Newsletter enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
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'The Goodies Rule - OK!'
P.O. Box 413
Croydon VIC 3136, AUSTRALIA
THE LADS AND LASSES OF THE C&G
- Brett Allender <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Lisa Manekofsky
- Alison Bean
- David Piper-Balston
- Linda Kay (Goodies Cor!! Comics Synopsis)
- Andrew Pixley ('Broaden Your Mind' Synopsis)
FAB FEATURE ARTICLE CONTRIBUTOR:
C&G CONTRIBUTORS: Daniel Bowen, Miranda Worthington
WITH SPECIAL CONTRIBUTIONS FROM:
Tim Brooke-Taylor and Graeme Garden
1. GROK TURNS TEN!
- A celebration of our anniversary
2. BOFFO IDEAS - GROK news and happenings
3. SPOTTED!!! - The latest Goodies sightings.
4. 2001 AND A BIT - Tim, Graeme and Bill sightings post-Goodies.
5. FEATURE ARTICLE - The War Babies Experience
6. GOODIES COR!! COMICS SYNOPSIS #44
7. BROADEN YOUR MIND SYNOPSIS
- Episode 1/1
Note: Magnus Magnesium is currently away quizzing Cuddly Scamp Hairylegs of Cricklewood at Crufts, so Quiz & Quote will reappear in next month's edition.
1. GROK TURNS TEN!
(by one lad (Brett), three lasses (Alison, Lisa and Linda) and two Goodies (not the scruffy hairy frustrated pop star one though!)
Back in November 1995 the very first edition of The Goodies Clarion & Globe was produced by Alison Bean and sent out to a membership of 23 people, mostly former members of a defunct Goodies fan club which had been run by Melinda Casino. At that stage the new fan club didn't even have a name and in fact one of the first issues to be raised was "What shall we name ourselves?". Noble early suggestions included The Super-Chaps, The Crazy Teapots, The Plague Of Rolf Harrises (that would have got my vote!) and The Funky Gibbons, but it was The Goodies Rule - OK (GROK) that eventually attracted the largest vote from the membership in early 1996.
There was also no Goodies website for the first couple of months and early club issues included proposed designs of Goodies t-shirts (which eventually came to fruition a few years later), a petition to have The Goodies rescreened on the ABC (which sadly never came to fruition at all - ruddy ABC!) and the establishing of many of today's GROK features such as the Goodies-l mailing list, the Spotted!!! section detailing sightings of The Goodies, and tricky trivia quizzes, just to name a few.
My own discovery of GROK didn't come until I bought my first Windows computer in November 1996, and the very first thing that I typed into the internet search engine was "The Goodies". It promptly came up with "The Goodies Rule OK", then my screen filled up with an eye-popping purple and yellow colour scheme and quite frankly my life has never been the same since!!
Ever since initially e-mailing Alison and telling her that "I'm a teapot" (which soon would have become obvious anyway!) in order to join, I have felt privileged to be a member of the fan club. It's really been wonderful to share in GROK's many high points, including the receiving of ongoing contact and contributions from Tim Brooke-Taylor and Graeme Garden, the outstanding success of the Kitten Kon convention, and the role of the club's website in the latest Goodies tour of Australia, among many other successes.
I'll leave my contribution at that, as I don't want to steal the thunder of the all-star cast that follows me! I'd just like to thank all of the committee and general members of GROK for their contributions to the newsletter, website, mailing lists, forums and the fan club itself over the past ten years. You've not only helped to keep the memories of The Goodies burning brightly more than 20 years after the last episode was produced, but provided a huge amount of enjoyment and entertainment along the way. And not forgetting Tim and Graeme, whose endorsement of GROK gives us the greatest incentive to keep getting bigger and better over the next 10 years. They should each be made an OBE, better still, an Earl and an OBE … (you all know how it goes from there, surely!)
And now ... A Walk In The Black Forest! But first, some 10th anniversary thoughts from other key GROK contributors, starting with our club founder:
Alison Bean - Founder and Past President
One of my main motivations for founding The Goodies Rule - OK! (GROK) ten years ago was that I felt there should be a website about The Goodies, for Goodies fans. At this time the programme seemed to be almost forgotten. Two videos had been released by the BBC, but they'd barely been publicised and were swiftly deleted. In Australia the ABC had stopped repeating the show and it was only to be found on pay-television which large parts of the country could not or did not receive. You could be forgiven for wondering whether the giant kitten, Ecky Thump and those three guys on a bike had just been part of a particularly weird dream.
Ten years on the situation is vastly different. Two best-selling DVDs have been released (with two more in the works), Australians have had the privilege of not
one, but two tours in one year and this Christmas the BBC will screen a long-overdue tribute to programme - what a way to celebrate The Goodies' 35th anniversary. Whilst GROK cannot take credit for the release of the DVDs, the tours or the tribute, our very presence and enthusiasm sends a clear message that Goodies fans are out there in large numbers.
At present GROK has over 3500 members and goodiesruleok.com has become the only place to go for Goodies news. Much of the credit for this must go to past and present members of the committee: Brett Allender (Editor of the C&G), Tim Aslat (Webmaster), David Balston (UK Representative), Kay Dickinson (past President), Linda Kay (Graphic Design), Richard Nolan (Merchandising), Frauke Nonnenmacher (Goodies Logo), Marf Shopmyer (former US Representative), Nik Whitehead (former UK Representative) and last, but not in any way least, Lisa Manekofsky (current President). The work of Tracey Baird, Tom Marwede and Liz Headland on Kitten Kon should also be acknowledged. Kitten Kon - the world's first and only Goodies convention - was GROK's greatest achievement, raising thousands of dollars for charity.
After ten years GROK members and those who run it have a lot to be proud of. Happy anniversary!
Lisa Manekofsky - Current President
Sometimes clichés are true - time flies when you're having fun.
When I realized Goodies Rule - OK! was about to celebrate its 10th anniversary I thought about my personal history with the club. I was rather amazed to realize it started 6 1/2 years ago and that I've been President or Acting President for the past 3 1/2 years. It certainly doesn't seem that long...
Like many of you, I originally found the club while searching the web in pursuit of Goodies episodes. After a short time I began posting in the forums, writing to the goodies-l mailing list, and contributing to the newsletter; in the process I made some good friends. This lead to my eventually volunteering to be the US Representative when Marf Shopmyer decided to step down and, a relatively short time later, to become President, taking over from the departing Kay Dickinson.
I have to admit that I was somewhat nervous about following such dynamic presidents as Alison and Kay. However, it's been my good fortune to be at the helm during some very exciting years, which have included the long awaited debut of "The Goodies" on DVD as well as Tim, Graeme and Bill's first ever Goodies stage show. I'm proud of the role the club played in these events.
When it was first announced that a Goodies DVD was in the works Tim Brooke-Taylor asked us which episodes the fans would most like to see released. The results of the club's poll were forwarded to Network Video; this resulted in many of our choices (including the fans' #1 pick, "Radio Goodies") making it onto the DVDs.
