» #64 Apr 2001
THE GOODIES CLARION AND GLOBE
THE OFFICIAL NEWSLETTER OF 'THE GOODIES RULE - OK' FAN CLUB
Issue No. 64 12th April 2001
Newsletter enquiries: email@example.com
General enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
'The Goodies Rule - OK!'
P.O. Box 325
Chadstone VIC 3148, AUSTRALIA
THE LADS AND LASSES OF THE C&G
- Brett Allender
- David Balston
- Lisa Manekofsky
- Kay Dickinson
- Brian Labza
- Jon Hicks, Sandra Wright, Andrew Davie, Phil Wadey, Raymond Jennings
WITH SPECIAL THANKS TO: Tim Brooke-Taylor.
1. THE TIM BROOKE-TAYLOR INTERVIEW - Part Two
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. GOODIES EPISODE SUMMARY - Superstar.
7.. IT'S ONLY AN ANAGRAM! - The Goodies anagram challenge.
8.. QUIZ & QUOTE ANSWERS
1. THE TIM BROOKE-TAYLOR INTERVIEW - PART TWO
More fabulous answers to your questions from that nice man with the Union Jack waistcoat, shiny shoes and the ability to turn himself into a teapot (or coffee percolator!) at the first sign of trouble:
WHAT FAMOUS LADIES WOULD YOU ASPIRE TO EMULATE, AND HANG AS A POSTER ABOVE YOUR BED? (THE QUEEN IS GETTING A LITTLE WEARYSOME FOR THE PUBLIC AND MARGARET HAS LONG LEFT THE HIGHLIGHTS)
Good question. I suppose Ann Widdecombe could be one and Ann Robinson. What we would really miss is a Mary Whitehouse. Perhaps members could send in their own suggestions - especially international names. I could see myself as Puffy the Vampire Slayer and a lady gardener, Charlie Dimmock, with ever growing breasts.
I HAVE COUSINS IN ENGLAND WHO WERE LUCKY ENOUGH TO SEE YOU IN A PRODUCTION OF "WHY ME". WILL YOU BE COMING TO AUSTRALIA WITH IT? ALSO WHICH BBC RADIO STATION AND TIME IS YOUR PROGRAM WITH GRAEME ON?
No plans to come to Australia with a play, tho' this is something I'd very much like to do. My experiences on stage in the late 70's and early eighties in Perth are some of my best.
We're not on air at the moment, but will return in May. C&G will keep you informed. They will probably go out 18.30 on Mondays and noon Sundays (our time), all on BBC Radio 4. I know we've had feedback from America, having heard it on the internet, so I presume that will be possible for the next series.
HAVE YOU EVER LOOKED LIKE GRAEME OR BILL? (HAD A BEARD, FUZZY CHOPS, GLASSES ETC)
Certainly not intentionally. I once had a very unconvincing, 'Shaggy' like beard. But I'd rather forget about that. One of the joys of one of the shows, when we changed characters (2001 And A Bit - Ed), was the feeling of 'so this is what it's like. No thanks'. (We all felt that).
There was one very dramatic moment when Bill shaved off his beard half way through the show (Earthanasia) and word came from the production gallery that they weren't quite sure if they'd got a previous shot of Bill with full beard at the time. Bill had half the beard shaved off at this moment (not a pretty sight) and he had to put on half a false beard to re-shoot the scene. History doesn't remember if this shot was used or not.
WHAT SORT OF CAR DO YOU DRIVE?
Audi 100. Fairly powerful (2.3) and fairly old. But much loved.
IN THE KITTEN KONG EPISODE, AFTER BILL AND YOURSELF JUMP INTO THE QUICK CHANGE CABINET, I NOTICED THAT IT WASN'T THE REAL GRAEME ENTERING. WHO WAS IT?
Blimey. How spooky. I don't remember. I would imagine it was one of the extras
DID YOU OBJECT TO BEING WRITTEN INTO DRAG ROLES BY BILL AND GRAEME IN WHAT SEEMS LIKE EVERY SECOND EPISODE? OR DID YOU LIKE CROSS DRESSING? DID YOU THINK YOU LOOKED MORE BEAUTIFUL AS TIMITA OR MISS CRICKLEWOOD?
Once we realised that the best parts were the villains then it was who gets the female villains. I handbagged my way to them. Timita.
HOW WAS IT THAT (FOR EXAMPLE) BILL GOT BAKED BEANS ON THE HEAD (IN THE GOODIES AND THE BEANSTALK) AND THAT GRAEME GOT A FACEFUL OF SPAGHETTI (IN SCOUTRAGEOUS), WHEN IT WAS NORMALLY YOU THAT HAD TO ENDURE THESE THINGS? DID GRAEME EVER WRITE SCENES WHERE BILL COPPED IT OR VICE VERSA? (SURELY THEY DIDN'T WRITE THEMSELVES INTO THE UNPLEASANT ROLES!)
Although I don't claim to have written the series. I did write some and had considerable control over other bits. These must have been the bits.
