HSBC

0:07:030:07:05

and someone's found me as Tina Turner

0:07:050:07:07

with tights on my head and ping-pong balls for eyes.

0:07:070:07:10

Hey, it's good publicity, that YouTube, you know.

0:07:100:07:12

My nephews are showing me. You can get everything on it.

0:07:120:07:14

I know you can, Len, and it's an embarrassment to me.

0:07:140:07:17

I see.

0:07:190:07:20

Do you want a cup of tea?

0:07:220:07:23

-Is there any peppermint?

-Erm...

0:07:250:07:28

Oh, forget it. I'll just have builder's.

0:07:290:07:31

Your Leanne's grown up into a lovely young girl.

0:07:310:07:34

Oh, hasn't she? A right bobby-dazzler.

0:07:340:07:37

When she wrote to me and asked me about doing this gig, I was...

0:07:370:07:40

Well, you won't be surprised to learn I was unenthusiastic,

0:07:400:07:43

to say the least.

0:07:430:07:44

I know, Tommy. Sorry. Thomas.

0:07:440:07:48

You remember that Morecambe and Wise interview when they were asked,

0:07:480:07:50

"What would you have been if you hadn't been comedians?"

0:07:500:07:53

-And Eric said, "Mike and Bernie Winters"?

-Yeah. Funny line.

0:07:530:07:56

Well, we weren't even Mike and Bernie Winters.

0:07:560:07:59

-We weren't that good.

-No, I'm not having that, Tommy.

-It's true.

0:08:000:08:03

We came up in the mid-'80s, arse end of variety.

0:08:030:08:06

Got lucky with one series on Anglia Television.

0:08:060:08:08

It was more than that. What about all the live stuff?

0:08:080:08:11

Ten nights at Leeds City Varieties. Top of the bill with Mick Miller,

0:08:110:08:15

Bobby Knutt and The Grumbleweeds - you can't get better than that.

0:08:150:08:17

It's hardly the Rat Pack, is it, Len?

0:08:170:08:19

So, why have you come, then?

0:08:210:08:22

How could I not?

0:08:250:08:26

-Plus, you still owe me 25 quid.

-What for?

0:08:270:08:31

Bernie Clifton's dressing room.

0:08:330:08:35

HE SIGHS

0:08:590:09:01

Well, there you go. You've just proved you don't need me.

0:09:370:09:40

-You're funny on your own.

-Of course I need you!

0:09:400:09:42

You can't have Crackers without the Cheese.

0:09:420:09:45

That's another thing - I hate that stupid name. I always did.

0:09:450:09:48

But someone had already registered Cheese & Onion. I told you!

0:09:480:09:51

Why did it have to be Cheese and anything? It's so babyish.

0:09:510:09:55

-And it's not funny.

-Well, I think it's funny.

0:09:550:09:57

It's too generic. First rule of comedy - be specific.

0:09:570:09:59

You never say biscuit. You say Garibaldi.

0:09:590:10:01

All right, Ted Bovis!

0:10:010:10:02

If we do this - if - I want us to use our real names.

0:10:020:10:07

-But then no-one'll know who we are.

-Correct.

0:10:070:10:10

All right, fine. I'll tell our Leanne to have us billed

0:10:100:10:13

as Shelby & Drake if that's what you want.

0:10:130:10:15

Why Shelby & Drake? Why not Drake & Shelby?

0:10:150:10:17

I don't know. It just sounds better. It's the music of it.

0:10:170:10:20

-Drake & Shelby goes down.

-What?

0:10:200:10:23

-RISING INTONATION:

-Shelby & Drake! Da-da-da-da!

0:10:230:10:25

-FALLING INTONATION:

-Drake & Shelby. Da-da-da-da. You see? It goes down.

0:10:250:10:28

Only if you do it like that. You could do...

0:10:280:10:30

-RISING INTONATION: Drake & Shelby! Da-da-da-da!

-All right, fine.

0:10:300:10:33

It's not a bother. Either way works.

0:10:330:10:35

-I'm just glad we're doing it again.

