[A BLACK SCREEN. SLOWLY, A MONOCHROME EXTERIOR SHOT OF THE BROKENTV OFFICE FILLS THE SCREEN. THE MELLIFLUOUS TONES OF JOANNA LUMLEY POLITELY INTRODUCE THEMSELVES TO YOUR EARS OVER A DELICATELY CHOSEN TRACK FROM A JOHANN JOHANNSSON ALBUM.]
LUMLEY: The offices of BrokenTV, the nation’s favourite telly-related website, after TV Cream, SOTCAA, NotBBC, and most of the others. For six long years, they’ve been trying to make us laugh, to learn, and to love.
[SHOTS OF BROKENTV’S FOUR GOOD UPDATES FADE IN AND OUT OF THE SCREEN – THE ONE WITH THE FOOTBALL STICKERS, THE ONE WITH THE TVTIMES PROGRAMME GENRE ICONS, THE ONE THAT LOTS OF PEOPLE MISTAKENLY THOUGHT WAS A PRO-PIRACY POSTER BUT WAS ACTUALLY JUST ANTI-UNSKIPPABLE-ANTI-PIRACY ADVERTS ON DVDS, AND THE ONE THAT WAS JUST A BUNCH OF SPOTIFY LINKS THAT GRAHAM LINEHAN RETWEETED ONCE]
LUMLEY: Sometimes, they even succeeded.
[SHOTS OF THE MORE ESOTERIC UPDATES FILL THE SCREEN IN RAPID SUCCESSION, LIKE THE ONE THAT WAS ALL ABOUT CRISPS THAT YOU COULDN’T EVEN BUY, OR ALL THE ONES THAT WERE JUST A LINK TO A YOUTUBE VIDEO, OR THE MULTI-PART UPDATES THAT NEVER EVER GOT FINISHED OH AND BY THE WAY THE BEST TV SHOW OF 2010 FROM THE RUNDOWN THAT NEVER GOT FINISHED WAS GOING TO BE SHERLOCK.]
LUMLEY: Often, they didn’t.
[CUT TO INTERIOR OF BROKENTV OFFICE. YELLOWING PAGES FROM MEDIAGUARDIAN STRUGGLE PATHETICALLY TO SERVE AS ‘WALLPAPER’. CRISP CRUMBS LITTER THE CARPET, THE COLOUR OF WHICH IS RENDERED INDECIPHERABLE DUE TO YEARS OF DUSTY NEGLECT. A WONKY MANTLEPIECE GROANS BENEATH THE WEIGHT OF MUSTY E180S, ATOP WHICH SITS A VOODOO DOLL OF SUNDAY MIRROR TV CRITIC KEVIN O’SULLIVAN.]
LUMLEY: Inside the dream factory, all is however not as well as you might suspect from the eternally sunny outlook displayed on the BrokenTV blog and Twitter feed.
[THE CAMERA SLOWLY PANS ACROSS THE ROOM TO TAKE IN MORE OF THE BLEAK OBJECTS WITHIN. A SECOND-HAND N64 GAMES CONSOLE HANGS BY ITS FAULTY AV CABLE FROM A DAMAGED TELEVISION STAND, JUST BELOW AN INTERFERENCE-RAVAGED CRT TELEVISION DISPLAY, FROM WHICH FLASHING GHOSTLY IMAGES OF LOOSE WOMEN TUMBLE UP THE SCREEN, ILLUMINATING MORE OF THE HORRORS SURROUNDING THIS GRIM TABLEAU. MORE NEWSPAPERS ARE SCATTERED OVER MUCH OF THE CARPET, UNOFFICIAL MADKATZ N64 CONTROLLERS SNAKE OUT BENEATH THE TV STAND IN VARIOUS DIRECTIONS, TORN POSTERS ADORN THE WALLS, SAVE FOR A WHITEBOARD UPON WHICH A SERIOUS OF WEAK DRAFTS FOR PUN-BASED TWITTER JOKES ARE SCRAWLED. FINALLY, THE CAMERA REACHES A FORLORN FIGURE ON HUDDLED ON A SOFA. IT IS BROKENTV PROPRIETOR AND SELF-PROCLAIMED ‘WIT’, MARK X. HE IS STARING DOWN AT A PLATE IN SEMI-STARVED RESIGNATION. THE CAMERA PULLS BACK TO REVEAL THAT ON THE PLATE IS THE ONLY ‘FOOD’ LEFT IN THE BROKENTV OFFICE. IT IS AN OLD WORKMAN’S BOOT. MARK X SIGHS AS HE SPRINKLES A LITTLE SALT ON THE BOOT, THEN PICKS UP HIS KNIFE AND FORK.]
LUMLEY: Times are hard at BrokenTV. For a fortnight now, the staff here have had to subsist on a diet of stock 1930s cartoon clichés. Only last Sunday, one fish skeleton had to feed three staff members. By Tuesday, the two remaining staff members had to make do with the cheese from a mousetrap. By Wednesday, the sole remaining employee of BrokenTV had to make do with a soup consisting of torn resignation letters floating in the salty bitter tears of despair. Even now, each time a passer-by passes by the window of the office, the hungry website proprietor hallucinates them turning into a giant strolling hot-dog in a hat.
Help is needed. And you can be it. The cupboards of the BrokenTV archives have been thrown open, and the contents spilled onto moderately popular tele-shopping world wide web-site “eBay”. Hundreds of magazines from the last twenty years, over a hundred of the finest DVDs a surprisingly small amount of money can buy, and three Wii games are all up for grabs, with many, many more due to be added to the list soon.
Lots of copies of PC Zone when Charlie Brooker was writing for it? They’re there. The majority of backissues from the entire history of videogaming magazine Edge?They’re there. Dozens of copies of no-really-it-used-to-be-really-bloody-good-then Loaded magazine? Yep. Copies of Select, Deluxe, internet magazines from when it was still quicker to read about things on the internet in a magazine rather than the internet itself, and many more? All there. Loads more to appear too, including music, books, and whatever else is in the big boxes of stuff the BrokenTV team have in their
spare room extensive archive? All up very soon.
“But, Joanna Lumley, how can we make astonishingly high bids for all this stuff? TELL US, TELL US NOW?”, you may be asking. Why simply by visiting this link right here. That’s how!”
[CUT TO A SHOT OF JOANNA LUMLEY ON THE MANKY SOFA SAT NEXT TO MARK X, SMACKING HIS LIPS AS HE SLURPS A GRUBBY BOOTLACE INTO HIS MOUTH AS IF IT WERE THE MOST DELICIOUS PIECE OF SPAGHETTI IN ALL OF ROME.]
LUMLEY: After all, we want this team back to full strength as soon as possible! Ha ha ha ha!
[JOANNA LUMLEY PATS THE BURPING TV BLOGGER ON THE HEAD, UNTIL HER EXPRESSION SWITCHES TO ONE OF DISGUST, LEADING TO HER WIPING HER NOW GREASY PALM ON HER SKIRT.]
VERSION FOR PEOPLE WHO COULDN’T BE BOTHERED READING ALL THAT:
To play us out, courtesy of reader Matt Hamer, is an entertaining “mash-up” combining chart-topping smash “Barbara Streisand” from Duck Sauce, with the gallery-shaking bellowings of BrokenTV hero Stewart Morris. Enjoy!