Here's my first go on 'The Raid of the International Xmas Pudding." I've got a couple of experts I'll have listen to a few of the squiggly bits, but feel free to comment yourself.

This was generated from an MP3 of dubious provenance, 6.6Mb.

I'd be interested to know if people think lieutenant, when pronounced "leftenant", should be spelled as pronounced or spelled correctly. I have been consistently inconsistent here.

It ended rather abruptly, so I don't know if there should be more after "Quartet."


This is the BBC home service. Before the next part of the program, here is, "The Goon Show."

[Discordant chord]

Grytpype?: For years now, the feathered non-saxophone-playing Senapati(?) tribesmen have been creeping down from the date fields of Northern Waziristan...

Eccles: Fine, fine, fine.

Grytpype?: Thank you. The reason for these destructive raids was an attempt to capture and imprison the recipe for the Great International Christmas Pudding.


Seagoon: And, thank you. My name is Captain Neddy Seagoon, though why my mother christened me Captain I shall never know. [Chuckles] Take a look at this picture of the regiment. See what I mean? [Chuckles, clears throat] But, but I'm digressing. China, 1884. The province of Sikiang is bleak, barren, and desolate. There are no gas works and all the rivers are under water. Therefore, our story will take place in India!

Eccles: Fine, whoo!

Grytpype: It was a meeting in the spring of a late autumn in 1862, when the strange secret was first disclosed.

[Crowd noise of rhubarb]

Seagoon: Gentleman!

[Crowd noise of rhubarb]

Seagoon: Rhubarb. Gentlemen! At ease, you may smoke. Put that cigarette out!

Eccles: You said I could smoke!

Seagoon: Yes, but not tobacco.

Eccles: Ooooh.

Seagoon: Now gentleman, we are facing a serious situation. Therefore, let's all turn 'round!

Voice in crowd (muted): Fine, that's a good idea.

Seagoon: The destructive raids of the Red-Bladders' tribesmen are endangering the Great International Christmas Pudding.

[Crowd of distressed voices]

Seagoon: Yes! Yes! Eccles, put that saxophone out!

Eccles: You said we could smoke!

Seagoon: But not saxophones! Rhubarb I tell you. Now, you see this large map of the Deckworth(?) and Aberswyth(?) area, showing the high ground and sunny(?) ~~~ areas?

Eccles: Yeah.

Seagoon: Gentlemen, I put this map up for a very special reason.

Unknown (Fuzznuckle?): Yes sir, what's that?

Seagoon: To cover that filthy great porridge stain on the wall! Now, I'm going to play you a military gramophone record. Listen carefully.

[Sound of gunfire, bugles, artillery]

Seagoon: Right gentlemen, come out from under the sheet. Eccles, put that horse out!

Eccles: But you said we could smoke!

Seagoon: Not horses!

Eccles: This one's ~~~-~~~! (tipped?)

Seagoon: Which only goes to prove ... now then! Gentlemen, do you know what record that was? It was the recording of the Battle of Plessey (Percy?).

Unknown (Claudeau?): You mean you actually recorded the entire battle, sir?

Seagoon: Not just one (Claudeau?), 400! In fact, every battle ever fought in India has been recorded.

Unknown (Claudeau?): Can you, can you buy them locally, sir?

Unknown (Fuzznuckle?): I mean, are they on the hit parade, sir?

Seagoon: No, no they aren't, (Fuzznuckle?). The only copies are in the Indian Museum of Battle Records in Poona(?). Yet, one of these recordings has fallen into the hands of the Red Bladder!


Seagoon: Yes, Lieutenant Custard, and that's not all. The record that was stolen was the one of the only victory the Red Bladder had over the British.

Unknown: (Pah?) Of what possible use can this record possibly be to the Red Bladder?

Seagoon: A good question. I wish I had a good answer.

Another Unknown: Is it not a fact, sir, that the captured record is being played daily over the Red Bladder's wireless to incite his tribesmen to renewed savagery?

Seagoon: Thank you! Yes! But we are successfully countering.

Leftenant (Parrot?): How, Sir? Tell us, how? Elucidate! Clarify this statement! Tell us how, sir? How? Do speak! Explain! Show us! How, how? Tell me, how?

