Comedy drama based on the true story of 12 Yorkshire ladies who find a compelling way to raise money for charity: a nude calendar. Stars Helen Mirren and Julie Walters.
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So sorry I'm late.
Hello, ladies. Ooh, I thought I was cutting it a bit fine today.
I said, "It's not shared. No! That's my drive!"
So, ladies, straight to the high point of our meeting - our guest speaker.
I'm very pleased to welcome Alan Rathbone from York,
who's gonna be giving us a talk on the history of the Milk Marketing Board.
Thank you, Alan.
Good evening, ladies of the Women's Institute.
Ladies, I'd like to welcome Iris Benton from Ilkley.
She's come to lead us through the fascinating world of rugs.
I beg your pardon, Iris.
I stand corrected. It's not just rugs.
It's all forms of carpeting.
-(Thank God. For a minute there I thought it was going to be dull(!))
-Thank you, Iris.
Our round-the-world cruise started in September in Skipton, when we booked the tickets.
They were a special offer and it was essential, my wife told me, to book them before the 25th of the month.
I don't know about you, ladies,
but can I just say, Pauline, I had no idea that broccoli could be so intriguing.
Now then, ladies,
can I have a volunteer to draw the raffle?
-All right, I'll ask him.
Volunteer your OWN husband!
-Yeah, right. What's Rod going to talk to the WI about?
That's exactly what John'd say.
What the hell am I gonna speak about?
John, I don't care. Whatever it is is gonna be better than the bloody
history of the cauliflower or whatever it is we've got next week.
-Annie, tell him!
John, the whole point of the WI is, er...
-Are you listening to me?
-Annie, what is the point of the WI?
Enlightenment, fun and friendship.
Well, there, you see? It's right.
It's them...them things.
In my case, it's a thing you did cos your mother asked you, then she went and died...
-You love it!
-One seed in each pot!
You're bloody useless, you are!
Oh look. Is that all right like that?
I've done the Harman wedding, but the carnation table fronts
need to be done for that conference in Guiseley.
Good Lord - nagging lilies!
And I couldn't find the order form.
I thought, after your fantastic reorganisation, all the order forms had to go on the bent nail.
Are you going upstairs to do your homework?
I'm not bothered.
-What happened yesterday, can't happen again.
Yeah. No worries.
Oh, you... Shoo! You beggar!
He's a little devil is that crow.
He'll have all them seedlings if we don't do something...
Something we need to have a little...
..a little chat about.
-Don't leave me.
You great... Hey, come here.
I'm not leaving you.
You soft girl.
At least, I bloody hope not.
You know, what kind is it he's got?
He says he's gonna call it Saddam Hussein.
You should have told us.
I'm your oldest friend. You should have told me the moment you found out.
No big hoo-ha, though, OK?
It'll just make it easier for him to get back to normal when he gets out, you know, and, um...
-And the tests are clear and...
All entries for the home and craft competition to the WI tent immediately, please.
What are they? Hell's Angels?
Sort of. They're morris dancers.
We'll see you back at the tents.
-All right. See you later.
-Garden in a plant pot.
-Yeah. Done that.
-Most creative thing done with an egg.
-Then we've done everything. Come on!
Look at 'em!
High Gill WI.
"Let's arrange our cakes round an old cartwheel."
Does look pretty, though.
Whose side are you on, Brutus?
-No, I didn't mean...
-What's your event, by the way?
Tea tray - on an international theme.
I did Jamaica, but it could be anywhere in the Caribbean.
You know, if more people did WI,
there'd be half the need for hallucinogenic drugs.
International tea tray. Victoria sponge...
Annie's on Victoria sponge.
-Summat for under a pound...
Kathy. That's it. Where's that?
Annie won't have had time, running Yul Brynner in and out of Skipton General, so... Ta-da!
I'm sorry. It just took a bit long...
-Oh, my God, the cake!
-It's all right. Chris has saved the day.
-YOU baked that?
-I'm not a total dead loss as a woman.
I can't knit or make plum jam, but I can bake a bloody Victoria sponge.
-All right! Thank you.
-Course, I didn't actually bake this one.
-I got it from Marks & Spencer's.
-The point is...
-You can't enter a cake you've bought in a shop!
It doesn't matter where it comes from, does it?
This is about putting up a united front against High Gill.
This isn't bakery.
Are you ready?
CHEERING AND CLAPPING
OVER TANNOY: Will the parents of the young lad in the Spiderman t-shirt please meet him under the gorilla?
OVER TANNOY: Excitement in the main tent, where the WI judging's begun.
Ladies and gentlemen, the winner of this year's May Wilkinson trophy
for Victoria sponge, maximum 12-inch diameter,
I'm pleased to say is entry number 213.
-Nice knowing you, Chris.
Oh, that's interesting.
Entered by Knapely WI...
..and baked by Chris Harper.
-Very, very well done. It's a beautiful cake.
-Thanks. Thanks very much.
And I'm proud to say this cake
also wins the judges' 2002
discretionary award. APPLAUSE
-It was really beautiful.
Listen, I never normally ask this.
The lightness of that sponge -
is there a trick, a technique, how you got that?
Well, I basically stuck to me mother's advice about cake baking.
line the bowl with butter.
Always use a warm spoon.
And if it's a special event,
get it at Marks & Spencer's!
-CROWD BEGINS TO LAUGH
Throw the cake at 'em!
Are you throwing my cake?!
-That is disrespectful.
-This is very good.
Of course it's good!
They don't give the May Wilkinson out lightly, you know.
In fact, I'm going to be asked to do a master class at the WI.
-That'll be interesting.
-Wasn't I supposed to do one?
