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* THE GOODIES FAN CLUB CLARION AND GLOBE *
* THE OFFICIAL NEWSLETTER OF 'THE GOODIES RULE - OK!' *
SPECIAL EDITION: 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF "THE GOODIES" 15th December 2010
Newsletter enquiries: email@example.com
General enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
'The Goodies Rule - OK!'
P.O. Box 492
Rosanna VIC 3084, AUSTRALIA
THE LADS AND LASSES OF THE C&G
- Brett Allender <email@example.com>
- Lisa Manekofsky
- Andrew Pixley, Kirri Liepens, Isabell Olevall, Linda Southern, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden, Jayne Brewster-Beard, Ben Tumney
2. MEDIA ARTICLES
3. ANNIVERSARY WEEKEND REPORTS
4. GOODIES PICNIC REPORTS
5. MESSAGES TO THE GOODIES
6. A MESSAGE FROM GRAEME
Welcome to this special edition of the C&G which covers all of the news from the three celebratory events held during November to mark the 40th Anniversary of the screening of the first series of "The Goodies" on the BBC in 1970. These events were the Goodies Gathering in Manchester on 6th Nov, the Goodies 40th Anniversary function in Bristol on 7th Nov and the Goodies Picnic in Melbourne on 21st Nov. Each event celebrated the wonderful success of The Goodies in their own particular style, which our various correspondents have endeavoured to describe for you in their reports. The website version of this newsletter at http://www.goodiesruleok.com/articles.php?id=193&page=1 also contains photo galleries from each of the three events for your enjoyment:
2. MEDIA ARTICLES
(Lisa Manekofsky – 9th Nov)
An article appears in The Daily Telegraph (and on their website) today mentioning last evening's event in Bristol and the release of the new DVDs. Strangely, it claims this is the Goodies first public performance in 25 years - guess they weren't among the 3.3 million people who watched the "Return of The Goodies" special in 2005 (which is being repeated on BBC Two this Saturday night)...
The Goodies give their first public performance for 25 years
The Seventies comedy trio The Goodies reunited for their first public performance for 25 years yesterday.
By Laura Roberts
Published: 7:30AM GMT 08 Nov 2010
Bill Oddie, Graeme Garden and Tim Brooke Taylor appeared at The Watershed in Bristol to mark the anniversary of their debut series which first aired 40 years ago on November 7.
The three comedians will also perform at the Slapstick silent comedy gala in January.
They rose to prominence with BBC2's The Goodies in the 70's and have also re-released their 1975 classic hit The Funky Gibbon to raise money for the International Primate Protection League.
To celebrate the 40th anniversary, they are releasing a DVD, At Last, Back For More, Again, which features eight of the best episodes. The Goodies' classic ode to the ape The Funky Gibbon is to be relaunched to raise cash to help protect the primate
BRISTOL EVENING POST #1
(Lisa Manekofsky – 9th Nov)
The following article appears in today's edition of The Bristol Evening Post:
Goodies back with a prize on their 40th birthday
They're back and they're funny - the Goodies return to Bristol for their 40th Anniversary Show
Cult 1970s comedy trio The Goodies were reunited on Sunday for the launch of a comedy festival and received a lifetime achievement award - exactly 40 years to the day since their screen debut.
Funnymen Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie were in Bristol ahead of the Slapstick silent comedy gala, where they will be performing live in January.
They were handed a custom-made award by Aardman model-makers, designers of Wallace and Gromit, which is based on the company's own silent comedy genius Morph.
The three comedians, who rose to prominence with BBC2's The Goodies in the 70's, have also re-released their 1975 classic hit The Funky Gibbon to raise money for the International Primate Protection League. And they were handed the Aardman Slapstick Award for Visual Comedy Excellence.
Graeme said: ''It's fun getting back together. We never really lost touch. To be back together promoting The Goodies is quite interesting."
BRISTOL EVENING POST #2
(Lisa Manekofsky – 12th Nov)
Comedy trio The Goodies were reunited on stage in Bristol
By John Houseman
COMEDY trio The Goodies were reunited on stage in Bristol to launch a festival and receive a lifetime achievement award.
Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie were in the city exactly 40 years to the day since making their screen debut in 1970.
They were helping to launch the Slapstick Comedy Festival, where they will be performing live in January.
The Goodies, whose show of the same name was watched by millions on BBC and later ITV in the 1970s and 80s, have also re-released their 1975 novelty hit The Funky Gibbon to raise money for the International Primate Protection League.
At the launch event they were handed the Aardman Slapstick Award for Visual Comedy Excellence by festival organiser Chris Daniels.
The award was a custom-made figure of Aardman's animated slapstick character Morph, made by the company's model-makers.
Mr Daniels said: "For more than a decade these three people produced pioneering satirical, intelligent and downright silly comedy in a golden age of British comedy.
"It is an honour to present these iconic figures of British comedy with the award, which is fully deserved on the 40th anniversary of their television debut."
Mr Garden said: "It's fun getting back together. We never really lost touch. Tim and I worked together on radio but to be back together promoting The Goodies thing again is quite interesting."
Mr Oddie said: "It's one of the great mysteries of all time, along with the pyramids of Egypt - why didn't The Goodies ever get repeated by the BBC?
"We genuinely don't know. Many people have asked but it's great to be back together."
In their 12 years together, The Goodies rediscovered the Lost Island of Munga, represented the UK in the Winter Olympics, started Britain's space programme and blew up the BBC.
First appearing on our screens in November 1970, the trio were prime-time mainstays for the next decade and were the fifth biggest-grossing pop act of 1975.
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 TV conventions were upended and every silent-movie gag in history lovingly re-created.
Mr Garden and Mr Brooke-Taylor appear as regular panellists on BBC Radio 4 game show I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, while Mr Oddie has carved a career as a wildlife presenter.
To celebrate the 40th anniversary, a Goodies DVD - At Last, Back For More, Again, which features eight of the best episodes - is being released.
