The Telegoons


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The Goons The Story cover
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The Goons The Story
Norma Farnes, editor.
Includes contributions from Spike Milligan, Sir Harry Secombe,
Eric Sykes, Max Geldray, Ruxton Hayward, and Chris Smith.
Maxine Ventham interviewed
Max Geldray and Ruxton Hayward.
1997, hardback
Virgin Publishing Ltd.
ISBN 1852276797
A very readable account of
The Goon Show,
The Telegoons,
and everything else in-between, and since. An eclectic selection of photographs.

The Dreaded Batter Pudding Hurler of Bexhill-on-Sea;
The Mystery of The Marie Celeste-Solved!; The Last Goon Show of All.

Goon Show Companion cover hardback
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The Goon Show Companion:
A History and Goonography

Written and compiled by Roger Wilmut.
With a personal memoir by Jimmy Grafton.
1976, hardback
Robson Books Ltd.
ISBN 0903895641

1992, paperback
ISBN 0860518361
Robson Books Ltd.

Roger Wilmut
Roger Wilmut,

In addition to having written the ultimate Goon Show book and guide, Roger Wilmut is an aficionado of ancient British Music Hall recordings of the 78 RPM shellac variety. His web site gives EQ circuits for correct playback of more than five different brands of shellac record. Click here to visit Roger's home page.
Goon Show Companion cover paperback The Goon Show Companion:
A History and Goonography

Written and compiled by Roger Wilmut.
With a personal memoir by Jimmy Grafton.

1977, paperback
Sphere Books Ltd.
ISBN 0722191820

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Radio Times Guide to TV Comedy
Written and compiled by Mark Lewisohn
Foreword by Ronnie Barker

1998, paperback, 800 pp.
BBC Worldwide Ltd.
ISBN 0 563 36977 9

Mark Lewisohn, longtime broadcast historian and Radio Times columnist (also Beatles expert), has given us a book that encompasses the length and breadth of British television comedy programming like no other. Arranged A - Z with cross-references, this large book covers every programme that ever tried to raised a laugh on television from the beginning of transmissions in 1936 to the present. Not content with merely listing dates and names, Mr. Lewisohn entertains the reader with a good balance of analysis and opinion, as the following excerpted entry shows:

26 x 15 mins - b/w
Series One (11) 5 Oct-21 Dec 1963. Sat 5.40 pm
Series Two (15) 28 Mar-1 Aug 1964. BBC1 Sat around 5.15 pm.

Spike Milligan
Peter Sellers
Harry Secombe

writer Spike Milligan
script editor Maurice Wiltshire
producer Tony Young

"A bizarre puppet-animated version of The Goon Show that, surprisingly, coped fairly well in putting images to the surreal audio zaniness. String-and-rod puppets (designed by Ralph Young, the series' producer's father*) combined to bring the famous characters to life-Eccles, Bluebottle, Neddie Seagoon, Brigadier Grytpype-Thynne, Major Dennis Bloodnok, Henry Crun, Minnie Bannister and others- and traditional, simple cartoon animation and library footage was added to the mix to give the programmes a unique look."

"The puppets' characteristics were based on Spike Milligan's doodled impressions of how they might look, creating a somewhat grotesque but worthwhile visual interpretation. Although the original team reassembled to record certain passages where necessary, it is thought that the soundtrack also utilized extracts from original BBC radio recordings."** [My italics]

* Ron Field was co-designer of the puppets (uncredited) and also invented the electronic lip-synch system used in the later episodes. Read more about this in the History section.
** This may be one of the few errors in this fine book; so far the evidence I've seen tends to suggest that all of the voices and many of the sound effects were recorded afresh.

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out-of-print book at

The Goon Show Scripts
Written and Selected by Spike Milligan.
Drawings by Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe, and Spike Milligan.
Edited by Jeremy Robson & Elizabeth Rose.
1972, hardback
The Woburn Press, London
ISBN 0713000767
The Dreaded Batter Pudding Hurler of Bexhill-on-Sea; The Phantom Head Shaver; The Affair of the Lone Banana
; The Canal; Napoleon's Piano; Foiled by President Fred; The Mighty Wurlitzer; The Hastings Flyer; The House of Teeth.