For the WI.
Or don't you want that any more?
I'll tell you what, if you want me to do it, you'd better get it in quick.
-Go, go, go.
They're on "arrows of desire."
-You're not going off without a kiss.
-I go every Thursday.
It's not an overseas posting.
# Till we have built Jerusalem
# In England's green and pleasant
# Land. #
SHE MOUTHS INAUDIBLY
Firstly, how else could we start than by congratulating Chris
on not only winning the May Wilkinson, but also the judges' discretionary ribbon.
CONGRATULATORY MOTIF ON PIANO AND CLAPPING
I'm so pleased.
Now, the next item on the agenda is the calendar.
Last year we had views of local bridges, so this year
I thought we could go for the 12 most beautiful views of...
-..the churches of Wharfedale.
(11 fully clothed and a little "lift the flap" for December.)
-She said George Clooney.
No. No, Marie. I'm fine, you know, with whatever.
Churches of Wharfedale it is, then.
It SHOULD be bloody George Clooney!
Come the toss between Burnsall Church and George Clooney, I know which I'd rather wake up looking at.
-It is a Norman church, you know.
-I'm not disputing the loveliness of the church, John.
It's the firmness of the buttocks I'm worried about.
-Careful. You'll pull your drip out.
-Anyway, let's face it...
-Oh, I hate to be a revolutionary, it might actually sell a few copies(!)
-Yeah, the WI posing-pouch calendar.
-Flesh sells, I tell ya.
So where do we get a photographer?
Art college. It's full of charlatans who prostitute their talent for money.
-Yeah. Lawrence was telling me.
Hey, you wanna see this kid's photographs.
Don't go on about them.
He's taking some of me sunflowers, to see how they're getting on.
It's not your photographer, it's your models. Professional models cost a bomb.
I'll model for you for nowt.
No, thanks, John. I've just seen your backside and, believe me, it's not like George's.
There we go.
Ooh! This bloody settee.
They're gonna need another relatives' room,
for the relatives of the relatives who got injured on the settee in the bloody relatives' room.
So, did you talk to the specialist?
John seems chirpier to me today. What's the old, um...
Pneumonia and septicaemia.
That's good. I've heard of those.
They can deal with those, can't they?
It means his immune system's weakened.
The chemo isn't working.
Which means we're finally out of straws.
-Don't you go buying any benches.
Do what the hell I like, John Clarke.
If you put a bench out here,
it'll have "Leeds stuffed Arsenal" on it before you get back to the car.
I've written me speech...WI.
I did it about...me job.
And all this.
You read it to me.
Flowers of Yorkshire are like the women of Yorkshire.
Every stage of their growth
is more beautiful than the last.
But the last phase...
..is always the most glorious.
Then very quickly they all go to seed.
A while ago,
I asked John Clarke to give us a talk here at Knapely WI.
Annie asked me to read it to you here tonight,
and this is what he wrote.
"The flowers of Yorkshire are like the women of Yorkshire.
"Every stage of their growth has its own beauty, but the last phase is always the most glorious.
"Then very quickly they all go to seed."
"Which makes it ironic my favourite flower isn't even indigenous to the British Isles, let alone Yorkshire.
"I don't think there's anything on this planet that more trumpets life than the sunflower.
"For me, that's because of the reason behind its name.
"Not because it looks like the sun
"but because it follows the sun.
"During the course of the day, the head tracks the journey of the sun across the sky.
"A satellite dish for sunshine.
"Wherever light is, no matter how weak, these flowers will find it.
"And that's such an admirable thing.
"And such a lesson in life."
You ran into a gate? How'd you do that?
HE MUMBLES AN ANSWER
He does a paper round. It pays for his elocution lessons.
Yeah, well, he's bent these, good-style.
It'll be, er...
..Be 25 quid, that, love.
I have to have it.
Ted, would you mind if I borrowed this?
Moving gently into the locust...
I have to admit I'm concerned about our great leader's grasp of t'ai chi.
-And into the llama.
-Are there llamas in China?
Are you all looking in the right direction?
-See you later, girls!
-Bye, love! ALL: Bye!
How can we help, do you think?
Are you doing anything tomorrow afternoon?
It is, I'm telling ya.
Girls laughing's a good sign.
It's a top sign, I tell ya.
Bloody hell, if you're in with Debbie Nolan...
Not bein' unsound here, but she has got the most fantastic tits.
She has got fi-hine mangoes.
Actually, not mangoes.
I don't imagine they'd be hard, like mangoes.
You know, big, ripe plums.
No, what am I saying?
No, not plums. Balloons!
That's exactly what they're like.
A pair of balloons you find behind your settee three days after a party.
Gaz, will you stop talking about tits?
Why would I ever wanna do that?
Well, I think it's a great idea.
You weren't concentrating, were you, Ruth?
I was. We're going to raise money for the hospital, to buy a sofa in John's name.
By posing for a nude calendar.
-Sit down. I'm not asking you to straddle an 'arley-Davidson.
It's still a bit of a leap from Burnsall Church, love.
Yes, but that's the whole point. You see, like, it's an alternative calendar. It's, um...
It's what John suggested.
-"The last stage of the flower is the most glorious."
So what this calendar would be saying is, "Yes, John, actually. We agree."
With respect, I didn't hear him use the phrase "whip your bras off."
It's £999 in the leather, that sofa.
Can I remind you how much last year's calendar raised?
Are you havin' it?
We're havin' it, all right! Come on.
Yeah, we'll get back to you, thank you.
..I don't know. She's being weird.
Normal weird, or weird weird?
She found this.
You're kidding? Big Bazookas!
I saw her looking at it.
