» Introduction & Index
» 1 Lemon Sherbet
» 2 Newsreaders
» 3 Targets: Max & Des
» 4. Goodies Turning ...
» 5. Beanz Ads
» 6. Targets: Nichola...
» 7. Goodies In Love
» 8. The Trandem
» 9. Targets: Tony Bl...
» 10. Inventions
» 11. Tim In Drag
» 12. Targets - David...
» 13. Bill's Outfits
» 14. Live Music
» 15. Targets: Mary &...
» 16. Goodies Relatives
» 17. Tim's Patriotic...
» 18. Targets: Rolf H...
» 19. Bill & Graeme i...
» 20. Sports & Games
» 21. Targets: Lionel...
» 22. Guest Stars: Pa...
» 23. Graeme's Computer
» 24. Monty Python Re...
» 25. Targets: Eddie ...
» 26. Memorable Animals
A COLLECTION OF GOODIES THEMES #19
(by Brett Allender)
BILL & GRAEME IN DRAG
While Tim became quite renowned for playing female characters right from the very first series of The Goodies (and playing them extremely convincingly for that matter!), Bill and Graeme also had the opportunity to drag up in a variety of episodes, particularly in the latter series. There was usually a somewhat ridiculous air about these characters with Graeme sporting his "fuzzy chops" sideburns and Bill having a fully-fledged beard, but the facial hair and lack of femininity gave their fellow Goodies ample opportunity to poke fun at them for it, adding to the enjoyment of the show.
Bill and Graeme's drag performances in the first couple of series are generally group efforts with Tim, with all three Goodies donning ballroom dancing gear as Peaches Stiletto's "girls" in the dance-off with Delia Capone's boys in 'Come Dancing' and then appearing as "Pan's Grannies" in the 'A Collection Of Goodies' special. In one of his interviews for the Clarion & Globe, Tim mentioned that "Some (of the segments initially recorded for Engelbert and later used in this special) were parodies. e.g. WE were Pan's Grannies'. The regular, all girl, 'coo er' dancers on Top of the Pops were called Pan's People and we did a Granny version."
However Series 3 contains the first proper drag roles for both Bill and Graeme, starting with Bill in 'That Old Black Magic'. Graeme has flipped out and is using his new-found magic powers for evil purposes by selling his soul to the Sunday papers. Tim and Bill go to a dark and rather creepy Clapham Common and interrupt Graeme's worship session, only for him to flee into a section of the woods that carries a large sign of "Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here" and a small sign of "Virgins Required".
Tim and Bill soon return dressed as virgins in white robes and long flowing blonde hair, and prepare to enter Graeme's hideaway. Tim is concerned that his hair is a mess, prompting Bill to hiss: "For heavens sake, at this very moment Graeme's probably selling his soul to the devil, we're probably the only two people that can help him, and all you're worried about is your blasted hair!" T: "I'm sorry." B: "I should think so too! (changes tune and grabs at his own hair) Have you got a comb?" The two virgins then front up to Graeme who declares that they're "a bit ropey, but I s'pose you'll have to do", but his next remark to Tim of "Oh dear, can't you do something about that hair?!" starts Tim and Bill off arguing in their own voices, which really arouses Graeme's suspicions.
G: "Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Are you sure you're virgins?"
T & B: "Yes, sir."
G: (looking at Bill, incredulously) "But she's got a beard!"
T: "That's why she's a virgin!"
G: "Fair enough!"
Tim and Bill then have to endure Graeme's awful magic tricks ("I've seen Sooty do better!") before revealing their true identities when Graeme prepares to behead them as a sacrifice for his imminent summoning of the devil – none other than David Frost!
Graeme's first main drag role comes in 'Way Outward Bound' where the Goodies dress as schoolchildren to attend the Loch Jaw school of outdoor education, having failed to round up any actual schoolchildren to participate in the program at 25 quid commission per kid. While Bill and Tim reappear as young schoolboys, Graeme emerges in a tunic with his hair in long plaits and a hockey stick in hand, and soon draws the attention of Sergeant-Major Bullcock upon inspection at the school.
SMB: "Hello hello, what's this boy doing wearing a skirt? Are you kinky or something?" G (in a high-pitched voice) "No." SMB: "Oh, pity!" T (interjecting): "Please Sir, he's not a boy, he's a girl, Sir." SMB (bombastically): "He's a girl?!" G: "I'm a girl." SMB: "Well don't worry, we'll soon make a man of you!"