I'VE OFTEN HEARD THAT BILL WOULD WRITE ONE HALF OF AN EPISODE AND GRAEME THE OTHER, AND THEN (WITH YOUR ASSISTANCE) THEY'D JOIN THEM TOGETHER. IF THIS IS TRUE, IS THERE ANY WAY OF TELLING WHO WROTE WHICH HALF, I.E. ARE THERE ANY OBVIOUS CLUES OR PARTICULAR STYLES TO LOOK OUT FOR? SUCH AS, IF THERE IS A FART JOKE IN ONE HALF, IS THAT A GIVE-AWAY THAT BILL WROTE IT?
I could always tell the difference. Well I knew their typewriters. One give-away would be the stage direction 'Bill sings'. Graeme and I would never have written that.
If I was to generalise I'd say that Bill we better visually and Graeme verbally. But even as I write that I'd say it wasn't true. You must remember that we'd agreed vaguely on the outline before the two halves were written.
The only bits that I can point out as being definitely by me are the links in 'A Collection of Goodies'. The other two weren't available to write them.
THERE IS AN ENTRY IN 'THE COMPLETE GOODIES' ON PETER COOK, WHICH STATES YOU WERE THE GOODIE BEST ASSOCIATED WITH HIM, MAINLY THROUGH YOUR SHARED LOVE OF GOLF. DO YOU HAVE ANY GOOD PETER COOK ANECDOTES?
Not really, though I'll think about this. He used to ring me up, admittedly a bit pissed or whatever and be, to me, incredibly funny, but not really quotable.
THE BROTHEL-VISITING SCENE IN 'A LIAR'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY' (BY GRAHAM CHAPMAN) REVEALED A HITHERTO UNEXPECTED SIDE TO YOU, IN SPITE OF THE LACK OF ACTION. DID YOU GET ANY FEEDBACK WHEN THIS WAS PUBLISHED AND STARTLED READERS HAD TO DEAL WITH A NEW IMAGE OF YOU? I BELIEVE YOU ALSO READ THIS SECTION OF GRAHAM'S BOOK AT HIS MEMORIAL SERVICE, IS THIS TRUE?
F*** me it's true. Although we weren't successful in Hong Kong. It's a completely true story though.
I wanted to say f*** first at Graham's memorial service - he would have liked it. But that bastard, overpaid, 'academic' Cleese, got in first. I was second and Michael Palin was third.
I HEARD THAT THE SCRIPT FOR THE PROPOSED GOODIES MOVIE WAS TO EXPLAIN HOW THE GOODIES MET. HOW, IN THE MOVIE SCRIPT, DID THEY MEET?
Graeme is a vet, 'Dr G Garden' and we see him with a family tortoise. He taps it and passes on the bad news.
'I'm afraid he's failing fast, but I can assure you that he won't feel a thing.
Plunger type detonator and an enormous explosion far behind him on the hillside makes it an ex tortoise.
Bill is a children's entertainer 'Silly Billy'. His puppet is Raymond Rat. But Silly Billy is made up as a frightening clown. The children begin screaming 'We want the rat.' Bill cuffs a little girl with the hand enclosed in the rat. When the mother comes into complain he punches her with the same glove.
Tim is presenting his Spring Collection at 'Maison Timbeau'. He then sets off for an office building and pulls back overgrowth to see sign 'Reactionary House'.
6th Royal society for the prevention of cruelty to huntsmen. Empire League of Spankers
5th Retired Colonels anon.
4th Friends of the spat. The nice shiny shoe club.
3rd The British Union of Tie wearers
2nd The keep sport out of cricket campaign.
1st The British Olympic Committee.
Tim goes to Olympic floor to deliver British team uniforms that he is supplying. All very old men with lapels e.g. 'Athens 1896' and panning to skeleton Sparta 341 BC.
There's no money and athletes are begging on the streets. Tim acts as fund raiser and writes to goodies 'Dear Goody'
Huge turn out and big turn on with Land of Hope and Glory, Tim raises the room to fever pitch, nuns etc singing until 'What we really need is your money'...and everybody scarpers..revealing Bill with fingers in his ear. Graeme pops up with one of the Olympic peace doves 'Shall I finish him off...he's not well'.
Tim turns to his new partners with a hopeful glint in his eye.
Music: Goodies Theme
Cut to a door. On it a sign. "The Goody"...Tim's hand comes into shot and alters it to "The Goodies"
And the rest as they say is history. Well to Jane Root anyway
Another batch of Tim's fascinating replies will appear in next month's C&G. Meanwhile if you have a question that you'd like to ask Tim, please send it in to <email@example.com>
2. QUIZ & QUOTE
QUOTE: "You can exercise it all you like, but you won't find much use for it in here."
(a) Which Goodie was responsible for this quote?
(b) What was he referring to?
(c) Which episode is this quote from?
QUIZ: This month's questions are from the LWT episode "Football Crazy"
(d) Which phrase does soccer hooligan Bill continually shriek at a fallen player?
(e) Which award does Bill win for his hooliganism?
(f) Which other activity do all the soccer louts embrace after they are banned from attending matches?
(g) Graeme takes a spectacular tumble in a mock ad after a huge gulp of which drink?
