» #65 May 2001
THE GOODIES CLARION AND GLOBE
THE OFFICIAL NEWSLETTER OF 'THE GOODIES RULE - OK' FAN CLUB
Issue No. 65 8th May 2001
Newsletter enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
General enquiries: email@example.com
'The Goodies Rule - OK!'
P.O. Box 325
Chadstone VIC 3148, AUSTRALIA
THE LADS AND LASSES OF THE C&G
- Brett Allender
- David Balston
- Alison Bean
- Lisa Manekofsky
- Kay Dickinson
- Brian Labza
FEATURE ARTICLE CONTRIBUTOR:
- Marilyn Burge
- Catherine Carter, Cheryl Brown, Daniel Bowen
WITH SPECIAL THANKS TO: Tim Brooke-Taylor.
1. THE TIM BROOKE-TAYLOR INTERVIEW - Part Three
2. QUIZ & QUOTE - Goodies brainteasers for you and you and you.
3. BOFFO IDEAS - Club happenings and ideas.
4. SPOTTED!!! - The latest Goodies sightings.
5. 2001 AND A BIT - Tim, Graeme and Bill sightings post-Goodies.
6. FEATURE ARTICLE - "When I Was A Child" - Tim Brooke-Taylor
7. GOODIES EPISODE SUMMARY - Camelot.
8. QUIZ & QUOTE ANSWERS
BUT IT'S NOT THE 12th YET ...!
(by Brett Allender)
Quite true! However this month's C&G is out a few days early by necessity as I'm about to pack up my disused railway station and make a move to the Central Victorian city of Bendigo to take up a new job, and so I'm likely to be outside the five mile limit for e-mail contact during the next few weeks while I settle into my new surroundings. Therefore please don't think that I'm a "backsliding revisionary paper hyena" if I don't reply to your e-mails for the rest of the month; I'm just "overloaded" with all of the fun and games involved with leaving my current house, town and job and starting all over again elsewhere.
1. THE TIM BROOKE-TAYLOR INTERVIEW - PART THREE
More fabulous replies from Tim to those questions that you've always wanted to ask about "The Goodies", but never had a genuine Goodie to ask them to ...
I RECENTLY READ ABOUT AN ACCOUNTANCY FIRM IN BUXTON WHO WERE CHANGING THEIR NAME. THEY ARE (OR WERE, I CAN'T REMEMBER) CALLED BROOKE-TAYLOR'S. IS THERE ANY CONNECTION?
I cannot believe there is an accountancy firm with the name of Brooke-Taylor. There is a legal firm which is/was called Bennett, Brooke-Taylor and Wright. My father was the original Brooke-Taylor and my brother Martin has just retired from the firm. As there is no longer a Bennett, a Brooke-Taylor or a Wright, it seems reasonable if they are changing their name.
CAN YOU REMEMBER WHAT WON THE GOLDEN ROSE OF MONTREUX COMEDY AWARD THE YEAR THE YEAR THAT KITTEN KONG WON THE SILVER?
I certainly can. It was me. Actually it was a Marty Feldman show and I had written about a fifth of it. I used to have a photo of me smugly holding the gold and the silver. I was in the Marty show that got a silver a few years before when he was definitely robbed. It was reckoned that the 1972 win was consolation as nobody seemed to think it was better than us (Obviously a few judges did though) The Marty show was a compilation show which was basically made for America. The piece I wrote featured Marty and Spike Milligan. The narrator was Orson Welles.
YOU WERE QUOTED IN THE LATE 70S AS SAYING (RE:THE GOODIES) "WE CAN'T GET IN SOME FILTHY BITS BECAUSE WE HAVE SUCH A LARGE AUDIENCE OF KIDS. IT'S A TERRIBLE STRAIN BEING GOOD ALL THE TIME." CAN YOU REMEMBER ANY SPECIFIC FILTHY BITS THAT HAD TO BE REMOVED?
The classic instance, and this can hardly be called naughty now, was when I said 'bloody'. The whole point was that Graeme and Bill were astonished that I had used such a 'naughty' word. I was made to re-dub it afterwards to 'ruddy'. It's ironical when you think of how much was censored for Australia
HAS THE BRITISH PRESS EVER RUN ANY STORIES ABOUT YOU FAILING TO LIVE UP TO YOUR GOODIE IMAGE, SUCH AS "SO CALLED 'GOODY' TIM BROOKE-TAYLOR PHOTOGRAPHED TIRED AND EMOTIONAL OUTSIDE STRINGFELLOWS WEARING HIS UNDIES ON HIS HEAD" OR SIMILAR? IF SO WE WOULD ALL BE INTERESTED TO HEAR THE DETAILS!