Graeme goes on to say that he doesn't want to play any nasty rough games because he's a "sweet, fragile, innocent schoolgirl" which practically causes a riotous stampede among the Sergeant-Major's offsiders, forcing Bullcock to aim his rifle at his henchmen and telling them to back off as "I saw her first!" Graeme's pleas of "Save me!" to the Sergeant-Major draw the response that he'll save her alright – "for later!" – and when the Matron starts taking down the particulars of her new students, Graeme has to admit to having the name of Amazing Gracie, much to his disgust, so as not to give the game away. This also leads to a splendidly catty exchange where Tim and Bill give their ages as being 12 and 14 respectively, but "Gracie's" claim of being 17 is rubbished by the others, with them claiming that she's a "fibber" and "doesn't even wear a bra yet!"
Gracie's main attribute of extremely stretchable plaits come in very handy during the brutally challenging assault course, with Tim and Bill being able to hang onto them for dear life at various stages, although apparently Bill seriously dislocated a finger during the filming of this sequence.
In 'Royal Command', the Goodies have to step in as replacements for the Royal family after the real Windsors have come to grief in their new TV show, The Amazing Tumbling Royals equestrian on ice, and are laid up in hospital. Tim appears as the Queen, frocked up in a powder blue dress with matching sensible hat, and asks Graeme: "Which one are you going to be?" Graeme comes into view wearing a military-style navy jacket and tie with a pale-coloured skirt below, and says: "Well I can't make my mind up. I can either be him (doing a Prince Philip walk with his hands behind his back) … or her (doing a bow-legged, thigh-slapping Princess Anne walk as if he was riding a horse) … or I could be a bit of both … (doing a very amusing combination).
T (unimpressed): "Yeah I think you could. But I think you should be her as long as you don't wear that hat. G (indignantly): "But one always wears this hat!" T: "I know, I've never liked it. Why can't you wear nice neat trim little hats like me?"
Once Bill has made an appearance; initially disguised as a corgi, then as "Young Him" wearing a crown with a large pair of ears attached to it, Tim bossily tells him: "Mind you, you must have a shave … (looks across at "Princess Anne") … both of you!". Then a little later, Queen Tim is horrified and deeply displeased with the wooden dummy that is supposed to be 'her' husband; drawing the following haughty response from "Princess Anne" who is dressed in a rather hot-looking outfit: "Begging one's pardon, one does not seem to appreciate the logistical problem, Timbo me ol' sovereign. I mean, there's only three of us and four of them and I've been up all night knocking up that duke and I'd appreciate a little bit of gratitude!" which only gets an even more displeased bark of "Silence!" from a huffy Tim.
In readiness for the coronation rerun, Queen Tim is also unhappy with the riding gear-style outfit that Graeme is wearing, complaining that he won't be allowed into Westminster Abbey dressed like that. This brings out another haughty horsey response from Graeme that could well have come from Princess Anne herself with a little imagination: "See if one cares! Look, one's got an Olympic trial this afternoon at 3 o'clock and one is jolly well not going to miss it. One was not consulted when they they fixed up this beastly coronation, so stuff them!"
In "Earthanasia", Bill plays the role of Tim's Mum during Graeme's hypnotherapy session by simply wrapping his head in a shawl, with a more elaborate drag act not being necessary given the strength of the verbal script. Bill uses a semi-feminine northern-accented voice and demands: "When are you going to leave that posh school 'ey, and get yourself a proper man's job down t'pit!" only for Tim to wimpily reply that he want to "be a hair artiste and become a credit to Brooke-Taylors"." B (annoyed): "Taylors lad, Taylors! That's t' family name! Don't give me any of your Brooke hyphen airy-fairy airs and graces, I mean, honestly that a son of mine could have turned out to be such a flaxen-haired, namby-pamby, niminy-piminy … oooh!"
Far from this therapy helping to cure Tim's belly button phobia, it only makes matters even worse when "Tim's Mum" starts bawling when he reveals that he doesn't want her to attend the Belly Button Sunday parade because he's ashamed of her. Graeme feels some pangs of guilt and calls out: "Stop it, stop it! Tim, that's not really your mother, it's Bill playing an irresponsible prank. Wake up, Tim, Tim, is that anything like your real mother?" (Tim looks at Bill, who peeks out from the shawl with a silly look on his face) T (upset):"Yes it is, it's just like her!" B (shocked): "Eee!" T: "The voice, the clothes, but above all, the beard! It was the beard that really used to shame me. All the lads used to pass remarks like: 'Hey Curly Tops … whose Mum's got jowl-to-jowl carpeting!' My young life was misery." Despite Bill's profuse apologies, Tim still laments: "It's not my fault I didn't grow up big tough and hairy like my Mum!"
