Frank Skinner hosts the comedy panel show. Bill Bailey, Una Stubbs and Alice Levine compete to have their pet hates and peeves consigned to Room 101.
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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Hello, I'm Frank Skinner, and welcome to Room 101.
Supplying the negative vibes tonight are
soul sister Alice Levine,
daddy cool Bill Bailey,
and me little Aunt Sally, Una Stubbs.
So, what's upsetting Bill?
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
It's just not right.
It's just... There's something wrong about it.
It's toxic, salty, fishy gloop!
It looks like the devil's own blancmange.
Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong!
Why have taramasalata when there's hummus in the world?
I've got to tell you, Bill - I'm not saying this for comedy effect,
this is absolutely true -
I have taramasalata as a meal, I would say, five or six times a week.
-No, you don't.
-I swear that is true.
And I'll show you why...
You eat it...
-five times a week?
-This is how I eat it.
-Have you seen corn cakes?
-Corn cakes, yes.
I mean, cakes is pushing it.
-Let's call them corn coasters.
I break those, and I'm...
Honestly, if my family were here, they would testify to this.
And I will do this.
I'll have a bit of greenery with it, bit of salad.
Just you eating it like that, it's making me feel ill.
-How could you?
-It's not right!
-I love it.
You've gone for the kind of shop-bought pink one.
-Which I think is... Is it Greek?
-Is that where
it's from? It's usually got fresh dill and stuff in it.
I don't know where the pink's come from.
It's dyed! It's dyed pink, to make it look more like pudding!
It might be when I was a kid, I thought it was Angel Delight.
I took a big spoonful of it...
-The sort of quality stuff is this colour.
And I do occasionally...
That's less suspicious, isn't it?
-Now, the whiter stuff, that is the top-quality gear.
Sorry, I'm talking...
I'm talking like it's some kind of drug you'd buy in a pub.
You got any of that white stuff? You know, it's not cut
with the pink stuff. No, that's...
So, wait, is the pink stuff, that's like street grade?
That is really the low-grade stuff.
-That is really being...
-But still lovely and they...
-They tend to put a little bit of beetroot in it,
that's all to get it pink.
-It's nothing bad.
-Bill thinks it's got rat poison in it
and cement dust!
The high-quality gear, yes, it's white, it's an ancient food.
Tarama, which is Turkish for...
For, "Goodbye, mother."
And salata, which is Greek for salad.
I'm not decrying the good stuff, the ancient stuff.
I'm talking about what you're talking about,
which is this shop, this cheap, kind of pinky goop.
-And it's suspiciously smooth as well, isn't it?
It's got a strange, slimy texture.
What do you mean "suspiciously smooth"?
-Well, because I feel like the good stuff...
-It is slimy.
Slimy, yeah. The good stuff has texture.
Hummus is slimy!
It's gritty because it's made from hardboard.
That's what it tastes like.
It's one of the great foods of the world!
-Hummus with a carrot baton
is one of the great pleasures of life!
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
-You can put virtually anything in hummus.
Yeah, but exactly.
Hummus needs help, in the way that taramasalata doesn't.
Taramasalata needs to be avoided!
It needs to be buried in the Earth for millions of years
until it loses its radioactivity!
All I'm saying, I don't like its solo work.
Yeah, but you had to have a flipping corn cake...
Well, there's a lot of flavour in that!
..to force the taramasalata down!
You wouldn't get it with a spoon!
That's because I don't want to use my fingers.
Well, use a straw!
I dare you!
-You're a musical man, Bill.
Let me see if I can win you over with this.
# Just a starter made for two. #
LAUGHTER DROWNS OUT SINGING
# Tip-top pitta platter went my heart
# And then somehow I knew
# Somehow I knew that this was love. #
This is some kind of hell!
Make it stop!
-Where was that from?
-It's from my new album.
I can't tell you what an important part of my life it is, Bill.
-I can't believe that!
-You think I'm making it up!
I have... Every week, I get through three tubs, no problem.
Would you, like, lick them clean?
Look at me, look at me! I'm 60! I look fantastic!
