Scene: BBC Comedy Department
Two would-be comedy writers pitch their idea for a new version of 1970s sit-com 'Are You Being Served?' to the Head of Comedy.
“Ground floor: performance management,
Stationery cupboard and Latin good;
Sports and Humanities,
Classics and Liter-ature. Profits up!
First floor: Technology,
Greek and Science Laboratory,
French, Geography, History,
German, Spanish and Biology. Profits up!
Second floor: SEN,
Horsecare and Fish Husbandry,
Hairdressing and Computer Science,
ICT and RE. Profits down!
First floor: inspection time,
Ofsted says ‘inadequate’,
‘Where's your Baccalaureate?’
‘Underperforming and Coasting’. Shutting down!”
Writer 1: "I hope you, like, liked the updated theme tune, there.
Writer 2: "Yeah, our idea is a remake of that old classic 'Are You Being Served?' But this time it would be set in a 'John Lewis-style' school motto, 'Never knowingly under-profit' and the school would combine both lessons and retail 'experience' for the kids in order to increase profits for the school's partners. The kids would even get detention if they didn't meet their lunchtime sales targets!
"There'd be so many comedy scenarios the parents storming in accusing the head and teachers of profiteering, rigging the curriculum and exploiting the kids and non-partner staff to boost profits and get more dividends for themselves!
Writer 2: "Yeah, like, cool! We've updated the catchphrases and characters too. There'd be Mrs Slowcoach, the obese PE teacher who's working past retirement age 'cos she still wants her divvies, and she'd, like, ask Mr Humanities: 'Are you free?' And he'd reply 'I'm free school, Mrs Slowcoach!'"
"All the staff would have points rewards cards, earning points every time someone passes an exam, and they'd be motivated by greed, and so there'd be a catchphrase 'What do Points Make? Profits!'"
"And 'all coursework can be returned within 14 days if accompanied by a receipt'!
Writer 1: "Yeah, it would be, like, hilarious?! And all that innuendo about Mrs Slowcoach's cats and the way Mr Humanities walks and talks would be ok because it would be, like, 'ironic'.
Writer 2: "Or post-ironic, or post-PC, or whateva."
Head of Comedy: "I've never heard anything so far-fetched! Teaching is a vocation and most teachers want to teach because they want their students to learn and do well they're not motivated by making a profit out of their school and its pupils.
"It's immoral and insulting to teachers. I don't suppose John Lewis want their name dragging into this either.
"Even Michael Gove and the DfE wouldn't buy this idea. It's not clever and it's not funny. Get out!