In the Sun here (for non-UK readers the Sun is the downmarket tabloid of ill repute), it actually had the headline 'Not so goody'. It wasn't so Baddy, I'd been caught speeding. For the rest I refuse to answer on the grounds that I might incriminate myself.
WILL THERE BE A "HUMPH TURNS 80" SPECIAL EPISODE OF 'I'M SORRY I HAVEN'T A CLUE' IN MAY THIS YEAR WHEN THE CHAIRMAN REACHES THIS MILESTONE? AND HAS THE AGEING PROCESS IMPROVED HIS TEMPER?
There are about to be two radio programmes. One on Radio 2 which is basically on the music and one on Radio 4 for the rest, with a special emphasis on I'm Sorry. We've all been interviewed already. It goes out, I think, on May 19th. May his temper never improve.
OVER THE SEASONS OF THE GOODIES, YOU HAD TO FILM A LOT OF BIZARRE THINGS. WHEN YOU WOULD GO HOME EACH EVENING AND YOUR WIFE ASKED HOW YOUR DAY WAS, DID YOU SAY THINGS LIKE: "I'VE BEEN WRESTLING A MANIC SHEEP IN A ROMAN ARENA/SPENT THE DAY DOWN A CREAM MINE/SPENT HOURS IN THE THAMES BEING MENACED BY A GIANT COD/GOT ALL FROCKED UP AS TIMITA"? OR WAS IT "OH, JUST ANOTHER DAY AT THE OFFICE..."???
I don't think I'd have ever gone into detail, just 'I'm knackered'. And Christine would say 'Nothing new there then - anyway I've got a headache'; or words to that effect. I just remember being exhausted all of the time. Not just filming, but also dubbing, editing travelling and re-writing.
DID YOUR SONS EVER APPEAR ON THE SHOW?
I remember Christine acting as an extra with a pram. One of the boys was in the pram and the other was toddling alongside. All shot on Hampstead Heath. Filmically of course.
TONY BLACKBURN WAS ONE OF THE GOODIES FAVOURITE TARGETS DURING THE SHOW, BUT HE ENDED UP GUEST STARRING NOT ONCE, BUT TWICE (GOODIES RULE-OK AND SCATTY SAFARI). SO DID THAT MEAN THAT HE WAS AN INCREDIBLY GOOD SPORT (CONSIDERING WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM IN SCATTY SAFARI, HE MUST LITERALLY HAVE BEEN!) OR WAS HE JUST INCREDIBLY STUPID?
To give him his due, he was smart enough to know that any publicity was good publicity. We were amazed when he agreed to appear, considering the scripts, but good on him for doing it.
In addition to Tim's generousity in replying to so many of your questions, Graeme Garden has also very kindly offered to answer questions from club members in future editions of the C&G.
So if you have a question that you'd like to ask Tim or Graeme, please send it in via pirate post office to <firstname.lastname@example.org>
2. QUIZ & QUOTE
QUOTE: "This cold weather has rendered my brass monkey incomplete."
(a) Which Goodie is responsible for this quote?
(b) Where does he obtain this saying from, and why?
(c) Which episode is this quote from?
QUIZ: This month's questions are from the episode "Loch Ness Monster"
(d) Why do the Goodies attempt to capture the Loch Ness Monster?
(e) Which deadly Scottish creature menaces Tim at the campsite?
(f) Why is this creature so deadly?
(g) What does the "special monster bait" consist of?
The answers are listed at the end of this newsletter.
3. BOFFO IDEAS
You can make it happen here. Liven up the club with a boffo idea for bob-a-job week. E-mail <email@example.com> with your comments, ideas or suggestions - meanwhile these are the boffo ideas which our club has been working on this month:
SYDNEY GOODIES VIDEO NIGHT
(by Cheryl Brown - Spocksoc President and GROK member)
I'm a uni student at the University of New South Wales and I'd like to mention that my club is holding a Goodies video night on Friday the 1st of June. We plan to start at 6pm and go as late as everyone would like to stay.