Fans travelled from around the world to see the reunion on Sunday night.
Self-proclaimed "superfan" Lisa Manekofsky travelled all the way from Rhode Island in the US to see the performance.
She said: "I absolutely love them and it was so good to see them perform together.
"I was starting to think I never would so when I heard tickets were going on sale I knew I had to come down as it may be the last chance."
Linda Southern, 35, from Dublin, Ireland said: "As soon as I heard they were performing I was on the phone with my credit card at 9am. I'm 35 years old and I feel like a teenager at a Boyzone concert - I'm so excited.
"I saw Tim and Graeme as part of the I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue radio show but to see Bill Oddie on stage with them as part of the trio is just fantastic."
(Lisa Manekofsky – 23rd Nov)
I recommend reading the article online as it contains several photos of The Goodies from their LWT-era.
Has the BBC got a grudge against the Goodies?
By Vincent Graff
Last updated at 8:21 AM on 22nd November 2010
The Goodies were very nearly not The Goodies at all.
When Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie, three friends from Cambridge University, landed themselves a TV series - a comedy programme that was to run for 12 years and reach 15 million viewers at its peak - the name they initially chose was 'The Super Chaps Three'.
Four decades on, they're still not sure that they made the right choice
There have been plenty of times down the years we've regretted being The Goodies, haven't there?' says Bill.
'Too much like goody-goodies,' agrees Tim.
'The Super Chaps Three was a bit embarrassing then. But it would probably be all right now,' says Graeme.
Back then, the three men were in their late 20s, with shaggy hair, too much corduroy and sideburns that, in Garden's case, would've been large enough to darn a hole in his flared trousers.
Today — to mark the 40th anniversary of the first Goodies TV show and also the re-release of their comedy record The Funky Gibbon - all three of the super chaps are sipping sparkling water in a private members' club in London's West End and swapping stories about the good old days of the Goodies.
They're instantly recognisable: Oddie, 69, still has the scruffy student beard; Brooke-Taylor, also 69, has retained the manner and looks of a rural bank manager; and 67-year-old Garden continues to quietly supply the knowing asides.
They may now all be pensioners - and two are rather less trim than they were - but you don't need a Union Jack waistcoat to announce that The Goodies are in town.
The relationship between them is curious. They worked incredibly closely for more than a decade but have done very little as a threesome since the last Goodies show was broadcast in 1982.
Brooke-Taylor and Garden know each other best (they're both regulars on Radio 4's panel show I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue) but neither of them sees much of Oddie, whose career took him in a different direction, as a presenter of wildlife programmes, and who has had a tough time struggling with depression (though he's now very settled and happy).
When they're not working together, they don't keep in touch.
There are no Christmas or birthday cards. Yet there is an obvious residual warmth when they get together.
Even after all this time, they continually finish sentences for each other. Oddie, who played the scruffy oik on screen, makes fun of Garden's public school education.
Garden says: 'Yeah, Bill is the grumpy one.' Brooke-Taylor, acknowledging that Oddie is no longer clinically depressed, chips in: 'The difference is that we can say that now.'
It's like bumping into three people who used to be married to each other, decades after an amicable split-up. Because the end of The Goodies, when it came, was totally without sourness.
'We get on surprisingly well,' says Tim, 'because we never actually broke up.' There's no doubt in my mind that he's telling the truth: you have only to watch their body language to know it.
The Goodies was a bizarre show. 'The brief that we offered to the BBC was three blokes who'd do anything, anytime, anywhere,' says Garden. 'We were trying to leave as many options open as possible.'
That, perhaps, is an understatement. The only thing set in stone was the three of them, living together, in their futuristic-looking apartment, at 'no fixed abode, Cricklewood'.
The result was uniquely surreal. Is there anyone aged over 40 who cannot summon up the image of a giant kitten tearing down the Post Office Tower (as was) or of an oversized Dougal crushing everyone in his path?
But The Goodies was more than Tom and Jerry slapstick, it also offered a cheeky, satirical take on 1970s Britain.
The show was huge: at the peak of their fame, long before anyone had thought to declare that comedy was the new rock 'n' roll, the police had to keep adoring mobs at bay during filming.
In the late Seventies, they even had an approach from Steven Spielberg about making a film together (though sadly the idea came to nothing).
Of course a comedy programme with such a high profile was bound to catch the attentions of Mary Whitehouse. And indeed it did.
'She sent us a telegram after the first series saying that it was "good clean fun",' says Oddie. Disaster. So they wrote an episode whose sole aim was to annoy the morality campaigner.
It featured Beryl Reid as 'Desiree Carthorse', who wanted The Goodies to make a not-at-all-rude film about the facts of life, entitled 'How to Make Babies by Doing Dirty Things'.
Alas, Whitehouse either did not see the Desiree Carthorse episode, or was not offended by it, says Oddie.
It was a further nine years before Whitehouse would take against the programme — 'when I wore a picture of a carrot on my underpants,' says Brooke-Taylor, with evident relief.
That said, some of the shows would cause a huge commotion if they were broadcast now.
One, from 1973, is a brilliant pastiche of the arbitrary cruelty of the South African regime of the time. In the show, the Pretoria government decides to impose a new policy of 'apart height' in which the victims are not black people but short people.
It's very amusing and cleverly written. But it is quite shocking now to hear Bill Oddie and Tim BrookeTaylor repeatedly use, without irony, a racist term of abuse: a hyphenated variation of the n-word that today could never be broadcast (or indeed repeated here).
'I think we were being casually racist - and almost everybody was in those days,' says Garden candidly. 'The word would slip out.'
Bizarrely, the BBC initially refused to broadcast the show, not because of the racist language but because they felt it was unfair to the South African police force, who were portrayed as violent and, well, racist.
And another surprise: the comedy team prepared to use this language was so opposed to apartheid that they made a point of banning the sale of any their programmes to South Africa.
Given The Goodies' extraordinary success, presumably BBC TV is making a huge fuss about the show's 40th anniversary. A re-run of some of the best shows? A chance to see a whole series?
