RECORDED: 23 Feb 1959


Script by Spike Milligan


Harry Secombe was indisposed for this broadcast.


GREENSLADE: This is the BBC Home Service. Away with dull care! Let the joy bells ring. Huzzah!

GRAMS: Dead March from “Saul”. Solemn tread of funeral cortege. Wails of professional mourners.[1]

KEN:[2] By Jove, it's a merry, singing funeral. Don't take it so hard folks. It's only a trial one for Eccles. And now for an encore I'll sing a little song entitled “Looking through the knot-hole in Grandma's wooden leg.” Maestro please, thank you…

(Sings) 'Long, long ago in the wilds of Australia...    

SELLERS: I say, I say; you look a sporting gentleman to me. You look like a sporting man.

KEN: How dare you interrupt my act with “I say, I says” while I'm trying to entertain these nice, nutty ladies and gentlemen here.

SELLERS: Tell me, I say – tell me I say; if it takes a chicken ten days to eat forty pounds of sawdust, how long would it take to lay a ten-ton wooden egg? Do you give up?

KEN: Yes.

SELLERS: You do? So did the chicken!

KEN: I say – now look here, look here, look here…

SELLERS: Tell me, tell me, tell me Mister Man. Tell me Mister man – can a woman with a wooden leg change a pound note?

KEN: Can a woman with a wooden leg change a pound note? Of course she can!

SELLERS: No of course she can not. You see, she's only got half a knicker! [3] (Laughs) Ha ha!

KEN: Would you kindly leave the green-gate.  

SELLERS: It doesn't really matter, 'cos we're still good friends you see. Because…

ORCHESTRA: Three note intro into song:

PETER & KEN: (Singing) “Arm in Arm together

just like we used to be

arm in arm through destinyyyyyyyyyy.”  

ORCHESTRA: Tatty “I Want to Be Happy” playoff. Segue into rendition of “Moonlight Madonna” with violin, clarinet and trombone on melody.[4]

HOUSE MANAGER: (Commentating over) And now, if you'll pardon the expression, number two on your programme is the world famous continental act, Les Trois Toms des Acton.

GREENSLADE: (Seat in the circle voice) And onto the stage come three tatty men wearing wigs, leotards and partially assembled boots. The anchor man has a hearing aid in his shin.

KEN: (Acrobatic shouts.) HEEEEEEEEEEEY HUP! HEY!

ORCHESTRA: Roll on drums. Cymbal crash. Cue in “Moonlight Madonna” again, hold under.

KEN: And now we take pleasure in performing – (thank you very much) the death-defying Great Pyramid. HEEEEEEEEEY HUP!

ORCHESTRA: Side drum roll under.

FX & GRAMS: Dreadful clicks and clacks as if old bones are under stress. Behind, something heavy grinding across the stage on wheels.

HOUSE MANAGER: (Over above) And the Trois Toms des Acton strain to make a sub-human pyramid of knees.

GRAMS: Sound of plank breaking. Enormous long sequence of collapsing scaffolding and old timber.

HOUSE MANAGER: Oh dear, they've all gone through the stage, they'll be killed!

ORCHESTRA: Bright and breezy version of “I Want to Be Happy” last eight bars.

KEN: Ohh, my leg! It's gone below the waist.

LEW: (Approaching) What's happened? Why aren't you on the stage then? [5]

KEN: I've broken my right leg.

LEW: Only one? Get back on the stage do you hear!

KEN: I refuse!

GELDRAY: You'd better do as he says boy, or we'll never work again. Ploogee!

KEN: Right. Come here… come here. Help me up with your conk.

FX: Crack or snap of leg breaking.

KEN: Oh! There goes the other one now!

LEW: Two broken legs? Give me the mike! Hello ladies and gentlemen, presenting Neddie Seagoon in his impression of Toulouse Lautrec.

FX: Bicycle bell.


GRYTPYPE: I second Ferme Hoi La.

