'The Goodies Rule - OK!'
P.O. Box 325
Chadstone VIC 3148, AUSTRALIA
THE LADS AND LASSES OF THE C&G
- Brett Allender
- David Balston
- Alison Bean
- Lisa Manekofsky
- Andrew Pixley.
Tim Brooke-Taylor, Warren Swaine, Daniel Bowen, David McAnally, Peter Wearden, Kay Dickinson, Tim Chmielewski.
1. BOFFO IDEAS - Club happenings and ideas.
2. SPOTTED!!! - The latest Goodies sightings.
3. FEATURE ARTICLE - Goody - Goody - Ratings
4. GOODIES EPISODE SUMMARY - Hunting Pink
5. THE END - Late Arrivals At The Morticians Ball
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.
NEW GROK WEBSITE
Our new club website at http://www.goodiesruleok.com is shaping up as well as Mrs Cricklewood thanks to the hard work of our Technical Officer, Tim Aslat.
There have been many recent additions to the new homepages, including the transferral of some of the material (like Goodies photos and pictures) from the old Oztek site, and these updates are detailed in the "news" section of the website. Please keep checking the homepages regularly as more of the Oztek site material will gradually re-appear, along with new features like the photos taken at Kitten Kon and the remaining back issues of the C&G just to name a few.
Tim would also like some more input from other fan club members with regards to content of the site, so please e-mail your boffo ideas to him at <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
ADELAIDE VIDEO NIGHT
The Adelaide Goodies Video Night has been set for Friday 15th September at Tim Aslat's workplace at
Level 1, 19 Chesser St, Adelaide City.
Tim would still like to know how many people intend to come in case he needs to find a bigger venue, so please contact him at <email@example.com> if you would like to attend, but haven't been in touch with him yet.
Don't forget to bring money for pizza and drinks, otherwise you might have to start eating the furniture!
SIGNED GOODIES PHOTOS
Offers for the purchase of the few remaining unsold photographs signed by all three Goodies will be sent out to further Kitten Kon pre-registrants later this week, with similar offers for photos signed by Graeme Garden being progressively made to all remaining pre-registrants (in order of payment) in the coming weeks.
It is now likely that there will be a few signed Graeme photos left over for general sale once all of the people who pre-registered for Kitten Kon have been given a chance to purchase a signed photo. However all club members now have the chance to win signed Goodies photos simply by participating in T' Grand C&G Survey. More details below!
T' GRAND C&G SURVEY
On about the twelfth day of each and every month, The Goodies Fan Club Clarion & Globe goes spacehopping all over the globe via e-mail to more than 1200 club members in at least a dozen different countries. Yet the amount of feedback received about the C&G each month is usually smaller than "The Best Of Rolf Harris LP" and "The List Of Nicholas Parson's Good Points" combined!
Our regular C&G Team of Ace Reporters (who provide all of the informative stuff) and the Editor (who provides most of the loony stuff in between!) could easily take this e-silence as a complete vote of satisfaction with what we are putting into the newsletter each month. Very easily in fact (pass the strawberry jam and scones (scOnes!) while I recline back in my computer chair and wait for my Earl.OBE to arrive!); however to do so would be to ignore the opinions of at least 1195 fellow Goodies fans, which would be a rather foolish thing to do (especially if you all come marching towards us at once wielding black puddings and threatening to "Eckythump!!" us into oblivion!)
Presumably though, most of you are reasonably happy with the overall content of the C&G, otherwise you would have unsubscribed from the mailing list before now. However the aim of this survey is for the editorial team to gain some more specific feedback about each section of the newsletter, as well as hearing your opinions and suggestions about improvements or new features which can be incorporated into future editions.
As a great incentive to take a few minutes to complete the survey, we have much pleasure in offering some excellent PRIZES to six lucky respondents. First prize is a night out with Tony Blackburn. Second prize is two nights out with Tony ... no, no, no! Here are the real details for you:
* The first three names drawn at random from all of the respondents will each win a 5x7 black & white 1970's group photo of The Goodies signed by Tim Brooke-Taylor, Bill Oddie and Graeme Garden.
* The next three names drawn at random from the remaining respondents will each win a 5x7 black & white 1990's photo of Graeme Garden which has been signed by Graeme.
* Survey forms must be returned by October 10th. The draw for prizes will be conducted on the 11th and the winners will be listed in the October 12th newsletter, then contacted immediately to arrange delivery of the prizes.
* Please base your opinions and ratings of the C&G on your overall assessment of the past few editions rather than just on the content of this month's edition if possible.
* The survey form is at the end of the newsletter.
Thanks for your anticipated feedback and best of luck in the draw for the prizes!