Just one catch however, in order to attend you have to either be an existing member, or join our club. Membership is only $5 and lasts for the rest of the year.
Info on the club: We're called Spocksoc and our charter is to entertain members by holding regular screenings of anything and everything that falls into the categories of sci-fi, fantasy, animation and cult. We held a Best of British night last year including Monty Python, Blackadder, The Young Ones and of course The Goodies and it went down like a black pudding, The Goodies in particular. So we thought we'd do an encore performance, but this time just of the Goodies - episodes are at random. We are also holding a Dr Who/Blakes 7 night on the 18th May if anyone is interested.
Here are all the details:
Date: Friday 1st of June 2001
Time: 6pm 'til late
Location: The Keith Burrows Theatre, University Of NSW, Kingsford
Cost: Free for Spocksoc members, or membership $5 at the door
For more details or directions on how to find it contact Cheryl Brown
NOTE: Orders may be placed with Cheryl on the night for Goodies t-shirts from the GROK fan club.
2001 AND A BIT - A SECOND GOODIES CONVENTION?
(by Catherine Carter - President of 'The Goodies Rule OK')
Since Kitten Kon, a lot of people have asked when we'll be holding another big Goodies event. Plans are afoot to bring all the madness and mayhem that was KK to Sydney next year. At the moment however, it's only a dream, and to get it going will rely on the support and commitment of members in that fine city, and around Australia.
The two major tasks we need help with are event management and fund raising. Without funds we can't put the show on. The good news is that we might be able to entice Tim Brooke-Taylor over for another event. We may also be able to entice Graeme and Bill this time as well.
If you are interested in helping, or would like further details, please
email me at: <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
More exciting than getting your wig-spotters badge! If you've seen the Goodies recently, e-mail <email@example.com>with the details. Here's where we've Spotted!!! The Goodies this month:
(by Daniel Bowen - posted to Goodies-l on April 14th)
Just found that the BBC web site has a title sequence archive. The Goodies is there (though for me it cuts off rather suddenly) and it has a rather patronising and simplistic summary of the show...
PROPPING UP THE GOODIE LIFE
(by Alison Bean)
Being a massive "Good Life" fan and all (C&Gs passim) I tuned in to watch an episode the other week. The episode I saw was the one where Tom invents a machine to convert waste into electricity. But he wasn't the only one doing a bit of recycling, so were the BBC props department.
Tom's generator was none other than our old friend the black pudding machine from "Kung Fu Kapers".
This can be added to the list of stuff used in "The Goodies" but also in other BBC programmes of the time. Also on the list are Tim's throne (also used in "Doctor Who", although there is a lot of debate about whether they were the same thrones or not), the Jolly Rock Lighthouse set (also used in "Dad's Army"), Bill's sparkly coat from "Scoutrageous" (also worn by Mr Humphries in "Are You Being Served?") and the phrase "Ecky Thump" which appeared in that Monty Python sketch where people are learning to speak other dialects of English (ie. politician, Northerner...).
If only the BBC were still so keen on recycling programmes, well, a variety of programmes, more specifically you know what...
That address again:
Ms Jane Root
BBC Television Centre
80 Wood Lane
LONDON W12 0TT
5. 2001 AND A BIT
If you've sighted Tim, Bill or Graeme in a post-Goodies role, e-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org> so that we can tell everyone where to spot a Goodie nowadays.
ULTIMATE WILD PARADISES
(by David Balston - posted to Goodies-l on April 16th)
Those in the UK may want to check out an evening on programming on BBC2 tonight entitled "Ultimate Wild Paradises - the Top Ten Destinations" and in the words of the Radio Times "Bill Oddie introduces an evening for nature lovers as he counts down the ten most popular locations for travellers wishing to explore the beauty of the natural world. Top wildlife makers, including David Attenborough and Simon King, reveal their personal favourite destinations while sharing entertaining anecdotes of life on location"
The show is on from 6pm to 9pm (Monday 16th April) and repeats some BBC wildlife favourites, now if we could only have another form of repeat involving Bill...
WHERE TO SPOT BILL
(from information contributed by David Balston and Lisa Manekofsky to Goodies-l on May 2nd and 4th)
Sunday 6th May 5.40pm Radio 4 Bill Oddie presents "Up With The Lark" a part of Dawn Chorus Day where Bill presents the strange story of dawn on Hampstead Heath, where he goes daily to fill his passion for birds and to exercise his tolerance of joggers, the lone bagpiper and dogs!