Er, not quite. BBC2 dusted off a five-year-old documentary. But apart from that, zilch. In fact, the Corporation has never shown repeats. All three Goodies are mighty peeved about it. So why are they being ignored?
No idea, say The Goodies. Garden remarks: 'A few weeks ago, a viewer wrote in to Points Of View to ask if the BBC was going to show a series to mark the 40th anniversary. A BBC commissioning person replied that, no, they wouldn't be doing that because, on the whole, they don't want their programmes to be nostalgic.'
He adds pointedly: 'So I thought: "Oh they're not going to give us the Dad's Army slot on Saturday night then?"
'Then the BBC man said: "It is worth remembering that The Goodies' final series was recorded by London Weekend Television in 1982"'
It is true that just before the end of their TV run, the threesome left the BBC for ITV. 'It's an extraordinary thing to mention,' says Oddie. 'Has the BBC been bearing a grudge for 30 years?'
'We've never known the real reason they won't show us, because whenever we've asked about repeats we've been given a different story,' says Garden.
Oddie chips in: 'I think it must be a question they ask new controllers at interview: "Would you ever repeat The Goodies?" Yes? I'm sorry you can't have the job.'
Though they're joking, it's clear that they're pretty angry with the BBC. After all, Morecambe and Wise went to ITV, but their repeats still regularly pop up on the Beeb.
'We are cross,' says Tim. The programmes are still regularly aired in Australia 'and the show is still massive, over all ages. So we do know that it still appeals. That's what's frustrating. If they showed a few and people said "that's rubbish", we'd accept that. It's the fact that it's not given the chance.'
It's a relaxed, middle-class rage. The three seem quite settled in their lives and happy to leave old-fashioned anger to?.?.?.? well, angry young men.
There are niggles. Not just the missing repeat fees. They get irritated when people call The Goodies a children's show. Kids imitate Vicky Pollard in the playground, says Brooke-Taylor, 'but you wouldn't call Little Britain a children's show, would you?'
They get annoyed, too, by constant comparisons with Monty Python (John Cleese, Eric Idle and Graham Chapman were all Cambridge contemporaries).
But mostly they feel content with what they've done and what they'll leave behind when they're gone. And they've every right to. So how have they changed?
Oddie doesn't like the fact that his belly is bigger now. He says his delivery on TV is slower and quieter.
'I've got a bit more confidence,' says Brooke-Taylor. He found performing tough in the 1970s, now it comes more naturally. Though there are limits to his self-assuredness.
'Even now I'm still not any good at sending food back at restaurants. And I don't like the phone. Ringing people up and asking for things.'
Suddenly, the reunion is over. The three men, with a DVD to publicise, have seen a fair bit of each other recently. But now the publicity machine is coming to a halt. They've finished with me and it's time for them to go their separate ways.
I stay behind for a final few words with Oddie, who tells me about his project: the re-release of The Funky Gibbon, in aid of the International Primate Protection League, an animal charity tasked with protecting the gibbon, whose numbers have plummeted over the past 50 years.
Meanwhile, Garden heads for his taxi. 'Is that it for the rest of our lives?' asks Oddie plaintively.
A grin crosses his old pal's face. 'Yep. The last time,' says Garden. 'Enjoy the rest of your life.'
3. ANNIVERSARY WEEKEND REPORTS
THE GOODIES' 40TH ANNIVERSARY WEEKEND REPORT #1
by Andrew Pixley
Having had the good fortune and opportunity to attend both of the UK-based celebratory events for The Goodies at the start of November, I felt that I should really find some time to write up a quick report for the Clarion & Globe and its readers. Fundamentally, it was a wonderful couple of days venerating forty years of this amazing programme at two very different sorts of celebrations. First of all was the Goodies Gathering up at the Lass O'Gowrie pub in Manchester. This was a very intimate little event staged in a room above the bar and organised by Helen and Clair, with assistance from Gareth, one of the proprietors of the premises. On display were the amazingly vast array of messages from around the world sent to the Goodies, lovingly assembled by Jenny in her massively impressive anniversary cards. About a dozen or so attendees relished a sing-along screening of The Goodies – Almost Live and a celebratory montage of moments from the show in the morning, after which everyone adjourned for some of the Lass' excellent culinary delights ... during which guest of honour Tim Brooke-Taylor arrived to chat to those assembled in the pub's snug.
The afternoon programme began back in the upstairs room with Tim engaging in an excellent interview on the "stage" with Clair who made a highly effective interviewer; as always, he was warm, enthusiastic and entertaining. The rest of the day was then filled with a bit of chat and the screening of some Goodies obscurities about which Tim then commented on, as well as just talking with whoever happened to be around about various diverse subjects. There was also a screening of the episode Politics from 1980 which was intended to have been an exercise in commentary work for Tim and those assembled ... but all those watching seemed to get drawn in with the quick-fire satire on the 1979 election (Snaatchi and Snaatchi indeed!). Stevie Rigsby – the legendary song-smith of the Goodies Podcasts – delivered a tuneful celebration of the anniversary, the specially commissioned cake was cut by Tim and consumed by all, and soon after darkness fell a happy group of people went their separate ways out into the Manchester night ... all delighted by such a wonderful opportunity to spend the afternoon celebrating The Goodies with one of the Goodies themselves. It was also a terrific chance to have a proper chat with some of the other enthusiastic fans of the series only previously encountered via cyberspace forums.