The club has been able to play an even larger role in the Goodies Australian tours. We worked closely with Big Laugh Productions to help spread the news about the first tour (which took place from March 3-12, 2005) and were even able to offer special ticket pre-sales for our members. The club was credited with helping to make the tour such a huge success. I was delighted to learn that Goodies Rule - OK! was going to be the official website for the follow-up tour (which started earlier this month and runs through early December) - you'll see our URL in many of the newspaper ads and other promotional materials. Recently we've been contacted by the makers of the forthcoming BBC 2 Goodies documentary, who saw that the club could help with the making of that show. It's a credit to our hard working (and entirely volunteer) staff as well as our active membership that we can be such an effective resource, to the benefit of the fans and the Goodies themselves.
A few months ago a reporter asked if I would answer some questions for an article about internet-based fan clubs. I skimmed through the list of questions, finding that answers came easily until I reached the following - "What's the worst part about running a Goodies Fan Site?" I drew a complete blank, realizing it'd never occurred to me to think about a bad aspect. That was a pretty nice revelation.
I hope our members have gotten as much fun, friendship, and enjoyment from the club as I have. I know I can speak for the rest of club staff in saying that we value your participation; the club wouldn't be the same without it.
As we celebrate our 10th anniversary and look towards the future let me extend my personal thanks to the rest of the club staff - some of us are more visible than others but it really is a team effort. And, of course, a huge thank you to the Goodies for their invaluable support.
Linda Kay - Current Committee Member & Cor!! Comics Reviewer
Looking back to the time when I first joined The Goodies Rule - OK! in September 1996, I try to remember what it was like *before* I found this intangible but oh so real gathering of fellow Goodies fans online. Being an American fan meant finding few fellow Britcom lovers who even *remembered* The Goodies. Sad to say the show ran in limited markets in the States. In the 70's, when I was barely a teenager, I caught the show airing on our San Francisco PBS station and immediately fell in love with it. Sure there was Monty Python, which aired later in the evenings, but The Goodies were totally unique ... like a cartoon come to life ... and yet their verbal exchanges were so spot on that I didn't even need to understand the specific references to get the jokes. Even when the show stopped airing I could remember my favourite episodes and moments for many years afterwards. I could never again say the word "scone" without having to immediately pronounce it a second way. It made a lasting impression on my young mind.
Over the years I would occasionally be reminded of this wonderful show and long to know more about it. When I visited my grandmother in Southern California The Goodies was actually airing on commercial television and I made sure to watch it every chance I could during my brief visit. During high school I remember that same San Francisco PBS station ran some more episodes (specifically South Africa!) and then in the early 80's they once again ran episodes for a short time ... only this time I had a VCR and was able to tape a few of the precious airings! I found a copy of The World of the Goodies LP through an ad in Goldmine Magazine. And there were the videotape releases of six episodes, including Kitten Kong, which kept me going through the mid-90's. And still I knew precious little about this comedy show which somehow kept coming back into my life.
In the early 90's I happened to be talking to a good friend of mine whom I'd met through the Bill & Ted fan club I was running at the time. Somehow we were making references to hyphenated names and she threw in "Brooke-Taylor" off-handedly. I immediately stopped her and demanded to know how she knew that name! "Well, there was this comedy show called The Goodies ... " she explained. A fellow fan! Needless to say we were ecstatic to have found someone else who remembered and loved the show so much! We traded tapes and information but once again our resources were limited.
I went on to run The National Association of Fan Clubs and as such I was in touch with fan clubs worldwide on a regular basis. I was also beginning to discover the wonders of the Internet, and one day I happened to look up The Goodies. And there it was ... The Goodies Rule - OK! I signed up right away (as did my friend) and finally it all came together ... I was able to learn everything about Graeme, Bill and Tim. I made contacts with fellow fans, expanded my collection of episodes until I had seen every show (and fell in love with them even more!) and also discovered their music, radio shows, solo work, etc. And as a cartoonist I was thrilled to see a comic strip had been done on the boys, which led to my collecting the Cor!! comics and offering up reviews in the C&G.
Many thanks must go out to everyone who has worked so hard on The Goodies Rule - OK! over the years, most especially Alison for starting it all in the first place and devoting so much time to the club. Thanks also to Lisa for taking over the reins without losing a step, Brett for working so hard on the C&G and episode guide, Tim for his incredible website work, David for somehow finding out so much good info on the Superchaps 3, Kay for her hard work and many contributions and Richard for putting in so much time and energy on the merchandise and more.
Being a fan club president myself I know just how much work goes into running a club and the contributions of these people cannot be overstated. If it weren't for their dedication The Goodies would still be a small fond memory I couldn't share with too many others. From my heart, thank you!!!
"Goodies Rule-OK" Rules OK
I honestly can't remember when I came across the site for the first time - it was a long time ago, I do know that. There were one or two Oz Goodies sites at that time, all doing a pretty good job in different ways. But Alison Bean's Goodies Rule-OK soon became the number one and the one that got my vote.
Brett Allender's monthly newsletter soon became a part of my life. It was very useful as it told me what I had done and what I was going to do. I honestly don't know how I got by before that.
There have been several presidents since Alison moved to the UK, all of them putting in a huge amount of work, but none surely as much as Lisa Manekofsky. When I want to know something Goodies I just send an email - 'Lisa do you know anything about 'x'?' she does and will reply with all the 'x' details in what seems like minutes, usually with photos to illustrate. Her work has made our current Oz Tour so much better.
And a final thanks to Brett again for the best Goodies episode guide ever - and now with colour.
Thank you Goodies Rule-OK and congratulations on the first 10 years.
I just want to send best wishes to all the members, and thank them for their continued interest and support, both in person at the shows, and in virtuality via their emails. I do check in to the website now and then, and find their contributions most entertaining and enlightening! So Goody wishes to Lisa, Brett and one and all at the C&G, not forgetting edna, zaphod, jodiedvw, bean_is_a_carrot, artyclarty, RatDog (hope you're feeling better), mazzanda, D-day, katsup, hollycat, eroomnaillig, and all the other regulars and not-so-regulars too humorous to mention.
We're looking forward to the Australian tour, and although we have no immediate plans for anything similar in the UK, we are open to persuasion. Perhaps interest will be stimulated by the proposed BBC2 Goodies Theme Night sometime around Christmas. (Incidentally, at Edinburgh I bumped into Rolf Harris's didgeridoo player/security man, who turned out to be a fan from way-back!)
2. BOFFO IDEAS
You can make it happen here. Liven up the club with a boffo idea for bob-a-job week. E-mail <email@example.com> with your comments, ideas or suggestions - meanwhile these are the boffo ideas which our club has been working on this month:
SOME GROK STATS
(by Lisa Manekofsky)
Regular visitors to the Goodies Rule - OK! website will know that we have an active community of fans who post in the forums, vote in the polls, etc. Even so, you might be surprised by our usage statistics.
Over the last 11 1/2 months (from December 2004 through mid-November 2005) the website has had over 9.5 million hits; it's likely we'll hit the 10 million mark by the end of the month. We've also had over 250,000 visitors (please note that these are not unique visitors).
