RECORDED: 26 Jan 1959 [1]


Script by Spike Milligan



GREENSLADE: This is the BBC Light Programme. From the book "I knew Terence Nuke" by Eileen Beardsmore Lewisham, tiddely doo spot, we present the play "I knew Terence Nuke" from the book by Eileen Beardsmore Lewisham.
ORCHESTRA: Introduction.
GRAMS: Distant fog horns.
BANNISTER: (Distant) Ooooh! Ohohoho!
SELLERS: It can be cold in London, damn cold. On such a night as this, eighty years ago, a ragged idiot staggered into a forty year old fog-laden lime house area.
FX: Footsteps under.
SEAGOON: (Coughing) It's me folks, Neddie Seagoon. Ah, here it is, Christmas Eve and still no offers of pantomime. And not a penny have I towards a plate of vitals for my poor half starved eighteen stone body. So I’ll lay my poor old twenty stone head down on this eight-stone embankment bench. Aaah! This is nice and soft.
ECCLES: That's 'cause you're lying on me.
SECOMBE: Hello, hello.
ECCLES: Oh, hello, hello!
SEAGOON: Hello 'ello 'ello.
ECCLES: I wouldn't mind but I've got friends to tea. They're travelling south.
WILLIUM: Hey. You two men, what you doing there? Move along now. That bench is for royalty of no fixed abode.
SEAGOON: Constable, have pity, ‘tis Christmas, the time of good will.
POLICEMAN: Cor struth, so it is. Well, a Merry Christmas on you, mate .
SEAGOON: And the same to you!
POLICEMAN: Now move along  there, before I belt you!
MORIARTY: (Approaching) One moment law guardian. A tit tot tang!
SEAGOON: The voice came from a man with a military bearing which he tossed in the air and caught. He emerged from the darkness and walked into the light.
FX: Wooden spoon on large frying pan.
MORIARTY: Ahehehe. Now policeman, how would you like to join the river police?
WILLIUM: Oh, I'd like that, sir
MORIARTY: (Effort) Hup.
WILLIUM: (Falling) Argh!
GRAMS: Body into water.
WILLIUM: (Distant) Thank you sir.
MORIARTY: And a Merry Christmas to you.
SEAGOON: The stranger now turned his glance on me. He observed my shredded paper suit, my thrice turned overcoat and my toes sticking out of the end of my feet.
MORIARTY: Down on your luck?
SEAGOON: Why are you interested in me?
MORIARTY: I run a rag and bone shop.
SEAGOON: Looking for a manager?
MORIARTY: No I'm looking for stock. However, I have a friend of mine, a bank manager in the Bank of Twickenham. The honourable Thynne, Grytpype-Thynne. How are you at mathematics?
SEAGOON: I speak it fluently.
SEAGOON: Threeché.
MORIARTY: Very well. Take this tray and present yourself to him tomorrow.
ORCHESTRA: Dramatic link.
GREENSLADE: Seagoon's wife was overjoyed at Ned's luck. He started work as a bank clerk with every prospect of becoming one.
SEAGOON: My wages were eight shillings a week with an allowance of three shillings for each child.
GRYTPYPE: This brought his money up to eighty pounds a week.[2]
SEAGOON: That was the manager, Mr. Thynne, well known in concentric circles.
GRYTPYPE: Mister Seagoon, how long have you been with us?
SEAGOON: Twenty minutes.
GRYTPYPE: What a splendid record of devotion and honesty. Neddie – (and this is where the story really starts), Neddie, I am putting you in a position of thrust. You're going to be in charge of the gold vault, here is the key.
SEAGOON: (Increasingly maniacal) Gold. GOLD! Ha ha ha ha ha! Gold. Ha ha ha. The lovely gold. I'll be rich! Ha ha ha! (Into distant) No more rags for me. Gold! Ha ha ha ha! Gold!
GRYTPYPE: I wonder if he's the right man for the job.
SEAGOON: (Close) I decided to pinch the gold. Immediately I backed a large horse-drawn motor van up to the front entrance of the bank.
WILLIUM: (Approaching) 'Ere, you can't park that there, sir.
MORIARTY: Arghh! Constable, how would you like to join the river police?
WILLIUM: I'd like that very much, sir.
MORIARTY: (Effort) Hup.
WILLIUM: (Falling) Aargh!
GRAMS: Body into water.
WILLIUM: (Distant) Thank you very much sir.
MORIARTY: And a Merry Christmas! Now carry on Neddie.
GRYTPYPE: Yes, it's a lovely day for carrying on Neddie.
SEAGOON: Right. Next I carefully disguised myself as a Zulu warrior of the Matabele rising.[3] So cunning was my make-up not even my own grandmother would have recognised me.
THROAT: Hello Neddie.
SEAGOON: Hello granny. In this inconspicuous disguise I took the gold from the vaults, and loaded it onto the van. For three hours I toiled back and forth.
GRYTPYPE: Oh, Neddie,
SEAGOON: (Curses, I'm spotted.)
GRYTPYPE: Why are you wearing that leopard's skin?
SEAGOON: So that's why I'm spotted.
GRYTPYPE: Tell me, where are you taking that gold?
SEAGOON: (Close) I had to think of a good excuse.
GRYTPYPE: You're stealing it, aren't you, Neddie?
SEAGOON: Blast! Why didn't I think of that?
GRYTPYPE: We will have to give you a week's notice.
SEAGOON: (Innocent) Why? What have I done?
GRYTPYPE: Nothing, but we're having to cut down on staff. You see, there's been a robbery. Erm, will you get that van started, while I get my hat and coat.
SEAGOON: You're coming too?
GRYTPYPE: There's no point in staying. There's more money in the van than there is in the bank.
SEAGOON: Very well, we'll be partners.
SEAGOON: I give you my hand.
GRYTPYPE: I gave him my foot. It was a fair swap.
SEAGOON: Ying tong iddle i po!  
GRYTPYPE: Good. And for no reason, Max "Conks'" Geldray.
SEAGOON: Huzzah!

