BROADCAST: 21 Feb 1957 [1]



Script by Spike Milligan and Larry Stephens.


GREENSLADE: This is the BBC.

SEAGOON: Fasten your boots straps as we present Jim Verne’s “Round the World in Eighty Days” or “Money Refunded.”
ORCHESTRA: Amateur violin fanfare.
GREENSLADE: (As Dick Clark.) Part one, the Rock and Roll room at the Athenaeum Club in eighteen eight-three.

GRAMS: Rock and roll combo, saxophone lead.
[4] I say Lord Seagoon, that tune was a real sizzler.
SEAGOON: Yes Lord Taverner. It was written by that fellow… whozit?
[5] Nonsense, I bet you five pounds it wasn’t. It was written by… what-do-you-callum?
BLOODNOK: You’re both wrong gentlemen – it was written by whats-is-name. So you both loose.
FX: Cash register – coin in till.
BLOODNOK: Thank you, and the next dance please.
GREENSLADE: Such was the wild gambling that went on every night in the Athenaeum Club at the close of the last century. Then, one night…
GRAMS: Police whistles. Running feet.  RECORDING - SPIKE: (Distant
variously.) “Apprehend that miscreant! Stop him!”
: Listen gentlemen – there are members of the British Constabulary running through the streets blowing whistles.
LORD DUFFER: What! You’d think they’d grow out of it wouldn’t you? Foley!
[6] Yes sir.
LORD DUFFER What’s happening?
FOLEY: There are two gentlemen of unknown quantity approaching at speed.
GRAMS: Running feet approaching. Slow down to stop.

FX: Door opens.
MORIARTY: (panting) Quick – in here Grytpype!
GRYTPYPE: (panting) Yes. If anybody asks, say that we are on the run from the police.
MORIARTY: But we are!
GRYTPYPE: Yes, but who’d believe a silly story like that?

SEAGOON: (approaching) I say – look here you chaps, how dare you burst into the Athenaeum dressed as convicts?
GRYTPYPE: Isn’t tonight carnival night?
SEAGOON: Rubbish – it’s ladies night. You don’t think I wear a skirt and blouse every night do you? Explain who you are.
GRYTPYPE: Moriarty – hand him my personal greetings telegram.
MORIARTY: There it is in the plain wrappers.
SEAGOON: Ta. (Reads) “To Lord Seagoon.” Why – this is for me! (Reads) “Happy birthday from the Honourable Grytpype Thynne, Spon Thud.”
GRYTPYPE: And this early French convict is none other than – and I quote from his death certificate, Count Villion de Jim “Thighs” …


GRYTPYPE: …Moriarty, gold medallist road sweeper to Penge district [7] and international knotted-string consultant.
SEAGOON: But wait, what, whit, whoot! What, what, what? Dear listeners, I suddenly noticed that both strangers were carrying a bulging leather safe inscribed, “Property of the Bank of England. Stop thief.”
GRYTPYPE: It’s all a lie. We drew this money to make a wager.
MORIARTY: Yes, we heard that you were a very sporting gentleman and always ready for a game.
SEAGOON: Who told you?
GRYTPYPE: The chambermaid upstairs.
SEAGOON: What – it’s all a lie I tell you, we’re just good friends. However gentlemen, put down your penguins
[8] and explain this sporting offer on a piece of paper.
GRYTPYPE: Neddie, you are twenty-one today?
SEAGOON: Thanks to brandy, yes.
GRYTPYPE: Likewise Count Moriarty is twenty-one today.
MORIARTY: Thanks to formalin!
[9] No doctors in the house. Carry on!
GRYTPYPE: Neddie, my dear friend the Count wagers you a thousand sovereigns that you can’t reach the age of twenty-two before him.
SEAGOON: You mean, whoever becomes twenty-two first takes the kitty?
GRYTPYPE: Of course, and the money. (You’ll have to see them quicker than that.)
SEAGOON: I accept! Here’s my thousand sovereigns.
FX: Steady trickle of metal oddments poured onto table.
MORIARTY: And here’s mine.
FX: Single penny on pavement.
GRYTPYPE: Thank you gentlemen.
SEAGOON: Wait a minute – supposing there’s a dead heat?
GRYTPYPE: Then I as stakeholder take the money. (Laughing) But I ask you Neddie, how many times in a race does a dead heat occur? Very rarely…
SEAGOON: You’re right. I agree. You’re perfectly correct. I acquiesce. I concur. Yes, I assent. I am of the same mind. I am at one with you. I conform. I defer. I am in accord.
[10]  (Bursting into song) I agree, I agree I agreeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
GRYTPYPE: You’ll get a punch up the conk. Now then – for the age race, on your laundry marks, get set… but first – Mox Gildrong!
SEAGOON: Right, round the back for the old brandy!
GRAMS: Boots running away.

