THE £1,000,000 PENNY



RECORDED: 17 Nov 1958 [1]


Script by Spike Milligan


GREENSLADE: This is the BBC Light Programme. Harm it and you harm me. Semper fidelis. Vivat John Snaggers! [2] I will now swear an oath on the Radio Times.

SELLERS: Stop! Here is a warning. Owing to an outbreak of fish in the Cotswolds, all Tibetans with legs will be shot. [3]

SPRIGGS: Take aim, fire!

FX: Gunshot

SECOMBE: Aaaa! You fool, Milligoon! I’m not a Tibetan.

SPRIGGS: Ooh, then why are you wearing legs, Jim? (Sings) Why are you wearing le-eegs?

SECOMBE: People say they make me look taller.

SELLERS: (Yank announcer) Yes folks. Only legs will give you those extra inches. Buy a pair today! The new king size filter legs with a flip top knee.

SPRIGGS: Never mind the flip flap knees, Jim. Where did you get those legs?

SECOMBE: I bought them during a crawling tour of Bulgaria, you know. I was crawling…

GRAMS: Explosion

SECOMBE: Aaaaarghhheeeeeeaaaaagghhhh!

SELLERS: I will now say part two from a distance. (Distant) Part two from a distance!

GREENSLADE: I say, this is the story of a crime-type murder.

ORCHESTRA: Dramatic introduction.

SELLERS: The scene – a watertight alibi in Chelsea, London W.C. [4]

FX: Door opens.

SEAGOON: Hands up! Nobody move! This camera is loaded with a film of bullets. Mary Inspector Seagoon is the name. Ha ha! Now which one of you sixty men is Rita Hayworth?

WILLIUM: We take it in turns, mate.

SEAGOON: A constabule of the polis! Now tell me, what am I doing here?

WILLIUM: Looking for a murderer.

SEAGOON: It’s a bit early for that.

WILLIUM: Ah, this is a matinee, mate.

SEAGOON: Oh I see. Who’s playing the lead body?

WILLIUM: So help me, Tom Beat is dead, matey!

SEAGOON: Beat, dead? Dead Beat? That’s terrible!

WILLIUM: Yes, and it didn’t get a laugh either, did it?

MILLIGAN: (Keep going, lads. The good ones are ahead. Keep going.)

WILLIUM: I found the vic-a-tim in the doorway of Val Parnell’s wallet.[5]

SEAGOON: Poor vic-a-tim. C’est triste.

WILLIUM: Triste, yer. By his body lay a sock 'alf full of jelly.

SEAGOON: Then we’re looking for a man wearing one sock and eating a jelly.

SPRIGGS: Curse Jim, London’s full of them, Jim!

SEAGOON: Ah, inspector Tooth. Bad news for you. Your grandmother Fred Beat, is dead

SPRIGGS: Yes, I read about it in a newspaper.

SEAGOON: He didn’t die in a newspaper, mate. He was found under a copy of The Poultry Gazette!

SPRIGGS: Poultry Gazette? I suspect fowl play!

SEAGOON: I suspect old jokes, hup!

SPRIGGS: Constable, arrest all old jokes.

WILLIUM: Right. Why-did-the-chicken-cross-the-road-to-get-to-the-other-side. I arrest you. Got him!

SPRIGGS: Good man. Gentlemen, I think this person who did this sock jelly murder was a master criminule. Is there anything missing?

WILLIUM: Yes, he is.

SEAGOON: So, he got away with himself. He got AWAY with himself. That’s better, Willum. That was more like it. He must’ve been using the new king size legs. Anything else gone?

WILLIUM: Ten volumes of Diana Dors in 3D.

SEAGOON: What? Arrest all musclemen and search them for books of Diana Dors. And while you’re about it, search Diana Dors for musclemen.

WILLIUM: Oh! I'll get my appliance, mate.

SPRIGGS: Stop! Willium, put down that inspection light. Now tell me, where did you find this sock full of jelly, Jim?

WILLIUM: On top of the Eiffel Tower.

SPRIGGS: So! We’re looking for a tall Frenchmen. Or a short Frenchmen standing on a chair with long arms. Or a short man standing …* [6] facing east with long arms. Etcetera.

SEAGOON: It could’ve been a tall man sitting down with long arms, you know.

