RECORDED: 24 Nov 1958


Script by Spike Milligan



GREENSLADE:  This is the BBC Home Service. Fraternising with the Light Programme natives is forbidden.

SECOMBE: (Cockney) Oh yes? I seen you tip-toeing into the typist's pool after dark.

GREENSLADE: That was only for a moonlight swim, sir.

SECOMBE: A moonlight swim in your pyjamas! I don't believe my ear trumpets.

GREENSLADE: All lies dear listeners. I wore not the pyjamas. I wore bathing drawers of the briefest grist, and ladies have remarked on my noble proportions.

SECOMBE: I bet they have mate. Ha ha! Now just take a gander at this sequel to the hula-hoop.[1]

GREENSLADE: Now, let’s see. (Reading) “Be Your Own Father – a New Genetic Game.” I say, the ladies won't subscribe to this idea.

SECOMBE: Fear of unemployment, eh? (Megaphone) Don't worry ladies, it's only a game you know! Only a game. Ha ho ho ho. (Normal) Here’s another Merry Christmas game. “The Complete Home Neck Breaking Kit.” Watch. Hup!

FX: Sledgehammer on block. Sound of neck breaking.

GRAMS: Wild cheering. Stop suddenly.

SELLERS: (British ad man) Yes folks, you can hear how popular a broken neck can be. Just one downward stroke of a sledgehammer and – wow! Hear your friends laugh. And now a word from our sponsor.

SECOMBE: Blood-orange!

SELLERS: Next week another word.[2] Forward Nurgler Seagoon.





MILLIGAN: TOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! All together now please:


MILLIGAN: Oooo! What it is to have friends.[3] (Or I thought I did anyhow.) Now folks, here is Mister Greenslade to make an omni-directional announcement from the waist upwards.

SECOMBE: Come on there Wal. Give us the old posh wireless talking there Wal.

LEW: Go on Wal, spit the words out Wal. Go on.

GREENSLADE: Ladies and gentlemen…

LEW: Cor, 'ark at dat dere!

SECOMBE: Yer, class. Real class.

GREENSLADE: Look… Quiet! Quiet!

SECOMBE: Take your glasses off Wal!

GREENSLADE: Look, because I talk proper like, nark all the old Chatham there please. Ladies and gentlemen, the scene is a pair of trembling knees in the Maldives. From their shelter two criminals royal are partaking of a frugal meal.

FX: Knives and forks on plates. Continue under.

GRYTPYPE: (Hums to self.)

MORIARTY: Another plate of frugals?

GRYTPYPE: Thank you, no Moriarty. But a little more newspaper stew.

MORIARTY: You shall have it sir. (Sings) Mlaka mlaka kou!

GRYTPYPE: We've never had it so good, Count.

MORIARTY: We've never had it so good, buddy.

GRYTPYPE: My dear pince-nez. Tell me, pince-nez, where did you learn this foul but economical recipe?

MORIARTY: It's a family secret.


MORIARTY: They died after the first mouthful. (And so did that joke.) It was terrible. I had to do all the washing up myself.

GRYTPYPE: There is a possible plot for this weeks show.

MORIARTY: Ah, let me get out of the way.

GRYTPYPE: Good. Do listen carefully dear listeners – on your attention of it depends your enjoyment. The editor of "Pam's Paper" will pay one thousand leather pounds to the next of kin of any person who is drowned in water, provided a copy of Pam's Paper is found on the deceased’s body. You're wearing a deceased body, aren't you Moriarty?

MORIARTY: No, no! It’s still got power in it. Listen to these knees…

GRAMS: Castanets at high speed.

MORIARTY: Owwwwww.

GRYTPYPE: That is power my dear pince-nez. Never mind about that. Run out and buy a copy of Pam's Paper and we'll find a Charlie to drown, Moriarty. (Laughs into distance) Ha ha ho.

MORIARTY: (Laughs) Hu hu ho.