More exciting than getting your wig-spotters badge! If you've seen a Goodie recently, e-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>with the details. Here's where we've Spotted!!! The Goodies this month:
CLASSIC COMEDY MOMENTS
(from contributions by Warren Swaine and David Balston.)
The UK Sunday Papers all report the Classic Comedy Moments Top 50
The judges were, Dennis Norden, Ray Galton, Alan Simpson, Simon Nye & Steve Pemberton.
Classic Comedy Top 50
44. The Goodies
Commentator catches golden egg.
(Eddie Waring's try in The Goodies and The Beanstalk obviously.)
The Radio Times for the 19-25 August also lists the Classic Comedy Moments with their description of the 44th funniest moment being:
"The Goodies and the Beanstalk' 24.12.73 BBC2 A golden egg falls from the sky and is caught by rugby league commentator Eddie Waring."
Not bad for a "forgotten" show in Britain!
GOODIES. GOODY GOODY ... THING THING!
MY HOW QUICKLY THEY FORGET!
(from information contributed by Daniel Bowen and David McAnally)
The British Film Institute have announced their top 100 British TV programmes of all time, ranked by the TV industry. Fawlty Towers won, "Monty Python's Flying Circus" was at number 5, "Parkinson" at number 8, and "The Morecambe & Wise Show" at number 14. "
Alas, The Goodies didn't come anywhere in the top 100, though the Goodies' Australian running-mate Doctor Who came in at number 3.
The Goody good news is that they are having a poll for the public to vote for their favourite programmes via the web until October 5th, so get along there and vote at http://18.104.22.168/features/tv/100/index.html.
The honour of our favourite show is at stake here!!
BILL-ODDIE BIRDING BOOKS!
by Peter Wearden
In the June edition of New Scientist (17th June 2000) there are mentions of Britain's best know birdwatcher Bill Oddie (but no mention of his more famous role as part of the Goodies)
New Scientist 17th June 2000 Page 53
Bill Oddie is not only Britain's best known birdwatcher, but also an entertaining bird writer. "Gripping Yarns" is a collection of more than 60 articles he wrote for the magazine "Birdwatch". You may have come across them then - and you'll enjoy them again here. Published by Helm, #7.99, ISBN 0713652683
... on screen and lawn
You'll find Oddie on the box too in the BBC series "Birding with Bill Oddie". His producer Stephen Moss has become an expert on garden birds. "Gardening for Birds" is the third book he's written on the subject. Handsomely illustrated, it covers everthing from feeding and planting to identification. Published by Collins, #12.99, ISBN 0002201682
by Lisa Manekofsky
In 1981 a company called Proteus Books published a book entitled "Play Safe with the Stars, A Child's Guide to Safety" by Dave Prowse (the royalties from which were to be donated to major children's charities). Listed among the many celebrities who contributed to the work were "Tim Brooke-Taylor, Bill Oddie and Graeme Garden as `The Goodies'".
The Goodies chapter is entitled "The Goodies and Bicycle Safety". The first few pages were probably written by someone else and contain sensible advice for children about using and maintaining a bicycle. One ironic piece of advice is "If you are wearing trousers, clip them round your ankles with bicycle-clips"; while the Goodies are shown putting on bicycle-clips in one episode in most cases you'll notice that they just tuck their trousers into their socks (see "Kitten Kong", for example). At the end of the sensible advice we finally get to the section which appears to be the Goodies' actual contribution, which is as follows:
"Bill Oddie says: *Don't* be like "the Goodies"! We only ever ride our bike on the television which is a pretty silly place to ride a bike. But then ours is a pretty silly bike - & *we'd* be even sillier if we tried to ride it on a proper road. Have you noticed we keep falling off? - that's `cos we're lowsy riders and its a lowsy bike! If we did go out on the roads on it, we'd be a menace! a danger to ourselves & to others.
So, please, *don't* be like the Goodies. Don't you be silly. Get a good bike, look after it carefully and learn to ride it well.
By the way, when we do go out we walk a lot, which is very tiring so if any of you would like to volunteer to carry us, do get in touch.
No Fixed Abode
McSLIME McSLIME McGREASE McGREASE McPATRONISE McPATRONISE!
by Alison Bean.
Hoots stoots och aye the noo from the Edinburgh Fringe!
Despite failing to find the Giant Bagpipe Spider (someone told me they don't exist, but I'll never believe them!) I did find one Goodies icon not too far from the famous Royal Mile. In the courtyard of the Pleasence, the Edinburgh Fringe's premier comedy venue I spied an aging man who looked strangely familiar. Could it really be the man, the superstar, the icon that is Bruce Forsyth? Sadly not, it was Nicholas Parsons.