-HE SIGHS

0:10:350:10:37

Though I will have to tell that researcher on Britain's Got Talent

0:10:370:10:40

-cos if we change the name...

-What?

-Oh, it's nothing.

0:10:400:10:42

-I just put in an application form.

-For Britain's Got Talent?

-Yeah.

0:10:420:10:46

It's all back now - you know, variety.

0:10:460:10:48

-Massive viewing figures.

-I can't believe...

0:10:480:10:49

On what planet did you think I would humiliate myself

0:10:490:10:52

by appearing on that programme...with you?

0:10:520:10:54

Well, I don't remember you being so fussy when Blankety Blank came knocking.

0:10:540:10:57

-I told you, they wouldn't have us both on.

-Oh, really?

0:10:570:10:59

Yes, I tried, but they went with Lorraine Chase instead.

0:10:590:11:01

I'd have killed in that bottom middle seat.

0:11:010:11:03

That was the place to be. All the great clowns sat there -

0:11:030:11:06

-Everett, Starr, Doddy.

-That is not the point.

0:11:060:11:09

I agreed to come back and do one last gig to an invited audience,

0:11:090:11:12

and I only said yes because your daughter wrote and told me that...

0:11:120:11:14

What?

0:11:170:11:19

That things haven't been great for you the last few years.

0:11:190:11:23

What do you mean? What did she tell you?

0:11:230:11:25

-Never mind.

-No, go on. I want to know what she said.

0:11:260:11:30

Cheese & Crackers are not doing Britain's Got Talent.

0:11:330:11:36

OK.

0:11:370:11:39

But Drake & Shelby might, yeah? Let's rehearse the vent sketch.

0:11:400:11:43

-You haven't gone, have you?

-No. I'm still here.

0:12:090:12:14

I won't be able to lift you out. I've got this hiatus hernia.

0:12:230:12:26

Oh, sure. My knees are gone anyway.

0:12:260:12:28

-HE GROANS

-We'll figure it out.

0:12:280:12:31

Right.

0:12:350:12:36

-So, boys and girls, this is Vincent. Say hello, Vincent.

-Hello, Vincent.

0:12:380:12:43

-What are your first impressions?

-Sorry, I don't do impressions. Eh!

0:12:430:12:47

No, no, I mean what do you hope to get out of this school?

0:12:470:12:50

All the TVs and video recorders!

0:12:500:12:53

Yeah, I thought, there, Tommy,

0:12:530:12:55

-we could update it and say computers instead.

-Yeah, whatever.

0:12:550:12:57

OK, Vincent, so, we'll give you a quick test. How's your grammar?

0:12:570:13:01

She's very well, thank you. How's yours? Eh!

0:13:010:13:04

No, no, I mean your English grammar. Where would you put a colon?

0:13:040:13:07

-Up your bum!

-HE SIGHS

0:13:070:13:10

-What?

-Nothing. Carry on. So, let's move onto maths.

0:13:100:13:13

If a farmer has 12 cows and 18 chickens,

0:13:130:13:15

and he loses half of them, what has he got?

0:13:150:13:17

Foot-and-mouth disease.

0:13:170:13:20

History. Where was the Magna Carta signed?

0:13:200:13:22

-At the bottom!

-Geography. Where are the Andes?

0:13:220:13:24

At the end of your armies!

0:13:240:13:26

Oh, Jesus Christ! We can't do this, Len.

0:13:260:13:28

-No, no, carry on.

-I can't. I can't bear it.

-What's wrong?

0:13:280:13:32

Do you think punk rockers might be dated now?

0:13:320:13:34

Of course they are! They were dated in 1984!

0:13:340:13:37

This played to silence on Crackerjack, if you remember.

0:13:370:13:40

-Janette Krankie wouldn't look us in the eye.

-That's cos she's only 4ft.

0:13:400:13:43

No, it's because it's poor. We need better material.

0:13:430:13:47

We needed it then. We certainly need it now.

0:13:470:13:49

Just do the last bit - the drink bit.

0:13:490:13:51

HE GARGLES

0:13:540:13:56

-HE LAUGHS

-You see?