KEN: In our midst (if not sooner), rode two men wearing nude clothes. On a unicycle they were. Their bodies driven by legs and their legs driven by feet.

GRYTPYPE: Nothing but the best for us, Kennie. My card de Jour.

KEN: Oh. (Reading) “Doctors Moriarty and Thynne, surgeons, tree fellers and old women hit while you wait.”

MORIARTY: We must examine this wreck. Say “ahhh.”

KEN: Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh....

MORIARTY: Come little hairy Kennie, let us give you a free diagnosis. Now put your head on that anvil.

FX: Shovel slammed onto anvil.

MORIARTY: Just as I thought – a fractured skull!

GRYTPYPE: Yes Ken. Now let us examine your wallet.

FX: Bolts, chains, locks, keys.

GRAMS: A few taps on huge empty water tank (to give it that hollow sound.)

GRYTPYPE: Empty, by Jupiter. Kennie, you're suffering from advanced poverty.

KEN:  I say, is that dangerous?

GRYTPYPE: If not checked it can lead to bankruptcy and the Pauper's Krutt, the dread disease that took poor Max Geldray's conk away in its prime.

GELDRAY: Yes, I got it bad and dat ain't good, boy.

KEN: You going to play mate?

GELDRAY: Yes, dat means that you're going back for…


GRAMS: Thundering of departing boots.


MAX GELDRAY – “I’ll Be With You in Apple Blossom Time” [6]


GELDRAY: Thank you very much ladies and gentlemen.

GREENSLADE: During Mr Geldray's conk, the great surgeons worked on Connor's poverty.

FX: Scratchy nib on paper.

MORIARTY: Now little hairy Kennie, here is a National Health prescription on hair.

KEN: Ah! I see. (Reads) “Pounds fifty to be taken once a week until better.” Money! (Laughs) Ha, ha, ha! So that's the cure for poverty.

GRYTPYPE: Yes, it took a lot of Lab work but we found it.

KEN: Well, I'll get round to the bank and have this made-up.

MORIARTY: Not with those naughty broken legs Kennie. We'll keep them until they are mended. Now let us rest your body on this pair of skates and away you go! GRYTPYPE & MORIARTY: AWAY! GOODBYE!

GRAMS: A pair of skates rattling along pavement at speed. KEN: (over – pre-recorded) “Hurray for money!” Gradually speed the whole thing up.

GRYTPYPE: Now Moriarty, our master-plan.

MORIARTY: Yes, with the master.

GRYTPYPE: Put on this mask, strap it to your knee, then glue this bearded wig to your teeth.

MORIARTY: There! Thereeeee! – how do I look?

GRYTPYPE: It's too early to say.

MORIARTY: Look out, here comes an announcement!

GREENSLADE: And now by arrangement with America, the sound of the Bank of England.

FX: Penny dropped into an empty biscuit-tin.

BANK TELLER: (Gay) We had a beastly day, dear.

KEN:  Ah ha! Hello merry bank teller.

BANK TELLER: I say, what's this! A sack of potatoes on skates?

KEN: No, no, no! It's only a temporary measure. Now call your manager.

SPRIGGS: What is it Jim? What is it Jiiiiiiiiiim?

KEN: Make up this prescription please Jiiiiiiiiiim!

SPRIGGS: (Are you taking…?) Fifty pounds on the National Health. Now that will cost you a shilling Jiiiiiiiiiim!

KEN: Touché Jiiiiiiiiiim!

SPRIGGS & KEN: (Extended) Jiiiiiiiiiim! &c

SPRIGGS: (It gets worse all the time folks.) Miss Lumb, make up a bottle of fifty pounds.

FX: Scoop up handful of coins.

SPRIGGS: There Jim. There Jiiiiiiiiiim!

KEN: (I won’t do it agaiiiiiiin! I promise.) [7] Thank you! Thank you my man. And here's a tip.

SPRIGGS: A tip? A piece of cork!

KEN: Yes, it's a CORK TIP!