And do you know why I look fantastic?!
# Just a starter made for two. #
And so to Una.
-People who speak too loudly.
You know like when you're in a cafe or something and there's a group
of people next door, and they have to shout.
And the table's only quite small,
and they like shouting across to each other.
And the worst thing is...
I go to Edinburgh quite a lot, because I have a family up there,
and I love the train journey, it's about five hours.
And so you've got your picnic and your book, and then suddenly,
everybody's mobiles come out, and people start shouting down
into them. You want to go up to them and say, "Excuse me,
"if you're as sophisticated as you're making out you are,
"you should know that you don't have to shout into a mobile."
My partner asked me very early on in our relationship
whether people thought I was deaf.
Because people used to come up to me and go...
HE SHOUTS: "Frankie! Frankie!" from about three feet away.
-Do you get this, Bill?
-What is that about?
Is it because we don't respond when they're shouting at the telly?
I think it's an assumption that you are
always kind of up for a bit of a laugh.
-You know, if you're a comedian,
people think you're just up for a jape the whole time.
So they would say, "Bill! Billy! Billy!"
This is people shouting at me from vans.
Yeah. You get that thing from a van. "Legend!"
Which I quite like.
I got that once, and I was quite proud.
And I looked around and King Arthur was standing behind me.
Can you explain it?
The phone thing, I think that is people thinking you have to share.
But there are some people...
Plus, they're showing off as well, aren't they?
They're doing some big business deal, you know,
that they want everyone to hear about.
And you can't carry on reading if people are
shouting like that, like on the train,
because their words get all muddled up with the words
that you're trying to...
Maybe you should read aloud.
-To annoy them.
-That would be lovely!
-That would be so nice!
-If you're going to do that,
can I come with you?
Have you ever considered ear plugs, Una?
No, I haven't!
-Some people... You know, you put your fingers in your ears?
But obviously, if you're in a restaurant, you're eating,
that's difficult. So I use these.
These ones I wear and people don't even know I'm wearing earplugs.
A little glimpse into the future.
-They're quite nice!
-Keep you warm.
What I really hate is when people wear these huge headphones
and listen to music.
But then start...
..you know, joining in with some of the words.
HE SHOUTS NONSENSE
-So how do you cope with these loud people, Una?
Do you just tolerate it and smile?
I suppose I do tolerate it.
-You've never complained?
-Just close the book and...
Do you ever lose it? Do you ever just go crazy?
I'm going crazy inside, but I don't say anything.
I just... You never know nowadays.
They could give you a punch or whatever.
Oh, come on, not in first class.
Anyway, so what's upsetting Alice?
So, passive aggression, in general, I love.
It's great. But passive aggressive politeness is, for example,
when someone makes themselves feel better by doing something polite,
but it's kind of got an undertone.
So, have you ever been in a long corridor?
Actually, it happened here. There are long corridors here.
Where somebody opens the door for you, but it's miles away,
so you have to pick up your pace,
and you've got bags and stuff and like a coat with you,
so you have to run down the corridor so that you're not keeping them from
-holding the door too long.
-Yeah, I hate that.
I didn't ask you to hold the door open for me.
Don't make out like I've put you out!
You've decided to be a doorman for the day.
The other one which particularly upsets me is, you're on a bus
and someone's sat on the outside seat, so the seat near the aisle,
not the one next to the window.
And you get on and they don't budge up to the window seat.
They make you climb.
They kind of lean like this, they go like this.
And they make you budge into the gap.
And then they go, "You're welcome," kind of thing.
You haven't helped me in the slightest!
Don't pat yourself on the back for being a good person!
You've done that...
I mean, the door thing, I hold doors open for people,
but you've got to judge your distance.
Very much. Otherwise, it is a move of aggression.
I've had people just give up on me.
If I open the door and I don't..
I won't hurry.
And they've just given up. They look over your shoulder like
they were holding it for someone else who's now gone,
and they just leave it. I never accelerate, let them wait.
Having said that, if I hold a door open for someone,
I want a thank you.
And these flats I lived in,
I was getting in quite late and I held the door open for a bloke.
