Queen Anne’s Rain

TLO 72851

First broadcast 22/12/58

Series 9 Episode 8

Greenslade: This is the BBC….The blame should be spread equally!

Harry: He’s right, folks. There are so many in the BBC, the blame can be spread so evenly, it doesn’t notice.

Greenslade: Mr Strecham! How dare you reveal BBC cover-up methods!

Harry: It’s my duty to protect the public, folks, and for this, I hope to get an OBE.

Greenslade: And what do you think you are going to do with it?

Harry: I’d sing it.

Greenslade: How does it go?

Harry: (sings to the tune of Danny Boy?) Oh OBE, I love your daughter.

Greenslade: So that’s the OBE. Oh, I see. I thought it went (sings to the tune of Danny Boy) Oh OBE, the pipes, the pipes are frozen.

Harry: That’s the Order of the Garter you silly…twilger

Greenslade: Oh.

Harry: And it’s still in the top ten birthday honours you know.

Greenslade: Is it?

Harry: Yes, it was fourth last week; listen.

FX: cash register

Harry: It sounds like Peter Sellers. Forward him, with his hi-fi lawn mower.

Sellers: (Actor) It records as it cuts, and that is for me. Come. Now, my applause, please.

GRAMS: rapturous applause over

Sellers: (Actor) Oh yes, yes, yes.

GRAMS: applause stops suddenly

Sellers: (Actor) I’m getting known. It’s quite obvious, yes. Minstrel, sing that for me.

Spriggs: (sings, with guitar accompaniment) I’m getting knoooown.

Harry: How much did he pay you for that?

Spriggs: A free feel of his Rolls Royce, Jim.

Harry: Oh well done, well done, well done.

Spriggs: (sings) and a fine master is heeeeee.

FX: gunshot

Spriggs: Oh, master…

Sellers: (Actor) He had to go. I shot him for nothing, you know.

Greenslade: Oh you are a kind man. I think it’s time we had a go at the Grune Show. The scene is a certain place, at a certain time, in a certain year.

Spriggs: We’re not giving anything away tonight, folks. Can we have an attack of the thunders, please?

GRAMS: Loud crash of thunder, rain pouring under

Henry: Oh yes, that’s got it in position.

FX: Strange sound ending in duck call

Henry: Eureka! I’ve invented the whoopie cushion!

Min: (off mic) What’s that noise over there?

Henry: What, what?

Min: (off mic) What’s that over there?

Henry: What? What are you doing at the window, Min of mine?

FX: heavy boots walking

Min: (on mic) I’m counting the rain, Cocky.

Henry: Come away at once, Min. Supposing people saw you counting rain on a Sunday. What would they say?

Min: They’d say “owww”

Henry: You see? I told you so. Now look at the year, 1880.

Min: 1880? Oh, and I haven’t got the dinner on yet.

Henry: Never mind the 1880 dinner, Min of mine, you get on baiting those elephant traps.

Min: I don’t see the point of them you know.

Henry: What?

Min: We’ve never caught one.

Henry: That doesn’t mean we must stop trying, Min of mine.

Min: Fishtu.

Henry: Think of the dangers. Supposing you came down one morning for a greens-strainer and found an elephant in the larder, eh?

Min: Well, I’ve never seen an elephant in the larder.

Henry: That is because they’re hiding, Min of mine!

Min: Where do elephants hide? Tell me that!

Henry: What?

Min: Where do elephants hide, Buddy?

Henry: Well, I don’t know, saxophone Min. But it’s clear to me that they must hide somewhere, how else could they get away with it for so long?

FX: knock on door

Min and Henry: Oooooh.

Min: Who’s that? All be murdered in our beds! It might be a man of evil powers!

Henry: What? Min, hand me my tin hat (FX: metallic noise), now my sword (FX: Sword rattling), now my blunderbuss.

Min: Brave man, Henry.

Henry: Now Min…

Min: Yes?

Henry: Go and see who it is.

Min: There’s somebody who believes in (?) Come in!

FX: door opens

Ned: Good Evening, I……

FX: loud explosion


Min: He’s the man from the Prudential, Henry.

Henry: Now sir, what do you want?

Ned: I want a doctor, mate.

Henry: There is no doctor mate living here sir!

Ned: But you must let me in. I’ve had an accident, and it’s starting to show.

FX: door closes

Ned: Thank you. I’m the local squire.

Henry: Ohh, come in. Let me take you hat and coat.

FX: brown paper rustling

Ned: Thank you.

Henry: Min, throw these on the fire.

Min: Yes Henry, yes.

Ned: I was on my way to London town, when my horse took ill with a puncture. Have you a telephone?

