RECORDED: 25 Oct 1956 [1]


Script by Spike Milligan and Larry Stephens


GREENSLADE: This is the BBC. Any offers?

GRAMS: (Recording: ECCLES: “Ten shillings!”)


FX: Cash register

SECOMBE: Yes folks! Sold to the gentleman with the rolled-gold trilby and transparent head. Now Mr. Greenslade, hold this piece of seaweed, raise your right leg, point north and discharge your duty – namely a weather report of this week’s show!

GRAMS: Thunderstorm, driving rain.

GREENSLADE: According to the humidity of my knees which are sweeping in from the Azores on a broad front, we present “The MacReekie Rising of ’74.”

ORCHESTRA: Dramatic bagpipe chords interrupted by a snappy showbiz intro.

CAST: “Rhubarb, rhubarb! McRhubard, McCustard, McRhubarb” etc.

GRAMS: Bring in bagpipe music behind. Vary the speed.

McCHISHOLM: Lads, hear me the noo. I, Chisholm McChisholm of the MacShowband, bring grave McNews. MacScotland is in MacPeril!

CAST: “Oooorrrrr. McRhubarb, McCustard” etc.

SECOMBE: Silence, lads! A word from our chief – the laird Red Hairy McLegs.

McLEGS:[2] Oorrr nay, orrr deek spor’n! Ma hairies! Ma brave hairies! The great hairy caber[3] of the clan MacReekie, symbol of Scottish power and manhood, has been stolen by the reeking non-hairy Sassenach English! [4]

OMNES: Nuggets of alarmed McGrumbles.

McLEGS: Tonight we march north to England!

SECOMBE: But England’s south!

McLEGS: Aye! We’re going to march right round the world and sneak up on them from behind. Forward to MacReekie!

GRAMS: Massed pipes and drums. Start below speed then gradually speed up till it sounds like a locomotive. Strange Scottish singing over. Crescendo up and fade out.

GREENSLADE: Thank heaven they’ve gone. You know they make such a mess of the place. And now – according to this air ministry roof I’m holding, a band of Scots are approaching the tower of London, where on the ramparts a British garrison stand alert and ready.

FX: (Snoring)

GRAMS: ‘Fred the Oyster’. [5]

BLOODNOK:[6] Oh! Ohh! That’s better.

SEAGOON: (Distant) Ahoy up there! Let me in.

BLOODNOK: (Panic) What! What! You’re not her husband are you?


BLOODNOK: Oh – thank heaven for that. Right, here’s the key – let yourself in lad. Supper’s in the oven!

FX: Locks and bars.

SEAGOON: Ah, thank you. I’m Captain Ned Seagoon of the third foot.

BLOODNOK: So, you’ve grown another one!

SEAGOON: Only for the three-legged race.

BLOODNOK: Of course. You won’t find any of them here you know.

SEAGOON: Enough of the splin, splan, splon!


SEAGOON: Now – you are Bloodnok of the tower?

BLOODNOK: The same, the same. Wait a moment – what’s that sixty-foot, hairy pole hidden under your kilt?

SEAGOON: (Impressed) So you’ve spotted it, eh?

BLOODNOK: Only when the sun glinted on it. [7]

SEAGOON: This pole was captured in battle from the Scots. It’s the great McHairy McCaber of the MacReekie.

BLOODNOK: Ooh. You three-legged military fool, you! They’ll slaughter us for bringing that to England. Abdul, pack my kit and Mrs Fitzsimmons.[8] We’re leaving for foreign parts.

SEAGOON: Bloodnok, you’re a miserable coward.

GREENSLADE: Pardon me, Major Bloodnok.

BLOODNOK What is it, Mrs Fitzsimmons?

GREENSLADE: Er, there’s a hairy army outside, sir…

BLOODNOK: Aawww! The Scots!

GREENSLADE: …and this registered Scotsman arrived this morning.

McCHISHOLM: Aye, I bring word from our Laird. Return the red hairy caber or we’ll close wi' you the noo!