Although the audience for the Bristol Slapstick event The Goodies 40th Anniversary the following day was nearer 200 people in scale, it retained the warmth, passion and affection for The Goodies displayed the previous day up in Manchester. Slapstick's Chris Daniels had organised a brilliant couple of hours of entertainment, with the focus being on the chat between Graeme, Tim and Bill and popular culture guru Sir Christopher Frayling; the interviewer demonstrated a real understanding of why The Goodies was such a special television series throughout the extremely entertaining discussion. Bill's remix of The Funky Gibbon was promoted with a snatch of the specially recorded video, and there were messages of celebration beamed to the big screen from the likes of Broaden Your Mind cohort Michael Palin, former safari park attraction Tony Blackburn, dancing hustler and comedy legend June Whitfield, comedy historian and Goodies officianado Robert Ross, Clue chum and voice-over wonder Barry Cryer (who sent himself up wickedly) and also Jim Franklin, whose ingenuity and skill brought so many of the classic episodes to the screen in his capacity as producer or director. Each of the Goodies also chose a special moment to screen as the chat wrapped up; Graeme selected the educational (!) film from Gender Education, Bill plumped for Tim's furtive journey to the scout hut from Scoutrageous, while Tim's offering was Graeme's amazing muppet routine from Earthanasia. Throughout the whole two hours, it was an utter delight to see the trio on stage together chatting, interrupting, joking, quipping, bantering ... and clearly being very happy and touched at seeing their work being celebrated in such a manner. Chris' event really hit the spot, with strong sales of the new Network DVD and box set, and the trio making the attendees even happier by signing sleeves as a fitting memento of a wonderful afternoon.
A big "thank you" to everyone involved in two excellent tributes to a very special slice of silliness!
THE GOODIES' 40TH ANNIVERSARY WEEKEND REPORT #2
by Lisa Manekofsky
Early November 2010 was a great time to be a Goodies fan; I was fortunate enough to be in England to attend two very different but equally special events.
Tim, Graeme & Bill were all over the UK airwaves that week, promoting the DVDs that were to be released on November 8th. The trio did a number of radio interviews in addition to appearing on BBC television's "The One Show" on Thursday, 4 November. The TV appearance culminated with Tim riding off solo on the trandem while Graeme & Bill grinned and waved. Graeme & Bill did a number of radio interviews the next day (Friday), during which they said that they didn't know where Tim was; when they learned he'd be in Manchester for a fan event the following day they were delighted at the idea that he hadn't joined them as he'd been pedaling the trandem from London to Manchester all day Friday.
Saturday, 6 November arrived at last, with a small but enthusiastic group of Goodies fans gathering at the Lass O'Gowrie pub in Manchester for the fan-organized Goodies 40th Anniversary Party. I was delighted to see some friends again and to meet others, who I knew from the fan sites, in person for the first time. I wasn't the only attendee from overseas - in addition to my having traveled from the US, we were also joined by Linda from Ireland and Isabell from Sweden.
The fun started right away. The attendees were provided with programmes and what could truly be called Goody bags; the latter included specially made Goodies badges and postcards (one featuring an original sketch Graeme had made for the occasion), Goody finger puppets, a piece of string (everybody loves string!), balloons, and lemon sherbet. A photo of the Goody bag contents, as well as other images and videos from the day, are on the event's website - http://goodiesparty.wordpress.com/ After we'd admired the contents of our Goody bags the episode "The Goodies - Almost Live" was screened so that we could have a group sing-a-long; lyrics to most of the songs were included in the program (for those that didn't already know them).
Next on the agenda was a Goodies highlights video which had been created for the event. Since on that date there was still no hint the BBC was going to air any Goodies repeats for the 40th anniversary you can imagine our delight when the highlights video included the clip (from the episode "Gender Education") of BBC Television Centre being blown up - there was a rousing cheer from the attendees (followed by much laughter).
[For our lunch break everyone decided to go downstairs to take advantage of the Lass O'Gowrie's offerings (they certainly provide generous portions!). About half the attendees wound up in a small private room that the pub had set aside for our group. Due to the lunch rush was a delay in getting our meals; as the organizers were aware of the situation they assured us that we shouldn't worry, they'd just delay starting the second half of the day until everyone had eaten. This turned into a lucky break, as Tim Brooke-Taylor arrived during this time (I assume by car, but I didn't think to check whether a trandem was parked round back ;) Since it would be at least half an hour until everyone had their meals Tim joined us while the last people were served; it was lovely just to sit around in a casual setting, having a relaxed chat.
After lunch we moved back upstairs, with Tim doing a question & answer session. Kudos to Clair for her role as quiz master - many of us were surprised to learn afterwards that it was her first time doing it, as she handled the task so well. When Tim's Q&A finished he joined the attendees for the rest of the day's programme.
Kaleidoscope Publishing had gone to great efforts to print a batch of Andrew Pixley's new book, "The Goodies: Super Chaps Three" in time to bring copies to the event (two days before the official publication date). Simon Coward from Kaleidoscope took the stage to tell us a little about the book and Kaleidoscope itself, after which copies of the book were available for sale at a special price. After eagerly getting their copies there followed a brief period in which the attendees asked Andrew to sign his work. Tim also signed many of the books and other items fans had brought along.
As the day went on we were treated to a selection of rare Goodies-related footage, ably introduced by Andrew. Tim gave recollections about some items, but in many cases he seemed intrigued to see the footage again. After a while we took a break from the footage to make it a true birthday celebration - Tim was presented the special card created by Jenny_Gibbon, which was filled with anniversary wishes she had gathered via the fan sites, Facebook, email, and Twitter. This was followed by a birthday cake – Tim blew out the candles and everyone enjoyed a piece of cake while Stevie Rigsby treated us to a live performance of his Goodies birthday tune (with the audience, including Tim, joining in on the choruses).
As the day continued there was a raffle for several items provided by Graeme - an autographed copy of the "Hamish & Dougal" script book, an original doodle by Graeme (which had been reproduced on a postcard for all the attendees' Goody bags), and a postcard from The Goodies show at the World's Funniest Island festival in Australia last year which had been signed by Tim & Graeme.
An attempt was made at a group commentary on the "Politics" episode, though I think we fell into the trap of enjoying the episode too much to talk over it.
The day concluded with the taking of a group picture and thanks all round to the special guests, to the attendees who'd traveled to Manchester for the event, and to the organizers for staging such a wonderful day.
