Comeuppance – Episode 12 Introduction


Warning: this programme contains strobe lighting.

A high-mounted camera sweeps over the enthused and impatient audience. A deep, smooth, male voice (the kind used for movie trailers) booms over the PA.

Voiceover: Ladies and gentlemen! We’ve counted four and a half million votes, deployed thirty-six thousand gallons of muck, and handed eleven wrongdoers their comeuppance. Tonight, live from our London studio, we put the Mucky Dip into action one last time. So please give a rapturous welcome to the keeper of the cages, the granter of Jammy Dodger trophies, the mistress of all that is mucky: the brilliant and beautiful Sian Welby!

As the intro to a famous 80s movie theme plays, male and female dancers in sparkling costumes pour onto the stage. The dancers form two lines, between which the familiar Comeuppance guards emerge, carrying a sedan chair. Perched in the chair is of course Miss Welby, who waves regally to the cheering audience.


Sian: [pointing at camera] If there’s something bad, happ’nin in your street,
Who you gonna call?


Sian: If your car is clamped, and you’re feelin beat,
Who you gonna call?


The forewarned strobe lighting kicks into action. The dancers link hands and make a ring around the Mucky Dip.

Sian: I ain’t afraid of no muck!
I ain’t afraid of no muck!

With the dancers weaving across the stage, the guards carry Sian to the front.

Sian: If a salesman comes, knockin on your door,
Who you gonna call?


Sian: If the loansharks bite, and they still want more,
Who can you call?


Sian: I ain’t afraid of no muck!
Ooo, I hear it’s thick and smelly.
I ain’t afraid of no muck!
Yeah, yeah, yeah-hehh!!

The dancers twirl off-stage. The guards lower the Sian to the floor.

Sian: [taking a bow] Woooo!! Thanks boys! And thanks to all of you for that warm welcome. In case you didn’t catch it from the song, this is Comeuppance, the show that puts you the public in the driving seat, and reprehensible occupations in our dreaded chair of doom! Now, I have some bad news and good news to give you. The bad news is that this is the final episode of the series.

Audience: Awwww….

Sian: I know, I know, it hurts me too. But the good news is we’re going out with a bang – or should that be a splat! We’ve got some real abhorrent contestants, some extra-special features, and one or two surprises in store!

Audience: WooOOOoo!!

Sian: [Gestures behind her] And it wouldn’t be a grand finale without a real stinker of a Mucky Dip!

The audience cheers.


Sian: But before we press on with tonight’s contest, I’d like to reflect on the series, and a few acknowledgements are in order. The crew have been absolutely superb and we’ve had a cracking time working together, so cheers guys. And big thanks go to everyone out there who voted – without you, there couldn’t be a show. Go on, give yourselves a round of applause!

The audience duly claps.

Sian: Ta also to those of you that got in touch to suggest professions. There were some really good ideas that we wouldn’t have thought of ourselves. And of course we’re grateful to all those suckers – I mean contestants – who were such good sports to take part. It perhaps proves the old adage that people will do anything to get on television.

Sian wanders over to the steaming, cylindrical vat.

Sian: But let’s not forget the true star of the show. No, not me, but our trusty Mucky Dip! It’s almost become an old friend these past weeks…

Sian pats the wall of the vat. A belch emanates from within.

Sian: [backing away] But not a friend I’d want to get touchy-feeling with, as our losing contestants would surely attest! Speaking of which, it’s a fitting time to relive the Dip’s conquests. So grab yourself your favourite beverage, put your feet up, and enjoy, as we play back the payback!

There follows a montage of Mucky Dip highlights, set to Austine Mahone’s Dirty Work. It begins with a compilation of the victims pre-dunk, cringing and squirming above their fate. This is followed by all of the descents in series, followed by all the pull-outs. Finally there is a selection of aftermath scenes, including reactions and further mess.

Sandra, the telesales operator who hassled householders, often at inconvenient times of the day.
Dunked in dark green and brown grot, with yellow, blue, pink and orange gunge from above.
Sandra awaits her Comeuppance

Yasmin, the cattle-class airline check-in clerk who levied hidden fees, on which she earned commission.
Dropped in green-yellow gunk, with purple, dark green and red from the heavens.
Yasmin faces her comeuppance

Meera, the dentist who extracted as much from her patient’s wallets as their mouths, and terrified them into the bargain.
Plunged into pink and purple plop, and crowned with white, lemon and light blue.

Lizzie, the personal injury lawyer who preyed on the sick and abused the court system.
Slung into grey-blue, red-pink and straw-colour slop, and splurged with stale cream.

Ivana, the “chugger” who harassed and guilt-tripped shoppers in the high street.
Bathed in blue and turquoise goo, and sandwiched with rancid pies.
Ivana awaits her comeuppance

Veronica Pleasance, the heavy metal “musician” whose dreadful din had neighbours reaching for the earplugs.
Immersed in off-white marshmallow muck, and showered with red, purple, green, yellow, blue and brown.
Veronica awaits her comeuppance

Princess Priscilla, the young fashion vlogger who was just far too vain.
Given a makeover in bright yellow goop, and sprayed with green, blue, brown and white.

