FAO BurlyBear - re Battersea Life!


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Liverpool Supporter
Jun 24, 2008
Church of Schumacher, recruiting again!
Just read a post on another thread that mentioned your "Battersea Life" tales and had an awful thought - please tell me they weren't lost with the old forum! Now that would truly be a tragedy.
If you've still got them, I'd love to read them again, and I think some of our newer members might enjoy them too!
I rather suspect they've gone Anne as the message on the home page says all was lost.

they might be saved in a document

hopefully burleybear has a copy, sadly we haven't.

I had sussed that the online ones had gone, I just hope my favourite literary gems survive somewhere on the Burlz hard drive!
In fact, I might even suggest if they're still around they should be deposited with the British Library for posterity!!!
No more stories that Burls did,they were very funny and he cleverly parodied the QVC presenters names so we knew who he was slagging of....... talking about.
No more stories that Burls did,they were very funny and he cleverly parodied the QVC presenters names so we knew who he was slagging of....... talking about.

Oh, sounds good, thanks Snoopy, I hope to get a chance to read them too, BB clearly has a few fans here!!:)
No more stories that Burls did,they were very funny and he cleverly parodied the QVC presenters names so we knew who he was slagging of....... talking about.

Oooh I missed these! Would love to read 'em...

Oooh I missed these! Would love to read 'em...

Karen I haven't got Battersea Life but did save At Home With The Roberts (and Keenans), an earlier Burlz Special, which was hysterical. :D I wouldn't post it back on here without Burlz's permission but I'll PM it to you. :D :pPC:

Edit : Oh bugga I can't, the text is far too long even if I split the stories up. :(
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Battersea Life: Episode 1 "Dont Look Now"
Dawn Hanson screwed up her eyes, sucked on the last millimetre of her Silk Cut, threw it sulkily to the ground and twisted out the remains with the scuffed toe of a Zarkon boot (130813). Pulling her pink cardigan (132733) closer to her against the chill, she cursed the men in suits who forced her to smoke in the car park overlooking Jack Richardson’s “garden”. The garden was, in reality, a couple of thrown-together benches in front of some tatty looking trellis. Without the abundant pots, vases and baskets of flowers which were shipped in from the local garden centre for shows, it looked more like something a tramp would think twice about bedding down in. Dawn tutted under her breath as she turned away, trying to remember when she was next on with Jack. She couldn’t stand the arrogant little gnome and the feeling was mutual. Jack made it very obvious that he considered a woman’s place to be “In The Kitchen” and not in his garden. There was one exception of course, this being “Queenie” as the channel’s most senior presenter was known - Jack was perfectly happy to brown-nose those who could influence the scheduling if he thought it may get him a couple of extra hours.

Dawn brushed cigarette ash off her velour jogging bottoms (134242) , licked her index finger and scratched with her nail at the dried Spaghetti Bolognese stain that had been festering in her lap for several weeks. It was slowly fading, a few more cracks at it and there’d be no need to wash them at all. Dawn avoided washing things she’s obtained from work, as they invariably ended up two sizes smaller than they started, something Dawn could ill-afford to happen. And lets face it, if the gusset started to pong a bit, no one was going to notice were they?

Heading back to the studio, she reassured herself with the thought that the average viewer was so dazzled by the “smoke and mirrors” effect of TV home shopping that they didn’t have a clue what they were buying most of the time, let alone notice a few stains round her crotch. The only people who did seem to notice every tiny flaw were that lot on that website, who, as far as Dawn Hanson was concerned were a bunch of saddos who needed to get out more. Most of them were harmless, discussing their crafts and their favourite Yippee Candles, but there was a smaller more sinister contingent, a few jealous bitches and a couple of nasty queens who seemed to delight in discussing her on-air bloopers with great delight.

“What’s next then Tarquin?” she called to the production assistant who was leaning on a TV camera poking his belly button with the business end of a ball point pen.
“McCluff.. Studio 4, ten minutes” he replied without looking up.
“That’s McCLOUGH” she replied, pronouncing it “McCloo”. “Why the feck didna someone tell me?”