After all the fun of the Goodies 40th Birthday Party in Manchester on Saturday it was hard to believe there would be another fantastic event the following evening - the Goodies 40th Anniversary Special Event in Bristol, England. The event would consist of Sir Christopher Frayling conducting a discussion with the three Goodies and also of the trio receiving the award for Excellence In Visual Comedy from Aardman Animations and Bristol's Slapstick Festival.
I'd journeyed down from Manchester with several friends; in Bristol we met up with some others, including Andrew Pixley, his wife Julie, and Simon Coward from Kaleidoscope Publishing. In conjunction with the Goodies discussion & award presentation, that evening would be the launch of Andrew's book and the new Goodies DVDs from Network.
While waiting in line generally won't rank high in anyone's list of favorite things to do, I've often found it to be a fun experience when the line is full of other Goodies fans. As I waited in the queue to enter the theater I met a very nice woman named Pamela Beaupre and her daughter. Pamela mentioned she had worked at BBC Television Centre for about two years starting in September 1970 and, as a result, had attended some recordings of "The Goodies"; she also shared the fun piece of trivia that the car park from her college in Ealing, West London had large cat paws painted on it, left over from the filming of "Kitten Kong". Pamela very kindly sent me a scan of a ticket she'd kept from one of "The Goodies" first series recordings so that it could be shared with other fans.
Prior to entering the theater I was approached by Chris Daniels, from Bristol Silents, to ask if I'd speak with a wire services reporter who wanted to interview a Goodies fan; he seemed happy at the prospect of getting the fan club president who'd travelled over from America for the event. During my interview I made sure to mention the new DVDs; I also told him about the BBC Two repeat of the "Return of The Goodies" special which was coming up at the end of that week. The reporter was very interested in learning about the repeat but, unfortunately, the information didn't make it into the published story. As it happens, nothing I'd told him was used in the article - instead they mistakenly used a quote from someone else and attributed it to me! Oh well, at least I got a chance to plug the DVDs and "Return of The Goodies" repeat in a live interview for BBC Three Counties radio a few days later.
On to the event itself. Since a video of it is available online at http://www.dshed.net/goodies-conversation (thanks to everyone at the Watershed Theatre for that!), I'll just give some highlights. The evening began with Sir Christopher making brief opening remarks and then introducing the three Goodies, who joined him on stage. I was impressed with Sir Christopher as a host/interviewer - he was extremely well prepared and very likeable, which made him a good fit with Tim, Graeme, and Bill. As always, the chemistry between the three Goodies was a great joy to behold; they are obviously good friends who are comfortable kidding each other as well as laughing at themselves. The atmosphere was relaxed and full of merriment.
I've heard many Goodies Q&A's in the past, and while some stories are repeated I always come out learning something new. One particularly interesting part of this evening was that each Goody had been asked to choose a favorite scene to be screened; I couldn't imagine which ones they would pick. Graeme's choice was first - he explained that the show he, Tim, and Bill had done before the Goodies, "Broaden Your Mind" had consisted of sketches; in creating "The Goodies" they'd tried to set that same sort of humor into a thirty-minute story. The clip he'd chosen was the "How to Make Babies by Doing Dirty Things" film from the "Gender Education" episode - Graeme said it worked as a stand-along piece and was possibly the closest thing to a sketch in "The Goodies". Even before the clip started the audience had a good laugh when the on-screen title leading into it erroneously said "Graham's Choice" - as the lights were already lowered I wasn't able to see Graeme's reaction at the misspelling.
Bill went next. His choice, from "Scoutrageous" was chosen for the look of the scene. Bill explained that, due to tight filming schedules, the director didn't always have the luxury of taking time to beautifully light a scene as he'd done in this case - it was the sequence in which Tim was sneaking through the alleys, dressed in his mac and garbage bag hat, on his way to his secret scout meeting. Bill also commented that Tim was wonderful in this scene (joking that he usually didn't compliment Tim, which produced a humorous reaction from the latter - this was obviously an old joke between the friends).
Tim's choice was from "Earthanasia"; they showed the scene in which his character is trying to do the ironing while Graeme performs a serious of quick impressions of The Muppets; the clip ended with Tim hitting Graeme with the stove. At the conclusion Bill asked the audience to note that while he'd been complimentary to Tim with his choice of clip, he (Bill) didn't even appear in Tim's choice! Tim quickly explained that he'd actually chosen the sequence with Bill as his grandmamma ("Bellybutton Sunday") which just preceded the clip that had been shown, but it had been cut out for this screening.
The evening also included video tributes to the Goodies from friends and guest stars including Michael Palin, June Whitfield, Tony Blackburn, Robert Ross, Jim Franklin, and Barry Cryer.
After about an hour of chatting and clips it was time for The Goodies to receive their award. Representatives from Aardman Animations and Bristol's Slapstick Festival came on stage to say what an easy choice it was to make The Goodies the next recipients of the award for Excellence In Visual Comedy. As they made their speeches images of the three statuettes were projected on the screen - each was of Aardman's Morph character transformed into one of the Goodies in their Ecky Thump mode, with giant flat hats, suspenders, and, of course, black puddings. It was apparent the statues were based on the publicity photo used for the event since Bill's statue sported a moustache but no beard.
While everyone was admiring the photos of the statues I had an additional reason to be pleased to see them - in Manchester the day before, Tim had been worried that the Goodies might receive only a certificate and not a statue; it was great to know he wasn't going to be disappointed. From the looks on their faces it was clear Tim, Graeme, and Bill were absolutely delighted with their charming awards; they each accepted the statue of their character and then proudly posed with them for an official photo, before retaking their seats. Bill quipped that it was too bad the statues didn't move or they could have been used to make a stop motion version of The Goodies - hopefully that gave Aardman some ideas for a potential future production! ;)
The official presentation concluded with the showing of a brief clip from Network's newly restored version of the "Goodies Rule - OK?" episode from the new DVD "The Goodies...At Last - Back for More, Again". Then the audience were invited to buy copies of the new DVDs (including the 40th Anniversary Box set) and Andrew Pixley's "The Goodies - Super Chaps Three" book from a table in the corner of the theatre. The crowd happily lined up to buy these items and then to have them, plus other pieces of Goodies memorabilia, signed by the obliging Tim, Graeme and Bill. Many people also found the modest Andrew Pixley seated near the merchandise table and had him sign their books as well.