MAX GELDRAY - “Duke’s Joke” [11]

GRYTPYPE: As I was saying gentlemen, before we were so rudely interrupted by that Dutch fiend – for the age race, on your birth marks, get set… BANG!
GRAMS: Two sets of boots running. (Continue under.)

           Recording -           MORIARTY: Ah! We’re off… we’re off lad!

SEAGOON: You’ll never beat me Moriarty. I’m wearing my new running strap. Ha ha ha!

          (Gradually speeding up.)

MORIARTY: Don’t worry – my legs are oiled to perfection I tell you! You’ll never catch up with me!
SEAGOON: Don’t you believe it Moriarty!

         (Wind up the speed faster and faster until unintelligible.)

MORIARTY: I believe it, I believe it! I’ve been freshly oiled I tell you. So there! My knees are…&c
SEAGOON & MORIARTY: (Argue and fade.)

         (Single pair of boots approaching. Crescendo and then stop.)
SEAGOON: (panting) All that day I ran and gradually I outdistanced Count Moriarty by sheer distance. Whereupon, despite the power of his steaming French legs, he fell behind. But – to my horror, I discovered that he reached the following day at exactly the same time as I did. Was this a trick? Obviously I could never get ahead of him by merely running. I sought the advice of an old army confederate.
ORCHESTRA: Bloodnok theme.
FX: Chains rattling. (Continue under.)
BLOODNOK: Aeiough….
FX: Cell door being unlocked. Rusty hinges squeaking.
THROAT: There’s a bloke to see you.
BLOODNOK: Oh – Neddie!
SEAGOON: Major. You know all about time don’t you?
BLOODNOK: Well, I’ve done my share of it – yes, yes.
SEAGOON: Tell me – how did you get old so quickly?
BLOODNOK: Go and see Doctor Crun the Harley Street specialist.
SEAGOON: What’s his address?
BLOODNOK: Lisle Street.
[12] Before you see him it would be wise for you to invest in one of my Rock-hopper Penguins.[13]
GRAMS: Angry penguin.
SEAGOON: Just what I need – a left-handed penguin!
BLOODNOK: Shall I wrap him up?
SEAGOON: Just a scarf and overcoat.
FX: Cash register. Penny in till.
BLOODNOK: Oh, melody divine. Thank you.
SEAGOON: Good-bye Major.
BLOODNOK: Good-by Neddie… I’ll come with you.
GRAMS: Whoosh
GREENSLADE: Now, “Round the World in Eighty Days” part two. Perhaps you’d like to make a note on that piece of paper. Incidentally, please save these pieces of paper. Later in the program you’ll be told what to do with them. Now we join overseas listeners in a visit to a lonely, rain swept Yorkshire Moor. (self fade)
GRAMS: Thunder, driving rain. (Continue under.)  
ECCLES: (sings)     On Ilkley Moor baht ‘at,

On Ilkley Moor baht ‘at,

On Ilkley Moor baht ‘at. [14]

SEAGOON: Perhaps you’d like to make a note of that on a piece of paper? And now, while I load my penguin, over to Doctor Crun’s consulting room with piano accompaniment. Hup!
GRAMS: Sellers awful piano playing.
FX: Footsteps approaching.
CRUN: (mouth noises – extended.)
GREENSLADE: Thank you.
CRUN: Now sir, just sit on this string bench and put your legs through the knotholes.
FX: Squeezing sound.
GREENSLADE: (Agonised.) Owww.
CRUN: You had to go. Now hold this bowl of custard…

FX: Spoon in cup.


