1st BROADCAST: 17th March 1958 [1]


Script by Spike Milligan


GREENSLADE: This is the BBC Light Programme. By Jove, it smells good! And now, creaking in every joint, the well-turned knees of The Goon Show.

ORCHESTRA: Random notes from a selection of instruments, with 'ta-daa' chord at the end.

SECOMBE: Yes – and it's eight hundred and forty-two on the hit parade! Next, The Evils of Bushy Spon, part one. A meeting of the council.

OMNES: Mutters, rhubarbs, chickens, penguins etc.

SEAGOON: Now then, now then, settle down... now then...

LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Urrgghurrdurghher...(etc.)

SEAGOON: Thank you.

MILLIGAN: Urrgghurdueergheeerr.

SELLERS: (Distant) Hear, hear!

SEAGOON: Now then, what's next on the council agenda?

SECRETARY: (Milligan, deranged) I, er, I'd like to bring the committee's report on the proposed lamp-post, first submitted in 1919.

SEAGOON: Oh, good!

SECRETARY: Yes, it is good, isn't it. (Murmurs in background) What? The position chosen for the lamp-post is fifty-three spon yards north of the club-side.

SEAGOON: Why? Is it very dark there?

SECRETARY: Only at night time.

SEAGOON: Ah. So you found that out too?


SEAGOON: (Whole hearted laughter.) Ha ha…you can’t say we don’t do our best.

ECCLES: I can say it.

FX: Fist into punching bag.

ECCLES: Owowow!

GRAMS: Chickens clucking over.

SEAGOON: Has anyone commissioned the building of this lamp-post?

FLOWERDEW: Good heavens, no! We haven't decided what colour it's going to be.

SEAGOON: Any suggestions?

FLOWERDEW: Well, I have heard that green is an unsinful colour.

SEAGOON: Green? Yes, that, that... that would mean... wouldn't that mean painting it?


SEAGOON: Yes. That would mean the compulsory purchase of a pot of paint. All those in favour...

GRAMS: Bleating of sheep; cackle of chickens.

SEAGOON: Splendid, splendid chaps! Now then we shall have to find a designer for the lamp-post.

GREENSLADE: I think my brother can help us there.

SEAGOON: Oh yes? Oh well, let's go and see him. Hold on to my foot.

ORCHESTRA: Eccentric-type link.

FX: Door knocker. Door opens.

YOKEL: Mornin! Maarrrgh, mornin! Ha haaarghh!, orrhargh, orrrhahaaagh!

SEAGOON: We're from the Bushy Spon Council.

YOKEL: Orr! Marrrnaarrrn faargenoo erpthwearrgghhh! Maaaargghhh!

SEAGOON: How very nice for you. We would like you to design a lamp-post for us.

YOKEL: Oo arrggghh, hnaarrgh! I'll run out and buy a pencil. Arnhaarrghhhaa!

GRAMS: Idiot running off at speed.

SEAGOON: Gad, there’s enterprise for you!

GRAMS: Idiot running back at speed.

YOKEL: Ha ha, ha ha, ha ha! I gotten... I gotten a pencil! Aha haargh!

SEAGOON: That’s a steamroller.

YOKEL: Is it? I'll kill that blasted store-keeper! Arrrggghhhhhhh!

SEAGOON: And he did.

YOKEL: I al... I always play them little jokes, ahaaa, ahahahaarrrrgghhhh!

SEAGOON: (Doubtfully) Aha ha ha, what a grand chap! Ahaha! Much as I hate to say it, he... he doesn't seem the man for the job.

GREENSLADE: Well, there's his brother, Mad Dan.

ECCLES: Hallo! Do you like animals?


ECCLES: Ok, you can pat my head.

SEAGOON: Do you know anything about lamp-posts?

ECCLES: Ohahahooh! Yeah! Um, er, go on, go on! 'Ere, ere, go on... ask me a question about a lamp-post. Ask me a question!