SPRIGGS: Yeah. Shhhh!

SEAGOON: What are you listening for?

SPRIGGS: Laughs, Jim. What’s the matter with them tonight?

SEAGOON: You’ve had it too easy in Australia.

WILLIUM: Inspector. I’ve just been consulting my date book…


WILLIUM: … I haven’t eaten one for weeks. Oooow!

SEAGOON: Arrest that man for old jokes.

WILLIUM: Here, steady! Ahiahiee.

SPRIGGS: Gentlemen! Gentlemen! Please!

SEAGOON: Shut up, you twit!

SPRIGGS: Seagoon, outside.

WILLIUM: Gentlemen…

FX: Football whistle.


GREENSLADE: Offside, lads.


GREENSLADE: And as the players run off the field for a £10,000 transfer fee, on come the band of the royal Max Geldrays.[7]

GELDRAY: Oh boy! At last the breaks!


MAX GELDRAY - “Please Be Kind” [8]


GREENSLADE: (He’s er – very good, you know. Very good indeed!)

ORCHESTRA: Dramatic link.

GREENSLADE: Ta. “The Sock Jelly Murder” part two.

SEAGOON: Stop, stop! Hello folks, hello folks, good news, folks. Whilst Max Geldray was playing, they captured the sock jelly murderer. A man called Arthur Plin.

GREENSLADE: I say that’s a bit disappointing for the listeners.

THROAT: Never mind, folks. We fill in the time with Ned the Miser.

GRAMS: Howling wind

CORNISHMAN: Arrgh, urgh. D’you hear that naughty wind? ‘Tis the wind that blows over the Kenneth Moors of the wintertime.[9] People do say that if you holds a nurgle in your ‘and and puts one ear ‘ole to the ground, you can hear the wind blowing in the other ear ‘ole. And that’s the house of Miser Ned. Maharharhar harharharhar!

GRAMS: Howling wind up and out.

SEAGOON: Aaaah ha ha ha! Jeeves, throw another unpaid bill in the fire and while you’re about it, throw on a couple of unpaid Freds. Hahaha! Money and power! That’s what I’ve got. Ha ha. What else have I got?

GRAMS: Howling wind.

SEAGOON: The wind! Aaaah! Jeeves, here’s a pencil. Go and draw the blinds.

BANNERJEE: I arrest you for old jokes.

SEAGOON: That was in the Sock Jelly Murder. That’s over. I’m acting. I’m acting my nut off here. Hahahahaha! Jeeves, pour out the Seagoon’s horde of coins.

FX: Penny on table.

SEAGOON: Now back in the safe with it! Hahahaha! One penny, hahaha, and it’s tax-free. Hahahahahahaha haahaahaha ha. (Coughs.)

GREENSLADE: (He’s very good, you know, very good indeed.) Meantime, with the aid of an ear-trumpet, two men have heard of Miser Ned’s penny, and were heading that way along the old moor road.

GRAMS: Howling wind. Horse hooves, wooden wheels on gravel. Sound of brakes squeaking. Chickens clucking.

GRYTPYPE: (Off) Coachman! Coachman, why have we stopped?

SINGHEZ: Chickens are tired, sir.

GRYTPYPE: (Off ) But coachman, my brown paper parcel and I must have shelter for the night. Our underwear is porous


GRYTPYPE: Shut up, you!

SPRIGGS: Hands up! Hands up, everyone except me.[10]

GRYTPYPE: Blast! It's Ben Turpin, the cross-eyed highwayman.

SPRIGGS: Wrong, Jim. We are uncross-eyed Bow Street runners, and we’re looking for a criminal ventriloquist and his French dummy, Jim.

GRYTPYPE: I’m sorry, sir, but we’re clean out of criminal ventriloquists. Try the stage coach further down the road. They may stock them.

SPRIGGS: Right, Jim.

GRAMS: Boots running into the distance.

GRYTPYPE: (Very close.) Alright, dear Count, you can come out now. They’ve gone.

FX: Rustling of paper.

MORIARTY: Aagh! There must be a better way of travelling than this.

WILLIUM: I thought so! You’ve been tryin’ to ride free!

MORIARTY: Nonsense! Nonsense, nice man. I’m a ventriloquist dummy!