She didn’t wait to hear Tarquin’s reply, instead detouring sharply towards the dressing room suite and breaking into a trot. Why hadn’t someone said she was doing a McClough show? If she’d known she wouldn’t have eaten that family sized pork pie for breakfast, and with Drew McClough on the premises she’d have made sure she was looking a damned site more foxy than she did right now. She looked at her watch, 9 ½ minutes to air… should be just enough time. She reached her shared dressing room and headed for her own area. Piles of polyester and nylon garments crackled against each other as they lay across her chair and the dressing table heaved with spilt make up, empty coke cans, used cotton buds and dirty tissues. She looked at her reflection in the mirror, the hair was so greasy it would have made seal fur look dry and unmanageable. It was a right mess but there was no time to make any impact on it now. She grabbed her Essential Minerals blusher (215669) and swirl/tapped/buffed a few times over the shiniest bits of her face, applied some Gayle Merman lippy (222186) and squirted some nuclear-strength breath freshener into her mouth (Drew was a non-smoker). Then she turned her attention to the clothes. Six minutes to go and she was still rifling through the pile, searching for something that didn’t look like a left over from a jumble sale or smell like it had been used for wiping down a chip pan. With an increasing sense of panic she realised there was nothing suitable and checked out her reflection again. There was NO way she was working with Drew looking like this, there was nothing else for it…

Dawn looked both ways behind her down the corridor as she slowly turned the handle on Queenie’s dressing room. It was deserted. “Roberta?” she whispered… “are you in dear?”.
She knew that Queenie wasn’t working today, but you could never be too careful. Dawn had once visited her dressing room to “borrow” a gold popcorn watch (646797). She’d been happily admiring it on herself in the mirror only to realise that Roberta herself was stood behind her with a face like a smacked ar*e. That had taken some explaining, and Queenie had never really trusted her since. She didn’t want to make the same mistake again.

There was no sign of anyone. Dawn tiptoed over to Roberta’s expansive walk-in wardrobe. She was faced with row after row of brightly coloured sequinned tops, hundreds of gypsy skirts, boxes of shoes with Polaroid photos of the contents stuck on the front and a Pilates machine (431421) which was stood on its end festooned with tights and belts. For a few moments Dawn just stood there, awestruck, gazing at the selection before her. Then she pulled herself together and began to rifle. Her magpie instincts drew her eye to the glitzy items which had been given their own section of the wardrobe. These were the rare expensive pieces, “thank you gifts” from grateful designers who had sold or were still selling merchandise on the channel. As senior presenter, Roberta had the pick of who she worked with. The fact that she was most often involved in luxury skincare, fine jewellery and the higher end of costume jewellery and fashion was not a coincidence. Dawn couldn’t remember the last time she’s seen Queenie present a technology hour, and she would never be seen on a food show, eating on air was NOT in Roberta’s contract.

There was one good thing about stealing Queenie’s clothes, Dawn thought, at least they’re going to fit. There’s be no chance of stealing anything from that other scrawny arsed witch, even though her stuff was classier. Despite the difference in “personal style” Dawn and Roberta were not far from each other in size. Dawn plumped for a mid-range purple butterfly sequinned top (129091) and, breathing in for all she was worth, hastily wriggled into a pair of Roberta’s Power Knicks (129718). A pair of Kath & Co pants (128846) which were so ridiculously long that she had to tuck them into her Zarkons completed the look.

She arrived on set with seconds to spare before her intro. The director made a sarcy comment about having “more fags a day than I did when I was on holiday in Mykonos” but Dawn chose to ignore and concentrated instead on her spiel…. And of course Drew.
Drew McClough was the spokesman for McClough Premium Foods, a brand that had sky-rocketed in popularity since being launched the previous year. He was a PR man’s dream, being large, avuncular, verbose and prone to wearing traditional highland dress to promote the meat produced at his abattoir in a grim suburb of Glasgow. The gusto with which he demonstrated his wares was matched only by his over-zealous flirting with the female presenters. He was apparently unaware that most of them found him repugnant. But not Dawn.