God, I bet she went off her head.
My mum did when she found me Rubber Housewives.
It's a difficult age.
Round about now,
women go through a difficult age,
when they get all irrational and odd
and difficult to predict.
-How do you know?
-Me dad told me.
-I've got to go, anyway.
Eddie's getting back from Ilkley.
Nobody's going to see anything, I promise you. You take the picture.
I'm not quite sure how to...
-No, not yet. Wait!
-You've just taken one of the table.
-Won't sell a lot of calendars, will it?! Is that...
Can anyone see my nipples?
-You bloody would if it were YOUR mum.
-Look, what's she done?
Flicked through one jazz mag and looked at a mucky calendar.
That doesn't make her a lesbian.
Your mother's just...
Er, just er... Just go on upstairs with your friend, OK?
How was Ilkley?
Hey, what are you doing up?
-How'd it go?
-Oh, you know.
They're not a scintillating lot, carpet dealers.
They only get excited about bonded underlay.
-Coming to bed?
-Aye, in a bit.
Just having a wind-down.
TELEVISION: I don't want any more announcements of redundancies...
I've come for my photos. Er...
-Can't find my little receipt thingy. The name's Har...
-Here they are.
-It's £4.99, please.
Keep the penny. Thank you.
-I'm surprised they printed it.
-It's probably on the internet by now.
By the sound of it, most people have seen it already.
For God's sake.
Lots of people have their photos taken with their tops off on holiday in Ibiza, don't they?
It just probably came as a slight shock, Chris.
What with the previous 15 photos being of flower arrangements.
Oh, I've screwed up a-bloody-gain, haven't I? Yet a-bloody-gain.
Whoa! Whoa, whoa, whoa. Look, what we have to ask ourselves here is this.
What is the difference between this and the Venus De Milo?
Oh, I love quizzes.
Both feature women with their breasts exposed.
What makes one a work of art?
I think the answer to that's very simple. An artist.
Oh, she's lovely.
-A lovely light you've used on the face there.
-Got her eyes, didn't he?
-And-and all those curls.
So, have you photographed many humans, or is it mainly...
It is mainly poodles.
The blood represents globalisation and the sheep's skull is the death of democracy.
-And the carrot?
-The carrot is capitalism.
I'm particularly interested in woodland orchids.
And butterflies. I love photographing native butterflies.
What exactly is your project?
This is crazy.
He won't remember.
He must see thousands of people come through here every day.
Are you serious?
You've got 12 women in Skipton who are all, er, committed to doin' a nude photo shoot?
-Well, technically we haven't got 12.
So long as we can find the right photographer.
(We've found the right photographer.)
(Are you going to commit to it?)
(Don't think of it as naked, Cora.)
(It's not naked. It's nude.)
(Annie, I am 55 years old.)
(So if I'm not gonna get 'em out now, when am I?)
SHE PLAYS THE WEDDING MARCH
It's the whole showing your breasts issue that concerns me.
I think the whole point is that we don't properly.
I know. That's what concerns me.
Yours are good, are they?
Jessie, we're getting to the point now where we really need to commit.
-Now, I know...
-No front bottoms.
I'm in, just as long as it's no front bottoms.
That's a sight I've reserved for just one man in my life.
Do you think your husband'll mind?
It wasn't my husband.
Course you've got a body worth lookin' at!
-Just look at that parking!
Doesn't it annoy you when people take two spaces?
Look, look. None of us have got a body worth looking at.
No, well, that's not...
We're not all Chrises in this life.
Some of us are Ruths.
Right, I did a bit of thinking about this calendar.
OK, I think there's a trick we could play here. Um...
At first glance, it should look like your classic WI calendar.
Er. You know, all your jams, cakes, sewing and all that.
You know, everything you'd expect.
Except for one tiny thing.
The person doing it is...er...
It's perfect, Lawrence. Really, it's perfect.
A different girl for every month
in a different guise.
Until December, when I thought we could do a group photo of you
all together, you know, singin' a Christmas carol.
That's a great idea!
-With little hats on, like Father Christmas.
There's just one small problem.
The photographer's a man.
-Yeah. The point is, we won't actually be showing anything.
-In the photos.
I imagine a considerable amount will be on display in the room.
(That's a point.)
-(He'll have to be in the room to take the photos.
-With us naked!
-Yeah, well, nude.)
(An art photographer doesn't see a naked woman. He sees a life model.)
(Yes, the nudity isn't important.)
That's easy to say when you've got your knickers on!
He'll be looking at us as an artist.
- I've heard that one before. - Have you?
-He's not that kind of bloke.
-I've heard that one before an' all!
Where is he?
-Where's he gone!
I mean, have you any idea how intimidating it is to come in here in front of you lot?
How much it's taken that young man to do that?
THEY MUMBLE: Sorry.
Course we're not gonna go round parading ourselves in a room full of men.
This isn't... France, for God's sake.
Lawrence will set up the photo,
leave the room,
dressing gowns come off,
and one of us will click the shutter.
I think these girls have got something to say to you.
# I will not cease
# From mental fight
# Nor shall my sword
# Sleep in my hand
# Till we have built
# In England's green and
# Pleasant land! # INAUDIBLE
Has anyone any activities planned we might want to seek approval for
at National Conference?
It's always wise.
We wouldn't want to do anything without approval from National Committee,
not with Knapely being such a proud WI, with an unblemished reputation.
Where it would take only one small act by a few rogue individuals
-to ruin a reputation that we've spent all these years...
-All right, all right.
-Look, we're plannin' a calendar for John, everyone.
It's, um, to raise money for, er,
well to buy something for the relatives' room
in, er...in Knapely General.
