Nuisance caller: money for old soap

"Hello, Geoffrey Perkins's [Head of Comedy, BBC] office."

"Sorry, he's out of the office, can I take a message?"

"I'd like to speak to him about a script I've been writing. I read in the Radio Times that The Liver Birds is being brought back, so I've written a sitcom called After Terry, the sequel to Terry and June. Would you be interested in that?"

"Erm, to be honest the likelihood of bringing back another one is pretty minor, as we've also got David Nobbs's The Legacy of Reginald Perrin going out in the autumn."

"But in this one, you see, Terry is obviously dead, he died in a gardening accident, and June is played by June Whitfield, of course. She moves to Spain and falls in love with a Spanish waiter and he's her toyboy. She lives out her repressed fantasies through him, and its got the mynah bird from the first series. I think its got the sort of ingredients that viewers want these days.

"Um."

"It's got sex, sun and lots of funny domestic scenes where they repair plumbing and things like that."

"Um. As I said, I think the main problem would be the fact that it's actually resurrecting another one because we're already bringing back two."

"But I think this one would be so different. It would have June Whitfield, but it would be made in Spain."

"Erm, to be honest if you'd like to send it in that's fine. Personally I think that its pretty unlikely."

"But don't you think it has the right ingredients?"

"Well, possibly, but it's just purely the fact that they have already brought back two. We are going to get some criticism, without any doubt, from various quarters saying, 'Where's all the new stuff?', so to actually do three is pushing our luck a bit.

"I've also got a new version of Butterflies with Wendy Craig and Geoffrey Palmer..."

"Well, again, if that were ever to be resurrected I think it would be done by Carla Lane. She's the one who has written the new Liver Birds series."

"What about Terry and June, then? What's June Whitfield doing at the moment? Is she against the idea?"

"That wouldn't be the point, it would be the department's thoughts about resurrecting another one."

"But it would be a vehicle to resurrect her career, and it would make her a much sexier character."

"Urm, to be honest, I think you're better off with starting something fresh, because you're going into something where people have guessed the idea before you've even started."

"I'll try ITV then."

DANIEL SYNGE

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