While most of our traffic comes from Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States we've also had visitors from the following countries (which are listed in alphabetical order):
Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Croatia, The Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Cote D'Ivoire (formerly Ivory Coast), Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, The Netherlands, Niue, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, The Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey.
FAREWELL FOUNDING PREZ
In the midst of so many exciting events (i.e., the club's 10th anniversary, the new Goodies tour of Australia, and the upcoming BBC 2 Goodies documentary), a little point of sadness for GROK is the recent departure from the club committee of our Founding President Alison Bean.
Long-time GROK members will no doubt fondly remember Alison's enthusiasm and helpfulness as the first point of contact for Goodies fans desperate for information about the show in the era well before frequent UKTV repeats, DVD releases and Goodies tours. At that stage 'The Goodies' was mainly a collection of happy but slightly fading memories from childhood screenings on the ABC in years gone by for most fans and Alison did so much to bring all of those great Goodies memories flooding back again. This was especially the case in the early days of GROK when she used to wear t'three flat hats of President, Newsletter Editor and Website Coordinator all at t'same time!
The committee members would like to take this opportunity to thank Alison on behalf of all GROK members for all her help, advice and hard work over the years. We'll definitely miss her on the committee (even if we do aim carefully!) but will continue to value her participation in the forums, on Goodies-l and at Goodies-related events in the future.
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:
THE GOODIES - STILL ALIVE ON STAGE
* For all of the right-up-to-the-minute details of Tim and Graeme's tour schedule, please head to: http://www.goodiesruleok.com/faq.php?topic=10
* A special Tour edition of the C&G containing all of the news and reviews from 'The Goodies Still Alive On Stage will be published at the conclusion of the tour in early December.
* As part of the Tour edition, we'd like to publish comments from Goodies fans who have been privileged to see one of the many shows around the country in person. So if you'd like to contribute your thoughts on 'Still Alive On Stage', be it a few lines or a detailed review, please send them in to <email@example.com>
FAN PHOTOS REQUIRED
(Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l - 28th October)
The producers of the Goodies BBC Reunion Special (to be broadcast on BBC 2 near Christmas) are requesting the fans' best photos from the April 2000 Kitten Kon convention and the Australian Tour 2005.
The producers expect fans to send the photos free of charge in order to help them make the BBC Reunion Special. Please note that they cannot guarantee they will use the photos. Fans submitting photos should clearly state their name, to be used for the copyright paperwork, and provide contract details (so permission can be sought for any photos that will be used).
Photos should be sent in the highest JPEG resolution possible. There is no limitation to the size of the photos. If you are sending them via email, they request a maximum of three photos per message (multiple emails are welcome).
Photos can be emailed or sent via post to the following addresses:
35 Whitworth Street West
I imagine it will be helpful for you to send your photos as soon as possible.
NO BEEF ABOUT BEEFEATERS
(by Lisa Manekofsky)
In honour of the Goodies 35th anniversary this month here's an article about the show which appeared in The Times (London), 10 November 1970
There was the managing director of B.B.C. Television buttonholing us in the Sunday newspaper with his defence of good programmes made for good purposes by good people. And here as if to prove the point was Mr. Tim Brooke-Taylor with his confederates, coming forward like a troop of eager boy scouts with their own brand of sweetness and light. Their purpose, of course, was to make us laugh; and if that is not a good one I cannot think
of a better.
Mr. Brooke-Taylor, of course, is not one of your red-nosed comics, all bumper fun book and I-say-I-say-I-say. He usually goes in for the subtle stuff. When he slips on a banana skin we do not laugh at the parabola he describes but at the way he apologizes to the pavement. On Sunday, however, in a show which he himself had written with Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie he was caught up in a zany frolic.
The plot was simple. The goodies are a firm of do gooders. And for the first of their engagements they were summoned to the Tower of London. Dirty work was afoot. Someone was stealing the Beefeaters' beef. You could see that they were not half the men they had been. In through the door trooped the midget yeomen. Did we subsequently trap a burglar at the Crown Jewels? He wore the insignia of a burglar by appointment. The real culprit was playing polo and had picked up the wrong ideas at Cambridge. A madcap chase ensued to those railings at the top of The Mall.
Much of the humour was visual, drawing particularly on speeded-up film. Not all of it was as funny as the studio audience would have had us believe. But the three writers, who also had the principal parts as members of the firm, went at the comedy with tremendous gusto.
THE RETURN OF THE GOODIES
(by Lisa Manekofsky)
On October 23, 2005 I had the pleasure of being in the studio audience for the recording of a Goodies TV special. As was mentioned in last month's newsletter, this special will be part of a Goodies theme night scheduled for broadcast on BBC 2 in the UK around Christmas. Going in I knew only that the show was to be set in a recreation of the Goodies office and that Tim, Graeme and Bill would be discussing some of the best moments from "The Goodies" TV show.
As I expected, there was no problem filling the studio audience with enthusiastic fans. After the recording I learned that the theater held about 275 people while over 700 tickets had been requested! TV productions typically give away more tickets than there are available seats (under the assumption that many of the free tickets won't get used); potential audience members are warned that seats are available on a first come, first served basis. The staff was still surprised at the huge number of people who showed up that evening, many of whom unfortunately had to be turned away.
In describing the recording I hope to give you a sense of the evening while not giving away too many spoilers, since the show will air next month. Please pardon me for not disclosing as many details as I'm sure you'll want.
The audience was seated well before the recording began, giving us time to check out the set. The set designer did a great job in creating something reminiscent of the Goodies office. In addition, he'd loaded the set with props that referenced various Goodies episodes; for example, in the back corner was a section of giant beanstalk. My friends and I had fun playing "spot the prop" - the longer we looked the more things we discovered. The set was also littered with Goodies memorabilia, including their books and records. I fear that most of these items won't be very visible in the TV show; if it's ever released on DVD some still photos of the set would be a great bonus feature.
I was seated on the right side of the theater, allowing me to see the Goodies when they came onto the stage. They initially milled about next to the set, talking to the crew and getting ready for the show. After a short time the warm-up man, Tom Binns, came on stage. As he was talking to the audience he kept dropping his voice to a stage whisper and saying quite excitedly, "The Goodies are here - I've just seen them!", "they're over there!" (pointing to the right side of the stage), and similar comments. I'm sure this was part of his act but it was pretty funny; unfortunately, it was perhaps the funniest part.
The recording finally began. So as not to give too much away I'll just say that the show involves the Goodies finding their old office after many years. They talk about some elements from the show, providing an excuse to show clips from the original episodes or portions of the new documentary. Since the documentary was still in production the audience saw only a few small bits, though enough to make us eager for more.
As is typical for a live recording many scenes had to be reshot, often multiple times; this lead to the recording going on for quite some time. While I'm sure this was frustrating for the actors and production staff it allowed the audience to spend extra time with Tim, Graeme, and Bill and to enjoy their kidding around between takes. Here are a few examples.