MUTTERS OF APPROVAL And?
And...with us on it.
-One for each month.
-(What did she say?
That-that's about it, really...
-Not naked. Nude.
- What's the difference? - Art.
And seein' Marie's raised the issue, we're a good few months short.
Is that not because all this has the air of another one of Chris's great ideas?
Like the vodka-tasting night.
No, no. Because I'm going to make sure this one turns out OK, Marie.
Because it's for John.
It was inspired by John, and it's for John, and it's because of John.
And no matter what you might think of the idea, Marie, you're lookin' at January.
TWO WOMEN AT ONCE: April!
Chris, do we have to make any special preparations?
-No. These pictures are going to be us, girls, as we come.
-Grey hair, cellulite, the lot.
-Remember, "The last phase..."
-ALL: "Is the most glorious!"
Do you have any pictures of Rene Russo?
I know. It's a client. He does, um...
You know this new chain of hotels? Northern summat?
Shall I come?
Save your sanity, love. You know, it's carpets!
If I raced dragsters, there might be summat worth watching.
Oh! Darling, come on!
-Your ball's over there.
-I'm coming, Frank.
MOBILE PHONE RINGS
T minus two hours. Bras off to avoid strap marks.
As we speak, darling. As we speak.
Darling?! Come on!
-So, we're going to go.
-We're going to go.
-That's the decision.
-That's the decision.
-We're going to go and tell them we're not going to do it.
In, in! Quick!
You have to realise, I've never appeared nude in front of anyone in my life.
-Not even Frank?
-Frank's a major.
We approach nudity on a strictly need-to-know basis.
None of us have been here before, love.
I mean, for God's sake, my John didn't see me naked until the spring of 1975.
What happened in the spring of '75?
There was a lizard in the shower block at Abergele!
Quite a few people saw me naked that morning.
FAINT LAUGHTER FROM KITCHEN AND CLOCK CHIMING
Oh, that's not fair! ALL: Oh!
-(Shit or bust.)
-(Shit or bust.)
-Ready when you are.
-Here's the first.
They'll never go through with it.
I'll put it here. It's a tool of the trade.
Ladies, just bring the lamp up a bit. Raise the lamp for me.
No, don't touch that.
-Can you just clear frame for me?
-Just lean in toward t'camera a little bit.
Lawrence, we're going to need considerably bigger buns.
THE WOMEN LAUGH
Weren't the buns flat?
No! Don't mess with the buns!
I like them like this. They cover more.
No, don't touch the composition!
But, Lawrence, were the top buns flat?
-No. They're flat!
-Yeah, but flat for us or flat for her?
She's got to look relaxed.
I am bloody relaxed.
-And she's gotta smile.
-I am smiling!
Not too much.
I want it enigmatic.
She looks like she's seen somebody she knows in the distance.
Left side up a little.
Your right side down a little.
And the middle section sort of...
For God's sake, get bloody Botticelli in here.
Get in here.
Chin down to your left.
You look beautiful, Celia.
CAMERA SHUTTER CLICKS
I used to be in a band in the '70s. One day, for a laugh...
# Yeah she's 36 in the bust
# 28 in the waist
# 44 in the hips She got a real crazy legs
# It upsets me baby
# Yes, you upsets me, baby... #
Come on, Sugden. It's your own time you're wasting.
I was his junior school teacher.
What did I say about relaxing him?!
What did she say about relaxing him?
# You upsets me, baby Yes!
# You upsets me, baby
# Like being hit By a falling tree, woman
# Woman what you do to me
# Well I try to describe her
# It's hard to stop
# I better stop now
# Because I got a weak heart
# You upsets me... #
Cup of tea, girls?
# Well, you upsets me, baby
# Well, like being hit By a falling tree
# Woman, what you do to me... #
SHE PLAYS TWO DISCORDANT NOTES
There's no E-flat in "Jerusalem".
I'd be disappointed if they look at me fingers!
Oh! All right?
Are you doing this one?
What's your name?
I'm Lawrence. Photographer.
# Yeah! #
Lawrence? Lawrence, who's next?
No, wait. Lawrence!
Right. Let's do it.
# Well, I try to describe her
# It's hard to stop... #
Could I have...um, well, you know, some privacy?
ALL: Off, off, off...!
ALL CONTINUE CHANTING "OFF"
ALL: Off! THEY LAUGH
# We wish you a merry Christmas
# And a happy New Year. #
CHRIS BLOWS A RASPBERRY AND THEY ALL LAUGH
THEY ALL STOP TALKING
It's a calendar.
Yes. Black and white with just one colour.
I don't know, er, 300...
No, 500 copies.
So how much would that be?
Thank you. Get back to you.
-It's never that much.
-It bloody is.
We're looking for sponsorship, and my husband always used your products, you see?
He worked for the National Park.
-Yes, that's right. He died of leukaemia.
-Aye, I know.
What do you need sponsorship for?
Right, we're getting there.
But the sunflower needs to leap out at you. More yellow.
Quiet! Look, you can't all be July.
It's my birthday in July.
My divorce came through in March. I'd like to be September.
-I'm not disturbing you, am I?
I was just passing.
Oh, I bought, um...
They're nothing much.
Marie, they're lovely. Come on in.
I never felt I really knew John.
He worked for the National Park, didn't he?
I just wanted to say, Annie, if there's anything...
These are beautiful. What are they? Gerberas? Gorgeous.
You should get away for a bit. Have a holiday. Get out of Knapely.
You trying to get rid of me?
No! No! I just...
-I feel I have to say something, Annie. But...
I do know how difficult things must be for you at the moment, how you must be feeling.
