At Christmas Our Friend Victoria


At Christmas

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Vic was inspirational. There was no-one like her.

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If there's anything worse than spending Christmas

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with your own family, it is spending Christmas

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with somebody else's family.

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Her appeal is huge and that's what I think is so clever.

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Our Christmas pudding is down there somewhere

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and you can be sure we shall dig till we get it.

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She was one of us and we wanted to have her as a friend.

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Those aren't flat.

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LAUGHTER

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Flatter now.

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She's probably the best writer of a gag that I ever worked with.

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Hello.

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I'm looking for my friend...

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..Kimberley.

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I think we may have to wait a long time

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before another Victoria comes along.

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Ta.

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I don't think there's anybody who can do what she did.

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Oh, Victoria!

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How lucky I was to have worked with you

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and even luckier to have had you as a friend.

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You were such a huge part of Christmas for me.

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Christmas really started when you had your Christmas parties

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and your house always looked so beautiful.

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It was like a Christmas card.

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It was a magical night.

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Well, we're here tonight

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to celebrate all that was and is Victoria Wood

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and we thought we'd have a look at her wonderful Christmas specials.

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Vic made several Christmas specials over the years

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but let's just hear what she had to say about it.

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What I don't understand about Christmas is why we carry on

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looking forward to it when we know what it's going to be like.

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It's like we never learn. If you drop a brick on your foot,

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you go, "Oh, bloody hell, that was painful. I won't do that again."

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But looking forward to Christmas is like dropping a brick

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on your foot one year then a few months later going,

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"I'm looking forward to dropping a brick on my foot this year."

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LAUGHTER

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I'm not talking about the Christmases we spend

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with little children. That's different.

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I'm talking about the Christmases that we, as adults, feel obliged

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to spend with members of our own family, with our own parents.

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What is this invisible signal that goes out

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to normal, intelligent people in their 20s, 30s, 40s?

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This signal that says, "You must leave the place where you live,

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"where you have a life, where you have fun, where people respect you.

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"You must leave that place.

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"You must go back to the place where you spent

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"some of the most miserable years of your life..."

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LAUGHTER

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"..where nobody takes you seriously, where the fact

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"that you have three business degrees counts for nothing,

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"where you'll be addressed as Chunky Chops throughout."

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But if there's anything worse than spending Christmas

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with your own family, it is spending Christmas

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with somebody else's family

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because then, not only will you be bored, miserable,

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irritable, tetchy, bloated - as you would be in your own home -

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you'll also be completely baffled.

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"Oh, yes, we always sing A Little Donkey in eight-part harmony

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"in the garden at midnight."

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LAUGHTER

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She's right about Christmas.

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Spending it with your family is hard.

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Spending it with other people's family even worse.

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Yeah, absolutely right about Christmas.

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Christmas is hectic, it's horrible.

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I hate it! I'm with her on that.

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I love Christmas. I absolutely love it!

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I love everything about it.

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It still feels magical to me, Christmas Eve.

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I don't like Christmas,

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so I'm always quite Scroogy at Christmas,

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so I'm quite pleased to watch something

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that's not got tinsel in it.

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It was Christmas Eve in the Crescent

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All the children were in their pyjamas

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All the parents were snappy, tense and unhappy

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Except two who were in the Bahamas

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A child lay asleep in his bedroom

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He was horribly red-faced and porky

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He'd caused family rifts by requesting his gifts -

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a computer, ten quid and a Yorkie

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In the lounge sat his mother and father

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In not the most pleasant of humours

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Grandma was there, collapsed in a chair

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Having just overdosed on satsumas.

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LAUGHTER

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Please!

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It was cold in the lounge room that evening

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They'd had a gas fire but they'd lost it

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It was frozen and murky and so was the turkey

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They'd left it too late to defrost it

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The door of the lounge room burst open

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There was Santa Claus, reeking of liquor

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He said, "I'm 19 stone 2, I'd get stuck down the flue

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"I've come through the door cos it's quicker"

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"So, what do you fancy for Christmas?"

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Said Santa, all twinkly and merry

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"A fur coat or a bike, you can choose what you like

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"In the meantime, bung over the sherry"

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Well, they couldn't decide what they wanted

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A new car, a subscription to BUPA

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A pedestal mat? While they thought about that

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Father Christmas passed out in a stupor

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He was out of his brains, he was legless

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The late night and the sherry had wrecked him

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He lay on the floor till a quarter to four

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When some reindeer arrived to collect him

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Santa waved from the sleigh and said, "See you

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"Merry Christmas, and be of good cheer"

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As he rose from the Crescent, Mum said, "Where's our present?"

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He said, "Oh, sod it, I'll bring it next year."

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Well, I'd just like to say it's so lovely

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to be on the television at Christmas.

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It's such a special time of year.

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And I like to think of all those ladies standing in their kitchens,

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wearing the paper hats they put on when they were still in a good mood.

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LAUGHTER

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I like to think of all those gentlemen in their front rooms,

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edging their bottoms casually towards a plug-in air freshener...

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LAUGHTER

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..hoping that cinnamon and vanilla will get to grips

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with sprouts and stuffing.

