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A Collection Of Goodies Media Interviews
Tim - Hull Daily Mail Mar 2007 - Print Email PDF 
Posted by bretta 27/12/2009

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» Tim - Daily Mail (A...

HULL DAILY MAIL – 31st March 2007
 (Lisa Manekofsky – 5th Apr)
 
GOODIES STILL RULE OK
 
Forget the psychopathic black pudding and the psychedelic chase sequences. Beneath the day-glo madness of The Goodies - as much a part of the 70s cultural scene as dungarees, joss sticks and beards - something far more profound was happening.
 
At least, that's what Tim Brooke-Taylor would like us to believe.
 
"It was never a children's programme - it was written for adults but younger people have a perception of all this silly running around," said Tim.
 
"The Goodies was a satirical show. The nearest parallel is the Simpsons, parents watch that with their kids without the children necessarily understanding the other levels built into it."
 
The programme - which ran from 1970 to 1982 - was almost a Warner Brothers cartoon made flesh.
 
And while viewers of a certain age will recall the stop-motion film trickery, the stunts and explosions, the trio of Tim, Bill Oddie and Graeme Garden aimed to tackle deeper issues.
 
In the episode titled South Africa, apartheid - which had stripped black South Africans of their political rights - was re-imagined as "Apart Height" and saw Bill discriminated against for being too short.
 
And in Gender Education, The Goodies satirised the self-appointed TV censor Mary Whitehouse with the film, How to Make Babies By Doing Dirty Things.
 
Though these aspects have been largely forgotten in Britain - partly because the programmes have not been rebroadcast for 20 years - the anarchic spirit lives on through a new stage show, The Goodies Rule OK!
 
"You have to be about 40 to remember The Goodies the first time round," said Tim.
 
"But it seems to be one of those programmes that gets handed down and now people are coming along to the shows with their kids."
 
The new show features Tim and Graeme live on stage, with Bill appearing in a series of video clips because of other filming commitments.
 
"It means we can switch him off," said Tim.
 
Alongside the sketches and buffoonery, the trio share reminiscences about their time in the show.
 
The Goodies' story begins at Cambridge University in the early 60s, where the trio were members of the Footlights theatrical society.
 
With contemporaries including founding members of Monty Python John Cleese, Graham Chapman and Eric Idle, rebellion was in the air.
 
"Things were changing so quickly, with the music and atmosphere of the times," said Tim. "There was a sense that there were certain establishment things that you couldn't mock, but our feeling was, we will say what we think."
 
The trio appeared in the BBC sketch show Broaden Your Mind, before approaching producers with the idea of "an agency of three blokes, who do anything, any time".
 
And each week, The Goodies would peddle their three-seater bike towards a new adventure.
 
By the middle of the 70s, the trio had attracted worldwide attention, not least when a viewer laughed himself to death at their antics.
 
The show in question, Kung Fu Capers, saw Tim, dressed as a kilted Scotsman, using a set of bagpipes to fend off a psychopathic black pudding.
 
Alex Mitchell, a 50-year-old bricklayer from King's Lynn, was watching the programme at home. After 25 minutes of "continuous laughter" at Tim's demonstration of the ancient Scottish martial art of "Hoots-Toot-ochaye", he died of a heart attack.
 
His widow later sent the trio a letter of appreciation.
 
"This very nice lady wrote to us to say thank you for making his last moments happy ones," said Tim. "It is a quite a difficult thing to react to. The press badgered me about how I felt, but the only answer was, 'It's the way I'd want to go.' We thought about doing a horror movie type thing, 'We dare you to watch The Goodies', but it was too soon after it happened, it would have been a bit sick."
 
After a decade of giant kittens and walking toothpaste, The Goodies' involvement with the BBC ended in 1981.
 
With the corporation's visual effects department working on the sci-fi comedy show The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, endless postponements for the new series saw the trio defect to the "other side".
 
"ITV came along with bags of gold, but had no idea where to put us," said Tim. "They did not want us on in the middle of the evening, as that was the prime time for the Coronation Street-type shows, so they stuck us at 5.30pm when no one was watching. Considering we used to get an audience of 12 million on the BBC, it was all a bit silly and we just drifted away.
 
"In many ways it is a regret that we did not go on. There would have been so many things to cover - Margaret Thatcher was just arriving on the scene."
 
So maybe it's apt that the Iron Lady makes an appearance in the new show, even if she has been filtered through the kaleidoscope of Goodies logic.
 
"I appear as a cross between Margaret Thatcher and Evita – basically Thatcher's personality with singing thrown in," said Tim. "It's not for kids and it might be a bit frightening for adults as well."



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