1st BROADCAST: 28 Oct 1957[1]


Script by Spike Milligan and Larry Stephens


GREENSLADE: This is the BBC home service.

OMNES: (Together) This is the BBC home service.

GREENSLADE: Are you mocking me?

OMNES: Are you mocking me?

GREENSLADE: You naughty bandsmen.

OMNES: You naughty bandsmen.

SECOMBE: Get on with the ol’ chat, Wal.

GREENSLADE: We quote from the Manchester Guardian, seven/ten/fifty-seven. “Excavations which began in May at the Tower of London have now been completed without the discovery of any buried treasure. This was announced by the Ministry of Works.’

MILLIGAN: Yes. That’s where the old tax-payers money goes there.

LORD HAILSHAM: Those excavations were carried out to provide information about the war.

SECOMBE: Yes folks! Yes folks! And also to supply a plot for the all leather Goon Show.


GREENSLADE: Our story starts in the year sixteen hundred.

SPRIGGS: (With harp)      My master is away at American shores

                                        In Inca and Peru

                                        His sentry walks the battlements

                                        And the time is half past two.

GRAMS: Bell strikes half past.

ECCLES: Halt! Who goes there?

GRAMS: Bell strikes single stroke.

ECCLES: Advance doooo-iiinnnnnnng and be recognised.

SEAGOON: Lower your finger sentry. ‘Tis I – Sir Walter Raleigh.

ECCLES: Sir Walter Raleigh! Got any fags?

SEAGOON: Listen thou good spearman Eccles, we’re about to embark upon a plot. You see yon treasure chest I’m holding?


SEAGOON: Get hold of the other end.v

ECCLES: Ok. (Distant) Huh ooooauh! This is heavy.

SEAGOON: Now grab hold of this end.

ECCLES: (Distant) Ok.

GRAMS: Quick patter of shoes approaching.

SEAGOON: Right. Now you’re got both ends.

ECCLES: I’ve only got this end.

SEAGOON: Nonsense. (Shouts) Who’s got the other end?

GRAMS: (Recording – slightly echoey) ECCLES: It’s me!

ECCLES: Oh, it is me. I’m holding both ends.

SEAGOON: There you are folks. Let’s see ‘em do that on television!

CORNISHMAN: Arghhh ammarrrgh arrraghhh Cap’n.

SEAGOON: Ah, it’s Peter Sellers in his Bernard Miles set.

CORNISHMAN: Errn ta’wallagh. I got a boat standing by with the oars ticking over. Ha ha!

SEAGOON: Right. Then here is the plin of the plon. This chest contains certain treasure which I intend to smuggle home and bury in the Tower of London.

CORNISHMAN: Right sir. I’ll just get my book of hairy sea-phrases out sir. (Shouts) All hairy hands aloft the hairys!

GRAMS & OMNES: Aye aye!

CORNISHMAN: Sever the braces and lower the Jane Mansfield.

GRAMS & OMNES: Aye aye!
CORNISHMAN: Furl the sponicken and clubber the neeve!
GRAMS & OMNES: Aye aye!

(Continue GRAMS under. Seamen’s shouts from aloft)


GREENSLADE: That was in sixteen hundred. I say, it was jolly noisy wasn’t it? However, our story continues in nineteen fifty seven at a meeting of the Ministry of Works.

FX: Distant bell behind, hand rung.

MINISTER 1: Aogh, I tell you all, now there’s been a great aowws of power. For the powght, or England forever the three ahh, buckets of Whitehall.

MINISTER 2: I say. Hailsham been found today.

LORD HAILSHAM: Ah his speeches like this will save the party.

MINISTER 1: Oowwwgh – the drains at Hackney, ooorwwgh and the pong at Battersea…


GRAMS: Desultory applause.

OMNES: Scattered ‘bravos’ & ‘well dones’ from backbench.

GRYTPYPE: Moriarty, I must read Hansard tomorrow.

