Tuesday, 25 July 2017


“Dear Writer, I regret to inform you that…”
Unsolicited scripts and treatments that didn’t make the cut.


Dear BBC,

Please find enclosed a treatment for my exciting and original reality TV game show ‘Shag Island’ which I think you’ll find both humorous, exciting and full of entertaining ideas! It combines romance, sex and seabirds in a format that’s ideal for a primetime TV slot.

Take representative members of the public from all walks of life. Pick who you like but ensure they are everyday folk – hip hop and rap artists, graffiti scrawlers, those living statue street entertainers, failed talent show contestants or anyone who’s been on the Jeremy Kyle show (for example). See if Gareth Gates, Darius or Will Young are available.

Strand them off the coast of the UK on a remote island. Lundy would be ideal, but there are other possibilities: The Outer Hebrides, Ailsa Craig or Foula, perhaps.

Once there, they are deprived of all home comforts, undergo a series of challenges and compete to win the star prize: a boat back to the mainland!

I am confident that with such a distinctive hook it would be a Saturday teatime sure fire ratings winner and easily filmed on a small to medium budget.

Since the BBC is hardly strapped for cash, given what they pay their fourth rate presenters, I think asking price for this highly original idea of £500,000 is hardly exorbitant at which point I’ll sign the copyright over to your organisation.

I am, as ever, open to negotiations. But don’t wait too long before coming back to me. I have had several intriguing nibbles from your commercial competitors at ‘Dave’, ‘ITV2’ and ‘Sky Box Office’. Don’t ‘miss the boat’ to Shag Island!

Happy reading!

Yours truly,
Andrew Hack, (writer).

The Pitch

Shag Island! A place of promised luxury, sunshine, booze and limitless sex. The opportunity to ‘cop off’ with any other contestant and perhaps meet that dream partner!

A promise, however, with one drawback. It’s a complete lie.

Stranded with only several crates of sexual toys and bondage gear between them (The Fun Hampers) and the prospect of eating all the whelks and limpets they can find, the contestants take part in a series of fun and exciting timed copulation challenges for the entertainment of the viewing public and the chance to get voted off the island. 

The Games

Shag Pecker Dildos: Fun and frolics as contestants attempt copulating under timed conditions with one item from The Fun Hamper tied to their sexual organs in amongst several nests of irate seabirds protecting their young hatchlings.

Shagged Out: Contestants run a five mile obstacle course in the nude with a hot smoking pipe full of ready rubbed tobacco tied to their sexual organs and attempt to avoid dropping hot embers onto irate seabirds shielding their young. With timed copulation.

Where’s My Shag: Not really worked this one through to be honest but it combines pipe smoking, a seabird hunt and contestants undergoing timed copulating.

Shag and Chips: The old favourite. Starving contestants are offered steaming hot bags of chips or french fries but it’s a 100 metre dash to get to them before the seagulls do. Involves timed copulating.

That’s My Shag: A humorous bare knuckled boxing match between contestants over who gets to copulate with a guest celebrity star involving seabirds and timed copulating.

Spot the Shag: Contestants are issued with bird watching binoculars and roam the island, looking for a hidden celebrity guest star couple having sex. En route they undergo a series of timed copulating trials. Amusing variants might involve looking for seabirds or tobacco whilst copulating.

Shagger Puffs: Hungry contestants are ordered up the top of a remote plinth or viewing platform where they spy enviously on a celebrity guest star couple eating breakfast cereal whilst having sex. The winner is the one who accurately predicts how many shreddies are consumed prior to climax whilst simultaneously copulating under timed conditions.

Shag Piles: Contestants are informed that one member of a celebrity guest star couple has haemorrhoids and have to correctly predict which one whilst they have sex. Amusing variants might involve naked contestants with steaming hot chips or french fries attached to their sexual organs building a giant tower of seabirds and avoiding being attacked whilst copulating under timed conditions.

EPISODE1:  Welcome to Shag Island


GRAMS: suggest Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Albatross’ to invoke idyllic atmosphere mixed with sound of shrieking seagulls and the ripping and tearing of flesh.

If Fleetwood Mac are unavailable, dead or you are too miserly to commission them, then something cheap yet quirky, played on the Stylophone, (is Rolf Harris available?) to emphasise the competitive element – also include several toots on a swanee whistle to suggest comedy and fun.

You may use these lyrics and at no extra cost to yourselves:

‘Come to Shag Island, where seabirds and shags fly free,
And there are whelks and limpets for tea,
Sex aplenty, or drag on a quick fag,
Shag Island, Shag Island where there’s plenty of shag.’