Dawn was mesmerized by this pot bellied, kilt wearing butcher. When he described his products in that rich, familiar accent it was like “coming home” and she hung on his every word, his Fillet Steak made her mouth water, his Tongue made her squirm and his Sausage made her weak at the knees…. In his presence she became a 16 year old again, giggling at his jokes and flushing a bright shade of salmon pink from her décolleté to her forehead. He was a dream to work with, she allowed him to run the show, interjecting only when required with prices, item numbers and stock updates. When he said that he hadn’t met a woman yet who “didnae enjoy the taste of ma meat” she almost fainted.

As always was the case with McClough, the show whizzed by in a whirl of innuendo, giggles and hot, wet flushes. At the climax, as she ran through the review, she had a strange feeling that all was not well in the studio. She heard the director take a sharp intake of breath, and the producer exclaim “sheeeee-yat!” in her ear-piece. Dawn hadn’t a clue what was going on, and as she rattled through item numbers and ways to order she was looking forward to popping off to the canteen for a cosy cup of coffee and a cheese sandwich with Drew (The pork pie seemed like hours ago and she apart from a couple of steak and kidney pies she hadn’t eaten much during the show). Yet there was something very VERY wrong….

As the final notes of the McClough theme tune faded away, a chill wind blew across Dawns face. She turned to the sound engineer who was removing her mic pack, and as she looked over his shoulder she realised why the atmosphere in the studio had changed.

Dawn gulped.

Towering in her platform mules, like some evil colossus, in a dark corner of the studio yet bizarrely still wearing a pair of huge sunglasses, a chinese-style designer top (135986) which Dawn knew for a fact had been stolen from a show, hair pulled up into a “pineapple” and a slash of bright pink lipstick (221068), stood Roberta Jones - Senior Presenter and the first woman on UK shopping television. She was talking animatedly into her mobile phone but Dawn was sure that behind those sunglasses her eyes were fixed only on her, or rather on what she was wearing.

Roberta finished her phone call, removed her sunglasses and gazed at Dawn through narrowed eyes. Moments passed but it felt like hours. Finally, as Roberta took a step forward, Dawn realised that the entire crew was silent, intently watching events unfold. Four more steps and Roberta was stood inches away from her, Dawn felt her bowels loosen and for a moment was thankful for the Power Knicks. Roberta sneered, then suddenly raised her hand and….

To be continued in Battersea Life Episode 2 "The Egos Have Landed"
Battersea Life Episode 2 - "The Egos Have Landed"
Episode 1 can be found at http://www.shoppingtelly.com/forum/s...ad.php?t=40887

Roberta Jones took a step forward, Dawn realised that the entire crew was silent, intently watching events unfold. Four more steps and Roberta was stood inches away from her, Dawn felt her bowels loosen and for a moment was thankful for the Power Knicks. Roberta sneered, then suddenly raised her hand and simultaneously waved and shrieked at someone over Dawn’s shoulder:
“Abi…. ABI!! ……. ABEEEEEEEEEEE!!!”

Dawn winced and turned her face away, Roberta was only inches away and her breath smelled of the Cabbage Soup Diet (item no longer available) which had been one of the channels monumental failures from a couple of years before. As a result, hundreds of sachets of the noxious powder had been distributed to female presenters free of charge. By the management. Far from being a charitable act by their employer, it was actually a hint from the bosses that several of the on-air team, Dawn and Roberta included, were considered to be too fat for TV. Roberta hadn’t taken it at all well but after studying herself long and hard in her full length mirror (753398) had decided to comply.
Roberta hissed at Dawn “I’ll see YOU later” before flouncing off in a fug of cabbage-breath and J-Lo’s “Glow” (the concept of “that’s a little young for you” did not exist in Roberta’s book)

Abigail Jeung was the channels resident beauty expert. Described as a cool blonde, this was an understatement as she could in fact freeze water with the raise of an eyebrow. She was also an expert sales woman whose figures continually topped the league tables at the channel. This was the woman who famously sold a 27 piece “Models Love It” make up set (an “Amazing Special Value” item 222975) to a 98 year old man who had called the 0800 number by mistake in the belief that it was the funeral director. His wife had just died. “DON’T buy her this” said Abigail “She doesn’t’t need it…. Now how are your daughters coping? You do have a daughter I gather? No? how about a daughter-in-law who needs a new look for the funeral?”. The sale was in the bag. In the world of TV home shopping this woman was an icon. She was also the only presenter who actually ran her own department. She fired buyers frequently and with relish. There was no room for mistakes, no second chances. No-one got old whilst working for Jeung.