My companion, nudging me with minimal excitement whispered, 'where's a Nicholas Parsons mask when you need one?' Oddly enough, in the Pleasance box office we found something even more horrible - a lifesize cardboard cut-out of him. The Scots must be a hardened lot as this didn't appear to have diminished ticket sales, in fact Nicholas' show "The Cocktail Hour" was sold out that evening!
Call me a loony if you like (you're a loony), but I was somewhat curious about the whole thing. Nicholas live on stage? Doing what exactly? According to his flyer he was hosting an on-stage chat show, with three different celebrity guests each day. During the show, Nicholas would encourage his audience to ask him questions, impersonate him or even heckle him and from the accompanying photographs it seemed that Nicholas would be wearing one of a series of hideous blazers. Hang on...on-stage chat show...blazers...could this be a real life "I'm Alan Patridge"? And if so, would Bill Oddie phone him up in the middle of it to a) tell him about a training video opportunity and b) yell "BOO!" very loudly at him? I resolved to find out and bought a ticket for the next day's show.
The show opened with Nicholas bursting through some curtains in a vile cravat and blazer combination. I was half expecting him to yell "Ah-haaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!"; what I actually heard were several audience members muttering "let's take out Nicholas BLOODY Parsons" (ala Rik and Ade in "Mr Jolly Lives Next Door") while the rest of them screaming wildly. Could there be a few fellow subversives in Nicholas' audience? I'm glad to say there were.
What followed was an hour of schmoozing with the guests - Norman Lovett, some guy who sang a relatively amusing song about a blind man and the winners of Miss Alternative Edinburgh - and fending off a series of audience members who proceeded to ask an increasingly irritated Nicholas loaded questions such as 'Which is better, "I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue" or "Just A Minute"?' His reply that both are good, but "Just A Minute" is better, as it's a simple idea and simple ideas are often the best, was diplomatic but delivered through gritted teeth. Thinking about it, I suspect that the majority of people who turned up to his show throughout the Fringe had asked him questions that irritated him and let's face it when there's fuel like "Mr Jolly...", "Brass Eye" and "The Goodies" to add to the fire, what was he expecting?
Despite all its glorious, uncomfortable moments (ooooh, I am mean!) "The Cocktail Hour" was not my the highlight of the Fringe. That honour goes to Omid Djalili whose routine about Islamic fundamentalism and the fatwah on Salman Rushdie displayed his excellent taste in British comedy, containing the wonderful line "I would like to apologise on behalf of the Iranian dyslexic foundation for the death of Willie Rushton."
PS. You may have heard about how the cardboard cut-out Nicholas was stolen by some wacky pranksters the day after the Fringe opened. Apparently they went around photographing it in various dodgy and/or compromising positions then returned it, with the photos to the Pleasance. The photos were proudly displayed by Nicholas in his show, but only after he'd allowed them to be published in various newspapers. This lead some very cynical people to suggest that it was a publicity stunt. I hate to defend Nicholas but one of the photographs showed his cardboard self in the back of a taxi. It may sound boring, but the bottom half of the photo was censored because it contained an extremely rude male body part. Despite his predilection for stripey blazers, surely even Nicholas would never do something so tacky for publicity. Or would he...?
AT LAST - THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY
by David Balston
There will be a special celebration of the restoration of episodes from At Last the 1948 show at the National Film Theatre.
At Last! The 25th Anniversary Restoration of At Last the 1948 Show
Sun 1 Oct 4.15pm NFT1
This year the bfi undertook the long-overdue restoration of the 1967 comedy series At Last the 1948 Show. Probably the most significant of the various shows which led to Monty Python, it starred and was written by John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Marty Feldman. It also featured contributions from the other Pythons and, of course, the lovely Aimi MacDonald. After the loss of Rediffusion's franchise, it was thought that only two of the 13 shows survived, but the bfi has recovered a further complete show and five compilations from Sweden. Using audio recordings and other sources, the restoration will attempt to reconstruct, as far as possible, the original broadcasts. We hope to be joined by some of the stars of the show to celebrate a truly great comedy landmark.
To book, phone the NFT Box Office 020 7928 3232. (Open 11.30am to 8.30pm.)
It is believed that Tim and Aimi will be in atendance.
NEW CLUE COMING UP
With special thanks to Tim Brooke-Taylor, these are the dates for the upcoming Autumn and Spring series of 'I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue' recordings:
Mon 30th Oct: Pavilion Theatre, Bournemouth (capacity 1518)
Sun 19th Nov: Belgrade Theatre, Coventry (capacity 858) (NB this was Sheffield, it's changed).
Mon 4th Dec: Wycombe Swan (capacity 1076)
Sunday 13th May - Reading Hexagon (capacity 1200)
Tuesday 29th May - Theatre Royal, Norwich (capacity 1318)
Sunday 17th June - Grand Theatre, Blackpool (capacity 1215)
by David Balston.