BLOODNOK: It’s Chishole McChisholm the steaming Celt!

McCHISHOLM: I’m warning you, Seagoon! Listen. I’m warning you – we’ve got the whole of England surrounded by water.

SEAGOON: Curse! We’re trapped! Man the lifeboats! Alright, McChisholm – tell your hairies, we fight!

ORCHESTRA: Dramatic link.

GRAMS: Thunderstorm, heavy rain.

GREENSLADE: With the trough of low pressure settling under my chair and the glass falling in all directions, the defenders of the Tower of London await the hairy Scots’ attack.

FX: Footsteps approaching.

WILLUM: (Muffled) Halt! Who goes there, mate?

FRED NURK:[9] Hello William. I’ve come to relieve you.

WILLUM: Ooooh. You’re too late mate.

FRED NURK: I say, William - where are you lad?

WILLUM: I’m inside the barrel of this cannon, mate.

FRED NURK: Are we out of ammunition then?

WILLUM: No, no, no, matey. It come on to rain you see, and I only had my thin summer armour on, so I got in here you see – out of it. Give me an ‘and to get out, will you?

FRED NURK: Right, on the left - turn 'round a bit. Hup!

GRAMS: Cork popping.

WILLUM: Phew. Well - I’ll see you later mate. Ta ta for now.

FRED NURK: All the best, lad.

WILLUM: (Goes off singing) Maybe it’s ‘a cause I’m a Chinaman,

                                        that I love London so…

FRED NURK: (Bagpipe imitation.) Gneeee gna gneeee! What a silly bloke he was, getting inside the barrel of that cannon. Ha-ha-ha! He won’t catch old Fred Nurk doing that - I’ll tell ya! After all someone might come along and fire it.

GRAMS: Bring up sound of rain.

FRED NURK: Curse - it’s come on to rain. Well, perhaps if I put only half of me in the cannon that might improve matters. I’ll just get down inside. (Strains) Oh, it certainly keeps you dry don’t it? Ha-ha. Aye, aye! Me head’s getting wet. I will insinuate myself in the barrel for just a short period.

GRAMS: Rain stops.

FRED NURK: (Muffled) Ooh. It’s nice and dry inside the barrel. (Yawns. Settles down to sleep. Snores.)

GRAMS: (Recording. ECCLES: (Singing) Aye dai lakka dai dum dai! Dai dai mai …Melody divine. (Etc) Ooh! Look - a naughty little fuse. Ohhh look at that naughty little fuse! I will light that naughty little fuse on the cannon.)

FRED NURK: (Snores.)

FX: Strikes match

GRAMS: (Recording. ECCLES: (Goes off singing.) Lai dai dai dakkum dai.)

GRAMS: Fuse hissing. Thirty pounder leaving cannon. Incoming shell. Big explosion.

McLEGS: (Fury) Brrrrrrr nuch bnn! Lads, look here! They’re firing Sassenachs at us! Right lads, fire Max Geldray. Ploodgee!


MAX GELDRAY: “Jump for Me” [10]


GREENSLADE: The MacReekie seventy-four, part seventy-five. With south cones pointing north and the Irish Sea waist deep in water, the hairies attacked the tower.

GRAMS: Cavalry charge. Bugle calls. Rifle fire. Sounds of battle.

OMNES: (Scottish brogue over battle sounds.) Arrrrgh! Arghhh!

FX: Door opens.

SEAGOON: Major, the Scots are attacking the north gate! They’re pouring in through the windows.

BLOODNOK: The dirty devils! Abdul, get a mop and clear up. Where’s Sergeant Groins?

SEAGOON: A tragedy sir. He was counter-attacking when he tripped and fell right in the oubliette. [11]

BLOODNOK: Well, we’ll have him hosed down and send him in, will you?

SEAGOON: Major Bloodnok, you underestimate the grivity of the satuition. You underestimate the sovity of the gravitation. You inder… (Clears throat – sings.)

