» Nov 2010
* THE GOODIES FAN CLUB CLARION AND GLOBE *
* THE OFFICIAL NEWSLETTER OF 'THE GOODIES RULE - OK!' *
Issue No. 180 12th November 2010
Newsletter enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
General enquiries: email@example.com
'The Goodies Rule - OK!'
P.O. Box 492
Rosanna VIC 3084, AUSTRALIA
THE LADS AND LASSES OF THE C&G
- Lisa Manekofsky
FEATURE ARTICLE WRITER
- Andrew Pixley
- Isabell Olevall, Dave Wood, Graeme Garden, John Hatfield, Jane Donnelly, Linda, Andrew Pixley, Peter Wearden, Nik Whitehead, Daniel Bowen, Kirri, Steve Phillips
1. QUIZ & QUOTE - Goodies brainteasers for you and you and you
2. BOFFO IDEAS - The latest club news and happenings
3. SPOTTED!!! - The latest Goodies sightings
4. 2001 AND A BIT - Tim, Graeme and Bill sightings post-Goodies.
5. A COLLECTION OF GOODIES THEMES #18 – Goodies Targets: Rolf Harris
6. FEATURE ARTICLE: THE ROAD TO SUPERCHAPS THREE – Andrew Pixley
7. GOODIES WORD FINDER SOLUTION – from last month
8. QUIZ & QUOTE ANSWERS
1. QUIZ & QUOTE
(by "Magnus Magnesium")
QUOTE: (Re Nicholas Parsons) "Love him?! Good God, we're dealing with savages!!"
(a) Which Goody says this quote?
(b) Which group of people is he referring to?
(c) Which episode is this quote from?
QUIZ: This month's questions are from the episode "Loch Ness Monster"
(d) What sort of costume did the zookeeper try to fit four elephants inside to create a monster?
(e) And why was this attempt unsuccessful, according to the zookeeper?
(f) What sort of creatures do the Goodies shoot at Loch Ness because they consider them to be vermin?
(g) What is written on the sign that is supposedly used to frighten Nessie away?
(h) What do Bill and Graeme repeatedly yell at Tim as he struggles to hold his breath underwater?
The answers are listed at the end of this newsletter.
2. 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:
HAPPY 15TH ANNIVERSARY TO GROK!
November 2010 is a month of Happy Anniversaries. Not only do we celebrate The Goodies 40th anniversary, but during the same month The Goodies Rule - OK! Fan Club reaches its 15th anniversary!
While I've been GROK's president for a large amount of that time, I actually joined during the fan club's fourth year. Having been introduced to The Goodies around that time I found the club like many of you, while searching online for more information about the series. It was wonderful to find a fun online site to meet and chat with other Goodies fans. I was amazed to learn that the club put out a monthly newsletter, as I wouldn't have thought they'd be able to generate sufficient content on such a frequent basis.
Eleven years later, I am extremely proud that the club not only has carried on the elements I discovered in 1999 but has grown. Our membership has more than doubled in size to over 5,300 members. We've influenced episode selections on the DVDs (with fan favorite "Radio Goodies" appearing on the second DVD thanks to the episode winning a GROK poll), worked with the producers to help publicize the Goodies' live shows, and started a successful Goodies Facebook page followed by over 176,000 fans!
Although I am happy to share in GROK's success, as always it must be emphasized that it is a group effort. Thanks go to those who got it up and running in such a successful and sustainable format - club founder Alison Bean, newsletter editor Brett Allender, webmaster Tim Aslat, merchandise officer Richard Nolan, and UK Representative David Piper-Balston; thanks also to past president Kay Dickinson and other members of staff over the years. To our members - thanks so much for your contributions and friendship; you make it fun and we wouldn't be here without you! Last, but certainly not least, our continued thanks to Tim, Graeme, and Bill for their support and all the laughter!
SPECIAL 40TH EDITION C&G STILL TO COME
With this edition of the Clarion & Globe already chock-full of good good Goodies news about the new DVD release and associated promotional activities, Andrew Pixley's brilliant new book, the re-recording of the Funky Gibbon, TV screenings of episodes and specials and all of the other regular news that's fit to print (and quite a bit that isn't, of course!), we've decided to hold the news and reviews regarding the 40th Anniversary celebrations of The Goodies over for a special edition of the C&G which will be out by the end of November.
If you're one of the lucky people who was able to attend one or both of the celebration events in England – the fan-organised Goodies Birthday Party in Manchester on Nov 6th (with Tim in attendance) or The Goodies 40th Anniversary Special Event in Bristol on Nov 7th (with all 3 Goodies present) - then the C&G office would love to receive a report and / or photos of the events from you. Please send your contributions in to email@example.com
Likewise for those Aussie fans planning to attend the Goodies Picnic in Melbourne on Nov 21st – the C&G will warmly welcome your input as part of the celebratory edition too!
And for those C&G readers who unfortunately can't get to either England or Melbourne to join in the fun in person, we'd like to encourage you to send in a congratulatory message to our resident Goodies Tim and Graeme regarding the 40th anniversary of The Goodies and we'll endeavour to fit as many messages as we can into the special edition of the newsletter.
Last month's poll proved to be one of our closest contests for a while, with just a single vote avoiding a hung parliament and the installation of yet another puppet government. Three other options also polled in double figures, so the idea of more Goodies-related releases of material was certainly a popular one.
Tim, Graeme, and Bill each starred in other series after The Goodies. Which would you most like to see released on DVD?
- You Must Be the Husband (Tim) 16 votes
- Me & My Girl (Tim) 27 votes
- more from At Last the 1948 Show (Tim) 26 votes
- Body Matters (Graeme) 8 votes
- A Sense of the Past (Graeme) 4 votes
- Bill Oddie Goes Wild (Bill) 4 votes
- Birding with Bill Oddie (Bill) 1 vote
- Springwatch (Bill) 4 votes
- Other 11 votes
- I'd prefer something with Rolf Harris 17 votes
- Total: 118 votes
This month's poll is either an indication of how old you are (rather ancient if you can recall any pre-Goodies material and just a little bit ancient if you remember the Goodies episodes directly from the seventies!) or how recently your life has been turned upside down by discovering the joys of The Goodies and other wonderful comedy work that Bill, Graeme and Tim have put together over several decades now. So grab the nearest kayak and paddle off outside the five mile limit to your nearest pirate polling booth and cast your vote today. You know it makes sense!
In which decade did you discover Tim, Graeme, & Bill's work?
- the 1960's
- the 1970's
- the 1980's
- the 1990's
- the 2000's
- this year (2010)
- Rolf Harris told me about them
More exciting than getting your wig-spotters badge! If you've seen the Goodies recently, e-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org> with the details. Here's where we've Spotted!!! the Goodies this month:
I am hosting a fan picnic on Sunday November 21 at the Catani Gardens in St. Kilda (Melbourne, Australia). Anyone wishing to attend should meet us at 1pm with nibblies to share, picnic blankets and games/activities for the afternoon (games are being discussed in the 'Get together' thread of the forum). Costumes are encouraged but optional. Bring any Goodies-related items you can carry and enjoy a fun and relaxing afternoon in the (fingers crossed) sun!
Any questions should be sent to Kirri (skinheadskippy) either in a private message or by emailing email@example.com .
THE GOODIES: SUPER CHAPS THREE
Goodies (The): Super Chaps Three £24.99
***AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER NOW - FREE SHIPPING IN THE UK***
THIS WEBSITE IS FOR UK SALES ONLY. FOR NON-UK ORDERS SEE BELOW.
PLEASE NOTE THAT FULFILLMENT OF THIS ORDER WILL BE VIA KALEIDOSCOPE PUBLISHING, WHO CAN BE CONTACTED HERE
(http://www.kaleidoscopepublishing.co.uk/ ). ORDERS WILL SHIP ON (OR POSSIBLY BEFORE) MONDAY 8TH NOVEMBER - ANY PRE-ORDERS MADE BEFORE THE SHIP DATE WILL NOT BE FULFILLED UNTIL THAT DATE SO PLEASE BE PATIENT.