Why Me - Guilford's Yvonne Arnaud Theatre 12th August 2000
So another play starring the one and only Tim came to Guildford's Yvonne Arnaud Theatre - what better excuse for a Goodies related get together and for a few of us a slight convention reunion. Among the posse I had managed to round up were Alison all the way from Australia, Lisa all the way from America and me all the way from down the road. We also let Catherine, Jonathan, Ian and friends come along even though they didn't go to the convention because we are nice like that.
So after meeting up in London we invaded the Waterloo to Guildford train, and found the theatre in question and settled down to watch some theatrical culture.
As a married man whose wife had a powerful, but unseen (where is Sheila Steafel when you need her) boss, this comedy play saw Tim back in very similar territory to 'You Must Be the Husband'. As John Bailey he was having to cope with redundancy, a failing marriage, an on suite mother-in-law and most serious of all a fireplace that needs bricking up.
Although it sounds like all the ingredients for a farce this wasn't a farce, or even a comic play with a single story line. It was more a collection of situations set over several weeks, a mini soap opera if you like.
'Allo 'Allo's Carmen Silvera was the mother in law who was always just close enough to get in the way, Susan Penhaligon was John's frustrated wife Helen and Tracy Childs as friend Gwen was there to lead John of the straight and narrow and into bed. Oh and just in every good soap opera the prodigal son (Toby Walton) returns with his own problems to add to Johns.
As a collection of mini plays there was a fair bit of humour to be had, though the play didn't seem to gel together as a whole quite as well as it should. A single focused plot would have been more preferable to me but it was an enjoyable piece of theatre and well worth going just to hear Tim swear. There goes his Goody image and there is a rather nice cartoon Tim on the front of the programme.
By the way John Bailey will soon be regenerating into Dr Who mark 6 as Colin Baker will be taking the baton from Tim later in the tour.
The remaining performance dates for 'Why Me' are:
Canterbury 12-16 September
Newcastle 18-23 September
Poole 25-30 September
Eastbourne 2-7 October
Billingham 9-14 October
Crewe 16-21 October
*WHAT A PERFORMANCE *
- The comedy clips series "What A Performance" took a look at madcap humour on 14th August. Not content with dedicating a segment to The Goodies in the slapstick episode several weeks earlier they allowed Tim Brooke-Taylor to give his views on "Monty Python", Spike Milligan and Harry Hill. And if my eyes did not deceive me, there was a very brief clip of Tim and Marty Feldman from "Marty" at the start of the show. The show was on ITV from 10-11pm on Tuesday 15th August. (Alison Bean / David Balston)
* NEW CLUE TAPE SOON*
In looking at Amazon.co.uk's web site I noticed that they are taking pre-orders for "I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue No 6", a set of 4 shows from the radio series. The expected release date is listed as 6 November 2000. (Lisa Manekofsky)
* CULT TV *
27-30th October in Torquay - Cult TV 2000. Cult TV is a convention and Bill Oddie will be there (subject to work commitments). More info at http://www.culttv.org/ (Alison Bean)
* GOODIES ON BBC PRIME *
"The Goodies" will be shown on BBC Prime on Tuesdays at 22:00 starting Tuesday 5th September for at least 6 weeks. Please check their web site (www.bbcprime.com) for a complete list of countries where the channel is available and for schedule listings. (Lisa Manekofsky)
* GRAEME IN THE GUARDIAN *
The rumours about an article from The Guardian featuring Graeme Garden talking about Goodies repeats, which are currently on the Corpses forum (SOTCAA forum at http://notbbc.co.uk/corpses) are true!
* I IS ONE AGGRAVATED MINSTREL! *
The Goodies made an appearance on "100 Greatest TV moments From Hell" on Channel 4 on September 9th. Don't worry, they weren't saying the Goodies had a hellish moment, they just used a clip from 'Alternative Roots' to illustrate that they were making fun of the outdated 'Black and White Minstrel Show'; which was selected as a low point in British TV. (David Balston)
* GOODIES BOOKS ON E-BAY *
If anyone's after the Goodies' books, records etc. eBay frequently have stuff up for auction - they've got 3 copies of the 1975 Book of Criminal Records at the moment (and have had the Goodies File and several records in the past).
