an friends) from those nasty, scheming, ming, ming, ming, public disservice broadcasters at... Robin: Hold on!
StarringKevin Lygo as AladdinAndrew Newman as Wishee Washee Charles Allen as AbanazarMichael Green as Widow TwankyMark Thompson as The King of C4Daisy Goodwin as The PrincessDawn Airey as Lady in WaitingTessa Jowell as Genie of the RingGreg Dyke as Genie of the LampGuest stars:Eileen Gallagher as Robin McHoodJohn McVay as Maid McMarianNigel Pickard as Chief of TV PoliceWritten by: Jane MarlowSCENE ONE: A CLEARING IN CENTRAL LONDON(Enter Robin and McMarian, wearing a dress, heavy boots and looking a little pissed off)Robin: (To McMarian)... and anyway, you haven't got the legs for principal boy. (McMarian nudges Robin who turns to the audience. Chipper) Hello, boys and girls! I'm Robin McHood and this is Maid McMarian. I know we're in the wrong panto, but we are incorrigible publicity seekers. You see, we're here to fight the rich Robber Broadcasters and return the intellectual property they've stolen to the poor, struggling independent sector.McMarian: (Aside) Congratulations for making it onto the Rich List this year, by the way.Robin: (With a winning smile) Why, thank you. (To audience) Anyway, children - we're looking for a magic ring. All we have to do is rub it and all our wishes will come true. Have you seen it?!(Enter Abanazar upstage right fiddling with his ring)Audience: Behind you!McMarian: (Rolling her eyes) Oh, purleeese! We're wasting our time talking to eejits like these! They probably don't even know what "netting off" is anyway. Let's go.(McMarian stomps straight into Abanazar and, seeing his trinket, gives chase. She rugby tackles Abanazar and Robin launches himself at his ring)Abanazar: Get off, you pesky interlopers! It's my ring and the law allowing US ownership of ITV hasn't been set in stone yet, so bugger off and let me make my wish!(Not one to take "bugger off" for an answer, Robin clings on and in the fracas Abanazar's ring gets rubbed. Kaboom! The Genie of the Ring appears)Genie of the Ring: Alas, good people, you should have summoned up the Lords of the Ring, for it is only they who can help you now... McMarian: I'm bored of the feckin' rings! Unbundling of rights, competition concerns, transfer of value - that's what...Genie of the Ring:... unless, of course, you find a humble broadcaster called Aladdin. He can lead you to the Genie of the Lamp who will grant you three wishes...Robin: I've heard of a boy that goes by the name of Aladdin. He lives in Long Acre.(Robin and McMarian skip off, with Abanazar in pursuit.)Genie of the Ring: Not so fast, Abanazar. Before you can have your wish granted, there will have to be a merger, a marriage, if you will.(The Genie disappears in a chauffeur-driven Mercedes)SCENE TWO - A CLEARING NEAR GRAY'S INN ROAD(Enter Widow Twanky, breathless)Widow Twanky: That bleedin' Chief of TV Police won't leave me alone.Why can't he pick on some other dodgy programme-maker?(Enter Chief of TV Police)Chief of TV Police: Ah ha! There you are, Twanky! What have you got to say for yourself?Widow Twanky: What have I done now?Chief of TV Police: Fortysomething, for a start.Widow Twanky: Did you know those darlings at Carlton International have sold Inspector Morse to over 200 countries...Chief of TV Police: And then there's Renovation Street.Widow Twanky: What?!Chief of TV Police: Exactly! Sweet Medicine.Widow Twanky: No but, oh but, Kavanagh QC wasn't half bad.Chief of TV Police: Crossroads!Widow Twanky: I... I... I...Chief of TV Police: You're nicked!Widow Twanky: I can explain.(Enter Abanazar)Abanazar: Put her down, man!Chief of TV Police: But she's just confessed to Crossroads!Abanazar: I told her it should have been set on a motorway, with a nice shop on the side and maybe a man selling AA subscriptions in the car park... But everything's going to be fine. Twanky and I are going to be married.(Widow Twanky swoons with happiness) I'll take over, sorry, we'll merge our assets, call our production arm Granada Production and, hey presto, no more programmes for the regions, errrr, from the regions, I mean, no more programmes that get in the region of a 10% share.Chief of TV Police: I'll let you off for now. But I'm watching you.Aladdin: (Busking) "... Your job's a joke, you're broke, your love life's DOA. It's like you're always stuck in second gear, when it hasn't been your day..."(Wishee Washee rushes in and clamps his hand over Aladdin's mouth)Wishee Washee: You can't go round singing the theme to Channel 4 shows!Aladdin: (Starts to cry) But what else can I do? I spent my whole programme budget in six months! I thought a couple of hours down here might get me enough to order another of those Worst Driver shows.Wishee Washee: I didn't know things were that bad, Aladdin.Aladdin: I'm just nostalgic, that's all. I used to have money, I used to have a digital channel to break new talent, I was at a broadcaster that commissioned lots of shows from the Princess and now I only see her when she wants to introduce something new to the House Doctor format.Wishee Washee: Hmm. I see your problem but cheer up. Things could be worse. You could have written Tony Ball's MacTaggart speech!Aladdin: But that was a comic masterpiece, Washee.Wishee Washee: At least you didn't turn down Wife Swap. (Aladdin howls) Oh Lordy! You turned down Wife Swap, didn't you?Aladdin: Oh no I didn't!Audience: Oh yes he did!Aladdin: Whatever! I'm sick to the back teeth of that show. Tell me Wishee, how can I get the Princess to collaborate with me more?Wishee Washee: Switching channels is the only way, Aladdin. Your budget simply isn't big enough.