In the early 1960s, three innocent youngsters - Billy, Little Timothy and the Other One - had headed for the world of academia and found themselves ensnared in the twilight world of cutting-edge comedy perpetuated by the shady, clandestine organisation known only as the Footlights. After many perilous adventures, they were to win through, save the United Kingdom from ruin, and become world famous in Australia. The Goodies: Super Chaps Three tells the story of how The Goodies came into being, their successes in various media and the legacy of their much-loved programme.
Written by acclaimed archive television historian and Goodies expert Andrew Pixley this is undoubtedly the definitive look at the production of this classic comedy series. Over ten years in the making, this whopping 600+ page book covers every single aspect of the series' production as well as lengthy looks at Broaden Your Mind, I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue and other related programmes.
If you call yourselves a Goodies fan then you won't want to be without this book.
NON-UK ORDERS ARE FULFILLED VIA LULU'S PRINT-ON-DEMAND SERVICE – PLEASE PURCHASE VIA THIS LINK - http://stores.lulu.com/Kaleidoscope_Publishing (ORDERING DETAILS WILL APPEAR ON OR BEFORE THE SHIP DATE OF MONDAY 8TH NOVEMBER). ANY NON-UK ORDERS MADE VIA THIS SITE WILL BE REFUNDED AND CANCELLED.
Catalogue Number: GOODIESKAL
Number of Discs: 602 PAGES
According to a post Andrew Pixley made in the GROK forums a few weeks ago, the book isn't going to be carried by the ABC Shop in Australia. Here's what Andrew wrote: "The book is being published by the archival television preservation society Kaleidoscope to raise funds for themselves and the RNLI. It will be available to order on-line, and I know that Kaleidoscope also have the Australian market firmly in mind - but, no, it won't be carried by ABC as distributors. It's a very specialist reference volume rather than something accessible to a general audience, akin to many of Kaleidoscope's other books."
As we announced recently, Andrew Pixley's long-awaited book "The Goodies: Super Chaps Three" will be published next month. Kaleidoscope Publishing has made available a sneak preview of the book; the PDF can be downloaded from the link near the bottom of this page: http://www.kaleidoscopepublishing.co.uk/books-goodies.html
COME ON EVERYBODY, IT'S GIBBON TIME!
(Isabell Olevall – 15th Oct)
"As part of its campaign to raise awareness and funds for gibbon conservation, IPPL, together with Bill Oddie, is re-releasing the Goodies' hit 1970s single 'The Funky Gibbon'. The track has been re-mastered and features real gibbon sounds. The music video to accompany the song is being filmed in London next Thursday starting from 10AM. The venue is still to be confirmed but looks likely to be the Rainforest Café on Shaftesbury Avenue near Piccadilly Circus tube station.
We have a professional choreographer and dancers lined up and the plan for the video is to have smartly-dressed volunteers who gradually loosen up and join in with the dancing. We are also looking for people to play grumpy pensioners drinking tea and glaring at the dancers, before finally joining in. Participation should be great fun and, of course, it's all for an important cause. We are appealing for as many volunteers as possible to join
in. Please register to participate by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will email you the details as they are confirmed. Any queries can also be directed to the same email address.
Thanks and best regards,
Helen, IPPL (UK) Director"
So that's *Thursday October 21st in London* - Goodies fans nearby, please represent the rest of us!
Isabell in Sweden
MONKEYING AROUND TO THE FUNKY GIBBON
(Dave Wood – 22nd Oct)
Well, here's a synopsis to keep you all in the loop
We all learnt a fairly complex dance, then the 'bright young things' (ie, the 15-20 people aged 18-35(ish) were filmed performing it. They did it to the backing of the newly mixed Funky Gibbon (which is basically just a re-mix of the original, with some echoes, repeats and a tighter, cleaner, funkier sound).
A 'serious' couple walked towards the Rainforest Café and were enticed inside by the sound and a person in a brilliant Gibbon suit (at the end it is revealed that it was Bill Oddie inside. It wasn't of course he filmed his reveal later, after I'd left. Bah.). Once in they are quickly absorbed into the younger people¹s funky dancing.
Meanwhile, 6 older people (inc myself. A sprightly 47), including two Coronation Street TV stars (Bruce Jones and Casey-Lee Jolley) and a lovely GROK member were filmed taking afternoon tea. We were unimpressed by the noise we heard... Then the gibbon and the dancers appeared and quickly got us into the spirit of it. We all ended up in a frenzy of gibbon dancing, twirling etc... I ended up on the floor with the Corrie actor for some reason. It ended with several takes of us trooping out of the café, in London's Piccadilly Circus, dancing behind the gibbon up Shaftsbury, singing the song (as there were no speakers out there!), much to the amusement of onlookers.
I was completely knackered by the end of it but it was great fun to be involved in a Goodies-related thingummy after all these years! My sons will all be so proud* of their dad!
It'll be up on YouTube from 6 November...
I take it you saw this...
(I¹m fantastic in it...Green jacket, supping tea with the celebs...!)
SAVE, SAVE, SAVE THE FUNKY GIBBON!
(Lisa Manekofsky – 9th Nov)
* Yesterday's edition of The Daily Mail has an article about "The Funky Gibbon" being relaunched in aid of charity to help gibbons, which are endangered primates
Do the Funky Gibbon... again: The Goodies release classic song to protect primates
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 5:09 PM on 7th November 2010
The Goodies' classic ode to the ape The Funky Gibbon is to be relaunched to raise cash to help protect the primate.
Comedians Bill Oddie, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Graeme Garden originally scored a top ten hit with the novelty song in 1975.
Now 25 years on, the track has been given a revamp and will by re-released to boost the coffers of the International Primate Protection League's Save the Gibbon campaign.
Gibbons rank among the most endangered primates in the world.
Since the 1950s, numbers of the Hainan gibbon have plummeted from more than 2,000 to fewer than 25. All 16 species of gibbon are threatened with extinction.
But the IPPL hope that with the help of The Goodies, the profile of the forgotten ape will receive a boost.
Helen Thirlway, director of IPPL, said: 'Gibbons are often overlooked because, due to their small size, they are classified as lesser rather than great apes.
'This means they don't receive the same funding and protection and yet they are equally at risk from poaching, illegal trafficking and habitat destruction.'
DVD SIGNING IN LONDON
(Lisa Manekofsky 22nd Oct)
The Goodies are going to be at HMV Oxford Street (London) to meet fans and sign copies of the new DVDs on Fri 12th Nov.
RADIO SPECIAL: "ANYTHING, ANYWHERE, ANYTIME"
(Lisa Manekofsky – 25th Oct)
Here's a listing for the BBC Radio 4 special about The Goodies which will be broadcast on 6 November:
BBC RADIO 4 Saturday 6 November 2010
Anything, Anywhere, Anytime
Saturday 6 November
10.30-11.00am BBC RADIO 4
On the 40th anniversary of The Goodies' television debut, comedian Ross Noble revisits their world of rampaging Dougals, giant cats, Lancastrian martial artists and funky Gibbons.
In their 12 years in British living rooms, The Goodies saved Britain from a plague of Rolf Harrises, rediscovered the Lost Island of Munga, represented the UK in the Winter Olympics, started Britain's space program and blew up the BBC.
First appearing on the nation's screens in November 1970, The Goodies, Bill Oddie, Graeme Garden and Tim Brooke-Taylor, became prime-time mainstays for the next decade. They were the fifth biggest-grossing pop act of 1975 and bagged two Silver Roses of Montreux.
Their shows, in which the trio played an agency of three bicycling blokes for hire to do "anything, anywhere, anytime", were freewheeling streams-of-nonsense in which television conventions were upended and every silent-movie gag in history was lovingly re-created.
Presenter/Ross Noble, Producer/Simon Barnard for Wise Buddah Creative Limited
Graeme has kindly provided the following information about promotional appearances The Goodies will be doing beginning next week to promote the new DVD. Please note that in some cases the details about dates/time interviews are being recorded, rather than broadcast.
Let us know if you spot any appearances and, if possible, the links to access them online!