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LAUGHTER

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It's such a special time of year, isn't it,

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when we can all gather round the television,

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exchanging that age-old Christmas greeting,

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"Don't bother, there's nothing on."

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No, the truth is Vic adored Christmas,

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so what a treat it was when she made that Christmas special

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in that wonderful series, As Seen On TV.

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But I have to say that ever since I saw this next sketch,

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I have never felt quite the same about a prawn cocktail.

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You know, I've scoured this store from top to bottom.

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Can I find a side-winding

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thermal body belt? Can I buffalo!

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Totally one of the most quotable sketches, line for line,

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that you will ever see.

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What did you want one for?

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Excuse me, I think you'll find there's spam on that.

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LAUGHTER

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Everyone remembers that sketch because it is just,

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just zinger after zinger.

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-That gippy kidney.

-Flared up?

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Ooh, I'll say it's like being continually poked.

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-Can you imagine that?

-No.

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LAUGHTER

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Dr Brewster said if I don't keep it lagged for the winter,

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I could be spending a penny every 20 minutes come March.

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-Can't they operate?

-But I haven't time to go in!

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I'm on the phone night and day about that carpet. What's the soup, dear?

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-Country vegetable.

-What country? Taiwan?

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-Is that steak?

-I would doubt it.

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Probably some poor beast that came a cropper at Becher's Brook.

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And I had a huge to-do and a hoo-ha at the hairdresser's.

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-What about those Dublin prawns?

-Never touch prawns.

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Do you know, they hang around sewage outlet pipes,

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treading water with their mouths open?

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LAUGHTER

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They love it! So, anyway, I'm at Maison Renie's...

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-Aren't prawns an aphrodisiac?

-Well, I wouldn't put it past them.

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So, I'm at Renie's, waiting to be shampooed,

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flicking through a Woman's Weekly. Lovely piece on Alma Cogan.

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Sorry, what's the hold-up here, dear?

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-We're waiting for fresh cauli.

-Fresh?!

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We might as well wait for Maurice Chevalier.

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It's stunning, it's stunning,

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cos it's just this side of not being quite wrong,

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but it is a bit wrong.

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So, I'm pulled into the cubicle...

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Oh, this is ridiculous! Can I crash by? I'm a diabetic.

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LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE

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Anyway, in comes Renie.

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-She must be getting on.

-Well, this is the trouble, you see.

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She leans too far forward with a sponge roller,

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she topples out of her walking frame.

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And you really have to shout.

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I don't particularly want the whole world knowing

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I'm not a natural conker.

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Don't have the gateau.

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Just saw her scratching her armpit with the cake slice.

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And Renie's very set in her ways, stylewise.

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I don't mind. I'm a great admirer of Phyllis Calvert, but...

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So, why hence the hoo-ha?

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Well, I decided to go a shade mad,

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it being the smoked meat purveyors' buffet-and-mingle at the weekend.

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Could we get by, please? We're not having a sweet.

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Very wise with those hips!

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-LAUGHTER

-So...

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I said, "Skip the conker, Renie.

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-"I'll have burnished beech nut and to heck with it."

-Yeah.

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Well, you know she's colour-blind

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-and they've only a gas mantle in the back.

-Colour-blind?

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They can't tell red from blue.

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She once tottered into a brothel, thinking it was a police station.

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-Tea, coffee?

-No.

-She didn't!

-Well, it's all right.

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One of the girls came out and helped her pump her tyres up.

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Sorry, were you still waiting for something?

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Yes, a small mineral water and an orange squash, please.

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Water and squash back down the end by the trays. Tea, coffee?

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You've a look of Eva Braun, did you know?

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And so, from one canteen to another

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because, in 1998, this wonderful script dropped on my mat

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and the title on the front was Dinnerladies.

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What a great part she's written for me - Jean.

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Not the easiest person to get on with.

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Well, Dolly didn't think so.

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Present for the bran tub. A CD of festive music.

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Yes, where's my CD?

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Oh, please tell me it's not Round The World With Nana Mouskouri!

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She's very tuneful for a Greek.

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LAUGHTER

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Whoever told her to take a crack at Paddy McGinty's Goat

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-did her no favours.

-What have you brought us?

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Seasonal Smut And Festive Filth from the Allstar Bavarian Knee-Tremblers?

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Nonstop Christmas Pop Party, Volume 3.

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Mine's more classical.

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Joy To The World, a specially recorded concert,

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with Kiri Te Kanawa, Bryn Terfel and Tommy Steele.

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What's he singing? Little White Bull?

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Yes!

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When I say these decs are Big Willy's,

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I mean they belong to Big Willy.

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Big Willy in Packing, as you well knew.

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And if your idea of a sophisticated piece of humour is laughing

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at the word "willy", then I suggest you visit the Highlands of Scotland,

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which is liberally sprinkled with willies of all ages.

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LAUGHTER

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-Dolly.

-What?

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You are digging a big pit for yourself

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and wallpapering it with willies. Now come out.

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Well, if they're nicer than ours, I think we should keep them.

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Have you got any of those little babies with wings on?

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They're called cherubs, you lame brain!

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-Well, there's a few things with wings on.

-What?

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Go on, then, Miss Health and Efficiency.

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-What are we calling these?

-Very funny, Sandra Smut.