The episode 'Politics' is memorable for two superb drag performances by Tim as Margaret Thatcher and then Timita, but it also contains an amusing one by Bill as well. With ad man Graeme speaking to "Maggie" about having to shake hands with grotty, scruffy, common workers as an essential part of campaining, Bill enters Graeme's office right on cue in a long-haired wig, glasses, a brown jacket and dress, while having a great deal of trouble staying upright on a pair of stilts. G (puzzled): "Bill?!" B: "Oh no … Vanessa. Kindly address me as Vanessa." G (still puzzled): "Vanessa?!" B: "Yeah, that's right. I am the leader of The Worker's Revolutionary Party (points to the badge on his jacket) … not just *A* Worker's Revolutionary Party; but *THE* Worker's Revolutionary Party!" T (unimpressed with the acronym): "TWERP!" G: "Fair enough!" T: "You don't look a bit like Vanessa Redgrave!" B (indignantly): "Oh yes I do! A bit … that bit (bares his knee) and that bit (grabs his hair) … just haven't got the height for it, that's all!" G: "You're nothing like Vanessa. You don't make a very good woman!" B: "Well neither does she! (grins) G: "Vanessa Redgrave does *not* have a beard!" B: "She would if she could! Anyway the fact remains, I'm standing against you, with difficulty I admit (ad-libbing brilliantly as he almost topples off his stilts!), but still, I want you, Graeme, to sell me to the nation."
"Vanessa's" policies, as outlined to a thoroughly bored Graeme, include selling the Queen to Disneyland, disbanding the army and buying a white flag, abolishing all things posh (especially ties), making at least one film a year with Jane Fonda and getting the chance to turn down an Oscar. After Graeme wakes up again he refutes "Vanessa's" statement that "the whole point of planning a campaign is to talk politics!" with a wary "Well I don't think you've got that right! No, puts them right off. If you want to get into Parliament, I should steer well clear of politics!". Bill is appalled with this notion; grumbling "This cynical display of manipulative marketeering sickens and disgusts me! I'm going to retire from serious political life. I'm gonna burn my stilts!" and departs in a huff, only to reappear later as Leftist Loony Party candidate Che.
Graeme has two very different but quite stunning drag roles in 'Saturday Night Grease'; firstly after he makes the suggestion to Tim that they should all go out dancing together seeing as Tim keeps getting thrown out of discos when he tries to enter them on his own. Tim rocks up in a Travolta-like white suit and black shirt, but then starts complaining that Bill (dressed in a tux with massively long tails and wearing shoes with taps on them) isn't taking things seriously, only for Graeme to come striding out and chide "Bill, take it seriously!" Graeme's message is somewhat lost though as he is decked out in a fancy frilly pink dress and extravagant hat; prompting an incredulous Tim to utter: "Graeme, why are you dressed as a woman?!", to which the reply came: "What?! Three fellas going out dancing together! People would stare at us!"
The dolled-up Graeme takes some time to teach Tim how to dance while Bill goes out to start up a disco of his own, but not before a parting shot from Bill of "Woooah, whaddya wanna bother with Livvy for when you've got him, hey?! (spots Graeme's exposed legs) Look at those. Oh Bandy!" before Tim kicks him out the door. With Tim only knowing how to do the not-so-trendy Twist, Graeme expertly teaches him the imaginitive steps of the Disco Heave. When Graeme asks a now hyped-up and amorous Tim if he knows what to do next, Tim replies: "I hold her close, I gaze into her eyes and say 'Dinkum, dinkum, dinkum. Speak to me in Aussie, you cheeky little jumbuck!" G (horrified): You smutty pervert! Bill was right. Once and for all, I'm hear to teach you dancing, not snogging!" T (also horrified): "Don't use that word, it's ugly!" G: "So! Snogging. Snnnogging … with Aussie trrrollops! [eeeww, bleaah etc] You have no scruples. I am not teaching you!" T (suspiciously): "No you're not teaching me; you're sending me up, right?", to which Graeme flashes a rather cheeky grin in agreement.