12.50pm BBC Radio 2’s Steve Wright Show (All 3 Goodies) - PRE RECORD
2.40pm BBC Five Live with Richard Bacon (All 3 Goodies) - LIVE
3.30pm The Sun (All 3 Goodies)
Independent on Sunday (Bill)
About 1.30pm - Graeme LIVE interview on Radio Oxford
6.30pm BBC1’s The One Show (All 3 Goodies) - LIVE
11am-1pm: Local Radio (Graeme & Bill)
1pm-2pm BBC Scotland’s Comedy Café (Graeme & Bill)
2pm-4pm: Local Radio (Graeme & Bill)
12pm-12.30pm: BBC London Robert Elms (All 3 Goodies)
1pm: LIVE personal appearance HMV Oxford St (All 3 Goodies)
Graeme said they are hoping to do appearances on regional radio:
BBC Shropshire Lunchtime
BBC Northampton Bernie Keith
BBC Manchester’s Late Show
BBC Radio Derby
* The Guardian's "This week's new comedy" page (http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2010/nov/06/this-weeks-new-comedy ) mentions this Monday's UK release of the new Goodies DVD ("The Goodies At Last – Back For More, Again") as well as the publication of Andrew Pixley's book about the series ("The Goodies: Super Chaps Three"). A reminder that the DVD is scheduled for release in Australia in early December.
At the end of their interview the Goodies were joined in the studio by the next guest, Alice Cooper. Richard Bacon posted a group photo of them:
A podcast of the interview can be downloaded from:
(Linda – 2nd Nov
* Chris Daniels from Bristol Silents did an interview for Bristol Community Radio this past Saturday in which he discussed The Goodies 40th Anniversary Event in Bristol on 7th Nov as well as Tim, Graeme, & Bill's involvement in the Bristol Slapstick Festivals. The interview can be heard for another few days from http://bcfm.org.uk/podcasts-listen-again - select the shows from 30 October and, from that list, choose the noon-13:00 "Movies & Music Show" link.
* The Goodies appearance on "The One Show" from a few hours ago will soon be available to viewers in the UK from the BBC iPlayer at http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00vr611/The_One_Show_04_11_2010/
* Two interviewers have asked fans to submit questions for The Goodies. Here are the details:
- From BBC THREE COUNTIES RADIO - Posted on The Goodies Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/thegoodies ) by Schools Out: "Hi Guys - I'm interviewing the boys for my Saturday Breakfast show on BBC Three Counties Radio this week. Are there any questions you would like to ask. I will try and squeeze a couple in. All the best. Justin" You can comment after Justin's post on The Goodies Page. (His show's Facebook page is http://www.facebook.com/thegoodies#!/SCHOOLSOUTWITHJUSTINDEALEY )
- FROM BBC LONDON (Steve Phillips): "I run social media for BBC London, and we'd like fans to post any question they'd like to Tim, Graeme, & Bill, for an extra Twitter audio interview that we'll do after they've been interviewed by Robert Elms on the 12th November! All they have to do is tweet @RobertElms or email email@example.com "
* The batch of radio shows Graeme & Bill did earlier today are available via the BBC iPlayer, which should be available to most of the world.
A Goodies song is played around 11:45 minutes into the broadcast, followed by the interview which begins at about 14:45 minutes
The interview begins around 1 hour 45 minutes into the show.
The interview begins around 2 hours 11 minutes into the show.
Talk about The Goodies begins at 1 hour 30 minutes into the show, when the owner of Manchester's Lass O'Gowrie pub talks about the Goodies Birthday Party Event to be held there tomorrow (Saturday, 6 Nov), at which Tim Brooke-Taylor will be the special guest. Bill & Graeme's interview begins about ten minutes later (at 1 hour 40 minutes into the show).
5. Graeme & Bill were scheduled to appear on the BBC Scotland's The Comedy Café but the show's website says, "Due to industrial action by the National Union of Journalists there was no Comedy Cafe today."
* An interview Bill & Graeme did for BBC Three Counties Radio (http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/threecounties/hi/ ) is going to be played throughout the week on the station; tomorrow morning they're planning to play part at about 0640 and another piece probably between 0830-0900.
* All three Goodies are scheduled to do an interview with BBC Radio London on 12th November around 12pm, just before the HMV Oxford Street DVD signing later that day.
The interview starts at the 11 minute 27 second mark.
* Robert's producer Graham recorded this extra interview with the chaps after the radio interview. Quite funny, it was conducted in and out of the lift at Bush House!
Here's the link - it's a bit of extra you won't get on the radio.
Please feel free to link on your site!
(Steve Phillips – 12th Nov)
(Lisa Manekofsky – 2nd Nov)
In response to various queries, here is a listing of the Goodies titles to be released in the UK by Network DVD on 8 November. For more details visit Network DVD's website
1. The Goodies: At Last – Back For More, Again
An all new set including the episodes Cecily, The Music Lovers, The New Office, Goodies Rule - OK?, Camelot, It Might As Well Be String, 2001 And A Bit, and Royal Command plus a new booklet by archive television historian Andrew Pixley.
Australian retailers are listing a 16 December 2010 release date for this title.
2. The Goodies...At Last the 40th Anniversary!
An eight disk box set containing the title above (The Goodies: At Last – Back For More, Again) plus the sets "The Goodies... At Last! [Repackaged]" (details below), " The Goodies ... At Last a Second Helping [Repackaged]" (details below), and "The Goodies - The Complete LWT Series" (which contains the episodes Snow White 2, Robot, Football Crazy, Bigfoot, Change of Life, Holidays, and Animals plus various bonus features, including a booklet by archive television historian Andrew Pixley).
3. The Goodies... At Last! [Repackaged]
A new version of the out-of-print release with the episodes: Tower of London, Gender Education, Kitten Kong, The Goodies and the Beanstalk, Kung Fu Kapers, Lighthouse Keeping Loonies, Earthanasia, and Saturday Night Grease plus an all new booklet by archive television historian Andrew Pixley.
4. The Goodies ... At Last a Second Helping [Repackaged]
A new version of the out-of-print release with the episodes Radio Goodies, Come Dancing, The Movies, South Africa, Bunfight at the OK Tearooms, The End, Scoutrageous, and Punky Business plus a booklet by archive television historian Andrew Pixley.
DVD AUSTRALIAN RELEASE
(Lisa Manekofsky – 31st Oct)
Thanks to John Hatfield for the following news:
"The Goodies, At Last, Back for More" DVD is listed on Australian retailer ezydvd's website as being scheduled for release on 16 December 2010. Other retailers are also showing the same release date.
DVD PREVIEW CLIPS
*YOUTUBE: Network plans to add another YouTube clip tomorrow from the forthcoming new Goodies DVD ("The Goodies...At Last - Back For More, Again). They've already uploaded clips from "Goodies Rule - OK?" and "It Might As Well Be String". Which episode do you think will be represented next? The choices are "Cecily", "The Music Lovers", "The New Office", "Camelot", "2001 And A Bit", and "Royal Command".
GOODIES ON ABC2 & THE COMEDY CHANNEL
(Lisa Manekofsky 18th Oct) & Jane Donnelly (1st Nov)
A reminder for fans in Australia - ABC 2 continues its Monday night repeats of The Goodies with "Goodies in the Nick", Monday, 18 Oct at 8:05pm.
* ABC 2 are repeating the Goodies at 11.05pm on Thursdays. Starting with the New Office episode this week
RETURN OF THE GOODIES
Thanks to Andrew Pixley for the following excellent news:
RETURN OF "RETURN OF THE GOODIES": The 2005 special "Return of The Goodies" will be repeated on BBC Two, Saturday, 13 Nov at 8pm. Here's a listing: "Using the classic Goodies format, this special programme brings Tim Brooke-Taylor, Bill Oddie and Graeme Garden back together to relive some of their finest moments and illustrates the history of their origins in the Cambridge Footlights, right through to the peak of their success. Including the hit single Funky Gibbon and all the classic episodes such as Kitten Kong and Kung Fu Kapers. Contributors include John Cleese, Martin Freeman, Stanley Baxter, Ronni Ancona, Hugh Edwards and Jon Culshaw."
