GE 1997-8 Season 4 Episode 8: The Vault
Note: this is not a transcript, but a working draft of the script, so there may be differences in the aired version.
PAUL: Step falling before step, I traipse down the stairs to
the vault, preserve of the great preserver, BCN's resident
tape archivist and boss man, Director of Radio, Capo di tutti
Capi of the long waves, Ish Lundrigan - SIR!
ISH: Ahhh, Paul, what propitious timing. How do you spell 'rhinopharyngeal' ?
PAUL: Good grief, Ish, what are you working on ?
ISH: Ben Travato's requested medical leave, got quite a smack in
the conk from Lloyd Duncan. Rhinopharyngeal?
PAUL: How ... would ... I know.
ISH: Come now, Paul.
PAUL: Why don't you just look it up?
ISH: Because I'm the Capo di ...
PAUL: Fine, 'r-h-i-n-o-p-h-a-r-y-n-g-e-a-l.'
ISH: I thought you might know.
PAUL: Must you torment me.
ISH: Paul! It was quite an achievement, something to be proud of,
the winner of the 1962 world championship spelling bee.
PAUL: You don't have tape?
ISH: Indeed I do, from the Newfoundland Championships and then,
courtesy of some of old chums at the BBC, the Worlds. So here's
Carl Pilgrim calling the All Newfoundland's at Botwood.
SFX: TAPE ON
CARL: It's down to these two fine young boys from St. John's, Paul
Moth from St. Matthew's, and Irving Winterbridge who is attending
school in England. They've correctly spelled seven words each,
now here's quizmaster Reverend Oswald Patton with the next words.
REV: Are you ready, Master Moth ?
PAULY: Yes, sir.
REV: Master Moth. "Escutcheon. Escutcheon."
CARL: OOOOOH that's a toughie. My notes tell me that an Escutcheon
is a shield or emblem on a coat of arms. Imagine.
PAULY: Escutcheon. e-s-c-u-t-c-h--e-o-n
REV: That is correct.
SFX: POLITE APPLAUSE
REV: Are you ready, Master Winterbridge?
IRV: I'm ready.
CARL: Full of confidence, this boy.
REV: Master Winterbridge. "Obbligato. Obbligato."
IRV: Obbligato. o-b-l-i-g-a-t-o.
REV: No, I'm sorry, there are two "b"s in obbligato. The winner
of the round and Newfoundland Champion is Paul Moth of St. Matthew's.
CARL: There it is, Paul Moth the winner. He'll be off next month
to Birmingham, England to compete in the World Championships.
He's congratulated now by the Lieutenant Governor and ...
SFX: TAPE CLICKS OFF
ISH: Only the beginning ...
PAUL: Of a hellish ordeal. Dad was overcome with pride, and, in
that weird kind of father-son transference thing, saw me making
achievements in spelling that had eluded him.
ISH: Your father was a speller ?
PAUL: Dabbled. Could never hold up under the pressure of competition,
kind of a weekend, pick-up speller. Kitchen spelling.
ISH: But he saw a professional in the fruit of his loins.
PAUL: After my victory at Botwood I spent a summer locked up in the
house with every dictionary Dad could acquire.
ISH: Preparing you for the worlds.
PAUL: Yeah. He thought that spelling at the highest level was a rote thing.
ISH: It isn't ?
PAUL: Please Ish, see the word, spell the word.
ISH: Here's some more tape. Fall of 63, The Kiln in Birmingham,
SFX: TAPE STARTS
NEV: Neville Southerland here with Roger Stoat at the "The Big
Bowl of the Midlands", "The Old Bag", The Legendary Kiln in
Birmingham for this the conclusion, the championship round of the
World Spelling Bee. What a week it has been!
ROGER: Some of the finest spelling we have seen in years.
NEV: We are nearing the twenty-sixth word in this marathon final round.
ROGER: Only spellers of incredible calibre ever take a match this far.
I'm reminded of Stumpy Thompson and Alastair MacTavish, the cunning
Scot in 42.
NEV: Do we have a new Stumpy in our midst, I wonder? No surprise,
Roger, to see three-time World Champion, Giles Eelsworth in the final.
ROGER: Yes, the star apprentice of the Marylebone Spelling Club certainly
living up to expectations so far.
NEV: But who could have predicted he would be challenged by Paul Moth,
the Newfoundlander, the unassuming Dominion lad, the Wild Colonial.
ROG: Moth stunned the heavily favoured Australian Wally King.
NEV: Going on to crush the Indian Ranjit Parabramay.
ROG: And humiliating the sentimental favourite, Steven Morrissey
out of Manchester.
NEV: A fairytale ride if there ever was one, Roger But I wonder,
does young Moth really have the stuff to play a convincing David to
Eelsworth's Goliath ?
ROG: Bookmakers giving 6:1 odds in favour of the Marylebone wonder.
NEV: The next word now being put to Eelsworth ooooooHHH its "coriaceous".
ROG: A ten-letter terror if there ever was one.
NEV: This one tripped up Dapper Donnelly, the wily Mick, in Dublin
back in '27.
GILES: C-o-r-i-e ... no, a--
NEV: AND EELSWORTH has stumbled! Dear me! Surely not. But yes,
he has. He's misspelled the word!
ROG: Could this be the end for the English Champion ?
NEV: And now Moth, the young Island boy, the challenger, the upstart,
the underdog ... oh dear, the word is "synallagmatic."
ROG: A cruel stroke ...
NEV: He's thinking ... A few taunts from the crowd.
UMPIRE: Quiet, please.
NEV: But young Moth keeps his poise.
ROG: Do I detect a slight grin even?
NEV: What glorious cheek.
ROG: I dare say, like all the great spellers, that boy
"sees" the words.
NEV: AND HE'S SPELT THE IT! The crowd are on their feet !
What a stunning upset !
ROG: I've never seen spelling like this, it's ... (starts to weep)
NEV: The English crowd, cheering as if he were one of their own,
the boy genius, the unflappable eleven year old in a field of
thirteen year olds. The crowd is singing now. WHAT A TREMENDOUS
DAY FOR THE ALPHABET. You'll never walk alone, Paul Moth !
ROG: It's not the last we will hear of this young boy.
SFX: CROSS BACK TO VAULT. TAPE STOPS
ISH: Yet, it was.
PAUL: What can I say, a one-hit wonder, Namath and the Jets,
Miracle Mets, never had it again.
ISH: Didn't even advance out of St. John's East the following year.
PAUL: Nope, tragic.
ISH: But, Paul, misspelling "pillow"?
PAUL: P-i-l-o-w. P-i-l-o-u-g-h. I just didn't see the word Ish.
ISH: Some say you threw the match.
PAUL: Yeah, yeah and Dad made a fortune betting on my opponent.
I've heard it all before. Let me assure you, Dad was devastated.
ISH: But for one fleeting moment, pride of the Island ...
PAUL: Spelling almost robbed me of my youth Ish. Je ne regret rien!
ISH: C'est fini, then.
PAUL: Thanks, I guess, Ish, and see you again soon ...
ISH: In the v-a-u-l-t.
Vide verbum, dice verbum.