                           “Falling in love with love

                           is falling for make-believe.

                           (Top C) Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

BLOODNOK: Abdul, cancel my tickets for the Palladium, will you?

SEAGOON: Whatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhat? Bloodnok, we must get the caber to a place of safety.

BLOODNOK: I know, the crown jewels room! That’s empty.

SEAGOON: Eh? What have you done with the crown jewels you rogue?

BLOODNOK: How dare you insinuate sir! They’re perfectly safe, I tell you. That pawn ticket’s under lock and key.

SEAGOON: Alright. Private Willium?

WILLUM: Yes er mate?

SEAGOON: Carry the sixty-foot hairy caber into the crown jewels room.

WILLUM: Right. (Strains.) Ahhhhh ooh mate, ooh! It won’t go through the door mate - it’s too high. I’ll have to saw a bit off the top, mate.

SEAGOON: You won’t have to do that, you fool. Just make the doorway higher!

GREENSLADE: Erm - may I suggest you take it in horizontally?

WILLUM: Right, I’ll do that mate. I’ll lie down mate. (Grumbling) I shouldn’t be doing this. Man of my age. I’ve got a chit. I'm excused cabers I am.

GRAMS: Whoosh, pause, splat.

WILLUM: Wooooo oohh oohh! Who threw that?

SEAGOON: Poor Willium! He’s been hit by a great steaming spludge. What is it?

WILLUM: (Tasting it.) ‘Ere – taste it .

SEAGOON: (Tasting it. Swallows.) Good heavens! Issue umbrellas - the Scots are firing porridge!

BLOODNOK: Porridge at tea time? The devils, they’re trying to unbalance our diet!

SEAGOON: Gad, you’re right. Not a word to the men.

BLOODNOK: Of course.

SEAGOON: Very well then. If the Scots want to make it a war of nutrition, we have an English dish in our armoury twice as deficient in calories as porridge and twice as deadly.

BLOODNOK: (Shocked) Seagoon, you’re not going to fire…?

SEAGOON: Yes! Brown Windsor soup.

ORCHESTRA: Dramatic chords.

GRAMS: Bubbling cauldron.

MINNIE: [12](Singing) You’ve got to rock and roll in a military way! Yim bum bum biddle day! Yup bup bup bup bup bah yibbim boo! Nyum nyum with a shiny jewel. Yum bum bum, biddle boo!

CRUN: What’s happening in this steaming room, Minnie?

MINNIE: I’m pouring brown Windsor soup into these naughty cannon balls, buddy.

CRUN: Oh. Haven’t we got any soup plates, Min?

MINNIE: Yes, Henry.

CRUN: Good, good, good!

MINNIE: Ooooh. What’s good, Henry?

CRUN: It’s good that we’ve got soup plates, Min.

MINNIE: But we’ve always had soup plates, Henry!

CRUN: Yes – it’s always been good Min. Yes.

MINNIE: Yes Henry. Yes.

CRUN: (Sudden shock. Fibrillations.) Ahh! Ooeeyahooo!

SEAGOON: Now, come on Tarzan. Seal those cannon balls and take them up to the cannoniers.

CRUN: They’re too heavy for me to carry sir.

SEAGOON: Well have you got a dumb waiter?

CRUN: Only Eccles.

SEAGOON: Ah, just the man! Eccles - take one of these cannon balls.

GRAMS: (Recording. ECCLES: OK. (Swallows)

SEAGOON: You fool, you!

GRAMS: Explosion.

GRAMS: (Recording. ECCLES: Pardon!)

ORCHESTRA: Scottish-type link.

GRAMS: Fade in bagpipe music.

GREENSLADE: The MacReekie seventy-four. With the weather vanes exposed to the gulf stream and equinox in the ascendance, the Scots maintained a non-stop barrage of bagpipes, which slowly had its effect on the English garrison.

GRAMS: Swell bagpipes, then fade under dialogue.

GRYTPYPE: You’ve got the earplugs Moriarty?