ORCHESTRA: Corny chord in C.

GRAMS: Applause. Cheering over.


GRAMS: Cheering stops immediately.

KEN: Stop! It wasn't that funny folks!  It wasn't that funny.

MORIARTY: (Effort) Urghin!

FX: Heavy blow on something solid.

KEN: (Dazed) Ohh, nutted by men with masked knees

MORIARTY: Got him! He’s lapsing into unconsciousness with a capital ONG! Now get this bottle of money, and off we GO!

GRAMS: Single whoosh.

KEN: (Agony) Whyroooooooooooang!

WILLIUM: (Blows hot break on police whistle.) 'Ello sir! 'Ello! I was reading the Police Gazette and I saw your advert that read, “Help, I’s been attacked. Apply to the supine body on the pavement.”

KEN: Yes my man. I've just had my medicine stolen.

WILLIUM: Stolen on it yern?

KEN: Yern.

WILLIUM: Ahn! Now, where's me mate's note-hook? Ah, here it is on top of the Eiffel Tower. Now den, what was this medicine called?

KEN: It's called fifty pounds.

ECCLES: (Approaching) Hello Ken!

KEN: Hello Eccles.

ECCLES: Well, I better be gettin' along.

WILLIUM: 'Ere, 'ere wait a minute. ‘Ere, ain't you the Minister who built that highway that fell to bits? [8]


WILLIUM: Ohh, well it was somebody like you, I know.

ECCLES: (Belligerent) I arrest you for the murder of Bluebottle.

WILLIUM: He ain't dead!

ECCLES: Oh well. You watch it, that's all.

MORIARTY: Look Grytpype! It's poor Kennie and his wallet is still empty.

FX: Furious writing.

GRYTPYFE: There Ken, a fresh prescription for fifty pounds. Now let's get him to a hospital.

GRAMS: Pair of roller skates on pavement – very fast. (Pre-recorded, over)

KEN: “Oh, thank heaven you came Doctor! Some swine’s robbed my fifty pounds of medicine…” &c (Wind tape up gradually and fade into distance.)

GREENSLADE: Now, a National Health Hospital.

GRAMS: Palm Court trio. Cups and saucers rattling. Fade behind.

NURSE:[9] Time for your naughty medicine, Mr Connor.

KEN: Oh Nurse.... (Giggles) Ha ha! I didn't see you.

NURSE: You are naughty. Say ahh!

FX: Loose coins being shovelled.

KEN: (Swallowing in great gulps.) Arghh!  Fifty pounds! My poverty feels better already. Gad, (swallows again) …I feel fit.

ECCLES: Hello dear. Hello my little dear – how's the patient?

NURSE: Hello handsome.

ECCLES: Ooohh, you're a good looking fella too.

KEN: I say, you silly Eccles there! This nurse is a woman.

ECCLES: Oh well, he's a good-lookin' woman, isn't he ehi!

NURSE: Are you married?


NURSE: Your poor wife!

ECCLES: Yer, but the girl next door, folks! (Lecherous) Aiohh ho hoiu hoiu hoiu....

KEN: He's growing up folks! It had to come.

ECCLES: Yer folks. Hello folks! Hello folks! And now folks, here's my latest record folks.

GRAMS: Very old gramophone recording. (Pre-recorded - over)

ECCLES: (Sings) Voh de, voh-de-oh-doh

Voh de, voh-de-oh-doh

Tum da-da dai, a beautiful day...

FX: Pistol shot.

ECCLES: Ohhie!

(Run the whole thing slightly faster than normal.) 

KEN: Bad news folks divine! While that record was in the oven, I was dragged from my sick bed and thrown in Holloway Women's Prison. Oh tragedy! Incarcerated in a women's prison. I have a request for liberty!! Give me twenty-four hours.

GOVERNOR WOLFIT: Right, hold out your steaming hat.

FX: Drop a pile of rubbish.

GOVERNOR WOLFIT: There! And it's all in minutes.