It was a wonderful evening all around, with fans delighted at the opportunity of seeing their comedy heroes and The Goodies getting a well-deserved award in recognition of their work. Many thanks to everyone at Bristol Silents and Aardman Animations for organizing this truly special event to commemorate the 40th anniversary of The Goodies!
THE GOODIES' 40TH ANNIVERSARY WEEKEND REPORT #3
What I did on my holidays or Marking the 40th anniversary of The Goodies.
by Linda Southern; a travelling Goodies fan!
Just an overview of what we got up to in Manchester and Bristol. I am sure Andrew Pixley's review will be so much better then mine, but here we go!
Part 1 - Manchester: The Goodies 40th anniversary Goodies gathering.
In January 2010 I saw mentions of plans for a Goodies anniversary celebration start appearing on Goodies-related message boards and I hoped it was something I would be able to get over from Dublin to see. I was very pleased when Manchester was chosen to be the venue as it is a place I can easily fly to. Guests and events were organised and the Manchester gathering was set to go. The next thing big thing that happened was the announcement of the 3 Gooodies in conversation at Slapstick 2010 in Bristol the day after the Manchester gathering. I had never seen all 3 Goodies together before - could I make it? As it turned out after doing a bit of online research, a trip to both Manchester and Bristol on the same weekend was possible. With some help from the Watershed Cinema over where to stay in Bristol, I booked my tickets and a very busy Goodies weekend was organised.
The day of the Manchester gathering finally arrived. Despite being very tired after two people in the next room of my hotel were playing loud dance music until 3am the previous night, myself and my room mate Isabell made it to the venue; the Lass O'Gowrie pub , a bit earlier than we were meant to. We were let in by staff and helped to put up some bunting when my phobia of bursting balloons prevented me from blowing any up (don't ask!). As we were finishing, the other attendees of the gathering arrived and we got the chance to catch up with old friends and meet some new ones. We were also encouraged, if we hadn't e-mailed in our messages already, to leave a message on the three anniversary cards that were so excellently designed and made by Jenny Doyle.
The day's activities began with Helen, one of the organisers of the event, giving us a few words of welcome and she showed us some Goodies clips to get us warmed up for the day. We also had a singalong to the Goodies Almost Live episode. As well as that, Andrew Pixley brought along some clips of the Goodies in various TV shows such as Blue Peter , Star Turns and It's A Knockout to name but a few. We watched them throughout the day with Andrew introducing them. Very interesting to see them too.
We then broke for lunch. We had a snug in the bar reserved for us. We were very lucky to be joined by Tim Brooke-Taylor, who had just arrived and was the guest of honour at the event. It was really nice to be able to sit in a bar and talk to him ... Well, for us anyway; I can't speak for Tim :-)
After lunch, Tim was invited to take the stage by Helen and was expertly interviewed by Clair. I won't say too much about what he said as there are clips of this on YouTube! (links at the end of this article) Suffice it to say it was well worth listening to! We then watched some more of Andrew Pixley's clips and had a live interactive commentary on the goodies episode 'Politics'. There were more people watching it than doing a commentary on it, although I do have a recollection of Tim making a couple of comments and I did ask him a couple of questions. Later I found out that I am not the only one that thinks Tim is fantastic at perfoming in drag !
We were also addressed by Simon Coward from Kaleidoscope Publishing who published Andrew Pixley's book 'Super Chaps Three' After the last clips were shown, Tim was presented with and cut the anniversary cake. He was also presented with his card. We were serenaded by the brilliant Stevie Rigsby singing his tribute to the day that was in it– 'Happy Birthday to The Goodies'. Andrew's books were signed both by himself and Tim. That marked the end of the day, though I believe Tim introduced a comedy night at the pub, but sadly as I had an early start the next morning I didn't stay to see it.
YouTube clip links - Manchester:
Tim blowing out the candles on the anniversary cake :
Simon Coward talking about Kaleidoscope Publishing :
Stevie Rigsby singing Happy Birthday to The Goodies
Part 2 - Bristol : The Goodies in Conversation.
After a very early start, a delayed train journey and later getting lost in a taxi, I made it to catch up with my friends in Bristol.
The Goodies in Conversation was more formal than Tim's appearance in Manchester and the two events made a nice contrast to each other. Tim, Bill and Graeme were interviewed by Sir Christopher Frayling. He was a very good interviewer and was only overawed a couple of times by the banter between Tim, Graeme and Bill, in fact at one point he jokingly referred to the Goodies as being like unruly children :-)
It was a basically the story of The Goodies: how they came to meet up, how they went from Cambridge to The Goodies, what they did as Goodies making the TV show music, how the show was made and what influenced their work. Bill mentioned he might be going to sing but sadly he never did.
As this was the Slapstick Festival, they also spoke about The Goodies' visual comedy and the comedians that inspired it. They showed a clip of a Buster Keaton film 'Steamboat Bill Junior' including the part where the front of a barn fell on Keaton. The Goodies recreated this in their show 'The Movies' so they showed that clip as well. I have to say I was amazed by the Keaton clip - the first part of the clip was a hurricane destroying a hospital. Considering there was no CGI in Keaton's day(nor when The Goodies were making their shows either) it was amazing to think about how it was manually done. Also as part of this clip there was the scene in 'The Goodies and the Beanstalk' where the team are chased by geese and Tim gets hit on the head by a goose egg. There were also more movie references to be seen in that section of the clip too. Bill mentioned the amount of things that went into that shot with the geese that you would normally never see.