Seagoon: Leftenant (Parrot?), sir? I'm putting you on a charge.

L: What for, sir?

Seagoon: Overacting. Now gentlemen, we are twarting, and I repeat twarting, the Red Bladder by broadcasting in reply all the gramophone records of our victories over him. [Phone rings] Hello, yes? Men, bad news. The Red Bladder has surrounded our radio station at Shabagan(?) All our records are in danger.

L(?): I say, does this mean, does this mean, war, sir?

Seagoon: Yes. Men, I'm calling for volunteers.

[Sound of fleeing footsteps]

Seagoon: Now why didn't I think of that?

[door opens]

Bloodnok: Ergh, sorry I'm late, it took me all morning to chase her off.

Seagoon: Ah, Major Bloodnok --

Bloodnok: What?

Seagoon: -- just the man. We have a dangerous mission for you. [Sound of fleeing] Quick! Stop him before he gets to the bus stop!

L?: I've got him, sir, I've got him sir. C'mon.

Bloodnok: Take your filthy hands of my filthy arm, will you! I've never been so yakavakkakked(?) in all my --

Seagoon: Bloodnok, stop yakavakkakkering. (?)

Bloodnok: Yakavakkakka.

?: Yakavakkakka, Ooo!

Seagoon: You will assume command at once of the Fourth Battalion Night Flappers(?), and march to the relief of Shabagan(?).

[Sounds of marching]

Bloodnok: And so we marched, oh, how we marched. Week after week, month after month I led them. It seemed we'd never reach Shabagan. Then unluckily I took a wrong turning -- and we arrived.


Bloodnok: Men. Men of the Shabagan radio station. You've all heard of me, Major Bloodnok, haven't you?

Unknown: No

Unknown: No

Unknown: No sir.

Seagoon-alike: (chuckles) No sir.

Bloodnok: Oh. Well in that case I appoint myself left(?)-treasurer. I second that. Now then. What I want to know is who's changed the --

Red Bladder: Ahh, Major Bloodnok. At last I meet you, cor blimey.

Bloodnok: Oh!

Red Bladder: My card.

Bloodnok: It's the naughtified Red Bladder! Aaahh! [Whoosh!]

Red Bladder: Bloodnok, come out from under that bed.

Bloodnok: Don't hit me then, don't hit me. Here, have my OBE.

Red Bladder: ~~. You have in your possession here, 399 records of battles in which the British did beat my soldiers. Hand them over, cor blimey.

Bloodnok: And betray my people's trust? What do you take me for?

Red Bladder: (An old?) liar and a coward.

Bloodnok: Sit down, I think we can do business. Red Bladder, I'll make a deal with you. Here's a record of a British victory. Call off your attack.

Red Bladder: Ok, mate.

Announcer: No attack was placed that day. But the following morning...

[Bugler, followed by sounds of attack]

Abdul: Aaattaack! The Red Bladder is attacking again, sir!

Bloodnok: What what what? Quick Abdul, send him, post him another battle record, that'll keep him quiet. Thank heaven we've got 397 more. We're safe for 13 months and 3 days. Tell Miss Johnson I'm ready for her now, will you?


Seagoon: Meanwhile at army HQ in Poona, I happened one evening to be listening to the wireless.

[Music, possibly played backwards]

Announcer: Good morning ~~~(wrongways?), this is Abdul (Nelric?) with your show(?) for this morning. And now for Mrs. The Red Bladder are two packages, Grand ~~~, Kyber Pass, here is a record of the Battle of Pondicherry, in which the British got a good bashing from the Red Bladder, Ole.

[Battle sounds]

Seagoon: Good heavens! Great Scott! Did you hear that, Field Marshal Carruthers?

Carruthers: Yes, but we didn't lose the battle of Pondicherry, sir.

Seagoon: Great galloping crab! Do you know what they're doing?

Carruthers: What?

Seagoon: They're playing that record backwards, to make it sound as if the British were losing!

Carruthers: Then it doesn't take an idiot to know that our radio station and Major Bloodnok have been completely wiped out, sir.

Seagoon: (Heaven fear?), we must send help. Eccles?

Eccles: Yeah?

Seagoon: Hold(?) forth. Off you go!

[marching sound]

Carruthers: Do you think one man is really enough sir?

