» #73 Jan 2002
THE GOODIES CLARION AND GLOBE
THE OFFICIAL NEWSLETTER OF 'THE GOODIES RULE - OK' FAN CLUB
Issue No. 73 12th January 2002
Newsletter enquiries: email@example.com
General enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
'The Goodies Rule - OK!'
P.O. Box 325
Chadstone VIC 3148, AUSTRALIA
THE LADS AND LASSES OF THE C&G
- Brett Allender
- Kay Dickinson
- Lisa Manekofsky
- David Balston
- Alison Bean
FAB FEATURE WRITER
- Kay Dickinson
COOL COR COMIC REVIEWER
- Linda Kay
- Doug Wulf, Ian Boucher, Jodie Hunter, Ian Greaves, David Drury
1. BOFFO IDEAS - Club happenings and ideas.
2. SPOTTED!!! - The latest Goodies sightings
3. 2001 AND A BIT - Tim, Graeme and Bill sightings post-Goodies.
4. FEATURE ARTICLE - An interview with Tim Brooke-Taylor – Part One
5. GOODIES EPISODE SUMMARY - The Movies.
6. GOODIES COR!! COMICS SYNOPSIS #2
1. 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:
(by Kay Dickinson – posted to the GROK website on 9th January)
At last, you can order The Goodies theme tune as a mobile ringtone! It's available for UK, US and Aussie phones - Nokia, Motorola, Ericsson and Sagem - (plus Ireland and Germany - with NZ coming soon) by clicking on the link below:
Click your country, and then put 'Goodies' into their search engine. You'll need to phone to order it, and their costs are at the foot of the page (the UK phone number was wrong at the time of posting this, it should be 4563 and not 4593 as the last 4 digits)
(If anyone has ordered it for a Nokia, can you let me know if it's any good - it's pretty bad on my Motorola. If it's the same all round, I'll get them to change it (they've put pauses in the wrong place)
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:
THIS IS YOUR LIFE
(by Lisa Manekofsky)
We still don't have a definite air date for the episode of "This Is Your Life" honoring Bill Oddie. However, episodes of the show are currently scheduled to air on 11th January and 18th January (both at 7:00 p.m. on BBC1); people might want to set their VCRs just in case one of these are the correct episode.
(by Lisa Manekofsky and Doug Wulf)
In the mid-1970's, the Goodies released several songs which climbed the British charts. Some of these records were released in other countries, such as their big hit "Funky Gibbon". A German single of "Funky Gibbon" (with "Sick Man Blues" on the B-side) was released with a picture sleeve containing the following blurb. The English translation has been provided by Doug Wulf.
The Goodies mit "Funky Gibbon" und "Sick-Man-Blues" sind in England einer der heiBesten Tips fur das Jahr 1975. Davon sind jedenfalls zahlreiche englische Musik-Journalisten fest uberzeugt.
1974 erhielten die Goodies bereits eine silberne Schallplatte fur uber eine Viertelmillion verkaufte Singles und wurden die - Comedy Award Winner des Jahres. Dieser Preis zeichnet sie als die besten Kabarettisten Englands aus.
Bei den Goodies bezieht sich das Wort Kabarettist jedoch lediglich auf den guten und humorvollen textlichen Inhalt ihrer Titel. Im Vordergrund steht aber ihre phantastisch tanzbare und mitreiBende Musik, die man am besten mit "Crazy-Rock" bezeichnet.
With "Funky Gibbon" and "Sick Man Blues", the Goodies are one of the best bets (literally 'hottest tips') in England for 1975. In any event, this has numerous English music critics utterly surprised.
Already in 1974, the Goodies have received a silver record for over a quarter million singles sold and became the Comedy Award Winner of the Year. This prize designates (or honors) them as England's best cabaret artists.
In the case of the Goodies, however, the term cabaret artist merely refers to the good and humorous connotation (literally: 'textual content') of their name (literally: title (of the group)). In the foreground, however, stands their fantastically danceable and infectious music, which one might best label with the term "Crazy Rock."
TIM INTERVIEWED IN METRO
(from information contributed by Ian Greaves and David Drury to Goodies-L on 11th January)
60 SECOND INTERVIEW with Tim Brooke-Taylor, by Jamie Walters
Metro, 11/01/02, p10
*At 62 years old, Tim Brooke-Taylor is unlikely to fulfil his dream of scoring the winning goal in an FA Cup Final, but then there are not many footballers who will achieve what he has. Best known for his role in the comedy trio The Goodies, he can still be heard on ever-popular radio shows Just A Minute and I’m sorry I Haven’t A Clue. He can now also be seen on a new TV show about one of his favourite subjects - golf.
METRO: Could you talk for 60 seconds without repetition or hesitation on the subject of golf?
TIM: Yes, I could bore for Britain. There’d probably be repetition with the use of the word ‘I’: ‘I did this and I did that’. I don’t think there’s anything worse than a golf bore to be honest; golfers should just talk to each other.
METRO: Do we need more golf on TV?
TIM: I think we do. The BBC used to show pro-celebrity golf in the middle of the Winter, and seeing the sun and the scenery at that time of year just made me feel better.
METRO: Are you a relaxed golfer or do you like to wrap your clubs around trees?
TIM: No, I’m relaxed. It’s funny because when you’re playing golf with strangers, you know exactly what their character is within ten minutes because of the way they play.
METRO: Your old school [Winchester College] was in the news recently for boys smoking marijuana. Did any of that go on in your day and is that how you stay relaxed on the course?
TIM: I don’t think we’d even heard of it in those days. I only discovered after school how interesting life was outside - apart from everything else, I’d never come across any homosexuality at all. People have said: ‘You were at boarding school for God’s sake’, but I must have been looking the wrong way, which of course is the last thing you should be doing. I think I would have probably tried smoking it at the time, though.
METRO: Did Cambridge University open your eyes?
TIM: Cambridge did open my eyes but not in the sense of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll - it showed me how many different types of people there are. At Cambridge, there’s a hell of a mixture which was brilliant - there was one man who was a brilliant mathematician and a fantastic trumpeter but was probably the most stupid man in every other way. To come across people like that, who were geniuses and stupid, was quite reassuring.
