Sex Change

A sketch from A Bit of Fry & Laurie

Hugh (To camera) My guest tonight is someone who in 1987 caused a sensation by becoming the first woman to undergo a complete and successful sex change operation. In August of that year she entered the Pert Frool clinic in Dusseldorf as Melinda Coppice, author, broadcaster and mother of three. Two weeks later she left that clinic as Michael Coppice. His bestselling account of the operation, the painful decisions leading up to it, the painful incisions during the course of it and the aftermath of fame that resulted from it have made Michael Coppice a household name. Let's meet him now - ladies and gentlemen, Michael Coppice. Enter Deborah, completely normal woman. Shakes hands with Hugh. They sit. The sofa they sit on is dangerously soft and yielding: every now and then they are out of physical control because it's so squashy and hard to maintain balance in or on. Michael. Welcome.

Deborah Thank you. Great pleasure.

Hugh So. Michael. How would you say your life has been since the operation?

Deborah Well, I have to say firstly that everyone, my family, my friends, the people I meet have been enormously supportive since the operation that transformed me into a man. Both my ex-husband and my present wife have been tremendously understanding.

Hugh You now have a wife?

Deborah Yes indeed. With two children.

Hugh You are able to have children?

Deborah Oh yes. I have fathered a wonderful pair of twins. It was a total gender change, the operation.

Hugh And how successful would you say that operation has been?

Deborah Well, you can see for yourself. One hundred per cent.

Hugh Ye-e-es. How would you describe, as perhaps the only person in the world in a position to be able to do so, the difference between the sexes, then?

Deborah In a way it's hard for me to answer that, Clive: you see although I have been completely transformed into a man, I am still a transvestite. Hence the women's clothes.

Hugh You are still a transvestite?

Deborah Yes. More properly a transexual. Rather a good one, I think you'll agree. You'd never know I was a man would you?

Hugh No. No, I don't think I would. Does your wife object to your transexuality?

Deborah She seems to understand and support me fully.

Hugh Well let's meet her and find out. Ladies and gentlemen. Welcome now please Michael's wife Lucy Coppice. Enter Stephen as manly as ever. Man's clothes.

Hugh Welcome Lucy. (They kiss)

Stephen Thank you. (He squeezes Deborah's hand)

Hugh We were talking about whether or not you objected to the fact that your husband is a transexual.

Stephen Oh good Lord no. I'm one myself.

Hugh You are?

Stephen Yes. It's my ambition some day to have an operation like Michael's and become a man.

Deborah And I'm going to change myself back into a woman and we'll marry again.

Hugh Are you worried that this might upset and confuse your children?

Stephen Oh no, the twins are very aware of what's going on.

Hugh Are they identical twins?

Deborah That's right. A girl and a boy.

Hugh Um - identical twins must surely be of the same sex ... er ...

Stephen Yes, well Simon dresses as a girl and Lucy is a complete tomboy.

Hugh But what sex were they originally?

Deborah Um ... ?

Stephen Do you know, we can't remember.

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