WILLIUM: You’re real, you talks. And look, you’ve got dandruff on your nut!

MORIARTY: I tell you, it’s his!

GRYTPYPE: Of course it’s mine. Not only do I throw my voice, I also throw my dandruff.

MORIARTY: That is true! I …up on that.

WILLIUM: I shall have to take down your names…

MORIARTY: Take that!

GRAMS: Electronic jelly splosh.

WILLIUM: Oow! I’ve been sponned. Ooh!

MORIARTY: Right in his old bazonika dowser! Hahaha![11]

GRYTPYPE: Yes, but you’d better unscrew that lump on his nut. We don’t want to leave any evidence.

MORIARTY: Right. Look, Grytpype! There – four-thousand miles away, a house with a light in it.

GRYTPYPE: And it smells delicious. Go and bring the front door here and I’ll cover you with this forty-five calibre sinnnng!  

GRAMS: Pair of boots running away at speed.

GRYTPYPE: (Sings) Take me to your heart again my dearest one,

                              Take me to your heart again my love for aye.

                              Take me to your heart again my…

GRAMS: Pair of boots approaching at the run.

MORIARTY:[12] Here, complete with two spare door knockers, one door.

GRYTPYPE: What? Hand me my door knocking hat.

FX: Spring.


GRYTPYPE: Now to arouse the occupants.

FX: Knock on door.

CRUN: (Distant) Coming, coming!

FX: Footsteps coming downstairs heavily, and very slowly.

MORIARTY: He’s coming, sir. He’s coming

FX: Rattling chains and locks. Door opens.

CRUN: Aaah! Now who was that knocking?

MORIARTY: It was my friend, Grytpype-Thynne.[13]

CRUN: I can’t see him

MORIARTY: That’s because you are playing him .

CRUN: What?

MORIARTY: He’s never here when you’re here.

CRUN: I don’t understand.

MORIARTY: Neither do the audience, that’s why it isn’t getting a laugh.

CRUN: Very quiet this evening…

MORIARTY: It is – it is. Now listen, old man. We are stranded, you know, stranded.

CRUN: What?

MORIARTY: Yes, our stage coach was suddenly taken ill with a dreadful…

SEAGOON: (Approaching) Mr Crun! Close that door… I say, who are these three women?

CRUN: These three women are two men.


GRYTPYPE: Sir, we are fleeing from the advancing German army.

SEAGOON: Ehi? They gave it in 1945.

GRYTPYPE: Ah yes, but we are made of sterner stuff, sir.

SEAGOON: I don’t like this at all.

MILLIGAN: (You're not the only one.)

SEAGOON: Two strange men arriving in a mist during an equinox of the shins of the anniversary of my legs? Ha. Oh no, it bodes evil, I tell ye. There’s an old Gypsy saying… I just can’t think of it at the moment.

GRYTPYPE: Sir, my card.

SEAGOON: Mr Grytpype-Thynne, King of England. Knighthoods done while you wait! You’re the king?

GRYTPYPE: My word, yes.

MORIARTY: That is true, Ned.

SEAGOON: How do you know my name?

MORIARTY: I met it at a dance.

SEAGOON: Who are you?

MORIARTY: Pretender to the throne of France!

SEAGOON: You don’t look like a king.

MORIARTY: That’s because I’m only pretending.

FX: Slapstick.

MORIARTY: Aaaah! Oooow!

GRYTPYPE: Pardon the steam king, Neddie. He’s never been the same since the fall of France.

SEAGOON: Why not?

MORIARTY: It fell on me, that’s why!

FX: Slapstick

MORIARTY: Aaaah! Oooow! (French gibberish – extended.)

GRYTPYPE: Quiet, you steaming idiot!

MORIARTY: (French gibberish)

GRYTPYPE: Phish tuuuuu! Now, Ned, you’re rich, yes?

SEAGOON: How did you know?

GRYTPYPE: Moriarty was feeling inside your pockets and he heard you had money.

SEAGOON: Ha ha ha ha! See this penny? I own it!

MORIARTY: A penny. Both sides?

SEAGOON: Yes, hard to believe, eh? Haha! (Fear.) No no! Put down that sock full of jelly, no!

GRAMS: Electronic jelly splosh.

