The Whistling Spy Enigma




1st BROADCAST: 28 Sep 1954


Script by Spike Milligan


GREENSLADE: This is the BBC Home Service

GRAMS: Boos, Whistles.


GRAMS: Boos stop immediately.

SEAGOON: My Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen, back from the dead, we present half an hour of continuous radio fighting, in both corners - The Goons!

ORCHESTRA: Circus ring music.

GRAMS: Boos. Whistles.


GRAMS: Boos stop immediately.

SEAGOON: Mr. Greenslade?

FX: Chains being dragged along the floor.

GREENSLADE: (Feeble) Yes, Master?

SEAGOON: Tell the masses, Mr. Greenslade, what we have in store

GREENSLADE: Yes, master. Ladies and Gentlemen, the Goons and myself after successful season of unemployment, return to the air for a long series of 1

ECCLES: Ooooh!

GREENSLADE: They commence with a mystery play, packed from end to end with mediocrity, under the title of...

THROAT: The Whistling Spy Enigma.

ORCHESTRA: Dramatic chord.

SELLERS: The crimes you are about to hear have all been specially committed for this programme. Here to tell you a story with the aid of smoke-glass ear-trumpet and reconditioned head is Captain Hairy Seagoon

GRAMS: Frantic audience applause and cheers.


GRAMS: Applause stops immediately.

SEAGOON: I remember when it all started. At the time I was asleep in my electrified elephant hammock, when through the pigeon hole flew a carrier pigeon. There was something strapped to it's leg - it was a postman.

POSTMAN: A letter for youuuuuuu.

SEAGOON: Thank you. Hurriedly I tore open the letter. Inside was an envelope, with a message that said...

MILLIGAN: Report at once to MI5.

SEAGOON: The letter was written in a disguised voice. Hurriedly strapping on a fresh pigeon I flew out of the window.

GRAMS: Bird wings flapping.

ORCHESTRA: Mystical glissando.

FX: Four rapid knocks on the door.

GRYTPYPE: Come in!

FX: Door handle turned.

SEAGOON: Captain Hairy Seagoon reporting for duty as instructed, sir. I'm ready to die for the flag, bleed for my country, suffer great sufferings, and all for England.

GRYTPYPE: You silly twisted boy, you. Pull up a chair.

SEAGOON: Thank you. (Aside) So this was the fabulous Lance-Brigadier Hercules Grytpype-Thynne. I drew up a chair and placed it at the table next to him. Gad, how cunningly he was disguised! Stark naked, save for a souwester, string lorgnettes and a pair of identical plimsolls.

GRYTPYPE: Now, Captain Seagoon…

SEAGOON: Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes?

GRYTPYPE: Please don't do that. Captain, you have been specially selected for a specially dangerous mission.

SEAGOON: Does this mean I've been specially selected for a specially dangerous mission?

GRYTPYPE: So you guessed, eh? Seagoon, you are to make your way to Hungary via Budapest

SEAGOON: Will I have to go abroad?

GRYTPYPE: If all else fails, yes. It's dangerous work.

SEAGOON: I suppose I'll have to take risks?

GRYTPYPE: Oh yes, and a small pot of tea.

SEAGOON: What does this mean?

GRYTPYPE: It means you've been chosen to go abroad with a packet of Risks and a small pot of tea.

SEAGOON: For what reason?

GRYTPYPE: Reason? Does there have to be a reason?

SEAGOON: Ying-Tong-Iddle-I-Po.

GRYTPYPE: Very well, if that's the way you feel about it, I'll tell you. Pull up a chair.

SEAGOON: Thank you.

GRYTPYPE: During the last eighteen months you may have noticed that throughout the civilised world (and America,) British prestige has fallen very low. Yes?


GRYTPYPE: And do you know why?

SEAGOON: Yes. I don't know why.

GRYTPYPE: I'll tell you. Pull up a chair.

SEAGOON: Thank you.

GRYTPYPE: One thing killed Britain, and that was our defeat by the Hungarian football team. I fear those Magyars did for us, lad. Before they play us again we must make absolutely sure they don't win.

SEAGOON: Does this mean sabotage?

GRYTPYPE: You may well ask that.

SEAGOON: I did ask it well.

GRYTPYPE: I suppose you did. Pull up a chair.

SEAGOON: Thank you.

GRYTPYPE: This is Operation Explodable Boot. You will make your way to Budapest. Once there you will contact our British agent X.

SEAGOON: X? How do you spell it?

GRYTPYPE: Eeeeeyyyyyeeex.

