Tim is the Chief Editor of the brand new 'Goodies Clarion & Globe' newspaper (proudly proclaiming that it covers "All the news that's fit to print … and quite a bit that isn't!") and is besieged by a rapid series of incoming phone calls; some of which he directs to his assistant Bill, who sits there with a dumbstruck expression and is of no help at all. Tim manages to answer several calls in a variety of silly voices before he gets rather tongue-tied, though one particular call gets his attention ("Ooh, that one's obscene! … I'd better take it! Really?! Upside-down with a goat?! …) until Ace Reporter Graeme returns with a scoop for the front page. Tim issues his requirements for the front page news ("I want a story with warmth, drama, human interest … and big bosoms!"), but Graeme's story is only a lame one about a pet shop owner in a parrot feed scandal (with an accompanying photo of a dog causing Graeme to justify "Look at the bosoms! Count the bosoms!") so Tim tells him "You're fired", though it takes a little while to sink in (as Graeme chirps "That's even better! Gee, what a story! 'Goodies Ace Reporter Fired!' Get it down … I'm what?!").
Tim makes Bill into the new Ace Reporter and tells him to "Go get me a story, kid." All sorts of exciting things happen around Bill while he walks the street (including a bank robbery, a Prime Ministerial streak and a peek at the 'crown jewels' of bonny Prince Charles!), but he is so mopey that he merely returns to the office with the earth-shattering news that "My hat blew off", much to Tim's sarcastic displeasure. Not even Bill's favourite monster-sized sandwich with the lot (expertly prepared by Graeme: "Ham, cheese, tomato and kipper, tripe and onions, peanut butter, chocolate, porridge, steak and kidney, blancmange and cod. Sorry I couldn't get any rancid halibut giblets!") can brighten his gloomy mood and Graeme is concerned that Bill just isn't himself ("Aah there's only one thing that it can be and unless I'm very much mistaken …") Bill's dreamy confession that "I'm in love." (which draws a surprised "Oh so it's not a hernia!" from Graeme) leads Tim and Graeme to realise that Bill is hopelessly in love with Mildred, the daughter of rich loony tycoon Sir Joshua Makepiece.
According to the newspaper that Tim peruses, Sir Joshua is so miserable that he will offer the hand of his daughter in marriage to the first person who makes him laugh again (which leads to Tim enthusiastically declaring: "What a headline! 'Goodies Clarion & Globe Ace Reporter Pulls High Class Crumpet!' Great!"), so the Goodies travel to Makepiece Manor on the trandem (with the useless Bill towed along in a basket on the back still gazing longingly at his portrait of Mildred). Tim and Graeme try to prepare Bill for his meeting with Sir Joshua, but he is too distracted by thoughts of Mildred to be able to recite the "gorilla walks into a pub" joke that Tim tells him or the funny noise that Graeme so expertly demonstrates (a burble from his fingers on his lips, two ferret-like "eek" sounds and a "phhhtt" with his tongue while pumping his fist). Bill's attempt at visual humour also fails miserably when his silly disguise inadvertantly makes him look exactly like an unimpressed and irate Sir Joshua, and the continuation of his dismal mood leads him to being sacked from the Goodies. Bill is sent on his way by Graeme ("after much discussion … well not that much discussion, hardly any at all as a matter of fact!") and Tim ("Look, ever since you took up with that tart Mildred you've been absolutely hopeless! I'm sorry, but you've got to go!"), with just a piece of cheese ("We all know how fond you are of best Blue Stilton, but this is mousetrap!") engraved 'To William Edgar Oddle ("Oddle? Oh well, close enough!") Good Riddance' as the only token of appreciation for his years of service.
Even before Bill has time to leave the office, Tim and Graeme are inundated with responses for a replacement third Goody, with requests from "a Mr Wise, but he wanted to bring his mate, big Eric with the glasses!" (to which Graeme says "No, trouble, trouble!"), a young man with naval experience who lives in "a big house in the middle of London" (but who has to "square it with Mum first"!) and the "Ruddy Band of the Coldstream Guards", who come to the door playing the 'Monty Python' theme, but are told to "push off" by an annoyed Graeme! Meanwhile Bill's sad story of rejection and humiliation by his fellow Goodies (where they even tried to replace him with Nicholas Parsons of all people!) finally gets Sir Joshua cackling his head off ("That's the funniest thing I've heard for years!"), but Bill is still unable to marry Mildred, for she has left home because she couldn't stand living with her "miserable old twit" of a father any longer (as he rolls around on the floor in a fit of laughter, bellowing "My Mildred's gone and left me! This … this is the saddest day of my life!")
