Well, That's Us Not Getting Any Sleep Tonight

  • 10/05/2008 09:54:00 pm
  • By Mark Gibbings-Jones

In an update of a story we "exclusively" broke back in January (in the tabloid, not actually exclusive sense of the word), the BBC have revealed the script that was to be used in the event of a nuclear war in the 1970s. And with that, they have guaranteed we'll spend the small hours of Monday in bed, thinking about the most harrowing bits of Threads instead of getting any bloody kip.

To their credit, they've tried to jolly up the script as best they can, with none other than Harry Shearer performing it in an embedded clip, using a voice that he claims is Walter Cronkite, but which sounds pretty much like any jowelly old broadcaster impersonated in later episodes of The Simpsons. And to be honest, even if Keith Chegwin or Brian Blessed were to deliver the following passage, it wouldn't really help any.

This is the Wartime Broadcasting Service. This country has been attacked with nuclear weapons. Communications have been severely disrupted, and the number of casualties and the extent of the damage are not yet known. We shall bring you further information as soon as possible. Meanwhile, stay tuned to this wavelength, stay calm and stay in your own homes.

Full transcript here (.pdf). To be fair, if they'd used the tones of Patrick Allen in an attack any time after 1993, it might make everyone think of The Smell Of Reeves And Mortimer. Post-holocaust families could then have a wartime sing-song of the eerily apt "Trapped In My Flat", and British spirits would be collectively lifted. Come to think, that's a relatively cheery way to end this update.

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