SEAGOON: Thank you. How do I contact him?

GRYTPYPE: By whistling a highly skilled mysterious secret tune. The moment he hears it he'll hand you a sealed envelope, heavily sealed.

SEAGOON: But the secret tune?

GRYTPYPE: It goes like this: (whistles the Hungarian Rhapsody.)

SEAGOON: Wait! That's the Hungarian Rhapsody. What's secret about that?

GRYTPYPE: Fool! Didn't you notice? I was whistling it in English.

SEAGOON: I know, but there are thousands of Hungarians who can whistle in English fluently.

GRYTPYPE: How dare they!

SEAGOON: In any case, I can't whistle.

GRYTPYPE: Curses. We shall have to think about this. Pull up a chair.

SEAGOON: Thank you.

GREENSLADE: Ladies and Gentlemen, while Captain Seagoon and the Brigadier are thinking, we, the BBC, would like to entertain you with a smile and a song from that well-known tenor Webster Smogule.[1]

SMOGULE: Thank you, Ricky Fulton. Ahem. I should like to commence my programme with a song that is rapidly climbing to the top of the House guard's parade. That lovely melody that I have just recorded from my latest film, which is now showing north of the river, and is called 'I shine for you alone' by Butoir. Cyril, can I have my music please?


SMOGULE: (Sings) I shineeeeeeee...

GRYTPYPE: (Interrupts.) I've got it, Seagoon, I've got it!

FX: Telephone rings and door opens.

ODIUM: (Rapid nonsense.)


ODIUM: Yuuuus?

GRYTPYPE: Send in our highly skilled mysterious whistling espionage agent.

ODIUM: (Rubbish.)

GRYTPYPE: Oh thank you.

FX: Door shuts.

SEAGOON: You mean you'll send a man with me that can do all my highly skilled mysterious secret whistling?

GRYTPYPE: Exactly.

FX: Door opens.

GRYTPYPE: Ah, Seagoon. This is him, the man who can remember a tune no matter how complicated

SEAGOON: How do you do?

ECCLES: I'm fine, fine. Yup, I'm fine, fine. Yup, and you?

SEAGOON: I'm very well thank you.

ECCLES: Uh hum. Uh hum. Yup, yup. Fine. Yup. How's your old dad?

SEAGOON: My old dad?

ECCLES: Yup. How's your old dad?

SEAGOON: My old dad's very well, to be sure. (Laughs) Ha ha ha ha…

ECCLES: Good. Good, good, good, good. My old dad's okay too, you know? Yup, yup. My old dad's fine, he's fine. Yup, he's okay. My old dad's okay

SEAGOON: Yes, yes. I'm sure he is. Ahem…

ECCLES: Yup. Your old dad's okay, and my old dad's okay. They're both okay. Both our old dads are okay. They're both okay. Aren't they?

SEAGOON: Yes. Brigadier, this man doesn't look very intelligent.

ECCLES: I heard that, I heard that. Let me tell you, it aint looks that count, it's what you got up here that matters?

SEAGOON: And what have you got up there?

ECCLES: Nothing. (Laughs) Ha ha ha ha! How's your old dad?

SEAGOON: I don't see what my dad's health has got to do with you.

SEAGOON & ECCLES: (Argument. Fade into distance.)

GRYTPYPE: Max Geldray? Pull up a chair!





GRYTPYPE: Gentlemen, please. Please. I've just been on the phonograph to HQ. You are to collect a new highly skilled mysterious whistling tune direct from our own highly skilled mysterious piano composer. Eccles knows him well.

SEAGOON: How far is it?

ECCLES: Oooh, sixty-three miles.

SEAGOON: Let's go

GRAMS: Two whooshes.

ECCLES: (Out of breath) This is the house. I shall now give the secret knock, that only he and I know.

FX: Three knocks on door. Repeated on other side of door.

ECCLES: That's him!

FX: Two knocks on door – repeated on other side of door. Three knocks on door – repeated on other side. One knock on door – repeated on other side. Four knocks on door – repeated on other side. Five knocks on door – repeated on other side. Knock the rhythm of ‘shave and a haircut two bits’ on door – repeated on other side.

CRUN: Who is it, ehi? Who is it?

SEAGOON: Open this door at once or we break it down, so Heaven help me as I live and breathe

CRUN: How ever did you get a name like that?

SEAGOON: I have influence

ECCLES: Open up, Mr. Crun, it's me, Eccles

CRUN: Oh Eccles, it's me, Mr. Crun

ECCLES: Oh Mr. Crun, it's me, Eccles

CRUN: Oh, Mr. Eccles


CRUN: Well well well

SEAGOON: You idiots!