More Goon Show Scripts cover
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More Goon Show Scripts
Written and Selected by Spike Milligan.
Drawings by Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe, and Spike Milligan.
Foreword by H.R.H. Prince of Wales.
Coordinating Editor: Colin Webb.
1973, hardback
The Woburn Press, London
ISBN 0713000880

1973, paperback
ISBN 0713000880

The Battle of Spion Kop; Ned's Atomic Dustbin; The Spy, or Who is Pink Oboe; The Call of the West; The Scarlet Capsule; The Tay Bridge Disaster; The Gold Plate Robbery; The 50 Cure.

The Lost Goon Shows cover
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The Lost Goon Shows
Written by Spike Milligan.
1987, hardback
Robson Books
ISBN 0-86051-460-9
A collection of 'lost' Goon Shows, rewritten here and there by Spike to 'jolly them up a little'. Great photographs too.

Operation Christmas Duff; The Internal Mountain; The SIlent Bugler; The Dreaded Piano Clubber;
The Siege of Fort Knight; The Tree Maniac.

The Book of the Goons cover
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out-of-print book at

The Book of the Goons
A new selection of Spike Milligan's Goon Show scripts.
Includes the unexpurgated inter-Goonal Correspondence.
Introduction by Peter Eton.
Drawings by the Goons.
Photographs by Snowdon.
Editor: Elizabeth Rose.
1974, hardback
Robson Books
ISBN 0903895269
The Terrible Revenge of Fred Fu-Manchu; The Great String Robberies; The Spon Plague; Tales of Men's Shirts; Robin's Post.

SMAC.gif (12150 bytes)
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out-of-print book at
Spike Milligan: A Celebration
A tribute to Spike Milligan.
Compiled by Roger Sawyer.
Introduction by Norma Farnes.
A selection from the best of Milligan, with "cringeworthy grovelling" from Eric Sykes, Sir Harry Secombe, Denis Norden, Richard Lester, Ronnie Scott, Terry Nation, John Bluthal, Jim Dale, Johnny Speight, Richard Ingrams, and Barry Humphries.
1995, hardback
Virgin Publishing Ltd.
ISBN 1 85227 561 8
A selection of Spike's scripts, sketches, poems, and more! Includes tributes from a long list of personalities who have known and worked with Spike. Includes a unique set of photographs.

Goon Show Scripts:
The Call of the West (last 1/3 only); Ned's Atomic Dustbin;
The Siege of Fort Knight.

Other Scripts:
The Mukkinese Battlehorn;
The Bed Sitting Room.

Goon For Lunch cover
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Goon For Lunch
Written by Harry Secombe.
1975, hardback
M. and J. Hobbs, in association with Michael Joseph Ltd.
ISBN 0718112830
Chapter 19, Goon Away--Try Next Door, in addition to giving a first-hand description of the complex process of rehearsing and recording a typical Goon Show, also contains a personal account of the show's origins.

Peter Sellers TMBTM cover
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Peter Sellers: The Mask Behind the Mask
Written by Peter Evans.
1980, paperback
ISBN 0451097580
An in-depth profile
of Peter Sellers' remarkable life, this book spans the early Windmill theater years, the BBC Goon Show years, and Peter's mega- successful career as a film actor. Includes sixteen pages of photographs.

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Peter Sellers: A Celebation
A tribute to Peter Sellers.
Written by Adrian Rigelsford.
Foreword by Spike Milligan.
An affectionate tribute to the career of Peter Sellers, with contributions from Graham Stark, Dennis Selinger, Maurice Denham, Mark Eden, Ray Boulting, Burt Kwouk, and Eric Sykes.
1997, hardback, 192 pp.
Virgin Publishing Ltd.
ISBN 1 85227 623 8
Fully illustrated with more photographs than pages (216), this book is worth the price of admission for its eye-appeal alone. The immensely entertaining text also makes the book a great read. Includes a detailed chronology.