Min: No. But we have a window with a pane of glass missing.

Ned: Well, I’ll try that. Hello? Hello? (FX: banging) Hello, hello? This window’s gone dead.

Henry: Yes, the GPO took it out after a final demand, you know.

Ned: How painful. Well, it seems as though I’ll have to stay the night here. Have you a bed?

Henry: Not on me sir, we keep them all upstairs you know.

Ned: Superstitious, eh? Well, have you a spare room?

Henry: Yes sir, it’s in the spare room.

Ned: Oh, good. Then I’ll put my spare body in it, I only wear this one for work, you know.

Min: You’ve had a hard day.

Ned: Thank you. I’ll be off in the morning.

Min: Ohh. But they say the bridge is under water. The River Foot has risen seven inches.

Henry: No Min, the River Severn has risen foot inches.

Min: How can a river rise its foot inches?

Henry: Who’s talking about a river with feet?!

Min: Don’t you raise your voice to me, Chummy!

FX: Wood blocks – slapping – OMNES: fighting – GRAMS: Breaking glass Min and Henry: Ohhh, arrrghh (Ends in loud explosion)

Min: Now Henry, don’t make me loose my temper…..Where is he? Henry?

Ned: He’s gone.

Min: Then who have I been hitting?

Willium: It was me, Ma. I come down in me ‘jamas to get a mug o’ tea, And “Whallop! Thun! Blut!” I cops a piano on me nut!

Ned: It suits you, though.

Willium: Yer. Well I admit, pianos have always suited me, you know sir. I, er, you see, I got a B flat ‘ead, you see.

Ned: How come you’ve got you pyjamas on back-to-front?

Willium: Well, I turned round suddenly and left ‘em behind…. I’d better get up to bed now. Good nighty, matey.

Ned: Good night? But it’s breakfast time.

Willium: Yes, well I don’t like waitin’ to the last minute, you see…there’s only one pair of stairs up to my room, and if I miss ‘em I have to wait for the next pair…An hour before they get ‘ere…. Good night on you.

Ned: And good night on you.

FX: door opens, pouring rain, door closes

Eccles: ‘Ello! ‘ello Auntie Min, ‘ello Uncle Crun.

Henry: Hello Muckle.

Eccles: ‘Ello Uncle Crun.

Ned: I’m squire Seagoon of the Fernakapan Farm.

Eccles: ‘Ello squire Seon o da fernakann fallam.

Henry: Master Muckle, what have you been doing?

Eccles: I’ve been watering the garden.

Ned: In all the rain?

Eccles: Don’t look at me so strange, I had a mackintosh on, my man.

Henry: You must pardon Master Muckle, he’s going through the awkward age, you know.

Min: He’s been going through it for 48 years now, you know.

Ned: Taking the long way round, eh?

Eccles: I ain’t never met you before, have I?

Ned: No.

Eccles: You see, I remembered!

Henry: He’s training you know.

Eccles: I’m training you know.

Henry: Next week he’s entering the World Sleeping Contest!

Ned: Then why isn’t he in bed, training?

Eccles: Oww.

FX: door opens

Eccles: Wow it’s ….

Max: Hold everything boy. I bring bad news boy. I’m the town crier!

Ned: Well start crying then.

Max: Listen boy, don’t laugh at me; I don’t get any extra money for doing these parts.

Ned: Sounds like a fair arrangement.

Max: The valley is flooded boy.

Henry: Eccles! You watered those flowers too much I tell you!

Eccles: Oooohh

Max: The bridge to London is under water. It’s a dead loss.

Ned: So are you mate…Get your conk on top of the old harmonica and we’ll fortify ourselves with the old brandy.

FX: running feet

Max plays that tune.

Greenslade: Part two, by which time it had been raining for forty days and forty nights, making a grand total of eighty days and nights. The waters rose, and then, at dawn….this!

Orch: Bloodnok theme

FX: explosions, rain pouring, more explosions

Bloodnok: Ohh…oh..oh, what must the neighbours think? I say, Ellinga? Where’s me breakfast?

FX: cup and saucer rattling

Ellinga: Meega!

Bloodnok: Me Chota Housa (?)

FX: hammer on anvil repeatedly under

Bloodnok: Aeiough, uh, Ellinga! How long did you boil this egg?

FX: knock on door

Bloodnok: How long did you boil that door?

Ned: Major, open this egg!

FX: door opens, water sloshing

Bloodnok: How dare you bring all that water into my house?! Get out, water!

Ned: It’s no use shouting at it. That water is deaf.

Bloodnok: What a tragedy! Deaf water. Explain sir! Why are you floating through me bedroom on a piano?

