“Welcome, welcome to the Truth At Ten. This is Tim Trenchard with the Truth At Ten. And tonight we are going to find out the truth behind the D&C Show, the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. However we have to be a bit short with the whole truth tonight.”
“We all remember the D&C Show from the past – it’s twenty years now since they died – or did they? Here’s a video clip of Debbie and Cheby singing their signature Sandwich Song on their first show.”
Your friend is in trouble? Your friend is in need? Your friend is unhappy? You have a friend inDEED! Sandwich him in the middle! Sandwich him with care! Sandwich him with tender! Fill him with tender loving CARE!
“And here is another clip, the same words, but three years later. They don’t look older but the clothes are very different and it sounds totally different.”
Your friend is in trouble? Your friend is in need? Your friend is unhappy? You have a friend inDEED! Sandwich him in the middle! Sandwich him with care! Sandwich him with tender! Fill him with tender loving CARE!
“Joining me tonight is Professor Philip Hedland from the University of Adelaide. Welcome to the Truth At Ten, Philip.”
“Thank you, Tim, I’m pleased to be here.”
“Before we investigate, a question. What got you interested in D&C, Philip?”
“A good question. I was a young teenager when the D&C Show was first shown in Australia, but I wasn’t interested in singing and dancing schoolgirls in those days and my parents were, and still are, very liberal and would not have allowed me to watch that kind of thing. No, it was much later, when I was studying Media Sciences, I needed a subject to work on and my girlfriend had all the D&C DVDs. So I studied D&C and married my girlfriend.”
“And you’re still happily married, Philip?”
“Oh, yes, very much so. But back to D&C. I needed information about them and that was a big surprise, there wasn’t much. Who were they really?”
“Surely Philip, that’s easy, there are all those books about D&C and the D&C Museum and the D&C House where they grew up.”
“Oh, I gotta laugh. NO WAY! Not just wrong, or a bit wrong, just one hundred per cent wrong.”
“The books for example, there are six different books about D&C by six different authors. I’ve read them, I’ve analysed them. The six books are essentially the same, they are not very different from each other, so why six authors and why six authors who don’t exist?”
“The first book was written by someone who knew the real story and wrote something completely different, like 100% different. It’s easy to be 100% wrong when you know the truth. I know who wrote it.”
“Was it Debbie or Cheby?”
“It was D&C, but not Debbie or Cheby, it was Brenda.”
“This is Brenda, she’s tiny, she plays the baby in this Schoolgirl Mother clip you’re seeing now. Tim, let me come back to Brenda later.”
“The D&C Museum and the D&C House are fake, nothing in them is real D&C. They did live in the building that is now the museum, but that’s all. It is a complete story that a Mrs Whitaker brought up her two daughters, Debbie and Cheby, in that little house. It is true that people with the name Whitaker lived in the house, but that proves nothing, half the people are named Whitaker in the town named White Acre.”
“What are you trying to tell me, Philip?”
“Quite easy Tim, there was a mystery to be solved. There is very little real information about D&C. I almost gave up on D&C. I had so little to go on. A load of myths designed, I think, to mislead. D&C themselves dead, everybody else at the TV station Morality Central dead.”
“Yes, everybody who knew them died in the fire with D&C. Very odd. I just did not believe it. I took what I had, the DVDs, and watched them for weeks, time and time again. And I made a few discoveries. Over to you, Tim.”
“Philip did find a few people who knew D&C and were still alive and willing to talk. I interviewed one of them this morning by telephone.”
“Hello, is that Tim Trenchard?”
“Yes, hello and welcome to the Truth At Ten. I can call you Julie?”
“Yes, Tim. My real name is not important, just let me tell a little about D&C.”
“I was in the same school class as the two of them, at BLEEP-school in the village of BLEEP. Their names were Doreen and Chardonnay, I think that Doreen’s second name was Greenaway. The two names Debbie and Cheby came much later.”
“Doreen and Chardonnay were both very large, larger than life. They were always laughing. They laughed about their names. It was always fun to be near them. Chardonnay was sometimes outrageous. It was really no surprise to see them in show business.”