SEAGOON: Aaaaaeeeehuuuh!

MORIARTY: Timbeeer!

GRAMS: Tree crashes to the ground.

GRYTPYPE: Good work, steam count. Unscrew his legs so he can’t follow us. Now for the plot. Dear listeners, this penny is valuable. You see, it has been left a million pounds in the will of Neddie’s grandmother. All we have to do now is finish granny.

GREENSLADE: Very good, lads. Meantime, forty-thousand miles away in a daub and wattle hut in Mongolia, Ray Ellington is about to play a contortionist in E flat.




GREENSLADE: (He’s um – very good, you know.) Very good indeed. Meantime as Ned the Miser lies unconscious in a pool of unconsciousness, a fiend poacher is at work in the grounds

ORCHESTRA: Bloodnok theme.

GRAMS: Hunting rifle firing wildly. Bubbling stream behind.

BLOODNOK: Aaaarough! Aaaaarrough! Aaaaaaouh! Ooh, oooh!  that’s better.

 (Sings) Oh Dennis, you eat tonight, that is what you do.

You eat tonight.  

Now where’s my butler’s-revenge frying pan? Ah here we are.

FX: Rattling pans

BLOODNOK: (Sings) Deee dee dee deeeee.

Little fishes from the sea.

I’m going to cook you tonight, my dear.

ECCLES: (Approaching) I say, my man!

BLOODNOK: What, what, what?

ECCLES: Don’t you know you’re not allowed to shoot fish?

BLOODNOK: Scron me lip-plons! What?… Who are you, sir? Explain away that tatty body and those Jacobean legs, please.[14]

ECCLES: They’re mine.


ECCLES: I’m Mad Dan Eccles.

BLOODNOK: Well that explains everything, but it doesn’t help me at all. Well I deny having shot any fish.

ECCLES: Aoooaaroohoo! I saw you point your gun at that river, and go BAAANG! You did that.

BLOODNOK: What? But I wasn’t shooting naughty fish. I was shooting the river.

ECCLES: Shooting the river?

BLOODNOK: Of course.

ECCLES: (Close) There’s something funny going on here, folks.

BLOODNOK: Come away from that audience, Eccles. You don’t know where they’ve been. I can explain everything, Eccles. There’s been a terrible drought in Bagshot and the lads sent me out here to shoot some water. You’ve heard of a water shoot, haven’t you, Mad Dan?

ECCLES: No, but I’ve heard of a piece of knotted string.

BLOODNOK: Oh. Well, it’s like a piece of knotted string, only it’s called a water shoot.

ECCLES: (Raves) Ohhwoooowoooowooowooarghhwoo.

BLOODNOK: I don’t think you’re quite with it, you know. However, I’ll play it to you.

ECCLES: Play it to me.

GRAMS: Pre-recorded: Old fashioned music hall piano accompaniment with bass drum.  Occasional gunshot behind.

BLOODNOK: (Sings.) It’s a long, long way to Tipperary.[15]

It's a military way to go.

A long, long way to Tipperary…

FX: Gunshot.                   Oowh!                   

(Continues to sing) To that sweetest girl I know.

FX: Gunshot.

That naughty girl.

It’s a long, long way to Tipperary,

‘Cause my heart lies there.

FX: Gunshot.

                                        A long, long way to Tipperary,

                                        ‘Coz that’s where I want to be.

FX: Gunshot.


GRAMS: Terrible explosion.


ECCLES: That was a water shoot?

BLOODNOK: In the key of E flat, there’s no law against shooting water, I tell you.

ECCLES: Oh no? I’d better look in my little book and see what is says.

FX: Flipping pages in a book.

ECCLES: This book belongs to Eccles. OK, you’re in the clear. You’re still trespassing though. I’d better take your name down.

BLOODNOK: My name? Oh um…

ECCLES: Come on now.

BLOODNOK: Well I, erm… Mrs Elizabeth Thuins.

FX: Pen on paper.

ECCLES: (Writing) Mrs. El… You’re a woman?

BLOODNOK: Er… Quite so. Yes, yes, yes.

ECCLES: (Lascivious) Oooooooooahoahoah! [16]

BLOODNOK: (Going) Stay away from me idiot!

GRAMS: Body into water.