She was on her mobile phone as Roberta approached.
“Abi, babe, I need urgent hair advice… I’ve had it coloured again and…….”
Abigail silenced Roberta by holding up her hand palm outwards in the “STOP” position and placing it against Roberta’s nose. She carried on speaking into her phone…
“How much do they want for that? No way… no… tell her if she can do 100,000 units at 20 then we can talk, other wise tell her we’re going with DeColore for the ASV.”
Still with one hand up against Roberta, she pressed a button on her phone to pick up a held call.
“Yes I‘m still here….that model you sent yesterday, the blonde one. She tried to speak, do NOT send her again. In fact, sack her. Yes, you heard me… sack her from your agency. Look I don’t care if…. Excuse me? Let me make myself clear, do you LIKE having the contract for supplying this TV station with models? Right, well I think we understand each other then.”

She snapped the phone shut without saying goodbye and turned to Roberta, looking at her as if they had never met before.
Roberta pulled a Scrunchee (431740) out of her hair and shook down a mop of frizzy hair.
“look at THIS” she said pointing at her head. “I had it coloured yesterday and its come out all wrong” her bottom lip trembled “what am I going to do?”
Abigail perused the frazzled mess for a few seconds then barked
“222152. Use three times on three consecutive days. The third time you use it, layer it with 221630. Leave it in for 3 minutes and 25 seconds precisely. Any shorter and it wont work, any longer and you‘ll be bald. Rinse. Rinse again. Rinse a third time. Then for the next four days use 221981, applied as a mask. That will do the trick. And leave the colour alone for chist’s sake Roberta, or you’ll have no hair at all…… And have you been sunbathing….?
Roberta giggled
“It’s Eek-A-Tan! Honest!” she lied (221009). She flicked back her hair in an exaggerated movement, and a few wisps detached and wafted slowly to the floor. “I’ve got to dash and get changed hun, I’ve got an hour of Diamonella with CTB and you know what she’s like!”

Alison Conan, known as Conan the Barbarian, or CTB by her colleagues, was by anyone’s standards a TV professional. In readiness for her hour of Diamonella which, inexplicably, she was required to present as a two-hander with Roberta Jones, she had arrived in the studio 30 minutes before air time. She had already closely studied the trolley which contained all of the samples of cubic zirconium jewellery which were to be sold during her hour. She had then pre-prepared an appropriate anecdote for each item and scribbled notes on the green card which contained the product information. It was very unlikely to happen, but any hint that she might be running out of things to say would simply require a quick glance at her card and the anecdote would be ready and waiting.
“I was fortunate enough to have a bracelet like this in genuine diamonds for my birthday recently. Obviously it was much more expensive than this but you really couldn’t tell the difference…”
“When my daughter started studying for her PHD - she’s at Oxford - I bought her a pendant like this as a good luck charm.. It was real diamonds but we do worry about her losing it. No need for YOU to worry though, not when its good old Diamonella…”

Alison Conan had never “dried” on live television and did not intend to start now. Her preparation was her insurance policy and, she was sure, made her more engaging to her audience. She looked at her watch and tutted. Five minutes to the hour and where was Queenie? Probably trying on some hideous new purple sleeveless “top“ as she called them. Alison glanced in the monitor at her own appearance. She was, as the saying goes, “put together”. She would not wear clothes provided by her employer unless it was required as part of a fashion show, in which case she did her best to disguise them by pushing up the sleeves or turning up the collar. The clothes she normally wore for work came from high end London stores, her shoes and accessories matched perfectly. She was manicured, pedicured, tanned , made up and coiffed to perfection. And most importantly of all… she was skinny.

