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Monty Python Scripts

Foreign Secretary

The cast:

Graham Chapman
Michael Palin
Rita Davies
Michael Palin

The sketch:

Interviewer: Mr. L. F. Dibley's 'Finian's Rainbow'. And now over to me. (close-up of interviewer) Exclusively on the program today we have the Foreign Secretary, who has just returned from the bitter fighting in the Gulf of Amman. He's going to tell us about canoeing.

(On the bank of a river seen from the other side. There is a canoe on the bank a man in a pinstripe suit stands beside it. Superimposed caption: 'THE FOREIGN SECRETARY' He gives a little rough and gets in. Two Arabs run in from other side of frame, lift up the canoe and throw it and the Foreign Secretary into the water. Cut back to the interviewer.)

Interviewer: That gives you just some idea of what's going on out there. Today saw the long-awaited publication of the Portman Committee's Report on Industrial Reorganization...


Interviewer: It's taken five years to prepare and it's bound to have an enormous impact on the future of industrial relations in this country. In the studio tonight Lord Porlman, Chairman of the Committee, Sir Charles Avery, Employers' Reorganization Council, and Ray Millichope, leader of the Allied Technicians' Union. And they're going to make a human pyramid.

(Three men in shorts run on to accompaniment of tinkly music and form a pyramid As they complete it we cut to film of Vatican crowds and dub on enormous ovation.)

Interviewer: .Bra... vo. Now the President of the Board of Trade...

(Cut back to the same river bank shot from across the river. The President of the Board of Trade in pinstripes is standing beside a hamper. He smiles and gets in, and lowers the lid Once again two Arabs run in from either side and throw it in. All these sequences are speeded up.)

Interviewer: Now here's the Vice-Chairman of ICI.

(Cut back to same river bank. A head looking out of the hamper. It disappears as two Arabs run in and toss it in.)

Interviewer: Well, so much for politics and the problems of Britain's industrial reorganization. Now we turn to the higher subject of sport, and Reg Harris, the former world cycling sprint champion, talks to us about the psychological problems of big race preparation. (Reg and his bike are thrown in the river by the Arabs) And now the world of song - Anne Zeigler and Webster Booth. (two hampers thrown in river by four Arabs) Well, all good things must come to an end, and that's all for this week. But to close our program, Dame Irene Stoat, who celebrates her eighty-fifth birthday this month, reads one of her most famous poems.

(Cut to the river bank. An old lady is standing beside it, but this time on the bank of the river nearest the camera. On the other bank we see the Arabs run into shot, realize they've been foiled and leap up and down in anger.)

Dame Irene: Who shall declare this good, that ill
When good and ill so intertwine
But to fulfill the vast design
Of an omniscient will.
When seeming again but turns to loss
When earthly treasure proves but dross
And what seems lost but turns again
To high eternal gain.

(The Arabs run out of vision. Suddenly, from right beside the camera, with a bloodcurdling seream a Samurai warrior with drawn sword leaps upon her and hurls her backwards into the water. The warrior then strikes up a fierce heroic pose for the camera. Superimposed caption on screen: 'NEWHAVEN - LE HAVRE. GETAWAY TO THE CONTINENT'

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