MAX GELDRAY: "It's Only a Paper Moon." [4]

GREENSLADE: Dishonoured part two – (and this is where the story really starts.) With their new found wealth, Ned painted the town red. Then the first blow fell.
FX: Door opening.
GRYTPYPE: Neddie, bad news. The bank you stole the gold from told the police.
SEAGOON: What a rotten trick! Is nothing sacred?
GRYTPYPE: Give yourself up, Neddie.
SEAGOON: Give myself up? No, I can't break myself of that habit. What about the gold?
GRYTPYPE: Leave that with Moriarty, and when you come out in eighty-nine years, we will be waiting for you. Won't we Moriarty?
MORIARTY: (Raves) Huahuahuahuahuahuahuaiuah!
SEAGOON: No, no, no. I… I couldn't keep you waiting all that time, I mean...
GRYTPYPE: Then you'll have to go abroad, won't he, Moriarty.
MORIARTY: (Raves) Huahuahuahuahuahuahuaiuah!
SEAGOON: Abroad?
GRYTPYPE: Of course.
SEAGOON: But my wife. I can't leave her with thirty-eight children.
GRYTPYPE: Isn't that enough?
SEAGOON: Yes, I suppose a rest would do her good, yes.
GRYTPYPE: Yes. And it would do you good too, you naughty boy.
MORIARTY: As they say in Paris – heough heui hea heoh heough!
SEAGOON: How will I get the gold out of the country?
GRYTPYPE: Ah, well. You box clever there.[5] You leave the gold with us, and when you return, we will be waiting.
SEAGOON: I'll flee the country! We sail at dawn – tonight!
ORCHESTRA: Nautical link.
CAST: (Distant cries from the rigging)
SEAGOON: Within a week we were on board a private yacht, sailing west nor' east south. I stood on the pilchard with the spanker blowing through my hair and the salty bloaters spinning before the goblets. Ha, ha. It's a man's life I tell ye. Ha, ha! (Going) A man's life I tell ye.
GRAMS: Jelly splosh.
GRYTPYPE: I'm so sorry, Ned. Never throw it to the wind.
SEAGOON: Ah, hello Captain Thynne. What's our position?
GRYTPYPE: Desperate. I mean, I'll inquire. (Calls aloft) Navigator, can you arrestitute our position in the Med? [6]
ECCLES: (Nonsense) Ahhhkhallallarghkallhayum.
GRYTPYPE: (Calls) What's that object off the port beam?
ECCLES: Yeah. What IS that object off the port beam?
SEAGOON: Good heavens! It's the Albert Hall.
ECCLES: Oooh, you've been to sea before.
GRYTPYPE: But what is the Albert Hall doing off Beachy Head?
SEAGOON: More to the point, what is this ship doing in Hyde Park?
ECCLES: Well, the sea is calmer here.
GRYTPYPE: You idiot. We're four thousand miles off course.
ECCLES: (Idiot sounds) Well, nobody's perfect.
GRYTPYPE: Shut up, Eccles!
ECCLES: Shut up, Eccles!
WILLIUM: I'm sorry, you can't park this yacht here.
MORIARTY: Constable, how would you like to join the Kensington Round Pond police?
WILLIUM: There ain't no such force.
GRAMS: Body into water.
MORIARTY: You're the first.
WILLIUM: (Distant) Thank you sir.
MORIARTY: Good on you!
ORCHESTRA: Ocean going link.
CAST: (Various. Seamen’s cries.)
GREENSLADE: Dishonoured part three. In the Mediterranean – (and this is where the story really starts.) In the Med the blow fell. One morning Neddie was called to the Kiptain’s kaybon.
GRYTPYPE: Neddie, when you came aboard, I believe you deposited all the gold in the care of Moriarty.
SEAGOON: Yes. Why? Isn't it safe with him?
GRYTPYPE: It's perfectly safe, where ever he and his rowing boat are.
SEAGOON: The gold I stole, stolen? The thief. Which way did he go?
GRYTPYPE: I pointed a finger.
SEAGOON: Aaaargh!
GRAMS: Footsteps running away. Pause. Body into water.
MORIARTY: Has he gone?
GRYTPYPE: Yes. Now let's go down and divide the gold, Moriarty.
MORIARTY: You’re a friend. You’re a good friend to me!
ORCHESTRA: Dramatic link. Stops suddenly. George Chisholm sings:
                              “I’m in love with an old trombone…”

