YouTube Transcription #61 Not The Nine O’Clock News

This was an extremely successful TV sketch show which made its four members very famous, but none more so than the gorilla in this sketch – Rowan Atkinson. The title came from the BBC continuity announcer between programmes: “Next on BBC 1 is The Nine O’Clock News”, and here on BBC 2 it’s “Not The Nine O’Clock News.”

Interviewer (Pamela Stephenson): In the past few years there have been some extraordinary breakthroughs in communication between men and animals; some outstanding cases being those with dolphins and with owls. But in the forefront of this field is Professor Timothy Fielding.
Fielding (Mel Smith): Good evening.
Interviewer: And his experiments with a gorilla called Gerald. Professor, can Gerald really speak as we would understand it?
Fielding: Oh yes, yes. I mean he can speak a few actual words. Of course it was extremely difficult to get him even to this stage. Erm, when I first… when I first captured Gerald in the Congo, in ’67 I think it was, I …
Gerald (Rowan Atkinson): Sixty-eight.
Fielding: Sixty-eight. Erm, there was an awful lot of work to do; he was enormously slow and difficult. I had to do a lot of work with him on a sort of one-to-one basis…
Gerald: Yes, if I may just butt in at this point, Tim. I think I should point out that I have done a considerable amount of work on this project myself, and if I may say so, your teaching methods do leave a bit to be desired
Fielding: That’s a bit ungrateful, isn’t it?
Gerald: And your, your diction, for instance is not really…
Fielding: I’m sorry, I’m sorry. Could I put this into some sort of perspective? When I caught Gerald in ’68, he was completely wild.
Gerald: “Wild“? I was absolutely livid! I’d never seen such a t*** in all my life!
Interviewer: Well clearly all that’s changed now… because, of course, you’ve been brought up in the Professor’s own house.
Fielding: Yes, he’s living with me, yes.
Gerald: Though not in the biblical sense. Ha, ha.
Interviewer: Yes, I was going to ask you actually, Gerald – do you have a mate?
Gerald: Yeah, I’ve got lots of mates. Erm, there’s the professor, there’s his son Toby, there’s Raymond next-door…
Interviewer: No, actually what I…
Gerald: Oh, I see! Oh, I see – crumpet! Well…
Fielding: You didn’t tell me you were friendly with Raymond.
Gerald: Well, do I have to tell you everything?
Interviewer: To come back to my earlier question – how has Gerald reacted to being separated from his family?
Fielding: Well to begin with Gerald did make various attempts to contact his old flange of gorillas…
Gerald: It’s a “woop”, professor, a “woop of gorillas”. It’s a “flange of baboons”, for god’s sake.
Fielding: He sent them the occasional letter but I couldn’t really see the point. I mean they either ate them or wiped their bottoms on them.
Gerald: Look! Look, I know you’ve never got on with my mother…
Fielding: Well she didn’t exactly like me, did she?
Gerald: She got on perfectly well with David Attenborough.
Fielding: David Attenborough! All I ever hear, is David bloody Attenborough!
Gerald: Let’s leave Dave out of this, shall we?
Fielding: Oh shut up and have a banana or something.
Gerald: All right, I will.
Interviewer: If could interrupt for a moment – Gerald, I believe you’ve been earning some money doing TV commercials and so on. What do you spend your earnings on?
Gerald: Erm, well, I… I suppose you’d expect me to say that I spend most of my money on peanuts, bananas and carpet cleaner. Ha, ha, ha.
Interviewer; No, not at all!
Gerald: Well I do spend about 95% of it on those items, but the rest goes on little luxuries – I’m very keen on Johnny Mathis.
Fielding: Yes, you’re not kidding, are you? “When A Child Is Born” blaring out till all hours while I’m downstairs trying to do some work.
Gerald: Look, the production on that album is amazing!
Fielding: It’s my serious scientific project, and you behave like an absolute child.
Gerald: I went to evening classes, and…
Fielding: Oh shut up about your bloody evening classes, Gerald!
Gerald: As Aristotle once said, “Η ζωή είναι ένα αγγούρι, η γυναίκα είναι το ποδήλατο.”
Fielding: You arrogant little b******! You’re wrecking my life’s work! Trampling around the garden, eating the daffodils…
Gerald: I do not eat daffodils!
Fielding: Well somebody does, don’t they?
Interviewer: Well, perhaps we could leave it there. Gerald, Professor, thank you very much indeed.
Daffodil: He bloody does eat daffodils, you know!

Expressions used

To “butt in” means to interrupt
“Leaves a lot/bit to be desired” means “is not very good”
“I’m sorry” is often used before saying ones open and honest opinion.
“Wild” has two meanings. The professor used it to mean a “wild animal”, not domesticated; whereas Gerald used it to mean “angry”.
“Not in the biblical sense” is sometimes used to mean the situation is different to the situation described in the Bible. In this case he means “We are not married”.
“Mate” has two meanings. The interviewer used it to mean a breeding partner, whereas Gerald used it to mean “friend”.
David Attenborough is a very, very popular TV nature program presenter. He has spent a lot of time with gorillas in Africa. He is now 89 and still very active.

“When A Child Is Born” was a Christmas hit for Johnny Mathis in 1976.

“Till (until) all hours” means very late at night, with disregard for other people.
To “trample” means to walk carelessly, damaging whatever is underfoot.

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