GREENSLADE: Meantime, on-board one of Her Majesty's gas stoves in a Sussex wood, a bundle of Welsh rags suddenly becomes animate.

FX: Hammering on anvil – continue under.

SEAGOON: (sings) We'll keep a welcome in the dustbins… (Raves) Ah ha ha ha ha dee dah de! (Normal) That's got my old legs straightened out. (Laughs) Ha ha ha! Ah folks, what a perfect winters day – a blanket of white snow. What a pity it's July. (Laughs) Ha ha ha. Still…

GRAMS: A cylinder mower cutting a swathe of grass. Marbles into a dish. Repeat.

SEAGOON: (Calls out) Willium! What are you doing behind that bush?.

WILLIUM: Shaving mate. I had a sudden attack of  'airs.

SEAGOON: Well hurry up! There's other people waiting.

WILLIUM: I thought you was trying to cut down on bushes, mate.[4]

SEAGOON: Idle gossip I tell you, idle gossip.

GRAMS: Hedge warbler chirruping. Continue behind.

SEAGOON: Listen! An English bird in full throated cry. Oh a part of England's treasured heritage. Where is the dear bird? Ahhh! – I see him.

GRAMS: Gunshot. Pre-recording of Eccles screaming. Speed up at the end.

SEAGOON: Ha ha, ha ha. Got him! – right in the primaries.

ECCLES: (Distant) You fooool!  Look what you done to my fairy cakes.

SEAGOON: Oh, naughty me.

ECCLES: (Approaching) You naughty man! These fairy cakes are heirlooms.

SEAGOON: (Close) Dear listeners, let me describe this crutty herbet. He was covered from head to foot in hand painted chicken feathers and standing in a tree.

ECCLES: Eeh! Why has this tree stopped?

SEAGOON: It's got a puncture.

ECCLES: Aoowwwww ghhhhhoooowgh ghoaaw ghauwwwww… I said.

SEAGOON: Come down nitty nong, and warm yourself by this roaring lion.

ECCLES: Oh, ta. I'm going to let you into a secret. I'm breaking a world record.

SEAGOON: Really? Tell the folks. (Megaphone) Listen to this folks! Why should I suffer alone?

ECCLES: (I do.) Folks, if I go on wearing these chicken feathers for the next eighty nine years, I'll break the worlds bird impression record and win the golden nest egg.

SEAGOON: Gad! You parents must be proud of you.

ECCLES: Well actually they're not.

SEAGOON: Well do a bird impression for the folks.

ECCLES: Okay. I'll do a bird impression for the folks. (pause) Ahem. Bang! Ahhhh, owww owwarghhhawwworg…

SEAGOON: What bird was that?

ECCLES: Dat was the one you've just shot!  (Laughs) Ha ha ha ha ha! You're a funny man Eccles! (Laughs) Ha ha ha – Eccles you're a funny man!

WILLIUM: You're a twit mate. Now go on, be off with you mate! Go on!

ECCLES: Well – before I be off, I'll do an impression of Max Geldray's nose.

GRAMS: Queen Mary fog-horn.

GELDRAY: Oh boy, at last the conk is getting a break.


MAX GELDRAY – “I Cried for You” [5]


GREENSLADE: Mister Geldray is now willing to sign autographs.

SEAGOON: (Willing? He's desperate mate.)

GREENSLADE: Be that as it may – me – mi – mo - mew. But will you please take up your positions for part two. On your mark, get set, GO!

FX: Pistol shot.

GRAMS: Thunder of running boots speeding up running into distance.

SEAGOON: STOP! Look! What's that lying there on the road gasping?

MORIARTY: (Faint) Owwwww.

WILLIUM: Oh, it's a friend of man – a fully mature, clean shaven, world war one doughnut.

SEAGOON: Gad – so it is! Form a cauldron around it.

GRAMS: (Pre-recorded) MORIARTY: (Echo) Allaboulloughah bowwwlegh hhowough powwwrgh… &c

WILLIUM:  'Ere, there's some nit inside it. I'm off!

GRAMS: Whoosh.

