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A Collection Of Goodies Media Interviews
Goodies - 1994 Interview Daily Mail - Print Email PDF 
Posted by bretta 27/12/2009

Index

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» Goodies - Time Out ...
» Goodies - Cult Time...
» Goodies - The Heral...
» Goodies - Various (...
» Goodies - Various (...
» Goodies - Daily Tel...
» Graeme - Radio Time...
» Goodies - 1994 Inte...
» Goodies - Guardian ...
» Tim & Graeme - Esse...
» Tim - Maidenhead Ad...
» Tim & Graeme - Linc...
» Graeme - Nottingham...
» Tim - Worcester New...
» Tim - The Express M...
» Graeme - Essex Chro...
» Graeme - Guardian M...
» Tim - Hull Daily Ma...
» Graeme - Scotsman A...
» Graeme - Mature Tim...
» Graeme - Independen...
» Bill - Sunday Star ...
» Graeme - Time Out S...
» Goodies - Daily Mai...
» Bill - Bristol Even...
» Graeme - Best Briti...
» Tim - Telegraph Int...
» Graeme - Cotswold L...
» Bill - Daily Mail 2...
» Bill - Varsity 2012
» Graeme - The Age (T...
» Graeme - TV Tonight...
» Tim - Daily Mail (A...

(from C&G 133 - December 2006)
(contributed by Wackywales)
 
Daily Mail - September 27, 1994
 
PEOPLE REALLY BELIEVED THAT WE LIVED TOGETHER
 
* THE Goodies became famous in the Seventies as that zany TV trio who rode a three-seater bike and would do anything, any time. Tim Brooke-Taylor, now 53, and his wife Christine have two sons, Ben and Edward. Graeme Garden, 50, lives in Oxfordshire with his second wife, Emma and their son. He also has two children, Sally and John, from his first marriage. Bill Oddie, 53, lives in London with his wife Laura Beaumont and their eight-year-old daughter, Rosie. He has two older daughters, dancer Bonnie Oddie and actress Kate Hardie, from his first marriage . Now, as videos of The Goodies comedy classics are being released, Tim, Bill and Graeme talk to RACHEL TRETHEWEY about their relationships on and off screen.
 
TIM BROOKE-TAYLOR
 
Bill and I met within the first few weeks at university. Bill looked completely different then, he was very clean-shaven and wiry. He seemed to have a rock on his shoulder, rather than a chip.
 
I had been to Winchester College and quite clearly Bill had been told that anyone from public school was awful. I pointed out that the school he went to, King Edward's in Birmingham, is one of the best in the country and we quickly became good friends.
 
We appeared in various shows and it was a joy writing and performing together. Bill was a loner but he joined in with my gang and he was the hit of our Footlights reviews.
 
I got to know Graeme better when I worked with him after university. We went through hell together doing Broaden Your Mind because we hadn't done anything quite like it before and had terrible times in production. Bill joined the programme after Graeme and me, when it was just the two of us it was a bit cosy, we needed Bill to spice it up.
 
When The Goodies began, we were superficially like our characters, but my character came to represent most of the things I hate – that unquestioning conservatism and making the assumption that you were superior. Bill and Graeme changed a bit and became the opposite of their characters, as they were terribly settled and proud of their houses.
 
As a threesome we had enough honesty to able to send each other up. One would step out of line and the other two would say: 'Uhhuh, excuse me, I don't think you can do that.' Rows between us were infrequent, but I found them unpleasant because if we did row it meant a serious moment had arrived. We all reacted in a different way. I'd go over the top and take an extreme position. Bill would take the opposite view and Graeme would go silent. That would then annoy Bill and I so much that we'd turn on Graeme. Bill and I took different positions partly because we were trying to find out exactly what we felt, then we'd find quite often Graeme had the answer.
 
Bill and Graeme instinctively got on, but there were moments of almost bewilderment between them. At those times Bill couldn't make out why Graeme wasn't saying anything, and Graeme would be thinking: 'Why doesn't Bill just shut up?'
 
But because we are all very different we weren't threats to each other and worked well together because we knew the strengths of the others. Graeme is one of the most talented people I've ever met, but he needs a good kick. With him, it was not so much telling him to stop, but to start. He needed Bill and I to push him along.
 
As a trio we were united against the world and if one of us went out on a limb, the others would gather round. I found it difficult when other people criticised Bill or Graeme and I defended them the way you do your parents or children.
 
Bill used to get people's backs up on the show, but that was because he was a perfectionist and actually wanted to get it right. He wasn't good at smoothing feathers afterwards and that was one of my roles.
 
We became really good friends because if you know that the rest of the world is about to judge you, you get closer and closer. When Bill and Graeme went through their divorces, they could talk to me. I didn't give advice, but I understood.
 
Occasionally, our families still meet up and it's a really good experience. About three years ago, Christine and I invited the other two families to lunch and we watched videos of The Goodies. We roared with laughter and it seemed very natural.
 
When we meet up, it's really good fun. I see Graeme because I do a radio show with him, but it's a work environment so we don't gossip as much. I think I know Graeme very well, but there's a side of him I don't know. I find that's an endearing quality and I totally respect his privacy.
 