Still as part of Dawn Chorus Day, Monday morning 7th May at 0.15am Radio 4 Bill presents highlights of the sounds and experiences of Dawn Chorus Day in "A Global Sunrise" - a programme that ends with possibly the most haunting bird song of all, according to the 'Radio Times' that is.
Bill pops up the same day on 'Quote Unquote' at 6.30pm Monday 7th May Radio 4
GRAEME'S SUMMER WITH DES
(by David Balston - posted to Goodies-l on May 2nd)
On Satellite there is another chance to see Graeme in 'My Summer With Des' on UK Gold Monday 7th May very early at 3.25am.
"ON THE COUCH" - BILL ODDIE"
(contributed by Kay Dickinson - from a recent edition of UK "Woman's Weekly")
Just three months ago Bill Oddie contemplated suicide. Now, for the first time, the man who brought joy to millions with The Goodies and his wildlife programmes, reveals how his troubled childhood prompted a devastating depression.
Wildlife is my passion. I've loved it since I was a little boy, and here I am doing wildlife programmes for TV and performing my own bird-watching show in venues around the country. But although I've very pleased to be doing something I love, I have to admit that it's particularly relevant that I should be doing an "on the couch" interview, because I'm actually in therapy. I was ill earlier this year with clinical depression. It was the most terrifying thing that's happened to me and it came out of the blue. There were a couple of things that were getting on my nerves, but one morning I just woke up crying, completely gone.
I raced up to the doctor and asked to go to hospital. I was there for about eight days - but I thought I'd never come out of it. I was damned near catatonic and wouldn't get out of bed for a week. I'd wake up early with terrible anxiety and you do really want to die. You just don't want to go through another day like that, and even though I felt I would never do anything about killing myself, hand on heart, I contemplated it.
Now I've become a bit of an expert on depression. You have to, because unless you really understand it, you won't control it; and you want to get out of it and you never want to go back. It helped to talk. My wife, Laura, who is a very cheery person, was brilliant, comforting me as much as necessary and leaving me alone when I needed to be alone. I also see a therapist - not because I want to find out the root cause, but because I want to minimise the chance of a relapse and find a practical mechanism for combating negative thoughts.
Part of the reason I'm not that curious about what caused my depression is because I know quite a lot about myself - enough to know that there are pretty obvious reasons. My mother spent a large amount of her life in mental homes, and in those days they really were called mental homes. So maybe there was a genetic streak there, which always worried me, though I was thinking I'd got away with it, having got to nearly 60 years of age. She was schizophrenic and quite dangerous. But the other thing was that I didn't have any mother love at all, because she abandoned me very early on.
I was brought up by my father and his mother, and my mother only features in a series of bizarre memories. Like coming home when I was about six, when we lived in Lancashire, and finding the kitchen crockery broken and blood all over the place. My mother had just turned up and attacked my dad, who had to go to hospital.
Them we moved to Birmingham where I have about three memories. One was coming home and finding her in the bath - this someone who I hadn't seen for years. I must have been ten or eleven. She was there for about a day then gone again. Once when she'd been let out of hospital on a weekend visit, she wouldn't go back and had to be dragged screaming and shouting into the car...
But the most bizarre memory was being taken to her in the mental home. I was about 14 and they said, "Do you mind going to the hospital to see if your mother recognises you?" It was really like something out of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest - like a haunted castle with creaking doors and long corridors. I remember being taken to an annexe and my mum was sitting in this chair. She had no idea who I was, she just babbled away. I didn't see her for donkey's years after that.
So yes, it's a fairly classic syndrome of depression - the complete lack of mother love. And yet I genuinely think that I've been very lucky, because it never struck me as terrible. I never knew anything else as a kid. But, looking back, my home life may have prompted my passion for wildlife.
I lived with Dad and my granny, and my dad let Granny dominate him dreadfully. We were never allowed to have people back and she was a very intrusive character. So I used to get on my bike and cycle to the local reservoir and go bird-watching. Sometimes I'd spend a whole day there, from five in the morning. I was an only child and more than happy to be on my own in the great outdoors with just wildlife for company. Yet, when I got into comedy, I only liked working as part of a team. I honestly didn't plan a career in comedy, but humour has always been a big part of my life, despite everything that happened.