SEAGOON: (Calls) Whoever you are in that donut, come out!

MORIARTY: (echo – muffled) Don't shoot, come-out! We're coming up in the direction of up.

GRAMS: Old fashioned lift coming up. Lift doors clank open.

FLOWERDEW: Top floor – blouses, Liz Curran and certain appliances.

SEAGOON: The door of the doughnut opened and out stepped two well endowed men, facing east.

GRYTPYPE: Don't panic Ned. Put down that loaded Eccles. We are but honest doughnut miners.

SEAGOON: Miners? Mining for what?


SEAGOON: (Laughs) Ha ha ha! Jam the man says. There hasn't been jam in doughnuts since before the war.

MORIARTY: Argh no? Look at this!

SEAGOON: Gad! Dear loosteners, there gleaming on a slice of Moriarty's bread was a piece of genuine, uncut jam.

MORIARTY:  Ah, ha, ha, ha! And there's more where that came from.

GRYTPYPE: Yes Neddie.

SEAGOON: Gad! I wish I could strike jam.

GRYTPYPE: You can Ned. (Laughs) Heu heu heu heugh!

MORIARTY: Oh yes, yes.

GRYTPYPE: Join us and become a merry singing jam miner in this key.

CAST: (Sing to the tune of “Tramp, tramp tramp the boys are marching.”)[6]

Jam ,jam, jam  the boys are marching,

Jam, jam, jam forever more.

If you have to get some more,

you can scrape it off the floor,

jam, jam, jam, forever more!

SEAGOON: Gad! What a wonderful start.

GRYTPYPE: Now Ned, your entrance fee. Have you any securities? [7]

GRAMS:  Pair of feet running off into distance.

MORIARTY: (Hums to self. Extended.)

GRYTPYPE: (To audience) This thing takes a lot of nerve you know.

GRAMS: Pair of feet running back again. Gradually slows to a stop.

MORIARTY: Here he comes back again. Welcome back Neddie.

SEAGOON: (out of breath) Here, fifty pounds insurance.

FX: Cash register.

GRYTPYPE: And there is your jam miners ticket. Moriarty, take him somewhere while I arrange his drowning.

MORIARTY: I'll do that.

GRYTPYPE: (Close) …and don't forget the copy of Pam's Paper on the naughty body.

MORIARTY: (Close) Just for the plot.


MORIARTY: Come Neddie, let us dine in the manner which we are accustomed. Namely food.

SEAGOON: Yes! (Calls) Taxi!

GRAMS: Small explosion.

SPRIGGS: Where to Jim? (Sings) Where to Ji-mmmmm?

SEAGOON: Part three, and don't strain yourself.

SPRIGGS: (Sings) Hold tight Jimmmmm.

GRAMS: Cart horse slowly clopping away.

GREENSLADE: Meantime in part three, a hotel chef has had a terrible accident.

GRAMS: Cannon fires a shell.


GRAMS: Terrible explosion as shell hits building  – walls falling in – pantry shelving collapsing. Pots, pans etc.

BLOODNOK: Oh, open a window will you! The gas stove’s exploded. Oh dear, all my English pizza ruined. Never mind – it was only a B pizza.[8]

GRAMS: Large explosion. Cut it short.

SEAGOON: Hello, we've come here to dine.

BLOODNOK: Oh, welcome to Chez di Customers, mon-sewer.

SEAGOON: Merci, merci vous etez très gentile, mon ami.

BLOODNOK: Speak English, you ignorant swine, will you!

MORIARTY: Bloodnok, how dare you insult this ignorant swine!

BLOODNOK: I beg your pardon. I had no idea that you were an ignorant swine.  Allow me to show you to your table des maines.

SEAGOON: Ta. I say, why are you smothered in rice pudding?

BLOODNOK: I'm trying to keep it at body temperature.

SEAGOON: Splondeed! Splondeed! Now, could we have the menu?

BLOODNOK: I'm sorry the menu is off. Something else, perhaps? The bill – the l'additions – or something?[9]

SEAGOON: I know where I've seen you.


