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A Women's Institute chapter's fundraising effort for a local hospital by posing nude for a calendar becomes a media sensation.
Chris: A while ago I asked John Clarke to give us a talk here at Knapely WI. Annie asked me to read it to you here tonight, and this is what he wrote: "The flowers of Yorkshire are like the women of Yorkshire. Every stage of their growth has its own beauty, but the last phase is always the most glorious. Then very quickly they all go to seed." [laughter] Chris: "Which makes it ironic my favourite flower isn't even indigenous to the British Isles, let alone Yorkshire. I don't think there's anything on this planet that more trumpets life that the sunflower. For me that's because of the reason behind its name. Not because it looks like the sun but because it follows the sun. During the course of the day, the head tracks the journey of the sun across the sky. A satellite dish for sunshine. Wherever light is, no matter how weak, these flowers will find it. And that's such an admirable thing. And such a lesson in life."
Annie: You baked that? Chris: I'm not a total dead loss as a woman. I can't knit or make plum jam but I can bake a bloody Victoria sponge. Annie: Ok, thank you. Chris: Course, I didn't actually bake this one - I got it at Marks and Spencer - but the point is... Annie: You can't enter a cake you bought in a shop! Chris: Get off! It doesn't matter where it comes from, does it? This is about putting up a united front against Highgyll. This isn't bakery. It's Zulu.
Brenda Mooney: We don't do nudity. But we do do charity. I assume that this is a local fundraiser and you're not going to be making a big hoo-ha out of it? Chris: Yes. Brenda Mooney: Then it is a branch matter, and I can leave any decision in the hands of your branch president. [leaves] Marie: [pauses] Oh sod it go on then.
Chris: Lawrence, we're going to need considerably bigger buns.
Chris: Did you talk to the specialist? John seems a lot chirpier today. What's the old... Annie: Pneumonia and septicaemia. Chris: Oh well that's good, I've heard of those. They can deal with those can't they? Annie: It means his immune system's weakened. The chemo isn't working which means we are finally out of straws.
Chris: You cannot stand it. You cannot stand that *I* have made this calendar a success. Annie: No. You see, what's happened Chris is that this calendar has made *you* a success.
[at the airport] Ruth: Right, everyone. Has everyone got a ticket? All: Yes Ruth: A passport? All: Yes Ruth: A lying snake for a husband? [everyone looks shocked] Ruth: No? Only me there, then. Let's go. Come on.
Chris: Have you photographed many humans or is it mainly... Welsh Photographer: It's mainly poodles.
[matter-of-factly, to Jessie, over breakfast] Richard: You're nude in The Telegraph, dear. Can you pass the bacon?
Celia: Oh, get bloody Botticelli in here.
Marie: I do know how you must be feeling. Annie: Do you? Oh dear. Marie: Are you sure John would have approved? Annie: You said yourself, you didn't know him. Marie: I know he was a decent man... Annie: If your concern is for the reputation of Knapely WI... Marie: It's not. Annie: I think it is. The WI is about doing good. And what does more good? Knowing slightly more about broccoli one week than we did the last or providing some comfort for someone in the worst hours of their life because that's what it's like sweetheart. And no. I don't think you do know how I feel.
Bookshop Owner: The WI calendar? No love. Chris: But I definitely sent you some. See? Minstergate Bookshop, 50. Bookshop Owner: I know. And I got 'em. I put 'em out at nine o'clock and by ten past nine, we'd sold out.
Holiday Speaker: Our round the world cruise started in Skipton. When we booked the tickets. That's them. They were a special offer and it was essential, my wife told me, to book them before the 25th of the month...
Cora: I'm surprised they printed it. Jessie: It's probably all over the internet by now. Annie: By the sound of it, most people have seen it already. Chris: Lots of people have photos taken with their tops off on holiday in Ibiza don't they? Ruth: It probably just came as a slight shock Chris, what with the previous fifteen photos being of flower arrangements.
Cora: Shit or bust.
Jessie: One moment the dressing gown was on, the next it was just me and the hat.