MORIARTY: Why, has he written another book?

LORD SEAGOON: Quiet please at the back and short at the sides. Gentlemen, I have discovered that British new laid eggs are being stamped with a lion. It’s a fraud.

GRYTPYPE: Why sir?

LORD SEAGOON: They’re not lion’s eggs. Now gentlemen, could we close the doors please?

GRAMS: Various doors closing smartly.

LORD SEAGOON: Right. Now we’re all outside we can speak freely. About these excavations we’re carrying out in the Tower.

LORD CYRIL: You find any treasure then?

LORD SEAGOON: What! You know very well we’re only digging down to see if the walls of the tower are safe. I’m afraid the result was a failure.

MINISTER 3: (Methuselah) Ugh errr…why?

LORD SEAGOON: (Crying) We didn’t find buried any treasure.

MINISTER 3: (Asthmatic) You … you couldn’t have … you couldn’t have been … you couldn’t have been digging … you couldn’t have been digging in … you couldn’t have been digging in the … you couldn’t have been digging in the … in the right place!

ECCLES: (I just made that up!)

LORD SEAGOON: It was the right place alright but the treasure wasn’t there.

LORD CYRIL: The treasure’s buried in the wrong place?

LORD SEAGOON: Precisely.

LORD CYRIL: Then why don’t we dig there?

LORD SEAGOON: Come. It would be folly to dig for it in the wrong place.

MINISTER 4: What? What! What we must do is to find the right wrong place. What we’ve been digging in is the wrong right place.

LORD SEAGOON: I second that. Now, I suggest that we consult a treasure expert.

GRAMS: Pair of expensive brogues running up at speed.

GRYTPYPE: My card.

MORIARTY: Yes Neddie.

LORD SEAGOON: The speaker was a tall pale man clad in livery.

GRYTPYPE: Yes, and this tall livery man clad in a pail is Count Jim ‘I-must-get- those-hinges-on-my-socks-oiled’ Moriarty, world bankruptcy champion for the year ending nineteen fifty-seven. I am Grytpype Thynne, treasure expert.

LORD SEAGOON: Make me a tender for recovering the treasure.

GRYTPYPE: The recovery my dear boy is free. It’s the digging that comes out a little expensive.


GRYTPYPE: Well, each shovelful of earth excavated will be posted to you and you will remit by return post one guinea.

LORD SEAGOON: I accept. When do you start excavating?
GRYTPYPE: Moriarty.

FX: Shovel in loose gravel.

LORD SEAGOON: Ha! Please! Hahahha! It’s no good digging here. The treasure’s at the Tower of London.

GRYTPYPE: Ah, but we’re approaching it from underneath you see. That way we avoid the traffic at Oxford Circus.

LORD SEAGOON: So that’s how you do it. Hand me that shovel. I want to get home early tonight.

GRYTPYPE: Where do you live?

LORD SEAGOON: In a hole in the ground.

GRYTPYPE: An ideal position for hearing Max Geldray and his old Dutch conk. Moriarty, a quick awww!


GRYTPYPE: Splendid.


MAX GELDRAY “Nice Work if you Can Get It”[2]


GREENSLADE: The Treasure in the Tower, part two.


GREENSLADE: Let us go back to that fateful night aboard the ship in the year sixteen hundred.

GRAMS: Ocean under keel. Wind through rigging.

SEAGOON: Right. Gather round shipmates.

GRAMS: Massed boots running up. They stop suddenly.

SEAGOON: ‘Twas a dark and stormy night and the Captain said to one of his men “Tell us a story,” and the following story I told. Now you see this map of the tower?


SEAGOON: Listen you nit, this is radio. You don’t have to see a real map.

ECCLES: Oooh! Ooh, then I see it yeah.

SEAGOON: Where? Where? Oh, yes of course. Now when we arrive there we’re going to bury the treasure there, and then we’ll screedon scranson scree …

GREENSLADE: Meanwhile in nineteen fifty-seven dawn is striking midnight over the Tower of London. The guard commander discharges his duties.