KEN: Ta sir! And in the time given I will try to trace the villains and regain possession of my legs.

GOVERNOR WOLFIT: Right! Warden, let him go – but keep him on a chain.

ELLINGTON: Right, I'll pay it out. Off you go mate.

GRAMS: Pair of skates rolling along pavement, with sound of chain paying out after it. Start slow and get faster and faster. (Pre-recorded – over)

KEN: (Sings)China, my island home,

land of the free…&c [10]

GREENSLADE: And as the body of Connor skates into the night, we find a lone vinegar sipper called Ray Ellington who sings divine.


RAY ELLINGTON QUARTET – “T’aint What You Do” [11]


GREENSLADE: Could I have some music with this announcement please?

BLUEBOTTLE: All right then Wal. I been waiting for this bit.

(Sings and taps foot.) “Does the Christmas pudding lose its flavour

up the chimney overnight?

                              Does the Christmas pudding lose its flavour…” &c

GREENSLADE: Right, venue. Ta! Ta!

BLUEBOTTLE:  (Continues) “Does the Christmas pudding lose its flavour…” &c GREENSLADE: Poor Connor is … I SAID TA! 

BLUEBOTTLE:  Alright then. (Continues to sing softly off-mic.)

GREENSLADE: Poor Connor is travelling on a roller skate, his legs being filched by the two fiend doctors. We find him on a lonely Sussex moor, a chain round his neck, the other end attached to Holloway Prison.

BLUEBOTTLE:  …overnight! (Continues to whisper behind GRAMS and Ken’s following lines.)

GRAMS: Howling wind and rain. Roller skates approaching with chain clanking behind.

KEN: Oh, what a night folks! Ten miles I have travelled and no signs of the two doctors. I must complain to the AA, the BB and the CC, or in English – yes, yes.

BLUEBOTTLE: Can I stop singing now, Captain? My nose has started to bleed.

KEN: (Close) Go away lad will you! I'm acting. (Acting) Now, I’m…

BLUEBOTTLE: Oh, could I act with you den?

KEN: Keep quiet, will you. Keep quiet please.

BLUEBOTTLE: Can I be your stand-in den?

KEN: Alright then, stand-in. Stand in that ‘ole over there. [12]

BLUEBOTTLE: Cor! Standing in a hole! I wish my mum could see me now. Hello, Mum, Dad, Rene, Eileen and Dave! I am quite well and acting on radio. Keep the dinner in the oven, 'cos l won't be....

FX: Slapstick.

BLUEBOTTLE: D’hoieee! Oh you swine, you've hurt my shirt.

KEN: Well, shut up child. I'll lay me down on this tatty piece of ground called England.  

BLUEBOTTLE: (Slowly going off) I'm going home. I don't want to stay and play. (Self-fade) Do you hear me? I'm going you rotter – I’m going!

GRAMS: George Chisholm trombone solo - “Old Comrades March.” Continue behind. Sudden great explosion. Rain on tin roof. Skittles in bowling alley. Duck whistles. Series of firecrackers. More explosions. Trombone stops on final explosion.

BLOODNOK: (Screams over the explosions.) OHHH! OHHHH! Oh dear, that wasn't in the music.

KEN: You! You sir, how dare you break into my private sleep.

BLOODNOK: Well, I saw your mouth open so I came in.

KEN: Well get out of my mouth, and mind the jaws!

GRAMS: Tube train doors closing.

BLOODNOK: Just in time. But wait a moment sir! Lift up your trouser leg.

FX: Wooden venetian blind pulled up rapidly.

BLOODNOK: Ohhoeio!  Just as I thought, the ragged underpants of Gunner Connor, ex-regimental strangler.

KEN: Exposed! How – tell me, how do you know my terrible secret?

BLOODNOK: The war lad! France and the Low Countries. Remember?

KEN: (Thinking) Ahh....

BLOODNOK: The invasion – Salerno. Remember we spent that night in a field together?

