Greenslade: This is an impersonation of the BBC Science Channel

GRAMS: First few bars of the LHC Rap

Secombe: Stop, stop, stop! You can’t play that kind of music on a Goon Show, Wal!

Greenslade: And why not Mr Secombe?

Secombe: Everybody knows the Goon Shows were recorded during the 1950s, years before Rap music was invented.

Greenslade: Ah yes, Mr Secombe, but this is an all NEW Goon Show, written and recorded in the twenty-first century…

Secombe; (stammers) But - but – It’s – You can’t – I mean –

Greenslade: Gad, spit it out, man


Secombe: That’s better. Now Greenslade, you can’t have a Goon Show without Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan. It just wouldn’t be proper.

Greenslade: That is why we have reassembled the entire cast and crew.

Secombe: But they’re all dead!

Greenslade: That’s why we’ve had to reassemble them.

Secombe: Does that include you, Wal?

Greenslade: Yes, Mr Secombe, and you.

GRAMS: X-Files theme song begins, held under

Secombe: Gulp!

Greenslade: You see, none of us are real. The CIA saw the military potential of the Goon Show in 1959 and authorised the construction of an artificial Goon Show in a secret research centre in the hills of Nevada – (music stops)

Secombe: Area 51?

Greenslade: It wasn’t much of a secret was it! Nevertheless, the development of a secret American Goon Show put pressure on British Intelligence to rebuild the original Goon Show -

GRAMS: Six million dollar man music

Sellers (American voice): We can rebuild him… we have the technology… we can make him better than he was…. Better… stronger … faster …

Eccles: Fine, fine, fine…

Sellers: Maybe even smarter

Bluebottle: What about me?

GRAMS: Boom!

Bluebottle: You rotten onions you!

Greenslade: With Goon Shows popping up on both sides of the Atlantic, other nations were inspired to jump in on the new arms race. (dramatic voice) Who knows how many Goon Shows are out there now…

GRAMS: X-Files music starts again.

Milligan: To test the effectiveness of the reconstructed Goon Show, the Atomic Energy Commission has authorised a remotely-controlled test at an atoll in the South Pacific, the outcome of which is being transmitted live to the BBC as we speak. A 30-minute drama celebrating Mankind’s greatest invention to date, the Large Hadron Collider.

ORCHESTRA: Rising chords, dramatic tone

Secombe (dramatic): The Hadron Collider!

Sellers (distant): The Hadron Collider!

Bannister (more distant): The Hadron Collider! Ooohhh!

ORCHESTRA: Single Drum beat, followed by Harp Glissando

Greenslade: (up close and personal) The need for a Hadron Collider was first suggested by a young scientist named Henry Crun, back in 1965…

Crun: Yes… yes (mnk) as I recall I was in the kitchen one day with my betrothed, Miss Minnie Bannister. And she pulled a pie out of the oven, you see, and placed it in front of me to eat. I didn’t know what kind of pie it was so I asked Minnie, I asked you see, like this (ahem) Minnie, what’s inside this pie? And she said it was a blueberry pie. So I looked at it and said it didn’t look very much like a blueberry pie, and that maybe she was wrong. I said I thought it looked more like a burnt frisbee. Well, that started an argument, you see, which ended with Minnie throwing the pie into my face. And do you know, I discovered that it is very easy to identify the contents of a pie when you throw it at something. So I said to Minnie, like this I said (ahem) Minnie? I think we should build an electromagnetic particle accelerator so that we can investigate the fundamental nature of matter.

Greenslade: So then you took your idea to the Royal Society?

Crun: Yes

Greenslade: And what did they say?

Crun: They said it was definitely blueberry pie.

Greenslade: But they nevertheless authorised your plan to build the Large Hadron Collider?

Crun: Well, no, not at first. You see, they pointed out – very wisely I think – that it would have cost too much to build a machine that could accelerate blueberry pies to the speed of light, but maybe they could accelerate something a little lighter. And they suggested protons.