GRAMS: Huge jelly splosh.


ORCHESTRA: Further dramatic link. Interrupted by out of tune trumpet and trombone solos. End with tatty chord in C.
GRAMS: Ocean sounds. Gulls. Waves.

SEAGOON: Meantime I floundered alone in the Indian Ocean, unable to speak a word of the language. I swam on my back, side, font and knees, but I… I just couldn't get off to sleep.
WILLIUM: I must ask you to move along, sir.
SEAGOON: Oh, it's you constable, I thought you were in the river police.
WILLIUM: That is right sir, yern.
SEAGOON: Then, what are you doing in the ocean?
WILLIUM: I've been promoted sir.
SEAGOON: Congratulations. Could you direct me to India?
WILLIUM: Just follow the tram lines.
SEAGOON: Thank you. And so saying I struck out for the shore.
GREENSLADE: Ten miles he swam. The last three were agony.
SEAGOON: They were over land. Finally I fell in a heap on the ground. I had no idea who left it there.
BLOODNOK: (Distant) Oh ho.
SEAGOON: Then I heard the approach of a high powered horseless carriage, with a long dongler attachment and a brown card with the word "Fertang" on it in Greek.
GRAMS: Old fashioned motorcar, frequent backfiring, klaxon, overheated engine, steam exhaust, occasional explosion. Fade and continue under.
BANNISTER: (Above) Oooh, oooh dear! Ooh! Ooooh.
CRUN: Hold tight, Min.
BANNISTER: Holding so tight, Min.
CRUN: Hold tight Min. We're doing three miles an hour Min.
BANNISTER: We'll be murdered in our beds. Oh dear.
CRUN: Put the brake on, Min.
BANNISTER: It doesn't suit me Henry. Where is it, Hen?
CRUN: It's in a brown paper parcel under my seat, Min.
BANNISTER: Oooh dear. Stand up then. Ooooh!
CRUN: I can't stand up, motoring Min. I'll lose my leather controls.
GRAMS: Engine overheating. Repeated klaxons, followed by a long drawn out blast. Start high then slowly wind the speed right down. Electronic pop. Followed by a key dropped onto concrete.
CRUN: Oh dear, Min. The wick in the engine's gone out.
SEAGOON: (Coming too.) Awwh. Awwh-ooohoh.