Annie: Can I remind you how much last year's calendar raised? £75.60
Chris: Course you've got a body worth looking at. Ruth: Just look at that parking. Chris: Ruth. Ruth: Doesn't it annoy you when people take up two spaces.
Chris: I'm not a total dead loss as a woman, I may not be able to knit or make plum jam but I can bake a bloody Victoria sponge... 'course I didn't bake this one, I got it at Marks and Spencer.
Lawrence Sertain: Congratulations! It's a calendar.
Marie: Might I just say, I never knew broccoli could be so intriguing.
Rod: I thought after your marvellous reorganisation all the order forms had to go on the bent nail.
Chris: We thought if glamour photographers can do it on a beach in Bangkok we can do it in a church hall near Skipton.
Chris: This isn't bakery, it's Zulu!
Chris: Are you throwing my cake? That is disrespectful! John: It's very good. Chris: Course it's good. They don't give the May Wilkinson out lightly you know.
Eddie Reynoldson: You are looking lovely... Ruth: Which one of us are you talking to, Eddie? The one who makes a tart of herself by taking her clothes off or me?
End title card: To date, the Calendar Girls have raised over £578,000. This has paid for a new leukaemia unit at the local hospital. And a sofa.
Annie: Jessie! What did I say about relaxing him?
Marie: I'd like to welcome Alan Rathbone from York. He's here to tell us about the history of the milk marketing board.
Marie: It's not all jam and Jerusalem you know.
[discussing the calendar] Chris: It *should* be bloody George Clooney. I mean, come the toss between Burnsall Church and George Clooney, I know which I'd rather wake up looking at. John: It is a Norman church, you know. Chris: I'm not disputing the loveliness of the church, John. It's the firmness of the buttocks I'm worried about.
Jem Harper: Gaz. Can you stop talking about tits. Gaz: Why would I ever wanna do that?
W.I. Judge: And the winner of this year's May Wilkinson trophy for Victoria Sponge maximum twelve inch diameter I'm delighted to say is entry number 213. Annie: [whispers] Nice knowing you, Chris. Chris: [whispers back] Help me! Ruth: Well that's interesting. W.I. Judge: entered by Knapely WI and baked by Chris Harper.
Ruth: Right. Let's do it.
Chris: T minus two hours. Bras off to avoid strap marks. Celia: As we speak darling, as we speak.
Annie: Anybody fancy some chips?
Annie: Bad girl. Chris: Bun toucher.
Chris: Look at 'em. Highgyll WI, "ooh, let's arrange our cakes round an old cartwheel". Ruth: Does look pretty though. Chris: Whose side are you on, Brutus? Ruth: No, I didn't mean... Chris: What's your event by the way? Ruth: Tea tray, on an international theme. I did Jamaica but it could be anywhere in the Caribbean. Chris: You know, if more people did WI, there'd be half the need for hallucinogenic drugs.
Student Photographer: The blood represents the spread of globalisation and the sheep's skull represents the death of democracy. Chris: And the carrot? Student Photographer: The carrot is capitalism.
Lecherous Photographer: Hello ladies!
Ruth: You two stay and enjoy yourselves. I'm off to Hollywood.
Chris: I've put our names down for speakers next month: "Chris and Annie: What we learned in 'Ollywood". Annie: You're lying. I know for a fact that Colin Petley's coming from Keighley with his collection of tea towels. Chris: Be still my beating heart!
Annie: Of course, we're not going to go round parading ourselves in a room full of men. This isn't... France, for God's sake!
Chris: How's Jem? Rod: He made a quiche on Tuesday. We've been stoned ever since.
[talking to Chris about her dead husband, John] Annie: I'd rob every penny from this calendar if it would buy me just one more hour with him.
Annie: It's a bit out of character for Rod, don't you think? Saying all that? Did he get tricked into it? Did you stay to find out? Or by that time was there a taxi waiting?
Annie: None of us have been here before, love. I mean, for God's sake, my John didn't see me naked until the spring of 1975. Chris: What happened in the spring of '75? Annie: There was a lizard in the shower block at Abergele. [laughter] Annie: Quite a few people saw me naked that morning.