A lobby card from
Penny Points to Paradise.


ScreenSound, Australia's National Screen and Sound Archive, has a 16 mm print of the Waverley Films version, called Penny Points.

NTSC_DVD.gif (1399 bytes) (DVD)
Several clips from this movie, totaling 1 m 12 s, can be found on the DVD, The Unknown Peter Sellers.


Paddy O'Neill was also known as Mrs. Alfred Marks.


Penny Points to Paradise
(Advance-PYL Productions. Distributed by Adelphi Films Ltd.)
1951, B&W, 77 mins.

Penny Points
(Waverley Films Ltd.)
1952?, B&W, 57 mins.
Cuts in the Waverley Films version include a variety-style musical number by Felix Mendelssohn and his Hawaiian Serenaders (approximately 5 minutes). The credits below derive from the Waverley version of Penny Points to Paradise. Waverley's credits misspell the names of Vicki Page and Paddie O'Neil.

Directed by: Tony Young by permission of Alan Cullimore
Produced by: Alan Cullimore by permission of Tony Young
Written by: Ron Ormonde
Cast: Peter Sellers (the Major/Arnold Fringe)
Harry Secombe (Harry Flakers, main character)
Alfred Marks (Edward Haynes, 1st counterfeiter)
Spike Milligan (Spike Donnely, Harry's friend)

Bill Kerr (Digger Graves, 2nd counterfeiter)
Paddie O'Neil (Christine Russel, girl fortune hunter)
Vicki Page (Sheila Gilroy)
Freddie Frinton (drunk)
Joe Linnane (policeman)
Sam Kydd (Brighton railway porter/taxi driver)
Hazel Jennings (landlady?)
Patience Rentoul (Madame Moravia, hypnotist?)
Diana Leslie (housekeeper?)
Bob Bradfield (maitr'd?)

Music Composed by: Jack Jordan & Spike Milligan
Music Played by: Jack Jordan and His Boys
Dir. Photography: Bert Mason
Film Editor: Harry Booth
Sound: Reg Barnes-Heath & Dennis Scanlan
Art Director: James Marchant
Production Manager: Hal Wilson
Camera Operator: Ken Talbot
Conitnuity: Marjorie Owens
Makeup: Jean Beck
Wardrobe: Myra Cullimore
Plot Summary:
A soccer pool winner (Harry Secombe) and his friend (Spike Milligan) find themselves plagued by fortune hunters, as well as two counterfeiters (Alfred Marks & Bill Kerr) who are eager to exchange their home-made bank notes for the real thing. This was the feature film debut for Sellers, Secombe, & Milligan, who received 100 each for their efforts. 

Made in the tradition of the British knockabout comedy, Penny Points to Paradise also tips the hat at the silent movies of yore, with several scenes punctuated only by music and the occasional sound effect. Although not a Goon movie as such, here and there we may catch glimpses of a proto-Eccles and even a faint pre-echo of Major Bloodnok. 

Brighton's seaside setting is an ideal backdrop for a Keystone-like car chase, hypnotic suggestions from the mysterious Madame Moravia, and a costumed romp through Louis Tussauds' Waxworks. I highly recommend this film to all Goon fans, so if you get a chance to see it, don't pass it up! 


Down Among Z Men LD cover

Down Among Z Men lobby card
A lobby card from
Down Among the "Z" Men.