ECCLES: We're idiots, yeah

SEAGOON: Mr, Crun, sir, open this door at once

CRUN: I can't, it's locked, and the key's lost

SEAGOON: Curse, the door's locked

CRUN: Try the window that's open


FX: Tries to open a locked wooden window frame

SEAGOON: Oh curse! The window's locked as well

CRUN: It's open

SEAGOON: It's locked. Come out and see for yourself

CRUN: I will.

FX: Door opens and closes.

CRUN: Now, let me try it

FX: Locked window frame rattling.

CRUN: You're right, you know, the window is locked. What a state of affairs, the window and the door

ECCLES: Oh, I'll go inside and open it



FX: Door opens and closes.

ECCLES: (Distant) Hello, Mr. Crun? It's no good, the window's locked from the inside as well

SEAGOON: There's a fine how do you do!

CRUN: Where?

SEAGOON: Are you sure you can't find the key to the door?

CRUN: My dear military gentleman, come inside and look for yourself

SEAGOON: Right. Lead on

FX: Door opens and closes.

CRUN: Now, it used to hang on the nail behind this door

SEAGOON: Well, it's certainly not there. Looks as if we're locked out

FX: Three knocks on door.

CRUN: Who's there?

ECCLES: It's me, Eccles. I got the window open! If you come out you can crawl in through it.

CRUN: We can't come out, the door's locked and we've lost the key.

ECCLES: Oooh, can I come in and help look for it?

FX: Door opens.

CRUN: Of course, come in.

FX: Door shuts.

ECCLES: Thank you.

CRUN: Now let me see. Aughhh! Eureka! Symphavidalis! I found it! It was in my pocket all the time.

SEAGOON: Good show.

FX: Key in lock.

CRUN: Now, I'll just unlock the door and let them in.

FX: Door opened.

CRUN: Good heavens! All that trouble for nothing!


CRUN: There's nobody out here.

SEAGOON: The fools must have got impatient and run away.

CRUN: Well, never mind about them, what about you? You've come for the new highly skilled mysterious whistling tune, haven't you?

SEAGOON: Exactly. You must teach it to Eccles.

CRUN: Good, good. Now Eccles, have you ever heard this tune before?


CRUN: What do you men 'no', I haven't sung it yet?!

ECCLES: Oooh, so that's why I haven't heard it. (Laughs) Ha ha ha!

CRUN: Now listen.


CRUN: (whistles the secret tune)

CRUN: Got that Eccles?

ECCLES: How did that go again?

CRUN: (whistles the secret tune)

FX: Pop of cork.

CRUN: Did you see where they went?


CRUN: My teeth!

GRAMS: Siren, then bagpipes, then explosion, followed by clucking chicken.

CRUN: Answer that phone!

SEAGOON: Hello? Yes, right. Crun, we've got to find Hungary at once

CRUN: But I haven't taught Eccles the tune!

SEAGOON: You'll have to come with us

CRUN: Ummm. (Calls) Minnie!

BANNISTER: (at a distance) unintelligible mm's

CRUN: Minnie!

BANNISTER: What is it Henry?

CRUN: I'm going to Hungary, Minnie

BANNISTER: I'll leave your dinner in the oven.

CRUN: Minnie!

SEAGOON: Come, men, to horse, giddup

FX: Horse hooves galloping.

BOTH: (Extended)

CRUN: Captain, Captain Seagoon!

SEAGOON: What? What, what what?

CRUN: Tell me, is it very far to Hungary?


CRUN: Then why do we keep galloping round and round this blasted room?

SEAGOON: I'm waiting for someone to open the door.

SEAGOON: Ellington!


SEAGOON & CRUN: Open the door!




GRAMS: Dick Barton theme - (The Devils Gallop.)

SELLERS: The Whistling Spy Enigma, part two. Seagoon and party are on their way to Hungary to contact the British agent there by whistling the highly mysterious secret tune – (whistles rapidly). Once there they are to sabotage the Hungarian football team. Seagoon's first contact was to be the

ORCHESTRA: Bloodnok theme tune

BLOODNOK: Arrr, ooh, thud me fneficks and fetch my fungs, and other time filling in phrases

SEAGOON: Major Dennis Bloodnok?

BLOODNOK: The same. Who are you sir?

SEAGOON: (Whistles the tune rapidly.)

BLOODNOK: Very interesting, but who the blazes are you?

SEAGOON: My card.