CRUN & BANNISTER: (Various.) Fishh tooo!
BANNISTER: What’s that down there? Oh, it's a young man. What are you doing under the car, young man? [8]
SEAGOON: I'm not doing anything under your car.
BANNISTER: Thank heaven for that.
CRUN: Sir, I'm Henry "Motoring" Crun. We are anxious to know if you need succour.
SEAGOON: Yes, just what I need, a glass of succour.
CRUN: (pause) Why don't you answer us, sir?
BANNISTER: Hit him on the conk. Hit him!
CRUN: What?
BANNISTER: Hit him with a pling and a pfffh...
SEAGOON: Are you both deaf? I told you I'm weak from exhaustion. Of course, that's why they can't hear me, I'm unconscious.
BANNISTER: Henry, you hear what he said, he's unconscious.
CRUN: Help me lift him up Min. I'll take his head, and you go round the other side of his head.
FX: Heavy footsteps..
CRUN: Have you got to the certain side?
BANNISTER: (Distant) Yes. Lift, Henry.
CRUN: (Effort) Ough.[9]
GREENSLADE: Now here is “Dishonoured” part four. Tied to the back of Crun's car, Seagoon was towed back to Poona, but the rope broken left and him stranded in the Indian quarter of Bombay.
ORCHESTRA: Exotic link.
SEAGOON: Yes, in the street of a thousand households there is a place where a man can drink and forget his sorrows.
FX: Knock on door. Door opens.
BANERJEE: What does the dirt encrusted Sahib desire? All the sensuous drinks of the Orient are yours. The paan bidi,[10] the scented Vishnu wine, the toddy juice, the aromatic kravani. Which do you desire, oh erotic one?
SECOMBE: (Gauche British) Pot of tea, please.
LALKAKA: (Distant) Ladies and European type gentlemen. Taking your modern European type partners are the English style cabaret.

RAY ELLINGTON: “From This Moment On” [11]

