The segment opens with a wide-angle camera sweeping across the audience towards the stage, where the three contestants are still lined up inside their cages. Sian Welby stands in front of the Mucky Dip. The seat that previously dangled above the cylindrical vat is now suspended at ground level beside her.
Sian: Welcome back to this the first episode of Comeuppance, the show where justice is swift and slimy! We have budget airline check-in clerk Yasmin, traffic warden Tanya, and telesales operator Sandra facing judgement for their misdeeds.
The camera cycles through the faces of the contestants as Sian lists them.
Sian: And the response has been phenomenal. Votes are flooding in, with our telephone switchboard and internet servers both working at full capacity. It’s great also to see the hashtag #comeuppance trending on Twitter, and there’s been a lot of speculation as to what exactly is in the Mucky Dip. I’m sure its something our contestants are anxious to know too, so without further ado let’s preview the goo!
A ceiling-mounted camera slowly zooms downward onto the Mucky Dip, rotating as it goes. The dry ice fog has lessened, providing a view of the vat’s contents. The predominant colour is green – a dark, murky green with patches of brown and dark yellow. A cross is boldly marked in white goo on top.
The view then switches to a camera mounted at the rim of the vat, giving a close-up out across the gunge. The surface is static and uneven, indicating a thick consistency, but also has a wet shininess to it.
The camera returns to the faces of the contestants as they watch on a screen. There is a general look of “what have we let ourselves in for?”
Sian: X marks the spot! Yes folks, one of our contestants will be plunged into that and then hauled back out for the nation’s viewing satisfaction! [rubs hands together] And let me tell you, vile as that may look, what our cameras don’t pick up is the stench of rotting cabbages and overripe cheese! Ewwww!! [shudders]
The audience laughs enthusiastically.
Sian: But only the most reviled bum will sit in this chair tonight, as chosen by you the public.
The chair consists of a seat and back made of wire-mesh metal, and a couple of safety straps. It is designed not for comfort but to minimise protection from the gunk.
Sian: [Walking across the stage towards the three cages] Meanwhile, the contestant with the fewest votes will walk away, clean, dry and smug, carrying a Jammy Dodger trophy. The second-place contestant will remain in purgatory to face judgement again in next week’s episode. [Stops in front of the cages] And now it’s time to reveal the midway voting results! They are as follows:
Tanya pumps her fists and hisses “yes!”, Yasmin puts a hand to her forehead and laughs nervously, Sandra’s jaw drops open and she puts her hands to her temples.
Sian: Sandra just edging it there, but let me stress that while Tanya has put some distance between herself and the Mucky Dip, the fight between Yasmin and Sandra is very close.
Sian turns towards the cages.
Sian: Ladies, we heard your excuses earlier, but now is your opportunity to appeal to the public directly. Each of you has fifteen seconds to look into the camera and tell the viewers why you don’t deserve a comeuppance. Tanya, you first.
Tanya: [looking relaxed] Thanks guys, keep voting exactly as you have been. I don’t deserve to go in the Mucky Dip; without me our streets would grind to a standstill. It may be annoying to get a parking fine, but the rules are there for a rea–
A klaxon blares. There is a smattering of boos from the audience.
Sian: Well I’m not sure if you entirely convinced our audience, Tanya, but you seem to have the wider public’s sympathy. Now Yasmin, it’s your turn, and remember you’re only a whisker away from a comeuppance.
Yasmin: [flashes her industry-standard smile but looks slightly flustered] I don’t deserve such a horrid fate. Not me, provider of cheap getaways in the sun! True, if you don’t follow the T&Cs you may have to pay a bit more at the airport, but remember you paid bugger-all for your ticket in the fir–
The klaxon blares. There is a moderate level of booing from the audience.
Sian: And finally you Sandra. As things stand you’re getting it, so you better make this count.
Sandra: [looking distraught] Please, please don’t do this to me! I’ll give you whatever you want. 25% off double glazing – 50%! I’ll even extend the warranty to ten years! Don’t want double glazing? How about loft insulation, solar panels!? Just name your product! How about I call you back and we can discuss…
The klaxon blares. Sandra attempts to keep talking until Sian’s remonstrations and the audience’s booing shut her up.
Sian: Hmmm, bribery’s an interesting tactic; we shall see how well it works. There’s plenty of time left for voting, and anything could happen. Folks, it’s down to you: three wrongdoers, one comeuppance, your decision!
Keep the votes coming! Remember, if you’ve already voted, you can keep voting again every 12 hours.
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