METRO: Your Cambridge Footlights company included John Cleese and Miriam Margolyes. Who did you think would have the most success?
TIM: I didn’t think anybody would make it in a big way. Quite often it wasn’t the big names - such as Eric Idle and Bill Oddie - who were the main people then. I liked it because nobody was a mini-professional, it was just guys having a good time. I used to think actors were born and they came from acting families. That’s what was pleasant for us, we crept into it by mistake.
METRO: Which of the comedy shows are you most proud of?
TIM: I think the At Last The 1948 Show, which I did with Marty Feldman, John Cleese and Graham Chapman, was the most ahead of its time. I’m proudest of The Goodies because it was technically very difficult and, while aimed at adults, the whole family was able to watch it.
METRO: Why has The Goodies never been re-run?
TIM: Don’t wind me up. I have no idea why they haven’t repeated it and everybody assumes we stopped them.
METRO: It was The Goodies cast who did the voices for Bananaman. Who came up with the idea for the show?
TIM: He was a comic character anyway and we’d always been very pro-cartoons. Bananaman himself was a great character and it was a dream to do. There were three things I wanted to do in life: one was to do the voice for a cartoon, one was to be on Top Of The Pops, the other was to score the cup-winning goal for Derby County. I managed two but the last one is a little out of the question now. I had a grandfather in the late 1890s who played centre forward for England, funnily he was also a vicar.
METRO: It’s in the blood.
TIM: Yes, or at least I would like it to be, but not the vicar bit.
METRO: Is it true you think it’s bad luck to buy a round of drinks in the pub?
TIM: I’d like it to be put around that that’s true - what a brilliant idea. It would be great if it was bad luck for everybody if I bought a drink, but good luck if they bought me one.
*Golf clubs with Tim Brooke-Taylor is on Discovery Home & Leisure on Sundays at 8.30pm.
3. 2001 AND A BIT
If you've sighted Tim, Bill or Graeme in a post-Goodies role, e-mail <email@example.com> so that we can tell everyone where to spot a Goodie nowadays.
AGAIN IN THE FARCE
(by Ian Boucher)
The following article appeared in the Manchester Evening News in late November, accompanied by photos of Tim and the remainder of the cast in Bedside Manners.
Manners maketh the man laugh ...
Farce is not, it has to be said, a genre which tends to get a terribly good press. But Tim Brooke-Taylor is completely unapologetic about his upcoming appearance in the hotel farce Bedside Manners at the Opera House in his home town of Buxton
"The essential thing is it gets people laughing and I don't care what prejudices you might have, I'd challenge you not to laugh out loud at this show" he says. "Of course I know it's not a terribly fashionable genre, but I certainly don't mind admitting I like it. I remember when John Cleese, Graham Chapman and I were students together in Cambridge, we all went to see a farce at the local theatre , fully expecting to be able to sneer at it only to find ourselves really enjoying it.
"I could never write a farce and I'd be willing to bet not many other people could. In fact, my theory is that the people who are good at it tend to be the people who are also good at algebra. A good farce slots together like an algebraic puzzle." he contends.
Quite honestly I find straight drama not all that interesting." he continues. "I do get offered one or two but I tend to turn them down. Of course there are some totally brilliant straight dramatic actors but not all that many really. For mediocre, or stupid actors, straight roles are a piece of cake, whereas comedy is much more interesting. With comedy you really have got to work every night.
"He was born in Buxton – his father was a solicitor, his mother a Lacrosse international and his maternal grandfather a vicar who played centre forward for England in the 1890s – but insists that he doesn't ask his agent to make sure that the town is included on his touring schedule.
Nonetheless he has an evident affection for the place – "the great thing about it is it's so self-contained and you could just imagine Enid Blyton riding around the whole place on her bike." he chuckles – and is especially proud of the time he played at the Opera House in the Charles Vance touring production of The Lady Killers in 1999.
"When I was growing up, the Opera House was basically a cinema." he recalls, "and I remember that it was where I first saw The Ladykillers on the big screen. To find myself playing that part on the same stage where I'd seen Alec Guinness in the film so many years before was really quite a memorable moment!"
 Bedside Manners is at Buxton Opera House from Tuesday until December 1.
BILL GOES WILD AGAIN
(by David Balston – posted to Goodies-L on 29th December)
The new 8 part series of Bill Oddie Goes Wild starts on BBC2 Friday 4th January at 8pm. The first show sees him in the Scilly Isles discovering tropical flowers, bizarre creatures that glow in the dark, exotic birds and stick insects. He also has another go at swimming with seals.
(by Kay Dickinson – posted to Goodies-L on 29th December)
Also, on 1st January, Bill is presenting a 3 hour wildlife special on BBC2 from 6pm-9pm
NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT!
(by David Balston – posted to Goodies-L on 31st December)
The UK Discovery Home and Leisure Channel will be showing "Golf Clubs With Tim-Brooke Taylor where Tim travels around Britain's golf courses trying to pick up tips improve his game.
The show screens at 7.30am, 3.30pm and 8.30pm on Sunday 6th January.
And a word on the program from Tim himself, courtesy of Kay Dickinson:
"While I remember, the golf programme that was referred to starts on Discovery 'Home and Leisure', next Sunday. It's on 3 times in the day. This is me at 15 different golf courses, playing the odd hole with the pro. I enjoyed it, but it's not an expensive production and will really only appeal to golf lovers I would imagine. Though the weather was lovely, warm and sunny."
OUT OF TIME, OUT OF TOUCH
(by Alison Bean – posted to Goodies-L on 5th January)
Sneery, oh-so-trendy London listings magazine Time Out interviewed Tim Brooke-Taylor and reviewed his latest TV outing in their January 2nd-9th 2002 issue.