BLOODNOK: Ooooooh! Aoooough! Aooooough! Not so loud please. You want to wake the sentries up? They’ve had a hard day posing for tourists you know. Now, another portion of raven pie. Yes, tower speciality of the Tower de Londre. Ooooah! Oooah! Oooah dear oh dear. Now, I usually have a knock on the door about here –

FX: Sharp rat-a-tat on door.

BLOODNOK: There it is, dead on time. The old twelve twenty-three. I wonder who the driver is.

FX: Door opens.

GUARDSMAN: It’s me sir.

BLOODNOK: Gad, it’s guardsman Tom Urals. I say – wait a moment. Who else is in your battledress with you?

SPRIGGS: It’s me Jim. Me-eeee J-iiiiim!

BLOODNOK: Rattle me crudlers!

SPRIGGS: (Indian war whoop) Whou-ou-ou-ou-ou-ou-ou!

BLOODNOK: It’s rifleman Spriggs. Let go sir.

SPRIGGS: Yes sir, two men sharing one uniform. (Sings) Sharing one un-i-foooormmm!

BLOODNOK: Look here. This merging of regiments is going too far I tell you.

GUARDSMAN: No Major, it’s just that his uniform’s at the laundry.


GUARDSMAN: At the laundry.

BLOODNOK: You know you’re not allowed to sub-let your battledress.

GUARDSMAN: But he’s only occupying the basement.

BLOODNOK: Gad! It must be hell down there. Wait a moment. I believe I can hear footsteps in your boots.

ELLINGTON: Yes man. Dat’s me!

BLOODNOK: Good heavens, it’s Ghana Tom. That means there’s three men in one battledress.

ELLINGTON: No. Me never wear uniform.

BLOODNOK: And why not?

ELLINGTON: Me in the third heavy Nudists!

BLOODNOK: The third heavy Nudists?! My old regiment. Oh, what a cap badge they had!

SINGHEZ-THING: Aoh, Major! Major, Major! Major, um, Major Bloodnok!

BLOODNOK: It’s Havelda Singhez-Thing.

SINGHEZ-THING: Major, I hear strange noises coming from underneath the crown jewels type room.

BLOODNOK: Aaaaaooough! Hand me my loaded jeweller’s glass. Now, take this photo of me holding a gun and go and challenge them.


GRAMS: Digging in rubbish. Mix in occasional bricks falling.

GRYTPYPE: Now, according to Seagoon’s instructions on this shovel the treasure’s right above us Moriarty.

MORIARTY: Aaaawww. Just a few more strokes of this. Ha ha-awwwww!

GRAMS: Bricks and debris falling in. Ends with enormous crash.

GRYTPYPE: I can see daylight! You’re through Moriarty!
MORIARTY: You mean I’m fired?

GRYTPYPE: You fool. Strike a light.

FX: Single gong stroke.

GRYTPYPE: That’s a loud torch.

MORIARTY: It belonged to Arthur J. Rank. Listen Grytpype – look! Look! Ooh, treasure! Crowns, sceptres and orbs and other things that people can’t see on radio.

GRYTPYPE: No wonder they couldn’t find the treasure. The fools dug down for it. This treasure was buried above ground level.

GUARDSMAN: Hands up! What are you two doing in the royal crown jewels cage?

GRYTPYPE: Moriarty, put this crown on quick.


GUARDSMAN: Who are you, I say!

MORIARTY: I am the King of England!

GUARDSMAN: Ooo! I’ll go and put the kettle on.

MORIARTY: Arrrgh! He’s gone Grytpype.

GRYTPYPE: Yes, your Majesty. Put the treasure in the sack now.

MORIARTY: Wait till the Minister of Works sees this!


GREENSLADE: Meanwhile, back in sixteen hundred, the good ship Venus approaches.

