BROADCAST: 26 Oct 1954


Script by Spike Milligan


GREENSLADE: This is the BBC Home Service.

GRAMS: Jewish wailing.

SECOMBE: Yes indeed. To the gay music of Britain’s taxpayers we present the Grune Show.

GRAMS: End of Rossini’s William Tell Overture. Speed up gradually to about double.

GRAMS: Explosion. Falling glass. Collection of rubbish.

SECOMBE: And why not? (Calls) Mister Greenslade!

GREENSLADE: Yes, Master?

SECOMBE: Tell the masses what’s the play.

GREENSLADE: Ladies and Gentlemen…

SECOMBE: Thank you. Yes, it’s ladies and gentlemen in ‘The Affair of the Lone Banana.’[1]

ORCHESTRA: Dramatic introduction. Hold under.

SELLERS: ‘The Affair of the Lone Banana’. Not a pretty story I fear. Still, the BBC will but this cheap trash. However, the central character in the story is young Fred Nerk. His father, Lord Marks, made a fortune from the great Marks Laundry business, but then you’ve all heard of laundry marks haven’t you? (Laugh &c) Ha ha ha! Oh dear! Oh dear! But let us start this story from the beginning.

ORCHESTRA:  Bucolic countryside scene – flute and harp. Continue under.

GREENSLADE: The scene is the country home of the Marks country home, Motzer Lodge. A mystery has been committed – young Fred Nurk has vanished. Interrogating the residents is a man, tall, dark, handsome, swashbuckling, handsome, intelligent...

ECCLES: This ain’t me folks – I come in later. Ha ha!

GREENSLADE: No, no! It’s Inspector Neddie Seagoon, late of the eighteenth century and part inventor of the steam driven explodable hairless toupee.

SEAGOON: (Fade in) Now then my man, your name is…er…

BUTLER: [2] Headstone. Gravely Headstone. My maiden name you understand.

SEAGOON: I understand. Don’t put that down Sergeant.

THROAT: Right sir.

SEAGOON: Headstone, you are a footman.

BUTLER: Two foot six to be precise sir.

SEAGOON: How lovely to be tall. Headstone, you say Fred Nurk disappeared whilst having a boot of tea with his mother, Lady Marks.

BUTLER: True – you might say he disappeared from under her very nose.

SEAGOON: What was he doing there?

BUTLER: It was raining, I believe.

SEAGOON: (Thinks) Lady Marks. Where is her ladyship at the moment?

BUTLER: M’lady hasn’t got a ship at the moment.

SEAGOON: I don’t wish to know that.

BUTLER: (They don’t wish to know that. I say! I say!)
SEAGOON: (Calls) Greenslade! Send in Lady Marks, or that idiot gardener. He might know something.

GREENSLADE: Right sir. (Brusquely – as if speaking to an idiot.) This way, you!

FX: Great heavy boots trudging closer and closer.

SEAGOON: Ah! Lady Marks. Sit down.

LADY MARKS: Thank you.

ECCLES: I bet you all thought it was going to be me. Ha ha ha!

SEAGOON: Lady Marks, your late husband owned a banana plantation, yes?

LADY MARKS: In South America.

SEAGOON: That’s abroad, isn’t it?

LADY MARKS: Well, it all depends on where you’re standing.

SEAGOON: Now, let’s put is this way. Is it on the tube?

LADY MARKS: (Coyly) Oh, ah ha! You dear old fashioned thing you! (Laughs) Ha ha ha!

SEAGOON: Please madam, don’t be so evasive. If South America is on the tube, we have ways and means of finding out.

LADY MARKS: Dear midget, of course it’s not on the tube.

SEAGOON: Ah ha ha! Now you’re talking.

LADY MARKS: So are you. Isn’t it fun?

SEAGOON: Lady Marks, this is a tricky case. I don’t think I can…

LADY MARKS: Inspector, you must find my son. You must! I don’t care how much money you spend, in fact I’ll chip in a few bob myself.