Ned: I was sleeping on it, in the key of “G”, when suddenly the great dam burst!

Bloodnok: I shall see my solicitor…

Ned: Cut it out please, and get on. The floods are rising at a rate of three and sixpence an hour!

Bloodnok: Ohhh are they? Well, I must first dive down to the basement and collect the tenant’s rent.

FX: splash bubbles

Ned: While he’s gone, here’s a joke (heavy cut in continuity)

Bloodnok: Ohh, they were all out, never mind, I had to turn the gas off, so it didn’t matter. Now, just fit this outboard motor onto the piano and….

FX: outboard motor speeds up

Greenslade: Meantime, from the comparative safety of a long disused factory chimney, a French scrag reviews his financial position.

Moriarty: One empty tin (FX: tin drops on floor). One fishbone al le gun (?) (FX: fishbone drops on floor). One ostrich formidàble (?) (FX: metal hits floor). Piece of string (FX: clang)

Grytpype: Hello!

Moriarty: Owwwww.

Grytpype: So! You’ve been keeping these things from me, eh?

FX: slap

Moriarty: Ow!

Grytpype: Now, put all that stuff in my name, at once!

Moriarty: (gummy) I’m sorry Grytpype, sorry Grytpype…can I have my teeth back?

Grytpype: Here is the pawn ticket.

Moriarty: (gummy) You pawned my teeth?! You swine of a swine!

Grytpype: What?!

Moriarty: (gummy) I challenge you to a duel! Name your weapon!

Grytpype: Teeth!

Moriarty: (gummy) I’ve lost!

Grytpype: Don’t take it to heart, steam Count. I have a feeling that any moment now our star will wax. Get you ear to the ground and hear what your ear can hear.

OMNES: rhubarb, rhubarb GRAMS: chicken clucking

Sellers: (yokel) ‘Ere come the squire now, a ha.

Ned: I have called this meeting because of all this extraordinary weather.

Sellers: (yokel) I read in the paper that it’s Queen Anne’s reign.

Min: So, it’s Queen Anne’s rain we’re getting, is it? She’s responsible?

Ned: This is a very serious allegation against Queen Anne. If this is Queen Anne’s rain, then we must ask her to stop it!

Bloodnok: I’m a military man sir; it’s my duty as a senior scoundrel to ask her majesty, Queen Anne, to leave off raining.

Spike: (Jampton) What are we going to do in the meantime? I mean…..Argh

Ned: I don’t know how to stop rain folks. If there was anybody who could, they’d be worth their weight in gold.

FX: two whooshes

Moriarty: We weigh 20 stone!

Ned: Who are you? Explain those frayed collars.

Grytpype: They are part of our entourage. This man, clenching a do-it-yourself beetroot, is Count Jim “Naboolas” (FX castanets Moriarty: Owwww) Moriarty; who will unleash a truth upon you!

Moriarty: The sky over England is leaking! And that’s why the rain is getting in!

OMNES: rhubarb

Harry: (yokel) He’s taking out the back of ‘is ‘ead!

Grytpype: Of course he is. That is where he keeps his words; it took him years to get it right, you know? The Count continues.

Moriarty: Yes, I suggest….

FX: splat

Grytpype: Who threw that steaming pudding at the Count?!

Spike (yokel) I did.

Grytpype: There’s two of us, you know!

FX: splat

Grytpype: Thank you.

Ned: Wait! You two men claim that the sky is leaking? What proof have you?

Moriarty: Water proof!

Grytpype: Moriarty, play him our qualifications.

FX: scrap metal

Moriarty: (sings with piano accompaniment) And there’s more where that came from, I don’t mean maybe, more where that came froooooom.

FX: slap – splash

Moriarty: Owwww.

Grytpype: There, recorded at sea.

Ned: I’m sorry I ever doubted you.

Grytpype: And now, good villagers, this is our plan; we will sue the government for neglecting to keep in good repair, the sky over Upper Dicker village.

OMNES: (yokel) Arr, oh,

Grytpype: Come Moriarty.

Orch: “The Archer’s” theme slightly speeded up

Greenslade: That was a special arrangement of the houses of parliament in the key of “C”.

Sellers: (Hern) And now folks, a big hern for the hairy Speaker, hern.

Orch: “Who wants to be happy?”

OMNES: shouting

Harry: (Elder Statesman) Thank you…. Ahhh silence….on the floor (?)…….Arghhh

FX: body hits floor

OMNES: rhubarb, don’t believe it! rhubarb

Sellers: (Churchill) I’m glad you all came.

Spike: (Tory twit) Mr Prime Minister, (long, unintelligible question) Thank you.