A reminder that "Return of The Goodies" is being repeated on BBC Two this Saturday, 13 November, at 8:00pm.
For everyone clamoring for Goodies repeats in the UK - it is important that the BBC get feedback about the repeat, both in terms of ratings and also by hearing positive feedback after the broadcast. BBC license payers, PLEASE CALL OR WRITE to say you enjoyed the show and want to see more of "The Goodies". The BBC can be contacted by phone at 0370 010 0123, by mail at PO Box 1922, Darlington, DL3 0UR, and online at http://www.bbc.co.uk/feedback/ .
For fans outside the UK - while your enthusiasm is appreciated, in this case it's only helpful for the BBC to hear from their license payers. If the BBC believes they are getting calls from fans all over the world due to an organized campaign they may ignore feedback from the UK fans. Those outside the UK can help by spreading the word to their friends in the BBC viewing area.
Let's make the most of this opportunity!
(Nik Whitehead – 8th Nov)
I'm just back from the Aardman Slapstick award, which this year was presented to The Goodies to recognise their work in visual comedy. All three Goodies were present, and the award (which is normally presented at the Bristol Silents festival in January) was moved forward to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the screening of "The Tower of London". Bill, Graeme and Tim were presented with 'Ecky Thump Morphs', each sculpted to look like its recipient.
Not only that, but I went along wearing one of my GROK 'Anything Anytime' t-shirts, which all three of them signed.
(Peter Wearden – 4th Nov)
Been browsing online book stores and noticed that Betascript have published what appear to be Goodies scripts. I have found Snooze, War Babies and Snow White 2.
Anybody know what these are? For one example link to try:
DAYLIGHT ROBBERY …
(Daniel Bowen – 9th Nov)
While watching last night's ABC2 episode, one of my kids noticed something I never did - in the scene where the train carriage comes through the wall, you can see a hand pushing it.
THE GOODIES PODCAST
New Goodies Podcasts since last month's C&G:
#37: News and Reviews
#38: Talk Sci-Fi
#39: Commentary: The Goodies Rule OK
#40: Goodies 40th Anniversary Special
#41: Interview: Hayley Sim (ABC-TV)
4. 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. Large files (such as scans of articles or photos) for posting on the club's website can be sent to us at: email@example.com
Those of you seeking radio and tv alerts between issues of the C&G should consider signing up for the Goodies-l mailing list (more details available on the club website), as our crack (cracked?!) team of reporters attempt to post alerts as the information becomes available.
** (All items in this section contributed by Lisa Manekofsky, except where otherwise credited) **
Please note: BBC RADIO SHOWS listed below can be heard online via each station's website (www.bbc.co.uk/radio4 or www.bbc.co.uk/radio7 ) and then for a week after broadcast from the BBC iPlayer (aka Listen Again), www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer . Radio shows on the iPlayer are supposed to be available for listening worldwide.
* NEW NATURE SHOW WITH BILL: Bill appears in the new documentary series "Birds Britannia" on BBC 4. The first episode, "Garden Birds", will be repeated several times through Sunday with the second episode, "Waterbirds", airing next week. See your local listings or http://uk-tv-guide.com/show-times/770629/Birds+Britannia/Nature/ for details.
* Thurs, 21 Oct - "Whose Line is it Anyway?" on Dave at 2:25 is a repeat of the first series episode with Graeme.
* Sat, 23 Oct - "Agatha Christie's Marple" on ITV3 at 17:55 includes a brief appearance by Graeme.
* Sun, 24 Oct - "What the Dickens?" on Sky Arts 1 and Sky Arts 1 HD at 00:30 is a repeat of the episode with Graeme on the panel.
* Mon, 25 Oct - "The Unbelievable Truth" is a new episode with Graeme on the panel. The show airs on BBC Radio 4 at 18:30 and will be repeated the following Sunday at noon.
* Mondays: "The Right Time" on BBC Radio 7 is a repeat of a series with Graeme. The series airs at 8:30 and 22:00.
* Thurs, 21 Oct - "What the Dickens?" on Sky Arts 1 (and Sky Arts 1 HD) at midnight is a repeat of an episode with Tim.
* Sat, 30 Oct: an episode of "Tim Brooke-Taylor's Golf Clubs" is repeated on Discovery Travel and Living at 5:30.
I'M SORRY I HAVEN'T A CLUE (ISIHAC) and
I'M SORRY I'LL READ THAT AGAIN (ISIRTA)
* Thursdays: "I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again" (Tim, Graeme, & Bill's 1960's sketch comedy radio series which also starred John Cleese, David Hatch, and Jo Kendall) is repeated on BBC Radio 7 at 12:30 & 19:30.
* The following is news from the official I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue mailing list:
I bring news of the first two recordings in the Autumn/Winter series of 'I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue'.
The recordings will take place on the evenings of:
Sunday 21st November 2010 at Leeds Town Hall
Saturday 18th December 2010 at the Hawth, Crawley
(N.B. A planned third recording on Tuesday 18th January at the Belgrade Theatre Coventry has today been cancelled due to the fact that the theatre managed to double book us, and took three months to discover their error)
The participants will be the usual team of Jack Dee in the chair, with regulars Tim Brooke-Taylor, Barry Cryer, Graeme Garden, Colin Sell and a guest panellist.
Tickets for each of these recordings are priced at £9, £7 and £5. Each recording starts at 7.30pm (with doors opening at 7pm) and finishes around 10.15pm (10.30 absolute latest). There is one 20 minute interval. No more than 4 tickets will be allocated per applicant.
The onsale dates and booking details of each recording are as follows:
Leeds Town Hall - Sunday 21st November
Onsale date/time: Friday 29th October, 10am
Box Office Tel. No: 0113 224 3801
Box Office Address: The City Centre Box Office, The Carriageworks Theatre, 3 Millennium Square, Leeds LS2 3AD.
Booking fee: 50p (only if you require tickets posting out)
Hawth, Crawley - Saturday 18th December 2010
Onsale date/time: Thursday 4th November at 10:30am
Box Office Tel. No: 01293 553636
Box Office Address: The Hawth Theatre, Hawth Avenue, Crawley, West Sussex, RH10 6YZ - they have a box office in the foyer
Booking fee: £2 per website transaction (not per ticket) or £2.50 per telephone booking.
As ever, we'd advise booking early to avoid disappointment, as these tickets
go very fast.
In other news, there are still some tickets left for our otherwise sold out 'I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue' touring show (Jack Dee hosting, plus Tim, Barry, Graeme and Jeremy) in Newcastle, Ipswich and Oxford. These are on sale now and can be obtained from the theatre box offices:
Newcastle City Halls- Wednesday 8th December
Show starts 7.30pm (finishes at around 10pm)
Box Office: 0191 2612606
The Ipswich Regent- Sunday 12th December
Show starts 7.30pm (finishes at around 10pm)
Box Office: 01473 433100
The New Theatre, Oxford- Monday 13th December
Show starts 7.30pm (finishes at around 10pm)
Box Office: 0844 847 1585
We're also - if you can possibly believe such a thing - on Twitter @ISIHAClue, where Graeme Garden has been busily tweeting for several weeks now. If you're a member of the twitterati yourself, you might find it a more convenient way to pick up all the Clue news.
Finally, Jeremy Hardy would like you to know that he's currently on tour himself, and from now until Christmas will be visiting Blackheath, Leeds, Southampton, Lancaster, Bristol, Henley, Hull, Scunthorpe, Durham, Didcot, Folkestone, Bromsgrove, Lyme Regis, Ilfracombe, Epsom, Tunbridge Wells, Buxton, Norwich, Derby, Canterbury, Bristol, Whitby, Salford and Cirencister. Here's a link: http://www.ents24.com/web/artist/12748/Jeremy_Hardy.html
That's about the size of it. We look forward to seeing you there.
With best wishes
Producer, I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue
5. A COLLECTION OF GOODIES THEMES #18
(by Brett Allender)
GOODIES TARGETS: ROLF HARRIS
Rolf Harris was born in Perth, Western Australia in 1930 to Welsh emigrant parents and moved to London in 1952 where he established a lengthy career as a singer-songwriter (with uniquely-styled hits such as 'Two Little Boys', 'Jake The Peg' and 'Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport'), artist and television presenter.
