As I Please: Midsomer Murdoch Matters Old And New
Wrote all day with Ramsey the fiftieth to the fifty-eighth minute of our Murdoch miniseries Paper Tigers, in which he acquires by the usual duplicity, dishonoured handshakes and midnight suddenness The News of the World from an improvident, port-bibbing, horse-breeding, dog-fondling uppercrust dim family he promises to keep on as his partners but sacks one by one after issuing new shares, requiring his fearful new staff to buy up bundles of them and then sell them back to him after the Special General Meeting where their votes are needed to abash, unseat and unhinge his obese drunk predecessor Sir William Carr who has a stroke soon afterwards.
Good in view of this to see how Rupert behaved just as badly thirty years later when he asked a twelve-year-old female superstar to sing for nothing at his wedding to Wendi and after she did so, forgoing a hundred thousand pounds, her usual fee, he went after her family in his papers tooth and nail, driving her father to attempt suicide and in The Sun counted down the days before she turned sixteen after which, the headlines implied, she could, ha ha, have sex legally at last, unlike last week and the week and the year before.
I wonder if he could be charged under the Child Slavery Laws of England for this, for conning an unsuspecting prepubescent into a hundred thousand pounds worth of musical servitude for which she was then wrongly punished, or if this comes under some surviving feudal droit de seigneur that might still exculpate him from paying for 'wedding breakfast services rendered by a minor' in even the twenty-first century.
The famous Frost/Murdoch interview is next in the script, and the New York incident, also involving Frost, that lost Gough Whitlam his affection and political support, and the kidnap and murder of the woman who was not his wife but seemed to be, because she was driving her car, and her chopping up in pieces by irritable terrorists, his part in the Whitlam sacking, the rise of Thatcher, the forged Hitler Diaries, and so on.
We are planning eight forty-three minute episodes but it might get longer. It would be good to cast Steve Coogan, who so snarkily covets the role, to play David Frost at last, and Marton Csokas of course to play Rupert, as he certainly could, at both twenty-nine and eighty. Nicole Kidman would be perfect as Rebekah Brookes, but she is I hear like the devoted Kamahl a loyal Murdoch family friend and may say no.
The Wharf Revue Murdoch-Lear sketch remains as good as ever, the French Revolution sketch even better, and I will see it eight more times, dragging along what politicians I can, to this, the best thing of its kind in world history. Tickets are sold out but a February season in Sydney, and two days each in Hobart, Nunawading and Moonee Ponds have a few left.
Hurry, hurry. My contempt for those who will miss it is near-apocalytic.
Do not test me, sirs, you know not what you do.