WHAT THEY WATCH - TIM BROOKE-TAYLOR
Of the trio who brought us 'The Goodies', Graeme Garden is rarely sighted on TV, Bill Oddie is still clinging to primetime terrestrial with wildlife series 'Bill Oddie Goes Wild', while Tim Brooke-Taylor launches a new series 'Golf Clubs with Tim Brooke-Taylor' at 8.30pm this Sunday on Discovery Home and Leisure. Interview: Emma Perry.
'I've been on tour recently so you lose touch with evening telly. Yesterday I watched Richard and Judy's new show and they had Alistair McGowan and Ronni Ancona on. To see those two with Richard and Judy - because they take them off brilliantly - was, I have to say, very entertaining. All four of them came out extremely well. I've been on their show once or twice, which is probably more entertaining than watching it, but, to be fair, they are rather good interviewers.
'Channel 4 seems to be getting a bashing at the moment and I don't know why. I think it's the best it's ever been, while BBC-2 has plummeted. In the middle of the evening when everyone else is doing makeover shows, Channel 4 usually has an offbeat documentary or comedy. Any BBC-2 controller who doesn't repeat The Goodies has to be open to criticism. The Head of Comedy, Paul Jackson, put it up for repeats but Jane Root said no.
'I stay in for two things. One is mindless soaps like 'Holby City' and 'Eastenders'. The other is 'The Simpsons'. The scheduling is all wrong though: it should go out near 'Match of The Day' or something. Michael Grade could never work out where to put The Goodies when it was revived by LWT, so they put us out at 5.30pm. And 'The Sketch Show' was fresh and funny. I don't think they got the credit they deserved: it was on at 10.30pm and then they put it out at 6pm and you though, "Who are they aiming at?"
'When I got cable I swore I wouldn't go retro, but then I found myself thinking "I wonder if there's any 'Jeeves and Wooster' on?" or something that's just fun. People talk about a golden age, and my good old days were 'Not Only...But Also...' followed by 'Dad's Army', followed by a good drama like 'Softly Softly', then 'Match of The Day'.
CRITICS CHOICE: CABLE, SATELLITE & DIGITAL SUNDAY 6TH
Golf Clubs with Tim Brooke-Taylor
Tim Brooke-Taylor visits some of the country's top golf courses and plays a round. Woven in is a bit of history about the course and tips on how to play the various holes, which Brooke-Taylor attempts to follow before slicing his shot into a bunker and choosing his words carefully. This episode visits Stoke Park Golf Club in Bucks, which was the scene of probably the most famous golfing head-to-head ever - James Bond versus Goldfinger. One of the holes is where Oddjob dropped a ball down his trouser leg...insert gag of choice here. 'Tomorrow Never Dies' and 'Bridget Jones Diary' have also visited the course's impressive club house for filming stints. This programme is right up there alongside 'Hill Walking With Chas 'n' Dave' and other such fantastic Alan Patridge ideas of desperation. Whatever next? 'Monkey Tennis'? (David Hall)
GRAEME AT HIS PEAK
(by Jodie Hunter)
I thought that you'd like to know that Graeme is going to be on Peak Practice:
CHRISTMAS GALA CONCERT
(by Kay Dickinson)
During the recent interview with Tim Brooke-Taylor in Nottingham, he mentioned that he would soon be revisiting the city as the presenter of a Christmas Gala Concert. In fact, Tim presented 5 such concerts around the country and the Nottingham one was the last and nearest to Christmas, on the 23rd December. Being in the vicinity, and partial to a bit of classical music from time to time, I went along, and dragged Claire Hobson with me for company, and it is down to her fabulous note-taking that I'm able to put this piece together at all.
The orchestra opened the concert, and Tim came onstage to welcome everyone and to announce the next piece. Between the orchestra playing and the singers' performances, Tim recounted anecdotes connected to the pieces being played (although how true some of them were is debateable!). He was pleased to be back in Nottingham again, "my wife thinks I'm in Hong Kong!" He also told a really dreadful story about being stopped by the police on his way to a fancy dress party, which I won't repeat – a) because it really was terrible, and b) I can't remember it all – suffice to say that it involved a milk bottle and a banana and the punchline was that he was going as a banana milkshake!
There was a boy soprano singing in the concert, and when he had finished, Tim was amazed at how he had been able to stand in front of the audience. He remembers his own nerves when he was picked to be school treble – he only lasted a week! At his first concert, the conductor played the introduction and Tim missed his cue. He played it a second time and he missed it again. By the third time, the audience had got fed up and sang it for him!
Maybe part of the reason behind Tim being picked to play so many female roles was because, so he claims, he and his friend Robert were the only boys at his first school, and so they had to be Brownies, rather than Cub Scouts. His one gripe with the Brownie Movement ("Brownie Movement – doesn't sound very nice!") was that the two boys didn't get to wear the uniform. He had been invited, as an honorary Brownie, to a Scouts' concert recently, where a group of very small Brownies sang. He imitated one of them in a high-pitched squeak, 'you can't make a lovely day…". When the young girl had finished her song, her nerves were such that she promptly threw up all over the front row! Not a comforting thought, as Claire and I were well within chucking range of the boy soprano that night!
He had to introduce two opera singers, singing a piece called, 'Che gelida manina, Mi chiamono Mimi & O soave fanciulla'. Tim assured us that his pronunciation of this was definitely the correct one, even if an Italian were to tell us otherwise – although he wouldn't repeat the title again when asked to afterwards!
Before Tim left the stage before the interval, he asked us all if anyone had spotted the deliberate mistake he'd made. He said we might notice when he came back on again. When he returned after the interval, he revealed that he was wearing odd shoes! He told us that he was driving up to Nottingham, going through a list of what he needed: "Now, have I got everything? Bow tie, white shirt, pair of shoes… Well, not a pair of shoes" and he proceeded to show the audience the shoes he was wearing which didn't match! We think he would have got away without anyone noticing, but apparently someone had spotted them earlier and I think he was a bit scared the audience would notice too!