Greenslade: Well, that is simply marvellous. And now, forty years later, you have risen through the ranks to become associate professor of the physics department at Berkeley…

Crun: Yes, I am now a chief Burke.

Greenslade: And you are trying to uncover the last great secrets of the universe…

Crun: Yes

Greenslade: And you think the Hadron Collider may help you find them?

Crun: Find what?

Greenslade: er.. the last great secrets of the universe. What occurred during the Big Bang for example; why there is an imbalance in the natural distribution of matter and antimatter; what Dark Matter is composed of and what it is that causes the gravitational force that holds everything together,…

Crun: What a wonderful idea. Do you think the Hadron Collider can do all that?

Greenslade: I .. er … um .. well, it might just .. I mean …

Crun: I must go and tell Minnie about all of this. (wanders off, shouting) Minnie! Min Min Min Minnie!

Milligan: Mr Crun recently celebrated his hundred-and-fifth birthday by remembering what day it was for the entire day.

Greenslade: We move now, to the Large Hadron Collider as it exists today. A marvel of human engineering, it is a perfect circle lying 300 feet below the Swiss-French border, a circle some 27 kilometres in circumference.

Milligan: Never have so many good scientists had to grovel with such determination to get the money they needed to fund such a vast project.

Secombe: 626 garage sales

Sellers: 458 egg-and-spoon races

Milligan: a massive 4,312 cake stalls and then…

Sellers: 944 sausage sizzles!

Secombe: all of which has turned the world’s best physicists into gourmet chefs.

Milligan: Cooking is now a mandatory component of most degree courses in physics, along with tap-dancing and banjo playing.

Greenslade: Moving along now, we have with us in the studio, the engineer who supervised the construction of the Large Hadron Collider. Major Denis Bloodnok of The United Nations Peace-Keeping Force in Rockall

ORCHESTRA: Bloodnok Theme.

Bloodnok: Aeiugh! Well, well, well. Wallace Greenslade! After all these years! Back from the dead! How are you, old man?

Greenslade: I’m very well, Major. Now Major, could you tell the listeners why this particular region on the Swiss-French border was chosen.

Bloodnok: Well we explored several suitable locations… Marseille, Monte Carlo, Monaco, - aeiugh - all of which looked good on the surface. But then we realised that what was under the surface was far more important. Now looking north-east to the border with Switzerland you will notice this very large, sparsely populated region, given mostly to the production of wine, aeiugh!

Greenslade: Yes?

Bloodnok: We realised digging the Hadron Collider in this region would require us digging through no less than 412 wine cellars. That’s when we knew we’d hit the jackpot.

Greenslade: I see… (ahem) So did digging a smoothly-curved tunnel present no particular problems?

Bloodnok: Not at all, not at all. We hired a team of men who were shorter on their left leg than on their right and just set them to work.

Greenslade: I see.

Ellington: Major Bloodnok? Can you come immediately to the control room, please?

Bloodnok: What is it, Ellington?

Ellington: Professor Crun has gone down Tunnel Shaft A again. He says he’s going to take the Tube back to Victoria Station.

Bloodnok: I’ll come right away. If you will excuse me, Mr Greenslade.

Greenslade: Of course. (ahem) We introduce now the Hadron Collider’s current director, Dr Jim Moriarty of the University of Yuckabakoo in Paris. Are you there, Dr Moriarty?

Moriarty: Yes, yes, yes. Can you hear me, M’sieu Greenslade?

Greenslade: Quite fine, Jim. Now if we could start with the question of black holes. Could you assure the listeners that we have nothing to fear?

Moriarty: (laughs) Hah ha ha yes, yes, all those silly rumours by people that have never taken the time to study even a little physics. Do you realise that the diameter of a proton is less than ten to the power minus fifteen metres?