Seagoon: Of course not, we'll follow with another man, namely, Max Geldray!

[musical interlude]


[Sound of battle]

Abdul: Stop, stop, stop, the Red Bladder's attacking again, mwah!

Bloodnok: I've got no more records, lad! This Red Bladder's causing a lot of trouble!

[Bugle call]

Bloodnok: Listen (laughing) ~~~~ laugh hysterically. Abdul, Good heavens, it's a bugle call, followed immediately by Seagoon and two men-type soldiers!

Seagoon: Bloodnok!

Bloodnok: Waaugh!

Seagoon: Take off that (tuxedo?) outfit, and explain how the Red Bladder's been getting these records of British history.

Bloodnok: He employed a mean, low, cunning trick, sir!

Seagoon: What?

Bloodnok: He bribed me! I'd be mad to turn it down of course.

Seagoon: Has he got every record?

Bloodnok: Yes. And believe me, our morale-boosting programme sounds pretty thin with just the whistler and his dog. Especially as the whistler died last week.

Seagoon: (Gadjigoo?) this is terrible ~~~

Bloodnok: Yes.

Seagoon: We've got to stop him playing our records.

Bloodnok: Yes. And so that night with the enemy at the gate, firing through the windows, throwing grenades into the compound, shooting up through the floor and dropping bombs through the ceiling, we were forced to take dinner from the kneeling position.

[Battle sounds]

Seagoon: General, have you noticed anything strange about those (chewed foods?)

Bloodnok: Yes, ~~ custard.

Seagoon: Correct. And another thing, we're being attacked.

Bloodnok: What's more, the Red Bladder's got fresh troops.

Seagoon: Who told you?

Bloodnok: One of the women I got fresh with. I'm on the wrong side, you know.

Seagoon: Bloodnok, stop blacking up.

Bloodnok: Stop blacking up (sing-song) ~~~ maamee..

Seagoon: Yakavakkakagoo. Now listen up, our first counter-move. Any suggestions? [pause] Very well, our second counter-move. We'll form three companies of commandos, numbered one, two, and three. Each group is thoroughly trained at the lost art of removing a gramophone needle from its soundbox, and destroying it. Now, look at this chart.

Carruthers?: Why sir? It's a photograph of a gramophone needle.

Seagoon: Correct. It's the actual gramophone needle the enemy is using in this insulting campaign, photographed at great risk by air reconnaisance at low level.

Carruthers: How did they manage to get so low?

Seagoon: They walked. Now, we're going to destroy Red Bladder's gramophone needle. We'll call this "Operation Needle."

Spike: Nardle noo!

Seagoon: Thank you, "Operation Needle Nardle Noo" is on!

[Dramatic music]

Announcers: Our heroes reported immediately for an intensive eight-year course at the army needle-destroying depot at Umbala.

[drilling sound]

Instructor: There gentlemen. Having drilled a hole in the gramophone needle -- listen very carefully, by the way -- you put into the hollow of the needle, one eye-dropper full of the nitroglycerine. Now be most careful about this, it's extremely dangerous. Now, next we attach the detonator leads, and set the fuse, so. Now, we withdraw quickly to two miles distance, follow me.

[Whoosh sound]

Bluebottle: Hello everybody! Sorry I'm late. Hooh, there's nobody here. Thinks, there's nobody here. I know, I will sit here quietly until the talking lectureman comes back. Tries to cut out six boxtops of Scrappo, thus enabling me to get the Scrappo Boy's bravery badge for eating six boxes of scrappo. I think I will sing a little song to keep my spirits up. (sings) (Oh my love?), my darling ~~~~~

Eccles: Hallo!

Bluebottle: Oh, it's the famous Eccles!

Eccles: The famous Eccles!

Bluebottle: Eccles!

Eccles: Eccles?

Bluebottle: Let's play that game, you close your eyes and guess who you are.

Eccles: Fine, I like the sound of that, I'll close my eyes. Now let me see, who am I, who am I? I'm not going to tell you.