DAZM_VHS_cover.jpg (14408 bytes)

Down Among the "Z" Men
(E. J. Fancey Productions, 1952)
B&W, 82 mins (LD)
[Outside the UK it was also known as Stand Easy]
[Previously released on videotape as The Goon Show Movie]

Directed by: Maclean Rogers
Produced by: Edwin John Fancey
Screenplay by: Jimmy Grafton
Francis Charles
Cast: Michael Bentine (Prof. Osric Pureheart)
Harry Secombe (Harry Jones)
Spike Milligan (Private Eccles)
Peter Sellers (Colonel Bloodnok)
Carole Carr (Carole Gaylee)
Clifford Stanton
Robert Cawdron
Andrew Timothy (crook)
Graham Stark (crook)
Russ Allen
Leslie Roberts' Twelve Toppers (W.R.A.C.s)
Elizabeth Kearns
Miriam Karlin
Sidney Vivian
Howell Evans
Plot Summary:
Essentially an extended movie version of an episode of The Goon Show. An absent-minded professor misplaces a secret scientific formula and sets off a madcap chase between the professor, the military, and a couple of crooks for its recovery.

NTSC_LD.gif (1352 bytes) (NTSC LD)
82 mins,
4:3, CLV,
Digital Sound.
Pacific Arts Video,

NTSC_VHS.gif (1487 bytes)
71 mins,
Hollywood Gold. EXC-3-3835, or Hollywood Classics. HCV-3-6123.
(Both from Madacy
P.O. Box 1445, St-Laurent,
Quebec, Canada)

Mukkinese Battle Horn VHS cover

Peter Sellers as Henry Crun in MBH
Peter Sellers as Henry Crun
in The Case of the Mukkinese Battle Horn.
Source: The Goons The Story, Farnes, ed.

Metropolitan Museum MBH
"Metropolitan Museum Mukkinese Battle Horn"
Superintendent Quilt (Peter Sellers) discusses the theft of the Mukkinese Battle Horn with curator Nodule (Dick Emery).
Source: The Goons The Story, Farnes, ed.

Mukkinese Battle Horn cast
Cast photograph,
The Case of the Mukkinese Battle Horn.
Source: The Goons The Story, Farnes, ed.

The Case of the Mukkinese Battle Horn
(Marlborough Pictures, 1955, 28 mins)
(Kingsley-Union Films, 1956, 27 mins)

Directed by: Joseph Sterling
Produced by: Jon Penington
Harry Booth
Michael Deeley
Original Story by: Larry Stephens
Screenplay by: Harry Booth
Jon Penington
Larry Stephens
Additional Material: Spike Milligan
Peter Sellers

Cast: Peter Sellers (Superintendent Quilt,
Henry Crun,
Sir Jervis Fruit [Grytpype-Thynne voice],
1950s-style Hern documentary voice-overs)
Spike Milligan (Detective Sergeant Brown,
J. Smith [essentially T.F. Eccles],
Minnie Bannister [present in voice only],
Catchpole Burkington)
Dick Emery (Nodule,
Mr. Crimp [essentially Willium "Mate"],
Maurice Ponke,
Pamela Thomas (Veronica Lake-style blonde,
Woman Police Constable)
Wally Thomas
Bill Hepper
Gordon Phillot

Assistant Director: Douglas Hermes
Continuity: Barbara Cole
Art Director: C. Wilfred Arnold
Director of Photography: Gerald Gibbs
Film Editor: Ferne Muleboot
Camera Operator: Brian Rhodes
Music Composed & Conducted by: Edwin T. Astley
Sound: Sydney Ryder
Make-up: Colin Guard
Jack Craig
Wardrobe: Elsie Curtis
Plot Summary:
Filmed in the wonder of Schizo- phrenoScope, (the new Split Screen).
A rare 9th-century Mukkinese Battle Horn is stolen from London's Metro- politan Museum. A team of Scotland Yard investigators traces the theft
to a gang of Inter- national Mukkinese Horn smugglers. Widely considered to be the best Goon-type movie.

NTSC_VHS.gif (1487 bytes) (NTSC VHS)
27 mins,
The Kingsley-Union Films version (Video Yesteryear #1193) is missing one minute of footage:
1) The opening credits have been abbreviated, and have a different background.
2) There is a minor cut in the museum investigation scene.
3) More than half of the lengthy scene with Henry and Minnie in the music store has been cut.
4) The humorous closing credits are not present in this version.

