The segment opens with a close-up of Sian’s sullen face staring through the bars of the cage. The camera slowly zooms out.
Anthea: [voiceover] Does anyone remember that zany, smiley presenter called Sian Welby? Always bounding around the studio, taking the rise out of contestants, ducking them in muck but never getting a spot of mess on herself? Well tonight she’s rather less chipper, and with good reason, because Miss Comeuppance herself has a date with the Dip!
Anthea is revealed to be standing by the front row of the audience.
Anthea: I’m Anthea Turner, and you’re watching the series finale of Comeuppance! We’ll get an update on Sian’s mucky engagement in a bit, but first, I’ve come down here to join Comeuppance’s smugger participants – those who walked away clean with a Jammy Dodger trophy. Ladies, hi!
The women, seated in the front row with their trophies in their laps, say their hellos.
Anthea: Thanks all of you for accepting our invitation, and for being brave enough to come back! I can assure you that you have nothing to fear; a Jammy Dodger trophy is like a UN passport in these parts.
Anthea moves to the end of the row.
Anthea: Also present tonight, we have Judi the anti-file-sharing lawyer.
Anthea: Judi, you came runner-up in last week’s show, and by rights you should be a contestant in tonight’s vote. Indeed, we had to keep up the pretence that that was the case, so that Sian wouldn’t suspect anything. You must feel like you’ve had a lucky escape at her expense.
Judi: [smiling serenely] Yep, it’s brilliant! Trudi got mucked and I got away with it!
Anthea: That’s where you’re wrong!
The guards step out from the shadows and haul Judi to her feet.
In Anthea’s tow, the guards escort a worried Judi up onto the stage. Two empty cages have been brought out and Judi is bundled into one of them. From the sofas, Trudi watches the developments with a contented smirk.
Anthea: That’s it, in you go! All will be explained later. Sian, don’t take any comfort from this; there’s only one butt destined for the Mucky Dip chair and that’s yours!
Anthea goes over to the sofas where the comeuppancees (plus Heidi, Anita and Thimbleswick-Watson) are lounging.
Anthea: I’m going to drop in on the Mucky Dip support group, where survivors meet to discuss their trauma. Ladies, I know this is painful to talk about, but when you plunged into that muck, what was the first sensation that hit you?
The others murmur in agreement.
Yasmin: Yeah, it is very cold. You’d think they’d warm it up a bit, but no.
Lizzie: [indignantly] I nearly got hypothermia! I could’ve died of shock! I’m in a good mind to sue!
Anthea: And besides the temperature, how did the muck feel?
Trudi: Wet, sticky…
Ivana: Surprisingly heavy.
Leah: Like shampoo, mousse and gel all rolled together, though not so good for the hair.
Meera: Yeah, it took ages to wash it out of mine.
Miss Field: It gets everywhere… even to parts you didn’t know you had!
Anthea: [Nodding sympathetically] I see. And then there’s the olfactory dimension. Some viewers think that the ghastly descriptions of the muck’s smell are just hype. What would you say to that?
A sharp refutation comes from the sofa’s occupants.
Sandra: Not true! That stuff absolutely reeks – even worse than they make out!
Cara: [pulling a face] Like bad fish, mouldy veg, overripe cheese, rotten eggs…
Yasmin: And it stays with you, no matter how much you wash. My boyfriend made me sleep in the spare room for a fortnight!
Veronica: [gutteral] GRRRRRRROOOOOOOOO!!!
Anthea: [regards Veronica with a disturbed expression before moving on] And do you find that your careers have been affected?
Priscilla: [petulantly] My fashion cred is completely destroyed! It doesn’t matter how exquisitely I dress, how fabulous my hair is, how expertly I apply the latest designer make-up [preens herself]… my videos get flooded with comments calling me “Bananawoman” and “Madam Muck”!
Meera: [morosely] My patients are no longer frightened of me. Even when I get out the big drill they just smirk and titter.
Ivana: When I ask people for donations they say “are you that girl who was on Comeuppance?” I sigh and say “yes.” They laugh and walk off.
Trudi: Getting dipped has had a big effect on my family life. Five minutes don’t go by without Judi ribbing me! [Glances towards cages] I hope the tables are going to turn!
Lizzie: [handing out cards] Don’t sit back and accept it; you have strong grounds to sue! No win, no fee…
Veronica: It ain’t all bad. My comeuppance brought a shedload of publicity to Cyanide Honeymoon. It’s even started a craze called sloshing, where our fans bring a bucket of gunge and tip it over themselves during the gig!
Anthea: Riiiight. Well thanks for your input, Ladies, and enjoy the rest of the show. [Gets up and strolls back towards the cage area] Now, a few people on Twitter have pointed out I’m no stranger to mess, and it’s true. I was gunged twice by Noel Edmonds – two and a half times, if you count having to wear custard-filled wellies – and unfortunately, the crew have dug up a video posted by a diligent YouTube user. [Cringes slightly] Take a look…
Anthea: [Nodding with a wry smile as the audience cheers] Hmmmm, yeah… The outfit is actually a bigger embarrassment than the gunging; please bear in mind it was 1993. [Turns to Sian] But speaking of embarrassing outfits…
Anthea takes out the orange micro-bikini and waves it in Sian’s unamused face.
Anthea: That’s right! We’ve received oodles of votes on the crucial question of Sian’s attire for our mucky mire, and in a moment we’ll unveil the midway results. Sian, you heard what the ladies said about the muck: cold, thick, gooey, and utterly vile! You must be delighted at this opportunity to experience it for yourself!