His skill as an "all-round entertainer" coupled with his outgoing Aussie personality and quirky use of musical instruments such as the wobbleboard, stylophone and didgeridoo soon endeared him to audiences and music fans in both Australia and the UK, but also established him as a prime target for sending up by The Goodies in the early 1970s.
In fact it didn't take very long at all for him to appear firmly in the Goodies' sights … barely a minute into the very first episode "Beefeaters" when Graeme proudly unveils his unique "rent-a-view picture window" for the office. The picture window displays scenery from any city anywhere in the world with matching musak, and Tim and Bill are suitably impressed until a view of Sydney Harbour appears with Rolf's "Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport" music as accompaniment. An appalled Bill shrieks "Turn it off!" and Tim has a revolted grimace on his face as he hastily pulls the window blinds shut to stop the music.
The second Goodies episode, "Snooze", also contains a dig at Rolf when the Goodies are trying to come up with a better name for Venom, the poorly-selling bedtime drink. T: "Now what shall we call it? Something, sleepy, soporific, late night …" B: "How about Epilogue?" T (unimpressed): "No." B: "Rolf Harris?!" G (scornfully): "No, he's not late night!" B (cheekily): "Sends me to sleep!"
Series 2 episode "The Music Lovers" sees the Goodies' evening off ruined, as firstly the string quartet that they are listening to in the park are suddenly abducted and then various other bands and orchestras on television are kidnapped as well. Newsreader Corbet Woodall is puzzling over these disappearances as he is reading the bulletin, and announces: "Ladies and gentlemen, we interrupt this embarrassing silence to bring you a news flash. Reports are just coming in that Rolf Harris has been stolen. And now some bad news …!"
Later in this episode, once the Goodies have posed as famous musicians and have eventually been abducted after holding a gruelling week-long, non-stop music concert on Hackney Marshes, they encounter the evil Music Master and try to find out why he has been stealing all of the musicians. As part of his explanation for his dastardly deeds, the Music Master tells the Goodies that he used to own a recording studio: "I used to produce records like this" (holds up a tiny circle of plastic) "The Best Of Rolf Harris".
T (incredulously): "But ... but there's nothing on it!" MM: "True!"
Upon the Goodies being unable to fulfil the Music Master's demand to produce a sure-fire hit record within an hour (made even more difficult by henchman Gerald tying their hands behind their backs and gagging them because they made "such an 'orrible noise"!), the Music Master suddenly shows his nasty side:
MM: "You've failed. Take them to the cells. You know what to do."
Gerald (shocked): "No, not dat boss!" MM: "Yes, that!"
Goodies: "What ?" Tim (worried): "They're going to kill us!
MM (sadistically): "Oh no, something much worse! You're going to be locked up in a cell with ... Rolf Harris!" ('Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport' music in background)
Goodies (pleading): "No, kill us, kill us....!!"
Towards the end of the episode as the Goodies are preparing to flee from the Music Master and his henchmen, they open up several of the cells to free the captive musicians. Graeme opens Rolf's cell with a greeting of "Come on out Rolf, no hard feelings, hey?!", with a slight flinch as if Rolf is about to hit him or throw something at him. At least the Goodies do allow Rolf to escape, unlike Cilla Black, who Bill insists should be left locked up because he can't stand her high notes!
In "Gender Education", the Goodies return to the office after a violence-crazed Bill has managed to blow the BBC to bits, and are rather bored seeing as there is no television to watch (other than the "squeaky clean" ITV). Tim tries to entertain himself with some knitting, while Graeme picks away on his banjo and dismisses Tim's moaning with: "It'll do people good to be without television for a while. It'll revive the art of home entertainment. (enthusiastically) Like to see my impersonation of Rolf Harris?" T (revolted) "Oh come on, that's one of the few advantages of being without telly!" G (in agreement): "Yeah." Meanwhile Bill sits still with white-shaded glasses on to avoid seeing anything that might corrupt him again, but he might have needed some hearing protection as well if Graeme had delivered on his threat of impersonating Rolf!
Also in Series 2, the "London To Brighton" episode sees Mr Sparklypegs despatch his grovelling assistant Minion on a scooter to stop the Goodies from bouncing around the world, as he is fearful of having to cough up a small fortune in charity donations if they are successful. When Minion eventually catches up with the spacehopping Goodies in Australia, he also has Rolf bouncing along behind him singing "Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport" in a cameo appearance.
After poking plenty of fun at Rolf in the first two series, the Goodies concentrate on other targets for Series 3 and 4, although there is the splendid mock advertisement in the middle of Series 4 episode "The Stone Age" for Bristo Gravy Mix featuring Rolf and his long-suffering Granny. Graeme plays a scarily convincing Rolf Harris who creates havoc in his Granny's kitchen, firstly frightening the daylights out of Granny (another of Tim's wonderful drag roles!) with a blast of the didgeridoo upon entry to her kitchen, causing food to go flying everywhere. He then paints a kangaroo on the kitchen wall with much huffing and puffing and blackens Granny's face with the paintbrush as well for good measure. Granny has already delivered a voice-over spiel of "As a top entertainer, Rolf works really hard, singing those boring songs and telling those stupid jokes and being generally irritating! … That's why I'm giving him something really special – roast beef with lashings of Bristo." before serving up dinner and telling Rolf "I hope you like it. It's just what you deserve!" Rolf starts hoeing into his meal and utters a hearty Aussie-accented "Marvellous!" before grabbing at his throat and launching backwards in his chair (and into another mighty Garden death dive) once Granny's poisoned Bristo Gravy Mix takes effect. The authoritative voice-over then states: "Bristo. Gets rid of Rolf Harrises fast!" Hmm, must put that one on my shopping list for my next trip to the supermarket!
"Wacky Wales" in Series 5 contains a brief name check of Rolf in Reverend Llewellyn's rambling incoherent invitation for the Goodies to attend the Llan Dlubber Eistedfodd, which Tim reads out to Bill and Graeme. However the main send-up of Rolf comes two episodes later in "Scatty Safari" where basically the entire second half of the episode centres around him once the Star Safari Park's previous Number One attraction, Tony Blackburn, has gone to that "Great Radio 1 Club in the sky" after being memorably gunned down by a celebrity-seeking hunter shortly after his release to freedom.
After much discussion about how to replace Tony, Graeme comes up with the idea of who would make the perfect new star attraction after playing a guessing game with the others (T&B: "Ahh. Rolf Plaster Of Harris!"). Bill looks up Rolf's details in the 'Observers Book of Stars': "Harris … Anita, Chopper, Richard, Rolf … here we are! An occasional visitor, characteristic cry of 'I'm an all-round entertainer'. Gregarious, often found with the young generation. Number of legs ... variable! Unmistakeable black plumage on chin, natural habitat Australia." Bill is appalled at the thought of travelling to Australia to capture him though: "Nah, not Australia. I mean, that's full of abos and dingoes and upside-down jokes." Tim (bossily): "Shhh Bill, we must prepare for the trip. Look out half a dozen jumbucks, pack two, no three coolibahs in the tuckerbag. Graeme you'd better go and whack the diddle-o while I ... press a clean pair of billabongs. Now ... Awstrailya ... heeere we come!" (followed by Bill almost cracking up with laughter!)
Upon finally reaching the 'Aussie outback after surviving the wilds of Sydney (in particular the feral "Germaines" who use their handbags to batter the "male chauvinist" tourists into submission!), the Goodies pursue the huffing, puffing Rolf across the plains in the back of a ute. Although the ute crashes into a tree and sends a shower of cranky koalas dropping onto Graeme, he still maintains enough doctoral discipline to jump out of the ute and apply a medical swab to Rolf's arm, only to leap back into the ute again and shoot Rolf in the rear with a tranquilliser dart instead!