Go to www.ebay.com (or www.ebay.co.uk - don't know if they've got an Aussie site) and search for "The Goodies" and verily, the goodies shalt be yours! (Kay Dickinson)
* THE LITTLE BOOK OF MORNINGTON CRESCENT *
It seems that there's a good chance that "The Little Book of Mornington Crescent" is *finally* going to be published next month. A look at amazon.co.uk's web site shows that the publication date is still listed for October 2000 (19 October, to be exact) and that a photo showing the cover of the book has recently been added. In addition, the order status of the book has been updated from "Not yet released by publisher" to "Not yet published", which I take to mean that previously the publisher wouldn't comment on a release date and now there is a release date for in the near future (though that's only my guess about the interpretation of these terms). Here's a link to the book's listing:
* DALLAS BROOKS vs HARRY HIGHRISE *
According to the Herald Sun (7th September), Dallas Brooks Hall (the venue of Kitten Kon in Melbourne at Easter) might be demolished soon in favour of a substantial extension to the nearby Freemasons Hospital. The official line is that the venue is no longer suitable for pop concerts or large conventions (though we thought that it was brilliant for our Goodies convention at least), but we suspect that the evil Harry Highrise really wants to replace it with a 350 foot high block of concrete! (Tim Chmielewski / Brett Allender)
3. FEATURE ARTICLE
GOODY - GOODY - RATINGS
by Andrew Pixley
PART ONE SERIES 1 TO 4
From this point in Great Britain 2000AD, it's strange to think that "The Goodies" was ever as popular as it actually was. The BBC would have us believe it's not fit to repeat - even less release further editions of on video. The wonderful compilation CD is relegated to bargain bins. Other classic 1970s comedy is aired again and again, but there are no return visits to the Cricklewood offices. At times you find yourself thinking "Is it just me?" "Was this show never that popular anyway?".
And so, it's with some delight that you research the viewing figures for the BBC's 1970s broadcasts and remind yourself that - yes - "The Goodies" was a major and potent item in the Corporation's comedy line-up which drew in audiences that current comedy BBC2 hits such as "Red Dwarf" and "Have I Got News For You?" can only dream of.
Admittedly, the origins are somewhat humble. The first season in November/December 1970 was scheduled as one of the final items on BBC2's Sunday schedule before closedown generally around 10.40pm - and on a channel which some viewers could still not receive because of a) transmitted coverage and b) UK viewers still with 405 line sets. And average of only 1.6 million tuned in for the seven episodes - the most popular show being the "Servants"/"Cecily" installment with just over 2 million viewers. At the bottom of the pile, "Give Police A Chance" failed to net a million, coming in at 900,000 viewers only.
"Give Police A Chance" was the subject of a BBC Audience Research Report which studied - in depth - the reaction of a viewing panel to the show. 107 viewers' comments were collated in a report for John Howard Davies. Overall, reaction was positive with nobody finding it 'Vulgar', 47% finding it highly entertaining and 52% finding it 'Fast Moving'. However, although funny the conclusion was "this program was rather less so than the first two editions". It was noted that "One in five ... clearly found little to amuse them in The Goodies' attempts to establish a new image for the police force." The show was found by some to be "childish and silly" and "a poor man's Monty Python". Using the wonderful old-fashioned BBC euphemisms which pepper the reports, others were said to have found the 'zaniness' attractive and refreshing ("One of the most enjoyable pieces of nonsense the BBC has provided for a long time"). One recurring comment was that "Viewers' only regret ... was that the show was not screened earlier in the evening so that their children, too, could enjoy it." All in all, the "camera tricks" were deemed excellent and "the overall production left little to be desired."
Of course the low figures were boosted when the series transferred to BBC1 for its summer repeats; this time the major network granted it a 7.30pm slot on Mondays, but the show had still to spark the public imagination. Viewing figures were higher by virtue of it being on the major channel, and 4.6 million was now the average, spreading awareness of the terrific trio to a wider audience. The peak rating this time around was for the infamous and seldom-seen "Playgirl Club", where Graeme and Bill's antics in trying to see up women's skirts netted 5.1 million viewers.
When Season Two hit the screens in October 1971, it was again in a reasonably late slot - usually 10.10pm - this time on a Friday night. Overall, about half a million more people turned their dials to BBC2 to see the loch Ness monster, giant kittens and global spacehopping; 2.3 million was the average for the run. Highest rated was "Come Dancing" with 3.1 million ... whereas the seasonal festivities on New Years Eve prevented all bar a solitary million from tuning in for "Gender Education". Poor and intermittent scheduling harmed the season. The audience had been building nicely to over 3 million with "Kitten Kong" and "Come Dancing" when the series was pre-empted for two weeks, and then again for Christmas.