Greenslade: Well I (ahem) it’s been a long time –

Moriarty: Of course, of course. But you see, creating a black hole from such tiny particles would require a perfect head-on collision and that would require a degree of accuracy far beyond our capabilities. The likelihood of such an event happening randomly is extremely remote. It would be as if two tennis balls were sent into the air from the opposite ends of a major city like London, and expecting them to collide in mid-air.

Greenslade: Nevertheless the creation of a black hole is theoretically possible?

Moriarty: (laughs again) Theoretically yes. But even if a black hole could be formed from two protons, please remember that the mass of the black hole is still merely that of two protons. The event horizon would be infinitesimally small and the gravitational field from those two protons would be less than that of the air coming out of my mouth.

Greenslade: A good analogy, Jim.

Moriarty: Thank you, M’sieu. A black hole of this microscopic size could wander through the Earth for years and never collide with anything. In fact, now that I think about it, the dark matter we seek in outer space may well be a sea of such microscopic black holes that do not interact with anything because they’re too small.

Greenslade: Interesting possibility, Jim. So we have nothing to fear from the Large Hadron Collider?

Moriarty: Not at all. There is a greater chance of me creating a black hole by poking my finger up my nose like this and (nasally) pushing two atoms together –

GRAMS: Loud, slow creak, turns into rumble, followed by distinct pop.

GRAMS: X-Files music starts again.

Greenslade: We regret to inform you that this was Dr Moriarty’s final public appearance. Max Geldray? Could we have a bit of music while the remains of Dr Moriarty are carted away?


Greenslade: Three years have gone by since the Hadron Collider was first switched on. We speak now to the Project’s new Director, Mr Ned Seagoon of the University of Oy-Bach in Wales and lead singer of the Quantum Physics Band The Dave Quark Five.

Seagoon: (sings loudly and awfully) The hills are alive with the sound of music….

Greenslade: Dr Seagoon, would you give us a summary of the findings from the Hadron Collider, that have amassed in the last three years.

Seagoon: Oh yes, the Hadron Collider. That amazing machine that spins sub-atomic particles around a 27-kilometre loop 11,000 times every second.

Greenslade: What have you learned, Dr Seagoon?

Seagoon: They get very dizzy at this speed.


Greenslade: I see. Has this discovery caused you to alter your experiments in any way?

Seagoon: Yes. We now spin the protons clockwise around the loop in the mornings, and anti-clockwise in the afternoons.

OMNES: Bravo! (cheers)

Greenslade: And yet the international scientific community has cut funding for the project?

Seagoon: Yes. It’s a shame, really. Nevertheless we have managed to make a deal with the French Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. They will fund our future experiments if we allow them to use our Hadron Collider on a time-sharing basis.

Greenslade: Really? And what could the French Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries want with a circular tunnel three hundred feet underground?

Seagoon: They say they want to use it as an underground Salmon Run. We will therefore be colliding fish together instead of sub-nuclear particles.

Greenslade: Fantastic!

Ellington: Ah, Dr Seagoon?

Seagoon: Yes?

Ellington: Can you come downstairs immediately? Professor Crun is heading down to the accelerator again. He’s carrying a fishing rod.

Seagoon: Blast! Please excuse me, Mr Greenslade, I’m going to have to sort this out. Ellington? Entertain the listeners, would you?

Ellington: Righto.


Seagoon: Six months later we were able to resume our experiments. We quickly realised that salmon were not suitable for high speed collisions since they produced nothing more than salmon pate. We decided to experiment with a more robust form of fish, the haddock.

Greenslade: Is that why you changed the name of the project?

Seagoon: Yes, Greenslade. The Large Hadron Collider is now the Large Haddock Collider. When a Haddock meets an anti-Haddock at 99.99 percent of the speed of light, they will annihilate one another and release a burst of cosmic rays more energetic than anything the universe has seen since the moment of its creation. Who knows what mysterious particles we will observe on our detectors.