When I went to Cambridge University, I read English and planned to be a teacher, but suddenly I was surrounded by all these wonderfully talented people - John Cleese, Eric Idle and, of course, Graeme Garden and Tim Brooke-Taylor, my fellow Goodies. I never expected The Goodies to be so huge in the Seventies, and when it happened I still thought of myself as a writer rather than a performer. But, looking back, I do think it's an achievement that it was such a popular family show and that we made people laugh.
After what has happened to me recently, I'm trying to concentrate on the achievements in my life, and I like the fact that I have been connected with four programmes that people have said were a part of their lives and affected them a little bit: the radio show I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again, The Goodies, my own show on Jazz FM and the wildlife programmes. My other achievement is definitely my family. Although my first marriage broke up, I am still good friends with my ex-wife Jean and very close to my daughters from the marriage - Kate Hardie, who's a brilliant actress, and Bonnie, who's a fabulous dancer and choreographer. I also have a 15 year old daughter, Rosie, who I'm a big fan of, from my marriage to Laura and I'm a grandfather too. Everybody gets on. It's a wonderful, caring, extended family and I'm very proud of that. I really do try to concentrate on the positive now and thankfully, I'm feeling absolutely fine and working hard.
I did a little sketch for Comic Relief just three days out of hospital. It was a sort of test for myself and it went well. It was great to be doing comedy again and I'd love to do more in the future.
I've got plenty of things in the pipeline - another wildlife programme later on in the year and my bird-watching show. But right now I'm just taking one day at a time. I've learned that I wasn't as strong as I thought I was. I always felt that I was in control, but during the depression I lost control and I had to ask for help - and that's not a bad thing, because people will help if you ask.
My philosophy now is "be kind to yourself", which is actually quite hard to do. I'm also learning to stop thinking negatively ahead. I used to be obsessed with anticipating the outcome of events, but there's no point if you can't control them. I can switch off a lot more now. I now know that I have that capacity for being stressed out. People probably can't quite believe it, because I come over as incredibly relaxed and completely fulfilled in what I'm doing. I think to myself, "If only you know".
That's why I think it's important to talk about depression, because there are a lot of people suffering out there. I wouldn't wish it on anyone, but I want people to know that you can come through it. I feel as though I'm almost there.
TRIBUTE TO WILLIE RUSHTON
(contributed by Lisa Manekofsky)
The following article appeared in the 4 April 2001 MetroTravel section of a London newspaper. A friend sent me the article but didn’t mention which paper it came from; however, I believe it is part of the Daily Mail family of papers based upon an email address listed on the other side of the page.
The article is about a potential tribute to Willie Rushton in the form of a plaque at the Mornington Crescent tube station. The article has a nice color photo of Graeme Garden, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Barry Cryer, and Humphrey Lyttelon standing just outside an entrance to Mornington Crescent Station. Tim is holding a copy of the “Little Book of Mornington Crescent. Further down the page is a nice shot of Willie with the caption “Missed: Willie Rushton”. At the conclusion of the main article is a bit of advice from Graeme about playing the game of Mornington Crescent, which is every bit as useful as tips he’s given in the past. ;)
Crescent honour for comic Willie
by Tom James
Willie Rushton, the late great stalwart of Mornington Crescent – the game at the heart of BBC Radio 4’s cult comedy I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue, is to be remembered by a special plaque at the station he lampooned.
Fans have pleaded with Tube bosses for a formal celebration of comic genius Willie, 59, who died five years ago after a lifetime as an actor and cartoonist.
The Tube’s Jeff Mills, who manages Mornington Crescent, said: ‘We are looking into what we can do to commemorate the life of this much-loved man. He brought sunshine – and the station – into so many lives. We are in talks with his friends, his fans and the BBC to see what we can do.’
Willie also contributed to the success of the satirical magazine Private Eye and the pioneering BBC TV 1960s satire show, That Was The Week That Was.
On Willie’s death, Auberon Waugh, who himself died earlier this year, said: ‘The obituaries and the letters received at Private Eye revealed the affection in which he was held not only by his friends but by the public who knew him from TV and radio.’
And close pal, actor John Wells, added: ‘He was far nicer than anyone else – a genuinely good man. He was very lonely a lot of the time, he had his cross to bear.