[Jem has been arrested by the police for possession of cannabis] Rod: They're not charging him. Annie: Why? Is it not illegal then? Rod: Well, cannabis is, but they tend not to worry too much about oregano.
Marie: It says here in this letter from Leukaemia Research Fund that the calendar has so far raised a total of £286,000. So congratulations to all of us for making it such a success. Annie: [whispers to Chris] We can get that sofa in the leather then.
Marie: Victoria Sponge. Annie's on Victoria sponge. [Marie leaves. Chris dives under the table and brings out a cake tin] Ruth: What's that? Chris: Well, Annie won't have had time running Yul Brynner in and out of Skipton General, so ta da! Annie: Sorry I'm late. It just took a bit longer than... Oh my God, the cake! Chris: Told you.
Chris: Now. Can anybody see my nipples?
Chris: Annie, what *is* the point of the WI? Annie: Enlightenment, fun and friendship! Chris: [to John] It's right. It's them things. Or in my case it's something you did because your mother wanted you to and then she went ahead and died and then it was too late. Annie: You love it.
Celia: [reading a fan mail letter] "I am currently in the high security wing of Her Majesty's Prison Barlinnie in Scotland and was mightily impressed by the sheer size of your-"
John: One seed in each pot, you're bloody useless you are.
[seeking approval for the calendar at the National WI Conference] Chris: I'm about to commit heresy. Look, I hate plum jam. [laughter] Chris: I only joined the WI to make my mother happy. I do, I hate plum jam. I'm crap at cakes, I can't make sponge. In fact, seeing as it's unlikely that George Clooney would actually come to Skipton to do a talk on what it was like to be in "ER", there seems very little reason for me to actually stay in the WI. Except suddenly... suddenly I want to raise money in memory of a man I loved, and to do that I'm prepared to take me clothes off for a WI calendar, and if you can't give us ten minutes of your time, Madam Chairman, well then, frankly, guys, I'm going to do it without council approval. Because there are some things that are more important than council approval. And if it means that we get closer to killing off this shitty, cheating, sly, conniving bloody disease that cancer is, oh God, I tell you, I'd run round Skipton market naked, smeared in plum jam, wearing nothing but a knitted tea cosy on me head and singing "Jerusalem". [laughter]
Ruth: Tea tray on an international theme. I did Jamaica but it could be anywhere in the Caribbean.
Celia: I'm a bit worried about our great leader's grasp of Tai Chi.
Annie: If we can't use the name WI then we just don't use it. Chris: Then, what? We'll have a calendar of some middle aged women mysteriously standing naked behind fruit cakes.
Cora: There's no E flat in Jerusalem. Annie: I'll be a bit disappointed if they're looking at me fingers.
Chris: You missed it. We were just on television, the whole reason we came here. Annie: I thought that was to get away from the press.
Gaz: It's a difficult age. About now, women go through a difficult age. They become all irrational and odd and difficult to predict. Jem Harper: How do you know? Gaz: Me dad told me.
John: Don't you go buying any benches. Annie: I'll do what the hell I like John Clarke. John: If you put a bench out here, it'll have "Leeds stuffed Arsenal" on it before you get back to the car.
Annie: Your son's been arrested. Chris: And released with 10g of oregano. The only thing that'd be dangerous in is a quiche.
Jessie: What we must ask ourselves is this: what is the difference between this and the Venus de Milo? Celia: Oh, I love quizzes. The cooker?
[deleted scene] Rod: Where are you? Chris: You'll never guess where I've been all day. Rod: I know it's not Mrs Carter's bloody funeral. Chris: Fuck!
Ruth: Well, I think it's a great idea. Cora: You weren't concentrating, were you Ruth? Ruth: I was. We're going to raise money to buy a sofa for the hospital in John's name. Celia: By posing for a nude calendar! Ruth: Oh no! Chris: Oh sit down. I'm not asking you to straddle an 'Arley Davidson. Celia: It's still a bit of a leap from Burnsall church, love. Chris: That's the 'ole point. It's an alternative calendar, it's... Annie: It's what John suggested. Chris: Did he? Annie: The last stage of the flower is the most glorious. So what this calendar would be saying is "actually, yes John, we agree". Ruth: With respect, I didn't hear him use the phrase "whip your bras off"
Orchid Photographer: I love woodland orchids.
