The studio lights go up, the audience cheers and applauds.
Max Weinman, the slick studio host, launches into his well-rehearsed patter. "Welcome, welcome, welcome to another game of Beat the Forfeit. As always, we have two couples competing for tonight's jackpot of one hundred thousand pounds. First, in the studio, we have Jim and Russell. Let's meet them."
Two men stand behind smart game-show lecterns each displaying a score of zero. Max touches the collar of his open necked shirt, tugs on the sleeves of his shiny suit and steps to the first.
"Hi Jim, why don't you tell us about yourself."
"Hi Max." Jim is a little over six feet tall, well built with dark hair. He looks to be in his early thirties. "My name's Jim McKean, I'm from Bristol and I'm a sales executive."
"That's great, Jim. And who's the lucky lady you'll be playing with tonight?" A titter from the audience at the double-entendre.
"Tonight my partner will be my lovely wife Alisha, Max."
"Fantastic. We'll meet Alisha in just a minute, but first let's say hello to Russell."
Russell is short, skinny and dark-skinned. "Hi Max. My name's Russell Holmes-Roper. I live in London where I'm an architect."
"And who's your partner for tonight?"
"Tonight I'll be playing with my girlfriend Kara."
"OK, we've met Jim and Russell, now it's time to meet the ladies."
A huge screen behind him flickers to life, revealing the plush leather interior of a limousine. Three attractive women are seated. All hold glasses of champagne – or perhaps sparking wine. One of them is also holding a microphone. Max turns to face the screen.
"Hello, Sam, how are you this evening?"
The woman with the microphone is in her late thirties, tall, slim and elegant. She wears a long blue dress. "Hi Max. I'm having a great time with these two delightful ladies, living the high life."
"Wonderful. Can you introduce the ladies to us please."
"With pleasure, Max. This gorgeous woman on my right is Alisha." Jim's wife looks in her late twenties, slim, around five foot six. She's wearing a tight top and a short skirt than clings to her thighs. She waves to Max and says hello with a broad smile. "And on my left," Sam continues, "is the delightful Kara." Kara is shorter than Alisha, just five foot one. Like Alisha, she is wearing a tight top and it stretches over her large breasts. Her skirt is a little longer, coming down to just above her knees. She smiles, waves and says hello to Max.
"Lovely – we'll be seeing more of the girls in just a minute." Max says to the audience. "Before we get started, I need to remind you of the rules. I ask Jim and Russell four questions. They can gamble points on each question. If they get the answer right, they get the points. If they get it wrong, Alisha or Kara have to do a forfeit. What's the forfeit rule?"
"THE HIGHER THE POINTS, THE HARDER THE FORFEIT!" the audience shout as one.
"You got it. Now for this first question Jim and Russell can't go higher than 3 points." He turns to the two contestants. "Are you both ready?" They say they are. "OK, first question, and it's a music one. Queen's biggest hit was of course Bohemian Rhapsody, but how many weeks in total has Bohemian Rhapsody spent at number one in the charts: 9, 14 or 18? Don't answer now, gents. First I need to know how many points you want to gamble on getting the answer right."
He leans on the front of Russell's lectern. "Do you think you know the answer, Russell?"
"I'm pretty confident on this one, Max. I'm going to gamble three points."
"Fantastic, let's get those three points locked in for Russell." A red 3 appears on the left of the display as Max steps across and puts his hand on Jim's lectern. "How about you, Jim? Are you as confident as Russell?"
"To tell you the truth, I'm not so sure, Max. I think I'll just gamble one point."
"That's not a problem, Jim. It wouldn't be fair on Alisha otherwise, would it. Let's get that one point gamble locked in." The red 1 flashes up on the left of Jim's display.
"And now it's time to give me your answer – press your buttons now." Both men press a button on their lecterns and an answer appears on the front of each. Russell has gone for 14 with Jim selecting 9.
"And the answer," says Max, "is... 14. Well done Russell. Jim – I know what you were thinking, but Bohemian Rhapsody was at number one again in 1992 for another five weeks. And that means, ladies and gentleman, we have our first forfeit of the night and it's a number one forfeit for ... Alisha."
The audience cheer loudly as Max turns again to the big screen. "Over to you Sam."