Sian: [deadpan] I’m absolutely ecstatic Anthea.
Anthea: Well, it’s time to heighten your ecstasy with the great unveiling of tonight’s Mucky Dip. But far be it from me to steal the thunder; let’s bring on the evil genius who concocted this gruesome brew. Ladies and gents, a warm welcome please for Comeuppance’s muckologist-in-chief, Sasha Holdsworth!
The audience applauds as Sasha bounds on-stage.
Anthea: Sasha, it’s clear from your lab-coat that you throw yourself into your work, and exemplary effort and attention goes into every Mucky Dip you churn out. But mixing one up for Sian must have been a labour of love!
Sasha: [laughing] It certainly was a very enjoyable task! The whole team really got stuck in – literally in a few cases – to make this muck worthy of its victim. Plus we left it to mature an extra couple of weeks!
Anthea: Sounds most appetising, but a picture paints a thousand words, so without further ado…
AUDIENCE: LET’S PREVIEW THE GOO!!
As always, a bird’s-eye camera slowly zooms in on the Mucky Dip, while an inset box captures Sian’s reaction to the unfolding sight.
The rim-side camera then takes over, showing the lumpy and irregular hills and valleys in more detail. The gunge has a thick, shiny, paste-like appearance to it, almost like coloured clay.
Sian: [faced screwed up] Oh yuck!
Anthea: [rubbing hands together] Looking good! Sasha, how did you get it so lumpy? It almost seems to have growths on it!
Sasha: Ahh, I’m afraid I can’t divulge our secret recipes, but let’s just say that a lot of experimentation went into it, along with plenty of interesting ingredients!
Anthea: Sian, you must be grateful for Sasha’s efforts.
Sian: [Through gritted teeth] Cheers Sasha.
Anthea: Well now that we know what you’ll be wearing as your overcoat, let’s get an indication as to your under-layer. The midway voting figures are as follows:
Sian groans as the graphic flashes up. Anthea grins broadly. The audience cheers lustfully.
Anthea: It’s shaping up to be a landslide! A whopping 71% are keen for that teeny bikini, while only 29% want you to go down in the gown. Sian, I see you’re not happy, but I’m going to be perfectly fair—
Sian: Really? The fairness of the situation has been lost on me so far.
Anthea: No need to get grumpy. As I was saying, I’m going to be perfectly fair and give you fifteen seconds to appeal directly to the viewers, and perhaps persuade them to change their mind. Your time starts now!
Sian: [glaring at camera] So, I give you weeks of top-notch humilitainment, and now you turn against me! You lot are just as guilty as I am, so cut me some slack! It’ll be bad enough going in the Mucky Dip without wearing that humiliating bik—
The klaxon blares, followed by booing from the audience.
Sian: Give over, you hypocrites!
Anthea: Oh dear, she doesn’t like it when the tables are turned! Now Sasha, don’t you sidle off backstage! [Puts hand on Sasha’s shoulder] You’ll notice we have an empty cage here. Any idea who that’s for?
Sasha: [breaks into a nervous grin] Shall I get in there now?
Anthea: If you would please; it’ll save Tom and Charlie a job. Your colleagues in the lab are fed up with your messy pranks and they want something done about it! And Judi, there are plenty who’d like to see you punished for your crimes – not least your sister. So what we’re going to do is have a little vote, to decide which of you will take a ride in our Comeuppance Sloppy Superwash!
A panel at the back of the stage rises. In the concealed space behind lies a guantlet of tanks and nozzles. The audience whoops while Judi and Sasha look on in shock.
Anthea: The car-wash has come on a bit since I rode it! Sasha, your colleagues have been busy behind your back, and thanks go to Olive the school cook for supplying some of the ‘goodies’.
In the audience, Olive nods proudly.
Anthea: Now, we don’t have time for the full interviews, so let’s go straight to the personal appeals. Each of you has fifteen seconds to plead your innocence to the watching masses. Judi, your anti-file-sharing business is a borderline extortion racket, and you took a tad too much pleasure in your sister’s downfall last week! Isn’t it time that she and the public got their own back?
Judi: Certainly not! I only target people who download things they shouldn’t – not like Judi who annoys everyone with her spam. She deserved it and it wouldn’t be right to take away my bragging rights by messing me as well!
The klaxon blasts and the audience boos, accompanied by vigorous heckling from Trudi.
Anthea: Mmmm, not sure many see it from your point of view, Judi. But Sasha, what can I say about you? You’re the devious mastermind who designed the fiendish punishments that these ladies suffered, and on top of that you relentlessly prank your colleagues. Isn’t it high time that Dr Muck got a taste of her own medicine?
Sasha: [gestures lab-coat] Do you think I don’t take as much as I dish out? Don’t listen to my collagues; they’re as bad as me! And besides, I’m used to muck; it’s part of my daily life. [Runs a hand through hair] It’d be a waste to send me through cos I’d just shrug it off!
The klaxon screeches for the final time, appended by plenty of booing.
Anthea: Oooh, I think she’s bluffing! You can tell by the body-language, she’s thinking about how awful the slop will feel in her hair! [Walks forward] Anyway folks, there are now two polls open for you to vote in, so make sure your voice is heard on both of these important issues. We’ll be back at 10:30 for the very mucky climax! Will Jude get gooed or will Sash go splash?! And will Sian be wearing our tinsy-winsy Comeuppance bikini? [holds up orange two-piece] With the scores as they are, she may well be! Geddit – Welby?
Sian: [mutters] And I thought my puns were bad…
Alternative poll link
Alternative poll link