Upon their return to England, the Goodies try to settle Rolf in by putting more coal on the fire to recreate the atmosphere of a hot Australian summer, quelling his panting with a tube of lager and reading Richie Benaud's autobiography to him. This comes after a 'Pick A Box' - style argument between Tim who wants to "open the box" and keep Rolf at the Star Safari Park, and Bill who wants to "take the money" and flog Rolf straight off to Lew Grade, but the dispute is quickly settled when the box is opened and Rolf's crooning of "Two Little Boys" has Tim frantically roaring "Close the box!". G: "He doesn't sound very well, does he?" B (scornfully): "Never sounded any better!"… G: "See we've just got to make Rolf feel wanted and loved." B (flatly): "No chance!"
Keen to establish a breeding program, Graeme has also ordered the only other Rolf Harris in captivity from the Moscow Zoo. The Russian Rolf duly arrives roughly packaged in a hessian sack and is promptly shepherded by Bill and Tim into the crate containing Aussie Rolf (T: :He's a bit frisky, isn't he?!" G: "All the better. This could be the first in captivity!" B (gobsmacked): "What, you mean him and that are gonna … (pumps fist) cor wallop!") and after a year's wait, the first baby Rolf is bred in captivity.
Tim's 'war correspondent' voiceover narrates the excitement of the "red letter day at the Goodies Star Safari Park" as huge crowds flock to see baby Rolf's first public appearance, though it takes a little while as he initially refuses to come out of his kennel despite the best efforts of his three keepers, but with no assistance from his two indifferent parents. Eventually though, it's "Hello, I recognise that face" as he emerges and after being almost knocked out by a flying can of lager from Bill, "he's certainly full of fun … and don't the kids love him!" Little Rolf gets the brush-off from his sleep-deprived Dad but proves to be a lively handful for the Goodies to contend with, only pausing to pick up "a great big tin of paint just like Daddy's" and proceed to tip it all over his head ("Oh dear, never mind, he'll learn!"), with baby and adult Rolfs and all three Goodies eventually collapsing in a worn-out heap together
The arrival of Little Rolf brings millions of visitors to the star safari park, although hardly any of them ever see him, as Bill has nailed the youngster's feet to the floor of the kennel so that people have to make multiple visits in the hope of finally spotting him. Bill is also shamelessly selling all sorts of Little Rolf souvenirs, such as "We Have Seen Little Rolf" badges and a "walking, talking Little Rolf dolly" that chatters "Tie Me Kangaroo Down Mama" (until it falls off the table and loses its head!) before the popularity bubble bursts.
The bubble finally bursts in a big way with the escape of both adult Rolf Harrises and the baby after being let out by other exhibits, chiefly Des O'Connor, who were getting jealous of the lack of attention. Graeme tries to report the escape to Tim and Bill, but is so panic-stricken that he is unable to talk and his charades are interpreted as "Tie ... me ... kangaroo ... down ... tennis!" Not only do the Rolfs move like greased lightning, they also breed at a similar rate, having once covered Australia before the white man all but exterminated them - as their beards made excellent hat decorations and lavatory brushes, according to Graeme! Within another short year, the Goodies are going mad from the constant drone of wobbleboards being played by the three hundred Rolf Harrises in their window box. G: "We never learn. It was like this when they introduced grey squirrels". T (semi-sarcastically): "Grey squirrels don't play wobbleboards!" B (chiming in): "No, and they don't do rotten paintings all over everything either!" … "They're just like lemmings really, aren't they, only they don't self-destruct!"
Worse still, the plague of six million Rolfs that infest Britain have even taken over the BBC programming department (" … and highlights of the Rolf Harris Cup match between Rolf Ham United and Crystal Harris."), prompting an urgent proclamation from a certain anonymous Queen: "Good evening. I'm sure that you are all well aware … as indeed my husband and I are also aware … that the whole country has been overrun by a plague of Rolf Harrises. My government and I have tried everything within our power to stop this plague spreading, but to be honest, we are flummoxed. And so I am making this proclamation. (Blows clarion horn and then exhales loudly) To whomsoever can rid my land of this plague of Rolf Harrises, I will give the hand of my eldest son in marriage … and 1000 OBEs!" T (proudly): "Say no more, Your Majesty. We shall do it!" The Queen (on television, surprised): "Who are you?!" Tim (proudly): "The Goodies!" The Queen (scornfully): "Ohh! Gordon Bennett!!"
Such a reward is enough to inspire the Goodies, and they come up with a way to remove the plague of Rolfs which have been shown creating havoc everywhere by spitting soup at a cook, laying an egg in a man's Sunday hat then breaking the egg on his head, fighting dogs and cats and painting the ladies' dresses black. The irresistible didgeridoo playing of 'Waltzing Matilda' by the three lairily dressed Pied Pipers is enough to make the Rolfs come tumbling by the dozens from prams, doorways and other hiding places and one-by-one they are merrily lured away from Britain. And when they reach the other side - the ATV studio - a wondrous portal opens wide and the millions of Rolfs are never heard of again. All except one who is lame - Jake The Peg with his extra leg! The anonymous Queen keeps her promise, and the blushing bride Tim weds charming Prince Charles, with tearful attendants Graeme and Bill weighed down with the 1000 OBE's in the background.
In the 2005 special "Return Of The Goodies", the real Rolf Harris is one of the many guests interviewed and he makes the following comments regarding this particular episode: "People jump on me and say 'What was it like being in The Goodies? I saw the episode with you in it.' I said 'That wasn't me.' … I say 'I wasn't in it' (and they say) 'Yes you were, yes you were, we saw the episode with you in it' and I said 'That wasn't me' 'Yes it was, yes it was!' and they point-blank tell me I'm lying. I would have liked to have played the part of myself actually, in the role, and I wish (the Goodies had) approached me. I would have done it like that. (clicks fingers) I guess they probably thought it was all so anti-Rolf Harris that I wouldn't have even looked at it. (laughs heartily) Little did they know I would have loved to have done it!" From a Goodies fan viewpoint, it would have been great if Rolf had actually appeared on the show and sent himself up just as Tony Blackburn, Eddie Waring and other Goodies "targets" did around the same time.
After the Rolf-a-thon of "Scatty Safari", it's perhaps not surprising that the Goodies move on to other targets, however there are still a couple of send-ups remaining, including one in the "Goodies Rule – OK" special at the end of Series 5.
The autocratic Standing Party government in Britain have introduced prohibition where the fun laws are tightened even further, but the Goodies and other "unmentionables" are not to be denied though, and after they cause havoc with the St.Valentine's Day custard pie massacre, they seek refuge in underground "joke-easys". They gradually round up all of the banned entertainers by cruising around the streets at breakneck pace in a big black limo grabbing anyone of interest that they spot along the way. This includes Rolf, who is busily painting a door as part of his new post-entertainment employment, and he has three legs wildly kicking away out the window (in true "Jake The Peg" fashion) after being snaffled without the car even slowing down at all. Rolf even proves to be more desirable than the real Tony Blackburn (who is left moping on a street corner after being rejected by the Goodies in one of his two guest appearances on the show), however he is one of a whole lineup of entertainers who have spent so long in the wilderness that they have forgotten how do their own trademark voices and sayings. This is despite Graeme's wonderful prompting while unleashing a string of impersonations, which includes him saying to Rolf: "Now you give me 'Tie me kangaroo down sport' … (chuckle and panting)" to which Rolf replies in a thick Scottish brogue: "I'm awfully sorry Jimmy, I canna' do it!"
In "Alternative Roots" the Tourmaster is trying to flog off his bunch of "sound in limb and dull in brain" slaves to a lookalike bunch of bald-headed, cigar-smoking BBC TV producers. With just the three Goodies left (after one poor sod has finally been despatched to the Max Bygraves Show!), the Tourmaster is getting desperate to flog them off to the hard-to-please producers: "How about 'Rolf Harris and Friends'? Three friends if ever I saw them. See how friendly they are? (as the three Goodies pull faces, snarl and gesture menacingly) No-one wants them? No-one. Oh flip!"