CRUN: Stand in this hip bath of lukewarm Irish stew…

GRAMS: Suction sounds.


CRUN: … and finally (and in conclusion) hold these two plates of jellied eels at arms length. Now Mister Greenslade, what seems to be the trouble?
GREENSLADE: Well, I work for the BBC and, you see…..
CRUN: Oh, I can’t cure that. Just swallow these meals three times a day after medicine. (shouts) Nurse Bannister?
BANNISTER: OOOOOWW! What is it Crun?
CRUN: Nurse, put the leeches back in their cages.
BANNISTER: Right-o. Come on you naughty leeches. Come on!
GRAMS: Tigers roaring. Whip cracking. (Continue under.)
BANNISTER: Back!... Back Nero! Back Rajah! Back Satan!... Get back you devils… You hairy devils! Awww! (Extended)
CRUN: (To audience) You know – they’re really tigers, but if I told her that she’d want more money you know. Perhaps you’d like to make a note of that on a piece of paper.
BANNISTER: Oh dear. Oh dear, dear, dear! Oh, those leeches are getting too big for their boots.
CRUN: Well I can’t afford any more money for leech boots I tell you.

BANNISTER: I’ll make a note of that on a piece of paper, Henry.

CRUN: Now you naughty Min, lay the operating table for dinner.

BANNISTER: We can’t have dinner yet, the waiting room’s crammed full.
CRUN: What! Who’s in it?
BANNISTER: Harry Secombe.
SEAGOON: (Slightly off mic.) What, what, what, what, what, what? I heard that!
GRAMS: Angry penguins.
CRUN: Ah – just a moment. What’s in that leather paper-parcel?
SEAGOON: A penguin.
CRUN: What! How dare you bring wild animals into my consulting room!
GRAMS: Enraged elephant trumpeting. (Continue under.)
CRUN: Min, Min – the elephant wants to go out.
BANNISTER: I don’t know what we keep him for. (Shouts) Shut up, you big hairy monster. Shut up! Shut up I tell you! SHUT UP! I don’t know what we keep him for – he never barks at burglars, ever.
CRUN: Now sir, what can I do for you?
SEAGOON: Wowowowowowowowowowowow argghhhhhhhhhaargghh.
CRUN: You’ve been round the back for the old brandy again, haven’t you?
SEAGOON: It’s a lie – a lie I tell you! All lies. I never touch brandy or energy pills I tell you! I’ve come here for your old age treatment.
CRUN: Oh, well you’ll have to come round the back with me.
SEAGOON: What for?
CRUN: The old brandy you know. Alright now – take your cloth clothes off.
FX: Cloth ripping.
SEAGOON: Whoops! There.
CRUN: Ohhh! Well now Mr Seagoon, how many years older do you want to get?
CRUN: I see. Over here is the special rapid-plastic-aging-type process room. In you go.
FX: Door opens and closes.
SEAGOON: (Add echo – gulps.) Ahem… Hello?
ELLINGTON: (With echo) All right. Start running!

SEAGOON: (Echo) Help! This man’s got a great big chopper! Help! He’ll have me head off! Help!”

 GRAMS: (Two sets of boots approaching then fading into distance. Speeded          up.) RECORDING - SEAGOON: (Approaching then fading into distance.


(Two sets of boots rapidly approaching then fading into distance.)


(Boots rapidly approaching then fading into distance.)  

SEAGOON: (Coming then going.) “GET THAT CHOPPER AWAY…!”

(Boots rapidly approaching then fading into distance.)

SEAGOON: (Coming then going.)“HEEEEEEEEEEEELLLLPPP!”(Continue sequence underneath.)[15]

GREENSLADE: So Neddie was chased through the night by a great Afghan Chief with a chopper. To make matters worse, Ray Ellington decided to sing.

ELLINGTON - “All Day, All Night, Mary-Anne” [16]


ORCHESTRA: Sellers’ piano fanfare.

GRAMS: (Boot approaching and fading into distance. Speeded up.)


(Boots approaching then fading into distance.)