Bill and I don't see much of each other, but when we do we pick up exactly where we left off. Bill has a terrific affectionate quality and is very loyal. He has changed a lot, he's mellowed and that's good for him.
 
If the three of us ever lost touch it would be a great shame. It's like war veterans; we can be self-indulgent and talk about the past.
 
 
BILL ODDIE
 
At university, Tim became as good a friend as I had. I found the first year there lonely and only managed to find a circle of friends through acting. Tim and I were both at Pembroke College and involved in Footlights.
 
Graeme was in the year below and I didn't know him that well. We really got to know each other after university. We had enormous fun working together as The Goodies, but it was hard work as well.
 
Working together, we never had real rows, but Tim and I were far more likely to row than Graeme. Sometimes I'd get annoyed or Tim would snap at me if I messed around, saying: 'Are you going to stick to the words or not?'
 
Tim has very strong views on things and he's never afraid to say what he thinks. That edge between us was part of the fun.
 
Tim and I are both garrulous and up-front, but there's an inbuilt shyness in Graeme and you want to say to him: 'It's okay, loosen up and just talk more.' He's very talented, but there's something about him that makes him want to step back from the limelight. However, perhaps Graeme shut up because he came to the conclusion that he wasn't going to get a word in edgeways. Our families got to know each other, too. My kids, Kate and Bonnie, came filming with us and Tim has always taken an interest in their careers.
 
I don't know his sons that well, but there was one famous occasion when Edward was boisterous and kicked me in the crotch. I said: 'If you do that again, I'll kick you there.' It became a joke later. I had a reputation for being stroppy and whenever I was, Tim said he'd get one of his sons to kick me. We spent a huge amount of time at one another's houses, so we were in a position to watch what was happening in each other's lives. Graeme and I saw each other through the break-up of our first marriages. We were sympathetic and could talk to each other.
 
Now we don't keep in touch that much. It's partially due to geography and because we have different schedules, Graeme lives beyond Oxford and Tim is away a lot. But even if I don't see them for ages when we get back together you immediately know there's a sympathy there.
 
I still feel very close to Tim and have a great affection for him. I know that if I had a problem and wanted to talk to somebody, then I could talk to him.
 
I equally feel as fond of Graeme, he's an extremely nice fellow, but he is less easy to get to know. Although we hardly ever see each other, I still count both Tim and Graeme as good friends.
 
 
GRAEME GARDEN
 
At university Tim, Bill and I met in Footlights. Tim was president of the club and even then he was specialising in upper-crust toffee-nosed types, while Bill did some drawings for the student art magazine I was involved in. Later, we came up with the idea for The Goodies while working on Broaden Your Mind. Although we weren't very like our characters in The Goodies, we looked like the types we were playing.
 
It worked as a threesome because we were all very different. Had there been two people like me or two like Bill, they would have been at each other's throats. Grumpiness was as deep as it got between us; there were disagreements about the best way to do things, but not bad-tempered arguments. If any two of us were together, we'd probably be slagging off the other one, but it became a game and there was deep fondness underneath. Tim and I would get annoyed by Bill when he ad-libbed or started laughing when a gag of his went particularly well. On those occasions, Tim and I would turn to each other and say: 'So help me, I'll swing for him.'
 
But at other times Tim would get on his high horse about something not always relevant to what was being discussed. He was quite set in his opinions. As a threesome, we were totally frank with each other. We didn't lie or flatter each other about our performances, but we were pretty good at saying if something worked well.
 
We were on different wavelengths, but I could tune into both of them. I'm quite private, certainly much more than Bill, while Tim is somewhere in between. Sometimes, if I appeared to sit on the fence during discussions, Bill particularly, and occasionally Tim, would get a bit cross, but I wouldn't say anything unless I thought it was worth saying.
 
When we were making The Goodies we lived in each other pockets in the Hampstead area. There weren't many parties, but we'd have dinner with each other and with mutual friends. On those occasions, we didn't talk much about work, we discussed other television programmes, sport and politics.
 
Our working routine was that Bill would pick us up in his Mini in the mornings and take us home at night. Spending hours together in a Mini is a true test of friendship and we laughed a lot. We appeared together so much people that assumed we all lived together. It meant that if they'd told one of us something, they assumed we would pass it on to the others when we got home. In the end, we had to make it clear that we didn't all ride home on a three-seater bike.
 
We became good friends and at times confided in each other. When my first marriage to Liz broke up in the late Seventies, Tim and Bill were very supportive and they let me stay with them when I wasn't quite sure where I'd be living. Similarly, when Bill was having problems in his marriage to Jean he'd occasionally sleep on a couch at my place.
 
Since The Goodies finished we've gone in different directions. Bill's very much into music and passionate about bird-watching. Tim works in the theatre and plays a lot of golf. I'm working in a proper job making management training films.
 
I see Tim on average every couple of months because we work together on radio. I don't see Bill quite so often, but it's good fun when we all meet up. We don't sit round awkwardly, we plunge straight into our relationship again. We've got a lot of catching up to do and like finding out what our families are up to. Deep down, I don't think Tim and Bill have changed much, although some features are more mellow and Bill is less excitable than he used to be. I know them both pretty well and a very good friend is someone you don't need to see every day or even every year. It's someone you can just meet and pick up literally where you left off.'
 



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