‘But he somehow, and often, managed to turn everything into a gag to cheer himself up and cheered everyone else up at the same time.’
Willie was responsible for some of the best cartoons in the Eye and penned the song Neasden:
Neasden, You won’t be sorry that
you breezed in
The traffic lights and yellow line
And the illuminated signs
All say welcome to the borough
That everyone’s pleased in
But he shone in I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue, turning the game into one for which few people knew the rules and delivering the punchline to out-punch jazzman host Humphrey Lyttelton, comic writer Barry Cryer and ex-Goodies Graeme Garden and Tim Brooke-Taylor.
Willie died before the Northern Line station reopened after a six-year refit. At the ceremony the programme’s regulars helped mark the occasion, reserving a special mention for Willie.
A year earlier, the show won the British Broadcaster’s Guild award for Best Radio Programme, with its then producer Jon Naismith admitting it had become a phenomenon.
Jon revealed: ‘It’s a huge cult with Willie – no matter how good the rest remain – always a bug miss.’
A senior aide to BBC director-general Greg Dyke said: ‘Putting up a plaque to Willie would be wonderful. He was a very funny man, who used the Tube.’
Graeme gives us a clue…
To assist anyone confused by the Mornington Crescent game, Graeme Garden has provided us with a basic guide:
He says: ‘Boxing out the F, J, O and W placings draws the partner into an elliptical progression North to South. In weak positional play, it is vital to consolidate an already strong outer square, eg Pentonville Road.
‘In a straight rules game, it’s inadmissible to transfer inversely, W draws and is usually played early in the game (before the Central Line has been quartered) so the risk of a diagonal move is negligible, as is the possibility of quartering approaches. The A40 Northbound used as a counter-play offers rear access to suburban bidding.’ Clear?
6. FEATURE ARTICLE
(contributed by Marilyn Burge)
WHEN I WAS A CHILD
(from the (UK) Woman's Weekly - unknown date.)
Comedy actor Tim Brooke-Taylor recalls growing up in Derbyshire during the Forties:
"I was born at Buxton, in Derbyshire, in 1940. I must have been a mistake because my brother Martin was already nine years old and my sister Carolyn was six.
My father was a solicitor and my brother does the same job today - still living and working in Buxton. And that was the profession I, too, was heading for, before I was diverted into acting.
My memories of childhood are of sunny, happy days. Like a lot of people, I seem to leave out the rain when I reminisce. We had a large house and garden, and fields for my sister's pony. I myself rode only once, at four-and-a-half; I got thrown off and broke an arm, and that was quite enough for me, thank you very much.
However I have winter as well as sunshine memories. Buxton is over a thousand feet up and very cold, so I remember freezing lino and not wanting to get into the bath - and then not wanting to get out again.
During the War there was an internment camp in the fields adjoining our property and the German prisoners were an important part of my childhood. They were incredibly friendly. I think their hearts had never been entirely in the War and, because my father was in the Home Guard, I was allowed into their camp. I spent a lot of time with them when I was four or five and they used to make me lovely toys - a little wheelbarrow and things like that.
It says a lot for my father, who had been injured quite badly in the First World War, that he invited the prisoners to Christmas lunch. This was pretty extraordinary at a time when every nun was suspected of being a German in disguise!
My father, who was the local coroner as well as a lawyer, was a very kindly, rather impressive man. He died at fifty-nine, when I was twelve. It was terrible for my mother, of course. She was very miserable - they had been so happy - and she never married again. But she pulled herself together very quickly because we needed money. Suddenly there was no income, so she took a job as a matron in a public school, knowing that our holidays would coincide. It was very brave of her.
My mother was - and still is - just terrific. She has always been a lively person and expert at giving everybody a marvellous time. I remember John Cleese saying to me, at Cambridge, 'Gosh Tim - we'd all like a mother like yours!"
Her father was a parson and a great sportsman. She herself played lacrosse for England, when she was a sports mistress for a time at Cheltenham Ladies' College.
I was a very average child with a sunny disposition, loving soccer and cricket and always working and playing reasonably hard.
At the age of six I seemed rather stupid; but just a few months later, after having my tonsils and adenoids out, I became quite bright because I could suddenly hear properly for the first time! I soon went from the bottom of the class to the top.
I really enjoyed my prep school. They were happy days and I loved the whole Buxton area. I was a keen reader of Enid Blyton and we really lived the life of the Famous Five. I would go off on my bike with friends, fish in the streams or race boats down them - and have all kinds of adventures.