“Doreen and Chardonnay were always together, like I said, especially in their last year at the school. Chardonnay often kissed Doreen in the break, I won’t say what she did with her hands, they were very close.”
“Julie, you mean Debbie and Cheby were not sisters?”
“No, no, no, not sisters. And Mrs Whitaker was actually one of the teachers, Miss Cavendish. She was very strict, very nasty, to us girls, we hated her, a real bitch of a woman. However one day she changed. I think that she must have caught Chardonnay groping Doreen and threatened to have the two thrown out of the school.”
“So what happened, Julie?”
“Doreen and Chardonnay just smothered her, they sandwiched her, Miss Cavendish didn’t have a chance, they took control of her and made her into a nice person.”
“Julie, Doreen and Chardonnay could do that?”
“Oh, yes. They got Brenda too. Brenda was a small, grey mouse of a girl, nobody talked to her and she walked in her sleep. One night she disappeared, we girls went looking for her, what happened I don’t know, but she was several weeks in hospital.”
“The four of them were always together, Brenda, Miss Cavendish, Doreen and Chardonnay. They were very, very close. I won’t say more. But that is when it all started, the four of them performing as the D&C Abstinence Band.”
“I mean, they were good, the four of them. Doreen and Chardonnay sung those songs and Miss Cavendish played the mandolin and Brenda played all the other instruments. They played on Parent’s Day and at the Xmas party and so on.”
“We girls thought what they sung about was real crap, all about abstinence, being pure and waiting for the right boy. I think that they were trying to cover up what they were really doing.”
“Which was what, Julie?”
“No comment, but it must have been bad. Just before the end of the school year they appeared on TV – they became famous overnight, except for in our school – I don’t know why. Just suddenly they were unpersons.”
“What are unpersons?”
“Well, they never came back to the school. I never saw them again. We got a long lecture about keeping quiet about them. We were forbidden to speak about D&C and our school. And they made it legal too, we all had to sign a document on the last day of the school term to keep schtumm or pay a lot of money.”
“So that’s why your name is Julie today.”
“No, no. I did not sign. I was kidnapped in the night before the last day of term. Don’t worry, it was my boyfriend, anything to get away from my awful parents. I’m Julie today because I'm being careful. Bye!”
“That interview was recorded earlier today. What did we learn? That there were four of them, Brenda, Miss Cavendish, Doreen and Chardonnay. That they were not related. That they started as a group at school. And at a school named BLEEP. Sorry about that, but our lawyers won’t let me say the real name of BLEEP-school, sorry.”
“Let me introduce you to Brenda. Welcome, welcome to the Truth At Ten.”
“Thank you, Tim. My name is Brenda but I’m not the D&C Brenda. Let me tell you things. I had a younger sister who went to another school. She insisted, she hated me, I don’t know why. We kept apart.”
“One day at school, it could have been a Saturday, we had a party about something and groups from other schools played music and sang and things. One was the D&C Abstinence Band from BLEEP-school, they were real good and I recognised my little sister playing organ and things.”
“And her name was Brenda!”
“But that’s your name, isn’t it Brenda?”
“Oh, yes. I’m Brenda, but I’m not going to tell you her name, no point. I discovered later that she was using my identity, probably to make her appear three years older. But so what? My parents won’t talk about it, I think that someone is paying them money.”
“Mr Cameraman, please focus on my face, real close-up, I have something to say.”
“Brenda, where ever you are, this is your sister Brenda speaking to you. I did something wrong to you all those years ago. I don’t know what it was.
But Brenda, Brenda, PLEASE FORGIVE ME!
That’s all I want to say.”
“So Philip, D&C were four people?”
“No, Tim. Here is a still picture of Doreen Greenaway who played the part of Debbie Whitaker. She was the D in D&C. Second picture please. This is Chardonnay who played Cheby Whitaker and the C in D&C. Thirdly above we have a picture of Miss Cavendish, probably Clara Cavendish, who played Mrs Whitaker, the mother.”
“Fourthly, a picture of Brenda, who played Baby-B and all the music other than Miss Cavendish on mandolin. And fifthly, a picture of Richard Cavendish, who was the producer, director and manager.”