GRAPHICS: I suggest several visual metaphors but, I stress this, nothing clichéd. Use images of a train entering a tunnel, a flag going up a pole, a cave opening and shutting rapidly. This should be jump cut and mixed with pictures of the contestants going about their everyday occupations – such as, let’s say, a visual of a hip hop artist beat boxing loudly on public transport then a jump cut to a seagull shitting on a rock – that sort of thing.

A game show like this will need careful consideration as to who hosts and presents.  The chosen presenters will need to be talented, personable and be imbued with bags of skill and tact. Therefore I would like to propose Ant and Dec, perhaps Noel Edmonds or, if they are busy, you could try David Van Day from 80s pop act Dollar and that blonde singer out of Bucks Fizz.



It is raining dog’s abuse on the sea which we see from above. Camera crash zooms towards a beach where we see:

In the far corner of a beach, getting pelters, a collection of tatty tents, pitched very close to a colony of vicious seagulls protecting nestlings – check correct time of year – these could be shags for added verisimilitude.

The tents are grouped around several crates (Fun Hampers) and a large Countdown style clock. Additional props could include a large supply of ready rubbed tobacco. Note: - this could be ‘shag’ for added visual impact.

The rain is turning the beach and campsite into a soggy mess of tatty material. Only fools would be out on a day like this.

Cut to our two presenters (or Noel Edmonds and Mr Blobby).

Welcome to Shag Island. The reality TV show set on a beach which invites contestants to pair up and find romance! But the only one with - live shags!

GIRL FROM BUCKS FIZZ / MR BLOBBY / EDMONDS/ ANT / DEC (Delete as appropriate):
Wow. Yow. Whoop. Amazeballs etc. What have you got there David?

It’s a beef burger.

GIRL FROM BUCKS FIZZ / MR BLOBBY / EDMONDS/ ANT / DEC (Delete as appropriate):
Is it from your beef burger van?

Yes it is.

At this point show a beefburger van. There would be no need to have the van actually on location, however; a cut and paste job will be adequate as the viewing public will not notice the difference if it is pre-wettened prior to the shoot and SFX of the sea is added.

GIRL FROM BUCKS FIZZ / MR BLOBBY / EDMONDS/ ANT / DEC (Delete as appropriate):
Cheeseburger, bacon supreme or a chicken fillet?

That’s right. And now I will offer it to those shags over there. Let’s see what happens to it.

Both laugh uproariously as if sharing a private joke. The laughter continues for several minutes.

Still shaking with laughter, David should chuck the meat sandwich at the nearest seabird nest. If all goes according to my calculations there should be hue and cry as voracious birds shred the food and attack each other. If this fails to happen, director should walk around kicking nests over until there is some commotion.

Well that certainly stirred things up.

GIRL FROM BUCKS FIZZ / MR BLOBBY / EDMONDS/ ANT / DEC (Delete as appropriate):
Yes. It’s just like a holiday in Bridlington, isn’t it?
I say, David, a boat! Enjoying a cruise at sea, I expect.


GIRL FROM BUCKS FIZZ / MR BLOBBY / EDMONDS/ ANT / DEC (Delete as appropriate):
Could you pass me another beef burger?

No because that was the last beefburger there was.

Both laugh uproariously as if sharing another private joke.

The laughter continues for several minutes.

David’s face becomes serious.

Do you ever get tired of all this?

GIRL FROM BUCKS FIZZ / MR BLOBBY / EDMONDS/ ANT / DEC (Delete as appropriate):
 (Completing the statement, equally seriously)
…tired? Tired of presenting never ending tide of shit TV game shows on location with talentless wannabe celebrities? Tired of watching twats show off by spray painting crap on walls, annoying shoppers with street mime, singing tunelessly or imitating American rappers? Tired of wondering how it came to this, where it all went wrong?

No. Tired of shagging?

GIRL FROM BUCKS FIZZ / MR BLOBBY / EDMONDS/ ANT / DEC (Delete as appropriate):
Course not. And look! Here comes the boat now! Covered in graffiti and crewed by men looking bored as one of the contestants mimes walking against a storm. Who’d have thought it?

            CUT TO:

Dear Mr Hack,

Thank you for your treatment and proposal, which we read with interest.

Unfortunately, we currently have no plans to commission a new game show like the one you have sent us. We find the public have no taste for bizarre and incredible situations such as those contained in your proposal.

Writing for television is a difficult skill.

But don’t give up! If you have any further ideas to submit, please do send them to our light entertainment department.

Yours sincerely,
The BBC.


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