Roberta Jones wobbled onto the set with 4 minutes to spare, bosoms heaving in, or rather out of a purple sleeveless “top“ (123968)… in her book, being here this early was way beyond the call of duty, but Conan did have a habit of getting tetchy if things were rushed.
“Hi hun…. Haven’t seen you for ages!”
“Hello Roberta… you look marvellous! Had your hair done? And I have to say I adore that top… is it one of ours?”
They air-kissed half heartedly and Roberta plonked herself behind the desk.
“I think it’s just a Karen Millen actually”
“oh lovely!” said Alison. “Now, I’m all prepped up as usual. Did you do your prep earlier?”
“No need to prep hun, I can do this with my eyes closed, as you know” Roberta emphasised the “I”, the implication being clear.
“Oh you’re a pro and we all adore you for it. Still going, after all these years, and years…. And years.”
Roberta seethed inwardly, after her bad hair day and Dawn Hanson stealing from her dressing room again she was NOT in the mood to take anything from this stuck up madam. CTB had been trying to steal Roberta’s “crown” since she joined the channel. Just because she’d done a brief stint on mainstream telly with “It’s Morning! With Robin and Joanie” she thought she was something special. Roberta girded her loins, flicked her hair and gave Alison a dazzling smile:
“Yes Ali its been a long time. I pride myself on how far I’ve got in this teeny weeny little world of shopping telly.. And I’m sooo happy that I’ve never had to compromise my position to get here.. Y’know not like some of them? I mean, can you imagine anyone sleeping with ANY of that lot on the fifth floor just for a few extra hours on air? It’s happened you know…..!”
The silence that followed was only interrupted by the director “Two minutes to air please… Two minutes everyone”.
Alison Conan’s smile was fixed. “No I hadn’t heard that. Who on earth could you mean I wonder? I daren’t even ask! Ha ha Still with your background in theatre and dance I’m sure you know all the tricks of the trade when it comes to getting to the top. I heard you were the one who could always throw your legs up higher than everyone else…….and wider”.
Roberta couldn’t hold it in any longer “What’s THAT supposed to mean you cheeky cow? I’m not the one whose on her second husband with a boyfriend on the side”
Alison responded immediately “Well no, you’ve never quite managed to make it down the aisle have you Roberta.. couldn’t you find a dress to fit? Or wasn’t he ever really bothered enough? It must have been so hard for you both.. A second rate trumpet player and a bit part actress with fat ankles and a smidgeon of ambition to get on the television. I‘ve seen it so many times before you poor poor thing. Those of us who are broadcasters in the true sense of the word have so much to be thankful for”
Roberta was incandescent with rage.
“BROADCASTER? HA HA who are you trying to kid? A few stand-ins for Joanie Flannagan when she was too pissed to get to the studio and you think you’re a broadcaster? By the way, did the husband try and feel you up or was he gay that week? Don’t tell me you didn’t know he was AC/DC? Maybe he thought you were a man? Just do me a favour darling, you couldn’t broadcast yourself out of a paper bag OR back into a job on mainstream”
The director, realising that things could be about to go horribly wrong : “Thirty seconds to air everyone, THIRTY SECONDS TO AIR”
Alison Conan gathered her green cards, shuffled them as if she were about to read the news and placed them carefully back on the desk in front of her. “I think we should leave this for now, don’t you Roberta? I’m a professional. I have a CV in legitimate TV as long as your arm. I am everything you always wanted to be, I am successful…..”
“stuff it you cow”
“I am happy…..”
“yeah right….. Bet your husband isn’t”
“I am wealthy…..”
“What are you working here for then?”
“But most of all Roberta, I am THIN!”
Their earpieces bleeped
“that’s 4 seconds, and 3, and two.. Smile everyone, lots of energy…. and GO!”

Roberta: “Good evening and welcome to THE shopping channel. I’m Roberta Jones and I’m delighted to be presenting an hour of Diamonella with Alison Conan. Ali, what a pleasure! we haven’t worked together for AGES!… ships that pass in the night etc”
Alison: “Yes Roberta, no idea why…. they must be trying to keep us apart!
Both: “ha ha ha ha ha”

To be continued in Episode 3, The Finale. Clarisse Dutton and Frances Jilks star in “Dumb and Dumber”

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