Bluebottle: Well, while he is guessing, I think ... oh! What are those things, funny things under the lecturer's desk? Oh, it is a knitting needle for a ~~~ thing. Oh, what is this big box here with the red labels, saying ~~~ nitroglycerine explosive? Thinks, I wish I had not readed that bit. I know, I will tiptoe out of the room. Thinks, this is one week Bluebottle is not going to be deaded. Reaches door, so far so good. Opens door, ~~~~ . Turns about for one last look of triumph.


Bluebottle: You rotten swine, you! You have exploded me! Where's my leg(s?)? I don't like this game, I've (gone a-bunk?) [Goes off muttering]

Announcer: The experiment had succeeded. The needle was entirely blunted.

Seagoon: So we prepared to attack the Red Bladder's dreaded radio station.

[Sound of frogs]

Announcer: Yes, that night our heroes crept through the jungle, playing their tom-toms as quietly as possible, and holding umbrellas painted to resemble mango trees.

Eccles: Oh! I'm frightened!

Seagoon?: What's up Eccles?

Eccles: I just spotted a leopard!

Bloodnok: Nonsense, leopards are always spotted. Now then, if it had only been a dog, we could have all had lunch.

Eccles: Oh, spotted dog!

Secombe: That'd explain the gag!

Eccles: Hey, oh, oh, I just saw a tree move!

Bloodnok: It must have spotted a dog as well!

Seagoon: I don't wish to know that! Now then --

Eccles: The tree did...

Seagoon: Let's check our bearings. Let me see now, one, two, three, four. That's one bearing each. Make them last as long as you can.

Bloodnok: Thank you. Every man should have a military bearing. Hold a minute. This is a civilian bearing!

Seagoon: Of course. We're in disguise. Now let's check our position. Put on that gramophone record of a map.

Eccles: Okay.


Seagoon: Aah yes, just as I thought, we're marching up a road.

Bloodnok: Wait, listen.

[Car sound approaching, horn sound, and receding]

Seagoon: Swine! He was driving on the wrong side of the record. Anybody hurt?

Bluebottle: Yes, I'm hurt.

Eccles: He's hurting.

Seagoon: Quick, put on a record of a doctor's (house?)~~~.

Eccles: Okay.


Seagoon: Curse, he's not in. He must be away on another record. Well, never mind. Here's a phonograph of Gracie Fields playing Ray Ellington.

[Musical interlude, Ray Ellington plays Gracie Fields' "Sally" with some variant lyrics]

Bloodnok: Stop this crazy type photographic humor. We must find the Red Bladder's radio station or my name's not Dennis Diana Dors Bloodnok.

Seagoon: What's Diana Dors doing in the middle?

Bloodnok: Can you think of a better place?

Seagoon: Quiet please.

Bloodnok: Oh, I'm a ~~~

Seagoon: I think we're within a stone's throw of the Red Bladder's secret radio. I'll make a test. Hand me that elephant.

Bloodnok: Here you are.

Eccles: What's the ~~~ ~~~? (or is it "Let's just take his hat off"?)

Seagoon: Now then. [Straining sounds] Ugh!

[Sound of breaking glass, then horn]

Seagoon: I knew it! I knew it. (We must be/We're also?) within elephant-throwing distance. But there's open ground between. How are we going to cross it?

Eccles: Yeah, how are we going to -- gonna get across it?

[Steam engine sound]

Seagoon: And so we arrived by train. Now men, we must affect entry via a cunning ruse. We'll say we are plumbers.

Bloodnok: But we don't know how to do plumbing.

Seagoon: Exactly. There's no plumbing in the Red Bladder fort. It's only to afford an entry.

Eccles: I can't afford an entry, I haven't got any money with me, I didn't...

Seagoon: Shut up Eccles! [Repeated by all] Now then, the plumbers' disguises. Eccles?

Eccles: Yeah?

Seagoon: Put this spanner behind your ear, and wrap these 50 feet of lead (sheet?) around your legs.

Eccles: Why?

Seagoon: ~~~~~ ~~ . Major Bloodnok, you take this copy of "10,000 Plumber's Gags."

Bloodnok: Ahh.

Seagoon: Now, who knows how to ring a doorbell?

Bluebottle: I can, Captain, I have been to college.

Seagoon: Thank heavens, right. Ring!

Bluebottle: Ring ring ring a ding DING!

Red Bladder: Yes, what do you want, cor blimey!

Seagoon: We're plumbers.