SEAGOON: The offer is tempting. Very well, I accept. Just leave everything to me – your purse, jewels, cheque book, ginger glass eye, war bonds, trombone…

GRAMS: Dramatic link. Segue into Arab Market link.

SELLERS: (Barton?) At the British passport office in Whitechapel, Seagoon discovered that Fred Nurk had left for Guatemala on a banana boat, disguised as a banana.

SEAGOON: That’s true. I waited for the ship to return but he wasn’t on board. He must have got off… AT THE OTHER SIDE!

GRAMS & ORCHESTRA: Loud applause. Enthusiastic cries of bravo.

SEAGOON: Please! Please! Thank you! Thank you! (Uncomfortable) Don’t make it sound rehearsed. Ha hum. My next task was to book a ticket to South America. This I did at a shipping office in Leadenhall Street.

FX: Shop bell

CRUN: Mnk…mnk…grnk.

BANNISTER: (Distant) Someone’s at the door buddy.

CRUN: Who is it? Who is it?  

SEAGOON: Good morning.

CRUN: Thank you.

SEAGOON: I want to book to South America.

CRUN: That’s abroad, isn’t it?

SEAGOON: Yes. (Laughing) It isn’t on the tube you know.

CRUN: Isn’t that wonderful? Whatever will they think of next, I don’t know. Do sit down, sir.

SEAGOON: There aren’t any chairs.

CRUN: You can stand up if you wish.

SEAGOON: Thank you.

CRUN: No extra charge – it’s all on the house. Let’s get some details and documents. We must have the documents you know… er – I’ll just take a few particulars. Now let’s get the details and the documents. We must have documents, you know.

SEAGOON: Of course.

CRUN: ….the documents. Ymnbnkbhm. Now, what was all this about? Oh, yes, yes. Your name?

SEAGOON: Neddie Pugh Seagoon.

CRUN: (As if writing) N – E – D – D – I – E… Neddie. What was next?

SEAGOON: Neddie Pugh Seagoon.

CRUN: Pugh. P – H – E – W.

SEAGOON: No, no, no! It’s pronounced Phew but it’s spelt Pug.

CRUN: Pug… Pug – yes. P – U – G – H. There. Neddie Pugh Seajune – wasn’t it?

SEAGOON: Yes. Seagoon. S – E – A – G – O – O – N.

CRUN: Could you spell it?

SEAGOON: Certainly. S – E – A – G – O – O – N.

CRUN: Seagoon. S – E – A… mnk, mnk.

SEAGOON: G – O – O – N. Seagoon.

CRUN: O – O – N. Ah good, good good. There. (Snoring) Oh, yes, yes, yes. The full name. Now then – address?

SEAGOON: No fixed abode.

CRUN: No F – I – X – E – D, fixed, A – B …

SEAGOON: A – B – O – D – E.

CRUN: …O – D – E. There we are. ‘No fixed abodey’. What number?

SEAGOON: Twenty-nine A.

CRUN: Twenty-nine A.


CRUN: Twenty-nine A. District?

SEAGOON: London, S.W.2.

CRUN: L – O – N – D – O – N, Southwest… E – S – T,  two, wasn’t it.

SEAGOON: Yes, two.

CRUN: T – W… It’s no good. I’d better get a pencil and paper and write all this down. Minnie! Minnie? Min, min, min, min, min, Minnie!

BANNISTER: (Distant) I’m coming Henry. (Approaching) What is it, Henry?

CRUN: A pencil please.

BANNISTER: There you are buddy buddy.

CRUN: Minnery,[3] this gentleman is going to South America.

BANNISTER: Ohh! Goodbye.

CRUN: That’s where young Fred Nurk went to.

SEAGOON: Fred Nurk?! That’s Fred Nurk’s name.

CRUN: Oh. Yes, he went in such a rush he left this behind.

SEAGOON: Let me see. A banana. A lone banana. (Aside) So, now my task was easier. I knew that the man I was looking for was… ONE BANANA SHORT!

GRAMS & ORCHESTRA: Loud applause. Shouts of ‘Bravo’ etc. as before.