“There were five of them. So was Richard Cavendish the father? Perhaps married to Miss Cavendish?”
“No, no, they are brother and sister. But you are right, D&C were five people and they always thought of themselves as five people, never two.”
“Here’s a video clip of the Schoolgirl Mother, Brenda plays Baby-B as always, but who is playing the Schoolgirl Mother, Tim?”
“Oh, it’s Debbie.”
“Right, it’s Doreen, but in this clip?”
“It’s a man, is it Richard Cavendish, Philip?”
“Spot on, Tim, and here?”
“It’s another man, seems familiar doesn’t he. OK, I know who it is. I first saw the clip ten days ago. So... Schokky, welcome, welcome to the Truth At Ten.”
“Thanks, Tim. And thanks also to Philip. It’s going to help me a lot to get the truth out after all these years.”
“So, Schokky, you were a great friend of D&C?”
“No and yes. I started at Morality Central about the same time as D&C. We were all taking the piss out of women. D&C with their junk purity and abstinence and I was plain nasty to women, I got the name Mr Misogynist which means woman hater. The mainly male watchers of Morality Central loved it.”
“I said nasty things about D&C and the two of them beat me up.”
“You mean adorable and tender little Debbie and Cheby hit you, I can’t believe it.”
“It’s true, Tim. They weren’t small, they were huge and rough and they floored me. I’m quite small really and twenty years ago I was also stupid. I said hateful stuff about them again. They knocked me out cold, I lost most of my teeth, I was in hospital for a week, it was the best thing that could have happened to me.”
“I don’t get it, Schokky. You land in hospital and that was good?”
“Yes, strange but true. It knocked the stupid hate out of me and better still it made me famous. Look at this clip.”
“Oh, yes, I remember that. You talked like a puppet, all about beetroot and your head was all over the place, what a laugh.”
“Yes, Tim. But if you look closely you can see Doreen’s hand moving my head about and it’s Chardonnay’s voice. I was out cold. It took me weeks to recover, get my teeth screwed back into place and learn how to move and speak like a puppet. It made me famous, I can’t complain.”
“But you’ve got more to tell, haven’t you, Schokky?”
“About six months later I got a call from Brenda inviting me over to their place. I was expecting a party. It wasn’t, it was a working night, they had a recording studio in the cellar. Doreen and Chardonnay were dressed like ballet dancers. They practised the same dance number for hours. At first there was a lot of shouting from Brenda and Richard. They kept dancing until it was perfect and taped it. Brenda had control of everything.”
“After a short break, they did another dance number, I was fascinated, they were so professional. Finally it was perfect. Brenda screamed out ‘Stop, stop, stop! It’s party time!’ and we all trooped up to the top floor; at one end were the party rooms with music, food, drink and drugs and at the other end were mattresses to crash out on. It was just before dawn.”
“It was all one big family, the thirty odd people, who worked at night, partied in the morning and slept in the afternoon.”
“They certainly knew how to work hard and play hard. Chardonnay grabbed hold of me and did what she liked with me, I had no choice. I think that was her way to say sorry for half killing me.”
“Somehow, I don’t know how, they decided, or was it Brenda, that I was staying. Nothing was said, but I just had to stay. There were about thirty people in the house, make-up people, clothes makers, cooks, sound and light, they had the best people, and of course the minders.”
“I got a similar apology from Doreen, that was no surprise, but in the middle of one day I woke up with Brenda tied on top of me. I asked her what she had been doing with me, I couldn’t remember anything. She said ‘Something real strange.’ She paused, she was good at that. ‘I slept on you. Aren’t you disgusted? Aren’t you going to...’ and she did. Brenda said oooooooo! It was very good.”
“One of the minders tied Brenda to somebody every time she went to sleep, usually on Chardonnay, and untied her in the morning. It was not strange, it was not any sort of perversion, Brenda wanted it, to stop her sleepwalking and harming herself. The minder used a soft, white rope and knotted it by her feet.”
“But that was not all, Chardonnay and Doreen were also tied up at night, Doreen normally under Miss Cavendish. It was quite practical really, not that Brenda gave them any choice. Later I found out why. It was to stop the two of them going on the rampage in the middle of the day and trashing everything.”