Cara, the fad nutritionist who fobbed off clients with nonsensical diet plans.
Sent into green and purple soup, and deluged with seaweed, fish and cephalopods.
Cara awaits her comeuppance

Leah, the hairdresser (on her hen night!) who overruled her friends’ styling choices.
Ducked in rainbow gunge, and topped off with wedding white and confetti.

Miss Field, the sadistic PE teacher who doled out cold showers and humiliated the less sporting kids.
Submerged in blue and brown sludge, and blasted with grass cuttings.
Miss Field awaits her comeuppance

Trudi, the spammer who inundated users with trashy marketing emails.
Dispatched into green glow-in-the-dark slime, squirted with multicoloured gunge, and foamed.

Sian: [laughing] Brilliant, brilliant stuff. Richly deserved each and every one of them. And what you don’t pick up from your screens is how awful each of them smelt! Pwwoohh!! [Flaps hand in front of nose] Tonight, one more miscreant soul will meet their mucky dues. Who might it be? Let’s meet the contestants and find out!

The anti-file-sharing lawyer
Sian: Contestant number one is the runner-up from last week’s show. Her name’s Judi, she’s 31 and she’s from the Isle of Wight. She works as an anti-file-sharing lawyer, or to use the less flattering term, copyright troll.

The guards wheel out a cage. The audience commences the customary booing, but this dies out in confusion when they glimpse who’s inside.




Anthea Turner

Sian: [frowning] You’re not Judi. You’re… Anthea Turner!

Anthea: Evening Sian! How’s it going?

Smiling and waving to the audience, Anthea pushes open the door of the cage and steps out.

Sian: Hey!! That’s supposed to be locked!

Anthea: It will be in a minute… once you’re safely inside.

Sian: Safely ins…what do you mean? W-what’s going on here!?

Sian’s eyes flit anxiously as her dazzling smile begins to fade. Anthea stands beside the cage, making a gesture for Sian to step through the open door. The spectators murmur in excitement, then start to cheer ecstatically as they realise what’s on the cards.

Stupefied, Sian looks round at the crew, and finds them all grinning and clapping.

Sian:It dawns on Sian that she has been set up [shaking her head, struggling to be heard over the roar of the crowd] You can’t mean… Nope, that it is not going to happen! Uh-uh, no way! NO!!

Audience: YES!!! [With shouts of] Get in there!

Sian: [stamps foot] I’m the presenter!

Anthea: Oh come on Sian. Didn’t you ever watch Noel’s House Party or Get Your Own Back as a kid? You should know what happens to the host at the end of the series!

Sian: Not to this host it doesn’t! Besides, I’ve not agreed to it. Every contestant must give their consent to take part.

Anthea: Just as well you gave yours then.

Sian: [getting angry] No I never!

Anthea: [smarmily] Didn’t read the small print of your contract, Sian? Clause 39E not ringing any bells? You should be more thorough.

Sian: I’m going to see the director about this! Ask him what the hell he’s playing at!

Sian turns on her heels and nearly barges into the muscular chests of the guards.

Sian: Excuse me boys!

The guard don’t budge. Sian looks at them dismayed.

Sian: Oh Tom and Charlie, don’t say you’re betraying me after all I’ve done for you! You’d still be on night-watch at an Esso garage if it weren’t for me!

Impassive, the heavies remain in Sian’s path.

Anthea: [grinning] Everybody’s in on the set-up! Come along Sian, we haven’t got all night. Are you going to get in yourself or do you need some encouragement from Tom and Charlie?

Sian takes another glance at the guards and resignedly steps into the cage, precipitating another crescendo from the audience.

Anthea: Let’s have your keys please.

A sullen Sian drops her keyring into Anthea’s palm.

Anthea: [locks cage] Good girl. Now let’s get started. Tonight’s contestant is 29-year-old Sian Welby. She’s originally from Nottinghamshire but lives in London, and she’s been a TV presenter for nearly six years.

Sian: Why you, Anthea? Of all the people they could’ve picked to do this, why you?

Anthea: Think about what we have in common.

Sian: Not a lot I hope.

Anthea: I wouldn’t be catty, Sian; I hold all the cards here. I’m talking about the Health Lottery, of which you’re a presenter and I was a presenter, [frowns] briefly.

Sian: What about it?

Anthea: Cast your mind back a year. You decided you were bored of presenting the draw and wanted to move on to pastures new, so the producers signed me up to take over. I was pretty chuffed, reliving my heydey of presenting the National Lottery. But less than two months later, you had a change of heart – perhaps your plans didn’t work out as well as you’d hoped – so you begged the producers to give you your job back, and I was out on my ear!

Sian:SianProtests [incredulous] Huh?! I didn’t “beg” anyone; I was their first choice and they were delighted to have me back. Not my fault if you’re unpopular and past it! Seriously, if this is all about you getting “revenge” on me for being a better presenter, it’s pathetic!