I did not enjoy leaving home at thirteen to go to Winchester - but I benefited from being there enormously because it is such an academic school and it forced me to work very hard. But holidays were best of all. I couldn't wait for them and, on my first night at home, I always dreamed that I had to go back to school. I would wake in a panic and then feel the sheer joy of finding myself at home.
Another reason I didn't like going away was that I had to leave my terrier, Sparky. He went everywhere with me, but when I was at school he still had his own daily routine and would visit shops in town and take little bus rides by himself. He became so famous that when he went missing it was front-page news in the local paper. "Sparky disappears" said the headline. Thirteen months later, at a fun-fair in Manchester, I literally bumped into him. He had a strange name and address on his collar as he'd been picked up by kindly people who had found him on one of his independent outings and thought he was homeless. They gave him back and the papers announced "Sparky Home!"
As teenagers a group of us took part in the Buxton Junior Tennis Tournament, playing with rather talented mini-professionals of thirteen or fourteen such as Roger Taylor. My pals and I would merely act as cannon-fodder for the first round - though I actually got through to the second round once because my opponent's leg gave way. We used to lend each other tennis racquets so that we could walk on court with a whole bunch of them, looking like the pros.
It was at one of these tournaments that I realised the power of comedy. Because I was making her laugh, a very pretty girl suddenly seemed attracted to me. When I realised my jokes had this quite extraordinary effect I clammed up completely, but it did cross my mind that having a sense of humour wasn't exactly bad news.
Being at Cambridge in the early Sixties was wonderful. I fell into doing revue and eventually became President of Footlights. I appeared in shows with people I've worked with since, including Bill Oddie and Graeme Garden. And then, as our revue was so successful, it was taken to the West End, New Zealand and Broadway.
When we came back from America we all had to start at the bottom again as researchers or script-writers in radio, TV or the theatre, but we were confident that success was possible."
7. GOODIES EPISODE SUMMARY
(by Brett Allender)
Series 4, Episode 1
First transmitted: 1st December 1973
Tim awaits an important letter from his Uncle King Arthur (well, Arthur King at least!) who lives at Camelot (33 Acacia Road, Solihull!), along with Queen Doris, Uncle Sir Lancelot and several other royal relatives. Naturally Bill and Graeme think that Tim's uncle must be a loony, especially when the letter arrives as a parchment scroll delivered by several of the King's men (who are politely told "We thank you. ... Push off!" by Tim)
Uncle King Arthur wants Tim to look after Camelot while the family goes on holiday and particularly to save it from the local planner from Solihull, who wants to knock it down. The planner immediately enters the Goodies' office and tries to intimidate them into selling Camelot to him (so that he can use the land for a useless three-lane highway to the Buckingham Palace Cement factory!), but firstly Tim, then surprisingly Graeme, attempts a patriotic speech to 'Land Of Hope And Glory' about it being their duty to protect their heritage and defend Uncle King Arthur's property.
Tim has never been to visit his Uncle King Arthur ("Not likely, he's a raving loony!"), but the Goodies are soon aboard their trandem and off to save Camelot. To their amazement, amid a street of ordinary houses, they find that number 33 is a huge medieval castle complete with moat and drawbridge. Uncle King Arthur and family leave Camelot for their holiday, as they don cloth caps and board the bus to exotic Bognor!
The Goodies cycle across the drawbridge and settle into Camelot. Graeme dresses in medieval gear, Bill wears his coat of arms and fishfingers (instead of a codpiece) and Tim hams it up as court jester with gags from the 'Des O'Connor Book Of Medieval Jokes'. Graeme decides that the best way to save Camelot is to turn it into a tourist attraction and run it like it was in the middle ages with everyone in medieval clothes (then open up a chain of Camelots up and down the country if it's successful).
The tourists suffer all sorts of medieval mayhem and the money trickles in, but the pesky planner makes another substantial offer which sorely tempts Bill before being evicted for not wearing medieval clothes. A huge fire-breathing dragon terrorises a distressed damsel, forcing the Goodies outside and although Tim looks like a black and white minstrel after being scorched, they extinguish the flames to find that the dragon is only the planner's henchmen dressed up and that the planner (now dressed medievally in a suit of armour) has taken possession of Camelot in their absence.
