» Introduction & Index
» 1 Lemon Sherbet
» 2 Newsreaders
» 3 Targets: Max & Des
» 4. Goodies Turning ...
» 5. Beanz Ads
» 6. Targets: Nichola...
» 7. Goodies In Love
» 8. The Trandem
» 9. Targets: Tony Bl...
» 10. Inventions
» 11. Tim In Drag
» 12. Targets - David...
» 13. Bill's Outfits
» 14. Live Music
» 15. Targets: Mary &...
» 16. Goodies Relatives
» 17. Tim's Patriotic...
» 18. Targets: Rolf H...
» 19. Bill & Graeme i...
» 20. Sports & Games
» 21. Targets: Lionel...
» 22. Guest Stars: Pa...
» 23. Graeme's Computer
» 24. Monty Python Re...
» 25. Targets: Eddie ...
» 26. Memorable Animals
» 27. Foreigners
» 28. Targets: The Ra...
» 29. Graeme falling ...
» 30. Targets - Royal...
» 31. Tim Crying
» 32. Baddies & Villa...
» 33. Targets: Ken Ru...
» 34. Quick Change Ca...
» 35. Goodies Deaths
A COLLECTION OF GOODIES THEMES #28
(by Brett Allender)
GOODIES TARGETS: THE RADIO TIMES & BOGNOR
Most of the favourite targets of Goodies humour are their fellow human beings in the entertainment industry (though Tim may beg to differ with his shocked exclamation of "You've been using people ... and Donny Osmond!" in 'Frankenfido'), but there are also two inanimate objects that come in for their fair share of Goodies-style ribbing: the long-running magazine 'Radio Times' and the English seaside town of Bognor.
The Radio Times was first published in 1923 as a weekly listing of BBC Radio programmes; then later expanded to cover BBC television listings and in more modern times the listings for all of the major TV and radio channels in Britain. At one stage it had the highest circulation of any magazine in Europe, which made it a prime target for bagging by the Goodies; starting with the audio version in the second-ever episode 'Snooze'. Graeme has got his elaborate rise-and-shine sequence underway with his alarm clock triggering a remarkable automated sequence where he is able to prepare and eat breakfast, shave, get dressed and make his bed while hardly having to move a muscle. At one stage this near-silent spectacle is interrupted by the radio being switched on to a rowdy clip of theme music and a cheerful Tony Blackburn commenting "And there we go ... the Radio Times ... fifteen and a quarter minutes now ...", only for the chatter to be swiftly and mercilessly halted by a robotic hammer that smashes the radio to smithereens.
At the start of the next episode 'Give Police A Chance' Tim is seen quietly reading the Radio Times with the help of a magnifying glass. Either this is a subtle swipe at the Radio Times for having made the font size too small or he needs the magnifying glass in order to find something of interest in there!
In the final scene of Series 3 episode 'Way Outward Bound', Tim's power of having full control over the platoon of brainwashed babies has gone to his head to the point where he even plots a world takeover; spurting "Just think, in a few years time they'll be able to do the housework and then maybe, yes, my own private army of slaves. Don't you see, I can rule the world … If I had my own private army I'd be unstoppable. I can see it now … Tim OBE, King of the World! I shall start training them tomorrow. I'll take over the world, the universe, Mars, maybe even the Radio Times …!" This dire threat and sudden outburst of megalomania forces Bill to pacify Tim by shoving a bottle of milk into his mouth, with help from a worried Graeme.
Tim has just been on the end of a nasty phone conversation with the Minister of Health in Series 4 episode 'Hospital For Hire' and he relays the details to his fellow Goodies (though leaving out the "rude bits"). The Minister claims that the health department is so slow "because they keep getting pestered by sick people", and that "as the Goodies do anything, anytime", they should train to become doctors themselves by filling out the application form on the back of the Radio Times. . Graeme pauses to think: "Radio Times? Oh no, I think it's all gone", but an enthusiastic Bill chirps: "Oh no, no it hasn't!" and opens the door to the loo. Bill then emerges triumphantly with a clump of magazine pages hanging from a hook and declares "Hang about, here we are, yes. Just a couple of pages left, there they are!" to a great haughty look from Graeme. Bill reads aloud from the application form with increasing excitement: "Don't forget, medical students qualify for an annual government grant, free beer and all the nurses you can ...!" before Tim hastily clamps his hand over Bill's mouth and declares: "Hey, hey, hey ... We'll do it!"