(The King and the Princess are deep in conversation. The Lady in Waiting follows as Abanazar looks on)The King: How Clean is your Holiday House? I think it's got legs! You're such a clever Princess!(The King and Princess move their conversation upstage) Lady in Waiting: I can't fucking believe it! Last year, Cinderella: lead role - everybody loved me, everybody wanted me. I don't want to be selfish, but it was all about me, me, me! Now: lady in friggin' waiting!Abanazar: Stop your moaning, woman. If you tell me where to find Aladdin, I can make life more interesting for both of us.Lady in Waiting: Oh yeah.Abanazar: Absolutely. Aladdin can get a lamp that holds a genie, that will pass a law that will mean any old numpty - wherever they're from - can own as many TV channels as they like! The sky's the limit. Well, not in your case, because even you lot could buy Five and get yourself an nice little terrestrial lean-to in the process and, kapow, you'll have a programme budget, multimedia cross-promotional capability, la la lah, blah, blah, blah...Lady in Waiting: Follow me!(Abanazar, Robin and McMarian watch as Aladdin rubs the lamp) Aladdin: So I get the third wish.(A flash of lightning, a crack of thunder and out of the mist steps the Genie of the Lamp, in full "big pants and tights" superhero costume.SFX: Deep voice with heavy delay)Genie of the Lamp: My name is Ant, t, t, t. Ant Eeeee Encryption from the planet Astra 2D, 2D 2D 2D. I've come to save the licence payer, er, er, er, (and some of our Europeaan friends) from those nasty, scheming, ming, ming, ming, public disservice broadcasters at... Robin: Hold on! Wait a minute!(Robin makes a slashing gesture to the wings and the SFX stop and the house lights come up)SCENE THREE - COVENT GARDEN, LONDONGenie of the Lamp: What's up?Robin: What's all this Ant E Encryption crap?! You're the Genie of the Lamp and all you're here to do is grant our wishes.Genie of the Lamp: Your wishes! You're having a laugh! I'm playing a superhero. I've got a show-stopping fight sequence with Tony Ball, a goodie bag giveaway...Abanazar: Get a bloody move on! Don't you know I've got staff in Southampton to rationalise?!(The Genie grants Abanazar's wish that a rich US company can buy ITV)Robin: Our wish is for independent producers to be repositioned as rights holders. (Robin clicks his fingers and the lights/SFX restart) Off you go.(The Genie turns green and all the moisture goes from his mouth - he can't say the words)Genie: I hereby declare that indep... independ... McMarian: Now, let's start at the beginning.(Aladdin waits impatiently. Wishee Washee's voice filters into the cave)Wishee Washee: Aladdin! I've cracked it! I know how you can impress the Princess and the King!(Aladdin hotfoots it outta there)(Aladdin and Wishee Washee slink in with their guitars)Aladdin: I still think a bit of Byron would've been a safer bet.WW: By combining music, property makeover shows and a splattering of incidental comedy we can't fail!Aladdin: Okay. (Starts singing) "House Doctor, Doctor! Can't you feel I'm burning, burning!"(The music floats into the king's chamber. He goes to investigate)Wishee Washee: Too whiny. Let's start with "Get into the Tongue and Groove".Aladdin: No - I've got one. (He starts playing) "So if you feel like loving me, if you've got that notion, I second that emulsion..."(Unable to conceal his excitement, the King reveals himself and greets them like long-lost subjects)The King: Why, this is the most entertaining thing I've heard since about, oooh, 2001! It's got everything - nostalgia, subtle but highly amusing lyric changes to pull in the property/makeover diehards, the potential to be expanded into one of our fab top 100 formats... (To Aladdin) Why don't you, young man, come and be my new director of television? (To Wishee Washee) And you can be my head of entertainment.(Overcome with excitement all present launch into a tightly choreographed rendition of "No Going Back for Good")(Abanazar and Widow Twanky prepare for their wedding day "walkdown". All are gathered to celebrate)Aladdin: (To Princess) Do you think one day you will be my bride?Princess: I do admire you, Aladdin, but I'd really rather just remain a preferred supplier, if that's okay.(Confetti falls and angels sing. Twanky and Abanazar gaze adoringly into each other's eyes. Unbeknown to Twanky, Abanazar gestures to the wings. A grinding noise fills the stage. For a second - but only for a second - guests gasp as a trapdoor opens and Twanky plummets into the void. Despite the tragic accident Abanazar bravely manages to smile more broadly than ever).