LITTLE JIM: He’s fallen in the water!

ECCLES: We’d better run and tell the master.

LITTLE JIM: We’d better run and tell the master![17]

ORCHESTRA: Dramatic link.

SEAGOON: Aaah! Ohohoh! Struck down! Aaooh! AAAAAaahohohoho! In me prime yet! Oooohho! oooohho! (Exhausted) Hoh.

GREENSLADE: (He’s very good, you know.) That was Mr Seagoon playing Ned the Miser, still unconscious. But luckily, the long player of his groans have reached the top ten, and a band of young stalwarts are on the way.

GRAMS: Massed bugles playing marching song. Smart regiment on gravel parade ground. Play at twice the speed.

BLUEBOTTLE: Men, halt!

GRAMS: Sudden stop.

BLUEBOTTLE: Poles on the ground, from the shoulders – put them!

GRAMS: Various sized tent-poles hitting a hard surface. Pre-recorded voice: “Ow!” Speed the whole thing up.

BLUEBOTTLE: Men of the third Finchley Wolfcubs… (Dung Sprotley, don’t do that. We are known as the women savers. Our duty is to crush vice in Finchley…

GRAMS: (Pre-recorded) Boys shouting: “Hurray! Hip hip, hip hip, hurray hurray. Hip hip, hurray, hurray! Hip-ray! Hip-ray! Hip-ray! Hip-ray!” Very fast.

BLUEBOTTLE: …Crush all vice and leave just enough for us.) Now men, breathing exercise. In…

GRAMS: Massed intake of breath by ranks of boys.

BLUEBOTTLE: Hey, Plungton! Draw your stomach in like this…

FX: Slide whistle going down.

BLUEBOTTLE: Ooh, my trousers!

BANNISTER: Ooooh! Young Bluebottle! Stop that modern-type entertainment at once!

BLUEBOTTLE: Oh, it’s Granny Min from Eastbourne. Hello, Granny Min from Eastbourne.[18]

BANNISTER: Hello Young Bottle from Clunge. Your dinner’s in the oven.

FX: Door opens.

SEAGOON: Aaaaoooooh! Struck down by sock jelly! Aaaaargh!

BANNISTER: It’s Neddie! Ooh, he looks a drun. Neddie, let me smell your breath. (Sniffs) Neddie, you’ve been eating again.

SEAGOON: Aaaaaah ooooowh!

BANNISTER: Throw away that bottle of vintage food.

SEAGOON: Oooh! Granny Min – back from the dead! How long are you staying?

BANNISTER: Me dead! Who said soooooo?

SEAGOON: The man I paid to knock you off. I mean aaaadododoooo!

BLUEBOTTLE: Granny Min, he wants to do you in, Min.

SEAGOON: Shut up, you nutty nit or I’ll…

BLUEBOTTLE: Granny Min is gonna belt me with that dirty big saw!

SEAGOON: It’s only made of rubber, lad.

BANNISTER: Throw it away.

FX: Piece of metal hitting the floor.


CRUN: Sir, sir, the gamekeeper is outside with a bucket of dead water, sir.

ECCLES: Hello, master. This man’s been shooting at your water.

BLOODNOK: I warn you, Ned the Miser. I’ll sue you for every penny I owe you, and… (Taken a-back) Ooooooooh!

BANNISTER: (Coy) Oooooooh!

BLOODNOK: (Musical) Oooh oooooooooooooh!

BANNISTER: (Imitating Bloodnok) Oooooooooh!

BLOODNOK: Oooh oooooooooooh!

BANNISTER: Oooh oooooooooooh!

BLOODNOK: Ooooohohohoho!

SEAGOON: What’s on the other side?

BLOODNOK: Silence, please. What? It can’t be? Is it?

BANNISTER: Is it? It is. Dennis, isn’t it?

BLOODNOK: Yes, dear heart. And you, my childhood sweetheart number three-four-five.

BANNISTER: Oooh! Then you remember…

BLOODNOK: Of course I remember, my dear. I have a memo on my shins.

BANNISTER: Oooooh! Dennis, ooooh! Then you do remember me.

BLOODNOK: Of course, darling. You’re Fred Puker, the dustman from Leeds.