And the thing I always say, if they don't say anything is,
"Don't mention it. Oh, you didn't."
-I always say that.
-That's so pass agg though.
And this guy said to me, "It's one o'clock in the morning."
And I said, "Sorry, what are the opening hours for politeness?"
It's like if you're in the car and you let someone out,
you want something back.
You've stopped, you're going, "Go on,"
and they just drive past. I will go, "Oh, thank you!
"No, thanks! Cheers!"
I thought you were going to say, "I will follow them home
-"and I'll walk in front of them."
Follow them. Tailgate them all the way to where they live.
I have a friend who calls it out.
You know, the people that push onto the train before people
have come off. And she just stands at the door and goes,
"Off before on!"
No-one's asked her to do it.
And it does have quite an impact.
-Yeah, she's the only one in the cabin.
It's ideal. She always gets a seat.
Una, I imagine you're a phenomenally polite person.
-Like, for instance, with the car business
and sometimes they go, "Boop, boop, boop, boop,"
because you're not hurrying or something when you're
crossing the road, and I always go, "Legs before wheels!"
Is that the chronology of getting older?
I've never heard of this before,
but it's people using the names of their Wi-Fi networks
to be passive aggressive.
This is so your neighbours will pick up your Wi-Fi network.
-This is genius.
-And then, actually, an exchange between two neighbours,
"Stop stealing my newspaper,"
and the response - fabulous.
"For your information, I don't read it, I just throw away!"
I'm so into that.
You may have guessed, Bill...
-I'm not going to put taramasalata.
What would I live on?!
People who talk too loudly...
Again, it is a pain, but I love to eavesdrop on a train.
And I know it's not my business that Dave in sales lost 7K on the
Zanussi deal, but I still like the idea that I'm hearing it.
It's exciting. The passive aggressive polite...
I think politeness is such an important thing
and I don't want it impaired or spoilt in any way,
so I'm going to put passive aggressive politeness into Room 101.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
So, what's making Una unhappy?
I mean, what are they for?
I had a lovely, woolly dressing gown once,
and I hung it up for the summer season.
And when I went to it in the winter season, there was a hole -
I don't exaggerate - that big.
I mean, un-mendable.
And you never see moths flying around with great big bellies.
What do they do with the wool that they've eaten?
You never see moth poo.
-What are they doing with all this wool?
What actually eats the material is,
they lay their eggs and the eggs use the cloth as nutrition,
and so it's the growing babies that...
But the hole was that big!
You know, it's quite a community there.
Do you think moths are making their own clothes?
You know, secretly?
They go for the posh wool.
They do, yeah. They love the nice stuff.
They leave all the taramasalata of the clothed world.
They leave all of that and they go for the nice stuff.
Well, that's resentment,
because, like, butterflies always look fantastic,
whereas moths have got that sort of North Korea type of feel.
I can show you an example, this is brought from my house.
I have a moth trap, and, if you look at that,
it looks like there's been some sort of terrible germ warfare
happened in the Louvre.
Or like somebody's done a graph, but using dead moths.
-This is about a month's worth of collection in my bedroom.
Yes, so I get quite a lot.
-I found the solution.
What? Hit them with a lavender bag?
Squeeze the lavender bag.
Every time you open the drawer and then with the sweater,
just squeeze them and the smell.
-They don't like the smell.
-I did that, but I got rid of the moths,
but when I got in my room it's full of pensioners.
..at my age, is not a bad thing.
Moths are amazing. No, I'm sticking up for moths, I'm afraid.
-Moths are amazing creatures!
There's more species of moth than butterfly.
They're incredibly diverse, you can't say they're dull and brown.
What about the Emperor Hawk-moth? Come on!
-Yes! They're beautiful.
-Everyone's like, "Yeah! I don't really know..."
Just stunning pinks and browns, they're beautiful things.
And they're nocturnal. Like, I'm nocturnal.
So I associate with moths.
You didn't consider wearing the dressing gown with the hole?
No, it was huge and it was in a funny place.
So, what is upsetting Bill Bailey?