Lawrence Sertain: Don't. Touch. The buns. [pause] Lawrence Sertain: Please. Sorry.
Cora: Annie, I am 55 years old. If I'm not gonna get them out now, when am I?
Ruth: We're not all Chrises in this life. Some of us are Ruths.
Check-In Stewardess: I'm sorry ladies, but I'm afraid you've come to the wrong desk. Jessie: I have asked four people. Each of them has said we could check in for a flight to Los Angeles at *any* desk. We have queued for twenty minutes in the *only* queue and were directed to *your* desk by *your* representative. Where *precisely* have we gone wrong?
Chris: I'm not asking you to straddle an 'Arley Davidson.
Jessie: Hello dear. I thought I'd bring my journalists to meet your journalists.
Annie: Jessie, we're getting to the point now where we really need to commit... Jessie: No front bottoms. Annie: What? Jessie: I'm in. Just no front bottoms. That's a sight I reserved for just one man in my life. Annie: Do you think your husband would mind? Jessie: It wasn't my husband.
John: I'll model for you for nowt. Chris: No thanks John. I've just seen your backside and believe me, it's nothing like George's.
Rod: Now get in that hall and sort out whatever went wrong with Annie. Chris: I don't know what to say to her. Rod: She's your oldest friend, Chris, you don't have to say anything.
Annie: [mid-interview Annie calls over to Jessie who's passing by] Oh, hi ya Jessie! [to reporters] Annie: Sorry. That's our Miss September.
John: Tell you what. If you want me to speak at the WI you'd better get it in quick.
Jessie: [to Lawrence] Come on, Sugden, it's your own time you're wasting. Jessie: [to the other calendar girls] I was his junior school teacher.
Eddie Reynoldson: They're not a scintillating lot, carpet dealers. They only get excited about bonded underlay.
Rod: I can't find the order form. Chris: It's under the tin can where the bent nail used to be.
Ted the Bike Man: You ran into a gate? How'd you do that? [Jem mumbles] Chris: He does a paper round. It pays for his elocution lessons.
Marie: Naked! Cora: It's not naked. It's nude. Marie: What's the difference? Celia: Art.
Chris: You should've told us. I'm your oldest friend, you should've told me the moment you found out. Annie: I did.
Celia: It's the whole showing your breasts issues that concerns me. Annie: The point is that we won't really be showing anything. Celia: Yes, that's what concerns me. Annie: Yours are good, are they? Celia: They're tremendous.
Rod: They'll never go through with it.
Marie: She's here to introduce us to the fascinating world of rugs [secretary whispers to her] Marie: My apologies Iris, I stand corrected, it's not just rugs, it is in fact all forms of carpeting. Chris: Oh, thank God. For a moment I thought it was going to be dull.
Celia: I've never been naked in front of anyone in my life. Chris: Not even Frank? Celia: Frank's a major. We approach nudity on a strictly need-to-know basis.
Marie: The next item on the agenda is the calendar. Last year we had views of local bridges, so this year I thought we could go for the twelve most beautiful views of... Chris: [mutters] ... George Clooney Marie: ...the churches of Wharfedale. Chris: [mutters] Eleven fully-clothed and a little "lift the flap" for December.
Chris: Good Lord. Nagging lilies.
Chris: And seeing Marie's raised the issue, we're a good few months short. Marie: Is that not because all this has the air of another of Chris's great ideas? Like the vodka tasting night? Chris: No, because I'm going to make sure this one turns out ok Marie, because it's for John. It's inspired by John and it's for John and it's because of John and no matter what you might think of the idea Marie, you're looking at January.
Chris Harper: [about John's cancer] So, what kind is it he's got? Annie Clarke: He says he's going to call it Saddam Hussein.
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