0:13:580:14:00

It's a cracking ending, Tommy.

0:14:000:14:02

Though we'll have to make sure the front row are close enough.

0:14:020:14:05

I want to get them all with that spit take.

0:14:050:14:06

-Ooh, yeah, that's a cheap laugh, Len.

-Oh, come on.

0:14:060:14:09

-A laugh's a laugh however you word it.

-Yeah, for you, maybe.

0:14:090:14:12

You know what your problem is?

0:14:140:14:15

You've lost your sparkle.

0:14:170:14:18

Yeah. You've got no joy in you any more.

0:14:190:14:24

You're like a shark. You've got dead, black eyes.

0:14:240:14:27

All this corporate stuff you've been doing,

0:14:270:14:29

this Angry Pineapple, it's sucked the life out of you.

0:14:290:14:31

-Tomato.

-What?

-It's Angry Tomato.

0:14:310:14:35

And I'm sorry I'm no fun any more, but I'm a different person now.

0:14:350:14:38

You were no fun then. You've always been miserable.

0:14:380:14:43

That's why it all dried up for us. People could sense it.

0:14:430:14:47

You killed Cheese & Crackers, Tommy. I'm sorry, but it has to be said.

0:14:470:14:51

You weren't always like this.

0:14:540:14:56

Remember when we first started out, back in the day?

0:14:570:15:00

We used to cry with laughter at every little thing.

0:15:010:15:04

Yeah, well, the joke worn thin, didn't it?

0:15:040:15:07

-I'm going for a ciggie. Do you...?

-No.

0:15:090:15:12

I stopped 20 years ago. So should you.

0:15:130:15:15

DOOR CLOSES

0:15:290:15:31

DOOR OPENS

0:16:020:16:04

-Looks like it's going to rain.

-What's going on, Len?

0:16:040:16:06

-What's all this?

-Nothing. They're just...props.

0:16:060:16:10

I thought we could have a play, like I said.

0:16:100:16:12

What were you thinking for these?

0:16:120:16:14

-Sweeney Todd gets diarrhoea?

-No, but it's a good thought.

0:16:150:16:18

-Call it Sweeney Turd - boom, we're off.

-Len. Len.

0:16:180:16:22

Are you...?

0:16:240:16:26

I can't believe I'm saying this. You're homeless, aren't you?

0:16:260:16:28

Well, our Leanne's got the baby now,

0:16:290:16:32

and I have to be down here for voice-over work.

0:16:320:16:35

-When did you last do voice-over?

-It was a while back, I grant you.

0:16:350:16:38

-I think it was for Tudor Crisps.

-Why didn't you tell me?

0:16:380:16:41

-HE SIGHS

-I didn't want you to be jealous.

0:16:410:16:44

Not about the crisps.

0:16:440:16:46

-About being homeless. How has that happened?

-Don't know.

0:16:460:16:49

It just sort of crept up on me. Missed a few payments.

0:16:490:16:54

Next thing I know, there's a sign on the door,

0:16:540:16:56

all the locks have changed.

0:16:560:16:58

I had 15 minutes to grab what I could.

0:16:580:17:01

-So, where are you actually staying now?

-Here and there.

0:17:010:17:04

Few nights at Leanne's.

0:17:040:17:06

One or two other spots I've found.

0:17:060:17:10

I wish you'd told me sooner. I could have helped you.

0:17:110:17:13

I don't want your money, Tommy. I never did.

0:17:130:17:16

I just want you by my side.

0:17:180:17:21

One last serving of Cheese & Crackers.

0:17:210:17:23

HE SIGHS All right.

0:17:260:17:28

What do you want to do next?

0:17:290:17:31

Well, I thought we could have a go at One Man Went To Mow.

0:17:310:17:33

You know, with all the quickfire impressions.

0:17:330:17:35

-But we can't do it now.

-Well, we could if we practised.

0:17:350:17:38

No, we can't do it cos they're all Yewtree.

0:17:380:17:42

They're not, are they?

0:17:420:17:43

Oh, God, you're right!

