Posted on August 15, 2010 - by

Recorded for Training Purposes

As you will guess reading our site, Radio 4 forms a big part of our lives – as writers and as normal, well-informed, euridite human beings.

We submitted our two-part sketch Diplomatic Relations for this flagship comedy series in, um… well it seems a long time ago now.

We were pleased as punch to have them accepted, over the moon to have them recorded and, well, Andy nearly fell off the sofa when the recorded versions were included in the broadcast show this Summer.

Diplomatic Relations

Keen & Pandini | 2010


MINISTER:
Good Morning, Prime Minister Chamberlain. I have word from our Ambassador in Germany.

NEVILLE CHAMBERLAIN:
Go on.

MINISTER:
German troops have invaded Poland.

NEVILLE CHAMBERLAIN:
I see. Our worst fears, Simkins.

MINISTER:
Indeed, Prime Minister. What shall I tell our Ambassador?

NEVILLE CHAMBERLAIN:
I think it’s time to talk to Mister Hitler directly. Send a telegram telling him to withdraw his troops immediately.

MINISTER:
Um,Ok..

NEVILLE CHAMBERLAIN:
Is there a problem?

MINISTER:
It’s just .. won’t that look a bit desperate? If we come straight out with it like that? He might think we really want him to withdraw his troops.

NEVILLE CHAMBERLAIN:
But we do really want him to withdraw his troops.

MINISTER:
Yes. But we don’t want him to know that. He’ll think we’re too needy.

NEVILLE CHAMBERLAIN:
You’re right. We want to give the impression that we have lots of other people’s troops to worry about and that we’re just having a casual chat. Nothing serious. Send the following: “DON’T DO IT ADOLPH STOP”

MINISTER:
The stop sounds quite serious.

NEVILLE CHAMBERLAIN:
It’s punctuation, Simkins. Punctuation is always serious. Put an exclamation mark instead. That should sort things out.

MINISTER:
Very well, Sir.

FX: Minister leaves the room. Door closes.

FX: Minister opens door and walks into the room.

MINISTER:
Good evening, Prime Minister. It is much later in the day than when we last spoke.

NEVILLE CHAMBERLAIN:
Isn’t it? I hear that Mister Hilter has only just replied?

MINISTER:
Yes.

NEVILLE CHAMBERLAIN:
And you’ve been waiting by the machine? You’re sure you didn’t miss an earlier message?

MINISTER:
Quite sure, Sir.

NEVILLE CHAMBERLAIN:
So, what does he say?

MINISTER:
“Nein.”

NEVILLE CHAMBERLAIN:
What?

MINISTER:
It’s just a number nine, sir. Or more precisely, a number nine followed by a semi-colon, a dash and a bracket.

NEVILLE CHAMBERLAIN:
Which bracket?

MINISTER:
Closing.

NEVILLE CHAMBERLAIN:
Ah. I see.

MINISTER:
Do you know what it means?

NEVILLE CHAMBERLAIN:
Absolutely no idea. Answer him and ask what the devil he means.

MINISTER:
But sir, then he will know that we don’t understand.

NEVILLE CHAMBERLAIN:
But we don’t understand.

MINISTER:
But whatever we do, we don’t want him to know that, do we?

NEVILLE CHAMBERLAIN:
Whatever

MINISTER:
Exactly

NEVILLE CHAMBERLAIN:
No. “Whatever.” That’s our answer. Casual and doesn’t give too much away. I’m definitely getting the hang of this diplomacy business, Simkins.

MINISTER:
Indeed. But, well, it’s gone 10 o’clock now sir. Should we wait until the morning?

NEVILLE CHAMBERLAIN:
Usually I would agree Simkins but this is very serious. The stability of international relations is at stake. If we wait until the morning to send the message, I might have gone off it. We will have to take the risk of appearing slightly rude and inconsiderate. Send the message immediately. “Whatever.” I think that makes our feelings perfectly clear.

MINISTER:
As you wish. Shall I put “LOL” at the end?

NEVILLE CHAMBERLAIN:
What does that mean?

MINISTER:
No idea, Sir, but President Roosevelt always puts it.

NEVILLE CHAMBERLAIN:
Well we should be putting it too then. Send the telegram Simkins and then switch off the machine. There’s no point staying up all night looking at it.

MINISTER:
Quite so. Mister Hitler will probably be in bed anyway. I’ll switch it back on in the morning.

NEVILLE CHAMBERLAIN:
Yes. I doubt very much we’ll hear from him before 11.

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