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Posts: 325



 Subject:  "The Goodies Ruke OK" by Robert Ross - Thread #3
17/01/2007 06:48 GMT

Again – locked out from the thread – have to start a new one …

jodievdw :

And I'll confess right now I'm one of these loony fans who loves the silliest and most obscure bits of info. While this stuff is interesting, there's still a sign that lights up in your head that says 'none of your business!'

Absolutely. I agree totally with you on this – and one of the downsides of research of the nature I undertake is that occasionally you stumble upon something which doesn’t show somebody you’ve always respected in a good light. Thankfully, this hasn’t happened with any of my work on “The Goodies” yet.

jodievdw :

I can't watch Bill's Who Do You Think You Are for the same reason.  Some stuff we just don't need to know.

It’s a very, very powerful programme and I think Bill was extremely brave to do it. But it’s one where the actual programme content would have very little bearing on anything to do with his career in terms of my research.

Andrew, this is probably getting off the topic and please don't feel obliged to reply, but where do you even start researching this stuff?  Does the BBC point you towards a heap of mouldering old files for you to rummage through?

No problem. Quick rundown … it’s basically trawling through lots of libraries and archives and trying to think laterally. Checking through listings and indexes. Newspapers, television guide magazines, books. I’ve also been doing television documentaries as a consultant for 14 years now and often something will come up for one subject while I’m doing something else (e.g. on “Doctor Who Night” in 1999, we got out Tom Baker’s in-character appearance as the Doctor talking to Tony Blackburn at Blackpool in a 1976 edition of “Seaside Special” which also included the Goodies performing “Bounce!” and doing a cross-talk routine). My publishers arranged for me to work at the BBC trawling through paperwork in 1993 and I’ve been visiting regularly ever since. The trouble is, much of the production paperwork on “The Goodies” has been destroyed – but there are all manner of indexes and the like which can be used to take you other files and microfilms where you wouldn’t think of looking.

JessPix :

Ta for answering my questions Andrew, much appreciated.

No problem. My pleasure Jess!

lisa :

While I'm sure a lot of the quotes, especially Bill's, did come from Robert's personal correspondence with the guys I'm guessing a fair amount also came from other interviews.  As I read through I recognized certain bits.

There were a couple of bits with Bill which sounded very much like his extensive interview with Robert at TellyCon.

lisa :

I know the guys tend to tell certain stories over in over in much the same wording (such as Graeme's story about their appearing on Top of the Pops).  But certain phrases rang a bell.

It’s nice to find a variation. Recently I was able to view Tim’s appearance on “Ask Aspel” in which he told the story of the trandem wires snapping in studio – although on this occasion he didn’t attribute it to “Kitten Kong” and indeed the incident related far more to the bureaucracy of the BBC that he couldn’t get treatment until he had given his personnel number.

lisa :

I think Robert did a good job of weaving the material together but, like Jodie, I would have liked to have seen citations for the sources (at the very least, to prove my memory correct  )

I’m beginning to find citations more and more essential these days. If anybody wants to read some other excellent comedy books which show the high standards that can be attained, check out “Funny, Peculiar” by Mark Lewisohn (about Benny Hill) and Graham Cann’s excellent book on Morecambe and Wise. Real blueprints for quality.
QueenofKnerds :

I have to agree that some of the info (like about the contracts and all that) that it was a little unnecessary and I sort of wondered what it was there for.

You’re right – there didn’t seem to be a reason. The story didn’t go anywhere or have any consequences.

Also I think some of the references to some pre-Goodies material were a bit empty, if that makes sense. OK I mean, I missed out on the Still Alive tour so I don't really know anything about Graeme's Pet's Corner sketch, but it kept cropping up every now and then and so it didn't really mean anything to me. I don't mean to say that Robert Ross should have put in a full transcript or something, but maybe a little background to explain these obscure things that kept getting mentioned.

Mmmmm. It’s all about context and these things do need explaining to my mind – particularly topical stuff which one day we’ll all have forgotten.

All the best



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