SEAGOON: Ok. What is a lamp-post?

ECCLES: Oho! The hard ones first, eh! (Raves)

SEAGOON: Mr. Greenslade, Mr. Greenslade... somehow, I don't think this... this this gentleman here...

ECCLES: What, what, what, gentlem... you... Ah! Gentleman! You be careful what you call me! You, erm... you heard of Hyde Park?


ECCLES: Well you just watch out then.

SEAGOON: We'll have to advertise for a man. We'll write one on a cigarette and put it in a tobacconist’s window.

ORCHESTRA: Thin chord in C.

GREENSLADE: Part Two. The Great Ormesrod Refuse Tip at Filthmuck-on-Sea.

GRAMS: Flies buzzing.

FX: Various size dustbins banging. Lifts lifted and replaced. Continue under.

MORIARTY: (Sings) Oh oh oh hooo! I lost my heart in an English dustbin... Oh, I num diddle ahh! Ohh! (chomping) Ohohohooo...

GRYTPYPE: Moriarty…

MORIARTY: Oi, what what what? You interrupted me at luncheon!

GRYTPYPE: Moriarty, listen to this. It says here "Wanted, high-grade lamp-post designer, all money found."

MORIARTY: Money? (raves)

GRYTPYPE: We're going to be rich! Pack up the swill bags and put the banana skins on ice. Taxi!

GRAMS: Short explosion.

THROAT: Where to mate?

GRYTPYPE: Follow the direction of that pointed finger.

THROAT: Right mate.

GRAMS: Single whoosh.

FX: Door knocker. Door opens.

SEAGOON: Ah, you must be the men in answer to the lamp-post.

GRYTPYPE: Can we come in?

SEAGOON: No, I’ll come out.

GRYTPYPE: Ha ha ha ha, thank you for your kind, stinking English hospitality.


GRYTPYPE: The gentleman with me here, in the paper sack, is the well-known continental steamer, Count Jim "Oddman"...

FX: Drop huge load of bits and pieces.

GRYTPYPE: …Moriarty, husband extraordinary by appointment to the House of Rita Hayworth.

SEAGOON: What muscular teeth!

GRYTPYPE: Yes, he's had offers, you know. He's known... (way off) he's known as the old love-muscle! (Back again) Now the reverse of this Nubian Quinge is our proposed design for a lamp-post.

SEAGOON: Gad! And it's got a light at the top! What a novel idea!

GRYTPYPE: Yes, we got the idea from a novel. Er, before we talk money, may I introduce Dutch Max Jim Geldray to make certain thin sounds.

GELDRAY: Thin ploogie!


MAX GELDRAY – “Lulu’s Back in Town”


GREENSLADE: The part two of part three: The pie po poo-poo pappy pie-pie. The scene outside a quiet cottage in Bushey Spon.

GRAMS: Pick-axe digging-type noises.

WILLIUM: Ah! Is this 'ole big enough, mate?

SEAGOON: Let me see. Yes, it... it appears to be big enough.

WILLIUM: I see. Er, what's it big enough for?

SEAGOON: Well, hahaha! There you have me. O wait, yes, I have a note written on my secretary here. Come in Maud. Ah yes, it's... it's... Oh Maud! It's, um, it's for a lamp-post.

WILLIUM: Oh, a lamp-post. Lovely, lovely. What flavour?

SEAGOON: Concrete.

WILLIUM: Concrete? Ohhooohh! Flavour of the month, lovely! You know they say that concrete lamp-posts never go deaf.

SEAGOON: Ahaha. You can't rely on those old country superstitions, you know (laughs heartily) Hahahaha.

WILLIUM: Anyhow matey, this lamp-post's going to be a boon. You see at present I has to walk ten mile every night to the one in the village.


WILLIUM: Well, I keep a dog, you see.

