Last of the Summer Winos (c1993)

Ann: And now on Radio 4, it’s time to rejoin our three lovable Yorkshire rogues, Shloggy, Compost and Smeg for some more light hearted northern fun in “Last of the Summer Winos.” We join them on top of a grassy hill looking out over the countryside.

Grams: The opening theme of the Tchaikovsky 1st Piano concerto arranged for Harmonica and guitar as per original. Fade out and fade up sounds of birdsongs, wind blowing etc.

1st voice: (after a pause) Eh!! You see that tree over there?

2nd voice: Aye?

1st Voice: Bugger it!! Bugger that tree!!

3rd Voice: Aye, bugger that tree!!

2nd: Bugger that tree indeed!!

1st Bugger it, bugger that tree!!

Omnes: Variously shouts of “Bugger it!! Bugger that tree!!” and other varients for about 20 seconds or so.

(Pause. Birdsong etc.)

2nd voice: Aye, but  you see that house over there?

1st voice: Aye?

2nd voice: Bugger it!! Bugger that house!!

3rd voice: Aye. Bugger that house!!

Omnes as before. But keep going under following.

Narr: A quiet peaceful day in Skelmersdale. But it was not to last. Unknown to our three cuddly heroes, today was to be like no other day. For today was to see the arrival of  the gravest threat to confront mankind since the last one did a week ago last Thursday.

F.X: Tardis noises.

Narr: For today was to see the arrival of an alien lifeform so hostile to mankind that people have been known to rip their own kidneys out rather than confront it.

F.X: Door opens with a creak.

Narr: For today was to witness the invasion of the Brucies……

Grams: Multiple Bruce Forsyths: “Good Game, Good Game.” “Give us a twirl.” “Nice to see you, to see you nice” and his other catchphrases all variously and on top of the original three voices still finding stuff to “bugger”. Keep this mess going for about 10 seconds.

Metallic Voice:  Unleash the Brucie Bonus!!

Ann: The Brucie Bonus!! The most fearful and deadly weapon in the universe!! 20 high kicking showgirls doing numbers from the shows!! How will our friends survive?

Grams: On top of this superimpose a band playing “New York, New York” and some tapdancing/folies begeres type effects. Keep all this going for 20 seconds or so then slam door on the Brucies and dancing girls. Tardis noise. So we are simply left with…

Omnes: Aye bugger that wall. Bugger it. Bugger that wall indeed.

F.X : Typewriter.

Voice over: Dear Sir, As chairman of the Yorkshire Tourist Board, I take great offence at the implications you are making in regards to our community. Contrary to your assertions, elderly Yorkshire men do not spend all day sitting on hillsides hurling imprecations at inanimate objects. As this archive recording shows quite clearly, they often hurl abuse at animate ones as well.

Grams: Scratchy 78 noise with the following:

1st Voice: Eh. You see that forty tonne steam roller careering down t’illside in our direction?

2nd: Aye?

1st : Bugger it. Bugger that roller.

3rd: Aye bugger that roller.

Omnes: Bugger it bugger that roller etc. then “ARRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHH!!” with sound of machinery passing by.

Back to Voice over: I hope to find a full retraction and apology for the appalling slur you have perpetrated over our community.

Ann: Meanwhile in a village near Pickering:

Man: Excuse me guys. Do you live around here?

1st Voice: Aye?

Man: Oh thank goodness for that. You see I’m lost. Can you tell me how to get to Slingsby?

1st Voice: Aye!!

Man: Oh fantastic, I’m really grateful. Where do I go?

1st Voice: Well you see that sign over there?

Man: Yes, I see it.

1st Voice: Bugger it, bugger that sign.

2nd Voice: Aye bugger that sign.

3rd Voice: Bugger that sign indeed.

Omnes as before

Man: Er…ok. I think I’ll find a map actually.

“Last of the Summer Wine” was a long running situation comedy based around three elderly characters who would get themselves into all kinds of trouble. Most of the shows would feature at least one long shot of them seated and looking out over a countryside vista with their conversation conducted in voice over. I felt the aesthetic sense of such scenes would be given an even greater positive boost by my own take on the show.


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