Anthea: [through pursed lips] I’m making a note of all these insults and they’ll be dealt with later. But maybe you’re right; perhaps my motivation is a bit weak. But I know of fourteen much better reasons why you deserve a comeuppance. [Calls off-stage] Ladies, if you would kindly join us!

A reprise of “Dirty Work” plays as the eleven comeuppancees stroll on stage, single file. Each is dressed in the same outfit they got dunked in, but clean as a whistle. In place of the boos that greeted them last time, the audience welcome them with appreciative applause. Trailing at the back of the line are the three other women to get messy during the course of the series: maid of honour Heidi, schoolgirl Anita and Professor Penelope Thimbleswick-Watson. The women congregate around the cage, wagging their fingers at Sian with wry smiles.

Sian: What is this? A crooks’ convention? This lot were found guilty by public vote. They have no complaint against me!

Anthea: And all have served their sentence. But it didn’t escape anyone’s attention that the executioner enjoyed it rather too much! Let’s take a look at the worst of Welby!

A videoreel compilation of Sian’s most mocking put-downs plays:

Ring ring, calling Sandra! Good thing you sell products over the phone, girl, because you won’t get any face-to-face sales when you look and smell like that! Ewwww, yuck! Ha ha ha!!

You can take it back with you to your check-in counter. That’ll have your passengers reaching for the oxygen masks! Ha ha ha!

This, ladies and gents, is the dentist who loves to terrify her patients, but look who’s terrified now! Say “ARRRRRGGGGHHHH!!” Meera! Ha ha ha!

Liz, you can slither back to Scotland and pursue your next compensation claim in your present state. With a smell like that, you’ll surely be in contempt of court! Ha ha ha!

Look at that face, deep in contemplation! Is she mulling the plight of the third world, I wonder? Or brooding over some poor, endangered species? Or might she be lamenting her own sorry arse as it teeters above the slop!

She got pretty much every colour except black, ironically! Vron, you can wear that generous coat to your next gig. You’ll certainly have a frightening stage presence, and for once something will stink more than your music! Ha ha ha!!

That’ll teach you to diss my wardrobe, you little twerp! Ha ha ha!

Cheer up Cara – seaweed’s meant to be a superfood! Ha ha ha!

Leah, you were hoping for a messy hen night, and you’re certainly going to get one! How long to the wedding – three weeks, did you say? Mmmmm… you *should* be clean by then!

Ho ho ho! Not too fresh up there, is it Miss Field? And if you think it’s bad now, wait til you’re covered in it!

Oh, I’ve just received some news from the director: our sponsers have agreed to top up the total to £750,000 – so guess what!

Look at that – well and truly spammed! Now she knows what it’s like to be deluged with junk, ha ha!

At the count of three. One! TWO!! THREE!!

The audience boos.

Sian: [holding out arms] Oh come on folks! I didn’t hear audiences complaining at the time – quite the opposite! The whole point of the show to ridicule and humiliate the losing contestants!

Anthea: We do have a more serious charge against you. Veronica, I believe you have a miscarriage of justice to report.

VeronicaThumbsDownVeronica: Hello again Sian. As the viewers might remember, I got my comeuppance in episode six after my score jumped from 9% at the update to 49% at the final count. Something wasn’t right with that, so I set about doing some research. I managed to find a whistleblower in the crew, who confirmed to me that I shouldn’t have got a comeuppance; a computer glitch screwed me over!

There’s a sharp intake of breath from the audience.

Veronica: And not only that – Sian knew at the time the score was wrong, but sent me to the Mucky Dip to save face! Now that just ain’t rock and roll!

There’s an even sharper intake of breath, followed by booing and shouts of “scandal!”

Sian: [looking rattled] Completely untrue on both counts! Our computer systems are world class, and my adjudication is as clean as a Jammy Dodger trophy holder!

Veronica: [pulling out reams of computer paper] Sian, I have the printouts here to prove everything!

Sian gulps.

Anthea: We’ve seen enough. [Turns to audience] Does Sian deserve a comeuppance or does she deserve a comeuppance?!

Audience: YYYEEESSSSS!!!

Sian: [shaking head adamantly] NO!!

Anthea: That’s a pretty unequivocal verdict, but ladies, I’d better ask you: can any of you find it within your heart to pardon Sian?

The 14 women respond with “uh-uh”s and the shaking of heads.

Anthea Dear me, not one. Well ladies, if you’d like to take a seat [gestures to some sofas that have been brought out], I trust you’ll find this a most enjoyable show. Sian, for crimes as serious as yours, only one punishment will suffice. I’m sure you know what that is, but for the benefit of anyone who doesn’t, it begins with “Mucky” and ends with “Dip”!

The audience cheers further while Sian flushes.

Anthea: Oh yes, it’s festering away there waiting for you! And as you said yourself, it really is a stinker – perhaps the worst the show has seen!

Sian: [desperate] Hang on!! What about the other contestants?!

