1st BROADCAST: 18 Jan 1955


Script by Spike Milligan and Eric Sykes


GREENSLADE: This is the BBC Home Service, and jolly good programmes they put on, too

FLOWERDEW: Oh isn't he a lovely talker?

SEAGOON: [strained] Thank you, could you say some more, mister, please?

GREENSLADE: Why certainly, this is Wallace Greenslade saying "Winds light to variable"

SELLERS: [very theatrical] Oh Greenslade, how can they afford you?

SECOMBE: [himself] Because 12 shillings a week is nothing to the highly esteemed Goon Show!

ORCHESTRA: Ethnic Percussion And Vocals, Primitive Culture Style

SEAGOON: Thank you listeners, next dance please. Mr. Greenslade loosen that plastic sporran and make the announcement

GREENSLADE: Listeners and losteners, we present an ancient Chinese play translated from an old Greek soup recipe found engraved on the seat of a dustman's trousers in East Acton. The trousers can now be inspected in the Science Museum, internal combustion section. This play was especially writted for the wireless

SELLERS: [very theatrical] Wireless! Curse! This means the end of the horned phonograph and the little doggie that looks in to it. Exits left

FX: Gong Strikes

MILLIGAN: Hello, you there. Oh boy, get this, we give you [and how] one hot story of old home town. Okay Wally, take it away. Overture and beginners for China Story, oh boy!

SEAGOON: Strange people the Chinese. There are over 500 million of them.

FLOWERDEW: Well, they've only got themselves to blame!

SEAGOON: Thank you registrar of births. My name is Neddy Seagoon and my charlady calls me "Ducks" - due to a certain disease I have! I'm well known in China and voted best dressed man of 1904 - in 1955

GRAMS: Harry Secombe Whining In High Pitch Voice, Followed By A Splash

SEAGOON: It was Christmas night on the waterfront of the Shanghai. Still, it had to come some time. As I walked the crowded streets, people seemed to know I was British - was it my bearing, cut of my dentures or was it the 8 foot flood-lit union jack tied round my head? I'll never know

GRYTPYPE: Yikes, Tally-Ho nutty! Have a noodle

SEAGOON: The words came from a two-legged, grey-headed man going bald at the knees. He was bent backwards eating a bowl of unchopped-suey from a leopard skin bladder. With a wave of his foot he beckoned me over

GRYTPYPE: He ignored my invitation, but then I said something that had him at my side - money!

GRAMS: Whoosh!

SEAGOON: My name is Ned Seagoon

GRYTPYPE: Have a noodle

FX: Clunk

SEAGOON: Thank you. You called me over


SEAGOON: What do you want?

GRYTPYPE: Well you have a kind face

SEAGOON: You can't have it, it's a fixture

GRYTPYPE: A fixture, ey? My, you are lumbered

SEAGOON: Have a care, sir. I'm not a man to be laughed at

GRYTPYPE: I know, I've seen your act, the singing shaver isn't it?

SEAGOON: I have my dark secrets

ELLINGTON: Man, so do I!

SEAGOON: Silence, Ellington, or I'll have the white-wash brushes at you

GRYTPYPE: Well said, Neddy. Oh, Neddy, this gentleman here is Count Moriarty, French overland saxophone champion

SEAGOON: [speaking French fluently]

MORIARTY: So, the pen of your aunt is in the garden, ey? You're a stranger in town, are you, lad?

SEAGOON: Stranger? I came here as a boy

GRYTPYPE: I didn't think you came here as a girl. Oh, I don't know, though. You Chinese are damn clever people

SEAGOON: I'll have you know I'm English!

MORIARTY: English? But that ragged kilt and your toes sticking out at the end of your feet

SEAGOON: In my position that's no shame

MORIARTY: You're not...?

SEAGOON: Yes! The British ambassador

GRYTPYPE: Poor fellow, you must be starving, have a noodle

FX: Clunk

SEAGOON: Thank you

GRYTPYPE: Waiter, two ice-rickshaws and a firkin of rice. So, you're the British ambassador

SEAGOON: Yes [sings] There'll always be an England...

GRYTPYPE: You silly twisted boy, you!