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org> with your comments, ideas or suggestions - meanwhile these are the boffo ideas which our club has been working on this month:
PERTH GOODIES VIDEO NIGHT
(by Sandra Wright)
We had 39 people show up (phew!), and the evening was a great success. Lots of audience participation and a lot more interest in the possibility of future events. People are really wanting to make it a regular thing in terms of a mixed bag basis - Goodies, Dr Who, Blakes 7 etc
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:
TOP OF THE POPS
(by Phil Wadey)
Friday 17 March was Red Nose Day - an event that happens every two years in the UK to raise money for charities working in UK and Africa. As part of this, there were special programmes on BBC1 and 2 and Channel 4. A BBC2 offering was a special version of "Top of the Pops 2" (TOTP2) on Saturday 18 March 2001. This normally shows exerpts from old Top of The Pops shows, and this week featured a number of comedy songs of the past. We were treated to Tim, Graeme and Bill doing the whole of the Funky Gibbon, but alas none of their other superb offerings
(by Jon Hicks)
Last May I decided to start up a website about my guru, Bill Oddie, http://www.billoddie.net , having grown up being hooked on the Goodies and repeats of I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again. Later on I got into birding after watching one of his documentaries. Originally it was meant to cover just the birding side of Bill as there were so many excellent Goodies sites already, but I couldn't help myself, and I've now included a Goodies discography, booklist and gallery. The site gets updated regularly, sometimes once a week. I haven't had any input from Bill yet, although I have written to him about it, so maybe...?
The site is divided into 4 main sections:
* 'News & Sightings' contains exactly that, with a Diary giving information on Bill's forthcoming public appearances - things like his "Follow that Bird!" tour
* 'Features' is a collection of various articles, interviews, a booklist, TV & Radio appearances from 60's to now, a biography, and a discography including the Goodies, his solo work and colloborations on other records - such as Rick Wakeman!
* the 'Gallery' contains photos of Bill from childhood to present day via the Goodies, and also includes scans of news cuttings and his various adverts from birding magazines.
* Finally, 'Links' connects you to interviews and bits about Bill on the web, the various charities that he supports and good places to find his out of print books.
I have to say two other GROK members, Kay Dickinson and Marilyn Burge, have been real stars and contributed loads of material for the site.
Thanks to the both of you!
THE GOODIES ON UKTV
(by Raymond Jennings)
UKTV now have an e-mail address, firstname.lastname@example.org, and I emailed them asking about a number of things including when they next plan to show The Goodies. Their (impressive) same-day reply was that it's next scheduled to start on Wednesday 1 August 2001 and will air one episode each weekday from then on (so far so good) but its start time is 7:00am!!! If that's not bad enough the UKTV rep said she believes this will be the *last* time UKTV shows The Goodies with their current licence... I'm not sure if I should've asked now :-).
STAND BY YOUR TRANDEM
(by Kay Dickinson - posted to Goodies-l on April 4th)
Whilst browsing in a second-hand bookshop today, I came across a book on the history of Top of the Pops, which told the following story....
"Tammy Wynette recorded 'Stand By Your Man' [for the 1975 Christmas TOTP] and also on the Christmas show was Gary Glitter with the second of his 1975 hits, 'Doing Alright With The Boys', The Goodies, who, quite unbelievably, had more hits than he that year - four in all - appeared with their second, 'Black Pudding Bertha'.
"Well, what with the men prancing about with their Womble suits, Mr Glitter resplendent in his usual over-the-top garb and the equally silly Goodies singing about black puddings, it all made for a rather bizarre spectacle.
"It evidently just proved too much for Tammy because she actually broke down in tears - she couldn't believe what she was seeing and hearing. 'I thought this was Top of the Pops - it's not, it's a freak show, that's what it is.....'
Wouldn't you have loved to have seen a photo of Tammy, Gary Glitter, The Wombles and Superchaps Three all together? Shame they couldn't persuade her to play Black Pudding Bertha herself!!
She could even have recorded a special "Stand By Your Womble" or "Stand By Your Trandem" - though what she could have sung for Gary Glitter probably isn't worth thinking about - I don't think "Stand By Your Perv" would have sold terribly well!
GOODIES ANNIVERSARY REVIEW
(by Lisa Manekofsky)
The following article appeared in British newspaper "The Mail on Sunday", 28 May 2000 on page 61 (in the "Review" section):
"Fact is just as funny as the Goodie life"
The Truth About the comedy team's most memorable gags
This week The Goodies marked the 30th anniversary of their first show with a celebration at London's National Film Theatre. During the Seventies the three Goodies - Graeme Garden, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Bill Oddie - became one of the most popular comedy teams on television. But here Bill Oddie reveals that the three starts had more in common with their zany TV counterparts than you might expect ...
"One thing people remember about The Goodies is the three-seater bike we used to ride. Over the decade or so of The Goodies we had three or four of them. We called them trandems - like a tandem, but for three people. I think we made that word up, and I don't think a three-seater bike had ever existed before we made one.
Anyway, the first one was constructed from a tandem at the front and an old bicycle at the back. Because of the way the two bikes had been attached, I didn't actually have to pedal. The reason we kept falling off was because it was very difficult to co-ordinate the pedalling. If we got it wrong we would kick each other. So, what looks like us trying to get a laugh by falling off the bike was actually for real.
People used to think our lives as Goodies continued outside the show. We were called by our own names in the programme and we appeared to all live together at 'No Fixed Abode, Cricklewood'. Actually, people used to send letters to that address - and they got to us! The Post Office obviously knew for whom the letters were meant.