PAL_VHS.gif (1472 bytes) (PAL VHS)
28 mins,
The Marlborough Pictures version (Surprise Video SURV 1007) has higher video and sound quality than the Kingsley-Union Films version.

The Running Jumping & Standing Still Film

violinist RJSSF
A long-sighted violinist!

painter RJSSF
Painting by numbers!

punch RJSSF
A surprise awaits Graham Stark, off-screen, right!

The Running Jumping & Standing Still Film
(Peter Sellers Productions, 1959)
Running time: 11 minutes.
Shot in 16 mm B&W. Printed in sepia, 35 mm.

Directed by: Richard Lester
Peter Sellers
Produced by: Peter Sellers
Written by: Richard Lester
Spike Milligan
Peter Sellers
Mario Fabrizi
Cast: Richard Lester (painter)
Peter Sellers (gamekeeper, frogman)
Spike Milligan (camper)
Mario Fabrizi (photographer)
Leo McKern (man with field glass)
Bruce Lacey (man at the tree stump)
David Lodge (athlete)
Graham Stark (astronaut, punched man)
Johnny Vyvyan
Joe McGrath (also did the titles)
Original Music: Richard Lester
Cinematography: Richard Lester
Film Editing: Richard Lester
Peter Sellers
Plot Summary:
Absolutely no plot!

San Francisco Film Festival.

Nominated for an Oscar in the Best Short Subjects, Live Action Subjects category, 33rd Annual Academy Awards, 1960

The Running Jumping & Standing Still Film is available as a supplement to the Beatles film,
A Hard Day's Night.

NTSC_DVD.gif (1399 bytes) (NTSC DVD)
MPI Home Video;

CDROM.gif (1552 bytes) (CDROM)
Cat: QT15
The Voyager Company, 1993.

Films of Richard Lester cover
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The Films of Richard Lester
Written by Neil Sinyard.
1985, hardback
Croom Helm Ltd., London.
(Croom Helm Studies on Film, Television and the Media,
General Editor: Dr Anthony Aldgate.)
ISBN 0709933479
This out-of-print book discusses Lester's films, starting with his first, The Running Jumping & Standing Still Film.

An Introductory History of British Broadcasting
Written by Andrew Crisell.
Routledge, London.
ISBN 0-415-12802-1 (hardback)
          0-415-12803-x (paperback)
Andrew Crisell writes that two 1950s radio comedy shows outshine the rest. The first of these was the Goon Show, and the other was Hancock's Half Hour.

The Story of the Goons cover
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The Story of the Goons
Written by Alfred Draper.
With John Austin & Harry Edgington
Everest Books Ltd., London.
ISBN 0905018-257 (paperback)
An intimate account of the lives of the Goons, both on-air and off. Many rare photographs, including two of Bentine, and one of the Goons with the Telegoons puppets.

Monty Python Speaks! cover

Monty Python Speaks
Written by David Morgan.
1999, paperback
Avon Books, Inc.
ISBN 0380804794
This excellent history of Monty Python, most of it in their own words, has the Pythons tipping their hat more than once to Spike Milligan and the Goons.

On Air A Sound of Goons
(BBC Radio, 1983)
A documentary about The Goon Show presented by Frank Muir.
Air date: 1983-8-13
Length: 44:30
Comments by: Jimmy Grafton (primary catalyst for the Goons)
Dennis Main Wilson (Goon Show producer)
Spike Milligan (Goon)
Harry Secombe (Goon)
Norma Farnes (Spike's secretary)
John Browell (Goon Show producer)
Bert Mortimer
Script by: Simon Brett
Produced by: John Browell

Frank Muir
English humourist
Frank Muir

Question: Why are the names of some of the Goon Show scripts high-lighted in red?
Answer: If you haven't figured it out already, this is to point out the availability, in book form, of a few of the twenty six Goon Show scripts that were cut down in size and reworked by Maurice Wiltshire into episodes of The Telegoons.

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