Madness

A sketch from A Bit of Fry & Laurie

Stephen addresses the camera, the way he often does. He is talking to Dr Marjorie who is a distinguished- looking woman, wearing a badge that says "Say no to madness".

Stephen Every day in Britain, more than ten million people are mad. That's the worrying conclusion contained in a report just published entitled "Is Britain Turning Into a Nation Of Mad People?" Dr Mijory Marjorie is with me now. Dr Marjorie, just how serious is this problem ...

Deborah It's very serious in ...

Stephen Wait a minute, I haven't finished.

Deborah Sorry.

Stephen ... in real terms?

Deborah (Pause) OK?

Stephen Yes, go on.

Deborah It's very serious indeed. In 1957, when records began, we were I think, the sixth maddest country in Europe. Whereas last year's figures show that now, Britain, I'm afraid, leads the European Community ...

Stephen And it is a community, isn't it?

Deborah Yes ... Britain now leads Europe in terms of being mad.

Stephen That's a worrying trend certainly.

Deborah You're very kind.

Stephen Not at all. Now, Dr Marjorie, in case any viewers have just this moment tuned in, would you mind having this whole conversation all over again?

Deborah Fine with me.

Stephen Is Britain turning into a nation of mad people? Dr Mijory Marjorie is with me now. Dr Marjorie, how serious is this problem, in real terms?

Deborah Not particularly.

Stephen Not particularly what?

Deborah Serious.

Stephen Isn't it?

Deborah No.

Stephen I see. Right. When we talk about Britain being one of the maddest countries in Europe, exactly what sort of madness are we talking about?

Deborah All sorts really - from the kind of madness that leads people to put on a hat whenever they get into a car, to the really extreme madness shown by people who write to "Points of View".

Stephen Interesting. That's quite a broad basket of madness, isn't it?

Deborah I think we've been pretty thorough.

Stephen Right. Now, for those viewers who have only just tuned in right this second, I think it might be worth you investing in a copy of the Radio Times, don't you? So that you can plan your viewing properly. After all, you wouldn't start reading a book at chapter five, would you?

Deborah You would if the first four chapters were rubbish.

Stephen Oh be quiet. Now turning to the causes behind or beneath or even slightly to one side of Britain's increasing madness ... in a sense, what are they?

Deborah Well, we examined a number of factors ...

Stephen Sorry, who is "we"?

Deborah My mother and I.

Stephen Fine.

Deborah ... and a woman called Alice.

Stephen Good.

Deborah And we came up with some very interesting results. Essentially, madness is like charity. It begins in the home.

Stephen Christ that's interesting.

Vox Pop

Stephen ... Haha ... round the ring road ... hahaha ...

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