The Angry Corrie 13: Jun-Jul 1993
Disaster on Mount Aldus PageMaker
Opening credits. Various hi-tech virtual reality logos fly across screen to accompaniment of pretentious electronic music. Camera swoops in from stage left, pans across hybrid and rather tacky set, comes to rest on greysuited newsreader, male, fortysomething. Lights go up. Music fades.
Mr Michael Buert (chief BBC anchorperson and tax evader): Good evening. This is the nine o'clock news brought to you from the studios of the BBC. (Caption appears onscreen: Pictures courtesy of Sky Sport.) Reports are coming in that the four Englishmen - including one Scot - feared lost on Europe's highest mountain have been found safe and well. The four - Basil and Donny Smith from Basildon, John Thomas from Penistone and Jock McSporran from Helensburgh (captions show three suave and jaunty mountaineers swinging iceaxes on one arm and babes on the other, followed by a poor quality watercolour of a claymore-wielding Robert the Bruce) - had set out to reach the 6789m summit of Mount Aldus Pagemaker in the former Soviet Republic of Bankruptistan when they were overtaken by Damon Hill driving - er - a Williams Renault - er sorry wrong report. The four, who have been described as the leading Brit mountaineers of their generation along with Sir Ranulph Ffiennes, Dr Michael Stroud and St Brian the Blessed, were said to be exceptionally fit, exceptionally fat and well tooled-up. They have just returned to the BBC Consulate in Srebrenica from where KATE ALBION sends this report:
Ms Kate Ace-Reporter (assertively): Mr Jock, would you tell viewers how you survived your 97-day ordeal on Asia's highest mountain?
Film of Ben Nevis towering above Nevisport tearooms, Hamish MacInnes standing outside looking unconcerned
Jock (uncertainly): Er... it was only five days actually...
Ms Aide-Memoire: And you were avalanched a total of nine times and had to give up two of your party for dead in a crevasse on the "Mountain of Death"...?
Helicopter filmclip of avalanche engulfing three skiers, overlaid with caption reading: Pictures courtesy of Gallus Besom TV
Ken White: Er no, we simply dug in for a few nights, then followed a set of pylons down to a refuge. A bit like the Corrieyarrack really
Filmclip of Joe Brown descending Old Person of Storr by perilous abseil
Ms Media-Hype: And when driven by desperate pangs of hunger to the very brink of near-starvation, did you eat the flesh of your dead colleagues raw or cooked on a pitiful fire?
Mr White: I not sure what... I had half-a-dozen spare Mars Bars and a Bounty myself if that's what you mean...?
Ms Braco-Texas-Homecare: Can you confirm that your church has since been locked in debate as to whether cannibalistic actions should be condemned as mortal sin...
Filmclip of various weel-kent and less-than-sylphlike mediastars - Russell Grant, Danny Baker, David Mellor - tucking heartily into Masterchef food
Ms Twistleton-Ffiennes-Backlash: You must surely feel deeply ashamed at your dismal failure when compared to the noble and patriotic continent-crossing efforts of Lord Ffiennes and the Earl of Stroud, who sacrificed various vital bodily parts so that the land of dusky Eskimos could be tamed and placed under dominion of the Union Jack? You lot are a useless shower of Republican turds in comparison, no?
Mr Blonde: Publicans? Er, no, I'm a teetotaller myself
Ms Bosnian-Serb: We can now go over live to RAF Leuchars-Herzegovina, where the man coordinating the rescue operation, Air Chief Marshall James "Jimmie" Macgregor of P45 Squadron is waiting to speak to us. Mr Sutter, I understand that although all four men are now safely heading back to Albion, the rescue operations are still going on. What are conditions like out there?
Cut to still of map of west coast of Turkey with picture of midsixties folkie in top righthand corner. Caption "Robin Hall" quickly replaced by one reading "Eric Bristow"
Mr Gregor MacStutter: It wiz pure murder sae it wiz. Ah tried tae mek radio contact but ma wavelength just went deid but. There wiz loads o' folk chatterin' awa' on a phone-in insteid. Sae Ah went up in ma chopper tae hae a keek but it wiz a' blizzards an' snaw an' that
Map vanishes. Cut back to Mr Abie frantically applying dirt-makeup from bottle labelled "Instant War Wounds"
Ms Linford-Gatorade (collecting herself): Oops. Now. There are as yet unconfirmed rumours, Mr Shite, that at least two of your party have tested positive for steroids since your return, which would of course mean your being stripped of any New Year's Honours for at least four years. What do you have to say to that, junk-brain?
Ms Richardandjudy (not waiting for an answer): ...and when, in a few days time, you and your "friend who is also a girl", Jill Immoral, earn your true reward for all this carry-on by appearing on various daytime TV sofas, will you be taking two sugars in your coffee or three?
Senator McCarthy (entering into the spirit for the sake of peace): For a while I could hear Kevin Keegan in the next room, then one day I got to meet the Archbishop's Envy-Boy Tom Waits, then I came home and didn't marry Jill
Ms Auto-Cue (speeding up): And Lisa Ondieki? You really hate her, Onion-Heid?
McColdOne (frantically): Well I've went and done the best I could but this Eilish hill was harder than Dundee Law with a wind coming in frae the Ferry
Ms Addled (even franticker): And as a so-called "Scots poet and philosopher" Mr White, your thoughts on the utterly disgraceful booing of the English 7s rugby team...?
Laird of Seil: No, young lady, you're getting Kenneth White confused with me, C John Taylor, Highland Artist, Poet Laure...
...but Ace Reporter cuts him off, looks camera square in the eye, waits for end of report. Nothing happens. Gremlins. We don't return to Michael Checkmate in the studio. But Ms Elbrus obviously thinks we have, and gratuitously stamps on beardie mountaineer's frostbitten toes
Ms Ee-I-Adie-Oh (selfconsciously): Whoops! Do I get on Auntie's Bloomers for that?
Mr White (to no-one in particular): Can't I get to meet Kirsty Young instead? She's a babe