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Oh!

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LAUGHTER

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-They are winged...

-Keep going.

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LAUGHTER

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They are winged members.

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LAUGHTER

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Members of what?

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Members of Parliament?

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Male members!

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-Stan.

-I'll take them back to Packing.

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-Is there no bacon?

-Bacon?

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-Yeah, bacon.

-Can you ask me that again?

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Have you not got any bacon?

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Have I NOT got any or have I got any?

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Look, I'm not from the News Of The bloody World.

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I'm only trying to get myself a bit of pigging protein.

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-Bren, for the love of God, have you got any bacon?

-Can you hang on?

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-I'm just doing it now.

-Are you short-staffed?

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-Yeah, Twink's off sick. Where's Jean, Dolly?

-Still in the toilet.

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She's taking a long time.

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She's wearing a new all-in-one body shaper.

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It's a complicated gusset when you won't wear specs.

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Oh, isn't the word "gusset" wonderful?

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Dolly's body shaper with the gusset.

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I hadn't used "gusset" for years

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until body shapers came in

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and then they were very, very much in vogue

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and with the long bloomers and things, you always had a gusset.

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Take over for me, Dolly. My flaming crotch has popped again.

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LAUGHTER

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Never mind press studs. She could do with a few rivets.

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No, we loved each other really. We still do.

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And, of course, at the end of this episode,

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Victoria gets kissed under the mistletoe.

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I always felt that she was a romantic at heart.

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What you doing for Christmas again?

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I got these three Carry On films for eight quid.

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You don't get the boxes with them and there's a stripe

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down the side of the picture but...

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Do you want to come to Scotland with me Christmas Eve?

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My mate's got a pub up there.

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We can drive up there after we've finished here. You want to do that?

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Yeah, yeah, I would. I would like that.

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Christmas episode is the one

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where Tony and Bren actually get together

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and finally kiss under the mistletoe, I think it was.

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Apparently for Victoria, it was quite a big thing

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cos she'd never physically kissed somebody on television before,

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in front of the masses sort of thing,

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so it was quite a big thing for her.

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I'm not asking you for some bet, Bren.

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I wouldn't do that to you.

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AUDIENCE: Ooh!

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I just thought it was lovely.

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I thought perhaps Vic wouldn't do it

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because she's not sentimental in her writing, but I thought it was...

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It would have been awful if she hadn't

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because people would have been so disappointed

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and I think it was the right way to end it. It was great.

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Why we had to retake it 39 times, I don't know, but there you go.

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Only joking.

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ANNE REID PLAYS HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS

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Well, Victoria called me one day and asked me

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if I fancied doing a duet with her on the piano.

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I was very excited and a bit scared because she was a brilliant pianist.

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So, I went over to her house to practise and I said,

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"Don't you shout at me if I go wrong,

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"because I can play the piano and I can talk,

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"but I can't do them at the same time."

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And she said, "It'll be fine."

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-IN POSH ACCENT:

-Hello, viewers.

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This is Hillary and Valerie Mallory...

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-Bringing you melody, harmony...

-And fun.

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So, where shall our 20 tuneful fingers take us first, Valerie?

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Let's start with that old favourite Keyboard Kollywobbles.

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-Take it away, Bill.

-One, two, one, two, three.

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THEY PLAY PIANO

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-IN REGIONAL ACCENTS: Can you smell something?

-Eh?

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-Can you smell something?

-What?

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Body odour.

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-Not me. I had a bath in the digs before I came out.

-I noticed.

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-Why you can't swill it out..

-La, la, la, la....

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IN POSH ACCENT: Do join in, everybody.

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-IN REGIONAL ACCENTS: Ooh, I got it again then.

-What?

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That smell.

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Is it drains?

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-Trains?

-Drains.

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You want to wear smaller earrings, you might hear something.

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If you didn't play so loud, I might hear better.

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If you did a bit more down your end, I wouldn't need to.

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-What do you mean? At least I keep time.

-Keep time?

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You could train a baboon to do what you do.

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Well done, everybody.

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Oh, God, I think it's me.

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-What?

-That smell.

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That'll teach me to buy deodorant at the door.

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-It's the hot lights bringing it out.

-I'm getting it now.

0:17:190:17:22

We're having no dry cleaning done till Friday. Keep your arms down.

0:17:220:17:26

-What about my big finish?

-What about it?

0:17:290:17:32

Well, I'll have to lift up.

0:17:320:17:33

Oh, I'll do it. I've done every other beggaring thing in this act.

0:17:330:17:37

Oh, yeah? And what was I doing till three o'clock this morning?

0:17:370:17:40

-I dread to think.

-Ironing.

0:17:400:17:42

Now!

0:17:420:17:44

Mind my bust!

0:17:460:17:48

IN POSH ACCENTS: Thank you so much.

0:17:520:17:54

And so, from Hillary and Valerie Mallory...

0:17:540:17:56

-A very good night to you all. Good night.

-Good night.

0:17:560:17:58

She called that piece Kollywobbles.

0:18:040:18:07

It was in the Christmas special All The Trimmings

0:18:070:18:11

and in that, she got to work

0:18:110:18:13

with some of Britain's best-loved and most famous actors.