Sitting in the limo, Sam puts down her glass and lifts up the microphone. "Thanks Max. Are you ready Alisha?" Alisha nods a little nervously and tries to hold her smile. Sam picks up a shiny gold envelope with a big number 1 printed on the front and opens it. Pulling out the card inside, she reads it.
"An easy one to start with Alisha, you don't even need to step outside the limo for this. Your first forfeit, for one point, is to lift up your top and show everyone in the audience and the millions of people watching, what you've got underneath."
Alisha reddens. She knows the game, of course, but this is the moment that it becomes reality and she suddenly feels a lot more nervous than she expected. Back in the studio, the audience is clapping and chanting. "UP! UP! UP! UP!" Taking a deep breath, Alisha takes hold of the bottom of her tight red top and, in one move, pulls it up to her neck. She can hear the audience applaud and cheer and she knows the camera has zoomed in on her lacy black bra and the soft flesh of her breasts, knows that at this very moment millions of people are enjoying the sight of her chest, sitting on their sofas and discussing her with their friends and family.
It seems like an age, but in reality it's only a few seconds until Sam cheerfully says "Well done Alisha, forfeit completed. You can lower your top now."
The focus moves back to the studio and Max picks up the action.
"Russell is ahead on 3 points, Jim is still to score. Let's move onto our second question. Remember that the contestants can gamble up to 5 points on this one. Are you both ready?" They nod. "This is a history question. Britain defeated the French in the Peninsula War but in what year did the war finish. Was it 1814, 1815 or 1816?" Both men are confident: Russell gambles 4 points, with Jim going for the maximum 5. The points are locked in and then they select their answers. Russell hits the button for 1815 and Jim selects 1814, their choices appearing on the front of their lectern.
"We've got at least one forfeit coming up," Max tells the audience, "but who will it be. Alisha again? Or will we get to see more of Kara? Or maybe it will be both! We'll find out right after the break."
The show breaks for adverts and comes back a couple of minutes later to a cheering audience. "When we left, we were waiting find out the year the Peninsula War ended." Max says. "If it was 1814, Kara will be doing a forfeit for us. If 1815, we'll see another forfeit from Alisha. And if it's 1816, it'll be both of the ladies. And the answer is... 1814 so well done Jim. Sorry Russell, the Battle of Waterloo was 1815 but the Peninsula War ended the year before. And that means it's over to you, Sam, to give Kara her four point forfeit.
The focus goes back to the limousine where Sam picks up a gold envelope with a 4 printed on the front. Opening the envelope, she takes out the card. "OK Kara, a tougher one for your first forfeit, but it's a four-pointer. You've got to take off all your clothes, get out of the limo, walk all the way around it, and get back in."
Kara gulps visibly – she can hear the audience cheer loudly as Sam gives out the forfeit. She knows she has only a few seconds to get started or both she and Russell are eliminated. Taking hold of her top, she pulls it up over her large breasts, making them bounce, and over her head. Then she reaches behind her back, unfastens her bra and slips it off. Back in the studio the audience is going wild as Kara's red nipples are revealed. She wriggles out of her skirt and, taking a deep breath, removes her knickers. She is now sitting naked, except for a pair of sheer, black hold-up stockings and black high-heeled shoes.
"Ready?" Sam asks. Kara does her best to smile and nods. She knows the rules, of course – she's watched Beat the Forfeit many times before and had the full briefing from the production team. She knows that she must walk right the way around the car, that she can't cover herself up. She also knows that, when she gets out, nearly everyone around will be an unsuspecting member of the public, with just a few security people from the show mixed in to make sure nothing gets out of hand.
The tension is building. In the studio and at homes across the country, millions of people are waiting to see what happens when Kara steps out of the limo and into the street. Sam, ever the professional, knows exactly the right moment, and knows that naked, embarrassed Kara has to hold on for just a few more seconds.
"Before sexy Kara steps out," Sam says, "we need to tell you where our girls are tonight. As you know, we visit a different place every week and tonight we're in the heart of Birmingham. We're parked outside some very fashionable bars and clubs here. The weather's chilly but dry and I can tell you the street is busy, busy, busy, packed with people out to have a good time. OK, Kara, you're good to go.
.... There is more of this story ...