Following a mounting campaign by indignant viewers and residents, the BBC have “strenuously denied” that they were allowing big business to compromise the artistic integrity of their programming after a character in their popular Sunday evening Victorian costume drama ‘Lark Rise to Candleford’ was heard to say that he “wished he could just pop up to Tesco’s for some fags, like normal folk do“.
Ed King, spokesman for the BBC, said last night that they just wanted to inject a little more reality into the programme and the moment when leading yokel Twister Turrill announced his desire to shop in a superstore on the edge of the hamlet was “something that their viewers would be able to identify with.”
Rumours of the impending superstore has lead the residents of nearby Candleford to form a protest group. At a stormy public meeting held in the Golden Lion Hotel, town postmistress, Miss Dorcas Lane, said “We are tired of constantly having to fight the BBC’s demands to modernise our beloved town. It only seems a few months since we fought off their move to open a Lidl on the High Street next to the forge and we still fail see the point of the Halfords Service Centre so close to the diary. They keep saying we have to be dragged screaming into the 21st Century, but it‘s only 1895!”
Mr King dismissed the concerns of the Candleford regulars and listed the benefits that Tesco would bring to the community. “It will improve the lives of the folk of Lark Rise beyond all recognition. They would no longer have to grovel in the fields as the Tesco will create new jobs and provide fresh food and produce.” adding, “That is, of course, if the superstore were to be built, which it won’t be. Probably.”
Back in Lark Rise, Robert Timmins, a stonemason and father of at least ten children, considered the whole thing to be a sleight. “I’m just a simple working man, but I do have my pride,” he said indignantly, for no apparent reason.
A spokesman for Tesco tried to defuse the situation last night. “I can confirm that we have purchased a tract of land between Lark Rise and Candleford from the BBC, but we have no intention of applying for planning permission before 1998. It’s just that the price of 1890’s land represented too good an investment opportunity to turn down.”