17
votes

This was a sketch in a sketch show on British terrestrial TV some time around 1997-2007. I think the show was a less successful contemporary of shows like Big Train and Smack The Pony. I don't remember anything else about the show at all, only this one sketch which I remember quite clearly (plus the vague feeling that the rest of the show wasn't very good).

The sketch went something like this. All the details are approximate but I'm pretty sure about the details "Edinburgh" and "Apex" (a since-discontinued type of train ticket I could never understand)

  • A ticket seller stands behind a desk in a busy railway station, with a short queue. I think he was mostly just off screen, spoke with a generic English accent, and the station setting looked like it was probably one of the main London stations
  • The next customer steps up, who I think was a white woman aged 30ish with long dark hair, southern English accent I think
  • "Ticket to Edinburgh, please"
  • The seller presses some buttons. "That'll be £115" (some high price for a train ticket)
  • She grumbles about the price and looks for her credit card which is somewhere at the bottom of her bag. It takes a long time to find, so she lets the man behind her in the queue go ahead (40ish, white, business clothes, greying hair?)
  • "Supersaver double Apex off peak advance ticket to Edinburgh, please"
  • The seller presses some buttons. "That'll be £20"
  • She looks up from her bag, stunned. The man buys the ticket with a single banknote and leaves. She asks for the same type of ticket the man just bought.
  • The ticket seller insists she has to ask for it by name.
  • "Erm, super double Apex saver off peak advance ticket to Edinburgh, please?"
  • The seller presses some buttons. "That'll be £195"
  • She tries again but each time she gets it wrong, the price increases further. Exasperated, she asks for the £115 ticket she was initially going to buy.
  • The ticket seller insists she has to ask for it by name.
  • "Just a ticket to Edinburgh! A standard ticket to Edinburgh!"
  • "There's no such thing as a 'standard ticket', madam. Do you mean an open ticket?"
  • "Yes, whatever!"
  • The seller presses some buttons. "That'll be £430"

I think there might have been a follow-up sketch later in the episode, where she comes back to the counter 'Guy Incognito' style, pretending to be a different customer, wearing a plastic "fake beard and glasses" set and putting on a fake Scottish accent, but I might be imagining that.

  • 8
    Are you sure this wasn't just something you witnessed at a railway station? It sounds entirely plausible to me :) – Darren Mar 17 '17 at 16:45
  • 1
    Forgive me but as an American what are you trying to say with "on British terrestrial TV"? Since I'm pretty sure you don't believe some British TV sitcoms are produced and filmed on say the moon or Mars, what are you trying to specify with "terrestrial"? My best guess is you are trying to exclude satellite TV exclusive channels, but that seems like a strange way of saying that, unless satellite TV in GB has a radically different line up of channels in comparison to cable and this is a common way to distinguish between cable and satellite TV in GB. – Erik Mar 29 '17 at 17:42
  • 1
    @Erik en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrestrial_television - in the UK before we had digital TV we used that term to mean basically "not satellite TV" i.e. one of the free channels everyone gets ("cable" never really caught on as a thing, at least not pre-digital). I guess it's the equivalent to whatever you call the Amercian channels you get if you don't "have cable" (according to wiki "broadcast TV"?). Nowadays with digital TV we'd say "freeview" (but that's many more channels, this was just 5 channels back in the time I'm asking about) – user56reinstatemonica8 Mar 29 '17 at 17:58
  • @user568458 Gotcha that makes sense. Broadcast TV would be the term I am used to as an American. I was pretty sure it was something simple that I didn't get because of the cultural divide. I always thought that all of GB's broadcast/terrestrial channels were BBC. Were there some private broadcasters too? – Erik Mar 29 '17 at 18:18
  • 2
    The Peter Serafinowicz Show? – Mr. Kennedy Apr 3 '17 at 11:10
2
votes

If you are confident about it being Edinburgh and a sketch show, you might have been watching Chewin' the Fat.

This was a comedy sketch show set in Scotland, broadcast in the late 90's that had both male and female comedians.

  • Good call but I'm pretty sure it's not that, they seemed to be in London, going to Edinburgh, and all had English accents (I'll add that detail to the question). Also I don't think the rest of the sketches in the show were good enough for it to be Chewin The Fat... – user56reinstatemonica8 Apr 27 '17 at 11:11
  • Any potentially relevant mention of Chewin' The Fat deserves a +1 though – user56reinstatemonica8 Apr 27 '17 at 11:26

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