Red Bladder: Come in, cor blimey!

Seagoon: Wait, noble Red Bladder. Why have you got your trouser legs rolled up above your neck?

Red Bladder: Got burst pipes.

Bloodnok: That's done it, we can't repair any burst pipes. [Clears throat] Tell me, where is the pipe?

Red Bladder: In hareem.

Bloodnok: Weahahh! [Sound of footsteps]

Seagoon: Bloodnok, come back here!

Red Bladder: Come, come. Hurry up and mend burst pipes, cor blimey, four of my wives are underwater.

Seagoon: I -- well I'm terribly sorry, we, we were on strike, you know. We never repair wives under water, goodbye!

Red Bladder: Me suspicious of them, cor blimey.

[Knocking sound]

Red Bladder: Yes?

Seagoon: Good morning.

Red Bladder: What you want?

Seagoon: (Quietly) This'll get us in safely, Lieutenant. (Normal)I'm Doctor Seagoon and we are (travelling?) brain surgeons and tigers' dentists.

Red Bladder: Good! My tiger's got (stone?) in brain and two bad teeth. This way please.

Seagoon: Right you know I'm sorry, I'm sorry, we, we've just been struck off the rolls.

Red Bladder: Why?

Seagoon: The baker didn't like us sitting on them. Ha ha! Good day!

Red Bladder: Cor blimey, me very suspicious now! First plumber, then (strolling?) brain surgeon, then corny gag about struck off roll! Now what?

[Knock knock]

Seagoon: One, two, three.

Seagoon and company: (singing) We three kings of Orient are...

[Gunshot and scream]

Seagoon and company: (singing) We two kings of Orient are...

[Gunshot and Eccles ow!]

Bluebottle: (singing) Noel, Noel...

Red Bladder: Stop! Stop! Christmas not here for another eleven months!

Seagoon: Well, can we come in and wait?

Red Bladder: Very well, on one condition.

Seagoon: What?

Red Bladder: That you go away at once.

Seagoon: Very well, we will, on one condition.

Red Bladder: What?

Seagoon: That you let us stay.

Red Bladder: (Nuts?)!

Seagoon: We're in, lads.

Red Bladder: You sit here and wait for Merry Christmas, cor blimey. Me go put frogman suit on, talk to four submerged wives.

Seagoon: We must hurry, chaps. The Red Bladder is due to broadcast worldwide strife in five minutes.

Bluebottle?: ~~~

Seagoon: We must blow up the gramophone needle before then. So much for the plot. Eccles?

Eccles: Yeah?

Seagoon: Shut up.

Eccles: Shut up!

Seagoon: Now, follow me down this passage. What's in here?

[Door opens, to exotic music]

Eccles: OoooOooo...

Bloodnok: Get out of here! Get those trousers pressed, will you?

[Door closes]

Seagoon: He'll be sorry when the cold weather comes. (Clears throat)

[Door opens]

Bluebottle: Captain? Look. Here is the vital record-type-playing room.

Eccles: Ooo.

Seagoon: Well done, Bluebottle, good work. Gadsdigoonyah. What's this written on the turntable?

Bluebottle: I think it's a South American one.

Seagoon: Why?

Bluebottle: It says 78 revolutions a minute. ~~~~

Seagoon: Thinks, whallop.

Bluebottle: Thinks, oh, my nut!

Seagoon: Hurriedly we drilled a hole in that gramophone needle, filled it with nitroglycerine and screwed it back in.

Bluebottle: ~~~, The Red Bladder's coming, Captain!

Seagoon: Quick, disguise yourselves as gramophone records! Right, put these labels on. Remember at all costs, if he plays you, sing!

Red Bladder: What's this, cor blimey, three new records? Me put one on.

Seagoon: I watched horrified as he put Bluebottle on the turntable. Would Bluebottle succeed in deceiving the Red Bladder?

Bluebottle: (Singing) Ring ding ding a ding, ~~~~~~ Hey wait a minute, this needle's full of the dreaded nitro hoo ha...


Announcer: And it was. An heroic British victory, with the loss of only three idiots. This show was recorded on a double-sided Bluebottle. Good night listeners...


That was the Goon Show, a BBC-recorded programme with Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe and Spike Milligan, with the Ray Ellington Quartet.