MORIARTY: [13] Six hundred pairs of them! Oooooh hiwwww hooooo ooh!

GRYTPYPE: If the English want to stay sane, they should buy the lot.

MORIARTY: Ooh, yes we’ll make some money. Ooh, the moolah! The lolly! The shekels![14] The grisbee! Ooo-ah! Power, more power! Ooohee ooh!

GRYTPYPE: Silence, you steaming infested Gaelic wreck.

MORIARTY: Oooh hyeeeoowohoo!

GRYTPYPE: All that shrieking and steaming… You’ll bring the hairies down on us! Now, straighten those knees - wipe that filthy handkerchief off your face and don’t forget I shall do the talking.

MORIARTY: Right - and I'll join in the choruses. Oooyeeoiyoieeyu!

FX: Knock on door. Door opening.

GREENSLADE: Halt! Who goes there sir? English or German?

GRYTPYPE: Thank you! Is there a garrison living her by the name of ‘beleaguered’?


GRYTPYPE: Could I speak to the owner?

GREENSLADE: Certainly, sir. Um – would you care to wait in here with these other chairs?

FX: Door opens.

GRYTPYPE: Thank you. You don’t mind if we smoke our own?

GREENSLADE: Oh no, by all means.

FX: Door slams. Door opens.

SEAGOON: Good morning, gentlemen. I’m sorry I’m late - it’s the matinees you know.

GRYTPYPE: Yes, they can be painful.

SEAGOON: Yes. Now, what is it?

GRYTPYPE: Well, we have reason to believe that your garrison are being sorely tried by the noise of bagpipes.

SEAGOON: Yes - but what’s that to you?

GRYTPYPE: (Calculated laugh.) Ha ha ha ha ha ha haaaaa! My friend and I represent a leading firm of earplug manufacturers.

SEAGOON: What? We’ll take the lot! (Calls.) Er, Bloodnok!

BLOODNOK: Ah - what is it?

SEAGOON: Look! The answer to the bagpipe noise.

BLOODNOK: Earplugs! Yes, let’s test them.

GRYTPYPE: Certainly. Put them in your ears and I’ll bang this drum. [15]

SEAGOON: Right, got them in. He he - bang away!

(Short pause.)

GREENSLADE: Listeners - the silence you are now hearing is not the silence brought on by the insertion of earplugs. It is the silence brought on by Grytpype-Thynne who – fiend that he is, is actually playing the drum with silent drumsticks. Thank you.

SEAGOON: Ah! He’s stopped playing now. Well, these earplugs seem to be alright. How much do you want for them?

GRYTPYPE: One hundred pounds.


SEAGOON: How much do you want for them?

GRYTPYPE: One hundred… Ha ha – take your earplugs out.

SEAGOON: Why don’t you answer? I asked you how much do you want for them?

GRYTPYPE: One hundred pounds.

SEAGOON: Ha ha - that’s funny. I can’t hear him.

GRYTPYPE: They cost one hundred… Look – take out the earplugs.

SEAGOON: Stop all that silly miming, man. How much?

GRYTPYPE: One hundred pounds!

SEAGOON: I’ve had enough of this, Bloodnok. He obviously doesn’t want to do business. Come on, get out! Get out!!

GRYTPYPE: No, no, no, look here… (self fade) you pay me one hundred pounds…

FX: Door slams.

SEAGOON: One hundred pounds for earplugs we can hear through? Ha ha! Not likely.

GREENSLADE: There seems to be some doubt as to the efficacy of the earplugs. There’s only one positive test - Ray Ellington.


RAY ELLINGTON QUARTET: “Lulu’s Back in Town” [16]


GREENSLADE: With the quality of the earplugs still unproven, the British were forced to step up their barrages of brown Windsor soup.

GRAMS: Distant bagpipes and drums.

BLOODNOK: It’s no good. We can’t hold out much longer against this fiendish bagpipe playing.