GREENSLADE: As a tribute to Seagoon’s brilliant deductive powers, Max Geldray will now play a loaded sackbut from the kneeling position.




GREENSLADE: ‘The Affair of the Lone Banana’ – chapter two. With the banana secreted on his person, Neddie Seagoon arrived at the Port of Guatemala where he was accorded the typical Latin welcome to an Englishman.

MORIARTY: Hands up you pig-swine! (Spits)

SEAGOON: Have a care, Latin devil. I am an Englishman. Remember, this rolled umbrella has more uses than one!

MORIARTY: (In pain) Oooo!


MORIARTY: Sapristi pompet!

SEAGOON: Now, what’s all this about?

MORIARTY: It is the revolution signor. Everywhere there is an armed rising.

SEAGOON: Are you in it?

MORIARTY: Right in it. You see signor, the United-anti-socialist-neo-democratic-pro-fascist-communist party is fighting to overthrow the Unilateral-democratic-united-partison-bellicose-pacifist-cobelligerant-Tory-Labour-Liberal party.[4]

SEAGOON: Whose side are you on?

MORIARTY: There are no sides. We are all in this together. Now signor, if you don’t mind we must search you.

SEAGOON: What for?

MORIARTY: Bananas. You see signor, we Guatemalans are trying to overthrow the foreign dominated banana plantations in this country. Any foreigner found with a banana on him will be shot by a firing squad and asked to leave the country.

SEAGOON: (Aside) Curses! I must think quick. Little does he know I suspect him of foul play.

MORIARTY: (Aside) Little does he know that I’ve never played with a fowl in my life.

SEAGOON: (Aside) Little does he know that he has misconstrued the meaning of the word ‘foul’. The word foul in my sentence was spelt F – O – U – L, not F – O – W – L as he thought I has spelt it.

MORIARTY: (Aside) Little does he know that I overheard his correction of my grammatical error and I am now about to rectify it – aloud. (Aloud) Ahem! So, you suspect me of foul play spelt F – O – U – L, not F – O – W – L.

SEAGOON: Yes, and you might as well know I’m here to find young Fred Nurk.

MORIARTY: Sapristi nyuckles! That capitalistic pig? He’s here, but you’ll never…

SEAGOON: Don’t move Signor Gonzales[5] Mess, nee Moriarty. Hands up!

MORIARTY: Seagoon! Put that banana down.

SEAGOON: And leave myself defenceless?!

MORIARTY: Sapristi pompet.

SEAGOON: One step nearer and I fire.

MORIARTY: Ha, ha! You fool. You can’t fire a banana!

FX: Two pistol shots.

MORIARTY: You swine! It was loaded.

SEAGOON: Of course. You don’t think I’d threaten you with an unloaded banana do you? Now come on, tell me – where is Fred Nurk?

MORIARTY: By my life I will never tell. Go on and torture me, smash my skull in, break my bones. Put lighted matches under my fingers, tear the flesh from my body, slice lumps off of my head…

FX: Thud of body falling on the ground.

MORIARTY: (Calls) Pancho?

SELLERS: (Distant) Signor?

MORIARTY: The smelling salts. He’s fainted.

ORCHESTRA: Dramatic link.

SELLERS: (Spanish) When the Englishman awoke, he found himself in a tall dark room with sideboards. It was a prison cell.

SEAGOON: True, true. The only other occupant was another occupant. Apart from that he was the only other person. He was chained to the wall by a chain which was attached to the wall. He appeared to be a man of breeding and intellect.

ECCLES: Hello dere!

SEAGOON: I was wrong. But wait – could he be Fred Nurk?

ECCLES: Tell me, how’s your old dad?

SEAGOON: Do you recognise this banana?

ECCLES: Nope. I don’t think I’ve ever met him before.

SEAGOON: Then, are you one banana short?

ECCLES: Nope. I ain’t one short.

SEAGOON: Curse! Then you’re not Fred Nurk.

ECCLES: Ohh! Ain’t I?


ECCLES: You mean that I’m somebody else?