Many times throughout the recording the Goodies were seated at a table covered with props in the middle of the set. Bill kept picking up a Womble puppet. At one point he mock angrily told it the Wombles had kept the Goodies out of the #1 spot on the record charts. An audience member shouted back that the Wombles had better lyrics, to which Bill pretended to protest by saying their lyrics surely weren't better than "yum yum, shake your bum" (from "Black Pudding Bertha"). Later on Bill, still seated behind the table, was playing with the Womble puppet when the audience started to laugh. He realized that from their point of view it appeared he was doing something rude to it (possibly involving a black pudding); Bill grinned and started playing up to that. Eventually the director came over and took the puppet away, to boos from the audience.
During another lull in production the Goodies told to the audience we were only seeing bits of the documentary because it was still in production. Bill explained that the production people abbreviated "documentary" as "doco" and began complaining that this didn't make any sense; it should be "docu". All three Goodies then began referring to different things with an "-o" ending, cumulating with Bill referring to "Timbo" and Graeme getting a similar nickname (something like "Graybo"). Graeme shot back with "Bilbo", which got a good laugh from the audience. Bill, however, groaned, saying this was very wounding. He then added that they actually wouldn't know that and explained why he found it hurtful. Apparently he was up for the role of the voice of Dobby the house-elf in the Harry Potter movies (and obviously was quite disappointed that he didn't get it). Bill then said even he didn't know how he'd managed to get from a "Lord of the Rings" reference to "Harry Potter".
At another point between takes Tim managed to move a prop Kitten Kong out of its place. Graeme remarked, "don't touch my pussy", adding "Mrs. Slocombe has a lot to answer for..." (which most of you will recognize as a reference to a running joke in "Are You Being Served").
The last scene was finally filmed and the Goodies got a long standing ovation from an appreciative audience.
The finished show promises to be a real treat for Goodies fans. We'll have a more detailed report after it is broadcast in late December.
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. Those of you seeking radio & 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.
* "Wild Autumn with Bill Oddie" (which we'd previous assumed would be titled "Autumnwatch") will be shown on Sunday, 30 Oct on BBC 2. It will air from 17:30 to 18:10. Here's a listing: "Bill Oddie savours the delights and drama of autumn - from rutting deer to seal pups, from glorious colour to extraordinary fungi. He reveals the results of the first Autumnwatch survey ever carried out in Britain, as thousands of viewers have been out spotting the first signs of autumn to build a record of how the season is changing."
(Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l - 24th October)
* Bill will be hosting a short follow up to Springwatch entitled "Wild Owl Farm" BBC2 Wednesday 26th October 2005 9.50pm-10pm.
(Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l - 24th October)
* "Bill Oddie's How to Watch Wildlife" is being repeated by BBC 2 on Tuesdays at 19:30.
(Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l - 24th October)
* "Stately Stoats", a 10 minute nature show narrated by Bill, is being repeated on BBC 2 on Sunday, 6 November at 21:50-22:00.
(Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l - 31st October)
* "Wild Autumn with Bill Oddie" will be repeated on BBC 2 on Tues, 8 November from 19:30-20:00.
(Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l - 31st October)
* This rather topical cartoon appeared in Private Eye, 28 October-10 November 2005: http://www.geocities.com/carolinekook/birdflu.jpg
* Bill Oddie gets a mention in a profile of Australian band Spiderbait:
"Their songs are about normal people doing normal things - going to the footy, eating sausage rolls. They even covered a song by underrated Goodies music man Bill Oddie (Run)."
(Daniel Bowen - Goodies-l - 7th November)
* You can see the music clip of Run here:
(Miranda Worthington - Goodies-l - 8th November)
* from http://www.emediawire.com/releases/2005/11/emw306994.htm (which also has a small photo of Bill accepting the award):
London, England (PRWEB) November 4, 2005 -- Pickatrail.com presented Bill Oddie, World Land Trust, with another £10,000 to help save rainforest in the Amazon Basin. The money was raised from airport parking and hotel bookings made at the pickatrail.com website.
The cheque presentation was held at the Royal Geographical Society after a big-screen viewing of Bill Oddie's film: Penguins, Parrots and Whales. The film was made for the BBC on the Ranch of Hopes Wildlife Reserve in Patagonia. The Reserve was purchased with the help of funds raised by the World Land Trust.
(Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l - 9th November)
* A program about John Peel's favourite records ("John Peel's Record Box") is scheduled to air on Channel 4 on 14 November as part of the UK Music Hall of Fame season. I don't know if Bill Oddie's "Ilkley Moor Baht 'At" will be included, but it seems likely as it's been mentioned in so many articles about this show.
For those unfamiliar with the single, it's one of Bill's 1960's comedy releases. This one was released on John Peel's record label (Dandelion). The traditional song is done in the style of Joe Cocker's "With A Little Help From My Friends". Surprisingly, whoever compiled the recent media reports failed to notice that Peel is listed in the credits on the B side (a song called "Harry Krishna") - he's credited with "tape, reels, and vocal". I've put a scan of both sides of the single on my Goodies Illustrated Guide website (it can be seen about halfway down the page at http://mysite.verizon.net/vze7yes3/illustratedguides/id7.html ). Different performances of both songs turn up in episodes of "I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again".
Recent articles about John Peel's record box can be found at http://uk.news.launch.yahoo.com/dyna/article.html?a=/051031/340/fvor7.html&e=l_news_dm and http://enjoyment.independent.co.uk/music/news/article323339.ece .
(Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l - 9th November)
* "The Bits in Between", a new four-part comedy series with Graeme in the cast, starts on BBC Radio 4 Tuesday, 25 October at 23:00.
(Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l - 24th October)
* "Casualty at Holby City" will be airing on BBC 1 on from Mon, 24 Oct through Thurs, 27 Oct at 19:00-19:30. Graeme is listed as appearing in the Weds, 26 October episode (although it might be worth watching to see if he turns up in additional episodes).
(Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l - 24th October)
* BBC 7 will be repeating an episode of "Wireless Wise" with Graeme Garden this coming Wednesday, 2 Nov at 12.30pm and 7.30pm.
Here's a blurb from BBC7's newsletter: "David Hatch, another former Head of Radio Light Entertainment, hosts Wireless Wise. This fascinating panel game, new to BBC7, picks out glorious titbits from the BBC Archives to test the knowledge of a range of guests. This week it's the turn of: Stuart Maconie, Joan Bakewell, Graeme Garden and Chris Searle, in a programme first broadcast in December 2000 on Radio 4. It's a must for those of you who want to brush up your radio archive history. Wednesday 12.30pm and 7.30pm"
(Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l - 28th October)
* BBC7 is once again repeating "There'll Never Be Another", a radio show about celebrated British comedians hosted by Graeme. The first episode, which is about Max Miller, airs on Sunday, 6 November at 11:00-12:00. It is repeated later in the day and will then be available for six days via BBC7's Listen Again service. The show can be heard worldwide via the internet at www.bbc.co.uk/bbc7 .
(Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l - 31st October)
* The final episode of "The Bits in Between" with Graeme aired this Tuesday (15 Nov) on BBC Radio 4. It'll be available on Radio 4's Listen Again service (at www.bbc.co.uk/radio4 ) through mid-day Tuesday, 22 Nov.
(Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l – 16th November)
* Repeats of "Golf Clubs with Tim Brooke-Taylor" continue to be shown on Thursdays on Discovery Travel and Living at various times (consult your local listings).
(Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l - 24th October)
* "Comedy Playhouse", presented by Tim Brooke-Taylor, is a two-part look back at the old BBC series. Part 1 airs on BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday, 15 Nov at 11:30. Part 2 airs the following week, on 22 Nov at 11:30. It can be heard worldwide via the internet at www.bbc.co.uk/radio4 .
(Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l - 8th November)
* The "At Last the 1948 Show" and "Do Not Adjust Your Set" DVD sets are scheduled to be released in Australia on December 8th. Tim Brooke-Taylor stars in "At Last the 1948 Show" along with John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Marty Feldman and Aimi MacDonald. Tim also turns up in an episode of "Do Not Adjust Your Set". I believe these sets will be the same as the versions released in the US and UK earlier this year.
More details about the DVDs can be found in issue #117 of the Clarion & Globe newsletter, which is available online at http://www.goodiesruleok.com/newsletter.php?issue=117
(Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l - 13th November)
* Tim's second appearance in "HeartBeat" is scheduled to air Sunday, 27 November on ITV1 at 20:00 to 21:00. This is supposed to be a larger part than his first appearance in the show.
(Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l - 16th November)
I'M SORRY I HAVEN'T A CLUE (ISIHAC) and
I'M SORRY I'LL READ THAT AGAIN (ISIRTA)
* Yesterday BBC 7 repeated an old episode of "Laughter in the Air" (a series about radio comedy) entitled "The Cambridge Connection". This includes excerpts from "I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again" and "Hello Cheeky" as well as an interview with David Hatch. I believe this show originally aired in the 1970s.
(Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l - 17th October)
* BBC 7 airs old episodes of "I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue" (with Tim and Graeme) and "I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again" (with all three Goodies) on Mondays; they are available via Listen Again for six days after broadcast. The shows can be heard worldwide via the internet from www.bbc.co.uk/bbc7 .
(Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l - 24th October)
* The new series of "I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue" (with Tim and Graeme) starts on BBC Radio 4 on Monday, 14 November at 18:30. Each episode will be repeated the following Sunday; it'll also be available on Radio 4's Listen Again service for a week after the initial Monday broadcast. The shows can be heard worldwide via the internet at www.bbc.co.uk/radio4 .
(Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l - 31st October)
5. FEATURE ARTICLE
As a 10th Anniversary special, here's an interesting first-hand account of what it was like to make an appearance in a Goodies episode.
THE WAR BABIES EXPERIENCE
(by David Wrighton)
I was ten years old and was at the Old Malthouse School in Langton Matravers, a small private school of eighty boys in the gorgeous Dorset countryside. Apologies for any errors as it was over 25 years ago and I have not seen the episode for that time!
Our class of fifteen was asked by the BBC to be in an episode of the Goodies as they were filming in the area. Obviously, at that age it was an amazing experience to be part of this UK comedy trio's work.
The first filming was done on a bus as the Goodies said 'goodbye' to their parents as they were whisked away from their wartime country mansion. We were all in a regular school uniform (shorts throughout the year!...uggh!) and had to look up at them as they walked onto the bus all frightened and alone, not knowing where to sit!
With no filming experience, a number of takes had to be done and I recall the female film director did get a bit frustrated on occasions with our poor acting skills as ten year olds! The second part of the filming was filmed indoors as the first classroom experience but unfortunately our acting skills let us down again and that part was cut out and given to a London school as it was obviously not us in the final episode!
My moment of individual fame came when we did the playground scene and I was singled out to play a major part of a practical joke (Benny Hill style!)
with Graeme. I held up a normal size conker and Graeme brought out a HUGE conker and knocked me over with it! It was solid polystyrene but still hurt each time he hit me!!! Playing rugby at the time helped and after three takes the director said that was good....thank god!
The memories of them all were great, they all signed autographs for us!!!!
As kids, the BBC lunch was like a fantasy for schoolboys having to eat boring private school dinners..as much as you can eat ..with gorgeous cakes,etc! We each got paid six pounds for the day, which to us was a lot of money in those days and we spent it all on sweets at the following Saturday school tuckshop!
A fantastic day out with the Goodies!
6. COR!! COMICS SYNOPSIS #44
(by Linda Kay)
3rd November, 1973 No. 67
The Goodies were true to their names ... they were good guys generally trying to help people by doing good things (as Bill would say, "How wet!"). The idea that someone would press the Goodies into service by forcing them to do something bad, whether they were aware of it or not, had been done in both the series and comic strip. And yet this Cor!! comic manages to put a new twist in the idea to present an somewhat different story for the cartoon trio.
Header: OUR HEROES ARE GOOD AS GOLD - GOLD ROBBERS THAT IS!
A gangster wearing a pin-striped suit, broad-rimmed hat and sunglasses bursts into The Goodies office, one hand reaching threateningly into his coat pocket as they eye him nervously.
GANGSTER: Are you guys The Goodies?
GRAEME: Er ... yes .. !
The gangster makes himself at home, sitting at their desk with his feet up and cleaning his fingernails with a letter opener.
GANGSTER: Waal ... I want you to be *baddies!* Help me pull some jobs while my gang are in jail!
BILL: Certainly not! We only do goody-goody things!
The gangster pulls out a gun and grabs Bill by the front of his shirt, pushing the gun into his face. Tim and Graeme throw their hands up in the air.
GANGSTER: Oh, yeah?
BILL: Oh, yeah ... I mean ... well, if you put it like that .. !
The Goodies are taken in the gangster's car to a building which is completely surrounded by a fence of barbed wire.
GANGSTER: There's *Fort Knix,* where all the country's gold is kept! And you're going to rob it for me, or else!
TIM: Oh, dear! I just hope my Aunt Emily doesn't find out!
The Goodies get out of the car, Bill carrying a valise. The gangster is leaning out of the driver's side window with a Tommy gun aimed at them.
GANGSTER: Don't come back empty-handed, if you wanna stay healthy!
The Goodies approach the barbed wire fence and Tim reaches out to touch it.
TIM: What are we going to do about this nasty barbed wire?
As Tim touches the wire it literally disintegrates.
TIM: *Cor!!* My mighty grasp's crushed it to dust!
BILL: Mighty grasp ... huh! It's *rusted away* to nothing!
They approach a second fence of wire which is attached to a power generator hooked up to a bicycle. A sign reads "DANGER! Electric Generator 12 v." Bill points out that no one is currently riding the bike to generate the power for the fence.
GRAEME: Look out! That fence is electrified!
BILL: Don't worry ... the power's off!
They reach a large metal door and Bill prepares to go at it with a blow torch.
TIM: I don't think much of the country's security so far!
GRAEME: That was just to lull any thieves into a false sense of security! Look at this massive door!
Graeme barely pushes on the door and it opens with a CRE-E-AK!
GRAEME (to Bill): Put that thing away! It's unlocked!
BILL: Aw! Fancy spoiling my fun!
A couple of extremely old security men come dashing at them excitedly, along with an aged police dog.
SECURITY GUARD #1: Come in! Come in! We haven't had any visitors for ages!