The first piece the orchestra played after the interval was Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite. "And for the first time in my life," said Tim, "I'm not going to make a smart alec joke about that!" The orchestra then launched into 'Jingle Bells', which the audience were encouraged to participate in. Tim and the conductor stopped it soon after it began though, and chastised us all for not singing loudly enough! Tim said he knew that Nottingham could sing better than that… all Claire can say is that Tim has obviously spent very little time in Nottingham!
Polonaise from Christmas Eve by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov was announced by Tim, who went on to say "or as we used to say at school, Nikolai 'Rip your corsets off'" (I think they've had that joke in ISIRTA!)
Tim then went on to recount a story told to him by a friend, who had a little girl. Tim's friend had asked her what she wanted for Christmas and she said she wanted a little brother and it just so happened that his wife was pregnant and had a baby boy on Christmas Day! The next year, he'd asked his little girl what she wanted for Christmas and she replied "Well, if it's not too uncomfortable for Mummy, I'd quite like a pony!"
After the boy soprano had sung again, Tim introduced the next piece as something he was participating in, "it's the first time I've played an instrument with an orchestra" – the instrument? A typewriter! Many of you will know the piece; it's the one from the beginning of the 'Cunning Stunts' episode, where we are introduced to the offices of The Goodies' Clarion and Globe. Along with the conductor, who did the typing, Tim played this – he was in charge of the carriage return bell! When he returned to his podium after the piece, he brandished the paper that had been in the typewriter to the audience - "You should see some of the filthy stuff he's written on here! Disgusting!"
After introducing Darke's 'In The Bleak Mid-Winter' as 'In The Bleak Wid-Minter', it was the audience's turn again. Unfortunately, he didn't repeat his Spoonerism and ask us to sing, 'God Rest Ye Jerry Mentalmen' – but after we'd all sung O Come, All Ye Faithful, he did take on the air of a parish priest, standing in his pulpit, peering at us over the top of his glasses, asking us all to stand and sing the last hymn, sorry, carol – Hark! The Herald Angels Sing. Maybe it's time for a series called 'Father Tim'?
AH HAMISH! AH DOUGAL!
(from information posted by Lisa Manekofsky to Goodies- L on 11th January)
The BBC are recording a spin-off radio show based on the Hamish and Dougal sketches that Graeme Garden and Barry Cryer use for the Sound Charades rounds in 'I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue'.
According to http://www.bbc.co.uk/whatson/tickets/shows/tea.shtml, the show is entitled "You'll Have Had Your Tea". Here's the description:
"Come and experience the first independent ventures of Hamish & Dougal in 'You'll Have Had Your Tea'.
Starring Barry Cryer and Graeme Garden plus special guests.
Fans of their many appearances in Radio 4's 'I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue', will be thrilled to hear that Hamish and Dougal, those delightfully eccentric and frequently misunderstood Scotsmen, have been granted their very own radio vehicle."
Date of show: Saturday 26 January
Recording starts: 7:30 p.m.
Venue: The Drill Hall, 16 Chenies Street, London WC1
Nearest Tube: Goodge Street
4. FEATURE ARTICLE
AN INTERVIEW WITH TIM BROOKE-TAYLOR – PART ONE
(by Kay Dickinson)
On the 24th November 2001, a number of Goodies fans assembled at Nottingham's Bar Oz, not to partake of a few tinnies, or to have a rendition of Rolf Harris's Greatest Hits, or even to check their stock of homing kangaroos for the Christmas parcel post. Not a bit of it. We were there for a Goodie fest, a day of unbridled silliness, when we were determined to watch the Goodies episodes the BBC had so long denied us until it sent us raving mad. As several of us are halfway there already, it wasn't long before the bar manager was phoning the funny farm and measuring us up for straight jackets.
Not only were we there to watch the Superchaps Three, but one of them had also kindly (foolishly?) agreed to indulge our madness by coming along. Tim was in a play called Bedside Manners at the Theatre Royal that week and one of the GROK members, Claire Hobson, had sent me an e-mail saying how great it would be if we could arrange a Goodies screening to coincide with the tour, but thought it unlikely at such short notice. Well, nothing ventured, nothing gained – Tim was asked and said "yes"!
And so I came to conduct my first ever interview – talk about in at the deep end! We started off by showing Linda Kay's fabulous Can-Can (if you've not seen it, you can now download it from the club's new site), which Tim was very impressed with, and a short clip from Comic Relief (in the late 80s) where the BBC allowed The Goodies a whole 85 seconds airtime! Wow!
The Can-Can brought back a lot of memories for Tim, but he admitted that some of it he couldn't remember at all, mentioning a clip of him in naval gear (from Lost Island of Munga) that he simply couldn't remember. The memories were mostly happy ones, except for when he'd thought, "oh, it was raining, or oh God it was cold, or Bill was being a real arsehole!"
He went on to talk a little about Bedside Manners and a Christmas Gala Concert he was taking part in, with a full orchestra, back in Nottingham on the 23rd December. He did admit though, that "Father Christmas Do Not Touch Me" might not really work in it!
The day after he was with us, he was heading down to Bristol to record two programmes of I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue, with Andy Hamilton as his guest. The programme will be in its 30th year next year, although Tim says that the danger of people realising that it's been going that long is that they'll think it's time to remove it – although he agreed with me that it was 'Just A Minute' that really should go, "or at least, its Chairman should!" [Nicholas Parsons, for the uninitiated] The very first episode of ISIHAC has recently been discovered, and Tim says that "it works, mainly because the audience is inherited from I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again and they were fanatical and they carried us through". They did a pilot for it and "Humphrey Lyttelton and I were so appalled by the pilot that he just turned to me and said 'Never again!' and I said 'certainly never again!'" He's looking forward to telling that story next year on the 30th anniversary! It's become a sort of superstition that they still say that after every series, but lately, Humph has started saying it after every show!
Bill Oddie and John Cleese were originally on the panel but Bill has said that it was "agony" and Tim remembers, "Bill actually threw up before the show, and after. I didn't think Bill had a nervous bone in his body!" We then played a clip of ISIHAC, from Bournemouth last year, when Tim, for 'One Song To The Tune Of Another' sang Funky Gibbon to the tune of Hey Jude… if you haven't heard it, let's just say he was much better at singing it to its original tune! In the middle of a lot of cringing and face-pulling, I was told I was being cruel! (sorry, Tim!)
