Series 4, Episode 43: Queen Victoria Handicap
IT’S MANMichael Palin
The sketch:A view of the starting stalls, shot so we cannot see inside.
CAPTION: 3.15 Queen Victoria Handicap
Voice Over Well they’re under starter’s orders for this very valuable Queen Victoria Handicap. And they’re off,
(the starting stall doors fly open; out come eight identically dressed Queen Victorias who go bustling off up the field)
and Queen Victoria got a clean jump off, followed by Queen Victoria, Queen Victoria and Queen Victoria. It’s Queen Victoria from Queen Victoria and Queen Victoria. It’s Queen Victoria making the early running on the inside. And at the back Queen Victoria already a couple of lengths behind the leaders. Queen Victoria has now moved up to challenge Queen Victoria with Queen Victoria losing ground. Queen Victoria tucked in neatly on the stand side with a clear view. Queen Victoria still the back marker as they approach the halfway mark, but making ground now, suddenly past Queen Victoria with Queen Victoria, Queen Victoria and Queen Victoria still well placed as they approach the first fence.
(a low angle shot as the Queen Victorias appear over the fence and thunder towards the camera)
And at the first fence it’s Queen Victoria just ahead of Queen Victoria and Queen Victoria falling away in third place. And Queen Victoria in the lead as they …
Cut back to the presenter in the studio; he is completely dressed as Queen
Victoria, apart from his face.
Presenter Well a very exciting race there at Epsom. And now over to the European Cup at Barcelona where the latest news is that Miguel Otana, the burly Real Madrid striker, was sent off for breaking wind in the forty-third minute. He’d already been cautioned for pursing his lips earlier on in the game and now he’s off! So let’s see a playback of that … Brian.
Cut to Brian, dressed the same way.
Brian Yes… er… well as you can see… there’s Otana now (brief stock shot of football match)… he gets the… er… through ball from Gomez (cut back to Brian) and er… he makes no attempt to play the ball. He quite deliberately lets off! And to my mind he was within the box and the referee had no option whatsoever but to send him off.
Cut to the presenter.
We cut to the real Jimmy Hill dressed as Queen Victoria, veil, crown and all.
Jimmy Hill Good evening.
Presenter What do you make of that?
Jimmy Hill Well the referees really are clamping down these days. Only last week the Belgian captain was sent off for having a Sony radio cassette player. And Gonerelli, the huge Italian defender, was sent off in Turin for having his sitting and dining room knocked through to form an open living area.
Cut to the presenter.
Cut to Hamlet.
Hamlet Good evening.
Cut quickly back to the presenter.
Presenter Well you’ve got the girl on the bed and her legs up on the mantelpiece …
The nurse enters.
Nurse Out, out, come on, come on, out … (she hustles the presenter out of studio)
CAPTION: Act Five – A Ham In The Castle
Mix to the theatre set we saw before. All the cast are dressed as Queen Victorias, except for Hamlet and Ophelia.
First Queen Victoria Let four captains bear Hamlet like a soldier to the stage. For he was likely had he been put on to have proved most royally …
CAPTION: The End
They come on and take bows. Superimposed Python credits in Shakespearean style and graphics.
by William Shakespeare
Hamlet – Terry Jones
A bachelor friend of Hamlet’s
Quite a butch friend of Hamlet’s but still a bachelor
A friend of Hamlet’s who, though married, still sees Hamlet occasionally
A very close bachelor friend of Hamlet’s who, though above suspicion, does wear
rather loud shirts
Another part of the dramatis personae:
A friend of Hamlet’s who loves bachelors – Carol Cleveland
A Jimmy Hill near London – Jimmy Hill
A bachelor gentleman – Bob E. Raymond
An Ophelia – Constance Booth
A loony, but not a bachelor – Sir K. Joseph
Additional blank verse: J. Cleese (no relation) (of Hamlet’s, that is)
Personae non dramatis but technicalis
(Some bachelors, some not)
A costume designer and bachelor
A cameraman of London
A sound recordist of ill repute
An editor of film who is partly bachelor and partly vegetable with mineral
A studio sound man
A lighting Scotsman
A visual effector keen on bachelors
An assistant producer friend of Hamlet’s
A designed who prefers married men but knows quite a few bachelors
A professional producer and amateur bachelor
A Bachelor Broadcasting Corporation
Fade out. Fade up on a moor. An explosion has just take place. Out of the
smoke a ragged man walks towards the camera.
Man And then…