The guards hurry them into the strong room, which is now nothing more than a run down break room. The old men are excited at the prospect of some company. Tim is crying and holding a piggy bank.
GRAEME: Just a minute! Just a minute! We're burglars come to rob this place!
SECURITY GUARD #2: Oh, there's nothing to rob! We've no gold left! But don't tell anyone! It's meant to be a state secret! That's why we're here!
TIM (crying): Oh the shame! The country's broke ... here - take my life savings, it's for a worthy cause!
The Goodies sit down at the small table to have coffee with the guards. Tim, still crying, is trying to pry some of the money out of his piggy bank with a butter knife. The second security guard is rummaging through the valise which Bill brought in.
BILL: Well, at least we won't be jailed for robbery!
GRAEME: But we've still got to face old nasty-face outside - empty handed!
SECURITY GUARD #2: Ah, good - candles! About time we had some light in this dump!
The second guard lights the "candles" as Graeme suddenly realizes the man has pulled two sticks of dynamite out of the valise.
GRAEME: THEY'RE NOT CANDLES!
There is a huge BOOOM! and everyone goes flying out of Fort Knix, which has been blown to smithereens.
GRAEME: Well, that's the end of Fort Knix!
BILL: It's been knixed for a sock! I mean .. !
The Goodies land on top of the gangster with amazing force, knocking the man and his gun to the ground.
TIM: *Oof!* We've dealt that gangster guy a *crushing blow!*
Suddenly a rain of glittering stones falls from the sky onto our heroes.
BILL: Hey! Do you see what I see?
GRAEME: Gold nuggets! The explosion must have opened an underground seam of gold!
TIM: BRITAIN'S SAVED!
Sign-Off Line: The Goodies Return In Another Uproarious Adventure Next Monday!
RATING (using the BLACK PUDDING RATING SYSTEM):
IIII - Officially amazing.
It may seem surprising to give a higher rating to a comic which contains so few actual jokes in it but this entry into the series really is different from others in many aspects. First the Goodies are placed in an excitingly dangerous situation and it is handled pretty much straight in the beginning (apart from the standard "Well if you put it like that ... " response on Bill's part). As such the first five panels are not really funny, per se. Once the Goodies are on their own, however, the situational comedy is quite enjoyable.
One thing is that this particular comic really keeps the Goodies in character, particularly Tim. Every line from Tim's mouth is something you could imagine him saying in the series, from his hoping his Aunt Emily doesn't find out about his misdoings to his thinking his "mighty grasp" has disintegrated the barbed wire to his tearful bemoaning of the country's lack of gold and volunteering up the life savings from his piggy bank.
The artwork must also be noted. While there aren't as many small jokes in the margins (at least until the second half) the artwork is deep, rich and very detailed. The gangster's car is particularly well done, as is the action when the Goodies land hard on the gangster. There are a few background things to notice ... when the gangster puts his feet up on the desk he knocks over a bottle of ink (this oddly adds a nice touch of tension to the scene, showing he doesn't care about what he does at all). When the Goodies get out of the car at gunpoint a police bobby is riding by behind them whistling a tune. Again a nice addition which, while funny, adds just a bit more drama to the scene as well. The fact there's a huge gas canister for the blow torch in the small valise is pretty funny. The elderly security guards are both sporting long hair and beards and old-fashioned soldiers uniforms. When the guards push the Goodies into the strong room there are cobwebbed shelves with only a few empty tins on them in the background. A large key is sitting right in the lock of the door. Two mice are helping themselves to some crumbs in the middle of the room. The table also has a mouse on it, plus a spider dangling from a web, many empty tins beneath and an old newspaper with the headline "Kaiser Exiled" hanging off the edge.
As the Goodies have their coffee we can see an old military enlistment poster on the wall behind them. A copy of the "Daily Oracle" bears the headline "Tram Strike Over - Settled By Cavalry Charge." What appears to be a dead mouse is lying on the table. A box of sugar and a can of milk have been opened. When the explosion happens only Graeme's glasses are seen flying through the air. As everyone flies through the air the one security guard is saluting at attention. The police dog is cowering with his paws over his eyes. As the Goodies land on the gangster the guards are landing behind them, as is the dog and one of the mice. The gangster's Tommy gun is knocked from his hand and fires, but the barrel is bent so it only spits the bullet into the following frame.
Overall this is a very effective strip with more situational humour and an ending that pays off nicely.
To view these strips online, you can visit this page:
We'll post the currently reviewed issue plus the two previous issues for latecomers.
7. BROADEN YOUR MIND SYNOPSIS
This is the first of a series of reviews of 'Broaden Your Mind', the show which was the precursor to 'The Goodies' in the late 1960s. Andrew Pixley has provided us with several fascinating articles about 'The Goodies' in past newsletters, so we're delighted to welcome him aboard the Good Ship Saucy C&G as a regular contributor.
"BROADEN YOUR MIND" -
SERIES 1 PROGRAMME 1
(c) Andrew Pixley 2005
INTRODUCTION: Before the Goodies set up their office in 1970, the working title for the series was originally "Narrow Your Mind" since the new programme was proposed as a spin-off from "Broaden Your Mind", a BBC2 sketch show starring Tim and Graeme with songs from Bill which had run in 1968 and 1969.
The idea for "Broaden Your Mind" came from Tim Brooke-Taylor and was partly inspired by a number of encyclopaedia works then being serialised as collectable magazines. This format was an ideal framework to deliver lessons - or sketches - on any subject, as if presented by a series of "experts". There could be quizzes for the audience as well, and thus opportunity to mix a great many media. Since the early 1960s, the BBC had been discussing plans for a "College of the Air" to allow people to study degree courses with televised lectures. The Open University was set up in the mid-1960s, but courses were not ready until 1971. In the meantime, the format derived its original title from this project: "Encyclopaedia of the Air".
Originally, Tim and Graeme were going to work on a new show called "Stiff Upper Lip", but the arrangements for this were cancelled on 8 May 1968 by Michael Mills, Head of Light Entertainment, who instead wished to engage the duo for "Encyclopaedia of the Air". The series was being planned by early June 1968, and on 14 June a meeting was held to invite ideas from other writers including fellow Footlights figures such as John Cleese, Graham Chapman and Eric Idle, as well as the writing partnership of Michael Palin and Terry Jones. Some of the material would re-use sketches from "I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again", which at the time was completing recording and broadcast of its fifth full series. Sydney Lotterby was assigned as producer of the show. The new series would be made in colour, with a regular colour service having started on BBC2, although BBC1 was still transmitting in black and white.
Tim and Graeme were contracted to star in six editions of "Encyclopaedia of the Air" on 24 June; the following day, the title changed to "Broaden Your Mind", with the subtitle "An Encyclopaedia of the Air". Parts of the shows would be pre-filmed on location or at the BBC's Television Film Studios at Ealing from the end of July with six weekly studio recordings from Saturday 10 August to 14 September being attended by a studio audience. Joining Tim and Graeme in the cast were their old Cambridge colleague Jo Kendall from "ISIRTA" (who later provided voices to a couple of episodes of "The Goodies") and also actor Nick McArdle who were contracted at the end of July.