0:18:130:18:18

More, at least, they got to work with her.

0:18:180:18:22

LAUGHTER

0:18:240:18:26

Do you like Roger the Dodger

0:18:260:18:29

or do you prefer Minnie the Minx?

0:18:290:18:31

That brilliant thing she did with Roger Moore as the spy,

0:18:320:18:35

going on the London Eye.

0:18:350:18:37

It was just... And he loved every second of that, absolutely loved it.

0:18:370:18:42

And it was a supreme honour to be asked to be part of it

0:18:420:18:48

and you'd do anything to be in one of those sketches.

0:18:480:18:51

You'd feel you were immortalised forever.

0:18:510:18:53

You'd made it, you were someone to know.

0:18:530:18:56

I was brought up in Rotherhithe...

0:18:560:18:58

..seven of us in a damp cellar.

0:18:590:19:02

My mother took in mending.

0:19:020:19:03

I never saw her without a mouthful of pins.

0:19:030:19:06

TB and a mouthful of pins.

0:19:060:19:09

One day, she had a fit of coughing

0:19:090:19:11

and stapled two of us to the curtains.

0:19:110:19:14

LAUGHTER

0:19:140:19:16

I'm having a little difficulty in a certain area.

0:19:160:19:19

You know our friend, of course.

0:19:210:19:22

LAUGHTER

0:19:220:19:24

Oh, that's Dennis the Menace.

0:19:240:19:26

I'll pay your bus fare...of course.

0:19:290:19:34

It would be a little pointless leaving without this,

0:19:370:19:40

don't you think?

0:19:400:19:42

Sometimes I wish I were 15 years younger.

0:19:450:19:48

And sometimes I wish I were ten years older,

0:19:480:19:50

then I could go to the flicks for two quid.

0:19:500:19:53

LAUGHTER

0:19:530:19:55

You can get off here but, at this height,

0:19:550:19:58

it might be a little painful.

0:19:580:20:00

Why don't you...

0:20:000:20:02

..come and we'll while away a few of those 15 years?

0:20:030:20:07

-IN BROAD REGIONAL ACCENT:

-Can I just warn you, Rog,

0:20:100:20:12

-I've got really complicated pants on?

-I see.

0:20:120:20:15

LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE

0:20:150:20:19

-These are very good. Did you make them, Del?

-Mm-hmm.

0:20:190:20:23

Little tip.

0:20:230:20:25

Whip them out a couple of minutes earlier.

0:20:250:20:28

Can you taste they've slightly gone over?

0:20:280:20:31

LAUGHTER

0:20:310:20:35

Could you, Karen, explained to Bo what our new project is?

0:20:350:20:38

OK, well, the Gravy Train is basically Delia

0:20:380:20:41

going from town to town on a steam train

0:20:410:20:44

so, basically, you would tell us your signature dish,

0:20:440:20:47

we'd sort out all the ingredients and everything.

0:20:470:20:49

You'd just have to turn up on the day and teach it to Delia.

0:20:490:20:52

All we need to know from you, Bo, is what is your signature dish?

0:20:520:20:56

-Mm, which shall we reveal, Wendy?

-Hmm...

0:20:560:21:00

The mince timbale?

0:21:000:21:02

Fish finger surprise?

0:21:020:21:04

-Crackermole.

-TOGETHER: Crackermole!

0:21:050:21:08

Everybody wanted to be in anything Vic did,

0:21:080:21:11

especially her Christmas specials. Yes, everyone did want to be in them

0:21:110:21:14

and it was considered like a prize to be in it, you know.

0:21:140:21:19

Good on your CV.

0:21:190:21:21

Well, who wouldn't want to be in a sketch written by Victoria Wood?

0:21:280:21:32

Hello?

0:21:320:21:33

-Are you thick or are you not thick?

-Are you talking to me?

0:21:330:21:36

-No, she's talking to me. I'm thick.

-Oh.

0:21:360:21:39

I think she just thought it was fun to work with people she admired.

0:21:390:21:43

Maybe I looked insincere but, underneath it,

0:21:430:21:46

I was totally sincere.

0:21:460:21:47

Although, maybe underneath that,

0:21:470:21:50

I was insincere.

0:21:500:21:52

I've got to go.

0:21:520:21:53

LAUGHTER

0:21:530:21:55

And, as a consequence of the events of which I speak,

0:21:550:21:59

I shall be in no position

0:21:590:22:00

to marry for ten...

0:22:000:22:02

..1-0 years...

0:22:040:22:06

..and, thus, I am releasing you

0:22:070:22:09

from any understanding which we may have had.

0:22:090:22:12

With the regards on which you may depend,

0:22:140:22:16

George Fallon, Captain, 8th Dragoon Guards,

0:22:160:22:20

Battle of Waterloo.

0:22:200:22:22

How about, "PS, ta for the socks"?

0:22:220:22:24

LAUGHTER

0:22:240:22:26

I was thrilled to be asked to be in a couple of sketches

0:22:260:22:29

for her Christmas show and, again, it's that thing

0:22:290:22:34

where, if you've been a fan of something

0:22:340:22:38

and then you are actually in the world of it

0:22:380:22:42

and you work with the people that you've so admired, you feel

0:22:420:22:45

as if you've gone through the fourth wall, essentially.