LALKAKA: Alright, everyone back to their own beds please. And now for the second part of the cabaret, the mysterious Bara Bidi (as an extra forepiece) oriental queen will do the dance of the seven army surplus blankets. [12]
ORCHESTRA: Cor Anglais plays Oriental theme. Continue under.
SEAGOON: Into the middle of the floor sprang a creature who sent my pulses racing. One by on the blankets fell to the floor, the lights went down; as the last blanket fell from the passionate creature, I moved to her side in the dark. (Panting with lust.) Oh, desirable creature, what prompts you to dance in this den of vice?
ECCLES: I got to make a living too you know.
SEAGOON: Eccles, you're not a woman!
ECCLES: I know that. But don't tell the manager.
SEAGOON: Why not?
ECCLES: We're engaged! (It's gonna be hell, folks!)
SEAGOON: How did you get here?
ECCLES: Oh, that fellow Moriarty and Grytpype-Thynne, they threw me into the sea.
SEAGOON: So there is some good in them after all!
ECCLES: (Raves) Hnykkulmklmklmklmukhullakam.
MANAGER:[13] (Approaching) Where are you darling, where are you?
ECCLES: Ha hum. Here he comes, look out. Ha hum! Keep him away. The question is what are we gonna do now?
SEAGOON: I'm going to clear my name and gain back my self-respect. (Thinks) I'll… I’ll join the navy!
ORCHESTRA: Bright, up-tempo nautical link. Include all the famous sea shanties and songs. Start with “Rule Britannia”, “Hornpipe”, “A Life on the Ocean Wave”,  “What Shall We Do with the Drunken Sailor?”, “All the Nice Girls Love a Sailor”. Big finish with the final phrase of “Rule Britannia”.
SEAGOON: No. I'll join the Army. It's too damn noisy in the Navy. Come Eccles!
ORCHESTRA: Bloodnok Theme.
GRAMS: Huge explosion. Mix in sound of chickens.
BLOODNOK: (Over) Ooooh! Ohho, oh, oh! No more curried eggs for me. So, you two naughty men want to join the Bombay Irish, do you?
SEAGOON: Aye, aye, jock mon.
ECCLES: Aye, aye, buddy.
BLOODNOK: Well it's a tough life I'll tell you. Do you know what it's like to be in the thick of a bloody battle, with bullets flying and sabres clashing?
BLOODNOK: Pity. I was hoping you could tell me what it was like. You see I'm writing a book entitled "Bloodnok V.C." However, let us take the regimental oath. Are we ready?. Open your wallets and say after me: "Help yourself."
SEAGOON & ECCLES: Help yourself.
BLOODNOK: Thank you. Next, do you swear to be brave soldiers?"
BLOODNOK: Never turn a back on the enemy?
BLOODNOK: Always speak well of a lady?
BLOODNOK: And respect the chastity of a woman?
BLOODNOK: Have we got nothing in common?! Still, we are in need of a couple of ripe steamers. You see, the Red Bladder is raising the Pathan tribes. He's got fresh consignments of automatic swords and a touch of the Rangoon crut[14] thrown in.
SEAGOON: Where does he get the finance?
BLOODNOK: Two international crooks smuggled him a shipload of gold saxophones.
SEAGOON: Grytpype and Moriarty! So that's the game! Sir, I have score to settle. Let me go to the frontier.
BLOODNOK: Right. Sign this.
FX: Scratchy quill underneath.
SEAGOON: (Writing) Neddie Seagoon. There. Am I a soldier now?
BLOODNOK: I have no idea. I only collect autographs you know. Seagoon, arm the men to the teeth.
SEAGOON: Impossible
BLOODNOK: No arms?
SEAGOON: No teeth.
BLOODNOK: Then we can't fight.
SEAGOON: Sir, I want a chance to prove that I'm a man.
BLOODNOK: Report to the M.O.[15]
SEAGOON: I'll fight the mad mullah, clear my name and recover the gold and capture Moriarty and Grytpype into the bargain. Who will ride with me?
BLUEBOTTLE: Ensign Bluebottle will! Thank you. Thank you. See, my sword is in my hand.
FX: Lump of metal onto anvil..
BLUEBOTTLE: Oh, the end's fallen off.
SEAGOON: Little jug head bugler, blow the alarm!
BLUEBOTTLE: That is what I say – blow the alarm! (Deflated) Oh, let's play another game please.
SEAGOON: This is no game little drooping seat. Get mounted lad!
BLUEBOTTLE: Yes, my captain. I'm mounteded and ready for the ride. I say – wait a minute. What's this in the saddle bag?
SEAGOON: That's dynamite, lad.
BLUEBOTTLE: Here, you're not starting that lot again, are you?
SEAGOON: We'll soon know the valid truth. To horse!
ECCLES: Can I come too?
BLUEBOTTLE: It's about time you came to. Hahahaha! I made a little jokule.
ECCLES: (I’ll get ‘im.) Here, guess what I gettin' for my birthday?
BLUEBOTTLE: Cor. What are you gettin', Eccles?
ECCLES: I'm gettin' a mao-wow.
BLUEBOTTLE: Oh! I'm not getting a mao-mao. I'm gettin' a junior smokers kit, complete with toffee ash tray and liquorice dog-ends.
ECCLES: I like liquorice. My mother says that liquorice gives you a good run for your money.
SEAGOON: (Command) To the Khyber Pass! Forward![16]
GRAMS: Horses galloping on stony ground. Bugles over. Hold under.
SEAGOON: All that night I rode, and through the best part of the next day.
BLUEBOTTLE: You left the worst part to us. I joked my knee.
FX: Smart slapstick.
BLUEBOTTLE: Ahow! My prules are fumed!
GRAMS: Horses hooves stop.
SEAGOON: And this is where the story really starts.
BLUEBOTTLE: Look my captain, look. Points cardboard finger at thousands of savage naughty men with Indian type bare bumpy old chests.
SEAGOON: The Red Bladder and his fifty thousand balloons.
SEAGOON: Gad, we're outnumbered twenty to one.
ECCLES: Twenty to one? Time for lunch!
SEAGOON: We've only one chance. Bluebottle, ride to the crest of that crag and signal Major Bloodnok.
BLUEBOTTLE: What is the menssage?
SEAGOON: Tell him to keep two late dinners.
BLUEBOTTLE: I will do it, I will. Ride, Vaquero! Ride![17] (Sudden cowardice) Heeheehee. Here, wait a minute. Captain, in between me and that crag is a dirty big wide chasm, with a forty thousand foot drop to the raging torrent below.
SEAGOON: Fear not little shivering nut. That Arab stallion will bound that chasm like… like a wingéd arrow
BLUEBOTTLE: (Enthusiastic) Yes it will! Giddup dobbin!
GRAMS: Horse galloping away. Wind the speed up gradually. Sudden silence. Enormous splash.
BLUEBOTTLE: Ahi eehee! You rotten swine horse you! You did not jump that chasm thing and I been hurled into the dreaded canyon. Splat, thud, zowie, blun, thud and several other rocketing nut terms.
MORIARTY: Welcome to the Indian River Police, little boy of mine.
BLUEBOTTLE: Oh, you're the forces of evil, Morinarty man.
MORIARTY: Hahahahaha.
BLUEBOTTLE: (Close) Thinks – I know how to get rid of the dynamite. (Aloud) Mister Morinartoo, would you like a nice big long red cigar with a wick on the end?
GRAMS: Match being struck. Fuse burning. Continue under.
Ah, thank you little boy.
GRAMS: Single whoosh.
MORIARTY: (Smacks lips) Aah.
BLUEBOTTLE: (Distant) Is it nice?
MORIARTY: It's gone out.
GRAMS: Single whoosh.
BLUEBOTTLE: I'll light it again for you...  
GRAMS: Enormous explosion.
GRAMS: Theme to “The Third Man.” [18]
MILLIGAN: (Close) Thought you'd liked to hear it again...
GREENSLADE: Dishonoured part the last. Neddie Seagoon gives his all in battle with the Red Bladder.
GRAMS: Indian attack. War whoops, distant rifle shots.
BLOODNOK: How that battle raged. I heard it all on the wireless, you know. Seagoon fought like a mad-man. How else? But alas. (Weeping) Oh, oh, oooh.
GRAMS: Distant bugle. Continue under.
GREENSLADE: On that spot is now a little white stone.
CRUN: Yes, once a year Min lays flowers on it.
BANNISTER: (Sobbing) The stone bears a simple inscription in Hindustani.
BLOODNOK: I haven't the heart to tell her that roughly translated it says: "Bombay, forty nine miles.”  Goodnight.
ORCHESTRA: Old Comrades March.
ANNOUNCER: That was the Goon Show, a BBC recorded programme starring Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe and Spike Milligan with Ray Ellington and Max Geldray. The announcer was Wallace Greenslade. The music was by Wally Stott and the script was by Spike Milligan. The programme was restored by Ten Kendall and produced by John Browell.  