KEN: What! Sheila Francis, 601 ATS Company. Darling, what hit you?

BLOODNOK: Put me down you blind military fool! I'm not her, do you hear me. I'm military and not her, do you hear me! And I quote from this dishonourable discharge paper, I'm… No, better still – I'll unveil myself.

FX: Ripping of canvas sheet.

KEN: Oooooo! Great Heavens! It’s Major Denis Bloodnok, coward and bar. What are you doing on a lonely Sussex moor?

BLOODNOK: The old trouble lad, you know. You never know where you’ll find ‘em. You see, I'm on a world tuba playing tour of England.

KEN: It must be hell in there.

BLOODNOK: It is. Look, we can't stand here in this rain on a lonely moor. People will think we're avoiding them. Wait a minute. Give me a rock – there's something behind that tree. (Effort) Huh.....

GRAMS: Lump of wood on punching bag. (Pre-recorded. Speed up gradually at end.) BLUEBOTTLE: (Distant) Houeeeeeeie! You swine Bloodnok man! You've krinned my sore plitt.

ORCHESTRA: Mad link. Sudden rush of complicated phrase. Pause. Another mad rush to play the same phrase. All the orchestra give a mad yell. George Chisholm sings: “Ooooo-OOOOOO-ooooo.” All orchestra play the same phrase. Chisholm busks trombone solo.

GRAMS: Huge explosion.

ORCHESTRA: Bursts into mad Milligan swing tune.

GRAMS: Screech of brakes. Car crashes into plate glass window. Three or four cuckoos from genuine cuckoos.

MORIARTY: And there's more where that came from!

FX: Slapstick.

MORIARTY: Owww....

GREENSLADE: And for no reason other than a paucity of creative continuity, we go to an outlandish old Victorian manor. If you roll up your trousers you will hear it quite clearly.

GRAMS: Boiling cauldron.

BANNISTER: (Hot rhythm.) Ha, ha, ha-ha heee! Boil cauldron, boil. (Sudden shock) Ooow! Eye of newt, leg of toad, eagles knee, shell of snail. He, he, he-he heee! Ha, ha, ha, ha-ha hoooo!

CRUN: Mistress Bannister, what is that hellish fiend brew?

MINNIE: It's your laundry Henry. I'm making a laundry soup from it.

FX: Door opens.

BANNISTER: Make way for him Henry. Stand back!

OLD UNCLE OSCAR: Morninggggggggggg ahhh Mim ahhhhhhh....

BANNISTER: He's saying good morning Henry. (Loudly) Good morning! (Normal) He’s a bit mutton you know. (Loudly) Morning Uncle Oscar!

CRUN: Good morning.

BANNISTER: What did you do with his ear trumpet?

CRUN: Uncle, what are you doing out of your grave so early?

OLD UNCLE OSCAR:[13] Ahmma… I'm feeling better. Hot porridge, ahhhhh.

CRUN:  He wants hot porridge, Mm.

BANNISTER: Sip this nice steaming laundry soup.

OLD UNCLE OSCAR: Gnyng…gnyng… (Sips)

BANNISTER: Drink it all down.

FX: Piece of wood hits punching bag.

GRAMS: Broody chicken. Continue under.

CRUN: Oh Min! It's turned him into a male chicken.

BANNISTER: Oh dear! We’ll give him an aspirin and put him to bed. (Calls) Cheep! Cheep! Come on.

CRUN: Yes, perhaps it will wear off by morning. If not, (Gleefully) – chicken for Sunday dinner Min. (Laughs) Ha ha hooo!

GRAMS: Pane of glass smashes.

FX: Stone falls on floor.

BANNISTER: Lawks a-missy, the knees have come off my drawers. Oooh dear, a stone through the window!

CRUN:  There's something attached to it.

KEN: It's me folks, Kennie. And this is my way of saying to you, “Have you got lodgings?”

CRUN: I've got 'em very bad sir.

