Violence

A sketch from A Bit of Fry & Laurie

Stephen and Hugh are somewhere.

Stephen Violence: it's a theme we've touched on before now in this fortnightly look back on the past three days, and I dare say it's one we'll touch on again, and we don't apologise for that. Violence is not something that is going to lie down and go away.

Hugh Well put. I suppose Responsibility Television is the phrase that best sums up our approach.

Stephen What does Responsibility Television mean? Well it means that we are immensely concerned that nothing we do has a bad influence on our viewers. Thus when I hit Hugh, like so: Stephen hits Hugh. We have to consider what the effect on the viewer might be.

Hugh Is a vulnerable, easily-led section of our audience going to start imitating this kind of behaviour?

Stephen Well so far in this series I have hit Hugh on no less than a startling seven occasions. You might think we had no thought at all as to how the young might be influenced by this kind of senseless, horrific violence. Would they start to imitate it? Hugh.

Hugh Well the interesting and inescapable conclusion that we've come up with is yes. Because since the series has started to be transmitted I have found, walking along the street that I have been hit no less than twelve times by complete strangers.

Stephen So it looks as if the suggestible out there are actually imitating my violent behaviour patterns and striking you?

Hugh That's right.

Stephen Is that a worrying development?

Hugh It's not unworrying.

Stephen So it might be that the Milton Schulmans of this world aren't as incredibly stupid as the appear at first, second and thirty-fourth glance. We are unwittingly helping to make Britain a more violent place.

Hugh It's beginning to look horribly like it.

Stephen Well, let's see if we can't reverse this process. I'm going to give you a fiver now Hugh. Stephen does so. Would all those stupid enough to be influenced by my violent behaviour who are likely to go out onto the street and hit Hugh please watch very carefully as I now smile at Hugh, hand him another five pounds and say "There you are old chap, there's a fiver for you. Have a really super time. Oh, look here's another one. And another. There you go, bless you."

Hugh Well thank you very much indeed if you don't mind me saying so.

Stephen I certainly don't mind you saying so, in fact it's very kind of you. Here's a fiver.

Hugh Well, thank you I'm sure.

Stephen Good. Well, I hope you're going to monitor the public's behaviour very closely Hugh, and if you find people approaching with five pound notes, you'll come back on the programme and let us know?

Hugh I certainly will.

Stephen Alright then. Just time now to go over to Devizes and catch up with Chris and that giant sauna.

Vox Pop

Hugh They've got hotter pavements, I know that.

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