Various friends and admirers also paid tribute to The Goodies. From Michael Palin to June Whitfield via Robert Ross, Tony Blackburn, the Goodies producer/director Jim Franklin to Barry Cryer (who had a bad black eye with dark glasses and bandages). This caused debate between me and my friends as we wondered whether it was just made up for effect or had Barry really hurt himself!
They also allowed the Goodies to select their own favourite clips. Graeme's clip was 'How To Make Babies By Doing Dirty Things' from 'Gender Education' (on the caption introducing whose clip it was, Graeme's name was spelt 'Graham' much to the amusement of people in the room!) Graeme regards this as the closest to a sketch the Goodies ever did.
Bill's clip was Tim going to the scout den in 'Scoutrageous' (pity we didn't get to see Graeme's shorts!) as he regards it as one of his favourite shows because Tim's acting was so good (cue Tim pretending to have a heart attack !) although Bill has to get a joke insult in as well as a compliment!
Tim's choice was 'Earthanasia' - the part where Graeme and Tim are dicussing the Muppets dying when the human race dies and Graeme is doing his Muppet impressions with the clothes Tim was trying to iron. Tim liked it because it was a show that was set in one room and the writing had to be much stronger and character-driven than it had to be for the more visual comedy scenes.
After that, the Goodies took questions from the floor. The topics included the creation of Ecky Thump, the death of viewer Alex Mitchell during 'Kung Fu Kapers', whether the goodies prefer their performances on radio to those of TV, movie and TV effects, the reaction to the comments about The Goodies on the recent BBC TV show 'Points of View' (by the person who submitted the question to the show!) and why the Goodies never made movies, to name but a few.
At the end of the talk, Chris Daniels of the Slapstick Festival, Peter Lord and Dave Sprockston from Aardman Animation presented the Goodies with the Ecky Thump award for contribution to visual comedy. Tim described the award as very special and he thought he was going to cry.
After all that, there was also a massive signing session of The Goodies DVD box set, the new DVD on its own and Andrew Pixley's book. Bill and Graeme were also presented with their anniversary cards.
Thanks to all the people who made the weekend possible: the organisers in Manchester and Bristol, the Goodies themselves (Tim deserves an knighthood, never mind an OBE, for travelling to Manchester the day before the event in Bristol!) and all the friends I managed to catch up with for putting up with me :-)
THE GOODIES GATHERING, MANCHESTER
by Isabell Olevall
I visited a friend outside Manchester a few days before going in to the Goodies Gathering, and I think the one question I got from all her family and neighbours was "So do you go to a lot of these Goodies conventions?" (my friend introduced me by way of saying I was going to one). To which I replied that no, this is my very first one... But what a brilliant event it was, and how happy I am that I did decide to go!
I got to spend a fabulous day in the company of a bunch of fabulous Goodies fans, I got to meet Tim and get my vinyl single of Funky Gibbon signed (and thanks to Linda from Ireland the single travelled to Bristol the next day for Bill's & Graeme's signatures too), I got to chat with Andrew Pixley not only about his extraordinary book but about ISIRTA as well, I got to see clips I hadn't seen before - and all in all I had a whale of a time. Thank you to ALL who organised this and ALL who contributed to make it the great day that it was (none mentioned, none forgotten). I hope we get to do more fun days like this one :) Tim said to us all "see you for the 50th", but I think that's too long a wait!
4. GOODIES PICNIC – MELBOURNE – 21st NOVEMBER
Goodies Picnic Report #1
by Kirri Liepens
The Melbourne picnic couldn't have happened at a better time, taking place in the same month as The Goodies' 40th anniversary. St Kilda turned up the heat and gave us a day of gorgeous weather, which few had been expecting considering it had been raining heavily in the weeks leading up to it. Did someone tell them we were coming?
I flew down from Newcastle to host the event and it was a real pleasure to meet fellow fans and finally put faces to the names that I'd seen on GROK and elsewhere in the fan community. Brett put a lot of work into a quiz to end all quizzes, which had us all wracking our brains trying to remember obscure lines and plot points. I'd like to thank Brett at this point for putting together not just the quiz but the great prize packs, which contained such treats as signed posters and photographs and photocopies of original Goodies scripts. (I also donated a booby prize for the quiz, a Max Bygraves Christmas record which we almost destroyed but Kim Asher insisted on saving it!)
We also received black puddings made out of tyre rubber, which we waved over our heads as 'Black Pudding Bertha' played on the portable iPod speakers in our Disco Bilius area. Some attendees had gone to the effort of dressing up for the event and bringing props such as Nicholas Parsons masks, fake Bill beards and newspaper hats ("Turps for burps!"). As the day went on we all had a go at performing some of Tim's patriotic speeches to the tune of 'Land of Hope and Glory' and joined together in a sing-along to 'The Song of the Jollyrock Lighthouse'. The picnic culminated in a mass Eckythump battle - thank goodness that the grass was soft because there was a lot of dramatic Graeme-style falling going on!
Thanks to the Port Phillip Council for allowing us to have the picnic at the Catani Gardens in St Kilda - the park is one of my favourite places to visit in Melbourne and I hope we can all meet there again. I'd like to give special thanks to Tim and Graeme, who sent very kind messages to read out to the fans. It sure made everyone feel loved and we hope you know how much we love YOU! Finally, cheers to everyone who came along to the picnic and made it such a special day. As the event drew to a close we all expressed how much we'd love it if this became an annual tradition. Is it too early to start planning for next year?
Goodies Picnic Report #2
by Brett Allender
The Catani Gardens are like a little oasis in the big city of Melbourne with neat rows of tall palm trees, lush green grass and the sandy foreshore of St. Kilda beach visible across the access road on the southern side. Any fleeting comparisons with the Lost Island of Munga though are soon put paid to by the drone of cars along busy Beaconsfield Parade on the northern flank and hordes of people enjoying a beautiful warm sunny springtime afternoon on the expanses of lawn; however the gardens proved to be the perfect venue for the staging of the inaugural Goodies Picnic marking the 40th anniversary of our favourite TV show.