Anthea: [scornfully] Other contestants?! You’re having a laugh, aren’t you? We’re not going to waste time with those! However, I am a democrat, so I’m going to put the question to the people…

Sian: [eyes lighting up with a glimmer of hope] On whether or not I get a comeuppance?

Anthea: [laughs] Don’t be silly! The question I’m going to ask if whether you should face the Mucky Dip in that lovely frock you’ve got on… or whether you should pare down to this: our special super-skimpy Comeuppance micro-bikini!

Sian’s jaw drops as Anthea holds up an orange garment, attracting some wolf-whistles. The swimwear comprises nothing more than three meagre pieces of fabric, to cover the bare essentials and nothing else, and strings connecting them as appropriate. Each of the slender breast segments has “COMEUPPANCE!” emblazoned across it in the standard brand lettering, while the minuscule crotch-piece has the word “MUCKY” printed down it.

Sian: [mortified] Bikini!?! I wear more than that in the bath!

Anthea: I hope you like it. The male crew members deliberated long and hard over the design!

Sian: [rolls eyes] I bet they did!

Anthea: Let’s see if the public are just as keen!

Anthea SianGroanstrolls away to the front of the stage. Behind her, Sian casts a fretful glance up at the Mucky Dip, still billowing dry ice, and closes her eyes with a groan.

Anthea: Yes folks, it’s a departure from the usual format, but the final episode is always a stitch-up against the presenter so there’s no point pretending otherwise. Dress, or much less – that is the question we put to you the public! And while Comeuppance usually prides itself on its neutrality, on this occasion we strongly recommend the latter option. We’ve even produced this glossy leaflet, Why Comeuppance believes the micro-bikini is the best outfit for Sian. However, it’s ultimately your decision and we will honour it, so get dialling and have your say! Join us again for the update when Comeuppance’s chief muckologist, Sasha Holdsworth, will unveil Sian’s Mucky Dip, and there are some more surprises still to come! See you soon!

Alternative poll link

Since this is a very important matter, and to give me enough time to write the story, the poll will run for two weeks, closing at 10pm Friday 5th August. Repeat voting permitted every 12 hours, per usual.

And purely for information purposes:

Alternative poll link

Posted in Stories | Leave a comment

Gunge Grand Prix Update – Help Required

Hi All,

I’m sure there are many of you out there wondering what exactly is going on with Gunge Grand Prix 2016 at this moment in time.

Well the reality is, life has got in the way. My current personal commitments at weekends, coupled with working full-time 5 days a week, means I’ve barely had a day off as such since May. Therefore the grand prix has had to fall by the wayside.

The personal commitments will ease up somewhat come the end of August, but after that there will be additional commitments linked to my work which will be taking up my free time instead!

Therefore I am requesting help from the TellyGunge community with regards to setting up pages, votes etc and basic admin to try and get the competition moving again. So if there is anyone out there who is able/willing to assist, please get in touch asap.

In the meantime, I hope to get some votes up over the next couple of days. Rather than setting them up to go live at a certain time, the votes will go live as soon as the page is published, in order to try and get things moving in the right direction. Please keep an eye out from day to day as to when these votes go live, as they will only be available for a week. I will try to post on here what matches are live, both on here and via my twitter handle @phd2207

Attached to this post is the current spreadsheet, with all Round 1 results included and the draw for Round 2.

Thanks for your understanding, and keep your eyes peeled for round 2!

Gunge Grand Prix 2016



Posted in Stories | 3 Comments

Comeuppance – Episode 11 Result

The segment opens with a downward shot into the Mucky Dip, the greenish glow discernible even under the bright studio lights. The scene then cuts to Sian, stood in front of the vat.

Sian Welby

Sian: Welcome to the concluding part of this week’s Comeuppance, with me, Sian Welby! Thank you to everyone who cast their vote on this important matter. The polls are of this moment closed, so please do not call; it won’t count and you may still be charged.

Sian wanders over to the desk where Professor Thimbleswick-Watson is sitting.

Professor Thimbleswick-Watson

Sian: We’re pleased to be joined by polling expert Professor Penelope uh… Thingy-Watson, who is staking her reputation – not to mention her cleanliness – on the outcome of tonight’s vote. Professor, what reaction has there been to the midway scores?

Thimbleswick-Watson: Not a good one in the financial markets – shares in spam companies getting absolutely hammered. However the National Union of Teachers has just issued a statement welcoming Mrs Pascal’s trailing position.

Sian: We’re still verifying the final result, but I’m hearing in my ear that turnout is towards the low end of the range we’ve experienced on Comeuppance. What effect could that have?

Thimbleswick-Watson: It means there’s more scope for fluctuations. Or to put it another way, the scores might have changed significantly since half-time.

Sian: Mmmm, let’s hope it doesn’t upset your predictions [taps the front of her dress], else it could be Thank You Desk time very shortly!

T-W gulps. Sian crosses the stage to the cage area.

Sian: Hear that, ladies? Thimblethingy says there could be a big change in the scores!

Trudi: It’s going to be Judi. That’ll wipe the smile off her face!