0:17:440:17:46

-He's not Yewtree, is he?

-Not yet, but he will be.

0:17:460:17:49

We could still do all the cartoon ones.

0:17:490:17:52

Ooh! Ooh! Mr Peevly! Mr Peevly!

0:17:520:17:54

-Do you think people still remember the Hair Bear Bunch?

-Yes!

0:17:540:17:57

People love remembering things that happened in the '70s.

0:17:570:18:00

This lot don't.

0:18:000:18:01

-When I last did panto...

-In 1992. Carry on.

0:18:010:18:04

When I last did panto, I did them all -

0:18:040:18:07

Hong Kong Phooey, Dick Dastardly, Mary, Mungo And Midge.

0:18:070:18:10

What did you do for Mary, Mungo And Midge?

0:18:100:18:12

I just watched the lift go down.

0:18:120:18:14

Well, that must have been a fun evening.

0:18:180:18:20

Well, it wasn't easy being one ugly sister.

0:18:200:18:23

All right, but shouldn't we be thinking of something more contemporary?

0:18:240:18:27

-Who makes you laugh?

-Eh?

0:18:270:18:30

What current stuff do you watch that makes you laugh?

0:18:300:18:33

-I've always admired that young lad Joe Pasquale.

-He's 56!

0:18:330:18:38

He's about as current as Kajagoogoo.

0:18:380:18:40

Funny bones, though. And he's a brilliant prop comic.

0:18:400:18:43

But if you still want to make it in this game,

0:18:430:18:45

you've got to follow what the rules are now.

0:18:450:18:48

With my business head on, I'd be looking at current trends,

0:18:480:18:50

gaps in the market. At the moment, we're an outdated model.

0:18:500:18:54

It's heritage comedy. It's magic, what we do.

0:18:540:18:57

-It's not a business.

-It is a business, Len.

0:18:570:19:00

Show business.

0:19:000:19:02

And that's what you failed to grasp, and that's why...

0:19:020:19:05

What?

0:19:050:19:06

-Nothing.

-No, tell me.

0:19:080:19:11

It's obviously been on your mind for 30 years.

0:19:110:19:13

All right. Bernie Clifton's dressing room.

0:19:130:19:17

What about Bernie Clifton's dressing room?

0:19:170:19:20

-You don't remember?

-No.

0:19:200:19:22

And that is my point.

0:19:220:19:24

Let's do Brown Bottles.

0:19:260:19:28

OLD-TIME PIANO MUSIC PLAYS

0:19:510:19:56

HE SIGHS

0:20:170:20:19

HE STAMPS

0:20:230:20:27

MUSIC STOPS

0:20:270:20:30

MUSIC RESUMES

0:20:300:20:33

HE SIGHS

0:20:350:20:37

HE CLEARS HIS THROAT

0:20:390:20:40

# Ten brown bottles sitting on the wall

0:20:400:20:43

# Ten brown bottles sitting on the wall

0:20:430:20:46

# And if one brown bottle should accidentally fall

0:20:460:20:50

# There'll be nine brown bottles sitting on the wall

0:20:510:20:54

# Nine brown bottles sitting on the wall

0:20:540:20:57

# And if one brown bottle should accidentally fall... #

0:20:570:21:01

Come on, accidentally fall!

0:21:020:21:03

-I haven't finished this one yet!

-HE SIGHS

0:21:030:21:06

# There'll be eight brown bottles sitting on the wall

0:21:060:21:09

# Eight brown bottles sitting... #

0:21:090:21:10

You're not supposed to drink 'em!

0:21:100:21:12

# And if one brown bottle should accidentally fall

0:21:120:21:15

# There'll be seven brown, six brown bottles

0:21:150:21:18

# Sitting on the wall

0:21:180:21:19

# Five brown bottles sitting on the wall

0:21:190:21:22

# And if one brown bottle should accidentally fall... #

0:21:220:21:25

-Oh! Sorry about that!

-HE SIGHS

0:21:250:21:28

# There'll be four brown bottles sitting on the wall

0:21:280:21:31

# Four brown bottles sitting on the wall... #

0:21:310:21:34

-What are you doing?