SEAGOON: You're Major Bloodnok.

BLOODNOK: Right first time.

SEAGOON: I recognise your old army boots.

BLOODNOK: Oh yes. I always wear 'em you know.


BLOODNOK: I can't get 'em off as a matter of fact. And you! I... Wait a minute ... Where's my old pictures? I've got 'em here somewhere... Of course! I recognise that thrilling sticking plaster – you're private Ned Seagoon. Well, well, well, well! People told me you were dead.

SEAGOON: What people?

BLOODNOK: The ones that saw you on television recently.[10]

SEAGOON: What, what, what. Lies, all lies! Hello folks, hello folks! At the range of revenue I sing louder than Adele Leigh . . .[11]

 (sings) We'll keep a dustbin in the Yakka Ba Kakka.

MORIARTY: He's only joking Neddie, don't get us so upset Neddie!

SEAGOON: (But why does he have to tell the truth?)

MORIARTY: I don't know.

BLOODNOK: Ned, I hear you've just matured an insurance policy.


BLOODNOK: Now Ned, d’you remember that during the war I borrowed a hundred pounds off you?


BLOODNOK: Well, I'm perfectly willing to forget all about it and let bygones be bygones. Now Ned, can I interest you in a few shares in an exploding knee industry?

MORIARTY: Don't listen Neddie! He's a ch… A creat! A cheat! A crook! He's a blackguard! I don’t…

BLOODNOK: Take that!

FX: Shovel on anvil.

MORIARTY: Oooowwww ... A creat! A cheat! A crook! He's a blackguard! I don’t…

BLOODNOK: Take that!

FX: Shovel on anvil.

MORIARTY: Oooowwww!

BLOODNOK: Massage his head with a shovel.

FX: Shovel on anvil.

MORIARTY: Arrwwwgghh!

BLOODNOK: See that bottle of water on the mantel piece?

SEAGOON: Is it yours?

BLOODNOK: Last night I crept down to the river Thames and I stole it.

SEAGOON: What a thrilling life you lead.

BLOODNOK: Yes. I have discovered Neddie, that the river Thames reaches both banks. I believe there is life on the other side.

SEAGOON: Fool!  Ha, ha, ha! England finishes at Woolwich.

BLOODNOK: Ah, but there have been signs – things floating in the river you know, that show there are sort of low form of life over there, you know.[12]

SEAGOON: How long will it take to cross?

BLOODNOK: Four months as the crow flies. Of course, if you go to Battersea Bridge it takes only ten minutes.

SEAGOON: But isn't that the… the danger route?

BLOODNOK: It's hell over there I tell you. Only last week an old lady fell off her electric stilts, and – well, I'm afraid she'll never live again.

SEAGOON: You're right – it's better by raft. I'll join 'e matey.

BLOODNOK: Good 'e matey. Now take this pen and sign on a prize crew.[13]

ORCHESTRA: Nautical theme.

GRAMS: Gaggle of people talking in echoing room.

GREENSLADE: The sounds you hear are second rate extras chosen for their inferior quality to allow mister Secombe's slender talents to shine.

SEAGOON: (I'll see you outside mate. I couldn't miss ya.) Ahem. (Announces) Men of old Deptford, you're all naughty sons of the sea.

BLUEBOTTLE: I'm not. I was born on dry land, I was. The Fred Kwinge ward.

SEAGOON: Right. Take one pace forward.

GRAMS: Pair of boots march two steps up. Slapstick.


SEAGOON: Right. Now one pace back, you spotty herbet.

BLUEBOTTLE: You rotten twinick! Why don't you pick on somebody your own size?

SEAGOON: That's the trouble, (weeping) – there is nobody my size!

BLUEBOTTLE: Can I go home now? I've got to get my ear bandaged – I just bit it.

SEAGOON: How did you manage to bite your ear?