BLOODNOK: It's blank.

SEAGOON: I know, I'm keeping my identity a secret. But I'll tell you my name.

BLOODNOK: Glad to hear it Captain Seagoon. Pull up a chair.

SEAGOON: Thank you. Yes, it's been quite a journey. It's no fun hiding under a third class railway seat

BLOODNOK: You've been hiding under a - The disgrace! You know very well we British only hide under first class seats.

SEAGOON: Yes, but I was trying to save money.

BLOODNOK: I understand. Pull up a chair!

SEAGOON: Thank you. Major...


SEAGOON: ...I have been shadowed here by the Hungarian highly skilled mysterious secret anti-whistling police

BLOODNOK: Horrors!

SEAGOON: Yes, I'd like to spend the week here if possible. What do you say?

BLOODNOK: Twelve and six a day, food extra

SEAGOON: Your charging me, an Englishman, to stay at the British Embassy?

BLOODNOK: It's the holiday season. They charge twice as much at Blackpool

SEAGOON: I'm not here on holiday, I'm here on a dangerous mission

BLOODNOK: You mean you might get killed?


BLOODNOK: Oh well, that's different. Well, under the circumstances, I must ask for the rent in advance

SEAGOON: I've never been so insulted in all my life!

BLOODNOK: Come now, with a face like that? You must have been!

SEAGOON: By St. George, you drive me hard, sir, I'll knock you down, I'll... shhhh!

FX: Footsteps coming up stairs.

SEAGOON: Can you hear those highly skilled mysterious footsteps coming up the highly skilled mysterious stairs?


SEAGOON: Neither can I

BLOODNOK: Well we'd better start hearing them soon or it'll be too late

SEAGOON: Your absolutely right. It must be a highly skilled mysterious enemy!

BLOODNOK: Of course. The moment he enters the room strike him down with something

SEAGOON: Right. Hand me that piano

BLOODNOK: That's no good, it's out of tune

SEAGOON: Curse, never mind. Hand me that 600 foot factory chimney in the corner

BLOODNOK: No, no, not that, it's my last one! Don't touch! (hear secret whistling tune)

SEAGOON: Shh, shh. The highly skilled whistling tune. It must be the noble Eccles


FX: Door opened suddenly.

MORIARTY: Ah, Captain Seagoon. Hands up!


MORIARTY: Who are you?

BLOODNOK: Mother Brown

MORIARTY: Knees up!

BLOODNOK: Graze me grundles, its Villion De La Paprickon Moriarty ne Smith, head of that dreaded highly skilled mysterious anti-whistling Hungarian counter espionage agents

MORIARTY: Well said

BLOODNOK: Thank you

MORIARTY: Now, what is the highly skilled mysterious whistling tune? I must know!

SEAGOON: I won't tell

MORIARTY: Ahhh, I warn you! I will count up to a highly skilled 40,000 and then I'll shoot

SEAGOON: 40,000?

MORIARTY: Yes, I've to go home for my gun

SEAGOON: (aside) When I saw that he was a dwarf I was all for attacking him straight away, but Bloodnok stopped me

BLOODNOK: No, wait 'til he gets older

SEAGOON: Finally, on his ninety-third birthday, we sprang

GRAMS: Struggle, Cast shouts as well

SEAGOON: Stop! (stops immediately, Neddy pants) Right, let's go

GRAMS: Struggle resumes

WEBSTER SMOGULE: (over struggle) Ladies and gentlemen, while Major Bloodnok and Captain Seagoon are so valiantly fighting for their country, I would like to sing that beautiful song, 'I Shine For You Alone', can I have my music please?

ORCHESTRA: Long drawn out grand opening

SMOGULE: I shineeee for you aloneeee, And my arms

FX: Gunshot


SEAGOON: (still over struggle) Finally we battled with Moriarty, but in the darkness we grappled for 3 hours, oooh

FX: Telephone rings, and is picked up

SEAGOON: Stop! (struggle stops immediately) Hello?

MORIARTY: (on other end) Seagoon?


MORIARTY: Moriarty. I just thought I'd tell you I've been home for the last two hours (phone put down).

SEAGOON: What? Then who's this we've been battering on the bonce?

ECCLES: I've been wondering when you were going to ask that

SEAGOON: Eccles, my poor, poor Eccles

ECCLES: How do you recognise me?

SEAGOON: Who else wears a reconditioned head?

ECCLES: I've been looking everywhere for you. For the last ten days I've been up the main street whistling the secret tune

SEAGOON: Any contacts?