MORIARTY: We wish to know that. now do we take it, Mr. Seagoon, that you are pressed for money?


MORIARTY: Hmm, interesting, ey, Colonel Grytpype?

GRYTPYPE: Yes. Come Neddy, have another noodle

FX: Clunk

SEAGOON: Thank you

GRYTPYPE: Neddy, how would you like 50 million yen?

SEAGOON: In cash

MORIARTY: Crazy boy, Seagoon, you've heard of the fiendish Chinese Nationalist leader?

SEAGOON: Not General Cash-My-Cheque?

MORIARTY: Yes. Listen lad he's willing to pay that sum to anybody who can smuggle him a certain English Rosewood upright piano with brass candle-holders

SEAGOON: Tell me more gentlemen

GRYTPYPE: Well, Neddy, this is the plan

SPRIGGS: Pardon me kind sir. Would you gentlemen be sitting here for the next few minutes


SPRIGGS: [sings]I'm only a strolling vagabond...

GRYTPYPE: Yes. Now Seagoon this is the idea we had.

SPRIGGS: Gentlemon, you, you heard my melody...

FX: Money box shaking

SPRIGGS: ...and I think that this little wooden box with the slit in the top, speaks the words to you.

GRYTPYPE: Neddy, the first thing you have to do...

SPRIGGS: [clears throat] Gentlemen. I understand. You want an encore? Ohhhh Joyyyy [sings] A gypsy am I, go wandering by...

FX: Gunshot

SPRIGGS: urgghh!

GRYTPYPE: Well done Moriarty. Just check the little wooden box would you? Now Seajoon. Think our offer over, and er, I'll get in touch with you on the phone to you tomorrow

SEAGOON: 'Til tomorrow then...

FX: Gong Strikes

OMNES: Chinese crowd gibberish

SEAGOON: Back at the embassy I pondered over Grytpype Thynne's offer. Why on earth did General Cash-My-Cheque want a certain English upward Rosewood piano with brass candle-holders? Cunning people, the fiendish Chinese, you never know which whey they're going to go! I was just about to retire for the night when there was a tap at the window

FX: Tapping at the window

SEAGOON: Hello? Hello? Anybody out there in the dark?

FX: A little wooden box with a slit in the top rattles!

SPRIGGS: [sings] I'm only a poor little vagabond, so...

FX: Gunshot

SEAGOON: Got 'im!

FX: Phone Rings, Picked Up


Operator: Call for you, you're through.


SPRIGGS: [singing down phone] ...goodnight pretty maiden...

SEAGOON: Blast that man.

FX: Rattling door handle, door opens

Delivery man: Sir. This record has just arrived, marked urgent.

SEAGOON: Quick put it on.

FX: Scratchy gramophone starts playing

SPRIGGS: [singing from gramophone] ...oh goodnight pretty maiden...

FX: Record breaking/snapping

SEAGOON: A pox on the man.

FX: Phone Rings, Picked Up


GRYTPYPE: [other end of the phone] Neddy, Grytpype Thynne here. Have you made a decision about the certain English upright?

SEAGOON: Yes, I need the money, I'll do the job. But where do I get that certain English upright Rosewood piano with brass candle-holders?

GRYTPYPE: Go to the tea-house of the August Goon

SEAGOON: Just a minute, I'll take that down. "Go to the tea-house of the August Goon", right

GRYTPYPE: Got that down?


GRYTPYPE: Burn it at once


GRYTPYPE: Now set fire to the ashes

SEAGOON: Yes, I've done that

GRYTPYPE: Good, now memorise the remains


GRYTPYPE: Splendid. Now say after me, "I am an idiot"

SEAGOON: I am an idiot.

GRYTPYPE: Right. Now, when you arrive there knock 6,000 times and ask for Ah-Pong.

SEAGOON: But how do I get there?

GRYTPYPE: How do you get there? Where are you now?

SEAGOON: I'm standing by the phone

GRYTPYPE: Good, start asking your way from there.

SEAGOON: Thank you

FX: Phone Put Back On Hook

SEAGOON: I should be there in 3 minutes. Just in time for fiendish gentleman Mlax Gledlay to have a blowout.