In Series 5 episode 'Cunning Stunts, Bill is devastated after being sacked from the Goodies and being rejected by Mildred Makepeace to boot, so he signs up as a British entrant for the Eurovision Raving Loony Contest. Back at the office, Graeme is seen reading the Radio Times with the contest featured boldly on the front cover and he gasps "Oh surely, not even Bill would enter the Eurovision Raving Loony Contest?!" Tim points out that Bill said that he would in the letter that he had left behind and Graeme laments "Poor little Bill, he's gonna go and kill himself!", which Bill has apparently mentioned in his letter too. Graeme utters "Tim, you and I are gonna enter that contest!" and although Tim incredulously asks "That contest?! What do you think we are?", they both make the silly noise that Bill had made earlier to Mildred's father and he agrees: "Fair enough!" Shortly afterwards at the Eurovision Raving Loony Contest, host Katie Pimple is giving the introductory welcome when she merrily chirps the following classic smackdown: "For those of you who haven't read the Radio Times ... and let's face it, who the hell does?! ... I'll explain that the aim of the contestants is to hurt, maim or preferably to kill themselves by doing something extremely stupid and dangerous!"
'Lips or Almighty Cod' has Graeme still trying in vain to annoy his flotilla of fish to the point where they will attack the poaching Eskimos, long after his Goodies chums have given up on this loony idea. Graeme stands near the fish tank containing his giant camp cod and loudly declares "All right. 1001 Ways To Make You Cross - chapter 38!", then bellows into huge megaphone while reading aloud from his book: "Noele Gordon is TV Personality of the Year. Again! The Radio Times is the biggest selling magazine in Europe! TONY BLACKBURN! Oh dear, doesn't anything get you going?!" Graeme almost loses his voice at the end of the sentence about the Radio Times and he also gives up on actively trying to frazzle fish, only to find that "a nice spot of soothing music" from Max Bygraves finally has the annoyance factor on his fishy friends that he was so feverishly trying to induce.
Graeme re-enters the Goodies' office in 'Royal Command' as the Queen's Own Master of Entertainment (complete with a Union Jack-adorned "patriotic proboscis") and throws a whoopee cushion on Tim's throne (which Tim inadvertently sits on with a loud parp), then declares that he has "One packet of tidings for Timbo from the palace." The "tidings" are a magazine that Tim looks at in puzzlement and queries: "The Royal Radio Times?!" Graeme replies: "That's right. Following the success of their Royal Command, they've decided to take an active interest in showbiz. They've started in a small way – they've taken over the BBC!" A shocked Tim says: Look what they've done to the schedules! Showjumping, Horse of the Year Show, Horse of the Day Show, Horse of the Minute Show! ... Racing from Newmarket, Racing to Newmarket ...!" and Graeme notes that: "Yeah, they're quite partial to horses, you know." Tim replies in disbelief: "You're telling me! Look, 7:00 Dad's Cavalry, 7:30 Rock Fillies, 8:00 Ponyrama with Dobbin Day ... ! Whatever's next?!"
The final mention of the Radio Times comes in Series 7 episode 'Earthanasia' where Graeme and Bill have learnt of the harsh reality that the world is going to end at midnight, while Tim is blissfully unaware of the impending doom as is looking forward to Santa Claus delivering him some presents on Christmas Day. After Tim initially doesn't believe it when Bill breaks the bad news to him in extremely blunt fashion ("Because, little dewy eyed Timbellina, tomorrow we'll all be dead! Dead, dead, D-E-D-D. DEAD! Have you got that?!"), Graeme wants to leave Tim unworried but Bill crossly disagrees: "Oh no no no, we're always mollycoddling him. We can't go on protecting him against reality for the rest of his life!" Bill summons Tim over to have a look at the latest copy of the Radio Times; pointing out that "Up to Christmas Eve, no problem, but afterwards ..." as he shows Tim a series of blank pages after December 24th and explains further "World leaders ... (as Graeme adds "Yeah, no point in going on"), so twelve o'clock tonight, BOOM!" This shocking scenario causes Tim to scream in panic and race about in a mad frenzy; even doing another famous "teapot" performance as Bill threatens him with "Stop that or you won't last until midnight!"
Bognor (or Bognor Regis, to give its full title) is a seaside resort town in West Sussex on England's south coast. Starting off as a fishing village, it gained popularity as a tourist destination in the late 1800s and was selected as a suitable place for King George V to recuperate in 1929. It was as a result of this that the suffix "Regis" (meaning "of the King") was bestowed on Bognor around this time, though there is the famous unproven anecdote that the ailing King, upon being told shortly before his death in 1936 that he would soon be well enough to revisit Bognor, bluntly retorted "Bugger Bognor!" – a sentiment seemingly shared by the Goodies in their brief references to the town in several different episodes of the show.
The first of these references is a rather innocuous one in 'Come Dancing' when the Goodies visit Penelope Fay's dance school and find that her three male dancers have also been got at by various means - including "A patch of oil on the fast bend at the Locarno, Lytham St. Annes" and "A banana skin at the Bodega Ballroom, Bognor" - and they will be unable to compete in the final due to their injuries, leading to the Goodies taking their places.
In 'Winter Olympics' the Goodies are informed that their training facilities are in a top-secret location, so the Minister of Sport blindfolds them and hands them a cactus as a supposed map. The Goodies somehow manage to ride the trandem despite not being able to see where they are going and a 'Welcome to Bognor. Please Drive Carefully' sign automatically slides sideways to reveal a gateway as the Goodies approach on the trandem. Upon entering the chilly, spartan hut that awaits them, Graeme comments "The Minister said it was the coldest spot in Britain ..." He then looks out the door; then adds rather ruefully "Oh yes, Bognor on a Bank Holiday!"