BLUEBOTTLE: I stood on a chair! Hee hee…

SEAGOON: Stop that laughing! I'm the funny man in this bit. Now, those who want to sail on the cross Thames raft, follow me! But first, Ray Ellington will give us a chance to get to the old brandy there. (Self fade.) Ahhhhhh!

GRAMS: Massed boots running away.

ELLINGTON: I wonder where he hides that stuff?




FX: Multiple slapsticks.

MORIARTY: (Screaming) Aww, arghh, ahwie… &c


FX: Multiple slapsticks again.

MORIARTY: (Screaming) Aww, arghh, ahwie… &c

GRYTPYPE: (Over) There! Take that! &c

FX: Slapsticks stop.

GRYTPYPE: There! Let that clubbing be a lesson to you – you crutty French schlapper.[14] I turn my back and you let Neddie get into the opiate brown power of Bloodnok.

FX: Single slapstick.

MORIARTY: (Screams) ARGHH!  (Abject) I'm… I’m sorry Grytpype. Sorry, pronounced…  

GRAMS: (Pre-recorded – huge echo) MORIARTY: I'm sorry Grytpype!

GRYTPYPE: All right then, Moriarty.

GRAMS: (Pre-recorded – huge echo – speed it up.) MORIARTY: I'm sorry


GRYTPYPE: Don't cringe to me you fool.

GRAMS: (Pre-recorded – huge echo – lower the speed.) MORIARTY: I'm sorry

 Grytpype! (extended)

GRYTPYPE: I can't bear you saying it once! Three times is too much!

GRAMS: (Pre-recorded – huge echo – at a variety of speeds.) MORIARTY: I'm

 sorry Grytpype! I'm sorry Grytpype! I'm sorry Grytpype! I'm sorry

 Grytpype! &c

GRYTPYPE: You're sorry?

GRAMS: (Repeat at a wild variety of speeds. Overlay multi-tracks.)

 MORIARTY: I'm sorry Grytpype! I'm sorry Grytpype! I'm sorry

Grytpype! I'm sorry Grytpype! I'm sorry Grytpype! &c    

GRYTPYPE: I've heard that somewhere before. Get into this cannon, Moriarty.

GRAMS: Explosion.


GRYTPYPE: Consider yourself fired. Fortunately, by walking with a limp, I placed a limpet mine under their raft. (Don't forget folks – they are on a raft.)

ORCHESTRA: Dramatic link.

GRAMS: Waves, seagulls over.

BANERJEE: Get! Shoo, shoo! Get away! Get away! But look! Ohh dear! Kolkata ciriya.[15] Good heavens! I don't know what. European Bloodnok says the raft must be finished today.

LALKAKA: It is man. It will be finished today – definitely finished. Now don't panic man. Everything in the garden is indeed lovely, I'm telling you.

BANERJEE: Lovely, lovely, lovely. Lovely he says. Lovely! I'm down to my last loin cloth and not a sign of any curry powder from the old country. Everything is lovely he said! Everything is lovely!

LALKAKA: But listen, listen!

BANERJEE: Kya karta hai? (Extended)

LALKAKA: Listen to me Banerjee. Looking on the opamatistic side, man. Two things can happen. One – that we finish it, and two that we do not finish it. And if we don't finish it, well that is definitely the finish of it.

BANERJEE: What are you saying man? What are you saying! We don't finish it, that is the finish of it. You're up the duff I tell you.

LALKAKA: What I said was grammatically correct, I'm telling you. It is just that you have never been to Oxford Cantonment University, so that you do not understand the parsing and the tensing of the sentences.

SEAGOON: This is the raft finished?

BLOODNOK: It's floating and that's good enough for me. We shall sail with the tide.  Hoist the mast! We shall have to wait for the wind.

SEAGOON: With you aboard we shouldn't have to wait too long.

BLOODNOK: WHAT?!  Now I want you to keep this copy of ‘Pam's Paper’ on your body.

SEAGOON: Oh, thank you. It fits perfectly.

BLOODNOK: Well, I chose it myself.

