Starring the voices of Peter Hawkins and Wendy Craig
1968 - Nicholas Cartoons
The sea is extremely choppy - there are high waves and a howling wind. A sailor in his dinghy has been caught in the storm and is clearly in trouble. Zoom in on the cliff-top where Joe and Petunia are enjoying a picnic. He has a pair of binoculars and she is holding an ice cream cone, which she licks, noisily…
Oh, it's ever so nice and peaceful up here, Joe. Nice view, too.
Aye, very nice, Petunia. And look at that nice little boat. He's having a lot of fun out there in his little dingy [sic]. That's what they call them, you know, "sailing dingies".
Aren't they nice people at our hotel, Joe?
Heh-heh! Hello, now he's splicing his main brace.
Though I don't think the man on table number six is very nice.
Do you think he's in trouble, Petunia?
Oh no, Joe. He's just enjoying himself on holiday.
Oh, he's decided to have a swim.
Sailor is tossed overboard
Now he's going to climb back again. I expect that water's a bit cold, don't you?
Sailor is tossed overboard again
Oh, he's changed his mind. Now he's waving to us. Coo-eee! I can't say I recognise him, though.
Well he must know us. Maybe he's the gent on table number six?
No, it's not him he's mu... Oh! Now he's shouting. Er... LOVELY DAY, IN'T IT?
HELP! HELP! Dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.
I can't hear a word he's saying, you know.
Joe reads the speech bubble above the sailor's head
"HELP!! - DIAL 999 AND ASK FOR THE COASTGUARD"
Well, I never!
Joe rushes to the telephone box and calls the coastguard
If you see a boat you think maybe in distress...
"DIAL 999 AND ASK FOR THE COASTGUARD".
This film was modernised and re-released in 2006 to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the Central Office of Information, who commissioned the original. Gone were Joe's knotted hankie headgear and Petunia's union flag bag. And instead of dashing to a phone box, Joe now calls for help on his mobile phone. (But Petunia still licks her ice-cream like a noisy lizard!) The online BBC News Magazine reported a total of nine changes had been made. You can view this version on YouTube.
In 2018, 50 years after the film was made, clips were featured in a brand new public information film from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, who had found that half the population still didn't know that they should dial 999 in a coastal emergency. The announcement of the return of Joe and Petunia is on the GOV.UK website alongside a link to the new film.
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