Kristen and I drove down from Ballarat and arrived shortly after noon, but with no other early birds present, we decided to take a walk out onto the historic St. Kilda Pier and nearby boardwalk while slurping on chocolate ice-creams from the kiosk. Decked out in our brightly-coloured Goodies t-shirts and multiple 'scouting proficiency' badges (I had my Ecky Thump, Wig Spotters and World Domination badges on, while Kristen wore String Is Best, Panic and Jolly Rock Tours) we felt a little bit like Tim strutting down the street to the disco in 'Saturday Night Grease' as we wandered along the pier because "everybody noticed us!" At least we hoped that they were glancing sneakily sideways at us because of our cool Goodies gear and not because we had blobs of Brylcreem in our hair or because our flies were open!
Returning to the rotunda in the gardens, we awaited the arrival of Kirri, who soon morphed into the character of drunken Bill from 'The End' by donning a felt beard and moustache and newspaper hat, with a glass of "turps for burps" (lemonade) in hand for good measure. Finding a nice big patch of palm shade nearby, we set up our picnic gear and started munching away on the plentiful food, drink and nibbles with Kirri's iPod playing Goodies songs in the background for us to enjoy and sing along to.
Nicholas Parsons made a surprise guest appearance around this time (or at least his mask did!) despite us paying him 500 pounds not to turn up, and a genuine Max Bygraves record (Sleepalongamax Volume 100,000,098 or something like that!) was on the receiving end of a ferocious eckythumping from a conveniently handy black pudding ("If only I had a black pudding … ah, here's one!") before it could be popped on a gramophone and used to annoy any monster cod that happened to be lurking in the nearby bay.
Thankfully our next guests were far more welcome than Max and Nicholas, with the arrival of Kim and Justin allowing us to partake in plenty of Goodies-themed fun to fill in the afternoon. A quiz from Magnus Magnesium with lots of Goodies prizes (photos, posters, scripts, a splendid 'I'm A Goody' badge donated by Jeffers of Goodies Podcasts fame and even more black puddings!) was followed by the chance for us to each deliver one of Tim's inspiring patriotic speeches to the accompaniment of 'Land Of Hope And Glory' from Kirri's iPod which made us admire and appreciate Tim's comic timing and delivery even more.
Kirri also read out the following warmly-received Goodies greetings to all of those present:
No doubt you’re having a brilliant time at the picnic, and I truly wish I was there with you – and not just for the weather. We’ve always had a great time on our visits to Australia, and have been very touched by the warmth of our reception. We did try to get there; I equipped the trandem with paddles to make it sea-going, and we actually set off, but Bill’s legs got tired rounding the Cape of Good Hope so we had to turn back.
I hope you’re enjoying the re-runs of the show, and I believe you’ll soon have access to the latest DVD release.
Carry on having a great day, and to all members of GROK – a very happy 15th anniversary.
Goody wishes from Graeme"
Please pass on my best , possible wishes to all of you at the picnic. It’s cold and miserable here in England and I cannot think of anything better than joining you all in Oz at a picnic – if only.
At every press event in the UK we always say how wonderful (and intelligent of course) all you Australian fans are and it’s about time we grew up in the UK. Maybe one day, who knows.
Anyway have a great picnic and I hope all the black puddings are done to a turn.
A rollicking singalong to 'The Song of the Jollyrock Lighthouse' after ample gorging of all of the food and drink on offer was the cue for us to prepare our well-done black puddings and journey forth to Primrose Hill (well, journey forth from the shade into a patch of bright sunlight at any rate) for an epic test of our Ecky Thump prowess. The accompanying photos can tell the tale far better than I can as to how we fared and who ended up being T'Grand Master, but you can see that we had a lot of fun in the process and absolutely nobody else took any notice! Maybe a group of people beating t'tripe out of each other is an everyday occurrence in t'big smoke, but it would normally be done with a weapon far more conventional and sadly even more lethal than a black pudding-shaped piece of foam, I'm sure!
After a great afternoon celebrating everything that's good about The Goodies, we all headed our separate ways back home again to sort out and swap our photos from what was a most enjoyable get-together. Huge thanks to Kirri for organizing the picnic and especially from flying all of the way from Newcastle to take part in it. Hopefully many more Goodies fans will come along and join in the fun next time (the Nicholas Parsons mask and Max Bygraves record weren't THAT scary, were they?!)
5. MESSAGES TO THE GOODIES
Fortieth anniversary messages to the Goodies from our GROK members:
* I watched the first broadcast of "The Bunfight at the OK Tearooms", the day my father died. My world was falling apart, yet somehow you still made me laugh . That takes a special kind of genius. Thanks, guys, for making my teenage years special.
Jayne Brewster Beard. Goodies fan, forever.
* Happy 40th Anniversary to The Goodies! I first saw The Goodies in 1987 (when I was four!) and loved the show immediately and have been a fan ever since. Thanks Graeme, Tim and Bill for making the show, then many years later touring Australia with the live shows and also for the various meet and greets, at Kitten Kon, during the live tours in 2005 and most recently in Sydney last year.
And here’s a limerick (which is different to the one I sent to the Goodies podcast)
Some 40 years ago
Began a spectacular show
It featured three men on a trandem
And thus, began Goodies fandom
Happy 40th, Graeme, Bill and Timbo!
6. A MESSAGE FROM GRAEME
This is just a short note but it's a genuine thank you to you and all our GROK chums who helped to make the weekend so much fun and so memorable. Special thanks to Helen and Clair for organising the party and to all who travelled to Manchester and Bristol from far and wide. It was great to see many familiar faces, and to receive a copy of Andrew's amazing book, and mention has to be made of all the hard work Jenny put in to the splendid Anniversary Cards for us. The many messages from around the world are something to treasure.
Your support does mean a lot to us, and here's hoping we all meet again for the 50th!
Goody wishes to one and all
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