To be honest, there was a very thin line between the characters in the show and our real selves. We took our natural characteristics and exaggerated them. Because I was quite fiery, I became the belligerent one; Graeme, who was a doctor, became a kind of mad scientist; and Tim, because he had a double-barrelled name, had to be the posh one. But if anybody embodied the views of all of us, I suppose it was me - because we were all really anti-Establishment. This meant Tim actually came to hate his own character.
Another one of the show's lasting images must be the kitten climbing on the Post Office Tower - like King Kong on the Empire State Building. That originated from a sketch I wrote for Ronnie Barker in which he had an incredibly strong kitten on a lead which was pulling him everywhere. He never used it, so we ended up doing it in The Goodies. A lot of children watched the show, which was part of our success. But we didn't start out intending to write and perform for children. We did it for ourselves and our peer group. We liked the kind of comedy in Buster Keaton and Tom And Jerry - a vicious cartoon type of humour.
Being popular with children became a rod for our own backs. We were labelled as just a kids' show. But there was always a satirical element to us and we were censored by the BBC more times than Monty Python.
We chose the name The Goodies because we wanted to sound like a rock group. We liked The Monkees but wanted to do more comedy and less music. W were also attracted by being some sort of avengers - being against the 'baddies'.
One day we had a call from Steven Spielberg. He left a message saying he wanted to make a Goodies film. We laughed it off, but it was true. Spielberg had been making a comedy film, 1941, and wanted to do more. But when 1941 was released it was a disaster and obviously Spielberg decided never to do any more comedy again."
*The Complete Goodies, by Robert Ross, is published by Batsford Books at £17.99.
BILL'S INTERVIEW WITH MICHAEL PARKINSON
(contributed by Jon Hicks and Kay Dickinson. Jon's transcript of this interview also appears on his website: http://www.billoddie.net )
The following interview is taken from 'Michael Parkinson's Sunday Supplement' which was broadcast on Radio 2, Sunday 25th February 2001.
Michael Parkinson: Wherever I go in the world, particularly in Australia, whenever I turn the telly on there seems to be some sort of Goodies revival, it's quite extraordinary.
Bill Oddie: It's bizarre, I mean it's particularly bizarre without sounding a little hurt - hurt? furious! cut to the quick! Last year for example there was whichever anniversary you wanted to choose really, because it was thirty years since the Goodies started, and twenty years since we finished, as it ran exactly through the seventies. I don't know I think all of us were a little bit sad - euphemism! - that the BBC did absolutely nothing about it, and I know that some producers wanted to, because I ended up being interviewed for several of these 'I Love the Seventies' type shows, there was one on comedy songs, and I know that some of these producers suggested something like a Goodies night or a few reruns. Now I'm not here to lay blame on anybody, but somebody, somebody said "not flippin' likely!".
MP: But you were never given a reason for it?
BO: No, no, well you can never find someone to get a reason from can you?! But the Australian side is extraordinary, because they had a convention and Tim went down - anything to get away from London! He just hates England in the winter, and he's quite right actually! Graeme and I who both couldn't go, did a live video link to this thing and by wonder of modern technology we actually got the pictures back of all these people dressed up like us with the Union Jack waistcoats, and flat caps and everything else, all talking with Australian accents. Since I am a great rugby fan, cricket fan and everything else fan, it's alright by me if the winners like us!
MP: Has there ever been any talk in the intervening twenty years of you ever getting back together again?
BO: Not really, I mean I personally don't think it's the right thing to do. People are always asking us, but I've always said it's like trying to put the 1966 winning world cup team back together again, because I think it is a young man's game, being that silly and being... well I was about to say that Spike Milligan disproves this theory by the way!... and being that physical, it would hurt! We literally hurt ourselves doing that slapstick type stuff! It was painful, and you only get a laugh it if it hurts you! It's true that, and I tested it once. We had to do this sketch on stage for years, written by Mike Palin and Terry Jones, where we demonstrated slapstick, and we had this guy with a plank on his shoulder where he turns round and whacks a guy on the head. This was this 'humour lecture' where we did it very po-faced, "and now the left sideswipe, "Oi Fred!" - whack! - boom!", and it was very funny. Well I was the fall guy who got hit on the head, and I was doing this for six months and getting serious headaches, and so one night (this is live theatre) I decided I would put a cap on and add some padding on the back, and it didn't get a laugh!
MP: Really? It didn't make the right noise?!
BO: No!, they wanted to hear the crunch of wood on flesh! The audience has to hear the pain!
MP: It is true that all these jokes about the banana skin are cruel, it's that that makes you laugh?
BO: It is that Tom and Jerry thing, because people used to ask us what the idea behind the Goodies was, and we said 'well it's kind of Buster Keaton meets Tom and Jerry', it was the visual side of it, we took a lot from Tom and Jerry, except we did it with real people, people were always getting rolled flat, wound up and blown up!
MP: Was that an ambition of yours from a very early age?