Milligan: Seagoon experimented for several weeks without result. But then,,, the day came when all of his hopes and dreams were realised in a single flash of light….

GRAMS: Harp Glissando

GRAMS: mechanical and electrical noises.

Seagoon: Are we ready to begin?

Sellers American voice): All ready, Sir.

Seagoon: Activate the electromagnets!

Sellers: Okay, Sir

GRAMS: sound of some huge machine revving up

Seagoon: Stand back everybody! The fields will be quite strong.

GRAMS: zhoozh zhoozh zhoozh as per washing machine

Seagoon: Are the Haddock ready?

Sellers: Yes Sir.

Seagoon: Right! Release the Haddock stream into the holding ring!

GRAMS: splashes.

GRAMS: zhoozh zhoozh zhoozh

Seagoon: Now release the anti-haddock into the slipstream!

GRAMS: splash splash splash

GRAMS: zhoozh zhoozh zhoozh

Sellers: 99.99 percent light speed, Sir!

Seagoon: (excruciating excitement) Open the collision path! (maniacal laugh)

GRAMS: zhoozh zhoozh zhoozh….. distant thunderous rumble

Seagoon: Quick! Everyone to the debris detectors

GRAMS: herd of cattle mooing

Seagoon: What’s that?

Sellers: Muons, Sir, a lot of them!

GRAMS: Sheep baa-ing

Sellers: And there go the lambda neutrinos

Seagoon: Lookout, here come a stream of pions

GRAMS: whoosh splat!

Seagoon: (licking) Blueberry! Professor Crun was right!

Crun: I told you so…

Seagoon: But what’s this coming into view. It – It’s huge!

Spriggs: (distant, sings) I’m walking backwards, for Christmas… (continues singing, under)

Seagoon: Oh my God. It’s real. We’ve found it at last

Greenslade: What, Dr Seagoon?

Seagoon: The Spriggs Boson!

Greenslade: The Spriggs Boson?

Seagoon: Yes, folks, the hypothesised particle that carries the gravitational force. With this particle we can learn to control the force of gravity and perhaps build machines that can carry us into deep into space. The universe is ours (laugh maniacally)

Greenslade: I say, steady on, man.

Seagoon: No, Greenslade, this is a momentous occasion, perhaps the greatest discovery in the history of the world. We must tell the world at once! Shut the machine down.

GRAMS: machine noise runs down

GRAMS: Door opens

Grytpype: Oh Neddy. Naughty little Neddy.

Seagoon: Who’s that?

Grytpype: Mr Hercules Grytpype-Thynne on her Majesty’s Secret Service.

Seagoon: You! You’re the fellow who runs that fish and chip shop down on Stanmore Rd. You’re a secret agent too?

Grytpype: Yes, Neddy. Now we can’t have you discovering particles that could spark a new scientific revolution..

Seagoon: Why not?

Grytpype: Well don’t you see? If everyone realises they can control gravity by colliding Haddock together at the speed of light, then everyone will want to build a Haddock Collider, and the price of Haddock will soar through the roof. Britain’s fish and chip industry will collapse. And if that goes, well my dear fellow, who can say what will become of the British way of life.

Seagoon: But, but, but…

Grytpype: No buts, Neddy. Just stare into this light would you?

GRAMS: muffled explosion, as per Men In Black

GRAMS: X-Files music begins again.

Greenslade: Here is the nine o’clock news. Scientists at the Large Haddock Collider today announced that they were shutting down the facility following an accident in which the Project’s director, Dr Seagoon, was injured. He has been taken to hospital where he is being kept in strict isolation. Further in today’s news, Mr Hercules Grytpype-Thynne, formerly of the British Secret Service, has opened a fish and chip shop on High Street, a shop with an interesting new concept: fish patties created by colliding Haddock head-first into each other at 99.99 percent of the speed of light. (eats) And jolly delicious they are too. Good night.