ECCLES: Yeah, two ladies took me home (laughs)

SEAGOON: Time's running out, I wonder who the secret highly skilled mysterious British agent is. Try whistling it once more.

ECCLES: Okay. (whistle secret tune)

SEAGOON: Shh. Shh What luck! There's someone answering the call.

LEW: You the one who's been doing all the whistling?


LEW: For Lord's sake turn it up, we're trying to get some kip upstairs

SEAGOON: Curse! Where the devil can the the highly skilled British agent be? (silence) Where can the mysterious British agent be? (coughs, then shouts) Where can the mysterious deaf British agent...

BLUEBOTTLE: I heard you call, my highly skilled mysterious cap-i-tain. Sorry I didn't hear you first time, but my Dan Dare super cut-out cardboard radio receiver failed at a crucial moment. Moves upstage, strikes heroic pose, unstrikes it when trousers fall down. Hee-Hee. Your turn

SEAGOON: Tell me, who are you, you dirty-nosed Goon?

ECCLES: Well I'm Eccles, I told you that...

SEAGOON: Not you! You!

BLUEBOTTLE: I am secret agent Bluebottle. Strikes mystery pose in army surplus night-shirt covered in egg stains. See, I will now show my nordic features. Whips off false beard, false ear 'oles and dirty big cardboard nose. Ole!

SEAGOON: But you look exactly the same without them!

BLUEBOTTLE: I know, I was disguised as myself. Hee-Hee. I have made a little jokules. Hee-Hee. Waits for audience applause, not a sausinge.

SEAGOON: Tell me, little stringy chinless agent, what are the secret orders?

BLUEBOTTLE: You are to follow me to the football stadium. There we are to insert the dreaded dynamite into the football boots of every Hunjarian player. And, when they kick the ball, aieeee-hey-hey

SEAGOON: Aieeee-hey-hey. So that's the plan. Right, lead on.

OMNES: (singing) Give me some men, some stout hearted men, who will fight

FX: Door opened violently.

SEAGOON: In here, lads. This is their changing room. Now, those must be their boots. Now, insert the dynamite in the toecaps

BLUEBOTTLE: Right, here Eccles. Hold these three red sticks of dynamite

ECCLES: Wait a moment, one of them is a stick of Blackpool Rock

BLUEBOTTLE: Oooh! Are you sure, Eccles?

ECCLES: Of course I'm sure. Just a minute. (tastes it, swallows)

GRAMS: Explosion

ECCLES: Of course I could be wrong, ho ho!

BLUEBOTTLE: Hee-Hee. look at Old Eccles. He has blown all his toothy pegs out of his mouth. Hee-Hee. What a funny! Hee-Hee -

GRAMS: Explosion

BLUEBOTTLE: You rotten swine, you, Eccles. You rotten swine, you! While I was laughing you dropped a stick of dynamite down my trousers! Oh, I'm expos-ed. Expos-ed to the elements. Aiiigh! Moves left, places scout hat over shattered area, continues with the play.

SEAGOON: Are you both all right?


SEAGOON: Curse! Ah, never mind. I've fixed their boots. Now, back to the Embassy

GRAMS: Two whooshes

FX: Door being shut

SEAGOON: Ah, Bloodnok. Switch on the radio, quick.

BLOODNOK: Right, the match has just started

ECCLES: Goodie goodie goodie

GRAMS: Football crowd atmosphere

COMMENTATOR: And the teams are just coming on to the field now, Hungary versus England.

SEAGOON: Ha-Ha. This is the end of the Hungarians, lads!

COMMENTATOR: The match was nearly called off because the British team forgot their football boots, but the Hungarians sportingly gave them theirs.

SEAGOON:  and ECCLES: No, No! Stop the match! Stop! No!

ORCHESTRA: Start theme tune, but...

BLUEBOTTLE: Noooo! Stop it! Stop the tune! I say, is that the end of the game?

SEAGOON: Yes, you little shattered unit

BLUEBOTTLE: Ooh, that was a rotten game! I don't like playing that game!

(Bluebottle, Neddy and Eccles argue)

BLUEBOTTLE: I'll get you for that at playtime Eccles!

Orchestra: Theme tune

GREENSLADE: That was the Goon Show, a recorded programme featuring Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe and Spike Milligan. With the Ray Ellington Quartet and Max Geldray. The orchestra was conducted by Wally Scott. Script by Spike Milligan. Announcer Wallace Greenslade. The programme produced by Peter Eton.


[1] Probably based on the English tenor Webster Booth.