Judi: You’ll be eating your words, sis, and a lot more besides!

Mrs Pascal: Quiet you two!

Sian: Well it’s time to find out; the final verification is complete!

The lights fade, leaving only the glowing muck and three isolated spotlights on the nerve-wracked contestants.

Sian: The people have voted, and this is their verdict:






Mrs Pascal sighs with relief. The faces of the identical twins diverge in expression.

Judi: Yes!! [clenches fists with delight] Ha ha, yes!

Trudi: I don’t agree with this result! I demand a second vote!

Sian: Second vote?! The people have already spoken – loud and clear. Take her away!

The guards yank open the cage door and haul Trudi over to the waiting chair.

Sian: You might want to take your specs off, Trudi… ok, you’re keeping them on. Good luck with that.

While Judi does a celebratory dance in her cage, Sian unlocks the door to Mrs Pascal’s.

Sian:Mrs Pascal Leaves Mrs P, you’ve had quite an adventure – last week up at your school, this week here in the Comeuppance studio. Have you enjoyed your time with us?

Mrs Pascal: I’ve had a fantastic time thanks.

Sian: Thank you for taking part. I trust it’s all the more fantastic that you’re not going anywhere near the Mucky Dip.

Mrs Pascal: [grinning] Sian, I haven’t been this satisfied since Andrew Wiles proved Fermat’s Last Theorem in 1994!

Sian:Jammy Dodger Trophy You need to get out more. Anyway, you get a Jammy Dodger trophy to keep on your desk and let the kids know who’s boss. Though having seen you in action tonight, I’m sure they already know. Ladies and gents, a calculated round of app—

Mrs Pascal: You’re chewing again, aren’t you?

Sian: If you would kindly walk—

Mrs Pascal: [hands on hips with an unamused expression] I’m not moving until that gum is out of your mouth. We can stand here all night if you wish.

ScowlingJudi, Sian removes the gum.

Sian: Ladies and gents, a calculated round of applause for Mrs Pascal.

The audience delivers a slow handclap to Mrs Pascal as she strides off-stage. Sian goes over to a still dancing Judi.

Sian: No such pardon for you, Judi, but the longstanding argument between you and your twin sis is finally settled: spammers are officially more hated than copyright trolls, and she’s about to get very mucky as a consequence!

Judi: I’ve waited for this moment a long time, Sian. [Looks up] Woop, up she goes! How’s the view, Trude?

Purcell’s plaint of portent plays and the scene switches to the rim-side view. The vivid and viscid green gunk, replete with yellow and pink blobs, fills the screen. The camera makes its ascent, meeting Trudi’s shapely bare feet a yard above the slop, and continuing up her shins. Trudi’s pinstripe dress comes just short of her knees. She places a hand insolently on her hip. Her face, when it comes in to view, further illustrates her irritation at the turn of events.


Sian: Oooh, she does not look amused, does she? This woman and her ilk have misdirected millions of mouse-clicks, squandered squigabytes of storage; now it’s time to click the trash button and send her into the junk directory! Can we dim the lights please?

The crew duly bring down the lighting level. The green goo shines eerily upwards, illuminating Trudi’s legs. Sian hands a remote control through the bars of the cage.

Sian: Judi, I’m going to let you do the honours – not because I want to reward you, but because I know it will humiliate your sister all the more! Trudi, on behalf of pretty much everyone who uses the internet…

Sian, Judi and audience: HERE IS YOUR COMEUPPANCE!!!

A beatified expression on her face, Trudi extends her arm and with theatrical elaboration, presses the button. The fizz and whizz of sparks ensue, dazzling through the darkness. A second later the shadowy, underlit figure drops. A luminescent corona leaps up around Trudi as she lands, and a glowing wave sluices over the side as she submerges. A robotic voice intones “Warning! Radioactive contamination!” while the gunge thrashes and churns, sending secondary waves over the rim. Then the cables, unseen in the gloom, pull taut to salvage the comeuppancee.

The fanfare of shame and a great cheer from the audience accompany the emergence of a luridly luminous blob – a mishapen and bloated humanoid figure shining like a beacon across the studio – mostly green, but splotched with the other hues, including two pink circles for boobs and a comical dome of yellow crowning the top of her head.

While Judi’s maniacal laughter echoes from below, the glowing figure flails ungracefully. Eventually one of the hands finds the face and pulls away her glasses, which have miraculously stayed with her during her dip.

Trudi: Bletttch!

As Trudi wipes her face, a rainbow fountain of luminous jetlets (at least two dozen) erupts from the rim of the Mucky Dip, all aimed inward. Trudi is engulfed in a spectacular display of light and colour.

Sian: Ohh wow!! How amazing is that!?

Eventually the fountain abates, leaving Trudi a multicoloured mess.

Sian: Absolutely sensational! Maybe we should have the lights up now.

The lighting returns, causing fresh fits from Judi at the sight of her sister in all her gunged glory. Trudi’s head-to-toe covering is a good inch thick, but its translucence allows her to be seen underneath it. Her hair hangs bedraggled and wrecked, and the muck has evidently filled the inside of her dress as thoroughly as it has coated the outside.

