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Articles on miscellaneous subjects written by Bill
Goodies, the truth about - Print Email PDF 
Posted by wackywales 02/01/2008

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MAIL ON SUNDAY, May 28, 2000

Fact is just as funny as the Goodie life;
The Truth About The comedy team's most memorable gags


BY: BILL ODDIE

This week The Goodies marked the 30th anniversary of their first show a celebration at London's National Film Theatre. During the Seventies the three Goodies Graeme Garden, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Bill Oddie became one of the most popular comedy teams on television. But here BILL ODDIE reveals that the three stars had more in common with their zany TV counterparts than you might expect ...

One thing people remember about The Goodies is the three-seater bike we used to ride. Over the decade or so of The Goodies we had three or four of them.

We called them with dems like a tandem, but for three people. I think we made that word up, and I don't think a three-seater bike had ever existed before we made one.

Anyway, the first one was constructed from a tandem at the front and an old bicycle at the back.

Because of the way the two bikes had been attached, I didn't actually have to pedal. The reason we kept falling off was because it was very difficult to coordinate the pedalling. If we got it wrong we would kick each other. So, what looks like us trying to get a laugh by falling off the bike was actually for real.

People used to think our lives as Goodies continued outside the show.

We were called by our own names in the programme and we appeared to all live together at 'No Fixed Abode, Cricklewood'. Actually, people used to send letters to that address and they got to us! The Post Office obviously knew for whom the letters were meant.

To be honest, there was a very thin line between the characters in the show and our real selves. We took our natural characteristics and exaggerated them. Because I was quite fiery, I became the belligerent one; Graeme, who was a doctor, became a kind of mad scientist; and Tim, because he had a double-barrelled name, had to be the posh one. But if anybody embodied the views of all of us, I suppose it was me because we were all really anti-Establishment. This meant Tim actually came to hate his own character.

Another one of the show's lasting images must be the kitten climbing on the Post Office Tower like King Kong on the Empire State Building.

That originated from a sketch I wrote for Ronnie Barker in which he had an incredibly strong kitten on a lead which was pulling him everywhere. He never used it, so we ended up doing it in The Goodies. A lot of children watched the show, which was part of our success. But we didn't start out intending to write and perform for children. We did it for ourselves and our peer group.

We liked the kind of comedy in Buster Keaton and Tom And Jerry a vicious cartoon type of humour.

Being popular with children became a rod for our own backs. We were labelled as just a kids' show. But there was always a satirical element to us and we were censored by the BBC more times than Monty Python. We chose the name The Goodies because we wanted to sound like a rock group. We liked The Monkees but wanted to do more comedy and less music. We were also attracted by being some sort of avengers being against the 'baddies'.

One day we had a call from Steven Spielberg. He left a message saying he wanted to make a Goodies film.

We laughed it off, but it was true.

Spielberg had been making a comedy film, 1941, and wanted to do more. But when 1941 was released it was a disaster and obviously Spielberg decided never to do any more comedy again.




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