Do you think John would have approved of this, Annie? Really?
You didn't know John, you say...
No, but I know that he was a good man, a decent man.
If your concern is for the reputation of Knapely WI...
-No, that's not what I'm saying.
-Well, I think it is, Marie.
The WI is about doing good.
And I think we have to ask ourselves what does more good -
knowing slightly more about broccoli one week than we did the last,
or providing some comfort for someone in the worst hours of their life?
Because that's what it's like, sweetheart.
And, no, I don't think you do know how I feel.
Oh, hello, Marie.
Sorry, were, were you...?
I don't know. Marie, had you finished?
You wanna put a penny in with those.
They last longer.
(What was that about?)
Don't ask. What's the result?
I've got us a sponsor.
-CHRIS BLOWS A RASPBERRY
..to those boring old farts at Carmichael's Seeds. Say hello to the lovely people at Jennings.
-All our printing costs and a press launch.
-But the beer people?
-All we have to do is put their little logo at the bottom of each page.
..The seed company made sense cos, you know, John loved flowers.
But he never drank beer, Chris.
-You know that.
-It's not about the beer, Annie.
It's about their money.
MOBILE PHONE RINGS
There it is.
Have a look.
Oh. It's beautiful.
Hello, is this the Skipton News? Could I speak to your publicity person, please?
I want to make an announcement.
Madam Chairman, can I just... Sorry.
Madam Chairman, I'm sorry. Sorry.
-Er... It's Knapely.
Listen. I'm sorry to bother you in the middle of conference, but there's
an issue come up at my WI which I feel duty-bound to inform you of.
Well, you'll have to be brief. This way.
She wouldn't have done it deliberately.
-The absolute - and I hate to use the word...
-Well, don't then.
It might have just slipped out.
Oh, yes, to Brenda Mooney.
Who happens to be Madam Chairman of the National WI Federation.
-We could just...
-I mean, Marie has deliberately poured poison down there.
-Well, we'll just...
-We'll do what, Ruth?
-Please tell me!
Seeing as 500 calendars are being printed as we speak.
If we can't use the name Women's Institute, we just don't use it.
If it's not the Women's Institute, it's just a load of
middle-aged women mysteriously standing naked behind fruitcakes.
Oh, my God! It would look like pornography!
THEY ALL LAUGH
But I don't know what's on the order form.
It's under the tin can where the bent nail used to be.
You're gonna have to sort this one out on your own, sweetheart.
-Where the hell are you?
-Tell you later.
I'll be back tonight for the press conference. Bye!
Chris Harper and Annie Clarke from Knapely to see Brenda Mooney.
-Are you official delegates?
-Yes, from Knapely.
-Yes, from Knapely.
And you're here to do an open spot?
-Right. Follow me.
What's an open spot? Sounds painful.
-I don't know.
-Very last minute. You have to go on straightaway.
-Which WI are you?
-We're from Knapely. There are lots of them.
Ooh. There are, aren't there.
Sorry, Madam Chairperson...
-Sorry? I beg your pardon?
Address the whole conference, please.
The final open spot of the morning is the delegate from Knappely.
We... We wanted to come...to...
..ask approval from...
..well, from you all.
We-we want to do a WI calendar
which raises enough money to...buy...um...
a chair or a seat, a sofa,
or, um...well, anything, really.
The thing is here,
is that the hospital local to us in Knapely is where my John...
Thank you. Knapely, best of luck with the settee.
No, no, no. Just hold on. Just hold on a minute with your red light.
Does the other member from Knapely want to say something?
Yes, because she's about to commit heresy.
Here we go.
Look, I hate plum jam.
I only joined the WI to make my mother happy. I do, I hate plum jam.
I'm crap at cakes, I can't make sponge.
In fact, seeing as it's unlikely that George Clooney would actually come to Skipton to do a talk
on what it was like to be in ER, there seems very little reason for me to actually stay in the WI.
suddenly I want to raise money in memory of a man I loved,
and to do that I'm prepared to take me clothes off for a WI calendar, and if you can't give us ten minutes
of your time, Madam Chairman, well then, frankly, guys, I'm going to do it without council approval.
Because there are some things that are more important than council approval.
A-a-and if it means that we get closer to killing off this
shitty, cheating, sly, conniving bloody disease
that cancer is, God, I tell you, I'd run round Skipton market naked, smeared in plum jam, wearing
nothing but a knitted tea cosy on me head and singing Jerusalem.
We don't do nudity.
But we DO do charity.
Can I assume this is a local fundraiser and you're not gonna be making too big a hoo-ha out of it?
In which case, it's a branch matter, and I can leave any decision in the hands of your branch president.
Oh. Sod it. Go on, then.
-Did you invite the Gazette journalist?
-Actually, so did I. We'll have two of them, then.
-Here we go.
Thank you. Keep the change.
Oh, my God! It's half past.
Come on. The girls will have done half the press conference by now.
Right, where are we?
I think it's down here. Come on.
How many press releases did I send out?
How many sodding press releases?!
Bloody local paper!
What bigger than this has happened in Knapely tonight? Don't tell me.
Someone's grown a U-shaped marrow(!)
We're going to lose money, aren't we?
Not only are we not going to raise it, we're actually going to lose it.
I suppose we did promise it wouldn't be a big hoo-ha.
At least you made that speech.
Yeah. Well, it's not enough, Annie.
I'd rather not have tried than have to face Marie and say "Oh, no.
"Actually, yes, you were right. It was another one of Chris's ideas."
And what's worse - and this is a good one -
To add insult to injury, I took me clothes off and no-one was interested.
You after the WI thing?
-Had to spill over. They're in t'ballroom.