“Chardonnay and Doreen had all the ideas. Chardonnay would float hundreds of crazy ideas about and Doreen would take a few of them and nail them to the ground. The two of them wrote all the text, all the words, they were very creative and probably medically insane. They would do anything, like just pick up a glass of water and throw it against the wall, or strip off all their clothes and cover each other with lipstick.”
“No one stopped them usually, though if they started to hurt themselves the doctor would sedate them. This was not nice, but sometimes necessary.”
“They were larger than life, they were large, they had some sort of internal energy that drove them faster than normal people. They didn’t take drugs or drink alcohol or smoke, they were both vegetarian, not like Brenda who put a large steak on my chest every morning and ate it with her teeth with white port drunk from the bottle with a long straw. Sometimes I got a mouthful.”
“However they changed completely the moment they were Debbie and Cheby in front of the camera, they just turned into two nice little schoolgirls, they had so much discipline, they were so professional. Of course they didn’t get smaller, as I said they were very large, no, it was the clothes and the props. They used furniture that was made 50% bigger or more to make them look smaller.”
“Look at this clip, they look small don’t they and Mrs Whitaker, their mother, is a head taller than they are. No, not true. The table and chairs are outsize and the image of Miss Cavendish, who was at least a head shorter than them, has been enlarged and mixed in. They used tricks like this all the time.”
“Their idea of a bit of fun was almost anything or anybody. Please forget the idea that they were anything like Debbie and Cheby; we are going to show a clip of the real Doreen and Chardonnay later in the program.”
“Miss Cavendish was quite different, she was much smaller, she was definitely not the mother of Doreen and Chardonnay, she was only about ten years older. She was almost normal, she was a kind person and spoke just like Mrs Whitaker, the mother character she played.”
“She played the mandolin and helped Richard with the paperwork. Her idea of fun was to read a book on mathematical theory and smoke a pipe. Her main job was to support Doreen and Chardonnay and keep their feet on the ground. She once told me that Doreen and Chardonnay had once saved her and so she had to protect the two of them.”
“Brenda was extremely small, she played Baby-B and composed and performed all the music, apart from Miss Cavendish on mandolin. She once shocked me by asking if I liked having sex with an under-age girl. I said wonderful, but she saw straight through me and after a pause said that I had nothing to worry about. She was an adult but had suffered from ‘arrested growth’. She often said that one day she would start growing again.”
“Brenda could play anything, she would pick up a new instrument, play with it and next day she was perfect. I remember the Xmas special show, we actually left the house and went to a church, it was April. Brenda insisted that she played the church organ. It was huge, anybody looked small next to it, Brenda just disappeared into it. She sat at the keyboard, I mean keyboards, and just got on with it. She jumped down off the bench to hit the pedals, her whole body was into it, what a lovely body.”
“But Schokky, didn’t Debbie and Cheby make music in every show?”
“You mean the sunset shot, no, it was always Brenda. You can see the sunset through the windows, the two of them sit on the veranda with their backs to the camera playing different instruments every time. Brenda with a blonde wig on a small-size chair is Chardonnay playing a sitar and Brenda with a black wig on a small-size chair is Doreen on tabla drums.”
“Here is Miss Cavendish on Mandolin, Brenda on Banjo, Brenda on banjo ukulele and the voices of Chardonnay and Doreen doing an old George Formby song. It wasn’t always soft stuff, here is Brenda on electric guitar and Brenda on electric bass guitar belting out an old Elmore James number. D&C rocks.”
“Brenda’s idea of fun was me. Brenda was the leader of D&C, what she said was the law.”
“Richard Cavendish was the connection to the outside world, he did all the contracts, buying, hiring and so on. Brenda and Richard did all the planning and directing. The girls all adored him, but he was rather shy, his idea of fun was to watch Brenda and me together, it made him happy to see other people being happy.”
“Everybody thinks that the D&C show was perfect, it was, it was perfectly screwed up, but nobody noticed. Look at this clip, it’s Mrs Whitaker and the two girls, look carefully. Everything OK? No, we’ll run it again. Look at the bottom of the screen. Mrs Whitaker’s legs are missing, they have been masked out, she is legless and you didn’t notice. It was deliberate.”