The Goodies are taken to the torture chamber by the planner (as it is quicker and much more fun than taking them to the County Court!), however the only way to decide possession of Camelot is to have a duel for it. After a closely fought battle which involves archery, swordsmanship, jousting etc, Ye Goodies reclaim Camelot by Graeme's use of a giant magnet to disarm (and disarmour) Ye Black Knight the planner and his henchmen just in time for the return of Uncle King Arthur and family. So Camelot is saved from the developers and can continue unchanged as in centuries past - except for the huge fluorescent 'Bingo Tonite' sign which glows brightly on the raised drawbridge!
* Tim (as court jester): "Yes, hello, hi there folks. I've just come from entertaining an audience at the Wessex Working Burghers Club ... and right burghers they were too!"
* Tim (again as jester, with backing from Bill): "Once a knight, always a knight. Twice a night and you're doing all right!!"
* Graeme (waxing lyrical): "So noble Camelot was saved from treacherous disgrace, and once again the fearless knights cried proudly ... "
Bill (fed up): "Shut your face!!"
* Tim playing the court jester with encouragement from Bill, who has already unloaded two dreadful jokes by wearing a coat of arms (with several extra ones sewn on!) and sporting a packet of fishfingers around his waist because he was out of codpieces. Other appalling puns and gags include "serf boards", rotating ears on Tim's hat, a flashing doll and Joan Of Arc having "a lot at stake!".
* The tour of Camelot with a lady being subjected to all sorts of medieval activities including falling from a tower while being Rapunzel, being chased by a wild boar (which becomes a running joke throughout the scene), belting hell out of a fighting cock with her handbag, dancing with a bear, encountering medieval (black and white) minstrels, being dunked in water, getting pelted with fruit while in stocks (but getting some revenge by chaining the Goodies in the stocks and pelting them in turn) and finally enduring witch burning, requiring her to plunge into the moat to douse her smoking knickers. Her hubby is taking photos throughout this whole ordeal with his camera lens (and arm!) getting longer and longer with each sequence until he eventually overbalances and topples into the moat too.
* The Goodies being tortured by the planner and his henchmen, with Bill finally realising his dream of being six feet tall after a stretching session on the rack, Tim just hanging around from shackles on the wall and Graeme having a live crab dropped inside his helmet (and finding it very tasty too!). Tim is subjected to the "death of 1000 chuckles" by getting tickled with a feather duster and similar treatment even gets the skeleton chuckling away too. The viewers are also tortured by more awful (but funny) puns involving red hot pokers and a potty with wicked spikes protruding from it - a "torture chamber"!
* The duel between Ye Black Knight (the planner) and Ye Goodies for the control of Camelot, including Bill's great archery (and kebab making) talents, Graeme using the Excalibur sword (still embedded in a huge rock) which drops from a great height to KO the Black Knight just as he is about to be impaled, the jousting using the trandem (which the Goodies lose convincingly), Bill's Woody Woodpecker impersonation in chipping a tree branch from under the enemy and Graeme using a huge magnet to remove the weapons and armour from the Black Knight, but which also latches onto the bus bringing Uncle King Arthur and relatives back from their holiday.
Taking You Back
MY 2 CENTS WORTH
Brilliant sendup of the medieval days (complete with gags as old as the English castles themselves!), especially the many funny visuals associated with the tour, torture session and the duel for the castle. A great start to a short, but memorable series.
IIII Officially amazing
BLACK PUDDING RATINGS SYSTEM:
IIIII - Superstar.
IIII - Officially amazing.
III - Goody goody yum yum.
II - Fair-y punkmother.
I - Tripe on t' pikelets.
June Episode Summary - "Invasion Of The Moon Creatures"
8. QUIZ & QUOTE ANSWERS
(a) Tim Brooke-Taylor.
(b) From an Eskimo phrase book (ah, here's one!) in a bid to stop the Eskimos from stealing Graeme's cod by scaring them away in their own language.
(c) "Almighty Cod" in series 6.
(d) To find an exhibit for the soon-to-be-opened Lord Snowdon Monster House (and to prevent the zookeeper from committing suicide in despair)
(e) The giant bagpipes spider
(f) One bite from it and "you dance the Highland Fling until you drop dead!"
(g) Sausages, cake and plonk.
NEXT EDITION: #66: 12th June 2001.
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