Once again, it was BBC1 which would bring the team to an even bigger audience with their appearances in "Engelbert with The Young Generation". Almost 10 million people tuned in for the first edition in the highly popular and coveted Sunday 7.25pm slot from January 1972, and a show on which the team did some brief business in the office with Engelbert Humperdinck himself before the 'exercising the pets' film from "Kitten Kong" was rescreened. However, as the series continued, the ratings for this British-German co-production declined to around six million; a mere 5.7 million tuned in at the show's lowest ebb to see the Goodies' excellent "Street Entertainers" routine. But, overall, 7.5 million British viewers were getting to see a highly truncated version of the fun available late night on BBC2.
The Montreux nomination for the re-shot, re-edited, no-naughty-words-this-time-honest version of "Kitten Kong" gave a massive boost to the team's profile ... and the viewers. Showcased in a special broadcast at 10.05pm on Sunday 9 April 1972, 5.5 million viewers tuned in - a new high for the BBC2 broadcasts. The following month, "The Goodies" was set to take BBC1 by storm with the summer re-runs of Season Two - now in the excellent slot of 8.00pm on Thursdays (except in Wales where BBC Cymru only rescreened 10 of the 13 shows on Wednesdays at 7.40pm or Thursdays at 8.30pm). The Montreux nomination, clips on "Ask Aspel" and business with Humperdinck had paid off; an average of 8.8 million were tuning into to the network broadcasts alone - giving a very healthy audience for a summer repeat from the minority channel. "The Commonwealth Games" broadcast saw the Goodies break the 10 million barrier for the first time (the nadir of the run incidentally was "Food" with a still respectable 7.9 million).
Strangely enough, the audiences were not with the team for "A Collection of Goodies" when it aired on Sunday 24 September at 8.15pm on BBC2 - their first pre-watershed broadcast on their home channel. Maybe the prospect of five bits from "Engelbert ..." tacked together wasn't strong enough to attract more than the 1.7 million viewers which it did? However, in compensation, the Goodies' next brief film insert guest slot - their 1 minute 47 seconds of Yuletide fun in "A Christmas Night With the Stars" - would see them reach their greatest audience ever. BBC1's main programme for Christmas Day 1972 was seen by over a third of the population - some 18.9 million people. A couple of days later, BBC1 re-ran "A Collection of Goodies" in the afternoon - and the school holiday audience boosted its following this time to over 8 million.
Back on BBC2 for Season Three in February/March 1973, there was no major advancement in popularity or ratings - yet the show was in a more accessible pre-watershed time of Sunday 8.15pm. The average this time was 2.7 million, a slight improvement on Season Two with a peak of 3.5 million for "The Winter Olympics". At this point, the BBC re-introduced the collation of a 'Reaction Index' (or RI), a measurement of the quality and success of the programme with the audience who had watched it. Based on a range of 0 to 100, this third run of "The Goodies" wavered between 55 and 60, which was a fairly successful score for an oddball series (a more conventional hit comedy like "The Good Life" would average 75; 60 was average, under 50 was disastrous). The one-off broadcast of "Superstar" in its later 9.50pm slot some months later was much in line with the rest of Season Three.
"Superstar" was again the subject of an individual report and had "a decidedly mixed response ... About half the sample (of 81 viewers) were clearly thoroughly entertained by the transformation of Bill Oddie into a pop idol ... Several who usually enjoyed The Goodies, however, did not much care for this particular one - the style was different somehow (less 'mad' perhaps) and not nearly so funny." Many were "bored by the singing, which 'seemed to go on for ages'." As with the 1970 report, the performance of the core team was praised and it was noted that the "'Top of the Pops' sequence came over particularly well".
Over the summer, BBC1's Thursday 8.00pm slot didn't pack quite the same punch as the previous year, with an average of 6.8 million. The individual ratings were highly variable. Again, "The Winter Olympics" came in highest at 8.3 million, while lowest was Patricia Hayes' guest appearance in "That Old Black Magic" with just under 5 million viewers. Still, it was the summer, when the fine weather evenings and family holidays would hold a greater attraction than repeats of three guys on a bike.
The problematical Season Four still did not see any appreciable improvement in the show's fortunes in terms of audience size - although the appreciation itself was markedly higher. The original plan was to run the show on Sunday night in November/December 1973, leading up to "The Goodies and the Beanstalk". Unfortunately, the series was re-sequenced and held back, with the three episodes before Christmas going out on Saturdays at 8.00pm (not a good slot against high rated shows on both BBC1 and ITV) and those after Christmas pulled back to 6.45pm the same evening and buried away in the schedules. 2.5 million was the average for the run - slightly down on Season Three; "Goodies in the Nick" was the hit at just under 3 million, while the studio bound "The Stone Age" hidden in Christmas week barely managed 2 million. The Goodies' first Xmas film outing - "The Goodies and the Beanstalk" - attracted 2.8 million at 5.15pm on Christmas Eve on BBC2, and scored a remarkably strong RI of 76. Indeed, the RIs recorded for the new season were very healthy indeed; 70 for "The Race" and the lowest being 66 for "Camelot".