I find this a kind of torture.
And when I say trying on clothes, I don't mean at home,
in the comfort of your home. I mean going to a shop,
and trying to pick clothes out, going into a booth,
and trying them on.
It's just some form of hell.
Because you get in and the clothes are stiff and unyielding.
You get in the booth, I feel already claustrophobic.
I'm getting a bit of a sweat on just thinking about it now.
White wall, a mirror, yourself looking, staring at you.
And what usually happens with me is, take your jeans off,
all the change fell out of my jeans pocket.
And rolled under the door of the changing room,
-out into the shop! It's in the shop now!
Like, about four and half quid's worth of change
is loose in the public domain.
And then, the most horrible, when people go around and they go,
"Are you all right in there?"
Like, they think's something's gone wrong.
And then, "Oh, there's money here!"
And then I was just scrambling around on the floor,
in my underpants, getting people passing money under the door.
I just thought...
"This is no way to live!"
I often, I'm with my girlfriend,
so she's trying on stuff and I'm hanging around outside,
which I don't like.
I always find they look at you, the assistants, as if,
are you waiting for someone or are you an opportunist?
Just hoping the curtain might not be properly drawn or something.
And I feel really... I have to sit looking at the floor.
This idea, though, of being in a closed space trying to
put on clothes, it's always awkward, there's never enough room.
I just find... And then that little shame thing
where they give you a little disc, some plastic disc.
"There, take that, because you look like you might steal it."
But when I go into a cubicle and step out,
I cannot resist going, "Ta-da!"
I do that in public toilets.
So there is an element of performance for me.
Well, there is, maybe.
But it's shame, I feel.
Because I've chosen these trousers and then when they go,
"Everything all right?" "Yes!"
"Do you need any help?" "No! No, I'm fine."
What I want to say is, "No, everything's not all right."
This is a squalid indignity that I'm putting myself through.
And when they bring that extra size, and they shout it out.
"Who are these for?! We got these out!"
-You're like, "Sh, don't have to tell the world!
"Too small? Were they too small?!"
"For the girl that let herself go over Christmas!"
Yeah, thank you...!
I don't like the mirror at the end of...
You know, if it is the separate cubicles,
where you're supposed to come out and look at the big mirror.
There's already a mirror in your little room,
you don't need to come out to the public mirror
to do a kind of catwalk. I have my own little private space.
And there's one of that, a bit of that on the mirror.
Oh, yeah, always distorted, like a fairground mirror.
So you're like, "Why are my ankles now the same width as my head?"
Somebody putting fairground mirrors in changing rooms!
-Yeah, or are they?
-Or are they?
But can I share, this is a changing room that you don't have to step
out of to show the person with you what you're wearing,
which I think is a brilliant idea.
You put your clothing on... So a woman's gone in, this is
her partner sitting there.
And then she presses a button, he can see.
OK. So you don't have to step out.
Isn't that a great idea?
It feels a bit like she's not allowed out
until she finds the right one.
You know, that... See, that is already making me
slightly palpitate with the fear of what might happen
if that malfunctioned, you know?
It un-frosts and you're...
-That would be horrible!
That's just made it 100 times worse!
OK, what's winding up Alice?
So, it's drama cliches.
There are quite a lot of drama cliches.
So, I won't list them all,
but one in particular that kind of grinds my gears is
really bad exposition.
So that's that bit where, in TV or in film,
they give the audience the background that they need
to understand the rest of the story. They don't have time
to actually act it out, so they just do a bit of explaining.
So they do lots of this in cop dramas or medical dramas.
Medical dramas are good, because it's usually a doctor explaining
to another doctor something they already know.
So they'll be like, "Don't forget, if we pull the heart out,
"they're going to die!"
When it's bad, it's really bad. It's really patronising.
-It is patronising.
-Isn't it patronising, Una?
Furious about it!
I shout at the television, "Cut!"
It's usually about the time, isn't it?
They think, "Let's move this along."
We want people to get what's happening pretty...
"Hey, so how was your day at the hospital
"where you work as an orthopaedic surgeon for the last ten years?"