ECCLES: Oooh! Who am I?

SEAGOON: What’s your name?

ECCLES: Eccles.

SEAGOON: That’s who you are.[6]

ECCLES: (Weeping) Ooooooooo! Oooooo hoooooo!

SEAGOON: There, there! Don’t take it so hard. Now, how can I get out of this place?

ECCLES: Ha! Well, there’s that door there.

SEAGOON: Right, I’m away. By dawn I’ll be safe. (Laughs) Ha ha ha ha! Now’s the time for action. Nothing will stop me now. (Self fade) FAREWELL!

FX: Door opens and closes.

GRAMS: Terrific fusillade of rifle fire, add in machine gun behind.

FX: Door opens and closes.

SEAGOON: (Panting) It’s raining. Tell me – is there any other way out of here?

ECCLES: Would you care for something to eat?

SEAGOON: Ah! How about the window up there?

ECCLES: You can’t eat that.

SEAGOON: Now, if we could get up to that window…

ECCLES: Well, get this iron chain off my neck and I’ll help.

SEAGOON: Right! Just put your neck on this block. I’ll soon have it off.

FX: Huge iron hammer on anvil. Three hefty blows. Chain falls to floor.

SEAGOON: There, that’s broken it. You’re free. How do you feel?

ECCLES: I don’t know. Ain’t never had a broken neck before.

SEAGOON: Come, let’s to the task.

ECCLES: Ok. I’ll give you a hand.

SEAGOON: (Going off.) Give me a hand.

FX: Chairs being stacked one on top of another. Continue under.

SEAGOON & ECCLES: (Improvisation) Stack these chairs up…Right! Right! &c. (Continue under.)

GREENSLADE: Ladies and gentlemen, the sound you are hearing is that of Seagoon and Eccles balancing chairs one on top of the other. This operation might last some time as they will need to stack at least fifty to a hundred chairs if they are to reach up to the high window. No doubt, after about five minutes this sound will become very boring. BBC policy therefore decrees that in the interim we entertain you with songs from that well known tenor and market gardener – Mister Cyril Cringingnutt.

CRINGINGNUTT: Thank yew, Rikky Fulton.[7] My first number tonight, I will sing – for money. And it is that lovely melody from my latest record which I have just recorded. It is called “Three Goons in a Fountain”. My melodies please Cyril.

PIANO: (Intro)

CRINGINGNUTT: (Sings) Three Goons in a fountain

                                        which one will the fountain drown?

                                        I’ve got a shop full of schmutters…

GREENSLADE: (Interrupting) Thank you! Ladies and gentlemen, Seagoon and Eccles have reached the high window so we won’t need Cyril Cringingnutt any more, so we’ll say…

FX: Enormous crash of chairs falling to the ground. Pause.

SEAGOON & ECCLES: (Distant) Ooooh!

PIANO: (chord)

CRINGINGNUTT: (Sings) Three Goons in a fountain,

                                        which one will the fountain drown…

FX: Door bursts open.

MILLIGAN: Eyes front! Everyone silence! Everyone back to their own beds. Now then, prisoner Seagoon, there is an English diplomat to see you. This way sir.

ORCHESTRA: Bloodnok theme.

BLOODNOK: Aeiough! Oooooh! Kitna bugi hai! [8]… and other naughty noises. Now, which of you two is Eccles and Seagoon?

SEAGOON: I’m Seagoon except for Eccles.

ECCLES: I’m Eccles except for Seagoon.

BLOODNOK: So, you’re both Eccles and Seagoon except for each other.


BLOODNOK: I knew I'd get it out of you. I'm the British Chargé d'Affaires – Major Bloodnok , late of Zsa Zsa Gabor's third regular husbands. I've managed to secure your release. I completely overcame the prison guards.

SEAGOON: What with?

BLOODNOK: Money. Aeioughh! Now, everybody onto this ten-seater horse. Ready? Giddy-up there!

GRAMS: Burst of coconut shells. Stops almost immediately.

BLOODNOK: Woooah! Here we are. The embassy.

FX: Knock on door. Door opens.

