image of woman sitting in armchair writing

Two From The Top And One From The Bottom

Carol Vorderman reclined in her leather seat while the make-up assistant applied her blusher. A few years ago, she'd have been applying the slap herself but she had power in the broadcasting industry now which afforded her the privilege of having her own make-up assistant. There was a point where she was perhaps the most powerful and influential woman on television with a show on all five channels. Now that bitch Smilie was intent on stealing her crown. Well, she'd just have to see about that, see if she couldn't pull a few strings and arrange for a tragic accident involving MDF and a hacksaw to occur on Changing Rooms...

She was distracted from her smug Machiavellian scheming by Richard practising his godawful interval jokes in front of the mirror. She glanced over at him, shuddering at his 'comedy' tie and watching in horror as he gelled his toupe into place. The man must've had the same haircut since he was a schoolboy and was intent on keeping it even now he was bald.

But she paused to consider her own recent transformation. She hadn't always been the glamourpuss she was now.

Only a year ago she wore bland suits and had dull, straight brown hair. The only jobs she got offered were science programmes hidden away on BBC 2, beginners guides to computers and such like. But she knew that she could do better. Inside there was a ravishing, sexy bitch demanding to get out. So she had a makeover - not the Richard and Judy kind where Nicky Clarke makes everyone's hair look suspiciously like his own blonde mullet hired a personal stylist to co-ordinate her wardrobe and hit showbiz parties and awards shows in daringly low cut frocks. In essence, she aimed to become the Liz Hurley of the small screen but with lifelong membership of Mensa.

"Richard, who's on the show today?" she asked to prevent him from finishing the 'why did the chicken cross the road' joke.

"A beer mat collecting student from Edinburgh University and a one-legged war veteran," Richard replied, teasing his toupe into shape with a fine comb.

Carol rolled her eyes. "Not the plebs, I want to know about the important people." She clicked immaculately manicured fingers for emphasis. "Names, names, names, Richard."

Richard gave her a disparaging look. Despite having attended an elite university himself, he still considered himself a man of the people and Carol's snobbery irked him. "Well, we've got Nicholas Parsons and Hannah Gordon in Dictionary Corner."

God, she hated it when Nicholas Parson appeared on the show. Not only did the man have little to no talent but he spent the whole time flirting with Richard. Which wasn't the sort of thing people wanted to see on television at teatime. She suppressed a shudder and turned her thoughts instead to the interesting prospect of Ms Gordon.

Carol often watched Watercolour Challenge in her stretch limousine on the way to the studios. It soothed her nerves and took her mind off the inevitable glut of one-note anecdotes that Richard insisted on 'entertaining' the audience with. Not to mention that Ms Gordon had one of the sexiest voices on television - she was the thinking woman's Mariella Frostrup. That, and Hannah was one sexy lady; those Marks & Spencers linen suits hid the figure of an angel.

As the make-up assistant added the finishing touches, Carol stood, smoothing down her little black dress, and hoped that she hadn't left a damp patch on the seat. She remembered the last person she'd seduced from Dictionary Corner... Sandi Toksvig had been a little tiger in the sack. As for Valerie Singleton, well, she still fantasised about that encounter occasionally.

So Carol had devised a plan for the seduction of the divine Ms Gordon: a smouldering look when a contestant inevitably said 'two from the top, one from the bottom, and anything you choose, Carol.' A little wink and a smile when suggestive words cropped up during the word game.

Even if Hannah resisted, she would eventually succumb. They always did in the end.

The End