..giving the game away to say we did have the odd glass of wine. Oh, here they are!
JOURNALISTS SHOUT QUESTIONS
Sorry? Um. Well, John our...
A CROWD CALLS OUT QUESTIONS
You're nude in the Telegraph, dear.
Oh. Can you pass the bacon?
Open up, Maya, love, will ya?
I have, Mum. We're full.
One minute the dressing gown was on, and the next it was just me and the hat.
I'm here in the Yorkshire village of Knapely, where the local WI have not only been raising money,
but raising eyebrows by stripping for a charity calendar.
I'm thinking of taking it up professionally.
What's your family think?
-I was worried that my daughter would be embarrassed.
-But she talked me into it.
Any magazine offers?
It's his village, is Knapely.
House he grew up in was in Embsay Lane.
And that church up there is where we got married.
It's done me the world of good.
So, Chris, what gave you the idea?
-Oh, excuse me.
Hello, dear. I brought my journalists to meet your journalists.
-CAMERA SHUTTERS CLICK RAPIDLY
..To, er, to develop ideas and to have them...
You know, after all, the WI is about education and empowerment of women.
It's not just jam and Jerusalem, you know?
The WI nude calendar?
No, love, sorry.
But I definitely sent you a batch of 50. Look.
Look, Minstergate Bookshop, York.
-And I got 'em, love,
and I put 'em out at nine o'clock, and at ten past nine we'd sold out.
Thanks very much. Thank you!
We've got to order more calendars!
We're down to the last 25.
-What is it?
-They were waiting for me.
-When I got back.
Read this, Chris.
It's happened to them, just like it's happened to me.
I'm going to help them.
"And your photo made me smile for the first time in 15 months.
"Now I smile whenever I see the calendar.
"Thank you, girls, for your bravery and beauty.
"Best wishes, Vera Mason."
"It reminded me so of Eileen.
"You seemed to have the same spirit she had.
"I know she would have howled with laughter at your photographs.
"Thank you again.
"Looking forward to the next."
"I'm currently in the high security wing of Her Majesty's Prison Barlinnie in Scotland,
"and was mightily impressed by the sheer size of your... "
'..has been speaking to the instigator of the world's first nude WI calendar - Chris Harper.'
CHEERING AND THEN CLAPPING
'So tell us how it all came about, cos you wouldn't normally associate the WI with nudity.
'No, no, the usual image of the WI calendar is of plums and jam and country views.
'But we thought if glamour photographers can do it on a beach
'in Bangkok, we can do it in a church hall near Skipton.'
CHEERING AND LAUGHTER
-'How are you feeling?
'We feel fabulous!'
I was trying to get in there.
'Middle age didn't put them off stripping off,
'and now these women are hogging the headlines across the north.
'Chris Harper's behind it all. Rather than fall back on the usual twee landscape scenes,
'she talked her friends into posing nude for their local WI calendar.
'Not quite the jam and Jerusalem the ladies are usually known for.
'Chris says their husbands will never look at their wives in the same way again.
'Neither will the other members of this quiet little Dales community.'
-Where you going?
But you just got back from the conference.
Eddie, I've got a surprise for you.
I've had it.
I got it when someone turned round in t'petrol queue and said,
"Isn't this tart with her tits out your wife?"
Eddie, I didn't do it just to... I just... Eddie!
Burston wedding today.
And we've got another order.
It's a massive order, Chris.
Guy's coming round at 4.30.
Got a meeting.
-When are you back?
Anyone seen Jem?
Normally more than one of you, is there?
But, er, my wife -
she's a bit busy at the moment.
It's some WI calendar thing she's organised.
She's on a chat show.
Not the calendar? The nude one?
We just bought one. My wife came home.
Seriously, it's fantastic.
I'll tell her.
So, I've bought flowers off Mr...
Come on, then, which one is she?
Suppose you're getting sick of all this, are you?
Oi, give us some of that.
I thought I'd find you here.
You all right?
You got any money?
What IS funny, between you and me, some of the blokes...
Frank - his wife would hardly undress in front of him before.
And now, apparently,
Well, it's not had that effect in our bedroom, I can tell ya.
Hardly see her.
Sorry, I can't resist this.
You don't mind, do you?
Aye. As long as I don't have to take me clothes off.
# I will not cease from mental fight... # MOBILE PHONE RINGS
# Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand
# Till we have built Jerusalem... #
I'll tell ya. It's unbelievable.
Well, for the last two hours, I have been exchanging phone calls...
What, the real one?
No, Celia. The chocolate one.
-Yes, the real one.
From the studio of a show with a man whose name I've forgotten.
-They're not coming all the way from America?
They're going to do it on the phone?
No. They only do face-to-face interviews.
If they won't come here and won't do it on the phone, how are they...? Oh, my God.
We're going to Hollywood. Sssssh!
Reynoldson, with a Y.
..Oh, he's there.
..Oh, please. Could you put me through to his room?
-Your toilet was broken, but, er, but I've fixed it now.
All right, lads?
-Can I help you, Officer?
-You can put that joint out for a start.
-It's not for fun.
It's really important.
I mean, if we get on the telly in America, it's fantastic publicity.
Just imagine - the whole of America.
What about our business, Chris?
Or is that not important?
Can you get that?
I'm in a meeting.
Hello. Flower Power.
It won't be anything serious.
He'll be all right.
-They're not charging him.
-Oh, thank God.
Is it not illegal then?
Well, cannabis is, but they tend not to worry too much about oregano.
Jem, you stupid... You stupid...
-It's all right, I'll go. We've already had a little father and son.
-Anyway, you've got to sign something before we can go.