BO: No, no, it's weird actually because Tim and Graeme decided that I did, there always telling me what my life was! Somebody from Cambridge magazine interviewed me a few weeks ago, and he said "well apparently Tim and Graeme have said that you were the one who wanted to get into showbiz", I wouldn't have even known that it was possible! I went to university and quite a high powered school in Birmingham, because my dad told me, he was living vicariously through me, (adopts Lancashire accent) "giving me t'education that 'ee never 'ad"
MP: You were a bright boy weren't you, I mean you got a degree at Cambridge didn't you?
BO: I did, and I find it extremely hard to believe! I think I was facile, any education system that can give me a decent degree, there's something seriously wrong with them! I used to hate the academic side of college, and I didn't do that much work because I was doing English Literature and of course you can be facile as long as you sounded like you'd make up some wonderful theory about Dr Johnson or something, you didn't have to have read it! And I managed to do that, I spent all my time playing Rugby or doing Footlights stuff.
MP: Apart from the Goodies and all this other stuff, and as I mentioned before, you are this tireless campaigner for the RSPB, where did you start this interest in birds?
BO: It started a very, very long time ago, I mean some people assume you take these hobbies to get away from the rigors of showbusiness - ho, ho if only! - but no, it started when I was a kid and I think actually I needed some sort of obsessional hobby when I was a kid, I've been thinking a lot about this recently, because my home life was a bit strange, and a bit boring actually!
MP: Can we just explore this a minute, because you've said that you didn't have a 'normal' upbringing...
BO: No it wasn't normal, although some people have had a lot worse. Basically my mother wasn't there for me, and to this day I don't know what happened, she eventually was committed a mental home, and I don't know at what stage she left. I have no memory at all of my mother being at home so I was basically brought up by my dad and my granny, who was a rather powerful, tiny, little creature, who was one of those old women who said "well I'm the woman of the house now, and I'm going to run this place". I remember her swamping my dad and I used to find it rather sad, because he had no social life, he never invited anybody back to the house or anything like that because I think he felt my granny somehow dominated it. I never got the man to man talks for example, because granny would say "I'm not going to bed until you do!". I remember our only fun, and this is a little scurrilous, our only fun was that granny looked rather like a Rhesus Monkey, and she had her hair scraped back off her face so you got a look very like a monkey, and she had these false teeth that were too big, and that stuck out as well, so she looked just like a little monkey. She was also slightly flatulent, and she would fall asleep and dad and I would wink at each other and take bets as to how long it would take until her flatulence became so great it would blow her false teeth out! They would eventually end up in her lap like a pair of yakkety teeth, and it was about the only fun we got!
MP: It's no wonder you went into comedy!...
BO: Exactly! Although, sadly, I don't actually remember inviting kids back to the house myself, I think I always had to go out and go to other people's houses, and this hobby which developed specifically from the childhood thing of collecting bird's eggs, which all schoolboys back in the forties and fifties did, its just that I got more interested in the birds, and that's where that specifically came from.
MP: So when was it that that interest became a passion?
BO: At a very young age, I mean it was an obsession with me, I look back and think "what a sad little...", I mean I've got all these notebooks from when I was about fourteen, and I'd put an entry in everytime I went out. From school holidays I've got these written, saying "dawn, arrived at the reservoir at 5:30 in the morning.....went home at four o'clock in the afternoon..". I would cycle out there and spend day after day after day watching this dreadful reservoir with nothing there! I must have been running away from something, because it was this concrete reservoir on the edge of Birmingham, but it was my place, I was sort of the local expert on that. By the age of sort of fourteen - fifteen I was writing sort of learned papers for the West Midland Bird Club.
MP: Before we go back to that, just to finish off this thing about your mother, in later life, did you meet up with her?
BO: I did, and it's a very peculiar story, as she sort of reappeared in my life. I only have two or three memories of her in my life, and there very strange memories, they're like something out of a film, sort of trailers, you know. I remember going back to the house when we used to live in Rochdale, and finding all the crockery broken and splattered with blood. My dad wasn't there at the time, I think my mother had appeared, attacked him - she was clinically schizophrenic and pretty dangerous with it - and I've just got that weird memory. It's like Greek dancing with smashed white plates all over the place and "this isn't retsina, this is blood!". Then there were two others, one day I came back to the house and found mother in the bath, so I was told - 'oh hello I'm your mother, you've haven't seen me for a few years!'. Then she disappeared again a couple of days later, and at one stage I was taken to the mental home to see her, it was a real 'One flew over the Cuckoo's nest' job, and I think I was about fifteen, sixteen, to see whether she remembered me and she didn't. It had classic yellow corridors, you know a cameraman had been in there lighting that place, there were these beams of yellow light and people walking up and down claiming to be Napoleon. I remember going into this corner and drew the curtain back and this woman was sitting there, and they said "this is your mother", and she didn't know me from Adam at that point. The only thing I remember her saying, and if I ever write a autobiography this has to be the title, her words of wisdom were "Television? It's dead bodies and cardboard!". And with that, lets have a little bit more Louis Armstrong! (adopts an excellent Armstrong voice) "Dead bodies and cardboard!"
MP: Let's move on to your recent illness, what happened there?