ELLINGTON: Oh! It’s you sir. Am I glad you came back. Them rebels have been trying to chop down the banana trees in the garden.

BLOODNOK: Dogs! Stand back. (Shouts) You Latin devils you, begone or by the great artificial paste earrings of Lady Barnett[9] I’ll come out there and cut you down. Now get out, you Latin devils!

ELLINGTON: They all went about three hours ago.

BLOODNOK: Never mind. That didn’t stop me.

SEAGOON: Gad Bloodnok, I admire your guts.

BLOODNOK: Why? Are they showing?

SEAGOON: Bloodnok, I seek Fred Nurk.

BLOODNOK: Just one moment now. He’s here to save the British banana industry, in fact he went out alone, by himself, to dynamite the rebel H.Q.

SEAGOON: Then all we can do is wait.

BLOODNOK: Yes. Ellington, play that naughty mad banjo, man.

ELLINGTON: Here goes.




GRAMS: Dramatic link.

SELLERS: ‘The Affair of the Lone Banana’, Chapter Three. In the grounds of the British Embassy our heroes are dug in around the lone banana tree – the last symbol of waning British prestige in South America. They all anxiously await the return of Fred Nurk. Around them, the jungle night is alive with rebels and nocturnal sounds. Rain in places, fog patches on the coast. Arsenal two, Chinese Wanderers five hundred.

GRAMS: Jungle by night. Cicadas, crickets, distant howling.

SEAGOON: Gad, Bloodnok. This waiting is killing me.

BLOODNOK: Shh! Not so loud you fool. Remember, even people have ears.

SEAGOON: Sorry Major but my nerves are strung up to breaking point.

ORCHESTRA: Loud high pizzicato on double bass.

SEAGOON: There goes one now! It’s this darkness – you can’t see a thing.

BLOODNOK: I know, I know! For three hours now I've been straining my eyes and I've only managed one page of the “Awful Disclosures of Mariah Monk”. Four rupees, in plain wrapper.

GRAMS: Lone cricket chirping.

BLOODNOK: Listen! What’s making that noise?

SEAGOON: The cricket.

BLOODNOK: How can they see to bat in this light?

ECCLES: Here here, Major! A man’s just climbed over the garden wall.

BLOODNOK: A boundary. (Shouts) Well played sir!

SEAGOON: Shh! Bloodnok, you fool. That’s no cricketer. He’s possibly a rebel assassin.

BLOODNOK: Then one of us must volunteer to go out and get him.

SEAGOON: Yes. One of us must volunteer.

ECCLES: Yeah, one of us must volunteer!


ORCHESTRA: Regal trumpet fanfare.

GREENSLADE: “The Affair of the Lone Banana Tree”, chapter four.

BLOODNOK: One of us must volunteer.

SEAGOON: Yes, one of us must.

ECCLES: Yep, one of us must volunteer.

BLOODNOK: Well, who is it going to be, eh? Seagoon?

SEAGOON: I’m terribly sorry, but I have a wife and sixty-three children.

BLOODNOK: I too have a wife and children. That only leaves dear old…

FX: Panicky rattling of telephone.

ECCLES: Hello! Hello operator? Get me the marriage bureau.

BLOODNOK: Eccles, you – you coward you. Seagoon, you’re the youngest – you go.

SEAGOON: Me? You wouldn’t send an old man out there?

BLOODNOK: You? You’re not an old man.

SEAGOON: Give me five minutes to make up and you’ll never know the difference.

BLOODNOK: Flatten me cronkler with spinach mallets. So, both of you have turned cowards. That only leaves me. Two cowards and me. You know what this means?

SEAGOON: Three cowards…

BLOODNOK: …in a fountain. Let’s face it, we’ve all turned yellow.

ELLINGTON: You speak for yourselves.

BLOODNOK: Ohh! I’m so sorry Ellington. No offence. I know you Irishmen are very brave.

FX: Phone rings.

BLOODNOK: Aeioughh! Don’t answer that phone, unless it’s for me.