SEAGOON: (Coming then going. Echo.) “HEEEOOWWOOWWOOWWOOWWOOWLP!” (Continue under)

GREENSLADE: Despite the agony of being chased all night by a mad man with a naked chopper, Seagoon still didn’t get any older than Moriarty.
SEAGOON: (panting) But then I discovered that by travelling around the world in an Easterly direction and crossing the international dateline I could gain one day, thereby (bursting into song) …getting a day older than Moriarty and winning the thousand pooooo-uuuuunds!
ORCHESTRA: Sellers piano fanfare. Cymbal snap.
FX: Telephone rings.
SEAGOON: Hello – who’s that?
EIDELBURGER: Justin Eidleburger. We are hearing that you are going round zer world. Permit us to offer zer use of Britain’s only self-drive Zeppelin service. Geblunden Schnitz rolls Geblüden! Cheap rates and no objection to penguins.
SEAGOON: Splendid. I’ll meet you at dawn tomorrow at about eleven o’clock.
EIDELBURGER: Right… and darling…
ORCHESTRA: Romantic saxophone version of “Laura.”
EIDELBURGER: … do be careful – you’re all I’ve got.
SEAGOON: Don’t worry Eidelberger. I’m wearing hermetically sealed, creosote socks.
EIDELBURGER: It must be hell in there.
ORCHESTRA: Dramatic ‘Deutschland’ link.
SEAGOON: In the early light of the following dawn, I saw the great cigar-shaped monster.
BLOODNOK: Yes Neddie, it’s me.
SEAGOON: Bloodnok!
BLOODNOK: Neddie, I’m coming along to keep you supplied with fresh penguins.
SEAGOON: Right! (shouts) All aboard! Raise the anchor and start the old background music there.
ORCHESTRA: Nautical link. Hold under.
[18] (Distant) Bernard Miles on the starboard bow there!
GRAMS: Fade in zeppelin engines and wind.
FX: Pen scratching under.
SEAGOON: Log of the Zeppelin: August the third of September. Heading Sou’-nor’-east-west over English Channel which appears to be flooded.
EIDELBURGER: Lord Seagoon, I must inform you zat zis Zeppelin is highly inflame-able. Therefore Rauchen ist verboten! Nicht Rauchen! Defence de Fumé! Nicht Fumé! Nicht Rauchen! RAUCHEN VERBOTEN!!!
SEAGOON: Cigarette?
GRAMS: Sharp explosion.
EIDELBURGER: Geblunden verschitz!! Zese cigarettes are strong.
SEAGOON: I know – they’re made of iron.
OBERGEFREITE SCHPRIGGS: Herr Captain Eidelberger, zis message has just come through zer electric mangle.
EIDELBURGER: Geblungen! It’s the tale of the Keiser’s shirt! Play it on this gramophone immediately!

GRAMS: Crackly record of Hindenburg – SELLERS: “As from today, Germany is no longer at peace with England.”
ORCHESTRA: Piano fanfare.

SEAGOON: What?! This means war!
EIDELBURGER: Ja. But you have already paid for your journey so we are duty bound to take you round the world in eighty days. But from now on a state of naughty hostilities must exist between us.
GRAMS: Battle sounds. Galloping hooves. Shouting. Guns. Bugles.
BLOODNOK: Neddie, this is terrible – world war one on board a Zeppelin!
SEAGOON: I know Major.
BLOODNOK: These parcels of reinforcements just arrived from England.
SEAGOON: Let’s have a look!
FX: Paper ripping.
SEAGOON: I asked for the Grenadier Guards. I wonder what they have sent me?
BLUEBOTTLE: Bluebottle of the Finchley Wolf Cubs!
SEAGOON: Good heavens. What do you know about fighting Germans?
BLUEBOTTLE: What do I know?! I woke up one morninge and found a German under my bed. In a flash, I sprange towards him. With the power of muscles and knotted string and reinforced cardboard braces, I shot out my left fist! “HIT, HIT, HIT, HIT!” I went! “STRIKE, THUD, BLATT, BLUN!” English left – CRUNCH! Strike-thud- blen! Blunge-hit! HIT-HIT-HIT-HIT HIT-HIT-HIT! Blunge-hit fist!”
SEAGOON: Wait a minute – what was he doing all this time?
BLUEBOTTLE: I couldn’t see – he’d locked me in the cupboard.
SEAGOON: Yes. Stand over there.
BLUEBOTTLE: But dat’s outside the Zeppelin.
SEAGOON: Just testing you lad.
SEAGOON: Well listen – listen! What’s in the other parcel?
ECCLES: (Muffled singing) When you walk in the Garden,

the Garden of Eden… [19]

ah yum diddle-i-do..

