Sketch: The Return of Ed Miliband

(Because you can never have enough sketches entitled ‘The Return of…’)

NARRATOR        John Lewis has announced that it’s scrapping its 28 day returns policy – and making the period you can return an item indefinite. Consumers throughout the UK are now hoping that the move will be extended to all businesses and services…

A smartly dressed MAN is behind a desk using a laptop or doing paperwork. A WOMAN enters.

WOMAN          Er, hello? Is this the Party Leaders’ Returns Department?

MAN          Yes, madam, that’s us: ‘No MP too big’! Except Eric Pickles, of course. And how may I help you today?

WOMAN          Well, I’ve left him outside, but… I’d like to return Ed Miliband.  Turns out we made a terrible mistake.

MAN          (making notes) I see… And may I ask the reason for the return?

WOMAN          Well, first he went missing for weeks…

MAN          (making more notes) Right…

WOMAN          And now he’s back… But truthfully, we’re all worried it’s just too little too late.

MAN          Hmm… And is there anything wrong with the product?

WOMAN          Well, he’s got these strange poppy eyes. And they’re too close together. (laughing) He looks like Wallace from Wallace and Gromit!

ED MILIBAND (OFF) I say! I heard that!

WOMAN          That’s another thing: he’s got this awful posh kid’s voice. When he gives speeches, he sounds like the Head Boy in a debating competition.

ED (OFF) I do not! (beat) All those in favour..?

WOMAN          I’m afraid he’s just an all-round disappointment.

MAN          I understand… Well, I can’t offer you a refund, madam… but I can offer you a direct replacement…

He produces a full-length photo of DAVID MILIBAND with arrows etc drawn on it, as in a product’s user guide

MAN          This is the ‘David Miliband’. He’s a slightly older model than the ‘Ed’ – but he’s tried and tested and all our users have been very happy with him. (sotto voce) Actually, between you and me, I don’t know why you didn’t choose him in the first place.

WOMAN          What’s that white stuff in his hair?

MAN          Oh, that’s just a little design fault – but it doesn’t affect his performance. In fact, we think it adds gravitas. (beat) So would you like one?

WOMAN           Hmm, I’m not sure…

MAN          You’ll find he works particularly well abroad!

WOMAN          It’s just… Well, the thing is: I was hoping I could swap him for a Nick Clegg.

MAN          Oh, I’m sorry, madam, but that wouldn’t be possible.

WOMAN          Why not?

MAN          Nick Clegg’s completely sold out.