0:22:450:22:48

And I felt that I hadn't really earned my place to be there

0:22:480:22:51

because she'd worked with the same, essentially,

0:22:510:22:53

repertory group of actors right from the beginning.

0:22:530:22:56

So, it did feel slightly as though...

0:22:560:22:59

..I didn't have the right to be there

0:23:000:23:02

but, yeah, I'm glad that I was.

0:23:020:23:05

-TV:

-Last week, on WI.

0:23:050:23:07

I'm sorry, the answer is no.

0:23:070:23:10

Why? Why can't I join the Women's Institute?

0:23:100:23:12

Is it because I'm a man?

0:23:120:23:14

You were let down by your rhubarb and ginger preserve.

0:23:140:23:16

-It was too runny to stay on the scone.

-Dammit!

0:23:160:23:20

Guthrie!

0:23:200:23:22

That's it.

0:23:220:23:23

Either you girls use the liquid soap in the toilets more sparingly

0:23:230:23:27

-or you provide your own.

-I see. And what if we don't?

0:23:270:23:29

-Then no jumble sale.

-You've made your position clear, Bernard.

0:23:290:23:32

Oh, and Mavis...

0:23:320:23:34

Yes?

0:23:340:23:35

-Your skirt's up your knickers.

-I appreciate your honesty.

0:23:350:23:39

LAUGHTER

0:23:390:23:41

-Urr!

-Oh, my God!

0:23:420:23:45

Mavis...

0:23:460:23:48

now can I join?

0:23:480:23:51

Victoria's spoofs were absolutely brilliant.

0:24:000:24:05

She covered everything, from classic films to Pathe News.

0:24:050:24:09

-NEWS REEL:

-Bombed out but not downhearted,

0:24:090:24:11

the Cockneys of the East End are taking it all in good part.

0:24:110:24:15

The Lambeth Walk may not be quite so easy to do

0:24:150:24:18

when it's on the rubble of what, yesterday, was your home

0:24:180:24:20

but, blitz or no blitz, it's Christmas as usual.

0:24:200:24:24

AIR RAID SIREN

0:24:240:24:28

Our Christmas pudding is down there somewhere

0:24:280:24:31

and you can be sure we shall dig till we get it.

0:24:310:24:33

And if I find my husband as well, that's all to the good.

0:24:330:24:37

How about you, Mum?

0:24:370:24:39

Is Hitler's nightly bombardment getting you down?

0:24:390:24:41

No, the blackout, rationing

0:24:410:24:44

and being in daily danger of death have been a real tonic to me.

0:24:440:24:47

Never mind your pearly queens and your ships to Margate,

0:24:470:24:51

we're enjoying the bombing, thanks.

0:24:510:24:54

So, take note, Adolf,

0:24:540:24:56

these salt-of-the-earth, working-class folk

0:24:560:24:58

are totally dispensable to the British government

0:24:580:25:00

and, what's more, there's lots of them.

0:25:000:25:02

I could just fancy one of those in my cocoa.

0:25:100:25:12

Fancy is as fancy does and I'll thank you

0:25:120:25:15

to keep your hands off my light refreshments, Joe Buggersthorpe.

0:25:150:25:18

-There is a war on, you know.

-If you keep one of those hot for me,

0:25:180:25:20

I'll keep something hot for you, ha-ha.

0:25:200:25:23

Silly idea, Joe Buggersthorpe. I might and I might not.

0:25:230:25:26

When Michael Parkinson played Stanley Holloway

0:25:260:25:29

as the stationmaster

0:25:290:25:31

and Vic and I had this marvellous scene

0:25:310:25:35

in the cafe in Brief Encounter,

0:25:350:25:38

we both tried to look younger and, cor blimey,

0:25:380:25:42

Vic looked like a Hollywood film star, she really did.

0:25:420:25:45

-VOICEOVER:

-It was so silly the way it started.

0:25:450:25:48

I'd gone into Wilberton as usual on a Thursday

0:25:480:25:50

to change my library book and order a coconut and I'd just popped

0:25:500:25:53

in to the refreshment room at Cranningly Junction

0:25:530:25:56

when Dolly Anscott invited me to share a mince pie.

0:25:560:25:58

I'm frightfully lucky. I've got a mince pie. Want to go halves?

0:25:580:26:01

-No, thanks.

-Oh, go on. I can't be such a hog as to have a whole one.

0:26:010:26:04

-Will you have them again?

-I couldn't say, I'm sure.

0:26:040:26:08

Ask me no questions and you'll be told no lies.

0:26:080:26:11

Well, it is nearly Christmas.

0:26:110:26:13

I say, this pastry's awfully tough.

0:26:150:26:17

-VOICEOVER:

-Then I don't know how it happened.

0:26:170:26:19

It's so long since I'd had a mince pie,

0:26:190:26:20

I suppose I'd forgotten how to eat it.

0:26:200:26:22

Somehow I missed my mouth altogether and put it straight in my eye.

0:26:220:26:25

Ow!

0:26:250:26:26

-What's the matter?

-No, really.

-Oh, dear, what a nuisance.

0:26:260:26:29

Perhaps I could just have some water.