SEAGOON: Gentlemen. There’s one thing that will shatter the Scots - a kilt removing patrol!

BLOODNOK: But look here – isn’t that a bit near the knuckle?

SEAGOON: It depends on how you look at it. Now who will go out and remove the enemy’s kilts?


BLOODNOK: Alright then, we’ll draw for it. Now one of these straws I’m holding is shorter than the rest. Now come on – draw!

OMNES: Rhubarbs, murmurs etc.

BLOODNOK: Well, well now - who’s got the shortest?

SEAGOON: You have.

BLOODNOK: Mmm? Oh! Well off you go, lads – off you go! And the best of luck sir.

SEAGOON: Thank you sir. Now listen lads. Reports indicate that our barrages of brown Windsor soup have badly stained the Scotsmen’s’ kilts. Now – ha ha, here is my cunning plan. (Self fade) The splin splan splon of the nosh nosh needle nardle noo…

GREENSLADE: That evening in the Scottish camp…

GRAMS: Bavarian foot slapping dance. Accordion quartet and bass combo. Massed slapping of lederhosen. Gradually speeded up. Tatty final chord.

McLEGS: Next darrnce please!

McCHISHOLM: Laird Hairy McLegs?

McLEGS: Aye?

McCHISHOLM: This Chinese laundryman wants a word with ye.

CHINAMAN: (Chinese accent.) Gleetings, honolable haily Scotsman.

McLEGS: What do you want here, jock Chinaman?

CHINAMAN: Me bling splecial offeler. Me wash all Sclotland’s sloup-slainds klilts flee of charge.

McLEGS: (Shouts) Off wi' your kilts, lads!

OMNES: (Excitement.) Aye! Ohh ho ho ho! Ha ha ha ha hoo!

McLEGS: Jock Chinaman – have them kilts back wee in one hour.

CHINAMAN: I plomise. One hour. Gloodblye!

McLEGS: Right – lads. Take your partners for the slow frenzy.

GRAMS: Bavarian lederhosen slapping dance. Speed up and fade out. Fade in crickets.

FX: Door squeaks open.

SEAGOON: (Out of breath.) Is Corporal Bluebottle’s raiding party back yet?

BLUEBOTTLE: Yes it is. And look here – I’ve got a hundred and ninety kilts.

SEAGOON: Kilts? Those are skirts!

BLUEBOTTLE: Ooh - no wonder they put up such a fight. Yeehehehee!

SEAGOON: Bluebottle – you must learn to tell the difference. What’s your tale, little musketeer?

BLUEBOTTLE: I will tell you my tale sir. Listen! On the night of the dreaded kilt snatching patrol, I blackened my face and whited my boots and in that position I approached the Scottish camp and I hidded in the bushes. Then I used the special Bluebottle mind over matter plan. I stared at them with my undefeatable power of eyes look, and I willed their kilts to drop off!

SEAGOON: Splendid.

BLUEBOTTLE: Yes! I looked the kilts straight in the sporringe and I went straaaiiiiin! Fall down naughty kilt! – I said in my mind. Straaaiiiiin, strain! Dotted lines out of eyes towards kilt showing direction of power. Doot doot doot doot doot doot doot doot doot doot doot doot! Little kilt, you cannot stay up against my superior North Finchley will power. Extra heavy strains - STRAAIIIIN! Dotted lines change to daggers showing increase of power - (In a frenzy) Burk burk burk burk burk! STRAAAAIIIIIN!!! And then – RIP – WHOOSH – THUD!

SEAGOON: What happened?

BLUEBOTTLE: My trousers fell down.

SEAGOON: Don’t worry, little thin East Finchley Liberace. I've got all their kilts. The trouble is how am I going to get them washed and back in an hour?

GREENSLADE: You’re taking them back?

SEAGOON: Of course, I promised. I can’t break my word as a Chinaman!

GREENSLADE: You’re only disguised as a Chinaman, sir.

SEAGOON: Thank heaven you noticed! Hehaha! But for your keen eye, I’d have been washing chop suey all day.