Unfortunately, the videotapes of "Broaden Your Mind" have long since gone, but using the soundtrack, the scripts and production documents it is possible to get an idea of what the shows were like. What follows is a synopsis of the first episode, with production information about this debut edition appended to it.
"BROADEN YOUR MIND" - SERIES 1 PROGRAMME 1
"Do you know the difference between an adder and a grass snake?" asks Graeme. A zookeeper is holding two snakes, one of which bites him and he falls down dead. Animated question marks appear between each of these questions.
"Do you know how Christopher Columbus discovered America?" Columbus spins a globe of the world and points to America on its surface.
"Did you know that if you add caustic nitrate to di-phenyl benzoic acid, is explodes." A scientist mixes the compounds together and they explode in his face.
"Well, here's your chance to learn as you Broaden Your Mind," signs off Graeme as the opening credits appear, accompanied by a neat little tune with harpsichord bursts which echo the traditional Latin school songs of public schools and the older universities.
BROADEN YOUR MIND
An Encyclopaedia of the Air
starring TIM BROOKE-TAYLOR and GRAEME GARDEN
Graeme welcomes audience in dark to this programme, an Encyclopaedia of the Air. He asks for a light and is illuminated, sitting at one end of a modern collapsible chair. As he continues, Tim's voice in the dark says "Can I have my lights please?" Tim is revealed sitting at the other end of the same chair. "Thank you Nigel," says Tim (referring to lighting manager Nigel Wright). It is explained that this is not a programme for experts, but in this modern age of the hovercraft what everybody needs is a good sound general knowledge. "Everybody knows that two sevens are fourteen," says Graeme. "Fifteen," corrects Tim. "Fifteen, sorry" agrees Graeme, "but Geography today is much more than just a list of Kings and Queens". Graeme gets up (which means the chair overbalances, tipping Tim over) and reveals that with the aid of a computer - which he displays - they have devised a programme to keep viewers up to date with all the latest developments in art, science, history, literature and so forth. Tonight the computer has decided that they will start with .... "Arsenal 2, Manchester United 1". Tim explains that this is computer talk for Art, as Graeme tells the computer he will see it never works again ...
"ART": An art expert (Nick McArdle) says that Art has come a long way since Leonardo da Vinci; everyone is familiar with his Mona Lisa, or "The Laughing Cavalier" as it is also known. Abstract art is a different kettle of fish and needs interpreting rather than dismissing as a complete waste of paint. This is demonstrated by showing a picture which has some fish in a kettle; this is entitled "A Complete Waste of Paint" by Tom Polanski.
An Australian expert (Graeme) studies "Cosmic Interlude 43" painted by Jonathan Proot (Tim). The most striking thing he finds is the texture of the oil painting, while Proot says it's a water-colour. Proot says it analyses man's insecurity in relation to his contemporary environment ... which the expert says is shown through the little dog. Proot isn't aware of the little dog, so the expert points it out to the viewers by drawing on the picture. The expert then indicates the little man as well, saying that he is pouring soap powder into a washing machine. Many critics would like to know why the little man has a hat (which he has just drawn in), and so Proot claims it's because the sun was very hot. The expert replies by saying that this brought out a big spider. They start to argue about the weather, each drawing on the picture, with the expert always one step ahead as he draws in flowers growing in the rain and an ambulance to take the little man to hospital after he has been struck by Proot's thunderbolt. A distraught Proot goes home to cut his ear off (shuffling on his knees like Toulouse Lautrec), as the expert admits that he may not know much about art, but he likes a picture that tells a story.
"HISTORY": A shot of the Bayeux Tapestry fades to show two elderly, dithering academic men in a study. The pair introduce their subject and themselves. Professor Frederick Pottermore (Tim) and Sir Edward Windward (Graeme) look at the Magna Carta with a facsimile. As part of an educational experiment they will be acting out the signing of the Magna Carta by King John at Runnymede in 1215.
TIM: I am the leader of the Barons. Hooray.
GRAEME: And I, d'you see, am King John.
TIM: And this is a facsimile of the Magna Carta.
GRAEME: Not the real one.
TIM: Not the real one, no.
GRAEME: And away we go.
TIM: King John.
TIM: Sign here please.
TIM: You know Teddy, I've a feeling there should be a little more to it than that.
The duo realise they have missed out the first bit and debate about if Freddy should have knocked on the door first, but there wouldn't have been any at Runnymede. Freddy than has to wait for Teddy to ask him to come in. Freddy gets into the role of Baron Fitzwalter: "We barons are revolting." "That's a very old joke Freddy" "I'm a very old man Teddy. Anyway, you are a bad king." "Well you're no great shakes as a baron yourself." Teddy realises what Freddy means and behaves badly by saying "Knickers!" "He wasn't that bad," says Freddy. Teddy reads the Magna Carta before he signs it and Freddy enacts the good news spreading across England to Teddy's irritation. Teddy finds he has already signed the scroll, so decides he had better endorse it on the back. "Next week," says Freddy, "we will be going on the Crusades ... so I'm afraid we won't be able to be with you."
"MUSIC": A music expert (Tim) is at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden to hear the little known work El Budgerigar by Johann Sebastian Oysterprejudice based on a traditional Latvian folk joke. A women has two budgies, one green and one red, which escape and fly to the top of a high tree. No one will rescue them apart from the village idiot who climbs up to them, but only rescues the red one - and has a good answer.
Three locals (Graeme, Nick and Tim) sing about the sun shining on their little village over and over again. "It is indeed a glorious day", says one. "Yes, it is on days like that that jokes happen," agrees another. A woman (Jo Kendall) sings that she has lost her budgies and calls out to them. The three men sing about who she is at great length; she is Mrs Smith. Everything obvious is repeated again and again. Tom the village idiot (John Junkin) arrives and the onlookers describe what he is doing before going into an interminable chorus of "Tell us why did you not bring down the green budgie ..." Eventually Tom reveals that he didn't bring it down because it wasn't ripe yet.
Graeme checks on the audience progress with Tim and asks if they've been going too fast. Trying to balance on the arm of the chair, Tim says Opera is next under "Music", but Graeme corrects him and says they will probably do "Law" next. Tim agrees: this week they will take a look at the police which have a poor image in this country at the moment. He points to a board with a watch and dog on it, indicating that this should indicate how the police should be regarded. A policeman is the clock-puppy - sorry, watchdog, of society. From the following film, it is shown that the policeman's intention to help all in need.
A policeman crosses the road with two young boys. However, it is the boys helping the constable cross and they then go back across the road while he continues on his way. In the face of provocation, a policeman is always diplomatic; He must never be too hasty and retail his tact. A policeman (Graeme) sees a woman (Jo) getting undressed and watches her discreetly before telling her that she cannot swim in the river. "Why didn't you tell me before I got undressed?" she asks. "Oh well, no law about getting undressed," explains the constable. A policeman must also deal with undesirable elements of society. A drunken man (Tim) enters a police station and a police sergeant (Nick) asks Constable Hoskins what the charge is. Hoskins is the drunken man who has caught a sober burglar. The police seldom get the credit they deserve. A reporter (Graeme) talks to the heroic PC Cake about an armed bank robbery at the bank where he is reporting from. As the reporter describes these events, they happen again behind him, only this time the three masked men get away. Also, the bobby must be there in force at showbiz events, holding back the crowds and then dancing off in a line with high kicks like the Tiller Girls.