Sellers: (Churchill) I’m coming to that sir; first, the grave news. The village of Upper Dicker has accused Queen Anne of reigning too long.

Harry (Elder Statesman – nearly dead) Ohhh arrrrrrrr eh

Sellers: (Churchill) You choose your words well, sir. The villagers have insurrected!

Spike: (off mic) The swines!

Sellers: (Churchill) So I have, this day, despatched a steam gunboat up the River Steam Dicker.

OMNES: hear hear.

Greenslade: And that is the end of “Today in Parliament”. Meantime, here is a non-sequitor entitled “Ray Ellington”.

Ray “Too Marvellous for Words”

Greenslade: Meantime, three men are trying to cross the River Dicker by iron bedstead.

FX: water flowing under

Ned: Well, it’s not sunk yet!

Bloodnok: It’s not in the river yet.

Ned: I know, but if it doesn’t sink on land, that’s half the battle.

Bloodnok: Loo!

Ned: What’s “Loo”?

Bloodnok: Half a battle; Water-Loo! Ha ha!

Eccles: We got a water loo in our garden (waits for audience laughter – not a sausage). Apparently nobody else has.

Bloodnok: Never mind, we can’t live forever, you know.

Eccles: Oh no? You just wait and see, Bloodnok!

Bloodnok: Oh, very well, I will!……………Well, come on, I’m waiting.

Eccles: All right, I’m living forever as fast as I can.

Bloodnok: You’re a phoney, Mad Dan!

Eccles: Get on wid it. I’m getting tired, lyin’ in bed. My mother said that it’s not good for young men to lie in bed.

Ned: Get back in kip! You’re in training. Now, all stand on the bed, and lift it quickly, before we realise it can’t be done. Hup.

FX: splash

Bloodnok: It’s floating! And it fits the river perfectly!

Ned: It’s as I plinned, planned, plooned and plinged! Tonight, we’ll be in the London. With luck, Eccles should win the sleeping contest, and, with the prize money, we can afford a new sky over Dicker!

Eccles: ‘ere, who’s de captain of dis bed?

Bluebottle: I am! Sea Ranger ‘Bottle of de Royal Upper Dicker Navy! Stand clear of the bed for action. (FX: slap) Oh! My nut! You try dat again! (FX: slap) Ohh! I’ll give you one more chance. Just you do dat again. (FX: slap) Oh! Don’t do dat again.

Eccles: Listen Mr Sealoon, if you hit ‘Bottle, you hit me! (FX: slap) Oh, he hit me! He hit me ‘Bottle!

Bluebottle: You hit him again! (FX: slap Eccles: Owwwww) Eccles, you better get out of ‘ere before you get killed!

GRAMS: loud explosion

Ned: Major Bloodnok! What was that explosion aft?

Bloodnok: Don’t ask lad. Don’t ask! Look, a naval sloop, and it’s firing sails (?) addressed to us!

Greenslade: Ahoy HMS Fairycake!

Sellers: (Flowerdew) Oh!

Greenslade: (line drowned out by audience laughter) …anyone who does will be incarcerated!

Ned: Very well, we’ll chain the river to its banks. Oh ho.

FX: Swannee whistle down - explosion

Bloodnok: Ohhh!

Orch: dramatic chords

Omnes: rhubarb rhubarb

Ned: What is it?

Spike: (yokel) There’s a strange monster, sir.

Grytpype: Good villagers, this is a hot air Goldolphus balloon in which we will ascend to the sky, as soon as Squire Seagoon returns with the money.

Ned: Stop! Bad news!

Moriarty: Bad news? That sounds like bad news!

Ned: The brass bedstead was sunk by naval gunfire and Eccles went down with his mattress! Worse still….he came up again.

Moriarty: So, there’s no money!!!!! Owwww!! Argh!!!

GRAMS: explosion

Grytpype: He took that badly. Well gentlemen, no money – no repairs. But worst of all, (sobs) no money.

Orch: dramatic chords

GRAMS: rain pouring under

Greenslade: And still it rained. The waters rose and, because of his build, Mr Secombe was the first in danger of drowning.

Henry: What are you doing at the window Min?

Min: (blows bubbles)

Henry: Oh dear, this means we shall have to move up a floor again.

FX: door opens

Ned: Good news! Queen Anne’s stopped reigning!

Bloodnok: Thank heavens! I thought she’d never stop.

Eccles: At last! A happy ending!

Bloodnok: Not quite!

FX gunshot

Eccles: Ohhh!

Bloodnok: That is a happy ending! Yes, well (sniffs) that’s about all there is really, I suppose…You’d better get out of here as quick as you can..

Orch: sig tune