-Would you like to come this way?
Yes, all right.
Thanks very much. Good night.
Where is it? Where the hell is it?
I'm hoping they'll let me in with a few calendars.
After we've been on American telly, we might be able to shift a few.
Oh, no, wait a minute. The holidays are all different there, aren't they?
Well, maybe we'll have to do a reprint. You know, the American version.
Your son's been arrested.
Yes, I know.
And released, Annie, with 10g of oregano.
The only thing that'd be dangerous in is a quiche.
But he thought it was drugs, Chris.
Do you want to stay?
Find out why?
Yes, I do, obviously, but...
The woman in the studio contacted ME, Annie. I'm the one who...
Chris, Chris, we can cope.
We're big girls.
Hello. I was wondering if you could quote me for some carpets.
You do sell carpets?
You are the owner of a carpet warehouse?
-Sorry. I'm with someone.
I just came to Ilkley to see what I wasn't as good as.
OK. Well, you've done that now.
He told me you were the manager
of a carpet warehouse.
He told me you were dead.
I think maybe I have been.
You are looking good, baby.
Which one of us are you talking about, Eddie?
The one that makes a tart of herself by taking her clothes off, or me?
Sod off! Eddie?
No, no. You stay and enjoy yourselves.
I'm off to Hollywood.
Sorry I'm late! Frank was so slow.
Bloody hell, Celia! How many frocks?
..or you'll be flooded out.
And if anything goes wrong, phone your Auntie Sophie.
-You going to say "Don't do anything I wouldn't do"?
-You already have, Mam.
Right, everyone. Has everyone got a ticket?
A lying snake for a husband?
No? Only me there, then.
Hollywood, please, on your shiniest plane.
Sorry, ladies. You've come to the wrong desk.
I have asked four people. Each said we could check in for the flight to Los Angeles at any desks.
We have queued for 20 minutes in the only queue,
and we were directed to your desk by your representative.
Where PRECISELY have we gone wrong?
There was no need to queue, madam. You're all flying upper class.
You've been upgraded.
-We're going first class!
I can check you in here if you like.
Thank you, dear. What a nice girl. I knew she was a nice girl.
Celia, press the white button on the right.
-I am doing!
-On the right. The white one. Bye-bye!
-I'm going right under you, Celia.
I got my foot stuck now. Ow!
Where are we, Cora?
-This is Sunset Strip!
# Ride the pony
# Get on your pony and ride
# Whoo yeah... #
-Cheerio, gals. I'll see you later.
-What are you doing?
-I'm going up.
-It's lovely. Come up.
# ..Hey hey now Hey
# Keep on riding... #
Hollywood! We're here!
Get down! Stop messing about.
Good afternoon, ladies.
Thank you, Ashley, I'll handle this. Good afternoon. Welcome to Los Angeles.
-ALL: Thank you.
-It's our first time here.
-Is that right?
-The name's Clarke.
Or should I call you Miss February?
-I saw your picture in the paper this morning.
-In an American paper?
Thank you, ma'am.
-Now, I'll just talk you through the facilities, OK?
Now, there are two televisions, one on each end,
both of which have cable TV, Internet access and movies on demand.
Now, there's also a full bar here, but if you need anything special,
don't hesitate to call downstairs and we'll...
Is everything OK, ma'am?
No, it's fine. It's just I'm a bit tired. I'd like to go to my room now, really.
This is the hotel's master suite, ma'am.
This is your room.
Come on, I'll show you downstairs. It's beautiful.
# You got a smile so bright
# You know you could've been... #
Have you been in your bathroom?
Me too! I'm in the bath!
And the bubbles, they're Christian Dior. The bath bubbles!
-They're Christian Dior!
-Do you think they'll charge us for it?
I hope not!
# ..You know You could've been a broom
# The way you smell so sweet
# You know you could have been Some perfume
# Well, you could've been anything
# That you wanted to
# And I can tell
# The way you do the things you do The way you do, oh baby
# The way you do the way you do As fruity as you are... #
Oh, yes. Nice.
Good. And then into the limo.
Into the limo.
That's very good. No, it's great.
-Let me have a shot with you and the girls.
-No, no! We gotta go.
-Give him a kiss. Put your arm round him.
-British women are taking me hostage!
-We're not going to let you go.
-I hate that.
-What are we doing first, then, eh?
-Chris. I can't believe it!
-You look gorgeous!
I'm very excited!
THEY TALK OVER EACH OTHER
Great, ladies! OK, we got another section coming up.
-Hold it, guys.
We got a whole new section to do here! Come on.
Come on, ladies!
It's four pages, Annie. The cover page, and then four pages about how I don't give him sex any more.
I just had to get away. I mean, the press will be all over it by now.
So Rod's having to deal with all that on his own, then, is he?
Well, him and Jem.
Slightly out of character, don't you think, for Rod, saying all that?
Did he get tricked into it?
Did you stay to find out?
Or by that time, was there a taxi waiting?
-Are you all right?
-Yeah. I'm fine.
Annie, Chris, this is Frank, Scott and John.
They're in a band called Anthrax.
Hello. Heard so much about you. We're really impressed with what you're doing.
-It's a great story.
-We haven't heard anything about you.
Have you had a think about that, then?
Well, yes. It would be in that ballpark, yes.
Well, you know what? Let me talk with my associates, and I'll get back to you.
Thank you. Who was that on the phone?
I'll tell you in make-up.
We're dead close to a deal. Oh, look, that's him. By the way, is it Lee-no or Leno?
-We've gotta get it right.
-Are you sure?
-No, I think it's Lee-no.