Later in this episode, Bill's Mixed Dancing contest looks like being an inglorious flop as no couples are daring enough to take part and his own attempt to rustle up some mixed dancing with an unwilling lady participant comes to a painful and score-free end despite a wonderful Exploding Pasadoble / Boney M combination as the third sequence. However there is a late entry from Tim Revolta (fresh from the clink and complete with straightjacket and ball & chain!) and the ravishing Olivia Newton-Grayboots, whose rickety high heels and extra tight jeans ensure a long and tortured journey down the multi-layered dance floor to meet up with her man for a winning mixed dance to "You're The One That I Want". A disgusted Bill soon ensures that the prizemoney doesn't get distributed by dewigging Graeme, causing the distinguished panel of judges to faint in shock, but soon everyone in the room is indulging in mixed dancing until the boys in blue arrive and the dancing moves out onto the streets. This was also probably Graeme's most convincing drag role because the long permed wig covered up his otherwise prominent sideburns!
The final series on LWT contains a few instances where all three Goodies dragged up, such as an appearance in tutus for 'Football Crazy' and some wacky pantomime characters in 'Snow White 2', most notably Graeme as one of Cinderella's Ugly Sisters sporting an enormous pair of knockers in the opening sequence. The main instance of dragging up however is by Bill in 'Robot' where after being fired and replaced by a baby robot, he returns as a nanny when Tim and Graeme are looking for someone to take care of the demanding baby robot so that they can have a break.
Tim eagerly casts his eye over the bevy of beauties that have come to the office to apply for the au-pair position until he spots the hideous "Helga from Sweden" - Bill with beard intact and a blond wig, makeup, white fur stole, pink top, mini skirt, knee-length white boots and an enormous pair of cone-shaped knockers! Tim firstly goes "Ugghh! What's that?!" (cracking Bill up with laughter in the process), then hastily comments "Oh don't worry dear, I'm sure you've got a beautiful mind!" Graeme is unimpressed with Tim having "naughty thoughts" over the hiring of a pretty girl and says "Well as you are now obviously so set on having an au-pair, I suggest you choose the ugliest one." T: "Why?" G: "Well it's a well-known rule of life – never have a pretty au-pair, it always causes trouble."
Tim takes heed of Graeme's advice and chooses of the "naff old tart on the end" - a pretty girl at the other end of the queue to Helga - and desperately tries to make out that she looks like a "duff old boiler" in a bid to get Graeme to hire her. However Graeme is having none of it, and grumbles: "All right, as you're obviously not to be trusted, I shall choose … (looks in Helga's direction) … and I choose THAT!"
Bill sees this nanny role of Helga as the ideal opportunity for taking revenge on Tim and Graeme for firing him by getting rid of the baby robot, however he is constantly thwarted because the baby robot not only gets the better of him in various playground situations, but Graeme has also secretly programmed the robot to always return home, despite Helga's best attempts to abandon it at the scrap metal yard. This leads to Tim repeatedly spanking Helga's frilly-clad bottom over his knee while uttering: "Helga you're a very, very naughty girl and must take greater care of the robot ... (smiles and continues spanking) ... botty, botty, botty ...!" Graeme then crossly intervenes: "Oh, stop that at once! Helga, I said stop that! You're wilfully arousing Mr Tim! Yes I know your type - coming over here breaking up respectable families, flaunting your frillies, tantalizing vulnerable old men who should be past that sort of thing!" By this stage Helga has lost her Swedish accent and replies "Don't worry, he is!" in Bill's voice, and she probably gets her ultimate revenge when the robot grows long hair and a beard and starts blaring "Funky Gibbon" through its speakers, causing a horrified Tim and Graeme to lament that it has turned out to be just like Bill!
Bill and Graeme's female characters may not have been glamourous, sexy or even particularly convincing given the amount of facial fungus they sported, but they were certainly good fun and added some laughs to each of the storylines.
2/8 Come Dancing
Peaches "girls" in action
Special: A Collection Of Goodies
3/4 That Old Black Magic
Tim and Bill as virgins
3/6 Way Outward Bound
Graeme as Amazing Gracie
7/5 Royal Command
Graeme as the haughty horsey Princess Anne
Bill as Tim's mum in Graeme's hypnotherapy session
Bill as Vanessa Redgrave representing TWRP
8/2 Saturday Night Grease
What? Three fellas going out dancing together? People would stare at us!
Olivia Newton Grayboots on the dancefloor
Ugggh, what's that?!
"My name is Helga. I am coming from Shveden."
Flaunting the frillies and wilfully arousing Mr Tim!
9/2 Football Crazy
Representing Cricklewood in the ballet is tutu much like hard work!