"SOCIOLOGY": A shot of rooftops fades to a Scots expert (Nick) who discusses hospitality and the different customs across the world; an Eskimo and an American would both offer wives to their guests. Tonight, they analyse the host-guest relationship of their own behaviour patterns.
The curate Mr Figgis (Tim) arrives a little too early at the home of Mr Maitland (Graeme) who calls out to his wife (Jo) to skip the bath. Figgis accidentally walks into a cupboard and then mistakes the living room for a cupboard. The husband offers a sherry, but then checks that Figgis drinks - he is disappointed to find that he does. The husband tells his wife to entertain the curate by asking what he does for a living. The couple argue about the short-notice arrangement to entertain Figgis; apparently the Andersons didn't want him to visit them that afternoon. The couple offer Figgis the choices to do as he please, but make it clear that every choice he selects is inconvenient to them. Figgis decides it's simple to eat off his knees - but the couple always eat at the table and hope he won't think they're rude. A girl, Grace (Carla Challoner), comes and serves him. Figgis comments that servants are hard to some by: Grace is in fact their daughter. Figgis is served only a few vegetables but is so polite he says that he is full; the couple then laugh that he hasn't had any meat, but Figgis, trying to be polite, says this is how he likes it. Offered a choice of tea or coffee, he would like tea, but the Maitlands clearly want him to have coffee. As it turns out, they don't have either. Figgis doesn't have to rush off and makes himself comfortable while the Maitlands says they have to dash off to the theatre. At 7.30pm, Figgis tries to excuse himself from the late night, but they insist he stays. After the Maitlands have gone out, Grace joins Figgis with a drink and he relaxes with her, saying "Oh, I thought they'd never go darling."
Graeme announces the part of the programme when the viewer does the work: an IQ test. Tim says they have a second per question, and asks viewers to complete the sequence "L O L O". The answer is, "Hello, hello, who's your lady friend?" Graeme asks "In the following picture, who is the odd man out?" He shows a picture of a crowd, explaining that the answer is George Bernard Shaw who was a writer and not a circus proprietor. Finally, Graeme asks "Do you recognise this piece of music?" and holds up some sheet music. "And the answer is of course ..." says Tim as the closing theme tune starts.
Helping to Broaden Your Mind were
Musical Director: Dave Lee
Devised and written by Graeme Garden and Tim Brooke-Taylor
Additional material by Barry Cryer, John Law, David McKellar
Designer: Paul Joel
Produced by Sydney Lotterby
BACKGROUND NOTES: Filming on the programme ran from 29 July, but after a couple of weeks it was clear that more time would be needed to prepare the studio shows. As such, on 15 August, the six recordings were all set back by one week, allowing rehearsal time following the end of pre-filming on the first four shows which concluded on 13 August.
In the first script, Graeme's "El Budgerigar", known as "Joke Opera", had recently appeared in Series 5 Programme 8 of "ISIRTA". The "Police Sketch" was contributed by John Law.
Sequences which were filmed for the first show included the opening questions posed to the audience in the pre-credits which were voiced by Graeme and interspersed with animated question marks. The main filmed item on this debut edition was the police image film, on which shooting was performed on 29 and 30 July by Tim, Graeme and Nick.
The show was recorded in Studio 8 at Television Centre on Saturday 17 August 1968. Tim's introduction to the "Joke Opera" and the reappearance of Tim and Graeme mid-way through the programme (referred to as "Mid-way Experts" were pre-recorded in the afternoon between 2.30pm and 3pm to cut down on costume changes and recording breaks in front of the audience. The main body of the show was then taped from 8.30pm to 9.30pm that evening, with the audience kept entertained before the show and during recording breaks by warm-up man John Junkin who later collaborated with Tim on other projects, most notably "Hello Cheeky" and who appeared in the "Double Trouble" episode of "The Goodies". Junkin also appeared in this episode during the opera sketch.
Music was provided by Dave Lee who had worked with Tim and Graeme extensively on "ISIRTA". The only item of commercial music was "There's No Business Like Show Business" played by Werner Miller and his Orchestra from a Decca LP; this was the music that the policemen danced away to at the end of the police film.
The programme over-ran and one sketch was cut. This was a sketch about "SCIENCE" in which Graeme as Uncle Hugh discussed the invention of the steam engine with his young nephew, Timothy, played by Tim. This was re-enacted and appeared in a later show, but originally came after the police film. Of the finished programme, the "Magna Carta" sketch which introduces Teddy and Freddy (who are effectively the elderly characters Tim and Graeme play in the closing scenes of "The End") is probably the real gem, while the police film foreshadows the visual fun made at the constabularies expense which would re-surface in "The Goodies".
The series debuted on BBC2 at 9.35pm on 28 October as a replacement for "The Morecambe and Wise Show". The "Radio Times" described it as a "revue-type programme that sends up the academics", and erroneously included Marty Feldman (whose BBC2 show Tim had written for and appeared in) and Barry Took in their writing credits for the programme, the billing for which indicated "Tonight you are invited to tune into Lesson One of this new series. If you think you have a knowledge of Art or History of Sociology or Opera, then prepare to be re-educated. Your schooldays were nothing like this." The listing was accompanied by a monochrome shot of Jo and Tim. Later in the magazine was a half-page piece about the new series with a large photo of Tim and Graeme, stressing their appearances in "Marty" and "Twice a Fortnight" as well as their collaboration on "I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again" with Jo. "So, if your are suffering from narrowness of the brain, tune in and ... Broaden Your Mind".
The broadcast was seen by 1.7 million people in the UK. A BBC Audience Research Report was prepared on the programme on 27 November 1968. The programme received a reaction score of 60 which was just below the current Light Entertainment average of 61, and some way above the average score of 42 registered by "Twice a Fortnight" which was "similarly 'zany' in content". Half the 119 viewers reporting liked the show and found it to be "promising and full of bright ideas". The programme "showed a refreshing bent for crisp and lively but never malicious humour". A Physicist noted "This show is based on a very interesting concept," while noting that this first edition was "variable". Responses indicated that some sketches were "a shade over-long or over-drawn" with the opera and Magna Carta scenes cited (although the whole point of Graeme's joke opera *was* that it was over-long) while the highlights were felt to be the Sociology item "with the curate" and the skit on the Law ("marvellously zany"). A small percentage of the sample disliked the programme; some found it childish while others felt some jokes were "old hat". Tim and Graeme - described as "two nice young men" by one viewer - were "much more warmly regarded than their material". Other aspects of the show in terms of design and props were found to be suitable, and overall viewers felt that in future "the pace of the presentation should be more carefully studied, so that items of different lengths maintained balance and a speedier flow".
NEXT C&G EDITIONS:
- Special Tour Edition - first week of December 2005
- #121: 12th December 2005.
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