Ah hello Neddie! Ah hello Neddie…. (Sings) Melody divine… The War Office has sent me to help you – and the audience.
SEAGOON: Bloodnok, take that scented rose from behind your ear and hand me that woollen microphone.
BLOODNOK: Ah, there.
SEAGOON: Hello folks! Neddie Seagoon calling the studio audience. Fasten your safety belts – in a few moments we’ll be crossing the international dateline, then I’ll be one day older than Moriarty, thus winning the age race!
GRAMS: Multiple penguins.
BLOODNOK: Neddie! Penguin’s ready to attack the front half of the Zeppelin.
GRAMS: Bugle playing ‘Charge.’ Rifle fire. Gun batteries. Shouting. Penguins screaming over the top of everything.
BLUEBOTTLE: Dis way, Captain! Dis way! Let’s see what’s behind dis door here!
FX: Door opens
GRAMS: Splash.

LITTLE JIM: He’s fallen in da water.
SEAGOON: Curse! The wrong door but the right Bluebottle! This must be the control cabin here.
FX: Door opens.
SEAGOON: Hands up!


SEAGOON: Not you, you idiot.  
ECCLES: Sorry.
MORIARTY: Aha! It’s little, steaming Neddie!
SEAGOON: Moriarty! What are you doing at the front end of the Zeppelin?
GRYTPYPE: He has just crossed the international dateline ahead of you, Neddie, thereby felo de se
[21]- etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Perhaps listeners would like to make a note of that on a piece of paper.
SEAGOON: Right. Well er… that’s the lot for tonight then, innit?
SEAGOON: Oh. Well er… round the corner for the old brandy then!
GRAMS: Feet running away.
GREENSLADE: About those pieces of paper, listeners. I suggest you use them for writing in complaints about these dull endings of the Goon Show. Good night.
ORCHESTRA: End theme.
GREENSLADE: That was the Goon Show, a BBC recorded program featuring Peter Sellers, Secombe Secombe and Spike Milligan, with the Ray Ellington Quartet, Max Geldray and the orchestra conducted by Wally Stott. Script by Spike Milligan and Larry Stephens, announcer Wallace Greenslade. The program produced by Pat Dixon.




[1] Based on the book by Jules Verne, (1828-1905) French author who pioneered the genre of science fiction. ‘Around the World in Eighty Days’ remains one of his best works and narrates Phileas Fogg’s circumambulation of the world within a period of eighty days so as to win a bet. Serialised from December 1872, the original plot was inspired by the advancements in travel occurring at the time: the opening of the Suez canal in 1869, the completion of the US Transcontinental Railway in 1869, and the linking of the Indian Railway system in 1870.

However, Spike’s motivation – apart from the book itself, was probably the recent (1956) film of the same name, starring David Niven and Shirley MacLaine, with a list of cameo appearances as long as your arm, of every available celebrity above the age of – oh, say forty-five.

But the strange thing about this show – (apart from the military penguins), is that Spike introduces a zeppelin into the story. Although Phileas Fogg doesn’t use a balloon, the book itself was written at the time of the Franco-Prussian conflict of 1870-1871 during which the French used hot-air balloons for courier duties, while the Germans – in response, developed anti-aircraft artillery. This event was actually the beginning of the modern concept of aggression in the air.


[2] After which Milligan says off mic: “There’s money for you!”


[3] The Athenaeum Club – standing at 107 Pall Mall in London, is a gentlemen’s private club founded in 1824 for men of rank and also for individuals of scientific, literary or artistic accomplishments. This gives the club an unusual diversity of membership. Women have been admitted since 2002. Wallace does this announcement in a voice similar to Dick Clark, the host of the hit US television show ‘American Bandstand.’