BO: I had what you would call a clinical depression type thing in January. I lost January - not a bad month to lose though is it? If you've got to lose a month, January's a good one, I'm told! No, this thing hit me from right out of the blue, and you become, if you get something like that - which is horrible I assure you! - some people have a depression which goes on for years, and some get this real 'concentrated' experience, which is what I suddenly had, and literally in the middle of January, there was a period where I could hardly walk or talk, you know, reduced to just nothing, you don't want to get out of bed and you're saying 'oh I've screwed everything and I can't see any future'
MP: What triggers this? Is there a trigger to it?
BO: erm, who knows really. I've read a lot of books as one does, if you have anything like this, boy do you start getting into it and bore everyone until you can't help telling them about it. But on the other hand you rapidly discover many people who have had something like that, or they've had partners or relations, and people have been very kind to me saying 'I had this' or 'somebody else had that and do you want to talk about it' and that helps you know. You realise that you're not alone and that you felt just as bad as they did - its perfectly possible to feel that there is no hope whatsoever - but take the pills, wait a bit and so on and so forth, and it will come back because it is physical, its a chemical imbalance type of thing. But it can have a trigger, there's no simple answer as to what that trigger can be, in my case I think it was a mixture of things, which were probably weighing on my mind for months, and then I had this bizarre thing where I, which was the actual trigger, was getting caught on one of those speed cameras on the motorway. I couldn't remember it at all - I shouldn't be telling people this should I?! - but it was one of those things where they say "Is this your car number? You were doing eighty-something on the motorway in a temporary fifty mile-an-hour area". Now I'd swear to God to the court as I did, that I had no idea that it was a fifty miles and hour area, you know what it's like on the motorways, one minute it's fifty and then they're not, it was a genuine mistake, but I just had this thing hovering over me. I got the letter the day before Christmas saying "you'll appear in court with a chance to argue why your license should not be confiscated" which it would be,although it was a first offence, which I though was rather harsh. But!, it obsessed me, I couldn't stop thinking about it, I was practicing my speech to the court every night in bed - (in a slightly over-dramatised self-mocking voice) "But M'Lord, don't you know I am a most careful driver, I've been driving for fifty one years....my programmes! I can't do my programmes without my car...", and I just couldn't stop it, and I think that acted as the specific trigger to actually 'blow my mind' as they used to say, and then suddenly I was OK, I got a fine and I got points, which is fair enough, but two days later I'd suddenly 'gone'. I was in the doctors crying and saying 'You've got to help me here, I'm breaking down'
MP: You're through it now are you?
BO: ...erm...that's for you to judge! (huge Oddie laugh).
MP: Until you told me today, I had no idea that you had been through all that...
BO: The thing I had to spend about a week in hospital, which most people do, it's just not fair to people at home because you're in such a terrible state, and it seems to help to be put somewhere where the phone isn't going to ring and be for you and that sort of thing. It's a long process though, I'm still get slight 'nervy' type feelings, in the mornings I feel a bit anxious and that kind of thing, but it takes a long time. It must be stressed for people who are suffering from it, and those around, that you're dealing with something that is as physical as having broken your leg or something like that. OK, it felt better after a couple of weeks, but you can't run on that leg for two or three months - footballers injuries sometimes take years.
MP: That's right, but what about work? Has it affected your work?
BO: Fortunately I've been in a situation where I haven't been filming every day, but I've been warned not to do too much. You know, pick and choose carefully, do something relaxing...like this! - "do something totally depressing like Parkinson, that'll send you back!" - I feel a relapse coming on! But no, it hasn't been to bad, it actually helps, you know, you could be silly, I had to cancel trips. Ironically, I was quite relieved in a way, because you feel the cold don't you as the years go by, and I was supposed to go to the Antarctic would you believe?
MP: To film?
BO: No, it was a trip to write an article and stuff like that, and I thought "I'm glad I'm not in the Antarctic!", I don't think I was in any fit condition to do that!
MP: But what about telly, I mean Bill Oddie goes Wild, and those programmes, have you got another series coming up?
BO: We don't know, Michael you know what it's like! - or do you?
MP: I could now be tapping into the real source of your depression! Whether the BBC commission's stuff!
BO: That was part of it, because although that series actually has done very well even though it was on one of those 'death spots' opposite Coronation Street, and apparently got one of the biggest shares for a BBC2 programme. Wonderful reaction, I thank anybody who's listening who sent me e-mail's and letters, because I've been in no condition to reply to them. That's another thing the BBC never does for you, I get millions of letters and they never reply, they just send them on don't they, and say 'that's your problem mate!'. So, its been a lovely reaction, and people would stop me in the street, and in January when I was at my worst I just couldn't take it in, "uh, thankyou, uh", but there's no commission for another series, it doesn't mean there won't be one, and we're hoping. I know that my producer will be extremely disappointed if after having gone so well that we don't do anymore. We don't get told, and then they'll say "Can we have it next week"! We say "no, it takes a bit longer to do 'Birds in Summer' or something you have to wait until the summer funnily enough!
MP: Well Bill thanks for talking to me and wish you well, and you look great and sound great, I had no idea that this had happened to you.
BO: Lets say if there is anyone else out there who is suffering, boy do I sympathise! You come through it - I have!
5. 2001 AND A BIT
If you've sighted Tim, Bill or Graeme in a post-Goodies role, e-mail <email@example.com> so that we can tell everyone where to spot a Goodie nowadays.