BANNISTER: Ooh no. Ooh no. I’m Minnie Bannister, the millionairess from Tring.

BLOODNOK: From Tring, oh even better. Ooh, how well I remember the place, Tring. Tring, Tring, Tring.

FX: Door opens

ELLINGTON: You rang, sir?

BLOODNOK: What? Get out, will you.

BANNISTER: (But he’s very good.)

BLOODNOK: (Yes, he is very good.)

BANNISTER: (Very small part. Thank you.)

BLOODNOK: (Thank you.)

BANNISTER: (Next week, Manchester.)

BLOODNOK: Come, Min. Let me hold you close.

ORCHESTRA: Dramatic link.

GRAMS: Howling wind.

FX: Church clock strikes twice.

GREENSLADE: That was two clocks striking one independently and the wind is on loan. In the great Baronial phone box, Ned the Miser is plotting to destroy Min.

SEAGOON: Mr Crun, two o clock. Time for your revenge.

CRUN: Alright, we must save my modern Min from ancient Bloodnok.

SEAGOON: Yes. Here, put this bomb in his coffee.

CRUN: Won’t it keep him awake?

SEAGOON: It will explode him! Hahahahaha!

CRUN: But Bloodnok is used to explosions.

SEAGOON: Not this kind, mate. Off you go. Hahaha. The moment he explodes, I’ll force the old dear to change the will in my favour. Hahahahaha! Hum hum. Hahahaa! (Coughs)

GREENSLADE: (He’s very good, you know.) And so Mr Secombe overacts his way into another summer season at Scunthorpe. Meantime, outside the manor, the counter-plot is about to begin

ORCHESTRA: Very fast version of “I Want to Be Happy” showbiz link.

MORIARTY: Grytpype, we’re on!

GRYTPYPE: Yes. Look, there’s a light in Min’s window. Load the grandmother gun.

MORIARTY: And don’t forget, don’t shoot ‘till you see the whites of her corsets.

GRYTPYPE: Let’s toss for who does it.

MORIARTY: Let’s use the rich penny.

GRYTPYPE: Yes, heads or tails?

MORIARTY: Yes, up she goes.

FX: Coin rattles. Door opens.

BLOODNOK: Oh! Come out, Min or I’ll… (Gulps) Huh!

FX: Coin in mug.

BLOODNOK: Ooh! I’ve swallowed a penny. I’m rich.

MORIARTY: Oh dear, don’t panic, sir. Let’s have a drink together.

BLOODNOK: What a fine idea.

FX: Unscrew lid from bottle.

MORIARTY: Here’s to you and your penny!

BLOODNOK: Oh. Caster oil, ooh! And after that coffee… No! No!

SEAGOON: Did you say coffee?

CRUN: Has he drunk it yet, sir?

SEAGOON: I don’t…

GRAMS: Big explosion.

FX: Coin falls to floor.

BLUEBOTTLE: Hey. Eccles?


BLUEBOTTLE: ‘Ere, there’s a penny. Let’s go buy a lollypop, shall we?

ECCLES: Oh, yeah.

ECCLES & BLUEBOTTLE: (Sing) Half a pound of tuppenny rice.

                                                  Half a pound of treacle.                        

(Self-fade)    That’s the way the money goes,

                                                  Pop goes the weasel.[19]

GREENSLADE: (They’re very good, you know.) And yes, they appear to have finished, so everyone back to their own beds. Goodnight.

GRAMS: Jewish mourners.

ORCHESTRA: “Old Comrades March.”

GREENSLADE: (They’re very good, you know. Very good indeed!)





[1] Milligan takes the idea from the 1954 film “The Million Pound Note” starring Gregory Peck.


[2] Latin. “Semper fidelis” means “always faithful”. “Vivat” means “long live”. John Snagg (1904-1996) was a much loved BBC identity, newsreader and commentator. He was a great supporter of the Goon Show.


[3] It is likely this comment was based on the recent outbreak of foot and mouth disease  in British farm animals, which had reached a peak in 1956-1958. Over 30,000 animals were slaughtered in an effort to contain the disease.

[4] Chelsea is in fact SW3. The only parts of London indicated by the postal code WC are parts of Camden, Westminster, Islington and a small part of the City. It could have been that Spike was playing a naughty joke about toilets here.