Although the Funky Gibbon is the best remembered Goodies song, Tim pointed out that it was the one before that, The Inbetweenies, which sold more copies because of the B-side, "Father Christmas Do Not Touch Me" which he describes as "absolutely filthy!" and the BBC didn't realise. "The Inbetweenies was quite fun," says Tim, "because we wore this glitter on one side and tweed jackets the other and turned around in the middle of it and that worked on a 'poppy' level" – and their appearance doing that on Crackerjack led to the Top of the Pops appearances, "which was enormous fun". The send-ups The Goodies did of pop stars and their manipulative agents (Superstar) were based on fact – "they are exactly like that, they really are awful". Tim remembers going on Shang-a-lang with the Bay City Rollers – "it still makes me laugh, we were singing 'Wild Thing' sitting on toadstools! – I think they might have been magic mushrooms, come to think of it!"
Unfortunately, they didn't get their fair share of groupies out of the TOTP experience; although Bill claims to have done – "well, Bill would claim that," says Tim, "well, I have to say he did, to a certain extent – but I was very happily married!" – Tim tries (and fails) to look innocent at this point!
They were very much out on their own in the pop industry, as they didn't have agents or a fan club, "we were scared stiff" says Tim, "the minute an official fan club was announced, we were inundated, so we just had to push that to one side so there wasn't that sort of meeting up with people" although he does remember a book signing at Stretford in Manchester where he says "it was frightening, there were just too many people in too small a place, all these people trying to get to the front and bookshelves falling down all over the place and the police had to be called in." Coming out of Shang-a-lang was frightening too – "they attacked the car, not knowing who was in it, so we all went like that [covers head with arms] so they immediately assumed we were the Bay City Rollers so they all climbed, like Graeme climbing over that car [from 'That Old Black Magic' shown in Can-Can], all over it."
We then talked a little about the relationship between The Goodies and Monty Python, "we were all friends working together, and I could have been in Python, in fact I actually had the choice at one stage and I'm glad I didn't in the end, I don't think I'm a good enough writer for Python but we're still good friends and we started together. At Last The 1948 Show is still one of the best things I've ever been in, and that was with John Cleese and Graham Chapman and of course, Marty Feldman." There was never any rivalry between Python and The Goodies, "people tried to, like – putting ourselves on a high level – like the Stones and the Beatles, there's no need to compare. If you're a 15, 16, 17 year old then you do, because you basically want the one your parents don't like, but the show was aimed at the parents. That's pretty much disappeared now but the press keep bringing it up, you see them writing it and realise they were 9 when it was happening so they were taking on this role, of the Pythons being these 'naughty boys' and they weren't naughty at all. Pathetic really!"
The Goodies had some wonderful guest stars and Tim is now a near neighbour of one of them, Michael Barratt, (the Nationwide presenter in Ecky Thump, Rule OK, Scoutrageous and Punky Business/Punkarella) – "The good ones are the ones that don't try to be funny, the danger is that if you get a newscaster on, they try and be funny and of course the best ones do it absolutely straight, like Raymond Baxter (String, Tomorrow's World presenter), he did it brilliantly and the other Baxter, Stanley Baxter (Scottish shopkeeper in Loch Ness Monster) was, I think, one of the great comedians of our time… we did a send up and he had to be a mean Scotsman – that was tough enough for him – but then he had to pronounce 'pounds' as 'poonds' and he kept saying 'nobody actually says 'poonds' in Scotland' so we had to say 'could you just force yourself?' and he did but that's the sign of a really great man I think, to send yourself up wrongly."
Beryl Reid was another great guest star, playing Mrs Desiree Carthorse, "you have to be careful" said Tim, "cos Mary Whitehouse died yesterday, I won't say anything nasty about her. But yes, she did play her brilliantly. I only saw it recently and there's a great moment when Mrs Desiree Carthorse is leaving the room and Bill says, 'What does your husband do?' and she says, 'He keeps his distance!' and she delivers it brilliantly! But she was actually, and I am going to be, not being nasty about her but about what she did, she really caused havoc in television in the 70s and people got so scared and were cutting things when the audience laughed, literally our producer would cut something and I would say 'why are you cutting that?' and he said 'well, the audience laughed' and I'd say, 'what do you mean?' 'well I didn't know what it meant so I thought it was filthy!' and the BBC were genuinely scared of her, and it was a great day when she criticised us and wrote to the Director General…. Yes!!" [punches air!]
"She thought we were a wonderful family show and we were going out at 10.30 at night, but we got our own back." As we had just watched Saturday Night Grease prior to Tim's interview, I reminded him of the scene that Mary Whitehouse had objected to so strongly, the underpants with the carrot motif on the front, "yes, it leaves little to the imagination" [looks slightly embarrassed at this point!]
There were people that Tim, Bill and Graeme admired and would have loved to have had on the show, but would not have been right, "like Peter Cook, who was a god to me, but he just wouldn't have been right, we'd all just have gone [makes noise of adoration] or like Morecambe and Wise – Eric Morecambe became a good friend but it was impossible because he could never have just played a part. Someone who was good, but was actually very bad on the show but we liked him very much, was Roy Kinnear – he was always such a generous performer, he had to give a different performance every time and the camera never knew where he was going but he was just such a great performer – John le Mesurier was another, he was terrific. I was watching the other day, Richard Wattis, he was in all those black and white films, he was in the Mary Whitehouse one again, he was the man who wanted us to be outrageous, he was terrific. We used to ask for these stars and the BBC would say 'no, they can't do it' and then we sussed out eventually to go straight to them – the BBC thought they were too expensive and wouldn't even ask them! And they would have done it for nothing, and virtually did do it for nothing – they just wanted to be on the show, which was great – a bit like I'd die to be on the Simpsons!"