SEAGOON: (coily) Oh, thank you…

BLOODNOK: Not at all.

SEAGOON: What about navigators?

BLOODNOK: I never wear navigators! This man will be he – he he he he!

FX: Bird call whistle.

SEAGOON: Of course! Do you remember me?

FX: Pistol shot.

ECCLES: Owww! You fool! My new fairy cakes.

SEAGOON: This man is no good. He's perforated below the water line.

BLOODNOK: What? He's brilliant I tell you. Eccles, did you know that the Thames is two hundred and eighteen miles long?

ECCLES: Two hundred and eighteen miles long, ehi?

BLOODNOK: And you know it's thirty yards wide?

ECCLES: Thirty yards wide.

BLOODNOK: You see he has the answer to both questions.

SEAGOON: Ahh, you know how wide it is; you know how long it is, but – can you tell me where the source is?

ECCLES: Oh, I think it's on the dinner table. (Laughs) Ha ha ho ho – you're a funny man Eccles!

BLOODNOK: Yes. Pity about that, but proof positive. Well, cast off. (I'll just strap on these fifty life belts for a joke.) The dreaded Thames trans ………….. is on![16]

ORCHESTRA: Nautical theme.

GRAMS: Distant fog horns – continue in behind.

BLUEBOTTLE: (Shadowing Greenslade)

GREENSLADE: Meantime on the dreaded north bank, the editors of Pam's Paper, which if you remember are offering one thousand pounds for… (They both stop.)

BLUEBOTTLE: Get on with it will you! – keeping me hanging round. I'm only wearing shorts in this fog, you know.

GREENSLADE: Ahem. On the mysterious north bank, we find the editors of ‘Pam's Paper’ enveloped in fog.

GRAMS: Queen Mary foghorn.

BLOODNOK: (Distant) Ohhhhhhh ohhh!

CRUN: Oh dear, what a night it's going to be Min.


GRAMS: Multiple fog horns together.

CRUN: Ohhhhh, ohhhh

GRAMS: Foghorn plays low note.

ORCHESTRA: Baritone sax replies.

CRUN: Put your saxophone away Min, will you.

BANNISTER: I wish it was. It's something crossing the river Henry!  And don't forget that Lord Pugh is coming tomorrow. Ahi Pugggheeee!

CRUN: It's not Pugh Min. It's pronounced "Pheeeeeewwwww."

BANNISTER: Oh, that's dangerous Henry. Mnk… supposing somebody recognise(s) him on the tram and shouts "PHEEEWWW!" It could put the trams off their food.

GRAMS: Crash followed by explosion.



CRUN: Min – somebody's drowning! Bring the Irish Stew.

BANNISTER: What for?

CRUN: I love Irish Stew.[17]

SEAGOON: (Distant) Help, help! My legs don't reach the bottom.

BANNISTER: He must be deformed!

CRUN: (Calls out) What's happening out there?

LITTLE JIM: (Shouts) He's fallen in the water!

CRUN: Ned, catch this dry suit of clothes.

SEAGOON: (Distant) Thank you. Here's a receipt.

GRYTPYPE: Blast Moriarty, he's still alive.

ECCLES: Argh! (Gasping for breath.) Pardon me. (Oh dear, what a swim!) Ha, owww, are you natives of the dreaded north bank?

GRYTPYPE: Er… yes, yes. Welcome white man. Just put this Pam's Paper in your pocket.

ECCLES: Oh ta!

MORIARTY: Now close your eyes Eccles. Together – (effort) huh!

GRAMS: Body into water.

ECCLES: (Close) You're wrong folks I stepped to one side. (Laughs) Ha ha ha!  (Surprised) Argh…

GRAMS: Body into water. Flailing in water.

ECCLES: (Distant) Who did that to me?

GREENSLADE: That's it folks, I've got to dash. I've got to an insurance company.  (Surprised) Ow…

GRAMS: Body into water.

SEAGOON: Wrong again folks. (Laughs) Ha ha ha! Well it's a happy ending isn’t it![18]

ORCHESTRA: “Old Comrades March.”