0:26:290:26:31

Do you have any water, woman behind the counter?

0:26:310:26:34

That's for me to know and you to find out.

0:26:340:26:36

-There's a war on, if you haven't noticed.

-This is ridiculous.

0:26:360:26:38

-Shall I hit you over the head with a cup?

-No, really.

0:26:380:26:40

-Good thump with a basin, that's my tip.

-Do you have one?

0:26:400:26:44

-BELL RINGS

-Oh, cripes, how maddening!

0:26:450:26:48

-My train leaves in a moment.

-No, you must go.

0:26:480:26:50

I can't miss it. I'm expecting a kipper.

0:26:510:26:53

No, do go, Dolly, I shall be quite all right.

0:26:530:26:56

-Scrooge?

-Oh, Bob, are you lacking a fire

0:26:580:27:00

that you don hat and muffler indoors?

0:27:000:27:03

-It's a look.

-Bob!

0:27:030:27:05

Come back to the table, Bob.

0:27:050:27:07

Lord knows, you spend little enough time

0:27:070:27:09

away from that skinflint Scrooge.

0:27:090:27:11

-Oh, I do beg your pardon.

-No, it is I who must beg yours.

0:27:130:27:16

Will you accept this?

0:27:160:27:18

-What is it?

-The biggest turkey in the shop.

0:27:190:27:22

Oh, I couldn't see what it was.

0:27:220:27:24

It looked like a sort of modern sculpture.

0:27:240:27:26

-Cook! Cook!

-COOK:

-I'm busy.

0:27:260:27:29

See, cook! Cook, the biggest turkey in the poulterer's!

0:27:290:27:33

Now Tiny Tim will be well again.

0:27:330:27:35

Is it defrosted?

0:27:350:27:37

Well...

0:27:390:27:41

You see, the trouble is, people buy these huge beautiful great turkeys

0:27:410:27:44

and they bring them home and it's all at the last minute

0:27:440:27:47

and they haven't got time to get them

0:27:470:27:48

defrosted adequately or thoroughly.

0:27:480:27:50

I mean, I think often the best bit...

0:27:500:27:53

Vic's parodies even extended to much-loved dramas, like this one...

0:27:550:28:00

Have you considered further my proposal?

0:28:030:28:06

It is not practical, Charles.

0:28:060:28:08

I am attracted to you but it takes 20 minutes

0:28:080:28:10

to take my corsets off and 35 minutes to get them back on.

0:28:100:28:14

I can only close the post office for an hour. You do the math.

0:28:140:28:17

-And will you continue to handle my potatoes?

-Of course.

0:28:180:28:22

LAUGHTER

0:28:220:28:24

-KNOCKING ON DOOR

-Hang on!

0:28:270:28:29

LAUGHTER

0:28:320:28:34

Ah, Lord Cranborne.

0:28:350:28:37

The matter we discussed previously, regarding ladies' netherwear

0:28:370:28:41

and time taken in removal...

0:28:410:28:42

-I'm not sure if I recall...

-Corsets.

0:28:420:28:46

-The blacksmith has come up with a gadget...

-Really?

0:28:460:28:48

..that will make it much quicker for the dog to see the euphemism.

0:28:480:28:52

Ah, I'm afraid my circumstances now

0:28:520:28:55

are such that I really have no great desire to see your euphemism.

0:28:550:28:57

Might I know what has altered your circumstances?

0:28:570:29:00

We just clicked.

0:29:010:29:03

I should have said something, but I was waiting to see how it went.

0:29:030:29:06

I see. Do you want to see how the corset works, just for info?

0:29:060:29:10

No fear! I was saying to Lord C here,

0:29:100:29:13

I delivered a telegram once and the woman was naked.

0:29:130:29:16

It was like a go-slow in a blancmange factory.

0:29:160:29:19

I was sleeping with the light on for weeks.

0:29:190:29:21

-I'll see myself out.

-LAUGHTER

0:29:220:29:26

It's perfect that Victoria sort of ended up claiming

0:29:260:29:29

such a big part of people's Christmases

0:29:290:29:32

because it clearly is,

0:29:320:29:34

a lot of it is born out of the bad telly that you get at Christmas

0:29:340:29:37

that Victoria will have sat down and enjoyed,

0:29:370:29:40

probably, at every festive season.

0:29:400:29:44

How many times have we prayed to God for something

0:29:440:29:47

and he hasn't given it to us?

0:29:470:29:50

What do we do? We blame ourselves.

0:29:500:29:52

Oh, we weren't good enough. I didn't deserve it.

0:29:520:29:55

Or we blame God.

0:29:550:29:57

He's let us down.

0:29:570:29:59

I got there that day and she went, "Do you want to do it then?"

0:29:590:30:02

And I said, "OK."

0:30:020:30:04

I'd learnt it, obviously, and I did try to do it the best I could do it

0:30:040:30:07

but all you want to do is please her cos I thought,

0:30:070:30:09

"I think I know how the rhythm of this should be.

0:30:090:30:13

"It's a Victoria Wood monologue,"

0:30:130:30:15

but there is that in your mind,

0:30:150:30:16

but then there's also physically doing it in front of Victoria Wood,

0:30:160:30:19

which was another thing again.