(by David Balston - posted to Goodies-l on March 16th)
Graeme and Bill have just made a very small cameo appearance on Comic Relief playing Eastenders Scriptwriters, which is nice. Now to spot Tim.
BILL'S BEEN A BUSY BOY
(by David Balston - posted to Goodies-l on March 23rd)
Bill will be appearing on the 'Heaven and Earth Show' Sunday Morning (25th March) at 10am on BBC1 where he will be attending a weekend yoga retreat..
Bill will also be popping up on 'Quote Unquote' on Monday 26th March at 6.30pm on BBC Radio4, the show is repeated the following Sunday at midday.
BILL SPOTTED!!! - IN PERSON
(by Kay Dickinson - posted to Goodies-l on March 30th)
Spotted today (Friday 30th) at Leighton Moss RSPB Reserve (in Lancashire) doing their official opening..... three guesses! Yes, Nicholas Parsons...... no, unsurprisingly none other than the newly appointed Vice-President of the RSPB, Bill Oddie!
And guess who has five weeks off Uni and had just got a temporary job at the reserve and was therefore at (albeit working) the private do? Yep! :o)
Bill entertained VIP guests at the opening by relating his tale of the time when they filmed there for Bill Oddie Goes Wild and they were trying to get footage of red deer. A large stag, a 10-pointer (i.e. 10 spikes on his antlers) and his harem were interrupted by two young male deer who obviously fancied their chances with the females - only the large male was obviously having none of it and saw them off. The frustrated young males then took it in turns to mount each other, which Bill described rather graphically (with stag impressions) - he reckons the reserve has the only gay deer in the country! He apparently has it all on film, which for reasons unknown (!) was deemed not suitable to be shown at tea-time by the BBC.....
No Goodies news, unfortunately, it was a birding do and I only managed to get a brief word with him - for anyone in the UK wondering why he wasn't on the Heaven and Earth show, as advertised, last Sunday (25th) - the piece that he recorded was done over a year ago and would therefore have been a repeat - so why it was advertised, I don't know. I actually managed unwittingly to panic him by telling him he'd been advertised as being on the programme - I think he thought he'd missed a live appearance he should've been at! Oops!
6. GOODIES EPISODE SUMMARY
(by Brett Allender)
First transmitted: 7th July 1973
The Goodies tune in to Pick Of The Pops, but the songs are so rude and offensive that the program is rapidly taken off the air. Tim reads out the hit parade (with the help of a machine sounding horns and bells in the place of the many rude words) and complains that the music industry is corrupted, so foolishly encouraged by Graeme, he decides to write his own squeaky clean songs in a bid to restore pop music's clean and pure image.
As a result, they form a new group called The Cherubs and pay a visit to the Isobel Chintz Star Agency, but are immediately told to "get out" by Isobel (who is on the phone haggling over a gig involving nude alligator wrestling - with Mr Cliff 'High & Mighty' Richard!). Bill re-enters as Rock Bottom with his new band called The Goodies and they perform Tim's revoltingly sugary 'Sparrow Song' (then offer to "get out" themselves afterwards!). Isobel reckons that it will be a smash with the kiddies (with new words and a new tune!), but turfs them out when they don't have a vicious stage gimmick (like doing unmentionable things to a sleek-suited turkey!)
The only outlet for nice tunes is the Maxie Grease Show, hosted by the 'sincere, wonderful, nice' Maxie ("How wonderful I am to be here tonight!") and his audience of "old crones", with the judging based on the ability to "make Granny cry" inside the Granny-O-Meter. Bill ensures that their song 'Mummy I Don't Like My Meat' is a real tearjerker, but it is almost a stomach-jerker for Tim, Graeme and most of the audience.
Back at their office, the Goodies are paid a visit by Isobel who (after watching the Maxie Grease Show) wants to hire Bill, make him a pop star and totally exploit him in the process. Bill is so blinded by the dreams of fame and fortune that he meekly follows along (despite Tim and Graeme as agents with big noses and cigars pointing out the many loopholes in the contract) and in no time he is surrounded by lovely ladies and has been given a whole new image as Randy Pandy by the unscrupulous Isobel.
Despite being fat, hairy and horrible, Randy Pandy dominates the charts after just one day (without even releasing a record) and fills the pop mags with stories of being "clapped out at 19". He already needs another image change, according to Isobel, which will see him as the star of the new rock musical St.Augustine Superstar, where he will become a monk, enter a monastery and become a sex symbol for everyone, even those in the 'twilight zone'!
Tim and Graeme are determined to stop this madness and attempt to enter Top Of The Pops to spoil Bill's musical preview number. Although they tart up as the required audience type (teenage girls with big knockers!), they are found out and shot at by the armed guards protecting the BBC studios, so they watch on tv as Bill unleashes a visually stunning version of 'I Don't Want Your Love' (with the assistance of Pan's Nuns and the Mincing Monks) to an audience of hysterical teenagers. St.Augustine gradually strips off most of his sexy stage gear before being covered with a simple robe and led away by besotted monks and guards.