FX: Gong Strikes

OMNES: gibberish Chinese crowd noises

SEAGOON: On arrival at the tea house, as instructed, I knocked 6,000 times

GRAMS: Steady Knocking Gradually Speeding Up Until Sounds Like A Machine Gun Firing

FX: Door Opens


SEAGOON: Tea house of the August Gloon?


FX: Door Slams

SEAGOON: Curse, it's next door! It's always next door in China!

GRAMS: Steady Knocking Gradually Speeding Up Until Sounds Like A Machine Gun Firing

FX: Door Opens

AH-PONG: [Chinese] Somebody knock?

SEAGOON: Yes, tea-house of August Goon?

AH-PONG: Yes sir

SEAGOON: You are Ah-Pong?

AH-PONG: Yes, we are up until 11 o'clock

SEAGOON: I've come about a certain English rosewood upright.

AH-PONG: Ah, you are Neleddy Sleegoon, yeah?

SEAGOON: Yes, Blitish Ambassador

AH-PONG: Ah glood, glood, glood! Follow me please

SEAGOON: I was lead through a bead curtain and across a floor so cunningly laid that no matter where you stood it was always under your feet. In the far corner of the tea-room, I could see the sinister oriental saxophonist Fred Fu-Manchu playing strict tempo Chinesh ballroom music.

FX: Strict tempo Chinesh ballroom music plays...

SEAGOON: Finally I was lead to a military man reclining on a coolie.

BLOODNOK: Aaaah! So you're the man who's going to do the job


BLOODNOK: So, about the certain English upright rosewood piano

SEAGOON: Yes, where is it?

BLOODNOK: Up river at the Kowgoon Missionary

SEAGOON: Kowgoon? That's 600 miles away!


GRAMS: Footsteps Running Away Into The Distance, Silence, Footsteps Running Back Towards Microphone

SEAGOON: Yes, it's exactly 600 miles

BLOODNOK: That's too far to travel, therefore we shall take the fiendish Chinese river-steamer tonight

FX: Gong Strikes

SEAGOON: In the darkness we sat huddled on the fiendish Chinese river-steamer, the silence broken only by the sound of the silence being broken

BLOODNOK: Ah, Seagoon! I've just been speaking to the fiendish Chinese Captain, he says we'll be in Kowgoon at 2300 hours

SEAGOON: What time is that?

BLOODNOK: I don't know, my watch only goes up to 12

SEAGOON: Curse this fiendish Chinese triple-summertime.

GRAMS: Body into water.

CHINESE SAILOR: Ahhhhh, Man overbloard

SEAGOON: I see him, quick Bloodnok, hold my coat

BLOODNOK: Brave man Seagoon, brave man, brave brave man. Now let me see. (sings to himself) la dee, la dah, dah dee... Blast! Not a penny in any of his pockets

SEAGOON: I've got him. Haul me aboard

FX: Struggling sounds, chinese mutterings in gibberish

SEAGOON: Lay him down gently

BLOODNOK: Poor fellow, he's soaking wet.

SEAGOON: Strange, it hadn't been raining

SPRIGGS: unnnhhhh

BLOODNOK: He's coming one...

SPRIGGS: unnnhhhh

BLOODNOK: He's coming two...

SEAGOON: Who are you poor wayfarer?

SPRIGGS: [clears throat] I'm only a poor little vagabond... Wohhuuup!

FX: Kersplash

BLOODNOK: Well hurled. Full spleed ahlead

ORCHESTRA: Dramatic nautical link

FX: Gong Strikes

SEAGOON: By mid-day the following month we arrived at the fiendish Chinese river port of Kalgoon

BLOODNOK: But to our bearded horror we discovered that missionary Crun had put the certain English upright rosewood piano up for auction.

SEAGOON: We had no option but to bid against 300 fiendish oriental John Chinamen.

OMNES: gibberish Chinese crowd atmosphere

FX: Gavel Hit 3 Times

CRUN: Attention, fiendish Chinese bidders, the auction commences. First object to come under the hammer is this glass jar

FX: Glass Jar Smashed By Hammer

CRUN: The next object is this certain English rosewood upright. Now then, let us start the bidding at 1 pound

SEAGOON: [Chinese] £1.10

MILLIGAN: [Chinese] £2

ELLINGTON: [Chinese] £3

SEAGOON: £3.10

SELLERS: [Chinese] £3.15

SEAGOON: Thlee pounds flifteen and slixpence


SELLERS: £4.10 and 10-pence


SELLERS: Flive pounds

MILLIGAN: Flive pounds and flive

CRUN: Any advance on flive pounds flive?