When Graeme discovers that he has "the power" in Series 3 episode 'That Old Black Magic', he immediately puts it to evil use by "selling his soul to the Sunday papers" after taking over the Goodies office with an 'I Do Anything Anytime' sign and plenty of voodoo stuff including sticking pins into Tim's dolly and smearing tomato ketchup all over the Ouija board on the floor. Naturally it falls to Tim and Bill to put a stop to Graeme's devil worship session on Clapham Common and Tim rather spookily remarks: "So tomorrow night when the owls do hoot and the moon is full, we must journey to the abode of the living dead." Bill's rather disgusted reply to this suggestion is: "Aw, we're not going to Bognor again, are we?!"
In 'Camelot', Tim reads out a royal proclamation from his Uncle King Arthur, which in part reads "Dear Tim, Me 'n the Missus is off to the seaside for a coupla days so hows about lookin' after the old parlour for us til we get back. The key's under the drawbridge, there's a couple of frozen stags in the fridge, please feed the bloodhounds and don't forget to give the bear a bit of a dance every night. Nice one Tim, ol' son. All the best, Uncle Arthur King. PS We've been having a bit of bother with the local planners lately. Scare 'em off and I'll make you Earl of Northumbria." Tim has never been to visit his uncle ("Not likely, he's a raving loony!") and suspects that Camelot is "less of a medieval stronghold and more like a two-up, two-down", but the Goodies are amazed to find on their arrival in a street of ordinary houses that number 33 is a huge medieval castle complete with moat and drawbridge. With the Goodies there to keep a watchful eye on the place, Uncle King Arthur and the royal family (including "the dog Spot") walk out across the drawbridge, remove their crowns, don cloth caps instead and "made a journey to a far-off place" by boarding a bus to Bognor Regis for their exotic holiday.
In 'The Movies', film producer Tim finishes telling the studio directors (including Warhol, Zeffirelli and Fellini) that the Goodies are currently reviewing the movies that they have been working on and he joins his co-producers in a closed studio. Tim enters to find Bill and Graeme hurling a tirade of displeasure at the screen ("Rubbish!", "Boo!", "Rotten!", "Boring!") while reviewing Visconti's latest movie 'Death in Bognor', in which an old man shuffles slowly along a sunrise-lit beach. T: "Have I missed much?" G: "No, just the first hour or two." T: "What's happened?" G: "Nothing." Although Tim then remarks "It's quite pretty", Bill is getting rather impatient for the old codger to snuff it. Bill's cries of "Come on, get a move on!", "Let's have the death then!", "Why are we waiting?!" and "Come on you blighter, die! C'mon, die!" are finally rewarded when the old timer kicks his heels in the air in an epic death dive (it could only have been Graeme in disguise!) and sprawls flat on the sand. T: "Was that it?" G: "No, another 90 minutes of it yet!" T: "What happens?" G: "Nothing." T (matter of factly): "At least it's better than 'Death in Venice'!"
The last name check for Bognor before the Goodies go on to bigger and better targets is a brief one in 'Kung Fu Kapers' where Bill's stream of "full length, full colour, gratuitously violent and very badly dubbed Ecky Thump movies" are being announced and the charmingly-named 'Fleapit, Bognor' is the screening venue for 'Bill Oddie in Savage Puddings'.
Rather like all of the Goodies' various targets, it doesn't really matter if you've never been to Bognor or never read a copy of the Radio Times (or even had it on the hook in your dunny!) – the fact that the Goodies found them to be suitable topics for sending up means that you're able to show some comic disdain for them as well!
The Radio Times program cops a hammering
1/3 Give Police A Chance
Tim needs his magnifying glass for the Radio Times
3/6 Way Outward Bound
Tim threatens to take over the Radio Times
4/3 Hospital For Hire
"Just a couple of pages left!"
Graeme is not amused!
"... free beer and all the nurses you can ...!"
"Hey hey hey, we'll do it!"
5/10 Cunning Stunts
"Poor little Bill, he's gonna go and kill himself!"
"For those of you that haven't read the Radio Times ... and let's face it, who the hell does?! ..."
6/1 Lips or Almighty Cod
"The Radio Times is the biggest selling magazine in Europe!"
7/5 Royal Command
Tim peruses the Royal Radio Times
The Radio Times before and after the big bang ...
... which is enough to freak Tim out!
3/3 Winter Olympics
'Welcome to Bognor' sign as trandem approaches
The coldest place in Britain - "Bognor on a bank holiday!"
3/4 That Old Black Magic
"Aw, we're not going to Bognor again, are we?!"
Uncle King Arthur and the Royal Family board the bus to Bognor
5/1 The Movies
A new movie for the Goodies to review
"Come on you blighter, die!"
5/7 Kung Fu Kapers
One of Bill's new Ecky Thump movies