The camera pans onto the three new presenters of “Middle Lane”, the BBC’s replacement for the disgraced Top Gear.
They are John Prescott, Boris Johnson and Harriet Harman. Each sits on a special chair, crafted from recycled Routemaster seats, complete with tartan upholstery. Prescott gets two to himself. They sit around a (fairtrade) coffee table made from bits of old railway sleeper.
Prescott: Fnarble wibble, where’s my Jag, blurble fnurble?
Harman: Now, now, Johnny. We all know that cars are inappropriate, don’t we?
Boris: (quickly) Oh yes, Harry – errr, absolutely! Would you like a ride on my bicycle instead?
Harman: Boris! How many times to I have to explain? My name is Harriet, not Harry – which is a male name and thus symbolic of masculine oppression. And as for your bicycle, that’s just… ewwwwww! What’s this?!
Harman, disgustedly with her thumb and forefinger, attempts to pull a blob of chewing gum, perviously attached to the bus seat, from her trouser suit. The gum stretches as she does so.
Prescott: Harrrr, harrr, wibble, kids today, bless ’em, never allowed gum in me youth, shoebox in’t middle o’road, fnurgle…
Boris: Look, Harriet – don’t worry about that. It’s time for this week’s Mediocrity on a Reasonably Priced Bicycle. And this week, we’re going to make sure everything’s fair – and nobody loses – by making sure the bicycle has flat tyres!
Harriet: What a splendid idea, Boris! And let’s make it even fairer by not timing them either!
Prescott: Fnurble, schnurble, well, that won’t be very interesting, will it?!
Harriet: Now, now, John. It’s not about being interesting, is it? It’s about being fair to everyone.
Harriet disappears offstage… the lights dim. Then, a single spotlight picks out a white clad figure in a cycle helmet and anti-pollution mask.
Boris: Some say she can telepathically understand Stagecoach bus timetables. Some say she’s even able to afford a first class rail ticket without dipping into her expenses. All we know is…. she’s called The Prig!
The lycra-clad and anoracked audience erupts into polite clapping. Off stage, the BBC Management Committee smile quietly to themselves.