0:30:190:30:21

It was my birthday the other day

0:30:210:30:24

and, as you do when you're in a relationship,

0:30:240:30:26

I dropped hints with my partner

0:30:260:30:28

about what I would like for a present.

0:30:280:30:30

In fact, I told him what I wanted, which is what we do with God,

0:30:300:30:33

isn't it? We tell him what we want.

0:30:330:30:36

So, I told my partner, Eric, that I would like an espresso machine...

0:30:360:30:42

..because I love my espresso.

0:30:430:30:45

And, come the great day, there was a big parcel waiting for me

0:30:450:30:49

and I thought, "That's a very big espresso machine."

0:30:490:30:51

And I opened it and it was two...

0:30:510:30:54

..imitation leather outdoor beanbags.

0:30:550:31:00

And I was disappointed because Eric had known what I wanted

0:31:010:31:06

and he hadn't given it to me.

0:31:060:31:08

Very nice beanbags, but I didn't want beanbags.

0:31:080:31:11

I wanted an espresso machine.

0:31:110:31:13

And he could see I was disappointed and he said to me, "Bobby..."

0:31:130:31:18

..which is what he calls me,

0:31:190:31:21

"I didn't give you the espresso machine

0:31:210:31:24

"because you have high blood pressure, you drink too much coffee.

0:31:240:31:27

"I gave you the outdoor beanbags

0:31:270:31:29

"so we could sit in the garden together in the evening,

0:31:290:31:32

"hold hands and chill out.

0:31:320:31:34

"Chillax. Because I love you."

0:31:350:31:38

And that's what God does.

0:31:390:31:41

He doesn't give us what we want - the espresso machine.

0:31:410:31:44

He gives us what we need - the outdoor beanbags,

0:31:440:31:48

because he loves us.

0:31:480:31:50

He loves us and he wants us to chillax.

0:31:500:31:54

LAUGHTER

0:31:570:32:00

CHURCH ORGAN PLAYS

0:32:000:32:03

LAUGHTER

0:32:050:32:07

What a brilliant thing,

0:32:070:32:08

to have gone from being a huge fan of somebody

0:32:080:32:11

to being asked to work with them

0:32:110:32:13

and to have been given a script by her and a monologue as well.

0:32:130:32:18

I think Reece did a brilliant job.

0:32:180:32:21

Isn't it great we've got all her shows to look at?

0:32:230:32:27

She's going to keep us laughing for a very long time.

0:32:270:32:31

And, as I said at the beginning,

0:32:310:32:33

I was so lucky that Victoria was my friend, so lucky.

0:32:330:32:37

Happy Christmas.

0:32:370:32:39

VICTORIA PLAYS PIANO

0:32:400:32:43

Victoria Wood With All The Trimmings was just wonderful.

0:32:430:32:47

It's still shown to this day

0:32:470:32:49

and she involved me and three of my sisters

0:32:490:32:51

as the Christmas Robbins. Get it?

0:32:510:32:54

# Let's join in the magic of Christmas make-believe

0:32:540:32:58

# Who do we all want to see on Christmas Eve...? #

0:32:580:33:03

In the story of the programme, Victoria is looking

0:33:030:33:06

for some robins for a Christmas show so she says,

0:33:060:33:09

"Oh, get Kate and Ted along and then the siblings."

0:33:090:33:12

And there we are, all the Robbins,

0:33:120:33:14

doing these jolly little Christmas dances.

0:33:140:33:16

# We'll gather round to the festive sound

0:33:160:33:19

# Of the carols of a distant choir... #

0:33:190:33:21

Oh, it was such a laugh and, of course, she ended up

0:33:210:33:24

doing the big Ann Widdecombe song at the end.

0:33:240:33:28

# Ann Widdecombe, Ann Widdecombe

0:33:280:33:30

# That's who we want to see, we agree

0:33:300:33:33

-# Not Santa Claus

-Not Zoe Ball

0:33:330:33:35

# Not William Hague

0:33:350:33:39

-# He's too vague

-He is quite vague... #

0:33:390:33:42

Well, she did what I think no other comedian would ever have done

0:33:420:33:45

and she actually rang me up and asked me if I minded.

0:33:450:33:49

Um, that's very much Victoria.

0:33:490:33:52

I mean, she did take note of other people's feelings.

0:33:520:33:56

I had no idea what was going to be in the sketch but she gave me

0:33:560:33:59

a brief outline, particularly the bit about coming out of the box

0:33:590:34:02

and all the rest of it.

0:34:020:34:03

And I said, "Yes, that was absolutely fine."

0:34:030:34:05

# Who's the girl who gets so giddy?

0:34:050:34:08

# Eyes so blue and shoes so diddy

0:34:080:34:11

# Who's our favourite Tory biddy...? #

0:34:110:34:13

And no wonder she chose me. I mean, biddy, diddy, Widdy.

0:34:130:34:17

The name just lends itself to umpteen comic rhymes.