BLOODNOK: Seagoon - bad news! We’ve had it lad. The ravens have been stolen by the Scots and everybody knows the legend that if the ravens leave the tower, the tower will surely fall.

SEAGOON: If everybody knows, what did you say it for?

BLOODNOK: It’s for me. I’d never heard of it, you see.

SEAGOON: Men – we can’t fight the legend. The ravens have gone. This is the end… (Tragically.) Let the Scotsmen in!

GRAMS: Distant bugle plays surrender.

SEAGOON: Open the gates. Men – put down your arms.

GRAMS: Heavy objects rolling on metal castors. Catches fastening.

OMNES: Heavy Scots murmuring. Rhubarb, rhubarb, McCustard, McRhubarb, rhubarb &c.

McLEGS: Well Seagoon?

SEAGOON: We surrender. Here’s your hairy caber back. (Strains.)

McLEGS: (Strains.) Ta!

SEAGOON: All we want back now is our ravens.

McLEGS: We’ve no got your ravens, lad.

SEAGOON: What - whatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhat? Then where can they be?

MINNIE: Dinner’s ready boys. Forty hairy black birds baked in a hen pie!

SEAGOON: Help! We’ve been betrayed! Aaaaaaaaaa!

ORCHESTRA: End theme

GREENSLADE: That was The Goon Show – a BBC recorded programme featuring Peter Sellers and Harry Secombe. With the Ray Ellington Quartet, Max Geldray and the orchestra conducted by Wally Stott. The Glasgow – type Glasgow voice was played by George Chisholm. Script by Spike Milligan and Larry Stephens, announcer Wallace Greenslade, the program produced by Pat Dixon.

ORCHESTRA: Playout.[17]



[1] In this episode Milligan was indisposed, so Sellers played Minnie Bannister, while Secombe played Moriarty. George Chisholm played the role of McChisholm. Eccles’ lines are believed by some to have been performed by Sellers. (See below.)

I think it’s reasonable to assume that whatever kept Milligan out of Camden Theatre that night was known about a short time in advance. Though he is credited with writing the script, (and he was eventually paid for the show,) the cast had had enough time to work out how to cover for him. In fact, I suspect that the script was altered somewhat so as to give Sellers, Chisholm and Secombe maximum air time for their characters – (see Bluebottles lengthy kilt-stealing description), and thus reduce the number of entrances Milligan’s characters had to make.

If Eccles was pre-recorded, then the BBC production and sound departments would have needed some prior warning, but the BBC production timesheets for that evening indicate that no extra time was taken in the preparation of the episode, which has led others to suggest that Eccles’ voice was done – impeccably, by Sellers.


I do not think that is the case. I believe the five lines Eccles speaks in this episode were inserts from previous shows, quickly sourced and inserted from the GRAMS desk. The clues are that;

1/ All five of the lines are generic, and are not specifically about anything in this show – except for the fuse on the cannon. However, this was a normal situation for Eccles and could have occurred in half a dozen previous shows at least. (Eg: 23/4th)

2/ The first of the five lines sounds like a ‘cut and paste’ from a different recording set up. The ambience and recording levels are different;

3/ It is definitely Milligan. There is not one slip in intonation or inflection and the improvised singing is totally in character with Spikes performances. Compare this with Sellers performance of Minnie Bannister during the show. Although he gets close, every sentence gives Peter away, whereas Eccles is faultless.


It is a sign of how much each of the three stars had become ‘owners’ of their characters when you see how tepidly they perform Milligan’s characters Minnie and Moriarty. This is probably the reason for the complex series of GRAMS playing recordings of Eccles’ lines. Whereas the cast could fake Minnie and Moriarty, Eccles was completely unconvincing done by anyone else except Spike.



[2] Sellers. To get some idea of Peter in a dramatic Scottish temperament see “The Book of the Goons” (Robson Books – 1974) p.21.