-Elf and safety!

0:21:340:21:36

# And if one brown bottle should accidentally fall

0:21:360:21:38

-# There'll be three brown bottles sitting on the wall... #

-I need a wee!

0:21:380:21:42

# Three brown bottles sitting on the wall

0:21:420:21:44

# And if one brown bottle... #

0:21:440:21:46

Not there!

0:21:460:21:47

# Should accidentally fall

0:21:470:21:48

# There'll be two brown bottles sitting on the wall

0:21:500:21:54

-# Two brown bottles sitting on the wall... #

-Love you, Tommy.

0:21:540:21:57

# And if one brown bottle should accidentally fall

0:21:570:22:00

# There'll be one brown bottle sitting on the wall... #

0:22:020:22:04

-Tommy Drake, ladies and gentlemen!

-TOMMY CONTINUES SINGING

0:22:040:22:07

He's so mean, you'd need a spanner to get 50p out of his hand.

0:22:070:22:11

-Give us a kiss!

-# There'll be no more bottles... #

0:22:110:22:14

-Oof!

-And no more wall.

0:22:160:22:19

HE LAUGHS

0:22:190:22:21

Hey, takes it out of you, that one. It's funny, though.

0:22:210:22:25

So, you don't remember Bernie Clifton's dressing room?

0:22:250:22:28

No, I don't. Why do you have to keep bringing that up?

0:22:280:22:31

We were on stage, Glasgow Pavilion, doing Brown Bottles.

0:22:310:22:34

You walked off to get the broom. You never came back.

0:22:340:22:36

You left me standing there, humiliated,

0:22:360:22:38

vamping for ten minutes while the audience started

0:22:380:22:41

slow handclapping, people shouting, "Where's the funny one?"

0:22:410:22:43

HE CHUCKLES I walked off to find you

0:22:430:22:45

in Bernie Clifton's dressing room lying on the floor,

0:22:450:22:48

choking in your own vomit.

0:22:480:22:49

Probably cos I'd just necked seven bottles of beer in three minutes.

0:22:490:22:52

-Yeah, and how many times a week did you do that?

-I can't remember.

0:22:520:22:55

Of course you can't remember.

0:22:550:22:56

I'm surprised you remember anything from '83 to '87,

0:22:560:22:59

the amount you drank.

0:22:590:23:01

-What are you saying?

-You nearly died, Len!

0:23:010:23:03

You're an alcoholic.

0:23:070:23:09

And Bernie Clifton's dressing room was the last straw.

0:23:100:23:13

-He had to destroy that ostrich, you know.

-No, he didn't.

-He did.

0:23:130:23:18

25 quid, I had to give him, which I never saw back.

0:23:180:23:20

Well, it's very stressful, going out on stage every night, making people laugh.

0:23:200:23:24

-You don't need to tell me that.

-How would you know, Thomas?

0:23:240:23:27

I was the one on the front foot driving it.

0:23:280:23:31

You just stood there like a fucking pillar box.

0:23:310:23:33

Oh, and that's why you were drunk for ten years, is it?

0:23:330:23:35

-Oh, don't exaggerate.

-You said I killed Cheese & Crackers...

0:23:350:23:39

-..because

-I

-was miserable?

0:23:400:23:41

Why do you think they wouldn't have you on Blankety Blank,

0:23:430:23:46

why we died a death on Crackerjack?

0:23:460:23:48

It was you.

0:23:490:23:51

You were always pissed.

0:23:520:23:54

I loved performing.

0:23:560:23:58

I loved being on stage every night.

0:23:590:24:02

-Nothing gave me more joy.

-So, why did you leave it all, then?

0:24:030:24:06

To save you.

0:24:060:24:07

You turned into a monster after six half-hours on Anglia.

0:24:090:24:13

I was frightened, if we got any bigger...

0:24:140:24:17

You were killing yourself, so I walked away.

0:24:190:24:23

-But you came back, didn't you?

-Yes! And I wish I'd never bothered!

