|The real Sherlock Holmes|
Another lost Sherlock Holmes story has been re-discovered (by a certain Nick Cohen) and published in The Spectator.
The tale is entitled Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of the Murdered Script, and in just a few brilliant pages it tells the story of a troubled BBC Director General who pays a desperate visit to Baker Street and leaves the great sleuth appalled and the good Dr Watson in an understandable rage.
The mystery at first seems to be one of the toughest that Holmes has ever faced and concerns The Six Thatchers, broadcast on BBC One on New Year's Day.
The mystery, simply put, is this: What was it that the BBC broadcast and why did they broadcast it?
Holmes's brilliant mind, however, cleaves through the fog and finds the truth with ease - a truth that I, your humble servant, will not spoil by copying and pasting it onto this blog. (It sends the BBC's DG away with a haunted face - as well it might).
Instead I shall merely whet your appetite for mystery by copying and pasting the following extract, as Tony Hall begins his horrifying tale of what befell BBC One viewers on New Year's Day:
‘It begins with Professor Moriarty taking over every computer and TV screen.’‘Why would he do that?’‘No one knows’‘Will it be explained later?’‘No one knows. Anyway, a boy burns to death in a car.’‘Is this child’s unfortunate demise at the heart of your case?’‘Not really. It’s covered in 90 seconds.’‘As I understand it, Mr Hall, you assigned 90 minutes to your entertainment. How did your scriptwriters fill the remaining 88 minutes and 30 seconds?’Our visitor turned pale. He clearly did not wish to speak, but with the effort of a condemned man climbing the steps he stammered, ‘By making you lovable.’‘Lovable?’‘Yes to show you are game for a laff.’‘And how do these repellent qualities manifest themselves?’‘You lunge for a plate of biscuits and shout, “Are those ginger nuts? I love ginger nuts”.’‘Surely this must make me seem remarkably stupid?’‘Everyone must in BBC drama today. Easily bored 13-year olds are our target audience. Even after the watershed. Especially after the watershed.’
Can you solve the Mystery of the Murdered Script before clicking on the link to the Spectator and reading on? What evil purpose compelled the BBC to commit such a deed of infamy against the great sleuth, his faithful companion, his wife, their creator, and the viewing Great British public?