STUDIO ANNOUNCER: That was the Goon Show, featuring Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe and Spike Milligan with the Ray Ellington Quartet and Max Geldray.  The orchestra was conducted by Wally Stott, the script was by Spike Milligan, the announcer was Wallace Greenslade and the program was produced by John Browel.





[1] The world was in the midst of a hula hoop craze as this episode went to air. The Wham-O company of California started manufacturing the hoops in 1957 and through a national marketing campaign, set off a phenomenal chain reaction in July 1958 that resulted in sales of 25 million within four months, climbing to 100 million after two years. Milligan was to return to this idea of macabre family games, in the book

[2] Secombe is heard behind saying “I told you it wouldn’t get a laugh.”


[3] This gag is a rewrite of the opening page of show 1 of this series, “The Sahara Desert Statue” (1/9th).

[4] This is the second time this series that Willum has been caught doing his private ablutions on the show. In “The Sahara Desert Statue” (1/9th) he was caught cutting his toenails.


[5] A pop and jazz standard written by Arthur Freed and Abe Lyman, with lyrics by Gus Arnheim. A very popular number, there had been at least a dozen recordings of it released since 1956, by such singers as Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, Woody Herman, Sarah Vaughan and a recent performance by Connie Francis. On the point of abandoning her faltering career, Francis’ recording of “Who’s Sorry Now” debuted on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand in January of this year. Over a million copies were sold within months, and Francis’ career took off spectacularly.

[6] A spoof on the American Civil War marching song “Tramp, tramp, tramp” written by George F. Root in 1864 to give hope to Union prisoners of war, longing to return to their homes.


[7] There is a cut here.


[8] Sellers pronounced “pizza” as “pitza” with a short “i” sound.


[9] “L’addition” in French means the bill.


[10] Harry Secombe was fast climbing the British celebrity ladder . During 1958 he was found starring in “Davy” produced by Ealing Studios; he appeared in the film “Jet Storm” (released the following year); had featured on Eamonn Andrews show “This is Your Life” in March: he had released an LP entitled “Operatic Favourites” (with Adéle Leigh); he graced the stage of the London Palladium for the revue “Large As Life”; and


[11] Adéle Leigh (1928-2004) was an English soprano renowned for clarity and beauty of voice. She was recruited into the Covent Garden Opera company in 1948 after studies in London and New York, mostly singing the lyric repertoire. She was usual for her time in that she often crossed over and sung with popular groups like Geraldo and his Orchestra, and Harry Secombe in some of his many appearances at the Palladium.


[12] This is probably a reference to the upcoming launching of the Soviet probe Lunar 3 in 1959 to photograph the other side of the moon. Much speculation was occurring about what would be there, ranging from considered scientific opinion to rabid extra-terrestrial speculation.

[13] Cut here.

[14] ‘Clubbing’ originated in the first book of the War Memoirs, “Adolf Hitler: My Part in his Downfall,” Michael Joseph (1971) – p79.


[15] This is a rough guess at what Spike says. Ciriya means ‘bird’ in Hindi/Urdu.

[16] Sellers badly fluffs the line, while Secombe cracks up behind. It is likely that this sudden mutation of the expedition to find life on the opposite bank into a “trans Thames expedition” was based on the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition that had recently competed the first complete crossing of the polar continent in March of 1958.  The team included the British explorer Sir Vivian Fuchs and the New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary. Milligan kept abreast of these heroic expeditions, referring to them in the seventh series, “Operation Christmas Duff” (SP) and the eighth series, “The Curse of Frankenstein.” (18/8th). I think the line was probably the “trans Thames expedition.”


[17] Milligan (as Minnie) tries to add the line “Well, Irish-stew in the name of the law,” but is cut off by Secombe, further back on the stage.


[18] Milligan ending a show with multiple disasters, had happened before in “The Last Tram from Clapham” (9/5th) where the cast belt each other with shovels throughout the final few moments.