I mentioned that Prince Charles wanted to play himself (Scatty Safari) but that the plug was pulled at the last minute – "He wanted to marry you?" Tim laughs, "Yes, he can dream!!" He continues, "he was happy to do it… it got quite a long way because I coincidentally happened to know his equerry, but probably very wise counsel at the Palace stopped it, but he had an idea for us to make a private Royal Family one, and he had some quite good ideas – one which was, you see the sign that says 'Knighting Ceremony' and you pan over and see all these people coming out with bandages… and his mother coming out with this sword, blood all over it – it never happened but there was this very bizarre moment fairly recently. I was in a pantomime at Windsor and an old friend of mine was a Master [at the school] there and said 'could I bring three or four boys round the back, just to see what it was like' and one of them turned out to be Prince William, and I found myself gushing out and saying 'do you know, I actually played the part of your father's wife!' and he said, 'Oh, typical Dad!' and, 'he's got all the videos and things' – that's what he said but I don't know if he was just being nice or not. So every time he gets knocked and when I see us sending up his ears, I feel slightly guilty now!"
You never know, he could be a secret member of the fan club… (Hello, Sir! Isn't it about time they all got those O.B.E.s?)
Because they usually did most of their own stunts, they sustained quite a few injuries throughout the series. Tim recalls, "The trandem was originally a tandem on the first series, with an extra seat on the back and Bill had nothing to pedal and he'd lean one way as we leaned the other, not on purpose to be fair to him – although he probably did! There was no brake or freewheel - the freewheel was the awful thing, you had to backpedal for the brake so if you were going downhill… one of us ended up in hospital every single day – they weren't major injuries but they were nasty gashes and cuts. There are moments when you get very frightened… I think I was on a baked bean tin, as you are, and I was going down a ramp into the sea (Clown Virus) and you could see people going 'it's not safe, it could roll, it could break his ...' and I said 'just do it, now!' cos I was getting more and more scared. Graeme was a great faller, his falling is fantastic, he just knows how to fall – except that he always has to fall so that it hurts slightly, and there was a moment in Bunfight At The OK Tea-Rooms where he actually, for once, got some jockeys' padding on his back and elbows so that he could do the full fall and he leapt up in the air and if you notice, he comes down on his front!"
Tim recollects that the London To Brighton/Spacehopper episode was awful. "We were on spacehoppers, and we were in toothpaste tubes [promoting 'Sparklypegs Toothpaste'] and you've got this thing where there's a wooden piece and you bounce [mimes wooden head piece hitting head] and as Bill pointed out after about three weeks of this agony 'it doesn't have to be us in there!' We were very stupid!"
Also, in the Lips/Almighty Cod episode, Tim had to spend a lot of time in freezing cold water, "I'd literally completely gone and fortunately there was a nurse there, I was absolutely frozen. It was awful because my wife happened to be there with my two young sons of four and three, and they saw this giant cod and they saw me there – I think they've been twisted ever since!"
*** Part Two of Kay's excellent interview with Tim will appear in the February edition of the Clarion & Globe ***
5. GOODIES EPISODE SUMMARY
(by Brett Allender)
Series 5, Episode 1
First screened: 10th February 1975
Bill chuckles away merrily at an old silent movie on television, but Tim is totally bored and unimpressed by it. Bill remarks that the movie industry should still make films like that and Graeme unveils his all-new pocket movie camera (a full sized camera that only fits in the huge pocket of Graeme's special trousers!), but all of the British movie studios are being closed down. There is an ad in the paper for the sale of Pine Tree studio on a 99 year lease for just 25 pounds, so the Goodies don their long noses and huge cigars and become film producers in a bid to revitalise the motion picture industry.
All of the directors are assembled together, but after he spends 18 hours reviewing their hopeless films, Tim decides to fire the lot of them (even Ken Russell despite him having Oliver Reed burned to death!) and the Goodies become directors as well as producers. Their first production is Macbeth, but there is precious little of it left after Graeme has removed all of the killing and violence from the script. The actor who plays Macbeth is somewhat hard of hearing and is also fired after Tim has virtually torn his own tonsils out yelling "ACTION!" with no result, so the Goodies become actors too and inject a bit of family interest into the film - 'Macbeth Meets Truffaut The Wonder Dog'!
The 'stars only' preview screening is graced by a gorgeously tarted-up Tim, who has really taken his role of Lady Macbeth to heart, much to the horror of Graeme who shows off his flashy sequined suit in a very poofy manner. Bill staggers in (drunkenly bellowing like "the poor man's Richard Harris") and takes a fancy to Tim's new image, but soon wants to drown his sorrows even further when the film proves to be a litany of disasters, including sets that fall over, Tim's "out out damn spot" which ends up on his nose and Truffaut The Wonder Dog being incredibly lazy until finally it attacks Bill and slobbers all over the camera. A vicious name-calling, glass-smashing row ensues and all three actors stalk out of the studio (which collapses behind them), as each vow to never make another film again.
Despite this, Tim re-enters the studio to make a Roman epic only to find Bill already in there painting everything black and white in preparation for his silent classic. Bill has no lines to learn for his film (although he needs to control his bodily noises!), so he manages to mess Tim up by calling him Sambo instead of Samson, but both of them are soon in strife when Graeme the wild west gunslinger turns up and declares that the studio ain't big enough for the three of them. Tim's request that their efforts be combined to produce his epic falls on deaf ears (although Bill's 'My Silent Classic' placard is heard loud and clear!), so they each attempt to produce their own films, but keep getting in each other's way.
Graeme's high noon shootout is interrupted by Tim's Roman soldiers, with Samson and Delilah being invaded in turn by the Keystone Cops, and the inevitable collision of camera crews sees equipment and films being strewn about everywhere. Graeme's posse and Tim's army fire shots at each other and Bill's Keystone Cops arm themselves with custard pies. After he survives an epic encounter with Moses and the ten commandments, Bill releases Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Laurel & Hardy from the archives, who annoy hell out of Graeme before they disappear again. The three Goodies argue as a barn wall collapses around them (while Buster Keaton comes along and takes notes afterwards) and Graeme decides to summon up reinforcements. The Indians ride in over one hill, the cavalry appear over another and the most fearsome threat of all comes over the third hill - Julie Andrews singing 'The Sound Of Music'!