Judi continues to cry with laughter. A glob of goo, slung by Trudi, splatters against the bars of the cage.

Sian: OI!! That could’ve hit me! You can have another shower for that.

The multicoloured fountain resumes, causing Trudi to cower and squeal.

Sian: Another comeuppance served, richly deserved as always. And for those who wanted a clearer view as she went in, here’s an enhanced video in super slow-mo.

The replay shows Trudi’s descent into the dunk tank, with the video enhanced so that her features can be seen in the darkness. Her hand remains planted on her pelvis as she plunges, her mouth is puckered in a pout, and her eyes fix her jubilant sister with resentment.

Sian: And from above!

Even with the picture enhancement, the bird’s-eye camera shows Trudi as little more than a shadow against the glowing gunk, getting smaller as she hurtles towards it. The luminous goo convulses as she splashes down, globs flying up and away. And then the shadow is gone.

Back in the present, a technicolour Trudi has wiped her glasses as best she can and replaced them on her face. She has slicked the excess muck from her hair, which hangs like a sodden rope over one shoulder. She now has both hands on hips and continues to pout.

Sian: Look at that – well and truly spammed! Now she knows what it’s like to be deluged with junk, ha ha! Judi, did you travel here together?

Judi: Yes, in my car. But with a smell like that, I think I’ll make her take the train back!

Sian: Wise indeed. [Looks up] Trudi, is this going to change relations with your sister?

Trudi: I’m never speaking to her again!

Judi: This just gets better and better!

Sian: Awwww! In fairness Trudi you’ve been a very good sport; I hope this doesn’t take too many years to live down in your family. Judi, you may laugh now, but you could be laughing on the other side of your face next week. As runner-up you have to return, and you may get your comeuppance yet!

Sian walks away.

Sian: And by the way folks, next week’s episode is going to be the last in the series, so be sure not to miss it. But as for this episode, we have some unfinished business. [Stands in front of the desk] Don’t we, Professor?

Thimbleswick-Watson sits looking much more relaxed than five minutes ago, a serene smile on her face.

Sian: Hmmm, she looks rather pleased with herself. I think we could be disappointed here. But let’s see.

Sian untucks and unfolds the piece of paper and presents it to the camera.

Mrs Pascal

The audience groans.

Thimbleswick-Watson: [raising fists] Hurrah!

Sian: [frowning] But this is just a list of names! You haven’t indicated the position each contestant will finish in.

Thimbleswick-Watson: [snorts] Yes I have. It’s written in order from first to last. Pretty obvious.

Sian: No, it’s not obvious at all. It could just as easily be ordered from last to first. I’m afraid I can’t accept this. Lads, bring on the supplies!

The guards approach from either side, each wheeling a trolley laden with buckets. The audience cheers with gusto.

Thimbleswick-Watson: [gawping] Whaaat!?!

Sian: Ok, at the count of three. One!

Sian and audience: TWO!!

Thimbleswick-Watson: This is completely unfair!

Sian and audience: THREE!!

A guard slings a bucket of green slime, topped with a little foam. It lands short of T-W’s head but slaps against her suit and blouse, causing her to spasm and shriek. The professor looks down in horror, but soon has bigger problems to contend with as the second guard aims higher with a bucketload red gunge (not ITV gunge but proper thick gunge). She screams catches the side of her head, ruining her neatly cropped hair-do. In a quick succession yellow gunge assails her other side, and then a batch of blue sploshes straight in her face. The gunge keeps coming, and before long T-W’s hair and suit are blanketed. The prim and proper professor’s composure crumples and she begins to laugh – albeit a squealing, squeamish laugh.

Sian steps in front of the desk. Behind her, the guards have switched from buckets to foams guns, turning the disheveled academic from multicoloured to white.

Sian: She’ll be more careful to be precise in future! That’s all we have time for in this episode. Thanks for watching and join us for the series finale next week; you’d be mad to miss it! Good night!

The outro music starts up. Sian turns and grabs a bucket from a trolley, joining in the offensive against T-W. Over in the cage, Judi continues to celebrate the win over her twin, but her triumph is tempered by growing concern of what she might face next week. Up in the chair, Trudi tries to wipe off the excess muck, but Sian and the guards have other ideas. They switch targets, leaving a bedraggled T-W to slump in relief over the desk, and fire their foam guns up at Trudi, giving her a fresh top-coat of white. The parting scene is of a dazzling Trudi being hauled from the Mucky Dip.

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Comeuppance – Episode 11 Update


Sian: Welcome back to Comeuppance! I’m Sian Welby, your hostess with the mostest. We’re roughly half-way through tonight’s vote, which will see either maths teacher Mrs Pascal, anti-piracy lawyer Judi, or her spam-happy twin sister Trudi punished in the putrid pit that is our Mucky Dip!

Sian is sitting at a desk, located on the opposite side of the Mucky Dip to the cages. An older woman is also seated, smartly dressed and rather prim.