GRAMS: Water rippling through shallows.

SEAGOON: Great spollicons! Look yon - silhouetted against the darkness I see the Tower of London.

GREENSLADE: Meantime in nineteen fifty-seven.

BLOODNOK: Gad! Silhouetted against the darkness a wooden galleon sailing into the pool of London. Fire!

GRAMS: Cannon shot.

GREENSLADE: Back in sixteen hundred.

GRAMS: Explosion.

SEAGOON: Gad-zooks! Someone’s firing at us from yon tower.

CORNISHMAN: We’d better get the treasure ashore in the hairy longboat sir.


CORNISHMAN: Arrghnn awww, blast I say! Blast - ahrgnnn! We left the treasure chest back in hairy America.

SEAGOON: America!


SEAGOON: Hairy Eccles!

ECCLES: Hairy Seagoon.

SEAGOON: Nip back for it.

ECCLES: Right.

GRAMS: Sudden splash. Furious paddling.

(Slight pause)

SEAGOON: What’s keeping him?

GREENSLADE: Meantime in nineteen fifty-seven, two figures with crown jewels creep along, which makes the people in sixteen hundred say –

SEAGOON: Gad-zooks! What strangely clad mortals.

GRYTPYPE: Shh. Not so loud Moriarty.

MORIARTY: (Hiccupping) Arww… arawww! Hic, arww… hic… arwwagh!

GRYTPYPE: Dowse those aww’s, Moriarty. People will see them. Hurry, here’s the Ray Ellington spon.

FX: Mysterious gong stroke.


RAY ELLINGTON – “How Will I Know if I Loved You”


GREENSLADE: The Treasure in the Tower part three. Nineteen fifty-seven.

LORD SEAGOON: Ah gentlemen. Come in.

MORIARTY: Ahhh awww-aww-aww! Good news Mister Minister. We’ve found the buried treasure in the tower. Look –

FX: Various bits of old metal bits falling onto hard surface. Extended.

GRYTPYPE: There. A sackful of valuable sound effects.

FX: One last clunk.

LORD SEAGOON: Well, if it weren’t for the fact that they weren’t the crown jewels, I’d swear they were the crown jewels.

GRYTPYPE: Little does he know that they are, folks. But we’re not going to be lumbered with them.

LORD SEAGOON: There gentlemen, your fee. Ten thousand pounds in sterling.

MORIARTY: Aheeeeugh!

GRYTPYPE: Ta, ta Neddie! Come, come. Goodbye Neddie – a sailor’s farewell.

FX: Door closes.

GRYTPYPE: Officer, arrest that man for stealing the crown jewels.

LORD SEAGOON: What! That sailor’s lying. You can’t arrest me. I’m the minister for something-or-other. I …

GREENSLADE: In summing up the judge said –

JUDGE: It’s quite clear you didn’t know these were the crown jewels. Not guilty. On the second charge, ten years hard labour.

SEAGOON: (Gulps) Second charge?

JUDGE: Yes. Being a minister of the government and accepting money for it – to wit, robbery. Ten years!

GRAMS: Metal door slams shut.

SEAGOON: I’m innocent! Let me out!

GREENSLADE: Ten years later.

GRAMS: Locks and chains. Metal door clanks open.

SEAGOON: (Ancient) Ahhhhrgh! Free at last.

JUDGE: Who said it was ten years later?
GREENSLADE: I did sir.

JUDGE: Ten years hard!
GRAMS: Locks and chains. Metal door slams shut.

GREENSLADE: No, wait. Let me out. I was only saying what was in the script. It’s nothing to do with me.
COCKNEY WORKMAN: I’ll help you mate. Ten years later!
GRAMS: Locks and chains. Metal door clanks open.

GREENSLADE: Free at last.

JUDGE: Who said ‘ten years later?’

COCKNEY WORKMAN: You just did.

GRAMS: Locks and chains. Metal door slams shut.