BANNISTER: Look you could share the steam attic with two gentlemen doctors upstairs.

KEN: Two gentlemen doctors? Send for the police! Those men are criminules.

ORCHESTRA: Dramatic link.

GRAMS: Distant police sirens approaching.

MORIARTY: (Singing) Ma mallappa poi,

My little dream divine…

Ahh! What's that? Oooh! Ahhhhhh, Sapristi nabolas! The police! They've surrounded the house with surround.

GRYTPYPE: What? Somebody's tipped them off. Get the Gatling gun loaded and put this string in your shoulder holster.

MORIARTY: Alright.

WILLIUM: (Off) You in there, give yourself up on it. You're surrounded. Come out with your hands up or we'll say rude words on you.

KEN: (Distant) I say, throw my legs out you naughty man!

GRYTPYPE: One step nearer Kennie, and your legs will go in the mincer.

KEN: What! You wouldn't dare mince the legs of a Connor.

GRYTPYPE: No? I tell you we're desperate men.

KEN: (You must be, to be on this show.)

MILLIGAN: What! He’s ad-libbing.

KEN: Bluebottle, now you’re my stand-in! (I'm not ad-libbing at all. No.) Salt-Sellers…er, Bluebottle, please take this conker and get my legs back.

BLUEBOTTLE: Alright Captain. I’ve got my Finchley gang with me. (Calls) Ready men?

GRAMS: A dozen little boys scream “YESSS!”


GRAMS: Hundreds of small boots running away.

KEN: There they go little heroes all. All that night folks, the battle for my legs it raged.

GRAMS: Hundreds of Bluebottles shouting “Bang! Bang! You’re dead!”

FX: Door opens.

MORIARTY: Ahhh! Stop! We give up. Those pimples and elastic string – they’ve overpowered us.

GRYTPYPE: They were too much for us.

MORIARTY: They certainly were. Come in little boys – come in and have some of this nice laundry soup.

GRAMS: Hundreds of little boots rushing inside.

GRYTPYPE: Yes, come in. Let's all sip some of this special “Minnie Bannister” soup.

KEN: I’d like to see what's coming now. Here it goes, then.

OMNES: Sipping and slurping.

GRAMS: Broody chickens. Gradually add more and more chickens under. Slightly increase speed as it goes.

CRUN: Min, what did you put in that laundry soup?

GREENSLADE: Ladies and Gentlemen, with the entire cast unfortunately turned into brood chickens, we are forced to close this series of the Goon Show. The entire audience will now join hands, teeth and knees with the orchestra and sing.

PIANO: C7 chord intro.

CAST: (All sing.) We’ll gather lilacs in the spring again,

                    And walk together down an English lane

                    Until our hearts have learned to love again

                    When you come home once more.

(Some of the cast add humming in the background and a little counterpoint.)       

GRAMS: Gradually add sound of broody chickens behind. Swell to end.

CAST: (Singing) And in the evening by the firelight’s glow

                    You’ll hold me close and never let me go,

                    Your eyes will tell me all I long to know

(Big ending)  When you come home once more.[14]

ORCHESTRA: Play-out, “Old Comrades March”.

GREENSLADE: That was the last of the ninth series of Goon Shows, with the Ray Ellington Quartet, Max Geldray, Wally Stott and his orchestra, Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan who writes the script, also Kenneth Connor in place of Harry Secombe who was indisposed. Sound control and effects led by Brian Widdey, Ian Cook and Jimmy Pope. The announcer was Wallace Greenslade and the recorded series was produced by John Browell. [15]

ORCHESTRA: End music, “Old Comrades March”. Fade.




[1] Saul” is a dramatic Oratorio written by George Frederic Handel in 1738.  The “Dead March” has often been played at state funerals in the United Kingdom and elsewhere. It was played for Washington’s funeral, Lincoln’s funeral, for the funeral of General William Booth,  and in 1966 for that of Sir Winston Churchill.