SEAGOON: Ah, yes. You... you had me worried for a moment, there! Tell me, have you ever been sprayed with green glue, inscribed with indelible saffron ink and bound with luke-warm string bearing invisible venua-knots?


SEAGOON: Gad, this is an uninteresting place, I must say.

WILLIUM: Don't you believe it, matie. 'Ere...


WILLIUM: They do say at about ten to seven every night, a man with flannels and sports coat walks slowly down the street and goes in that house there.

SEAGOON: A ghost?

WILLIUM: No, it's old Tom Bollow coming home from work.

SEAGOON: End of cross-talk, there! Hup!

ORCHESTRA: Music-hall exit music.

GREENSLADE: Day after day the hole grew deeper, which is the right direction for holes. Inside the little cottage, fear had spread.

GRAMS: Digging sounds from distance.

BANNISTER: (Sings) Ying tong niddle naddle noo... Pi pa pa pa pa pa pa pa po, ya pa pa pa pa pa pa pa pee pa pa pa po...

CRUN: Min.


CRUN: Min…


CRUN: Come away from the window Min.

BANNISTER: Ohhh, I'm only watching them dig that, that hole... the hole, Henry. The hole, Henry cocky!

CRUN: You were watching a man digging a hole.

BANNISTER: Ooh! Is that a man?

CRUN: It's sinful, Min. D'you want people to start talking – looking at a man you don't even know?

BANNISTER: Ohhh, I don't know what's come over you lately, Henry. You're not the man I used to know.

CRUN: Oh? And who is this man you used to know, then?


CRUN: You used to know me?



FX: Phone ringing under thick eiderdown.


CRUN: Was that you Min?

BANNISTER: I don't think so Henry. I'll... I'll just look at my knees.

FX: Phone rings again as before.

BANNISTER: It’s a strange midnight prowler.

CRUN: I've just seen it. It's coming from that leather telephone.

BANNISTER: Oh! It's magic I tell you!

CRUN: Hand me the lead blunderbuss with the screwshot. Now then sir...

GRAMS: Double-barrel shotgun blast. Turn up the volume.

CRUN: Got it, right in the crin!

GRAMS: High speed recording of voice over phone.

CRUN: Oh! There's a man inside the ear listening piece. Hello man, hello man? Oh, yes, yes master, yes.

BANNISTER: Oh, what does it say, Henry?

CRUN: I heard our master's voice on the telephone.

BANNISTER: Poooow! Witchcraft!

CRUN: He says he's coming back for the weekend.

BANNISTER: We'd better get his bath full.

CRUN: Yes, don't forget he likes half water and half gin.

BANNISTER: He likes it half full and the other half empty, Henry.

CRUN: Phishtooo! Phish-tooo!

BANNISTER: (Sings) Oh, the master's coming home today! (Speaks) I'll lay out my new frock.

CRUN: He won't wear it, you know.

BANNISTER: What do you mean?

ORCHESTRA: Dramatic scene-change music.

GREENSLADE: The lamp-post, part three. A lamp-post foundry in Rhodesia, Africa, W12.

ORCHESTRA: Bloodnok theme.

GRAMS: Industrial engine, bangs, backfires and explosions.

BLOODNOK: Ohhh! (etc.) Oh dear, it's hell in there, you know.

ELLINGTON: Major Bloodnok, safari has arrived from England.

BLOODNOK: England? Englishmen, Tom. We must give our guests a real British welcome.

ELLINGTON: Right, I'll hide all the food and drink.

BLOODNOK: Oh yes. And Tom, put the cat out.


BLOODNOK: It's on fire. You know, I shall have to have him seen to – he's got a cross-eyed tail, you know.

ELLINGTON: Om! Shall I lay out the red carpet?

BLOODNOK: Yes, and put the price ticket on it.

SEAGOON: (Distant) Ahoy there, ahoy!

BLOODNOK: It's ahoy-there-ahoy! Welcome to Africa Ahoy, sir. Let me play you the primitive music of Africa.