An Indian's arrow in her chest promptly polishes Julie off (as the Von Trapp kids shrug their shoulders and casually walk away), but an epic chase scene between the Goodies takes place throughout several film screens and rows of seating, as Bill sends a truck crashing through the screen at Graeme and Tim scares away the Frankenstein monster. They belt each other up with giant letters from 'The End' credit and are eventually carried skywards into the sunset, as they hang onto another 'The End' credit which has risen from the bottom of the screen.
* Bill (about great silent comics): "Keaton, Chaplin, Harry Langdon, Lavatory Meadows ..."
Graeme: "Lavatory Meadows?!"
Tim: "He means W.C.Fields."
* Bill: "Whose is this one then."
Tim: "Jane, Ken or Bertrand."
Bill: "Lets hope it's the one with the big knockers, hey!"
Tim: "Yeah, Bertrand!"
* Bill: "It's just old Ken (Russell). He did do The Boyfriend with Twiggy and the dancing - that was nice."
Tim: "He also had Oliver Reed burned to death!"
Bill: "Yeah, so he can't be all bad, can he?!"
* Tim (as Lady Macbeth): "This is my new screen image. This is how my public sees me."
Graeme: "If they see you like that, they'll have you arrested!"
Tim: "You've painted everything black and white!"
Bill: "Certainly. I'm making a black and white film."
Tim: "Don't be ridiculous!"
Bill: "This is a hard job. God blimey! No wonder they went over to colour!"
* The Goodies reviewing Visconti's movie 'Death In Bognor', in which an old codger shuffles slowly along a sunrise-lit beach for an hour or two, causing Bill to get impatient for him to snuff it. Cries of "Why are we waiting!" and "Come on you blighter, die!!" are finally rewarded when the old bugger kicks his heels in the air in a magnificent death dive (it could only have been Graeme in disguise!) and sprawls flat on the sand. The movie then continues for another 90 minutes, in which absolutely nothing happens!
* The next movie for review - 'The Life Of Pablo Casals' by Ken Russell - where a robed nun slowly does a striptease, causing the old violinist to gradually overheat until flames are leaping from his violin and smoke is pouring from his ears. The nun is then revealed as a white-faced clown to chants of "What a load of rubbish!" from Bill and Graeme's attempts to praise the movie for its "surrealistic symbolistic qualities" are dismissed by Bill as "A load of old cobblers!"
* The preview screening of their disastrous film 'Macbeth Meets Truffaut The Wonder Dog', with Tim taking his Lady Macbeth role seriously by dressing to kill as a glamourous movie queen, Graeme also camping about in a glittering suit and poofy voice and Bill staggering in as the quintessential drunken Irish playwright, killing one of Tim's poodles by sitting on it then drowning it with whisky. Also their spiteful argument after the film's failure, including insults such as "raddled old has-been", "clapped out old queen", "you bitch!" and "face it darling, you're no Glenda Jackson!" before they all storm out separate exits, slamming the doors so hard that the studio falls apart behind them.
* All of the scenes where they get in the way of each other's films, especially Graeme's high noon shootout in the wild west being interrupted by Tim's Roman soldiers, Bill knocking on the door of the Pony Express office to find a Roman soldier in the bog, the Keystone Cops waddling through Samson and Delilah's bedroom and Bill hanging grimly from a skyscraper window ledge, only to have Tim walking across the side of the building fighting a lion, with Bill then sitting on the ledge in disgust and falling backwards through the window.
* The entire final chase scene with literally dozens of brilliant visual gags; the pick of them being Bill opening the door of the Epics Dept. only to have his head sandwiched by Moses and the ten commandments, Laurel and Hardy bowing to Graeme then decking him, the barn wall falling around the three Goodies who are standing in the window slot, Julie Andrews being mercilessly terminated by an Indian arrow to the chest, the chase through the various theatre screens and seats, the truck bursting through the film screen at Graeme and a huge Bill reaching out of the screen to pick up Tim before dropping him onto the real Bill in another screen.
MY 2 CENTS WORTH
One of the most brilliant visual episodes of The Goodies backed up with a very funny and cleverly pieced-together script. The entire second half of the episode contains some of finest and funniest stuntwork and trick photography ever produced and thoroughly deserved the Silver Rose that it won.
BLACK PUDDING RATINGS SYSTEM:
IIIII - Superstar.
IIII - Officially amazing.
III - Goody goody yum yum.
II - Fair-y punkmother.
I - Tripe on t' pikelets.
February Episode Summary - The Clown Virus
6. GOODIES COR COMICS SYNOPSIS #2
(by Linda Kay)
13th January, 1973. No. 25
When The Goodies made the leap onto the comics page it seemed a perfect marriage of character and format. The fact that the lads themselves did not pen the strips meant that the artists and writers needed to work extra hard to ensure the comics were up to the original comic standards of the television series (especially since the Goods themselves had final approval over the stories). Obviously a series such as this would reach highs and lows, but for the most part it maintained a level of style which was well above the standard comic annual and comic adaptations based on other series of the day.
One very appealing aspect of these comics is the tendency for the artists to throw in a lot of extra sight gags and silly nonsense for readers to catch on their second or third readings. Maybe not
noticeable at first, these little extra bits of business add a depth to the comics which make repeated readings quite entertaining.
In the comic strip we are about to review there are several fun things to look for: in the second panel a picture is toppling from its place on the wall due to the excessive noise. A workman is seen still vibrating outside the Goodies window even after a jackhammer is taken away from him. Graeme's glasses remain suspended in midair as Graeme plummets through a hole in the floor. A black cat sits watching the Palace Guards marching while several milk bottles with a note stuck into one of them sit outside the gate (this black cat would appear in many of the Goodies strips over the year!). The people around the swimming pool seem amazingly calm considering the proceedings taking place before them.