SEAGOON: Right. (Off mic) Are you ringing for Major Bloodnok?

MORIARTY: (Distort) Yes.

SEAGOON: It’s for you.


FX: Receiver off hook.

BLOODNOK: Hello? What?! Never. Never, do you hear me! Never!

FX: Receiver slammed down.

BLOODNOK: It was the rebel leader – Gonzales Mess, neé Moriarty. He says unless we cut down our banana tree and hand it over to them, we shall all die tonight.

ECCLES: Tonight? Why – that’s tonight.

BLOODNOK: Yes. So it is. Fancy him thinking that I’d chop down the banana tree to save my lousy skin. Ha ha!

FX: Hurried sawing.

SEAGOON: Bloodnok! Throw that saw away!

BLOODNOK: I’m sorry. I – I picked it up in a moment of weakness.

SEAGOON: Disgraceful! Sawing down the British banana tree.

ECCLES: Yer! It’s disgraceful, that’s what it is!

FX: Frenzied sawing.

SEAGOON: Eccles. Stop that! Where did you get that saw?

ECCLES: From the sea. It’s a sea-saw. Ha ha!

SEAGOON: Silence! We’ve got to pull ourselves together. This banana tree is the last one in South America under British control.

BLOODNOK: Yes, you’re right. We must defend it with your lives.

SEAGOON: Remember lads, remember – somewhere out there, Fred Nurk is working to destroy the rebel H.Q.


SEAGOON: Now throw that saw over the wall.

ECCLES: Ok. (Effort) Huh!

SEAGOON: Good. (Self fade) Now I’m about to go on ahead and…

FX: Piece of metal falls onto something hollow.

BLUEBOTTLE: (Off) Aeighhh aeighhh! Oooh, my nut! Oeighhi! I’ve been hitted on my bonce!  Oh, I have been hitted, I’ve been nutted. I was kipping on the grass and suddenly thud! Aeighhh! Clutches lump on crust.

SEAGOON: Come out from behind that wall or I’ll throw this at you.

ECCLES: Put me down!

BLUEBOTTLE: Enter Bluebottle wearing crash helmet. Pauses for audience applause – not a sausinge. Yes. Well, well, well.

SEAGOON: Who is this gallant little knight with unlaced LCC plimsolls?

BLUEBOTTLE: Who am I? I’m the one wot copped that dirty big saw on the nut. Points to lump area.

SEAGOON: Tell me, little jam-stained hero – do you know this jungle well?

BLUEBOTTLE: Yes - I do know the jungule. Tarzan Bluebottle, they call me. Lifts up sports shirt, shows well developed ribs and bones. Fills chest with air. (Takes deep breath.) Feels giddy, so puts on cardboard loin cloth for support.

SEAGOON: Could you lead me to the rebel HQ?

BLUEBOTTLE: (Close) I can show you the very spot…

SEAGOON: (Close) Where?

BLUEBOTTLE: (Aloud) …where that dirty big saw hitted my nut! You rotten nut-hitting swine you. Does body-racked-with-sobs pose, as done by Robert Newton after seeing income tax return.[10]

SEAGOON: Right. Eccles, you come with us. Bloodnok, you stay here. Bluebottle – lead on!

BLUEBOTTLE: Forward! Pulls hat well down over eyes, but pulls it up as cannot see where I’m going. Come! Follow me… I…

GRAMS: Terrifying roars of lion.

BLUEBOTTLE: Heu, heu, heu! What was that noise, my Capatain?

SEAGOON: A man eating tiger.[11]



GRAMS: Single whoosh.

BLUEBOTTLE: (Distant) I do not like this game –  'm going home. I just remembered it's my turn in the barrel. Exits left to East Finchley on Council dust cart.

SEAGOON: Very well. I’ll go ahead. They’ll never recognise me. I’ll disguise myself as a Mexican peon.

GREENSLADE: ‘The Affair of the Lone Banana Tree’, chapter five.

MORIARTY: Signor, we found this idiot hiding in a dustbin disguised as a Mexican peon.