Penelope Thimbleswick-Watson

Sian: And it’s my pleasure to be with Professor Penelope Thimbleswick-Watson. She’s a senior fellow at the Winchester Academy of Macroeconomics, and a board member of the polling company OiGuv. Professor Thimbleswick-Watson, a warm welcome to you.

Thimbleswick-Watson: Good evening Sian. It’s pronounced “Thinnick”.

Sian: My apologies. Professor, you’ve carried out extensive research in the days leading up to the vote. What are your conclusions?

Thimbleswick-Watson: One thing’s for certain, Sian, we’re looking at a divided nation. [A coloured map appears on a screen behind the desk] As you can see, the copyright lawyer is enjoying – perhaps that isn’t the right word – solid backing in London, Wales and the West Country. Meanwhile, the Midlands and the North are strongly in favour – or I suppose disfavour – of the spammer.

Sian: And it looks like Scotland has decided to do its own thing as usual.

Thimbleswick-Watson: That’s right. Step north of the border and the vote for both twins evaporates. I expect every district in Scotland to vote for the teacher. And as for Northern Ireland… [sucks breath] this vote could trigger a full-blown constitutional crisis.

Sian: I don’t think they’ve got over Princess Priscilla’s comeuppance yet.

Thimbleswick-Watson: It’s also worth saying that there are anomalous pockets of voting in some of the cities. Take a look at Liverpool, for example.

The map zooms in and an overly-complicated graph pops up.

Thimbleswick-Watson: Here we have a 50-50 split between the copyright lawyer and the teacher. This might have something to do with the Sun declaring itself for the spammer.

Sian: All very interesting, but ultimately it doesn’t matter where the votes come from, but how many there are for each candidate. Professor, I’m going to ask you to give your prediction on tonight’s final positions – i.e. who will come first, second and third at the close of voting – but I don’t want you to announce your prediction, lest it should influence the public’s choice. Instead I’d like you to write it down on the sheet of paper provided in front of you. You’ll understand why in a minute.

Thimbleswick-Watson: [cagily] I’m not sure it’s possible to give a firm conclusion. The margin of error is quite large based on the sparse data at hand.

Sian: Come on Professor, what do we pay you for? I’m not asking for percentages, just the order in which the contestants finish. So if you would kindly write down your prediction, then fold up the paper and hand it to me…

The piece of paper is shown pixelated as Thimbleswick-Watson deliberates over her decision. Looking uncomfortable, she folds it twice and hands it to Sian, who tucks it down the front her dress.

Sian: Ta very much. Now let me ask you, do you know what a “Thank You Desk” is?

Thimbleswick-Watson: No.

Sian: Maybe by the end of the show you will. You see Professor, when the polls close and the final result is revealed, I’m going to open up your prediction to see if you got it right. If you did, then great – another success for the CV. But if your prediction turns out to be wrong, then you’ll have more than egg on your face!

Thimbleswick-Watson: [rattled] W-what do you mean?

Sian: Let’s just say there’ll be a forfeit, and I think you can guess its nature.

Thimbleswick-Watson: You can’t be serious!

Sian: If you’ve ever watched this show, you’ll know that we’re very serious when it comes to mess.

Thimbleswick-Watson: Sorry, but I didn’t come here to play infantile games!

T-W makes to stand up, but the guards block off each end of the desk. Realising there is no way out, the Professor sheepishly lowers herself back into her chair.

Sian: Did you bring a change of clothes with you?

Thimbleswick-Watson: Of course I didn’t!

Sian: Oh dear! Everything crossed that you get it right!

T-W bleats as Sian gets up and crosses the stage to where the cages are stationed. Mrs Pascal’s cage now occupies the central position, having been switched with Judi’s.

Sian: As you can see we had to make some rearrangements. The twins wouldn’t stop bickering, so the best thing for it was to put a teacher in between them.

Mrs Pascal: They soon simmered down after I threatened them with fifty sets of simultaneous equations!

Sian: Well I have some figures here that we will interest all three of you – the midway voting scores. But first it’s time to unveil the full horror of the muck that awaits one of you. Last week while we were in Cumbria, Sasha our muckologist-in-chief spent her time dredging the beaches of Sellafield, and she’s concocted something rather special. Can we dim the lights please?

The crew oblige. A ghostly green glow is apparent around the rim of the Mucky Dip.

Sian: And without further ado…


Like the core of a mad scientist’s reactor, a resplendent lime-green radiance greets the overhead camera, punctuated by small, equally luminous blotches of pink and yellow. The gunge is much more translucent than usual, adding a striking sense of depth, but the roughness of the surface, akin to textured glass on a bathroom window, indicates it is as thick as ever. The scene shifts to the Dip-side camera, to reveal the yellow and pink blobs elevated like islands in the vivid verdant sea. Throughout this spectacle, the inset corner box displays the faces of the contestants – none are exactly chuffed by the revelation.

The lights go up.

Sian: [rubbing hands togethers] Ooo yes, our special glow-in-the-dark goo! Ladies, whoever of you goes in will be visible from a mile off, and smellable from an even greater distance! Now, let’s see those midway scores!