Research Reports were conducted on the first and last episodes. "Camelot" got a "warm welcome" from the panel of 119 people where the "'daft' humour ... kept them laughing from beginning to end." However, again comparisons were drawn that the show "lacked the wit and subtlety of Monty Python's Flying Circus ... [and] the standard of scripts failed to match the talents of the versatile team of Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie, who were personally very popular." The verdict on this debut episode was one of "ideal family entertainment" with special commendation for the special effects and camera work.
"The Race" was found to be "fast-moving" with the panel of 153 generally saying that the team's "'dotty' antics provided a much-needed tonic" (perhaps the only occasion where the Goodies' humour has ever been described as "dotty"!). The team were "Very talented and made for each other" and the series as a whole was "'unique', 'absolutely crazy', but 'great' entertainment." 79% said that they definitely wanted another series. "In the field of comedy," concluded the report, "The Goodies had no equal at present."
It seems that with this Season Four, the style of the show was catching on with those loyal fans who were watching. "Superstar" then attracted a reasonable 7 million when shown on BBC1 (except Wales) one Friday night in January 1974 at 9.25pm, and the popularity of "The Goodies and the Beanstalk" ensured a rapid repeat for the film, with almost 10 million catching the BBC1 rerun in the primetime slot of 5.55pm one Saturday in February.
The summer repeats for Season Four in July/August 1974 did superb business for the team, with a good overall audience of 8.3 million on Thursdays at 7.40pm; a repeat of "A Collection of Goodies" this time captured the attention of 10.8 million people, out-stripping their previous high for a BBC1 repeat in 1972. Industrial disputes had forced the debut of Season Five back into the new year, and 1974 signed off with a third broadcast for the highly popular "The Goodies and the Beanstalk" on BBC1 at 7.45pm on the Tuesday before Christmas. A new record was set by the trio with an audience of 11.5 million for one of their shows.
* PART TWO - SERIES 5 TO 7 will be featured in next month's newsletter *
4. GOODIES EPISODE SUMMARY
by Brett Allender
Series 3, Episode 2
First transmitted: 11th February 1973
Graeme starts off a new day with another fancy automated gadget which brushes his teeth, combs his hair and washes his glasses all at the same time. Tim enters the room in a guardsman's outfit, complete with bearskin hat and the others suspect that he is going to a fancy dress ball as a six-foot scarlet lavatory brush! However Tim is off to visit his great-uncle Butcher and is dressed to impress in the hope that his great-uncle will leave him all his money in his will. Bill and Graeme find this despicable (but a very good idea!), so they invite themselves along dressed in loud Hawaiian holiday gear.
Upon arrival at the country mansion Tally Ho Towers (with a horse peering out a second storey window!), their bike is led away to the stables and they are waited on by the butler Basterville, who is less than impressed by Tim's acquaintances. Bill and Graeme offer to change if Tim will share the money with them and disappear after they con him into agreeing to it (taking the afternoon tea and two types of crumpet for Bill with them!). Great-uncle Butcher then enters bow-legged upon an imaginary horse, to the tune of Basterville clapping two coconuts together.
Bill and Graeme re-enter in tweed suits and bellow about their hunting exploits, which greatly impresses Butcher and he leaves Tim all the money in his will. The Goodies unsuccessfully assist Butcher with mounting his horse for hunting practice and he eventually resorts to an army tank, but snuffs it after the excitement of blasting a bunny to bits. Tim takes over the fine hunting tradition (immoral, degrading, cruel ... but fun!) and gives Bill and Graeme their marching orders before he decides to employ them as servants.
The bloodlust quickly goes to Tim's head and after he pots his toast at breakfast (and shoots the last bit of life out of great-uncle Butcher's head mounted on the wall!), he announces his marriage to his hideous wardrobe-clad fiancee and reveals his brutal plans for a small-game park at Tally Ho Towers (including vole-baiting and budgie-fighting), with a major hunt planned for the afternoon. Bill and Graeme attempt to nobble the hunt and embarass Tim by disguising as his horse and they tip him off at a jump, then dress as rabbits to attract the attention of all the other hunters.
Using glue at a steeplejump to dismount the hunters, they sell the horses to an Indian, but have to flee an enraged Tim, who chases them on the trandem (and gives triumphant two-fingered salutes in all directions after he clears a hurdle!), then rips off their rabbit suits. The furious horseless hunters eventually corner Bill and Graeme, but are chased off by a horde of Indians, which leaves Graeme and Bill to cure Tim's bloodlust. They squirt oil in his mouth to fix his raucous voice, pop his padded posterior with a pin, smash his wardrobe fiancee to smithereens and use aversion therapy to stop his love of fox hunting (which involves thumping him with mallets and continues long after he is cured because "it ain't half fun!").