GREENSLADE: [Chinese] Flive pounds four and 4-pence

MILLIGAN: Flip-flong

SELLERS: Flip-flong ten


ELLINGTON: Blasee-a-blas-bing

MILLIGAN: Bloo-bla-bing

SEAGOON: Bing-bang-bloom

SELLERS: Bing-bang-blom


SEAGOON: Ying-Tong-Iddle

BANNISTER: Ying-Tong-Iddle-I

SEAGOON: Ying-Tong-Iddle-I-Po

OMNES: Wahh!

CRUN: Any advance on Ying-Tong-Iddle-I-Po?

GREENSLADE: [himself] Ladies and gentlemen, the BBC have asked me to tell you the sentence Ying-Tong-Iddle-I-Po has no meaning at all and is not a form of currency. Therefore in bidding Ying-Tong-Iddle-I-Po for the piano it has proved that the bidders are fiendish Chinese. We return you now to the fiendish auction

OMNES: gibberish Chinese crowd atmosphere

CRUN: Any advance on fiendish Ying-Tong-Iddle-I-Po?


CRUN: Mnnk! Sold for £10!

FX: Gavel Struck Once

MORIARTY: Well done, Neddy boy, well done!

SEAGOON: Moriarty!


SEAGOON: Grytpype Thynne! What are you doing here?

MORIARTY: This is the reason: Before that piano can be dispatched to the secret Chinese NAAFI of Cash-My-Cheque, the keyboard must be reversed


GRYTPYPE: Well you see, Neddy, fiendish Chinese pianists always play from right to left

SEAGOON: What fiendish Chinese cunning!

GRYTPYPE: Yes. Now, out you go and get me a packet of Coolies

SEAGOON: Cork-tipped, of course

GRYTPYPE: Of course


GRYTPYPE: I say, Moriarty


GRYTPYPE: Do you think he suspects?

MORIARTY: About the time-bomb in the piano to kill General Cash-My-Cheque? No

GRYTPYPE: No. Have you wired it up to explode?

MORIARTY: Yes it detonates when a certain note is played, listen

ORCHESTRA: Piano Plays A Tune [Chopsticks] Minus Last Note Of Refrain

MORIARTY: This is the note

ORCHESTRA: Final Note Of Refrain Played

GRYTPYPE: You have a copy of that music?

MORIARTY: Of course

GRYTPYPE: In Chinese?

MORIARTY: Yes, scored from right to left and upwards

GRYTPYPE: Brilliant, brilliant! Then tomorrow we send Seagoon and the piano to the fiendish Chinese NAAFI and that will be the last of our dreaded rival General Cash-My-Cheque. Meantime, what am I bid for this record of fiendish Gladys Ellington.




ORCHESTRA: A link of Epic proportions

SEAGOON: August the third, moving inland through the bandit province of Yangtze towards the secret Chinese NAAFI, strapped to the back of a mule was the certain English etcetera etcetera with brass candle holders - I said etcetera etcetera because it saved me saying the full sentence which was a certain English rosewood upright piano with brass candle-holders. That's why I said etcetera etcetera, thought you might like to know

BLOODNOK: Seagoon, stop the caravan, there is someone behind those fiendish Chinese bushes ahead.

SEAGOON: Hand me that loaded Chinaman.

BLOODNOK: Don't point him at me!

SEAGOON: It's alright I've got a safety catch on. Who's that behind the bush? Come on who are you?

SPRIGGS: [singing] I'm only a poor little vagabond...

FX: Gunshot

SEAGOON: Got 'im! Wait, there's someone else.

SEAGOON: Ahoy there, come out from behind that bush!

BLUEBOTTLE: Wait a minute, don't shoot at me!

SEAGOON: Come on out

BLUEBOTTLE: Enter Bluebottle. Thinks: Is the Bluebottle popularity slipping? No!