[5] Valentine (Val) Charles Parnell, (1892-1971), London born theatrical impresario and managing director of Associated Television until 1962.


[6] Unknown word.

[7] This was reasonably current news. The Sheffield Wednesday F.C. inside forward Albert Quixall had been transferred to Manchester United for the highest fee ever paid in British football - £45,000 in September. This was part of Manchester United’s plan to build a new team in the wake of the tragic Munich air disaster.


[8] A jazz standard composed in 1938 by Saul Chaplin with lyrics by Sammy Cahn. Sarah Vaughan had recently released a version of this song on the A side of her album “Vaughan and Violins”.


[9] Spike is probably referring to the actor Kenneth More (1914-1982).

[10] This is one of the few occasions in the Goon series when Milligan has to change voices within a sentence. While he is performing Moriarty’s whine, he changes to Spriggs’ voice mid-sentence, covered slightly by Sellers’ line as Grytpype.

[11] Milligan had used this phrase ‘bazonika dowzer’ once before, in “The Junk Affair” (2/8th,) while Larry Stephens and Maurice Wiltshire had seconded the word for their pastiche script “The Thing on the Mountain” (15/8th) later in the same series. On all occasions it was spoken by Moriarty.


[12] Spike cracks up before he replies.

[13] The Goon Show involved three regular pairs of characters and three regular solos. Crun and Bannister; Moriarty and Grytpype; Eccles and Bluebottle; the largest solo parts were Seagoon, Spriggs and Bloodnok. It generally meant that various members of the cast could not speak to each to each other because they were voiced by the same individual. For example Eccles never converses with Minnie Bannister; Bluebottle never has a conversation with Bloodnok, or (as in this case) Crun never talks to Grytpype-Thynne.

[14] This scene is unusual as it is one of the few times in the whole of the Goon canon that Bloodnok and Eccles have a scene together. Although numerous crossovers between the Goon pairs were possible, Milligan rarely allowed it to happen. (Bluebottle and Bannister have a few pairings; Crun and Eccles have occasional short interchanges, but this one – Eccles with Bloodnok, seems to be the only occasion  when the pair have a conversation. Milligan seems to have been considering varying the pairings at this early stage of the ninth series, as there are two instances in this show when the character pairs are broken. In fact Moriarty has just mentioned the fact in the previous scene. As it happens, Milligan didn’t develop this possibility further.)

The term Jacobean refers to the period of English history when James 1st ruled – from 1601 – 1625. Milligan was fond of using words he liked the sound of. His version of nonsense writing was inherently poetic.


[15] Although Bloodnok is purporting to sing the WWI classic number “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary,” (Judge & Williams, 1912), he is in fact doing nothing of the sort. He is performing the words but making up a tune that bares no resemblance to the original melody. This sort of musical joke would have been recognisable to audiences of the 50’s, though less so to audiences sixty years later. Milligan was highly skilled at these musical jokes, being from a musical family, quite a good musician himself, and worked with some of London’s best musicians. In the previous episode “I Was Monty’s Treble” he has the German High Command attack England by singing a new anti-British drinking song, in reality just “Wot Cher! – (Knocked ‘Em in the Old Kent Road)” with cod German words. It’s unmasking as a British spy dressed up as a German  is one of the secret delights of Milligan’s humour.


[16] Eccles’ burgeoning sexuality is something that Spike seems to have developed in the later series. In “I Was Monty’s Treble” (2/9th) Eccles remarks “Who were these women?” during a tense exchange with the German High command. Later in this series someone observes of Eccles, “He’s growing up folks. It had to come!” (“The Fifty Pound Cure” 17/9th.)


[17] What is interesting here is the rapidity with which Milligan changes voices from Little Jim to Eccles and back again. This is one of the few times Spike did this.


[18] Although it was possible for Bannister and Bluebottle to have cross-talk scenes, (being played by Sellers and Milligan respectively,) as a matter of fact they rarely did. The combination of Minnie’s dithering, and Bluebottle’s gaucheness seems not to have interested Spike. In this scene the humour is rescued by the appearance of Bloodnok who was a much better foil to Bannister’s incoherence.


[19] Though, by the fourth line Eccles and Bluebottle’s rendition is almost unrecognisable.