Bill returns to the newspaper office feeling all perky and upbeat again (even laughing at Tim's interpretation of "putting the paper to bed" and greeting "Graybags, Old Fuzzychops" with an enthusiastic tweak of Graeme's whiskers!) and he is ready to reclaim his old job; however he is horrified when he realises that Tim and Graeme have employed none other than Mildred herself to replace him. Bill complains bitterly that they have only hired her as "a bit of crumpet" for "a quick snog behind the filing cabinet" (and gets a very unconvincing disagreement from a stumbling Tim), so he leaves again after Mildred rejects him in favour of her new career (Bill: "But I made your Dad laugh." Mildred (cruelly): "You make me laugh too, but I'm not going to marry you!"). A distraught Bill contemplates hurling himself off a pier, only to walk away after several attempts, which leaves a pursuing policeman to overbalance and topple into the drink instead (with Mildred greeting the news with "Yes, terrific, great story. Some nutty copper has just jumped into the sea" as she quickly takes over the running of the newspaper.)
In a complete reversal from his earlier comments, Tim soon finds himself cast in the role of "a bit of fluff", as Mildred takes much pleasure in sexually harassing him (by pinching him on the bottom twice and inviting him "back to my place for a bit of way-hey-hey!") A very coy and wide-eyed Graeme also takes the opportunity to suck up to his new boss (with a cheesed-off Tim branding him a "shameless hussy!") and Tim even briefly resigns and walks out, before he charges back in and lays down the law ("Hang on a minute, I'm the boss around here! We employ you! You work for us, get it?! So just remember your place, woman!") only for Mildred to put him straight back in his box (with a blast of "How dare you!" which reduces Tim to tears.) Graeme continues to be the golden boy ("I've finished, Miss!") until Mildred finally bursts his bubble when she asks him to sit on her lap and take his glasses off, only to flatly reject him afterwards.
Graeme and Tim decide that it's time to get Bill back, but the letter that he has left behind tells them that he has "gone off to do something silly" and he has signed up as the sole entrant in the Eurovision Raving Loony Contest (much to the shock of the organiser who keels over when Bill dismissively writes his signature on the entry form). According to the colourful and cheerful host Katie Pimple, the object of the exercise is for contestants to "hurt, maim or preferably kill themselves by doing something extremely stupid and dangerous" to impress the judging panel of eminent (and very loopy) psychiatrists. Graeme and Tim make a late entry as the representatives from "countries all over Europe", but despite their excellent 'falling down' as Germans Fritz and Fratz and also two mucho loco Spaniards, a slip-sliding Bill is looking like a certain winner (although Tim and Graeme do manage to score a high mark from the judges when they slap each other in annoyance and fall to the ground afterwards!)
After a series of painful and spectacular tumbles and collisions (including being flattened by a train and having a wild ride down the road towed behind Bill's bathtub), Tim and Graeme finally catch up with Bill in mid-air (after being shot skywards from a cannon when their feet tangle up un the ropes of a parachute that they are trying to send up to Bill) and manage to convince him to rejoin the group. However they don't manage to get Bill to stop his rabbiting on ("I'm ever so pleased, you know, because we had some good times together …") and open the parachute quickly enough and it only flutters gracefully into the air well after the Goodies have already come back to earth with a heavy thud. A plaster-covered, wheelchair-bound Tim and Graeme are crowned joint Eurovision Raving Loony Contest winners, to the wild cheering of the crowd.
* Tim (reading his advert): "Wanted ... third Goody to share. Grotty little hairy frustrated pop stars need not apply."
* Tim (on the phone to a potential Goodies applicant): "Hello, yes that's right … well, what can you offer us, Sonny Jim? Yes, we are a bit fussy, yeah … university education, naval service, big house in the middle of London, blue blood, polo … polo?! Your Royal Highness! You want to be a Goody? Well certainly Sir, we'd be honoured. You'll ring us back just as soon as you've squared it with Mum?! Right, OK, bye bye."
Graeme: "Who was that?"
Tim: "Not absolutely certain, but I think it was 'Bluebottle'!"
* Bill (despairingly, to Sir Joshua): "Those so-called friends, those callous swine have given me the boot, they ... they threw me out and fobbed me off with a rotten old piece of cheese. Then ... they tried to replace me with ... (shamed pause) ... Nicholas Parsons! I mean, I do have my pride! I am a man! (a little later) They even interviewed … a wooden model of Roger Moore ... actually it could have been the real Roger Moore!"
* Bill (angrily to Tim & Graeme about Mildred): "That's what you wanted all along, hey ... a bit of crumpet around the office" ... a quick snog behind the filing cabinet, yeah ... that's what you two were after isn't it?"
Tim (offended): "I'm sure Mildred is not that kind of girl!"
Bill: "Oh yes she is!"
Tim (excited): "Is she really?!
(Bill makes a fist pumping gesture)
Tim (unconvincingly): "Bill, I don't know how you could say that. Mildred is quite clearly suited to the job on account of her long legs ... er, experience, experience! She has extremely impressive bosoms ... breasts ... er, qualifications. She has a splendidly pert cheeky pinchable little ... little ... degree in economics and sociology and a terrific bum, bum ... er, bottom and I'm sure we'll all enjoy groping her ... er, working her ... er, working with her."