The final pot-shot at Rolf comes in Series 7 episode "Royal Command" where the second Royal Variety Concert features a series of guest performers who are all tortured or humiliated in one way or another all in the name of royal entertainment. This includes Rolf who, after a grand introduction from Graeme as the "Antipodean apogee of artistic Apo deixis", plays his wobbleboard and sings "Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport" to a rising chorus of derision from the bloodlusting audience. Bill the Beefeater then appears on stage in the background with a cheeky grin and wielding a huge spear. He glances towards the Royal box and upon receiving the haughty decree of "Off with his didgeridoo!!" from the Queen herself, he sneaks up on Rolf and jabs him in the backside with the spear before chasing him around and carrying out the royal command just offstage with a big flourish of the spear to the delight of the cheering crowd.
A concluding anecdote about Rolf comes from Tim; also from the "Return Of The Goodies" special in 2005: "There was an awkward moment when we were rehearsing in the same building and we got into the lift. We'd just been bad-mouthing Rolf Harris and he got into the lift and said 'I'd just like to say I'm enjoying the show'. Now if we'd been on our own, we'd have said 'Oh we like (your show) too.', but we couldn't because of the other two (Goodies present) so we went silently down and at the bottom he said 'Well, just thought I'd mention it!' I still feel guilty about it to this day. Sorry Rolf!"
* With thanks to Ingemar, Jeffers, Vanessa Cricklewood, Bondgirl and Artyclarty for their contributions to this article via the GROK forums
Website article & photo gallery:
6. THE ROAD TO SUPERCHAPS THREE
(by Andrew Pixley)
The kind and generous offer from Brett and Lisa for me to write something about Kaleidoscope’s forthcoming book The Goodies: Super Chaps Three has provoked some reflection in my mind about the past fifteen years or so assembling this text, and how the only reason that it’s really got this far is – appropriately – because of the kind and generous behaviour of so many different people.
For me, I suppose the story really starts in 1972 when I became a regular viewer of The Goodies at the age of six. I imagine that I’d probably first seen snatches of Tim, Bill and Graeme in action as far back as 1970 when their highly visual comedy seemed to be in demand on a weekly basis from young viewers as they wrote into BBC1’s Ask Aspel, asking to see their favourite moments again in the days when DVDs and iPlayer were as much science-fiction as Kitten Kong. It would have been the trio’s bite-size appearances on Engelbert with the Young Generation that got me fully hooked, followed by the summer repeats on BBC1 and then the shift of the series on BBC2 to a pre-watershed – or more importantly for me, pre-bedtime – slot from early 1973. By 1975 of course, the Goodies were everywhere, and it’s difficult to emphasise now how very, very big they were; a major comedy phenomenon which I honestly doubt has ever been equalled in such a sustainable manner and on such grand a scale. There were the books, the records, and numerous TV appearances, with both new episodes and repeats being a joyous occasion to be savoured and relished … and even recorded as a soundtrack on compact cassette!
Sadly, the series expired about the same time as my childhood; the end of the LWT run was followed shortly afterwards by my departure for academia, during which time I was able to follow the sporadic repeats on BBC1 and ITV. Furthermore, Roger Wilmut’s landmark volume From Fringe to Flying Circus had appeared, and was able to whisk me back for a whistle-stop tour through the history of the show, as well as giving me the background to I’m Sorry, I’ll Read That Again (which I’d been a keen listener to since the final run in 1973) and other tantalisingly fascinating shows that I’d been too young to see such as Broaden Your Mind and Twice a Fortnight. Roger Wilmut’s work in documenting comedy is – to my mind – without parallel, and during my own research it was a pleasure to be able to correspond with him and to say “thank you” for all the enjoyment his writings have afforded me.
It was around 1990 that I started looking at The Goodies in detail. By now, I was working in the electronics and IT industry and – simultaneously – writing about archival science-fiction television series for a number of different magazines. But nobody seemed to be doing anything about comedy. Nevertheless, for my own interest I took myself off down to one of the few UK libraries to retain a near-complete run of the listings magazines Radio Times and TVTimes and started to compile a basic episode guide with broadcast details, synopses, cast listings and the like – a set of notes which I still use to this day. I’d also had the chance to view poor quality videotapes of some episodes in their edited forms from Australia broadcasts and satellite transmissions, and so I started to make various notes on the shows; these expanded immensely when The Goodies turned up on UKGold, and – through the kindness of my old friend and writing colleague Anthony McKay – was able to view more comprehensive runs of the shows (albeit heavily edited to fit in adverts). And I loved seeing these programmes again. They were every bit as enjoyable as they’d been in my childhood. But now I could also see an entirely different level for the humour to operate on. In addition to the amazing visual slapstick with gigantic props, or the sharp banter between the three highly contrasting main characters, I was now also becoming more aware of how culturally rich and deeply satirical these programmes had been – pointing out the failings, fads and hypocrisy of the times. As I recall Graeme saying in one interview, it’s effectively possibly to chart the development of the UK throughout the 1970s by studying The Goodies.
Since 1993, I had been conducting a great deal of my research into archival television shows at the BBC’s Written Archive Centre which my publishers had arranged for me to use. As soon as I got chance – amidst all the professionally commissioned work – I soon zeroed in on the remaining paperwork for The Goodies and found a plethora of facts and figures which added immensely to my fascinating and love of the series. I got a chance to read through the scripts for the shows I’d adored watching a couple of decades earlier, and was also amazed at items such as the scripts for the filmed specials which carried the intricate storyboards showing how each gag would be brought to life on screen.
By the end of the decade, I was toying with the notion of a book about The Goodies; after all, Monty Python’s Flying Circus had been lavishly treated with scripts edited by Roger Wilmut and some wonderfully enthusiastic reads from across the Atlantic penned by Kim “Howard” Johnson. Dabbling in the world of private publishing thanks to some ventures with the Doctor Who Appreciation Society, I started to wonder if such a project would be possible on a small scale, and discussed such a volume with David Brunt, whom I’d worked with extensively and happily. In the meantime, I was delighted to discover that Jan Vincent Rudzki – the editor of the late, lamented magazine TV Zone – shared my fondness for The Goodies; he took the radical step of making one issue of what was predominantly a science-fiction title into a comedy special, and then allocated quite an expanse of the page count to The Goodies, allowing me to write a brief history of the show and an episode guide.
My discovery of the internet in general and the Goodies Rule OK website in particular was an amazing turning point. I quick ordered and enjoyed Brett’s brilliant book of episode summaries, while also being fascinated by Matthew K Sharp’s astounding research into all the ABC edits I’d seen over the years. In those early days, it was a very rich experience to correspond and talk to both Brett Allender and Alison Bean. At this time in the UK, interest in The Goodies had sadly dwindled through the BBC’s inability to find a suitable slot for repeats, and being in touch with Brett and Alison was an amazing opportunity; I owe them a very great deal because of their kindness and generosity, and I also believe that what was established by the GROK in its early years was essential for much of what has happened since in the world of The Goodies. Both remain an absolute pleasure to chat to, and I’m proud to know them.
Shortly after this, I was working on various documentaries at BBC Manchester where the plans for what became I Love The 70s were being laid. And – at a key moment – there was a very, very good chance that we could get ten weeks of repeats of The Goodies on air on BBC2. God knows, I fought for them. The producers at Manchester fought for them. But – as history records – it wasn’t to be. Fortunately, what the experience did achieve was to sow the seeds for what – five years later – would hit the screens as Return of the Goodies. Being able to get a major celebration of The Goodies back on BBC2 for just one night remains something very, very special for me; the day in studio – for all its various problems – is certainly one of the happiest in my life, seeing my comedy heroes reunited in a version of their classic set and being aware that their landmark series was being so very much appreciated.
Prior to that, some work on TV Zone had led me to contact Network DVD regarding their release of Ripping Yarns. I quickly warmed to Tim Beddows, the head of Network, and his desire to see archival television made available and accessible. Soon it was clear that we both had a passion for The Goodies, and he was kind enough to allow me to work on subsequent releases under licence from BBC Worldwide. This also brought me into contact with Steve Rogers, a wonderfully supportive gentleman who has collaborated with me on numerous challenging projects in the last decade; Steve was one of the first people to read the manuscript for Super Chaps Three and to come back to me with positive, useful comments.