0:24:250:24:28

DOOR OPENS

0:24:280:24:30

Sorry, am I interrupting?

0:24:300:24:32

No. Just...going through my speech.

0:24:340:24:38

-Hard to find the right words.

-I'm sure you'll be fine.

0:24:410:24:45

-Aw, have you been looking through my dad's stuff?

-Yeah.

0:24:460:24:50

Yeah, brought back a lot of memories.

0:24:500:24:53

-He was a funny man.

-He was.

0:24:530:24:57

-Are there many people here?

-Quite a few, yeah.

0:24:570:25:01

Syd Little, a couple of Nolans.

0:25:010:25:05

-Brought you the order of service.

-Ooh, thanks.

0:25:050:25:08

You'll be on after Janette Krankie,

0:25:080:25:10

so if you just give her a moment to move her box...

0:25:100:25:13

-Oh, yeah.

-My dad wanted it to be a celebration.

0:25:130:25:17

One last gig to an invited audience.

0:25:170:25:19

As long as they don't expect me to be funny.

0:25:190:25:21

Oh, no, I don't think anyone's expecting that.

0:25:210:25:24

Thanks for doing it, though.

0:25:240:25:26

I know you and my dad had unresolved business.

0:25:260:25:29

We did, but, erm...

0:25:290:25:31

..it's too late now.

0:25:320:25:34

Like I said earlier, just imagine he's here with you in the room.

0:25:340:25:39

Yeah.

0:25:400:25:42

You will come to the do after, won't you, for a drink and a snack?

0:25:420:25:46

We're, erm, having cheese and crackers.

0:25:460:25:49

Well, quite right, too.

0:25:490:25:51

Erm, we're going to be playing Tears Of Laughter

0:25:560:26:00

when they bring him in, just so you're prepared.

0:26:000:26:03

-OK.

-Oh, I almost forgot.

0:26:040:26:09

He wanted you to have this. He was very insistent.

0:26:100:26:15

He said you'd know what it was about.

0:26:170:26:20

Thank you, old pal.

0:27:100:27:12

# It's almost time to say goodbye, ta-ta and fare-thee-well

0:27:140:27:18

# It's almost time to bring the curtain down

0:27:180:27:21

# I'll say adieu... #

0:27:210:27:22

-To me?

-To you.

0:27:220:27:23

# So long, it has been swell

0:27:230:27:25

# But don't you cry the tears of a clown

0:27:250:27:29

-BOTH:

-# If you're going to cry

0:27:290:27:32

# Cry tears of laughter

0:27:320:27:35

# A smile takes much less effort than a frown

0:27:350:27:38

# So, let's have one more joke and raise the rafters

0:27:380:27:42

# Cos laughter's the best medicine in town... #

0:27:420:27:45

Doctor! Doctor! I keep feeling like a woman who delivers babies.

0:27:470:27:50

Ooh, don't worry. It's just a midwife crisis.

0:27:500:27:53

# Yes, if you're going to cry

0:27:530:27:55

# Cry tears of laughter

0:27:550:27:57

# Your funny bone can never break in two

0:27:570:28:02

# Misery might let you win a BAFTA

0:28:020:28:05

# But laughter is my memory of you... #

0:28:050:28:10

There are three types of people in this world -

0:28:100:28:12

-those that can count and those that can't.

-Terrible!

0:28:120:28:15

# Laughter is my memory of you... #

0:28:150:28:19

Do you know, Tommy, I've spent the last four years

0:28:190:28:21

looking for my mother-in-law's killer, but no-one will do it!

0:28:210:28:24

# Yes, laughter is my memory of...

0:28:240:28:29

# You! #

0:28:310:28:33

ORGAN PLAYS TEARS OF LAUGHTER

0:28:370:28:41

HE CLEARS HIS THROAT

0:28:580:29:00

It has been 30 years since northern double act Len and Tommy last appeared on stage together - that fateful night at the Glasgow Pavilion. Then Tommy walked out on Len, and that was curtains for Cheese & Crackers. Until now - one last gig in front of an invited audience.

Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton with special guest Sian Gibson, directed by Graeme Harper.