FX: Cash register.

BLOODNOK: The next dance please.

SEAGOON: Major, your fame as a lamp-post builder has reached England.

BLOODNOK: Oh, you want to buy one? What size, darling?

SEAGOON: Thirty-eight chest, darling.

BLOODNOK: I've just got one left... and I've got one right.

SEAGOON: I'll buy the right one.


SEAGOON: The street it's going in is facing away from Clochemerle.

BLOODNOK: They're all the rage, you know, yes. Anyway, I admire your choice, sir, you can't beat a concrete lamp-post you know.

SEAGOON: Rubbish, I beat mine every morning! I show it who is the master.

BLOODNOK: I'll tell you what, I'll let you have this twenty-guinea lamp-post free! – entirely free for ninety-nine pounds.

SEAGOON: How much is that in English? You see, I can't count.

BLOODNOK: What! Ohohoho! Just open your naughty old naughty wallet and let dear little Dennis have a look in, I can count it for you. Ohh! All in gold sovereigns! Right.

GRAMS: Coins start to be counted, then poured.

GREENSLADE: And all through the night, Bloodnok carefully counted out the naughty money with a shovel.

GRAMS: Stops.

BLOODNOK: Ohhh, one shilling. There. Now, carry those fifty sacks containing one shilling to my hut...

HUGH: Ahhhh, ahhhhh, aaaaaaaahhhh, Major, the aaahhhaa, lamp-post is aaahhh all ahhhh all packed and ready ahhh ready.

BLOODNOK: Are you quite sure, Hugh?

HUGH: Ahhhh, well, I... ahhhhhh I suppose, ahhhhh, aaaahhhhhhhhh...

BLOODNOK: Well look here, if you're not sure, say so. Oh well, Ned, bon voyage and bin viyuge. To see you off, here is a flock of dogs, and one Ray Ellington.


RAY ELLINGTON QUARTET – “You’d Better Know it” [2]


ORCHESTRA: Dramatic chords

GRAMS: Night noises; crickets etc.

SEAGOON: That night, we camped near the great Zambezi falls. It was nearly midnight, twelve o'clock yet, when we heard that dreaded cry...

GRAMS: Body falls in water. Footsteps running.

SEAGOON: What is it lad?

LITTLE JIM: He’s fallen in the water.

SEAGOON: Gad! Someone drowning! Anybody got a rope?

BLUEBOTTLE: (Distant) I've got one, I've got one!

SEAGOON: Throw it here!


SEAGOON: Good. Where are you?

BLUEBOTTLE: In the river! Help me! Help me, I'm drowning! I... Ohh. Sees audience. Hello everybody.

GRAMS: Massive cheering from enormous crowd.

BLUEBOTTLE: Oh, ta. Now back to my dramatic drowning scene. Help! Spelled H – E – L – P, pronounced...

GRAMS: Multi-speed HELP>

SEAGOON: Here, swallow this rope, pronounced...


SEAGOON: Spriggs, this river's full of water.

SPRIGGS: And it's soaking wet. (Sings) It's soaking wet it i-iiiiiis! Thank you Jim fans, thank you Jims, thank you Jims. (Sings) Thank you Ji-iiiiims.

SEAGOON: It'll catch its death of cold. Help me get it into bed.

SPRIGGS: What kind of bed does a river sleep in Jim?

SEAGOON: A river bed!


ORCHESTRA: Corny chord in C.

SEAGOON: Pronounced…

GRAMS: (Pre-recorded - faster) ORCHESTRA: Corny chord in C.

SEAGOON: Or in a higher key…

GRAMS: (Pre-recorded – even faster) ORCHESTRA: Corny chord in C.

GREENSLADE: Ta. On return to England, the contract for putting up the lamp-post went to India.

FX: Various clumsy thuds and thumps.

LALKAKA & BANERJEE: Straining sounds.