“Try this. Did you see the red thing? Yes, it was the little red hippopotamus. Let’s try that again, but more slowly AND FREEZE. Why is there a bread knife stuck through the hippo? The hippo meant hypocrisy of course.”
“Miss Cavendish had a contract with a company that made toy plastic musical instruments. Look at this clip. How many strings does a mandolin have? Right, no strings at all, the strings have been removed. Mrs Cavendish on a real mandolin was mixed in later.”
“And try this, Mrs Whitaker plays the mandolin and waves goodbye to the two girls. Oh, yes? How does she do both at the same time?”
“Once we got a delivery of plastic violins in different colours, Brenda and Miss Cavendish played them, it was awful, Chardonnay jumped on them and destroyed all of them.”
“Check this out, a clip of Mrs Whitaker and daughters, Debbie is wearing a white dress, Debbie moves off-screen, ten seconds later cut to Debbie who is wearing a red dress. Did you spot it? We call this a continuity error – it was deliberate.”
“In this sketch Baby-B has three legs and later on four.”
“OK, a real big question. Who played the Two Perverts? Pervie and Suckmetoe? I know, but I’m going to ask Philip how he found out. Philip?”
“Well, Schokky. It was a big puzzle. They looked like two big girls, but it could not been Doreen and Chardonnay as they were small, they also looked and sounded very different. My girlfriend worked it out, they did not sound like human beings at all. So what? The voices had been electronically altered, distorted. That was the first clue. And it was obvious, with enough make-up and props anyone, male or female, could look like the Two Perverts.”
“I got a friend to undistort the voices and had a big surprise. Let’s run a Two Perverts clip and halfway through change to undistorted voices.”
You been wiv that boy again?
Yer, what about it?
But eee’s got that disease – you catch it and yer BLEEPs go green and fall off.
Yeah, I know – ther’ only green a little bit. I just like his BLEEP.
You could always play with my BLEEP.
Oh yeah! Why not?
“Yep, it’s Doreen and Chardonnay, it’s their real voices, a bit like Debbie and Cheby but completely different text, absolutely disgustingly funny. And loads of BLEEPs.”
“Yes, Philip, it’s Doreen and Chardonnay as they really were. They didn’t use a script, it was all ad lib, they just talked and let the camera run. They sometimes repeated stuff to get it better, just pure Doreen and Chardonnay. Later Brenda and Richard would select the best bits. Another clip and over to Tim.”
“And now the most popular D&C video on the internet, it’s quite short, it’s titled ‘Suckmetoe sees stars’. It’s a great piece of slapstick comedy. Suckmetoe trips, falls over, sees stars, bounces back up, holds on to her head and screams obscenities. And that’s what makes it so funny, the sound is so distorted, you don’t actually understand a word, you just imagine what Suckmetoe is shouting. Schokky is shaking his head.”
“What you say, Tim, is how it looks. But, no, it was tragic, it was the last scene that D&C made, it was the real end of D&C. It wasn’t rehearsed, it wasn’t planned.”
“Chardonnay, wearing a bald wig, playing Suckmetoe, tripped over a cable that should not have been there. It was a nasty accident, not one bit funny. Let’s look at the video without the sound distortion, without the stars, and slowed down to normal speed. I’ll warn everybody the language is very strong.”
“Chardonnay trips, falls over, hits her head, gets up again very slowly, suddenly the pain kicks in, she holds her head, she screams, she is out of control, she has completely lost it, she throws up, she is in agony.”
What the fuck?
My fucking head!
My fucking head hurts.
Why the fuck was that fucking cable there?
Oh, fucking ’ell! My head, it fucking hurts.
When I fucking find out who left that fucking cable there
I will cut their fucking head off with a fucking razor blade
real fucking slowly. It’ll take a fucking week.
Oh, my fucking head!
“Two of the minders picked her up and put her on a mattress, the doctor gave her something to calm her and control the pain. An ambulance came and took her to a private clinic the media doesn’t know about.”