0:34:170:34:21

# Give me A, N, N and E

0:34:210:34:24

# W, I and double D

0:34:240:34:27

# E, C, O, M, B, E spells Widdecombe

0:34:270:34:34

# By day, I'm the Shadow Home Secretary

0:34:350:34:40

# But, hey, deep down you know there's so much more to me

0:34:400:34:45

# I'm Widdecombe, Ann Widdecombe

0:34:450:34:48

# I sing, I dance, I lean to the right

0:34:480:34:51

# I'm truculent, I'm succulent

0:34:510:34:53

# I am a star... #

0:34:530:34:57

I thought it was ultra considerate that Victoria rang me up. It's...

0:34:570:35:01

And I think that I say this truthfully,

0:35:010:35:04

I'm pretty certain it's unique in my experience.

0:35:040:35:07

I don't think, as far as I can recollect,

0:35:070:35:10

that I've ever had prior warning before

0:35:100:35:12

about a major sketch from a comedian.

0:35:120:35:15

# As we raise a toast, what will we roast

0:35:150:35:17

# On the embers of the open fire?

0:35:170:35:20

# Ann Widdecombe, Ann Widdecombe

0:35:200:35:23

# I'm like the suits I wear

0:35:230:35:25

# Unsquashable but washable

0:35:250:35:28

-# I can't relax

-Oh, no, she can't relax, can't relax

0:35:280:35:33

-# When in slacks

-Or Pac-a-macs... #

0:35:330:35:35

I have no idea what would have happened if I'd said,

0:35:350:35:38

"Yes, I jolly well do mind and no, you can't do it."

0:35:380:35:40

I suspect she would have done it anyway.

0:35:400:35:42

# As the children dream of a reindeer team

0:35:420:35:44

# And a figure in a coat of red

0:35:440:35:47

# Dare we divulge what is that bulge

0:35:470:35:49

# At the bottom of the children's bed?

0:35:490:35:52

# It's Widdecombe, Ann Widdecombe

0:35:520:35:55

# I'm firm but fair and cool as a rule

0:35:550:35:58

# My nuttiness, my battiness

0:35:580:36:00

-# Men can't resist

-Men can't resist, can't resist... #

0:36:000:36:05

Is she pissed?

0:36:050:36:06

# She's round the twist... #

0:36:060:36:08

The only regret I had was that she invited me along to the show

0:36:080:36:12

and I thought, "No."

0:36:120:36:14

I was Shadow Home Secretary at the time,

0:36:140:36:17

therefore I was engaged in an awful lot of serious stuff

0:36:170:36:21

and I thought if I'm sitting there in the audience

0:36:210:36:23

and there are cameras panning and there's all this mockery

0:36:230:36:26

going on on the stage, it may not be quite such a good idea.

0:36:260:36:30

# As the snowflakes fall and the neighbours call

0:36:300:36:33

# Like the Christmases in days of yore

0:36:330:36:36

# As they ring our bell what will they smell

0:36:360:36:39

# Coming through the open doors?

0:36:390:36:41

# Ann Widdecombe, Ann Widdecombe

0:36:410:36:43

-# I'm woman through and through

-This is true

0:36:430:36:46

-# Exuberant

-Protuberant

0:36:460:36:49

# I inspire lust

0:36:490:36:53

# With my bust

0:36:530:36:55

# I'm not that fussed... #

0:36:550:36:56

I love the fact, first of all, that it's a big showbiz number

0:36:560:37:01

because I think that really suits

0:37:010:37:03

the way that she's played Ann Widdecombe

0:37:030:37:06

and, you know, she had every opportunity, Victoria,

0:37:060:37:09

to go down the route of really having a go at Ann Widdecombe

0:37:090:37:13

and making it political,

0:37:130:37:15

which is exactly what I would have done,

0:37:150:37:17

but she hasn't done that

0:37:170:37:19

and, in many ways, I think it's better for it.

0:37:190:37:21

# We'll start the lunch

0:37:210:37:23

# And we'll serve hot punch

0:37:230:37:26

# To the singers in the snowy drive

0:37:260:37:29

# And who's not chuffed to be plucked and stuffed

0:37:290:37:34

# And done at gas mark 5?

0:37:340:37:37

# Ann Widdecombe

0:37:370:37:40

# The people's chum

0:37:400:37:42

# The bells of Christmas ring Ding-a-ding

0:37:420:37:46

# Implacable

0:37:460:37:47

# Unsackable... #

0:37:470:37:49

THEY SING OVER EACH OTHER

0:37:490:37:52

# Do, re, do, re, mi

0:37:550:37:59

# So, fa

0:37:590:38:02

# So, fa

0:38:020:38:04

# Do, re, mi

0:38:040:38:06

# So, faaaa. #

0:38:060:38:17

Ta.

0:38:170:38:19

-What do you reckon?

-Don't know.

0:38:490:38:51

I don't really watch telly at Christmas.

0:38:510:38:53

Anne Reid presents a very special extended episode of Our Friend Victoria, which celebrates all things festive. There was a time when Christmas just wasn't Christmas without a special from Victoria on TV. In this Christmassy treat, Vic's famous co-stars share their thoughts on being a part of her specials and what Christmas meant to their friend. Julie Walters, Celia Imrie, Michael Ball, Richard E Grant and Reece Shearsmith recall the huge productions that went into Victoria's specials, while former shadow home secretary Ann Widdecombe reveals her shock at being parodied in one of Vic's show-stopping musical numbers.


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