[3] Caber is Gaelic for pole. A caber was a long wooden pole, traditionally thrown in competition. Highlighting the strength of the competitor, the effort of turning the caber end over is Herculean, and success is judged by a number of complex rules.


[4] “Sassenach” is the Gaelic pronunciation of the word “saxonish,” the post-Roman designation for the inhabitants of England. The usage of the word is reflexive in context. It is expressly used not to denigrate the English, but rather to substantiate the fact that the speaker of the word is a genuine Scot.


[5] ‘Fred the Oyster’ originated in the 5th series, episode 21 – ‘The Sinking of Westminster Pier’. It was an enormous electronic fart engineered by the men of the BBC sound effects department. Milligan gave it quite a bit of air time.


[6] Dennis appears yet again without his usual theme music.


[7] Milligan was being very naughty of course.


[8] Mrs Fitzsimmons is rather inexplicable. Samuel Pepys sports with her throughout ‘The Flea’ (12/7th) later in this same series, but why she is mentioned here is odd. I believe it is possible that “The Flea” was meant to be the show for this week but was delayed because of Milligan’s absence. It could be that this show was actually meant to be the follow-up episode of “The Flea” but was brought forward due to Milligan’s indisposition.

[9] Secombe.

[10] Another Count Basie number.

[11] An oubliette (from the French oubliettes) was a form of dungeon which was accessible only from a hatch in a high ceiling.


[12] One of the only times that Sellers plays Minnie – and one of the only times that he is totally unconvincing as a character.


[13] Secombe doing a tepid impression of Milligan.


[14] He seems to say ‘Eccles’ here. I suggest he said ‘Shekels’ and the BBC have cut out the ‘sh’ sound in an effort to avoid sounding anti-semitic.


[15] An interesting fact about the Goon Show is that some characters never speak to each other. For instance, Bloodnok and Grytpype almost never have a conversation. Eccles and Minnie too, and Bluebottle and Grytpype. Why? Because they are couples played by the one person.

[16] By Al Dubin and Harry Warren, famously recorded by Fats Waller - 1935.

[17] There are two major discrepancies in the 7th series.  The first is that “The Telephone” (no 11) and “The History of Pliny the Elder” (no 25) both contain the aside “Port comes only from Prortingal.” Not even Spike – who loved inventing catchphrases, could have expected that after 15 weeks the audience would have picked up the reference.

The second is that this show - “The MacReekie Rising of ‘74” and the later show “The Flea” both mention Mrs. FitzSimmons. “The Flea” is where Mrs FitzSimmons is introduced – Seagoon as Samuel Pepys pursuing his dalliance with her throughout the episode, but her mention by Bloodnok during “The MacReekie Rising of ‘74” indicates that Spike wrote “The Flea” BEFORE “The MacReekie Rising” and that the Major’s reference to her was meant to raise a laugh from those fans in the audience who remembered the reference from the week before. It makes no sense to believe that Spike referred to her 8 weeks BEFORE he had introduced her in “The Flea”.

Could it be therefore that after “The Nadger Plague” (no 3, and set in restoration England) he wrote “The Flea” (no 12, and set in restoration England) introducing FitzSimmons, and that then he started work on “The  MacReekie Rising” (eventually no. 4, mentioning Mrs FitzSimmons)?

It is possible that by the Saturday, when it seemed that Spike would be unable to present himself at Camden Theatre the next day, Stephens and Eton substituted the half-completed script of “MacReekie” because they knew they would be able to cover for him. In “The Flea” Spike had to do a huge amount of voice work – (Bannister, Spriggs, Moriarty and Eccles – Eccles appears in fact on every page,) while in “MacReekie” Eccles says 5 lines only and his appearance as Bannister and Moriarty could be covered (ineptly) by Sellers and Secombe.

It also explains why the script of “MacReekie” is so unpolished. It was hastily finished so as to cover for Spike – but in doing so they muffed the reference to Mrs FitzSimmons, one of the Goon Shows most giving females, and one with the most enormous potential.