SEAGOON: Who are you, you little high-bred wreck

BLUEBOTTLE: I'm a member of General Cash-My-Cheque's secret NAAFI. Strikes dramatic pose as done in film "The Bridges at Toko-Ri", by Grace Kennings and William Holdings in a Japanese bath scène. Thinks: I wouldn't mind a bath night like that. Tee-hee!

SEAGOON: Have you proof of your identity?

BLUEBOTTLE: Yes I have, my cap-i-tain, yes. Look: points to Chinese dragon tattooed at great expense on tail of shirt

SEAGOON: What does that prove?

BLUEBOTTLE: It proves that I have a Chinese dragon tattooed on the tail of my shirt at great expense. Thinks: I've got a Chinese dragon tattooed on the tail of my...

SEAGOON: Yes, yes, yes. But why have you got that boot full of Chinese porridge strapped to your head?

BLUEBOTTLE: I always have a bowl of Chinese porridge strapped on my head on a Monday

SEAGOON: But today's Tuesday

BLUEBOTTLE: Is it? Oh, I feel a proper fool now! Tee-hee! Thank you Chinese sausages.

SEAGOON: Stop those radio award jokes, now how far are we from the secret Chinese NAAFI of Cash-My-Cheque?

BLUEBOTTLE: I will not tell you, you're not talking nicely to little Blunbottle.

SEAGOON: Fiendish China men Gladys Ellington, take charge of this man.

ELLINGTON: Right! Come on, come on you mushroom legs!

BLUEBOTTLE: Eeeeeh! Take your hands off my little arms, you might rub off on me. Here, you're not Chinese

ELLINGTON: How do you know?

BLUEBOTTLE: I can tell by your eyes

ELLINGTON: Come on; come on now, how far we go until the secret Chinese NAAFI?

BLUEBOTTLE: I don't like this game. It's a rotten game. Let's play naughty Ainsley Scott being fired games

SEAGOON: Tell us, or we play Bluebottle and taxidermists

BLUEBOTTLE: No, no! I'll tell you! It is across this river, it is behind the Great Wall of China. Ying-Tong-Iddle-Eye-Ping

SEAGOON: Guards, forward!

GRAMS: Four Whooshes in a row

BLUEBOTTLE: Right, here we are at the secret fiendish Chinese NAAFI. I will knock-id

FX: Few Knocks On Door And Opens

CHINESE: Oh boy, look, it's a Bluebottle and honourable piano. Look, bloys, honourable naughty piano has arrived

OMNES: [Chinese] Hip-Hip-Hullay! Hip-Hip-Hullay!

SEAGOON: Together...

FX: Heavy Object Being Dragged Over Screams

GREENSLADE: Ladies and gentlemen, while our heroes are getting the certain English piano up on the stage of the secret Chinese NAAFI I would like to draw your attention to page 52 of this week's Radio Times. It shows a 3 quarter rear view of a lady wearing a pair of corsets. We would like to point out that this is an advertisement and not a programme, though I must say it might be the basis of a jolly good show. I see now that the certain English piano is in position and a fiendish Chinese pianist is about to play

OMNES: gibberish Chinese crowd atmosphere

SEAGOON: [Chinese] Silence, please silence! Honourable plianist will now play westlern style tlune

ORCHESTRA: Piano Plays Same Tune As Before but Stops before the Last Note

GRYTPYPE: Curse it, Moriarty, he hasn't played the note!

ORCHESTRA: Piano Plays Same Tune As Before but Stops before the Last Note

GRYTPYPE: Oh, he's missed it again!

SPRIGGS: Chinese gentlemen, don't fret! Your poor fiendish pianist can not play the piano so I will sing you another melody. Could I have an A please?

ORCHESTRA: Piano Plays An A, The Final Note Of The Previous Tune

GRAMS: Giant Explosion, Glass Smashing and Objects Falling On Floor

GRYTPYPE: Damn clever these Chinese!

ORCHESTRA: Closing 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 Stott, script by Spike Milligan and Eric Sykes, announcer Wallace Greenslade, the programme produced by Peter Eton.

BLUEBOTTLE: I didn't get deaded this week! Tee-hee!