* Tim: "I am going to get married."
Graeme: "What!? Who to?"
Tim: "The Honourable Lady Amanda Barrington Phipps Ponsonby Ponsonby Paddington Waterloo Charing Cross Crewe Alexandra Accrington Stanley Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mick and Tich Carruthers Carruthers Smythe Junior. Known to her friends as Big Knockers"
Graeme: "Is she pretty?"
Tim: "Pretty? Hmph! She's hideous! She is Horsewoman Of The Year - more horse than woman, but then ... looks aren't everything and in her case they're nothing! We're gonna get married and breed horses!"
Bill: That's impossible!"
Tim: "You haven't seen her!"
* Tim: "It's gonna be a traditional hunt wedding. We're gonna slaughter a rabbit, hang the giblets around her neck, paint her cheeks with blood and slap her round the kisser with its bladder. All very sloppy and sentimental, I know. But I love it ... the blood ... aaahahaaa!"
* Graeme and Bill changing into loud-voiced, tweed-suited, horse-loving hunters in a successful bid to impress Tim's great-uncle Butcher, especially their one-up riding and hunting tales ("Well, I fell off my leg and broke a horse!") which have a distinct ring of Monty Python's (and Tim Brooke-Taylor's) 'Four Yorkshiremen' sketch about them.
* Uncle Butcher blasting the hell out of a fleeing rabbit from the seat of his army tank (which had just demolished his neighbour's vegie garden), then carking it from the sheer ecstasy of his success, leading to both he and the rabbit being carried back to Tally Ho Towers dangling from hunting poles.
* Tim asks for some new domestic staff and Graeme and Bill come charging into the room to oblige. Graeme accidently slips on the rug and almost knocks Tim off his feet, with Bill cannoning into the back of them. Graeme manages to keep his mirth to a smile, but Bill has to bury his face in his hat to hide his laughter (probably the best 'blooper' actually left in an episode during the entire show).
* The breakfast scene where Tim is seated at one end of a massive table and Bill and Graeme have to send the food all the way down to him, including the use of a fishing rod to haul in a kipper, coffee pumped through a tube which spills into Tim's lap ("Oooooh, I've wet myself!") and eggs delivered via a ping-pong bat. Bill wants to belt him one, but can't walk that far, so rides his tricycle along the table until Tim shoots at him and he falls through the table top onto the floor below.
Ride My Pony
MY 2 CENTS WORTH
A good episode where Tim goes loony for a change and the others have to try to stop him. The exaggerated send-ups of the horsey hunting-type folk provide some humourous scenes and dialogue.
III Goody goody yum yum
THE BLACK PUDDING RATINGS SYSTEM
IIIII - Superstar.
IIII - Officially amazing.
III - Goody goody yum yum.
II - Fair-y punkmother.
I - Tripe on t' pikelets.
October: Music Review: "Winter Sportsman"
November: Episode Summary: "Winter Olympics"
5. THE END
As we reach the conclusion of another C&G, it's once again time for more material from the legendary British radio comedy program "I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue" (ISIHAC) which features Tim Brooke-Taylor and Graeme Garden as regular panelists. This month's featured round is the Late Arrivals At The Morticians Ball, with lovely scorer Samantha no doubt popping out to help some elderly gentleman on his last grasp, er gasp!
* Would you welcome first a party here from the Wild West (Dirge City to be precise): Hearse Cartwright, Gene Mortuary and Roy Rogers with his horse Trigger Mortis!
* And will you welcome a spluttering gentleman from Wales, Dai Thedeath, who appears to be having a coffin fit.
* Mr and Mrs Stone with their son, Ed Stone.
* Mr and Mrs Vault and their agricultural son, Farmer Lee Vault.
* Daddy and Mummy Fied.
* From the West Country, Eliza Body.
* From Australia, welcome the grave-faced Digger Pitt.
* Mr and Mrs Reaper and their son, Graeme Reaper ... and in fact he's brought his whore, Topsy!
* Mr and Mrs Balming Fluid and their daughter Emma.
* Lord Reith accompanied by Earl Fire and Dame Nation.
* From Sweden, Lars Rights and Lars Post
* Enjoy the cabaret with Tom Jones singing "The Last Vaults".
And so ladies and gentlemen, as the advertising man of time frantically flogs off the string of eternity and the Frankenfido of fate is pieced together by the loony dog breeder of destiny, we notice that it's the end of this month's C&G so it's "yach-y-da boyos!" until we return on October 12th.
The C&G Team.
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The Goodies Rule - OK! 2000. All rights reserved.
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