* Mildred (after pinching Tim on the bum): "Oh come on, don't be so outraged. That's what you expect isn't it, a bit of slap and tickle from the boss, eh? If you're no good for that, what are you good for?"
Tim (indignantly): "Just what do you think I am?!"
Mildred (bluntly): "A pretty little thing! And that's about all."
* Mildred (after pinching Tim for a second time): "If you don't want it tweaked again, don't flaunt it so much!"
Tim (outraged): "Get off! You ... you female chauvinist sow! I ... I'm not your little bit of fluff, you know!"
Mildred: "No, but there's plenty who wish they were, hey Mr Garden?"
Graeme (all wide-eyed and innocent): "I'm sure I don't know what you mean, miss!"
* Mildred (with Graeme sitting on her lap, gazing longingly at her): "Let me look at you. Take your glasses off, Mr Garden."
(Graeme removes glasses and keeps staring at her)
Mildred (very uninterested): "No, not really on, is it?!"
Graeme (utterly offended, leaping off her lap): "You cow!! You sure know how to hurt a man!"
* Katie Pimple (cheerfully): "For those of you who haven't read the Radio Times, ... and let's face it, who the hell does ...!"
* Bill getting given the responsibility of Ace Reporter and sent out to collect the big headline story for the Clarion & Globe, but being so lovesick over Mildred that he fails to notice all kinds of dramatic happenings around him; including a house fire, a bank robbery (where the fleeing robbers shoot his hat off from inside their getaway car), a nasty domestic argument where a couple are trying to murder each other in a window, the Prime Minister streaking around the streets in his undies before his minders help him back into his suit again, London Bridge falling down and a 'Royal Flash' from Cheeky Charlie (although Bill does manage to recover his headwear from the 'hat rack' inside the royal robes!). Bill then returns to the newsroom with the sensational scoop that "My hat blew off!", much to Editor Tim's displeasure.
* The Goodies' attempt to get the miserable Sir Joshua Makepeace to laugh, which fails dismally when the lovestruck Bill (who cannot master a joke or a silly noise) is dressed up in a bright orange wig, moustache and chipmunk teeth and told to wave his hands wildly in the air, only to find that Sir Joshua looks exactly the same and is totally unimpressed and rather offended by the imitation (even offering a hostile silly noise of "burble eek eek phhht" himself in response!). Also the later scenes where Bill finally cracks up Sir Joshua with his sad tale of being rejected by Mildred and the other Goodies, fobbed off with a piece of cheese and attempted to be replaced by everyone from Nicholas Parsons to a wooden dummy of Roger Moore (which could have even been the real one for that matter!); particularly Sir Joshua rolling around on the couch and then the floor in fits of hysterical laughter while professing that "This is the saddest day of my life" because his darling daughter Mildred had finally left him and gone out to live her own life.
* The various scenes with the Goodies and Mildred in the Clarion & Globe office (covered extensively in the 'quotes' section), where Tim firstly enthusiastically welcomes "a bit of crumpet" in the office, but soon finds that he has bitten off more than he can chew when Mildred takes over proceedings and starts sexually harassing him in turn! Also Graeme's shy sucking-up to Mildred (at least until she rejects him when he takes his glasses off!) is great fun to watch.
* Much of the Eurovision Raving Loony Contest footage, which contains a large number of spectacular and amusing visual gags, including the Falling Down contest (one of Graeme's specialties, though Bill also does a brilliant job on the many banana skins), the 'Danger. Do Not Press Here' button on the brick wall which Bill repeatedly thumps without consequence before Graeme cops a wallop in the head from a huge boxing glove (and Tim also unexpectedly cops one when he bumps into it in a later scene), the runaway circular saw blade cutting the support rope under a ladder and flattening it with Tim and Graeme tumbling to the deck (another classic piece of theme footage), Bill headbutting a moving truck (and merely shaking his head afterwards) after Graeme and Tim had already put up a crossing gate to stop the truck (only to be skittled by a train rocketing past immediately afterwards, then flattened by the truck in turn when it gets moving again), Bill attempting to dive from a crane into a glass of water below (which Tim takes a welcome sip from, only to look up and gasp in horror when he sees Bill plunging towards him) and the final failed parachute landing where Tim and Graeme collect the spoils of victory (and plenty of breaks and bruises as well!)
Tessa Wyatt, Roland MacLeod, Karin MacCarthy
Front Page News
MY 2 CENTS WORTH
Another great episode which offers a heap of hilarious (and again, rather "adult") dialogue between the Goodies and Mildred, with another wonderfully enjoyable cameo from Roland MacLeod as Sir Joshua Makepiece. There are also stacks of amusing visuals such as Bill's streetwalk and the European Raving Loony Contest footage which add greatly to a very enjoyable and funny storyline.
BLACK PUDDING RATING