Al Likilla: "Oooh-ooh-ooh, fa-la-la, can you hear me Gandhi boy? <touches self> Ooh-ee-ooh-ah-ah, ting-tang, walla-walla bing-bang. Come in snowman, there's smokeys on your tail. Hang on, something's happening. I'm getting all tumescent. What's that strange mist enshrouding the room? Myhatma, Myhatma, can you hear me?" Female Voice: "Aaaargh! Ow! What do you want young man? Ouch! Get off!" AL: "I was after Gandhi, is he there? Have I come through to heaven?"
Female Voice: "Yeeargh! I'm afraid not sonny, it's much hotter than that! Crikey!" <dastardly deep-throated laughter is heard in the background>
AL: "Blimey. I think I must have got my wires crossed. So if that's not heaven then it must be the other place, and that would make the lad we're hearing as he cackles evilly the devil. And who might you be missus?"
Female Voice: "Mary. Cripes! Get that pitchfork out of there!"
AL: "Mary eh? You sound a bit too crotchety for Mary Magdelene. Is it Mary Whitehouse?"
Mary Whitehouse: "That's me dear. Yowww! Oh my God! The flames, the flames!"
AL: "Satan, I'm trying to have a little chat with Mary about being dead and stuff. Could you turn the heat down under her for a bit? <satanic grumbling, the screams cease> Cheers. That better Mrs. Whitehouse?"
MW: "Thank you."
AL: "Right Mary, you ended up in the eternal fires of damnation then? Who'd have thought it? Funny old world."
MW: "I really can't begin to understand why my spirit is forever subject to pain and torment. I spent my life trying to increase the levels of good in the world."
AL: "Well that's one way of looking at it. A bit of background for our readers Mary, you died in 2001 at the age of ninety one, after more than three decades trying to inflict your highly moral viewpoint on the media. This quest mainly took the form of banning more controversial programmes on TV to 'protect society'. Do you ever look back on your existence and think 'what a big waste of time that was'?"
MW: "No Al, not at all. We had some wonderful victories at the National Viewers' and Listeners' Association. I don't believe standing up for taste and decency or keeping little children safe is ever a waste of time."
AL: "'Kay. My researcher, Daphne, has just passed me your biographical sketch. It says here when you were twenty years old you fell in love with a married man of thirty six. That can't have been very Christian."
MW: "I'd rather not talk about that."
AL: "Fair enough, we'll move on to when you first appointed yourself the nation's moral guardian. You were a fiftysomething art teacher in a cardigan when it started, living in Shropshire with three sons. I suppose that must have been what started it all off. Did you find a stash of lacy knicker catalogues under their beds?"
MW: "Oh no, my boys weren't like that."
AL: "I'll bet they were. Did you catch one of them wanking?"
MW: "I'd like to register a formal objection to this line of questioning."
AL: "Go ahead. I'm not sure what legal support they offer in perdition but feel free."
MW: "What actually happened was that I witnessed the confusion in my pupils about issues of a sexual nature. They talked in a way I didn'trecognise from my own era and before long I realised it was the false idolatry of the media which was getting their brains mixed up."
AL: "So it wasn't because they were teenagers."
AL: "I've got a list of some of your campaigns here Mary. Many of our readers are going to think I'm taking the wee-wee, but they're all true. For instance, you tried to ban Chuck Berry's 'My-Ding-A-Ling' on the grounds that it "encouraged masturbation"."
MW: "Still does."
AL: "And more recently you came out against Four Weddings & A Funeral due to the repeated use of the f-word, attacked Dr. Who and Bugs Bunny, and in 1985 you complained about a stripper appearing in Eastenders saying she would encourage young women to get their bits out."
MW: "I stand by that, I object to having strange nudes in my living room."
AL: "Not an opinion I entirely share, but we'll leave that for the moment. You must see Mrs. Whitehouse, this is exactly the sort of thing which contributes to the image we have of you as a dotty old bint watching TV and making a note in her tally chart every time a bare arse comes on the screen." AL: "Bottom, sorry. I meant to say bottom. You're right Mary, let's elevate this conversation. Some academics say that by making both sex and violence your personal crusade you entwined the two, resulting in gullible youngsters believing them both to be inherently evil. Now, violence is a lot of things, but to many of us lovemaking will always be a thing of beauty." MW: "I don't call Dennis Waterman and Billie Piper in The Canterbury Tales "a thing of beauty"." AL: "You saw that did you?"
MW: "Yes, and I was unspeakably disgusted. Disgusted, I tell you! In fact I had to watch it twice to confirm how disgusted I was. I only pray no sweet little kiddies tuned in. Sadly we're not allowed to pray down here. Every time I try and kneel down that fellow with the horns comes along and sticks his pitchfork somewhere unmentionable."
AL: "But Mary, isn't denying the physical side to our nature more dangerous than coming to terms with it? Won't liberation always be preferable to repression? To paraphrase those great twenty first century philosophers The Bloodhound Gang, ain't you and me baby nothin' but mammals?"
MW: "I am not a mammal, I'm a respectable woman."
AL: "Right. Um, last question, Mrs. Whitehouse. Do you ever look upon our increasingly liberal world, with British society growing ever-more permissive, and want to weep? It must seem as if your life's work has made no difference."
MW: "Not for a moment. I'm extremely proud to have delayed the release of so many naughty things down the years. I personally controlled what millions of adults were allowed to see or think and that's quite an achievement. Obviously now I'm gone the rudeness is making a comeback, but family values remain rife around England's shires. I made my mark Al. Don't forget it was me who successfully prosecuted the first blasphemy trial for half a century. That judge was very good, he sent the bugger down for nine months."
AL: "I take it you're referring to the editor of Gay News. All the poor guy did was print a poem."
MW: "It was a very dirty poem."
AL: "You know, I look around at my peers and we seem to be far more tolerant and open-minded than previous generations. Surely it would have been better if this had happened sooner?"
MW: "You're telling me those sex-obsessed idiots in Faliraki are better role models than chaste churchgoers?"
AL: "Um, I don't know anyone who's been to Faliraki."
MW: "I bet you watch the documentaries though don't you? Do you play with yourself while they're on? Filthy little monkey."
AL: "I think we'll end it there. Mary Whitehouse, thank you for speaking to me on Lifestyles of the Dead & Famous."
MW: "Thank you dear, stay pure everyone."
AL: "Okay Satan, you can whack the fires back up now."
Next time: Robert Palmer on the dangers of love addiction.