On the left side of the same panel one can see the feet of what has to be Gus Gorilla, Cor's star character, with a bottle of sun oil nearby. As the crooks blatantly steal Graeme's invention, a bobby doesn't notice because he is busy writing a ticket for a camel standing next to a parking meter (this cop appears again at the end of the strip writing a similar ticket for a small dog tied to a meter). And the dump contains such items as a phone box, a mostly buried train and a fully visible submarine! A hapless bird also manages to get its feathers blown off in the final blast.
As for the main story, here it is in its entirety:
Header: KEEP IT QUIET, BUT NOISE ANNOYS THE GOODIES!
The Goodies are riding their trandem through a street congested with automobiles honking and a police car with its siren blaring. Tim's feebly tooting the bike's horn.
GRAEME: You know there's too much *noise* nowadays ... I'm going to do something about it!
The Goodies are back in their office. Bill is stomping about practicing on his tuba, Graeme is pounding furiously at his worktable with a hammer, the telephone is ringing urgently. Tim slams the window shut, looking pained.
TIM: Cor!! The din! Outside ... pneumatic drills ... inside ... all this!
Graeme leaps forward with a whoop, further unnerving Tim, swinging a strange-looking contraption.
GRAEME: EUREKA! I've done it! I've invented a thing which removes noise!
Tim points to Bill, who's still playing the tuba.
TIM: Good! Try it on *him* for a start!
Graeme points the machine at Bill, whose tuba playing is immediately silenced.
GRAEME: It works! Not a tiny oompah can be heard!
Bill, is baffled about what's happened to his music and starts blowing harder on his tuba, trying to produce a sound while Tim enjoys the silence.
BILL'S THOUGHT BALLOON: Puff ... something ... must be ... clogging ... it ... up!
Graeme switches off his machine and looks around thoughtfully.
GRAEME: I'll switch it off and find something else to test it on!
In the meantime, Bill has continued blowing desperately while the tuba stretches and grows, its opening finally plopping down right over Tim as the sound returns.
TIM: Who turned the light off?
Graeme runs to the window, oblivious to the fact that Bill is now blasting Tim's ears off inside the tuba.
GRAEME: I know just the thing!
TIM: AAAGH! LEMME OUT!
Graeme leans out the window and snatches a pounding pneumatic drill from a workman standing outside. The man is left shaking and looking irritated.
GRAEME: Excuse me, Paddy, just want to borrow your drill for a tick!
A very weary Tim climbs out of the tuba with Bill's help as Graeme hands his invention to him while preparing to control the drill, which is already beginning to bore into the floor of their office.
GRAEME: Here! You point it at the drill!
Bill watches with great interest as Tim turns the machine on Graeme and the drill and not a sound emerges from them, even though Graeme is bouncing up and down along with the machine violently.
GRAEME: S-s-s-see! N-not a s-s-sound!
All at once Graeme disappears through a hole in the floor he has drilled.
TIM: Aw! Stop playing about down in the cellar! Let's go and try it outside!
The Goodies have come across a regiment of Palace Guards drilling in a courtyard as their sergeant bellows commands at them. Graeme points his machine at him.
GRAEME: Here's another 'drill' that needs silencing! That drill sergeant!
DRILL SERGEANT: LEFT! RIGHT! PICK 'EM UP THERE! LEFT! RIGHT!
The regiment marches off into the distance as the drill sergeant yells futilely, not realizing what's happening.
DRILL SERGEANT: I'm shouting 'Halt'! ... I know I am ... HALT! HALT! Yew 'orrible little men!
The Guards march right out of the courtyard, through a fence and into a neighboring swimming pool where people stand around watching with interest.
ELSIE, A BLONDE GIRL AT THE POOL: Ooh! Beryl! What discipline!
BERYL, HER BRUNETTE FRIEND: Perhaps they're lifeguards, Elsie!
BUT OTHERS HAD SEEN THE INVENTION WORKING ...
The Goodies are cheering the success of Graeme's invention, unaware that a car has screeched to a halt next to them. A seedy-looking crook jumps out and runs toward them.
CROOK: Butch! Stop! That's just what we want for our work!
GRAEME: We'll turn out millions of 'em, we'll make a fortune!
The crook snatches the machine from Graeme's hand and before the Goodies can respond has leapt back into the car, which speeds off.
CROOK: Thanks, suckers! We're safe-blowers, now we can blow safes in perfect peace!
The crook and his croney, Butch, arrive at a dump and walk into the middle of the garbage excitedly carrying several sticks of dynamite.
CROOK: First we'll test it out on a couple of sticks of jelly!
They hover over the dynamite, which now has a lit fuse, as Butch turns on the machine and they listen for a sound.
CROOK: I've lit it, Butch! Switch on! If this works, we're made ... the cops won't hear a thing, and ...
There is a massive explosion and Butch and his boss end up dangling from a tree, both smoking and tattered, Graeme's machine in ruins.
BUTCH: Boss, it worked, didn't it? Not a sound ... ooer ... but it's a bust, Boss!
In the final panel the Goodies are seen running away from several palace guards and a tank.
TIM: Forget about making a new 'silencer'! Make us *invisible*!
Sign-Off Line: YOUR COMICAL CHUMS RETURN IN ANOTHER FUN-TALE NEXT WEEK!
RATING (using the BLACK PUDDING RATING SYSTEM):
II - Fair-y punkmother.
This entry gets off to a promising start but quickly loses steam. The artwork is entertaining enough but the Goodies aren't rendered as comically or appealingly as they would be in future comics. In no small way this comic fails because the Goodies are left entirely out of the final gags with the crook and his lackey, and the interruption of their exploits totally ruins the timing of the final chase, since the Guards marching into the pool happened a full seven panels previous to it. Not bad enough to rate a Tripe on t' pikelets but close. Fortunately the comic would do much better in establishing running jokes and sustaining them with a better pace in subsequent issues.
To view these strips online, you can now visit this page:
We'll post the currently reviewed issue plus the two previous issues for latecomers.
NEXT C&G EDITION: #74: - 12th February 2002.
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