Day 323: William and the Television Invention

The facts

William joined Mrs Bott and began to walk by her side. “It’s a nice day, isn’t it?” he said pleasantly.
He had noticed that among grown-ups a discussion of the weather was a necessary preliminary to any conversation.
She made no response.
“Nicer than it was yesterday,” said William.
She plodded on in silence.
“I bet it’s goin’ to be nice tomorrow,” said William. “It was jolly nice all last week, wasn’t it? I forget what it was like the week before, but I bet it was all right then, too.”
Mrs Bott gave a snort that discouraged further pleasantries.
“I bet it’s goin’ to be all right next week, too,” said William, undaunted, then, considering that the weather had been adequately dealt with, turned on her the glassy smile that was wont to accompany his efforts at social intercourse with the adult world and plunged abruptly into the heart of the mystery. “Where are you going?”

  • Number: 32.7
  • Published: 1960
  • Book: William the Explorer
  • Synopsis: The Hall is being filmed by a dubious new piece of TV technology.


When Mrs Bott is sounding off to a random man in the street about her domestic woes (chiefly, the featuring of one of her local rivals on a TV programme about “gracious hostesses”, to the exclusion of herself), it turns out that he is “someone on television” and can get her featured in a future episode! The only condition is, she has to have the filming take place that very afternoon – and it will be conducted by one cameraman with no equipment at all, using a valuable and cutting-edge new television invention.

William is so excited to hear about this that he is only bribed to silence by the promise of appearing on a cowboy show at some point in the future; nevertheless, he does insert himself into the centre of the afternoon’s activity.

And it’s just as well he does so, because, of course, while Mrs Bott is being interviewed downstairs, the ‘cameraman’ (liberated from his camera by the eponymous invention) is upstairs collecting all her valuables, jewellery, fur coats etc into suitacases and loading them into his van.

And while, had they been a genuine TV crew, William would undoubtedly have ruined their activities, so too did he ruin these ones.