[4] Milligan.


[5] Sellers.


[6] Milligan.


[7] Penge district was in North West Kent until abolished in 1965.


[8] Milligan’s Sphenisciformology continues and develops.


[9] Formalin is a saturated solution of formaldehyde usually combined with methanol. Apart from industrial uses, it is employed in embalming so as to disinfect the body and temporarily preserve flesh.


[10] Milligan as Moriarty replies to every one of Seagoon’s statements. It is often very hard to tell with Spike when he is in script mode or improvisation mode, particularly when a script was less structured. This would lead him to carry on a secondary dialogue with whoever was on mic at the time. As Moriarty he would inject a constant string of ‘Oww’s” into a scene; as Minnie, to cackle inanities from the upstairs loo; and as Eccles (the quietest of his characters) generally to sing to himself.


[11] By Duke Ellington.

[12] Harley Street, Westminster, is the centre for private health care in the United Kingdom. In its many private clinics and consulting rooms the upper crust of English society are attended by the cream of England’s Doctors, Surgeons and Dentists. Lisle Street is in Soho, and at that time was the centre for more fleshly disports.


[13] Rockhopper penguins (Eudyptes chrysocime) are found in subantarctic waters of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Unlike normal penguins who slide or climb when faced by obstacles, the species actually tries to leap. Milligan was obsessed by leaping. He devotes a whole section to it in the War Memoirs. (Bk II, p27)


[14] Yorkshire folk song. Research suggests it means, “On Ilkley moor without a hat.”  This is one of the few shows which doesn’t involve Eccles. His few words inside the Zeppelin later on are almost an after-thought.


[15] Milligan was now at a turning point in the Goon Show. During the writing of this and the recent show “The Moon Show” he had began to experiment with GRAMS loops, to see what the potential would be. The results at first, while not seriously comic, were encouraging enough to lead him to develop the Goons in a new direction, and to investigate the allusion that multi-layering and distortion could bring to radio comedy. In “The Moon Show” for example, he set up a similar chase, then had both Seagoon and Grytpype step out of the chase while it was still in progress so as to comment about it, then return to it. Compare these grams scenes with those in “The Scarlett Capsule” (14/9th) to see where these developments led him. By the ninth series of course, he had the help of the newly established BBC Radiophonic workshop which actually took on the job of realising Milligan’s extraordinary conceptions.


[16] Almost impossible to track down the original of this song. It appears to be a genuine Caribbean folk song, and was of course part of the repertoire of all the early Caribbean singers; Harry Belafonte, the ‘Merrymen’ and Chubby Checker.

[17] Amazingly one of the few times Milligan writes the same joke in consecutive episodes. Milligan did repeat jokes he liked, but his new gags were generally separated by a month or two to give the joke time to develop.* (See below) This joke is identical to the one in ‘The Mysterious Punch up the Conker’ two weeks before. On that occasion it was played out between Greenslade and Secombe and the punch line was somewhat weaker. (Readers must realise that nos. 19 & 20 were separated by two weeks because of the broadcast of no.6 – “The Sleeping Prince” which had been delayed due to the National Emergency of the Suez crisis in Oct – Nov 1956.)

·        Sub-note: An example of this is in the eighth series. Twice Milligan writes a joke spoken by Bluebottle, once in  The Treasure in the Tower” (5/8th) and then again with improvements in “World War One.” (22/8th) In the first instance Bluebottle’s punch line is: “Cor. Wait till I tell my mum that. My dad won’t half cop it!” The second time Spike uses it, seventeen shows later, Bluebottle says: “Cor. My dad won’t half kill me for this.” 


[18] It seems to be Sellers who says this.


[19] “The Garden of Eden,” (Norwood) first entered the British charts on Jan 11th 1957 in a version sung by Frankie Vaughan.

[20] It is not often that the voice of Moriarty interrupts the voice of Eccles. It is because both characters were played by Spike.


[21] ‘Felo de se’ (meaning: ‘Felon from himself’) is an early English common law term.