JUDGE: Let me out. I’m a judge! Help!


BLOODNOK: Ooh well, thank heavens the crown jewels are back in the tower.

That means I won’t have to redeem the real ones I pawned.

ECCLES: (Distant) Hoi! Ho ouwgh ouwgh ouwgh!

BLOODNOK: Great spladdocks of crab! Look in the ocean – it’s an idiot in a Tudor swimming costume and dragging a treasure chest.

ECCLES: (Distant) Verily, givest thou me aid! Grab my hand and take my chest.

BLOODNOK: You’re a funny shape aren’t you?

GRAMS: Splashing.

ECCLES: (At mic) Oh. Gad zooks upon a face the cordoy. Ta!


ECCLES: Ohh hoooh! Ooh ho ho ho hooh I spon! Thou art strangely dressed thou art. Thou art strangely dressed!

BLOODNOK: Obviously an idiot. What a strange occurrence. I’ll make a note of this in my military diary. (Sings Colonel Bogey) Dlump, dlump, dlump, dlaa da da da dlump …October nineteen fifty-seven

ECCLES: What year was that?

BLOODNOK: Nineteen fifty-seven, October.

ECCLES: Nineteen … nineteen fifty-seven?

ECCLES: I’ve swum too far.

BLOODNOK: Well where are you from then?
ECCLES: Sixteen hundred. I’d better be getting back. Hup!

GRAMS: Splash in water.

BLOODNOK: Well, I don’t know who you were sir, or where you came from but you did me a power of good.

ECCLES: (Distant) …………….

BLOODNOK: Good for you lad. Come again. Part three, the Ministry of Works excavations in the boiler room off Mint Street. That was rather quick wasn’t it? For which I shall put on my Crun kit.

LORD SEAGOON: But Mr. Crun, what makes you think the treasure is buried in the boiler room?

CRUN: It’s warmer down there.

LORD SEAGOON: Splendid reason.

CRUN: Now first, we must find the exact spot where the treasure is buried.

LORD SEAGOON: Splendid idea. You’ll get a copy of the birthday honours for this.

CRUN: Miss Bannister.


CRUN: Miss Bannister here is a qualified treasure diviner with honours in steam and banjo.

BANNISTER: Plunk, plunk, plunk!

LORD SEAGOON: Good heavens. To look at her you’d never have thought she’d ridden a horse in her life.

BANNISTER: Ok buddy. I’ll get ready for my hairy divining. I’ll just put on these cardboard bicycle clips. Now… I’m ready buddy. Get on that rhythm organ.

CRUN: (Distant) Right!

BANNISTER: One! Two! (Sings over)

GRAMS: (Recording) REGINALD DIXON on the  BLACKPOOL ORGAN. Fade under.

GREENSLADE: Yes, what a great year nineteen fifty-seven was for England. Meantime, back in sixteen hundred aboard the hairy longboat.

GRAMS: Oars splashing in water. REGINALD DIXON recording continues in distance.

SEAGOON: Gad zooks. Lay to your oars men. Listen, I hear sounds of pipe organ.

CORNISHMAN: Arrgh. It must be someone digging for treasure. Someone must have got the wind of it.

SEAGOON: They couldn’t have. I had it de-odourised. But hold hard – hist! Shh, hoo, hold! Someone approaches.

FX: Boots running closer.

SEAGOON: Zoons! It is a heap of upright clothing with a hat on top.

BLUEBOTTLE: You insult the uniform and legs of Bluebottle.

SEAGOON: Spillikins! A voice comes from within the trousers.

BLUEBOTTLE: It is me, the beefeater of England. See – holds out dirty big lump of meat, also choice of two veg.

SEAGOON: Prithee, thou speakest in fine conundrums. Come, help us with this chest.

BLUEBOTTLE: Ooo. Have you got trouble with your chest? My mum rubs mine with hot agony oil. Rub, rub, rub, rub, ruh-hububy rub she goes. Wait a minute you rhythm man. Don’t move. Who are you?