LALKAKA: Mind it, Mr. Banerjee. Mind it, man! Mind it man...

BANERJEE: Wait wait wait a moment, wait, wait a moment. You put your hand under here.

LALKAKA: OH! Steady man! You nearly had it on my foot then, my poor old paon!

BANERJEE: Don't argue with me Babbu. Don't argue man.

LALKAKA: Man, it is too heavy for my poor old legs, man.

BANERJEE: Chut chut chut!

LALKAKA: You chut yourself man.

BANERJEE: Please listen to me will you? Please, you’re considering the job before considering ourselves, you must understand that you know.

LALKAKA: I'm understanding it man. I am considering it, but I am considering it and I don't like it! I don't like it man. Stop acting like a H’europhean!

BANERJEE: You are accusing me of acting like a H’europhean! My fine fellow, this lamp-post is no good lying on the ground. We must get it in the little hole, you see.


SEAGOON: How are we getting on. Spelled O-N, pronounced...

GRAMS: (Pre-recorded - faster) SEAGOON: OOOOOOOOOOOOOON!

SEAGOON: That was it!

BANNISTER: (Distant) You there! You men, go away! Shoo! POW, shoo!

SEAGOON: It's a poor old man from the cottage.

BANNISTER: (Distant) What are you putting up there?

BLOODNOK: A concrete lamp-post sir.

BANNISTER: (Distant) Don't call me sir – I'm a woman!

BLOODNOK: Oh dear, what a target – and I haven't got me gun!

SEAGOON: Bloodnok, stop making those terrible gestures!

BLOODNOK: They're not gestures, sir – they're me old finger-snapping tricks. Look at this one here...

GRAMS: Finger snapping routine speeded up.

BLOODNOK: Oy! Oh yes!

GRAMS: (Pre-recorded – gradually wind the speed up faster and faster.) CRUN:

          Come away from that military man! He's got ants in his pants, and

certain Rasputin-like powers. And, I have reason to believe, that he

is now the owner of a Siberian pantechnicon, Min!

BLOODNOK: You filthy swine! Give me that stone. (Strains) Huh…

BANNISTER: (Distant) Owwww!

BLOODNOK: Got him - right on Miss Bannister's nose! Now let's get this blasted lamp-post in. (Calls) Bring that hole over here.


FX: Cloth rips.

SEAGOON: Ahh! Ooo! My trousers have gone!

CRUN: Min, come away from that window!

BANNISTER: They're putting a lamp-post up, Henry.

CRUN: Oh, the Master won't like that there Min, I'm telling you.

BANNISTER: Oh dear, dear.

SEAGOON: Who is the Master?

BANNISTER: Oh, well, he's just coming in across the road now.

CRUN: Yes, here’s the Master now…

MATTHEWS: Anybody got a match?[3]

CRUN: Here you are sir.

BANNISTER: Give the Master a match.

CRUN: Here you are, sir, there we are, sir.

MATTHEWS: Who are you?

CRUN: Mr. Crun, sir, your retainer.

MATTHEWS: Who are you?

LALKAKA: I'm, I'm from the Ministry of Lamp-posts, sir.

MATTHEWS: Who are you?

SEAGOON: I'm the lamp-post they want to put up.

MATTHEWS: Haven't any of you got a name?

SEAGOON: I'm Fred Lamp-post, sir.

MATTHEWS: Now wait a moment. Where am I?

CRUN: …been waiting for you.

MATTHEWS: Do you know... what... Alright, wait a moment... don't interrupt, don't interrupt. I've never seen, in... when I've been on the stage - two or three years - look at this audience. Tell me, have they paid?

BANNISTER: Not a penny. Not a penny, sir!

MATTHEWS: Don't cry about it. D'you know... Camden Theatre. It's a bit of a thrill to me because, in er... oh I messed that up. Anyhow... I played - I'm going to tell you about myself because I like to. You don't mind, do you?

CRUN: Do - carry on!