[1] The night before this recording was made,  Larry Stephens and his wife Diana had a dinner appointment  with Spike. In the car, Stephens had a brain haemorrhage, and although rushed to hospital immediately, never regained consciousness, dying later that same evening. He was thirty five. He had nursed Milligan through many dry spells, neurotic episodes and through his absences, when he was in hospital, overseas or locked in a dark room unable to write. Stephens had on occasion even written whole pastiche Goon Shows, (eg: “The Thing on the Mountain”) in effortless Milliganesque style, saving his bacon many times over the years. Milligan later remembered Larry Stephens in scenarios which were both revealing and cruel, recalling that Larry “died in my arms in a restaurant” (Milligan ever the tragic colleague) and in 1988, “Larry died conveniently. It was very nice of him, and I went on to write them (the Goon series) on my own.”, (Milligan the writer tormented by hanger-oners.) For Milligan, Stephens’ death was the beginning of the end. He spoke to the Daily Mail around this time in tones that made it seem that the end had come for Neddie Seagoon. It was a few months later, that he, Sellers and Dick Lester produced the “Running, Jumping and Standing Still” film.


[2] So roughly he had 530 children.


[3] The Second Matabele War, also known as the Matabeleland Rebellion or part of what is known in Zimbabwe as the First Chimurenga, was fought between 1896 and 1897 in the area then known as Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe. It pitted the British South Africa Company against the Ndebele (Matabele) people, which led to conflict with the Shona people in the rest of Rhodesia There exist various sketches of the native combatants by Anthony Baden Powell. Spike had  probably seen these.