SEAGOON: Fain let us pass. I am Sir Walter Raleigh.

BLUEBOTTLE: Oooo! Is this a television for schools then? Where’s the cameras? I can do my idiot waving to my friends in school. Hello dere Harold Pratt. Hello Mary Quills, Peter Cadbury and Vera Millington. It’s Bluebottle here! Tell the teacher I will be in tomorrow. I’m just standing in…


GRAMS: Giant splash in water.

LITTLE JIM: He has fallen in the water.

BLUEBOTTLE: You rotten Sir Walter Raleigh you. I shall never eat potatoes again. Thinks – I’m drowning. So that’s why I’ll never eat potatoes again.

SEAGOON: Spillikins of plud. Eccles, pull him out. I’ll take ye treasure and bury it in yon boiler room.

BLUEBOTTLE: (Distant) Eccles, save me.

ECCLES: Where are you?

BLUEBOTTLE: In the water in nineteen fifty-seven.

ECCLES: Ooh! I can’t help you den.


ECCLES: I’m in sixteen hundred.

BLUEBOTTLE: You can’t be in that sixteen hundred there. I can see you quite clearly.

ECCLES: Ah, but in nineteen fifty-seven you got all dem good national health spectacles.

BLUEBOTTLE: Well, you can borrow mine and leave a message that no one touches them and then you can pull me out.

ECCLES: I don’t know what he means, but I can’t do that. I’m not really … I’m really… I’m… I’m really not here.

BLUEBOTTLE: What do you mean by that my good man?

ECCLES: I’ll tell you my good man. If this is nineteen fifty-seven – you said this is nineteen fifty-seven? Say yes.


ECCLES: Well if this is nineteen fifty-seven, I’m dead.

BLUEBOTTLE: Then why are you standing up?

ECCLES: Um. Well, I’m not….. Ohh! I’ll tell you why I’m standing up. ‘Cause I’m in sixteen hundred and you’re not born yet.

BLUEBOTTLE: Cor. Wait till I tell my mum that. My dad won’t half kill me.

GREENSLADE: Meantime, a few yards away in nineteen fifty-seven.


BANNISTER: (Hot rhythm singing over) Ok. Ok stop, stop Henry. Oh it’s no good.

CRUN: What’s the matter, Min. I was just getting in the treasure divining groove.

BANNISTER: There’s no treasure in the tower buddy. I’ve dug down thirty feet and burst a water main.

CRUN: I’d better bandage it with iodine.

LORD SEAGOON: You impostors! So you’re not treasure diviners, you’re water diviners! Where’s my speaking trumpet? (Megaphone) Hello folks! Calling folks.

BANNISTER: He’s calling folks.

LORD SEAGOON: Hello folks.

BANNISTER: He’s calling folks.

LORD SEAGOON: Give over. Hello folks. This is a sad day for the Ministry of Works folks, all we’ve got for our troubles folks is a thirty foot hole, folks. Farewell folks!


SEAGOON: Gad zooks. He hath gone.

CORNISHMAN: Aaarrrgh hello folks. Then we can bury the treasure in the hole here. Ahhaa!

GRAMS: Various sized shovels digging in rubbish. Continue under.

GREENSLADE: And that folks, is why in nineteen fifty-seven they didn’t find the treasure that was buried in sixteen hundred. It’s all in the mind you know.

GREENSLADE: That was the Goon Show, a BBC recorded programme featuring Peter Sellers, Harry 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 programme produced by Charles Chilton.


[1] The original newspaper article appears below.

[2] One of the most famous songs by George and Ira Gershwin. Written in 1937 it was one of nine numbers the writing duo contributed to the Fred Astaire film ‘A Damsel in Distress’- (RKO), the debut of the Hollywood starlet Joan Fontaine. George Gershwin died of a brain tumour during the production.