Newsboost is going to be 11 years old this year. I watched it again recently and I’m still pretty pleased with it now, but back when we made it, it’s fair to say it was the crowning achievement of my life.
Obviously we wanted to do another one, and for a while there was a short-lived plan to follow up the news bulletin Newsboost with a late night current affairs programme called Newsboostnight.
It was going to be a special programme looking in depth at a scandal surrounding The Papples. This was when the only Papples album was “Masterpiece”, and we’d realised that all the songs on that album basically had the same tune.
Since there’s nothing in my life at the moment, and I have nothing much to write about, I thought I’d post the three pages of script that were written for Newsboostnight so you can enjoy them.
Clips of politicians, wars, other big world events, newsprint, etc. with jiggy transitions. Orchestral news music with guitars (think, er, Newsnight). Eventually it resolves into a purple version of the Newsboost logo, now re-titled Newsboostnight.
Wide shot of the studio, lights come up, then in to a one shot. The set is lit in purple this time.
Good evening and welcome to Newsboostnight, I’m Chris Marshall. Tonight, a special report. As the rock band The Papples await the verdict in what could be one of the most expensive copyright cases in British legal history, we look back at the highs and lows of their career.
He looks down and to the side, like he’s looking at a monitor and waiting for the report to begin. After a few seconds, we cut to a camera where the monitor should be and he continues.
Kevin Hill reports.
He pulls a lever under the desk, which wasn’t visible before but can be seen from this low angle. As soon as he pulls it we cut away to the start of the report.
Kev is in a street, walking towards the camera, like all reporters do.
They are one of the most popular and influential bands in music history. Just mention their name – the Papples – and a string of hit records springs immediately to mind. From stadium rock anthem “Wanna Ah” to the anthemic “M-me Y-you”, to the heart-rending ballad “And the Eggs”, their music has defined a generation. Now, the music world is in shock as they stand accused of having only one melody, and of stealing that melody from someone else. Tonight we offer a retrospective of the Papples’ career, and ask: what does the future hold for the golden childs of music?
Kev has now walked so far that he is right up to the camera with his FEACE in the lens.
MONTAGE OF INTERVIEW CLIPS
All these will be people we see interviewed in greater depth later.
We are talking about musical genius here.
The Papples ARE music – it’s that simple.
I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the end of the British music industry, to be honest. The Papples accused of fraud? Everything else in music history is just a footnote now.
REPORTER OUTSIDE HOUSE
Kev is standing on the steps of a building, talking to camera.
This is obviously a huge event for those involved in making and selling music. But who are the elusive Papples? I’ve come to speak to the world’s leading authority – the Papples’ biographer, C James Marshall.
He goes in through the front door.
Kev interviews the biographer. This interview is so informal that Chris is actually cooking beans on toast as they talk.
To really understand the Papples, I think you have to realise how they started out. Having met at school in Leeds, the two of them began to make a living as John Smeaton impersonators.
An eighteenth century civil engineer who was from the same part of Leeds as them. They would go to parties dressed as eighteenth century civil engineers and build a replica of, say, the Eddystone Lighthouse. But they only really started to make money when they added music to their act.
Was that when they got their break?
Exactly. They were invited to impersonate the construction of Poole Harbour at a record company executive dinner and were signed on the spot when the harbour wall gave way and one of them sang “M-me Y-you” to fill the silence.
Does their background change their attitude to music, do you think?
Of course. I interviewed them for their biography, Life is Like a Papple Pie, and their approach to music is like that of a civil engineer. Very precise. Very solid. Once something has been done it cannot be changed.
We see a shot of the book cover as it is mentioned.
Do you think all their songs share the same melody?
I’ve never noticed.
At the end of the script are some more ideas for what would come later:
- “Technogosh” as Kraftwerk – both at keyboards – Ian is actually playing his, Chris just presses one key that goes “Gosh”.
- Wasting my Life being played back in the recording studio – first a session of arguing about how to provide musical accompaniment, then a compromise where they decide to make separate songs, and then playback of the finished item with music first and the singing afterwards completely dry.