Copyright © 1990, 2003 Jane
And Mark Lewis. http://www.pottedjam.org Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Ninth Hour News
by Jane And Mark Lewis
This was one of our most popular sketches in its day. It relied on Mark
doing a very passable impression of John Cole who was, at the time, the
BBC News Political Editor. He was renowned for his distinctive Northern
Irish accent and his authoritative, impartial reporting littered with mixed
We wondered what would happen if John Cole was reporting on Jesus' birth?
This was the result. See also Sunrise TV.
The sketch has been downgraded to two pots as it's so dated (this version
is the third rewrite from 1992) The BBC News isn't even on at 9 o'clock
anymore! However, the principle remains valid and it could be successfully
rewritten to match a more up-to-date political commentator (at the time
of writing Andrew Marr surely?) and with some topical news items.
Anna Daptor - Newsreader
John Charcoal - Political Editor of the PBC
Anna is sat at a desk, John standing to the side with microphone at the
Voiceover: This is PBC1 [PBC=Palestine
Broadcasting Corporation]....bringing you the Ninth Hour News with
Anna: The headlines tonight.....
The Shekel is taken out of the R.E.M.
2 Roman soldiers are killed in Northern Galilee,
Worsening traffic congestion causes chaos throughout
the country, and
Rumours are flying that the Messiah has been born
The Chancellor Yitzhak Lamont today pulled the
shekel out of the Roman Exchange Mechanism - allowing it to float freely
on the market. The move came after the incredible market pressure
of the last few weeks culminating yesterday in Black Wednesday. The
shekel closed at 2.347 against the Roman denarius.
Two soldiers of the Roman Security Forces were
stabbed and killed earlier today in an ambush near Capernaum. The
Zealot Revolutionary Army have claimed responsibility. The attack
is seen as a reprisal after the recent security clampdown in Northern Galilee
in which a number of Galilean civilians were killed.
As the whole country still seems on the move,
due to the census, traffic congestion is worsening. There have been
widespread reports of traffic jams and overcrowded city centres.
Today there was a five mile tailback on the Jerusalem to Jericho road.
The manager of the Ben Hilton hotel chain today said his hotels were still
unable to cope with demand for rooms.
But our main story this evening is the controversy
that has been sparked by the birth of a boy in Bethlehem who some are claiming
to be the Messiah. We go over to Bethlehem now to our chief
political and religious correspondent - John Charcoal. John can you
fill us in.
John: Well yes indeed Anna. A few weeks ago a boy,
Jesus Davidson, was born to a Nazarene couple here in Bethlehem - and there
have been subsequent claims that he might, in fact, be the Messiah.
The main proponents of this view are a group of local shepherds who are
claiming to have been told by over 50,000 angels that this is indeed the
Messiah and that his arrival heralds the best news since the Bethlehem
Rangers went 3:1 up against Jerusalem United.
Anna: What about the feeling on
the ground here in Jerusalem?
John: As you might expect Anna - the city has been in
uproar. Everyone from pauper to priest is talking about what this all means
and whether the timing is right for the Messiah to be born. Simeon
the Prophet was quoted as saying..
"My eyes have seen your salvation which you have prepared in the sight
of all people. A light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory
to your people Israel".
This is pretty confident language from Simeon who clearly believes
that this Jesus is the Saviour.
Anna: What has been the official
reaction from the government.
John: Well, the reaction from the palace has been typically
strong. Herod is reported to have been "in a stomping rage" - and
so, I have been told, he is planning to massacre all the young boys in
the Bethlehem region to dispose of any opposition.
Anna: Is Herod MAD?!!!
John: He's absolutely furious, Anna. Undoubtably displeased
by being snubbed by an Eastern delegation who, after meeting the boy, left
the country without returning to Jerusalem. Indeed thay left without even
giving Herod any hint of where the meeting occurred. Herod was then
apparently tipped off by the chief priests that the boy would be found
Anna: Is that where he is now John?
John: Its difficult to say actually Anna. His parents
have been unavailable for comment and no-one has seen the boy for some
days. Sources close to the family say that they are meeting behind closed
doors to discuss their future. Most believe that they will leave
Anna: John - you're there feeling
the waters as it were - do you think that he poses a major threat to the
John: Well Anna if I had to come down on one side or the
other I wouldn't! Its too early to say, at this stage, whether the
boy does pose such a threat. I would say that he is is most likely
to stay out of the limelight building popular support for some future challenge.
So, undoubtably a boy to keep an eye on and I suspect we'll see more of
him in times ahead. But, from the polarisation of views about him,
already, he looks like one of those people who you're either for or against.
Anna: What kind of leader would
Jesus Davidson make?
John: Well I just don't know Anna. If he is the
Messiah then of course he will rescue the nation, but I'm keeping my mind
open as to how he would achieve this. The Zealots along with the
far-right of the Pharisaical Party would prefer the military option.
Those more left of centre in the Party, along with the Sadducees would
seek a more pragmatic "restoration of Zion". What I think is most
interesting is what Simeon hinted at - that salvation could be for more
people than just the Jews - which would be a very unpopular path to tread.
However, I do think that, at the end-of-the-day each one of us will have
to make up our own minds about him.
Anna: Thank you, John.
John: Thank you Anna.
Anna: That was the Ninth Hour News.
Copyright © 1990, 2003 Jane And
Mark Lewis. http://www.pottedjam.org
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