"Well, it was great! It was great, thanks.
"But I'm having a few problems with the affair I'm having with
"Dr Mitchell, who lives at 42.
"Oh, that affair which has been going on for several years."
It's like, you wouldn't say that! That is not your small talk!
Nobody talks like that.
But the worst for it, the absolute worst for it,
is every single James Bond film.
So there's that bit, which we all know, where James Bond's
had a lovely time, probably had a little snog with a lady.
And then, oh, he's got captured, what a wally!
Jim, what you playing at?
So then he's usually about to be killed by the baddie,
and the baddie's like, "Just before I kill you...
"I'm just going to let you know the entirety of my plan
"for taking over the world.
"Kind of pointless, because obviously I'm about to kill you,
"but I just want to get it off my chest.
"It's kind of cathartic for me. So here's what I'm going to do..."
And then they tell him everything.
And then obviously he escapes. But that's for us, isn't it?
That's so we know what he has to discover,
or what he has to get over.
I always think once they tell him, they're going to say,
"Maybe I won't wait for the egg timer to strike the match
"that burns the string that causes...
"I'll just shoot you in the face."
I always think that a thing that they're not very good at in drama,
especially in like soap operas, is telling lies.
Because I think most people are brilliant at telling lies.
But in soap operas, they say, "Have you seen Steve recently?"
-"Erm, no, no, no, I haven't seen...
"I haven't seen him for ages, actually!" "Oh, I just wondered."
Whereas in normal life - I know we've all had affairs...
..people are brilliant liars...
-.. in fact.
-It's like the hug one.
You know, when they hug in a drama,
and one of them's evil and one of them's good.
And then the bad one's always like this...
-If you're evil, do you just constantly do evil looks
up to like...? It's usually top, top right.
I tell you, there's a thing in EastEnders I love.
If someone who runs one of the market stalls
has got something important to do, they'll just say,
"Paul, can you look after my stall for a bit?"
And they say, "Well, I don't... What's the pricing system?
"I've got no retail experience".
They just give them, like, they just give them a leather pouch...
-..with money in, and they say, "Yeah, sure", and off they go.
As long as you've got a bum bag, you'll be fine.
-You don't need to know.
-Come back and you're bankrupt.
I hate it. I hate it in films and particularly dramas,
where people say, you know, "We need to meet",
and they go, "Where?"
And they... They immediately know the exact location.
"Where shall we meet?" "Corner of La Jolla, sunset, one hour.
"Come alone." Right, how can you think that fast?
I can't think that fast.
If I say to you, "I'll meet you in an hour, erm, but I don't know...
"behind Marks & Spencer's... Erm...
"Opposite the cashpoint, where the launderette used to be.
"I don't know!"
The chase, obviously, is the cliche.
Usually, like, through streets and often hitting a fruit stall.
Often, sometimes, a fruit stall that only sells pomegranates.
Are there any such stores?
We've got an example of a chase with a...something I've never seen.
I think this is, even though a chase is a cliche,
this is an original thing, for me.
That's some serious horse skills, that is.
Do you think they dragged it through on a cable?
I'd like to think it was... You know when mechanics go under your car
on those sliding...? I like to think the horse was on one of those.
OK, so, the drama cliches,
it is poor and I suppose lazy writing,
but I so love recognising and spotting them...
that I don't want to, I don't want to get rid of them.
The amount of films I've seen saved by a horse slide...
And I was all set to put moths in, because moths have ruined clothes
of mine, and you argued it...
But I love trying on clothes,
but Bill has argued with such darkness and passion
and genuine fervour that I am going to put trying on clothes
-into Room 101.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
That brings us to the end of the show and well done, Alice,
you were the most persuasive guest so you are this week's winner.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Thanks very much to Bill Bailey, Una Stubbs and Alice Levine,
and thank you, goodnight.
Frank Skinner hosts the comedy panel show. Bill Bailey, Una Stubbs and Alice Levine compete to have their pet hates and peeves consigned to Room 101. Topics include taramasalata, people who talk too loudly and drama cliches.