GRYTPYPE: Ah, a midget, eh?

SEAGOON: Have a care.

GRYTPYPE: No thanks. I don’t smoke. Sit on a chair.

SEAGOON: I’ll stand.

GRYTPYPE: Very well, stand on a chair then.[12]

SEAGOON: So – you’re the leader of the rebels?

GRYTPYPE: Yes. Now, who are you?

SEAGOON: I won’t talk. Never!

GRYTPYPE: (Calls off) The branding irons!

SEAGOON: I’m Neddie Seagoon.

GRYTPYPE: Oh! Where’s Fred Nurkie?

SEAGOON: I don’t know.

GRYTPYPE: So, that’s where he is. Right Moriarty, we’ll go at once to the Embassy and bring back their banana tree.

SEAGOON: You won’t succeed. It’s guarded by Major Dennis Bloodnok.

GRYTPYPE: Bloodnok, eh? Moriarty, bring money. Seagoon, we shall lock you in here. Goodbye.

FX: Key in lock.

SEAGOON: Ha ha ha ha! Poor fools. The moment they step out Fred Nurk will get them. Ha ha ha! They go to their doom.

FX: Phone rings. Receiver off hook.


FRED NURK:[13] (Distort) Is that the rebel HQ?

SEAGOON: Yes, but I’m the middle of…

FRED NURK: Right, you swines – this is Fred Nurk, and this is my banana night. In three seconds a time-bomb explodes in your room. (Laughs) Ha ha!

FX: Phone goes dead.

SEAGOON: Three seconds? I’ve got to get out of here at once.

FX: Footsteps running. Continue under.

GREENSLADE: Will Seagoon get out in time?

GRAMS: Explosion.

FX: Footsteps cease abruptly.

GREENSLADE: Oh, hard luck! Still, he tried. But was his sacrifice worthwhile? Did Bloodnok save the banana tree?

GRAMS: Tree crashing to ground.


ORCHESTRA: End theme.

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. Announcer - Wallace Greenslade. The programme produced by Peter Eton.





[1] Mention the effect of ‘The Third Man’. and the Harry Lime theme. Cold War spy thrillers. Central American turbulence. Obsession with spelling. The first spelling joke is stretched to 26 lines by Milligan – which must be some sort of record. The second, involving Seagoon and Moriarty is 8 lines long. Milligan started branching out in form during the 5th series. He started adding cross-over acts to the shows. Explain. In this one, he brings on Cyril Cringingnutt to sing, while the cast stacks chairs. Later in #19, he departed from the plot and introduces two extraneous scenes, both having nothing to do with the show. (See ‘The Missing Scroll.) Who was Robert Newton P13?

[2] Sellers. One of a series of female voices that Sellers did in the Goon Shows. All his performances of women were eerily true to life.

[3] Sellers breaks up badly after this word. It is not clear whether ‘Minnery’ was a slip of the tongue on his behalf or part of the genuine script. Milligan pulls him back in line.


[4] I believe the word Milligan says is ‘co-belligerent’, however he stumbles over the second last syllable.


[5] This is not what Secombe says. He pronounces it as ‘Gilzoles Mess’, tangling the pronunciation (I believe.). Later in the show, Sellers pronounces it as ‘Golzales Mess’ which is probably Milligan’s intention.


[6] Character of Eccles was the most unstable in the cast. At some times – like this, he cannot even remember his name. In others (eg: ‘The Fear Of Wages’) he is able to drive a lorry.


[7] Who was Rikky Fulton?


[8] It is not clear whether this line was scripted, or was a genuine ad lib by Sellers. Both Sellers and Milligan could speak a smattering of Hindi/Urdu. ‘Kitne bugi hai’(authentically spelled ‘kitne baji hɛ’) means “what’s the time?”


[9] Who was Lady Barnett?

[10] Who was Robert Newton?


[11] The Goons and Tigers. An ongoing story.


[12] Milligan loved this joke, and invented many different punch lines for it over the years. There is another instant of it in this show during the earlier Crun & Bannister scene.


[13] Sellers.