Isobel gets carried away with Bill's success as Randy Pandy - Superpoof, but Bill starts to have doubts about his stardom, especially when she suggests that he change his image yet again - to Big Fat Nellie! Bill's doubts are confirmed when Tim and Graeme activate Plan B and ponce into the dressing room as very 'la-de-da' admirers and he makes a emotional exit from the dream-turned-nightmare of being a pop star, though he still gets chased from the studio by screaming girls. Graeme and Tim also leave with their work being done, but find that their camp getup attracts the unwanted attention of the guards and other guys present.
* Radio announcer: "BBC Radio have banned all Top 20 records on the grounds of offensive language and bad taste ... eeeewwhh ... nasty, disgusting filth made by spotty weirdos who should be lined up against the wall and have their hair cut! ... and that's that! And now in place of Pick Of The Pops, we shall be joining Radio 3 for a performance of Valdoni's opera 'Il Borrolio De Minisculi' ... the disembowelling of a dwarf!"
* Bill (singing 'Mummy I Don't Like My Meat'): "Hush child. Bonzo is in the oven ... IN HEAVEN!!"
* Isobel Chintz (to Bill) "Tonight you're gonna perform the big showstopping, amazingly tasteless number on Top Of The Pops. Oh kid,when Tony Blackburn sees you, he's gonna drop dead from embarrassment"
Graeme "Oh well, at least some good will come of it!"
* Maxie Grease oozing his slimy charm to all on camera then turning into a really nasty prick off camera, telling his audience of "old crones" to shut up when they start chanting "Why are we waiting", before returning to his 'sincere, nice, wonderful' self when back on-camera again.
* The Goodies performance of 'Mummy I Don't Like My Meat' on the Maxie Grease Show, with Bill as the father, Graeme as the old mother and Tim as the little baby daughter. The family is so poor that they have had to eat their household pets (a poodle, cat and budgie) in desperation which brings Graeme and Tim to the verge of throwing up in revulsion, the studio audience reaching for the paper bags and old Granny almost drowning herself in tears inside the Granny-O-Meter.
* Tim and Graeme getting tarted up in a bid to stop Bill's dreams of stardom, firstly as busty young groupies trying to join the Top Of The Pops audience (miserably failing when the guards pop their balloon busts with bayonets, then shoot at them!) and secondly, as camped-up poofs who succeed in putting Bill off the idea of being a rock star, but are then chased out of the studio by admiring security guards and other 'twilight zoners'
Barbara Mitchell, Julian Chagrin, John Peel, The Fred Tomlinson Singers, Wanita Franklin, Ruby James
Mummy I Don't Like My Meat
I Don't Want Your Love
MY 2 CENTS WORTH
Very colourful and dynamic program in keeping with the rock music theme, but the overall plot is far from 'Superstar' by nature. Good guest star roles from Julian Chagrin (as the slimy Maxie Grease) and John Peel (with his cameo of Jimmy Savile prior to becoming a 'target' for the lads). Barbara Mitchell plays Isobel Chintz well, but her voice really starts to grate on the nerves before too long.
II Fair-y punkmother
BLACK PUDDING RATINGS SYSTEM:
IIIII - Superstar.
IIII - Officially amazing.
III - Goody goody yum yum.
II - Fair-y punkmother.
I - Tripe on t' pikelets.
May Episode Summary - "Camelot"
7. IT'S ONLY AN ANAGRAM!
Last month we launched a quest to uncover the most interesting anagrams that can be manufactured from rearranging the letters of well known Goodies phrases to form another phrase that is suitably appropriate, eg "Graeme Garden" can be changed to "meagre danger", though he was anything but this when working on Frankenfido, Almighty Cod or any of his other loony projects for that matter!
Aside from the misdirected letters from a Mrs Trellis of North Wales, we did actually receive two genuine replies which contained anagrams that Robin Yad would be proud of.
Firstly well done to Kay Dickinson for coming up with the following three anagrams - in her words, "all my own work, none of this anagram-generator cheating business...":
* It Might As Well Be String = Tim rinses t'big hat well" (with a spare "g")
* The Pirate Post Office = Stop that pee orifice. (charming!!)
* Stuff That Gibbon = Fans of TBT hit bug.
And secondly, an EarlOBE to Andrew Davie for his enthusiasm in sending in the following batch of very clever and witty Goodies anagrams:
* grand master of eckythump = Fetch me a musty pork
* eckythump = my ketchup
* Bill Oddie = Libido led
* The Goodies = Hide Stooge
* Graeme Garden = me end rare gag
* Cricklewood = weird o'clock
* Graeme, Bill = lame gerbil
* goodies and the beanstalk = oh! seek a bad old giant nest
* funky gibbon = big bony funk
* goodies and the beanstalk = dead giant loses a bet. honk!
* the tower of london = no red loon theft... ow!
* love the police = ole! the evil cop
* charity bounce = chaotic run... bye! OR thrice-a-bouncy
* winter olympics = ice, snow? try limp!
* frankenfido = freak find? no!
* scoutrageous = as rogue scout
Anyone got any more anagrams to contribute? If so please send them in via homing kangaroo to <firstname.lastname@example.org>
8 QUIZ & QUOTE ANSWERS
(a) Bill Oddie.
(b) Tim exercising his right to fatherhood.
(c) The End
(d) "Get up ya great nancy!"
(e) The Twerp Of The Month Award
(f) The ballet at Covent Garden
(g) Neat scotch
NEXT EDITION: #65: 12th May 2001.
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