No Batteries Required

Back in November I was sitting in a cosy pub with a man called The Sausage King.

Ooo no missus, don’t, as Frankie Howerd would have said. frankie

He runs a radio show called The Foodie Fix on Radio Castle.  Not Frankie Howerd, obviously. Try to keep up. Towards the end of the second pint at The Crown I did one of the stupid things I do; came up with a brilliant, compelling, original idea that I then have to turn into a brilliant, compelling, original actual thing, which is usually a bit more difficult than sitting having a pint and a smart mouth.

So, wouldn’t it be really funny if this bankrupt chicken farmer – I worked on a chicken farm when I was 14 you know. All my clothes smelled. I even put a reference to it in Not Your Heart Away. Did I tell you about that? It’s brilliant. Getting some really nice reviews. Anyway – who blames Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall for the EU battery cage ban that came in on January 1st 2012. Only for laying hens. You can keep broilers for food in them, no problems.

Obviously we can’t call him Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall but he’s got to be the same, fearfully earnest, heart in the right place and no clue how or why the chicken farmer should be so murderously furious with him. Because what the chicken farmer wants to do is make Hugh recant, live on air on his TV show. Then kill him ditto.

Swing, swing together

But it’s not as simple as that, given that in this egalitarian age where Old Etonians piously proclaim equality of opportunity most of the Cabinet and media are in one way or another related to each other by not very many separations at all (Cameron was at school with Bojo and Hugh, Kirsty’s cousin is Cath Kidston, Kirsty clawed her way up through the Christie’s stockroom where her father only coincidentally happened to be the chairman and she really was rumoured to be in line for a place in the Cabinet before the election (word on the street was she turned it down, you hear what I’m sayin’?), as Huggy Bear used to put it).

You dig what amsayin?
You dig what amsayin?

So Cameron is a bit sensitive ( like rarely, who knew?) about this out-of touch thing people keep saying, so he’s going to get loads of ordinary people in the Cabinet. People like Kirsty, who makes things and talks about houses, so she can have Housing. Clarkson, who practically lives next door, who can have Transport, or if Bernie Ecclestone wants that instead then Clarkson will just have to be Foreign Minister with an open remit. And Hugh, well, Hugh can be head of the Ministry of Food.

Cameron jumps in his ordinary chauffeur-driven police-escorted limo and sets off down the M3, just like anybody else. And arrives just in time to be held hostage by the bankrupt chicken farmer.

Brilliant, eh? Maybe another pint.

Coming soon

So than I had to write it. I got the first scene of the five down and got totally stuck for three months. I couldn’t finish it until one day when the rest just flowed out. I got the other four down in two days. It runs just on the half-hour, deliberately. Not many sound-effects, not too many voices at the same time.

And it seems, on RadioCastle soon. I’ll tell you when it’s on. So far my actress casting sessions don’t seem to be as well attended as I’d hoped. I bumped into Clive Merrison the other night who I sort-of know, going into a different pub, but somehow he hasn’t taken me up on the offer of either the Prime Minister or Pew Farley-Totherstall. Odd.



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