Around 2000, I think Brett and I had toyed with combining my research notes on the production of the series with his superb collection of episode reviews. I couldn’t quite make the format work, and Brett has gone on to revise his own notes to great acclaim; his summaries are a work which will be keeping people informed and entertained for many years. At the same time, chronicler of British comedy Robert Ross proved that a book on The Goodies was indeed viable with his amazing lexicon of the trio’s works from Batsford. I was so delighted the day that the finished volume arrived and amazed by the scope of what he’d covered. But it was also a catalyst in that it cemented in my mind what I wanted to do with my own studies about The Goodies. Robert’s alphabetical approach had been plot heavy (only to be expected, as few UK readers would have access to the shows to remember the storylines in detail). What I wanted to do was something more chronological, showing the development of The Goodies from the Footlight days through to its final LWT editions. While massively admiring the individual careers of Bill, Graeme and Tim since The Goodies, that wasn’t necessarily part of the story I wanted to tell. I also wanted to understand context far more. Why did the audience react so strongly to lines of dialogue which – in the twenty-first century – now seemed meaningless? Also, talking to fans in Australia and the USA, I understood that in some instances they were not aware of the full context of some of the gags … which even I was starting to forget. And I wanted to get this written down before I’d also forgotten it. Furthermore, I wanted to fill in the gaps around the actual episodes. It wasn’t just the shows themselves which made the show so big; it was the interviews, the advertising campaigns, the appearances on Ask Aspel and Disney Time … all of which had contributed to the Goodies’ conquest of 1970s culture.
The test notes I’d done for the book in 2000 underwent a lot of revision and the research necessary to fill in the gaps began in earnest in 2004. In addition to viewing all the episodes again, I was seeking out recordings of all the other shows made by the trio from 1963 to 1982 as well. Here, I was blessed with immense help from many people on both a professional and amateur basis. As I worked with other organisations on various projects for television or publishing, I’d often ask, “Don’t suppose you have anything on The Goodies in your archives,” and often be rewarded by access to some fascinating material. One private collector with hundreds of off-air tape recordings of 1960s comedy gave me the amazing chance to hear various editions of Twice a Fortnight. The late Richard Greenough – head of design at ATV from 1955 onwards – had maintained a day-by-day log of recording for the company’s shows, which plugged numerous gaps in the chronology. In particular, the amazing Lisa Manekofsky had taken the helm at GROK and had become the dynamo which has effectively driven so much of what forms Goodies fandom in terms of news reporting and promotion; for my research, Lisa enthusiastically provided scans of material from her own collection and we swapped various recordings for our mutual enjoyment. In more recent years, I have also received great support from Jess Pickles who – with her chums – fuels discussion and shares fun over at the Saucy Gibbon forum.
After a couple of years of note making, the chronology was established and the business of writing the text began in 2006. Whereas most of my work in this field has been simply a listing of facts and dates, what I wanted to do with The Goodies was something different; amidst all the sketches in I’m Sorry, I’ll Read That Again or Twice a Fortnight, I wanted to focus on which elements either showed the proto-Goodies at their best or which fed forward into their BBC show. As such, I was having to be selective, and also using the freedom to comment on what I felt was the best material – hopefully celebrating these other shows and maybe even encouraging others to seek them out too.
Various professional projects got in the way during 2007 in particular, but by 2008 I was determined to get a volume published to celebrate the 40th anniversary of The Goodies in 2010. Initially, a publisher called Telos was interested in carrying the title; predominantly active in the science-fiction and horror markets, comedy was a new territory for them. Although I’d known the company’s owners – Stephen James Walker and David J Howe – for many years and worked closely with them on numerous projects, by 2009 the vast amount of text I’d generated on The Goodies had become something so specialist that I felt it was too much of a financial risk for them to take – despite their keenness and support. As such, a new home was found for the venture with Kaleidoscope Publishing. Kaleidoscope is an organisation dedicated to the preservation of television heritage; they stage events showcasing fascinating material too humble for DVD release which are free of charge, they raise money for their nominated charity of the RNLI, and they publish limited runs of extremely detailed and specialist titles which would otherwise never see the light of day.
Simon Coward is one of the key players in Kaleidoscope, and has been a good friend of mine since we both discovered our shared love of Ace of Wands at a convention in 1985. I sent the draft text to Simon as a possible project for Kaleidoscope, waiting for them to say that a venture on this scale was impractical. On the contrary, Simon came back offering further material and suggestions which could be added to whatever I already had. Through the text, Simon rediscovered his own love and fascination for The Goodies, and all the hard work on this project over the last year has been immensely enjoyable because I know I’ve been working with such a good friend who is always so generous with his time and help … and who understands exactly what I wanted to achieve in terms of this celebration.
When it comes to the Goodies themselves, I very much hope that it will bring back some happy memories of their careers and that I didn’t get too much wrong or have written anything to cause upset. I was able to provide Graeme and Tim with draft chapters during their Edinburgh stage show run in 2006, and both gave their blessing and support for the project. Bill has also been enormously generous in trusting me. Rather than plague these three talented and busy gentlemen with a deluge of questions, I have been selective in my queries. After all, if a key anecdote has featured in twenty interviews over the years, do I really need to pester them into relating it again? Things have boiled down to specific questions which paperwork or interviews haven’t been able to answer elsewhere. Tim and Graeme have both been wonderful in responding to e-mails about trivia and obscurities (to save the gents’ time, sometimes in my missives I include a do-it-yourself reply which they can cut and paste back: “Dear Andrew, I’m afraid that this was over thirty years ago and I can’t remember”). Bill was kind enough to allow me some time after his recent illness to chat about various aspects of his 1970s and 1980s career. All this has enriched the writing experience immensely, and I am deeply indebted to them for their time.
One of the important things for me is not how the book will be received (because everyone looks for something different in such a work), but the journey I’ve had; the friends I’ve made, the places I’ve visited, the conversations I’ve had, and the very, very funny material I’ve had the chance to read and view. I’ve been extremely fortunate in having all these opportunities. And the result is the book I wanted – and which I hope aids in raising funds for the work of Kaleidoscope which I strongly support.
Looking back on it, the 1970s wasn’t an outstanding decade; in the UK, there were a lot of problems facing society. In some respects, The Goodies was one of the salves for the wounds being inflicted, offering colourful fun against the greyness of a strike-torn nation struggling against rampant inflation. The stars and their show took the silliness and satire which they had honed in the 1960s and turned it into something truly unique with which to hold up a distorting mirror to the country and allow the population to enjoy a laugh at the world around them.
But, the bottom line is, The Goodies is something very special for me indeed. Yes, I know that I can always sit down and admire other top-class TV comedy – the wise-cracking of Ernie Bilko on The Phil Silvers Show, the caustic blood bonds of Steptoe and Son, the delicious black comedy enveloping Victor Meldrew’s life in One Foot in the Grave – but at the end of the day, no matter how stunning they are, they can’t quite ever give me that same amount of delight and pleasure that watching the Cricklewood trio afforded me either back in my childhood, or now in the present day. The Goodies wormed its way into heart at a very early stage, and I now know will remain deeply rooted there for the rest of my life. Thanks Bill. Thanks Tim. Thanks Graeme!
7. GOODIES WORD FINDER SOLUTION
From C&G 179 (October):
10 unused letters - a solution of two words (6 and 4 letters) from "For Those In Peril On The Sea" - clue: "A victim of the Goodies' hunger on the high seas"
8. QUIZ & QUOTE ANSWERS
(b) The Eskimos
(c) Lips or Almighty Cod
(d) A budgie skin
(e) He had problems getting them to say "Who's a pretty boy?"
(h) "Don't answer that!"
8 Mastermind Of The Year
7 Goodies fan supreme
5-6 Clever clogs
3-4 Goody Goody effort
1-2 Time to watch some more episodes
0 Are you sure you're not Rolf Harris?!
NEXT C&G EDITIONS:
- Special: The Goodies 40th Anniversary: 30th November 2010.
- #181: 12th December 2010.
- December / January: Goodies Music Review – Run
- January / February: A Collection Of Goodies Themes – Graeme and Bill in drag
Updated to C&G 162 (May 2009)
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