“It was severe concussion, nothing broken, not too bad, but she needed a long rest. They brought her back the next night. She was in a wheelchair. Doreen was pushing her, Chardonnay looked as if someone had taken the batteries out of her, Doreen looked as if she would fall over without the wheelchair to hang on to.”
“Richard and Miss Cavendish pulled the brakes on very hard. No more work. There was more than enough recordings in the can for the series, the series of D&C shows. Everyone had been working hard for almost a year. Everybody needed a rest and then that vacation on the other side of the planet that they had been talking about for some time.”
“Brenda did not like this at all, Brenda was the leader, Brenda was a perfectionist, Brenda wanted a short rest and one more week of recording to finish the schedule. She turned to Doreen and Chardonnay to ask them.”
“The two of them were holding each other’s hands to stop themselves falling over, though they were both sitting. Chardonnay and Doreen looked blankly at Brenda, they did not understand the question, they did not understand anything, they were on the edge of a breakdown. Brenda stared at them, something went click in Brenda’s head, she sank to the floor and had a hysterical fit. The doctor helped her.”
“It got worse, the next day Brenda and I had a big argument, the magic was gone, I walked out. I came back a couple of days later to say goodbye and wish them well, but the building was empty, just a caretaker. I assumed that they had gone on vacation.”
“Two days later there was the big fire at the Morality Central TV station. D&C were dead, burnt to death in a live show, end of story. It was sad, but I put the whole thing to the back of my mind and worked hard on my new show – Schokky Marionetta. I hadn’t forgotten them, but I had to move on.”
“My show was a huge success. It was two years later that I had time to really think about D&C again. It hit me – they weren’t dead – the story was false. They never did live shows, they couldn’t, all the special effects and costume changes took too long. They had used the main studio at Morality Central at the beginning, but it was much smaller than their own studio. They hated the Morality Central studios. They had enough material already recorded.”
“D&C had not died during a live show at Morality Central because they were totally exhausted – Chardonnay, Doreen and Brenda were running on empty. D&C had escaped the country.”
“I decided to keep quiet – the world did not need another conspiracy theory – I couldn’t prove it. Not that I wanted to forget about them, I could have used the ideas of Doreen and Chardonnay, the direction and management of Brenda and Richard, and the loving support from Miss Cavendish. I kept quiet until Philip contacted me.”
“Yes, Schokky, you were very helpful, not like Richard Cavendish.”
“Philip, why do you mention Richard, surely he was...”
“No, Tim, it’s not well known, but no secret, Richard Cavendish did not die in the fire. He now runs a Radio and TV station on some islands on the other side of the planet. He never answered the phone to me, he didn’t want to talk. However I did find an old interview that he made with China Today TV over seven years ago.”
“Here he is explaining how he went to buy cigarettes and came back to find the Morality Central studios in flames. He is very emotional.”
“It doesn’t ring true, what director would leave the studio during a live show?”
“Tim, he didn’t even smoke.”
“During the whole interview he doesn’t say that the four of them are dead, not once. Would you call him a liar, Schokky?”
“I’m not saying anyone is a liar in front of a live camera.”
“He talks mainly about his new show, here it is, little children playing in the sea. The first showing of The Little Adults. Is this the new generation of D&C? In this second clip the Little Adults find a Big Person who is sleeping on the beach. Who is it, Philip?”
“She’s been sleepwalking. This is the proof – D&C did not die in the fire. Schokky?”
“It’s Brenda of course. Sorry, that I’m so emotional, I can’t help it.”
“Earlier in the week Tim and I flew to those islands on the other side of the planet. It will be no surprise to hear that the islands are named BLEEP. We took this photo, a long shot of three women walking along the beach. Here is a very grainy blow-up – it could be Doreen, Chardonnay and Miss Cavendish.”
“Two minutes later we were bundled into a van, driven to the airfield and kicked off the island.”
That about wraps it up for tonight.
Thank you to Philip and thank you to Schokky.
We have tried to show you who D&C really were.
How talented they were.
That they are still alive.
What is the truth about D&C – decide for yourselves.
This is Tim Trenchard saying goodbye from the Truth At Ten until next week.