LALKAKA: About this lamp-post, we're very worried about where to put it.

MATTHEWS: I'd like to get rid of... about this lamp-post, excepting one thing. It's given me a lot of... well I've met a lot of people through it in this way. Night before... what... what is tonight?


SEAGOON: Friday.


MATTHEWS: Sunday, you open on Sunday! No wonder you get a good house. You know...

BLOODNOK: It’s all free sir.

MATTHEWS: Is it? Er, you told me that a little while ago. Now, d'you know, er, night before last, I was on the television.


MATTHEWS: You know…

BANNISTER: Oh sir, we told you before, it's very cold at night - you shouldn't have gone out, buddy.


MATTHEWS: I tell you, you act too much.

CRUN: You've given her the vapours, sir.


CRUN: You've given her the vapours.

MATTHEWS: I didn't quite get it.

CRUN: Your outburst gave her the vapours.

MATTHEWS: Oh we'll leave that, I can't quite understand it. Anyhow, last night... now what?

LALKAKA: What about the hole in the road sir? The council are very worried about the hole - we want to know what to do with the lamp-post hole. Can you, er... would you like to take charge of it?

MATTHEWS: Well at the present moment, it isn't worrying me quite so much because...

LALKAKA: Didn't you fall in it, sir?

MATTHEWS: I put me foot in it - it's painful. It's nothing. On the whole, it's done me a lot of good - it's got me two or three jobs.

ORCHESTRA: Theme music.

GREENSLADE: That was the Goon Show, a BBC recorded programme, featuring Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe, Spike Milligan, and our guest, Mr. A. E. Matthews. With the Ray Ellington Quartet, Max Geldray, and the orchestra conducted by Wally Stott. Script by Spike Milligan. Announcer Wallace Greenslade. The program produced by Charles Chilton.

BANNISTER: You can go home now buddy.

MATTHEWS: Well, I haven't started yet! What do you mean? You don't mean I've finished?

CRUN: We're very worried - it's a cold night, sir.

MATTHEWS: D'you know this is the shortest appearance I've ever made in my life!

CRUN: Come on, sir, our guest is waiting for you.

LALKAKA: Our guest is waiting for you, sir.

MATTHEWS: Can I have a drink now?

BLOODNOK: Yes, sir! Come along!

MATTHEWS: (To audience) Thank you. God bless.

ORCHESTRA: Play-out music.

[1] A.E. Matthews, whose tiff with his local council regarding the building of a concrete lamp-post near his house in Bushey in Hertfordshire was the basis for this episode. Matthews made national headlines when he was a venerable 89 years old, by sitting on the pavement outside his charming Georgian home for several days and nights, to prevent the council erecting the concrete lamp-post, the design of which he felt was out of keeping with the neighbourhood. Milligan was much taken by this stubborn and eccentric demonstration of conservationist conscience, and wrote this episode in response to it. Strangely, as Spike grew older, he became more and more like the crotchety man himself. His public response to injustices – environmental, cultural and human, caused him to espouse more and more causes over the decades.  In 1986 he attempted to force feed the manager of Harrod’s food-hall twenty-eight pounds of cooked pasta, roughly equal to the six pounds of maize force-fed to geese every day to enlarge their livers to make fois gras. This protest against animal cruelty was characteristically Spike, and much in the same vein as A.E. Matthews sitting up all night protecting his lamp-post.


[2] By Duke Ellington.

[3] A.E. Matthews (1869-1960) was a long lived, much loved British actor, famous for playing crotchety, irascible old men in such films as ‘The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp” (1943), ‘The Million Pound Note’ (1954) and ‘Around the World in Eighty Days’ (1956).  His part in this show was entirely unscripted, his lines remaining blank in the original script. However, as things got underway the cast became more and more unable to follow the rest of the scripted action and settled down into a largely improvised scene, though at one point Milligan valiantly tried to return them all to the typed script, eventually they all give up.