Not only will they sponsor the calendar in America to the tune of 30,000, but guess who'll be
-filming in the studio next to the one we shoot the advert in?
-Guess who's filming in the studio next to the one we're going to shoot the advert in?
Well, they sponsor us, we do their advert for washing powder. Ker-ching! That's how it works.
Can I have it straight like Jennifer Aniston?
You know, in Friends.
Why would I dye just part of my head?
It doesn't make any sense.
'I do not dye my hair.
'You may have heard about my first guests.
'They went from living a quiet, peaceful life in a small British'
town to becoming nude calendar girls.
They're here tonight to tell us the story. This is the calendar.
Please welcome, from Knapely, England, the Calendar Girls.
Let's bring them out.
APPLAUSE AND CHEERS
Hello, girls. How are you?
How are you? Good to see you. Everybody's here. Have a seat.
Just sit anywhere.
I'm curious. Have you girls been strippers all your lives?
We're not strippers!
'Did you get drunk beforehand?
'It was no big deal, you know. We've all got the same bits.
The same bits?
'Yes. They're just different sizes.'
Can I have some of them rice things?
-It's called sushi.
'It's all suggestive.
'I could make a few suggestions.
'Well, ladies, it's fascinating.
'Good luck with your work. And, please, if you would just try to encourage more women to get naked...
'Thank you very much, the ladies of Knapely.'
We do have to work some kind of order out when we're asked questions,
cos far too much of that you couldn't hear because everybody was talking.
What are you doing?
You missed it.
We were just on television, the whole reason we came here.
I thought that was to get AWAY from the press.
Is there anyone there?
Ah, there they are!
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!
Welcome, ladies. How are we today?
My name is Danny. I'm the director.
And which one of you is Chris?
You're Chris. Hi.
Exciting. Yeah, yeah.
OK, now, just to let you know,
what I've done is cleared the studio of excess men.
That's a shame.
I didn't want you walking around naked in front of a bunch of guys you didn't know.
We're doing the washing powder, right, hanging the washing on the line.
And naked behind.
I mean, there's not a problem with that, is there?
It is what you girls do, isn't it?
Not now. I'm working.
Go, go, go.
Great! Beautiful! I love this!
Ladies, the time...is now.
-Nice to see you.
-Nice to see you.
-What do you think?
-Thank you very much. Is the agency happy?
We'll be just a moment. Annie!
Look, Annie, this is for the calendar.
We just do this, we get the calendar out in America...
Look, are you gonna talk to me?
-I need a shower.
-Was it down here?
I feel dirty.
-Your washing powder made me feel dirty.
-MY washing powder?
I get it. I see.
This is cos I've organised it, right?
Because I've made a success of getting us a sponsor
and taken this out of being...
We're not just raising money for a relatives' room any more, are we?
-We're taking on the bloody disease.
-Red light's on, Chris!
You can't stand it, can you?
You cannot stand that I've made this calendar a success.
No, see, Chris, what's happened is this calendar's made YOU a success.
What's that supposed to mean?
-Where are we?
-Annie, what is that supposed to mean?
Don't ask me what it means, Chris!
When you're standing in the middle of a cardboard street talking about meeting George Clooney.
What's with all these letters, then, eh, Annie?
All this bloody Florence Nightingale, this agony aunt?
Doesn't that smack just a little bit of being a star?
You know, loads of people lose their partners to this disease. They don't all get fan mail.
Doesn't that make you a little bit of a success, a very successful bereaved woman?
A celebrity widow?
St Annie of Knapely?
-I'm not a saint,
because I'd rob every penny from this calendar if it would buy me just one more hour with him.
You've still got yours,
and you're in Hollywood!
It's Thursday. Come on.
We've gotta get in there.
Are you coming?
# Build it here
# Among the dark satanic mills...
# Give me my bow of burnished gold... #
He made a quiche on Tuesday.
We've been stoned ever since.
Don't worry, Chris. He'll be all right.
-You don't have to apologise.
I do have to apologise. Everything you said in the paper was true, wasn't it?
-I didn't know he was a journalist.
-This isn't the point.
I mean, you still said it.
Just why didn't you say it to me?
Why didn't you just, I don't know, shout out, "What the bloody hell do you think..."
I know you'd have liked me to.
It'd suit your Hollywood story a bit more if I'd been "No bloody wife of mine!" But I've not because...
I actually think it's brilliant what you've done.
That's why I've stood behind you, and I've told your son to get over it and be proud,
because I actually wanted you to have all this.
Now, do me a bloody favour, get back in that hall and sort out whatever's gone wrong with Annie.
I don't know what to say to her.
She's your oldest friend, Chris.
You don't have to say anything.
Sorry. Ladies, ladies!
Would you, um... Ladies, please.
Since we've stopped, as it happens,
today we've finally been sent the first figures for the sales of our calendar.
Come on. Where is it?
Right, thank you.
It says here, in this letter from...
Leukaemia Research Fund,
that we've so far raised...
So a big round of applause to all of us for making it such a success.
We can get that sofa in the leather, then.
PIANO PLAYS: "Jerusalem"
# And did those feet In ancient times
# Walk upon England's... #
I've put our names down for next month's speakers.
"Chris and Annie - What We Learned In Hollywood."
You're lying. I know for a fact,
-Colin Petley's coming from Keighley with his collection of tea towels.
-Be still, my beating heart(!)
Anyone fancy some chips?
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Knapely, North Yorkshire. Firm friends Chris and Annie are part of the local Womens' Institute, where nothing dramatic has ever happened. Then Annie's husband dies of leukaemia, and in aid of the local hospital, the ladies propose posing (tastefully) naked for a charity calendar, though this strains relationships all round.