[4] A popular song by Arlen, Harburg and Rose, published in 1933. It regained enormous popularity at the end of the war when versions were released by Ella Fitzgerald and Nat King Cole. In the decade of the Goon Show, versions had been released by Perry Como (1951), Sinatra (1953), Oscar Peterson (1955) and Dizzy Gillespie (1958).


[5] An English idiomatic expression meaning to behave in a clever but slightly dishonest manner to achieve a beneficial result. Comes from the sport of boxing.

[6] Arrestitute is not a genuine English word. It seems this is what Sellers says.

[7] The Grams and George Chisholm’s scream are out of sequence.


[8] There is the faint sound of Lauderic Caton,  the guitarist in the Ray Ellington trio tuning his instrument quietly behind the previous line.


[9] The entire scene between Crun and Bannister is highly improvised. Milligan and Sellers were at their best in the ninth series with their character duos: Eccles & Bluebottle, Crun & Bannister. Their interplay in both duos were highly developed, full of extraneous noises (Min constantly adds “Oh dears” while Eccles often hums or sings) so the effort of notating exactly where the script ends and the improvisation starts is entirely conjectural.

[10] Paan Bidi is actually a very cheap Indian cigarette, widely used. The Paan is slightly psychoactive – a great ‘pick-me-up’,  and would have been chewed or smoked by all the servants Spike knew when a child. Here Milligan pretends it is a drink. Vishnu is one of the major Indian gods of North India. The “Kravani” seems to be invented.


[11] “From This Moment On” – music and lyrics by Cole Porter (1891-1964). Originally written for the Broadway show  Out of this World” it was dropped during try-outs but then was inserted into the MGM film of “Kiss Me Kate” in 1953 where it showed its full potential as a jazz standard. Sinatra had included the number in his 1957 album “A Swingin’ Affair”.


[12] A complex series of references. “Bara Bidi” is Hindi/Urdu for “big cigarette”, if indeed this is what Milligan says. A “forepiece” means a curtain raiser to the main show. This scene was used in the film “The Case of the Mukkinese Battlehorn” (1955)  where Sellers plays the besotted cabaret patron, and Milligan the Oriental Queen. As the Cor Anglais starts the oriental dance music, Milligan goes off mic announcing: “Here she comes. Creature of divine beauty…”


[13] Sellers, in Hindi accent.


[14] Some slang dictionaries list the word “crut” as a corruption of the US Army term for any skin disease “crud”. It was more often  used specifically for venereal disease, and seems to have originated in the 1920’s. Rangoon, apart from containing an amusing variation of the word ‘Goon,’ was the capital of British occupied Burma until 1948. Milligan’s family had been posted there with the British Army from 1929 to 1933.


[15] M.O. Armed forces lingo for “Medical Officer”.


[16] The Khyber Pass is a mountain pass running between Afghanistan and Pakistan through the Spin Ghar mountains. At slightly over 1 km in height, it was an integral part of the silk road and has been used since Neolithic times as a trade route between Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent. The pass has been used by all the great armies of the world – Darius I, Alexander, Genghis Khan and the Moghul invaders. For the British however, the Khyber was a defensive barrier, the doorway into their sub continental possessions, and as such it was heavily defended against Russian interests, German invaders and the constantly belligerent Pashtun tribesmen. For an English soldier, being sent “up the Khyber” was similar to a German squaddie being sent to the Russian front.


[17] The title of a 1953 western movie by MGM starring Robert Taylor, Ava Gardner and Howard Keel. Milligan used this quote three times in the Goon Shows, each time exclaimed by Bluebottle. “The Phantom Head-Shaver of Brighton” (4/5th); “Foiled by President Fred” (7/6th) and this show. A Vaquero was a Spanish cowboy.


[18] “The Third Man”, a British film from 1949, directed by Carol Reed. The music for the film was written by an itinerant zither player, Anton Karas who Reed spotted in a Viennese restaurant playing for tips. The theme became very popular following the film’s premier and shot to the top of the US best sellers list in 1950. The tune was known as the “Harry Lime Theme”.