[2] In the absence of Harry Secombe, Seagoon’s part was allocated to the British actor and comic Kenneth Connor (1918-1993.) He had previously covered for Milligan in “Who is Pink Oboe?” (11/9th.)  An actor from a young age, Connor had had a similar war record to all three of the Goons, had worked in straight theatre since the war, and had entered radio in 1949, taking over from Sellers in Ted Ray’s show “Ray’s A Laugh”.  From then on he specialised in comic or character roles, and was to become a household name as one of the regulars in the “Carry On” series of films.


[3] This homophone works thus: knicker = ladies panties; nicker = British slang for a pound.


[4] Derived from the piece “Poeme” by the classical Czech composer Zdenek Fibich (1850-1900,) it was given English words by Paul Webster  and after publication  in 1933became a very popular concert number, recorded by Rudy Vallee, John McCormack amongst others.


[5] This is a parody on the famous British impresario Lew Grade (born Louis Winogladsky, 1906-1998.)  With his brother Leslie, he was one of the most influential theatre impresarios in the post war period. He brought Bob Hope and Judy Garland to London for their first British shows, as well as arranging a consortium of backers to form Associated Television, where he began the highly popular “Sunday Night at the London Palladium”. Grade was capable of turning anything into successful entertainment.

[6] “(I’ll be With You) In Apple Blossom Time” – written by Albert von Tilzer with lyrics by Neville Fleeson and published in 1920. The Andrews Sisters had had a hit with this number during the war, while in 1959 versions were released by Tab Hunter and Rosemary June. Von Tilzer was one of the most successful Tin-Pan-Alley composers of his day. His greatest hit was “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”

[7] Kenneth Connor was well able to keep up with Spike’s high pitched voice of Spriggs. He – like Secombe, was a concert tenor.


[8] This is a topical reference, and much on the public’s mind – as can be recognised from the audience reaction. The first section of the M6 motorway had been opened by Harold MacMillan on the 5th December 1958, two months prior to this recording. Known as the “Preston bypass” it was constructed by the Tarmac Construction company and was closed a month later owing to surface deterioration over a stretch which had suffered “rapid freezing and thawing.” Motorists were diverted to the old road while authorities pondered the importance of drainage on these new motorway constructions. The Minister of Transport at the time was Harold Watkinson. By the end of 1959, 73 miles of motorway were operational in Great Britain.


[9] Sellers. In the same voice he used for the “Breathy Kensington Dear” in “The Scarlet Capsule” (14/9th).

[10] This is a parody of the famous ballad “Lords of the Air” (North/Burnavy, 1939.)


[11] T’aint What You Do (It’s the Way That You Do It)” published in 1939 by the jazz musicians Melvin “Sy” Oliver and James “Trummy” Young, both members of Jimmie Lunceford’s orchestra during the war. Ella Fitzgerald recorded the number the same year on a Decca 78.

[12] This is a Milligan reference to his war experiences. A number of these tropes were central to the Goon Shows; soldiers marching with chicken noises behind; firing guns by pulling a piece of string; leaping; explosions &c. These were all things Spike experienced in different theatres of war. The standing in a hole occurs in

[13] On this occasion of course, Kenneth Connor takes the part of Old Uncle Oscar.

[14] One of Ivor Novello’s most enduring compositions, “We’ll Gather Lilacs in the Spring Again” it was written for his hit musical romance “Perchance to Dream” which opened in London in 1945 and ran until 1948. Describing the yearning of couples to recreate a normal, happy life, it captured  the mood of the times, when the armies of most nations were about to return home after Victory in Europe, and millions of couples everywhere were yearning for better times. Milligan no doubt use it here as a parody on the sickly sweet sentimentalism that he always loathed, and maybe just a touch of pathos for his own collapsing marriage.


[15] Somebody – possibly Milligan himself, (though it could be a band member), plays the violin very badly in the background as Greenslade runs through the credits. Whoever it is is playing a continuation of “The Old Comrades March.”