Sian: Ooo, nice round figures!

Trudi: [blinking through her glasses at the screen] Damn!

Judi: [dancing in her cage] Oh yes! Oh yes! Eat that muck, Trude! Eat! That! Muck!

Judi turns 90 degrees, sticks out her rear and flaps her hands away from it, as if directing flatulence towards her sister.

Mrs Pascal: [rolling eyes] Judi, if you find that gesture so amusing, you can do it in the corridor for an hour!

Sian: Thanks Mrs P, but I can take charge of this. Judi, let me remind you we’re only halfway through. There’s still plenty of time for the scores to change, so your celebrations might be premature!

Trudi: Yeah Jude, keep sticking that ass out, cos I’m gonna come back and whip—

Sian: [stamping authority] But needless to say Trudi, you have a significant lead that’ll take some overturning. Mrs Pascal, the arithmetic looks promising for you. [Calls over to the desk] What do you make of it, Professor Thimbleswick-Watson?

Thimbleswick-Watson: [sharply] Thinnick-Watson!

Sian: You know folks, I reckon she’s not too happy with the way the scores are panning out [winks]… or maybe she just wants you to think that. [Turns back to cages] In any case ladies, whether the outcome stays like this or changes could well depend on the personal appeals you’re about to deliver. You know the score – 15 seconds for each of you – Mrs Pascal, go!

IMrs Pascal appealnstead of facing the camera, the teacher fixes Sian with another steely glare.

Mrs Pascal: You’re still chewing, aren’t you? Bin! Now! And 100 lines: “I will not chew gum in class.” And that dress is far too short for the classroom. Something funny, Sian? Maybe you’d like to explain yourself to the head—

The klaxon blares, followed by a low level of booing.

Sian: I’m the head around here. [Blows another bubble] Right Trudi, it’s your turn, and let’s have something a bit more cordial than your copyright letters.

JudiJudi appeal clasps her hands together and grins with glee.

Judi: Delighted at how you’re voting. And you’ve not even heard about Trudi’s bad habits yet. She picks her nose and she eats with her mouth open!

Trudi: I do not!

Judi: And sometimes she combines the two pastimes!

Trudi: Liar!!

The klaxon blares, but Trudi is no mood to let these allegations pass.

Trudi:TrudiAppeal Do you wanna know what her bad habits are?!

Sian: Not now.

Trudi: She sits down watching the telly, takes off her socks and stuffs them down the back of the sofa! There’s a pile of ’em down there!

Sian: Trudi, this is not the time…

Trudi: And boy do her feet stink! She’ll be well at home in the Mucky Dip!

Judi: [louder] Utter lies! I’ll tell you what stinks: her room after a curry!

Sian: Girls, please!

Trudi: [even louder] Nonsense! You’re the biggest farter in the family!

Judi: AM NOT!

Trudi: ARE TOO!

Sian: Can you debate this some other time?

Judi: AM NOT!

Trudi: ARE T—

Mrs Pascal: SILENCE!!!

Mrs Pascal’s razor-edged tone echoes around the studio as silence duly and rapidly falls. Judi and Trudi stand sheepish, and even Sian is chastened enough to remove the gum from her mouth.

Sian: Uh, thanks Mrs Pascal. Trudi, you spent at least 15 seconds slagging off your sister, so that can count as your personal appeal.

Trudi: What!? That’s completely unfair!

Judi: Ha ha, you are such a loser!

Mrs Pascal: [menacingly] Don’t let me tell you again, you two!

The twins fall quiet as Sian turns to the camera.

Sian: Well folks, we haven’t had an appeals segment like that before! You might be forgiven for forgetting that this is a programme about professions, not family feuds. And it’s hard to believe that this pair are 31-year-old IT experts. But hey, if their squabbling influences your vote, so be it! Our lines remain open for your calls, so make your opinion counts. Will Trudi get filtered into our spam folder of shame, as the scores suggest? Or will a swing see Judi downloaded into the Dip? Or will an electoral upset send the disciplinarian Mrs Pascal into the slop? And will there be a Thank You Desk for Thimble-Woman? Join us at 10:30 to find out!

Alternative poll link

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Noel’s House Party – Nicola Stapleton full episode

Already posted this to finds, but on reflection, it deserves a front page post, topping as it does so many folks’ all-time-faves lists.

I was only 8 when this aired, but the “nobody’s perfect” quip during the initial exchange of banter is just as I remembered it. I also recall a sense of intrigue at seeing young women in contention for the gunge tank instead of the bog-standard blokes. It struck me as a little improper, but also rather exciting!

18-year-old Nicola was a great sport in this. She pretty much knew off the bat she’d be getting it (as Noel said, save BT the trouble), and played up to it with great humour throughout the lead-up. That said, her anxiety looks very genuine when she is actually seated inside and the foam starts to rise!

But I’m still smarting from aftershot denial…

Posted in Entertainment/variety shows, Gunge | Leave a comment