Transcribed by Mark D., Mark X., and Alf L. about 1975

The main characters:

Ned Seagoon

Harry Secombe


Peter Sellers


Spike Milligan

Mr Henry Crun

Peter Sellers

Miss Minnie Bannister

Spike Milligan

Constabule (sic)

Peter Sellers(?)

Lord Chief Magistrate of Little Filthmuck


Clerk of Court


Little Jim

Spike Milligan(?)

Little Voice




Bus Conductress



Peter Sellers


Spike Milligan

Major Denis Bloodnok

Peter Sellers


Spike Milligan(?)

With Bernard Miles (in what role?)

The Ray Ellington Quartet

Max Geldray

Orchestra conducted by Wally Stott

Announcer Wallace Greenslade

Script by Spike Milligan and Larry Stevens

Produced by Pat Dixon

Bill This is the BBC.

Seagoon And so say all of us, Wal!

Bill I say, it’s dashed decent of you to concur.

Seagoon Ah, isn’t it! What’s this bill of fare, mate?

Bill It’s a Goon Show called ‘The Rent Collectors’.

Seagoon Now, ah?

grams pastoral pipe music, with spike sing-over in silly mistral voice

Bill In a lonely mountain bog in the Pennines, the chilled wind blew a tattered fragment of newspaper onto the face of a sleeping gentleman.

Grytpype-Thynne Moriarty? Do you see that fragment of newspaper which has just been blown onto the frontal lobes of that disgusting Lithuanian shepherd?

Moriarty (muted) Ow. (normal) Yes, hand me my mutton-chop telescope.

Grytpype-Thynne There you are.

Moriarty Yes, I can read it. (excited) Gp, listen to this!

Grytpype-Thynne What?

Moriarty Crun and Partners, Commissioners for Oaths, will pay handsomely for men willing to face the hazards of rent collecting in the peon district of East Acton.

Grytpype-Thynne Moriarty, quick, let’s to it!

grams whoosh, whoosh

grams paper shuffling, pen scratching underneath following

Crun Now, now, now, now, what’s next? Oh, um, Mr Percy Murphy, of no fixed abod‘ee’, seven pence ha’penny behind in his rent. Mrs...

Minnie Henry, umg...

Crun What, what, what?

Minnie Oh, Hen... umgph (lip smacking) oh, Hen... Hen... Henry-y-y-y-y!

Crun Oh, drat that modern melody, woman!

Minnie (quietly) oh yim, bom, yim bom budda bum, bud da coo... (exclaims) Whoa!

Crun What do you... what... what is it, Min?

Minnie The cat wants to go out.

Crun What makes you think that, Min?

Minnie He’s just put his hat and coat on.

Crun Dear, oh, dear, why do we have to have a loony moggy that insists on wearing a hat and coat? Why can’t he be like other cats, and just wear a knitted pullover, I tell y...? Oh, now where was I...?

Minnie Because the dog’s wearing the pullover, you know that.

Crun (under) Oh... Mmnnk

Minnie It’s his turn to wear the pullover, you know that.

Crun (under) Oh... Mmnnk, natter, now...

Minnie (fading off) Yes. Yes, it is...

Crun Now, back to my writing...

grams pen scratching underneath following

Crun Mrs Spon, eleven and four-pence...

Minnie Henry, Henry-y-y-y!

Crun What is it now, Min?

Minnie Can’t you hear, Henry? There’s no-one knocking at the door.

Crun Then I won’t answer it, Min. You never know who it might not be.

Minnie Ahhhhh! But it might not be somebody we know!

Crun Oh, then I’d better see who isn’t there.

Grytpype-Thynne Good evening. My name is Grytpype-Thynne.

Seagoon (off) ‘Ere! When am I gonna get a part in this play, then?

Grytpype-Thynne Later, later, Neddy, later.

Seagoon (off) There’s three (?) no posh chat here.

Grytpype-Thynne Yes, you’ll get posh chat later, Neddy. Yes...

Seagoon (off, with above) Yes, (very indistinct) red lights(?) and lice(?)... (laughter)

Grytpype-Thynne Now, get back in the wings, will you? Now, Moriarty, will you do... will you do the talking while I take the part of Mr Crun?

Moriarty All right, Grytpype. Now, are you ready?

Crun Yes, I’m ready, now what do you want?

Moriarty We want the job as rent collectors.

Crun Yes, well the job is...

Moriarty Yes?

Crun ... collecting the rent from some tenants of ours.

Moriarty (muted) Owww...

Crun You see, they owe us eight thousand pounds, eleven and four-pence in arrears...

Moriarty In arrears!

Crun ... of which, a thousand pounds is yours, if you can collect it!

Moriarty Owie, owie, ow, ..... a thousand pounds! Owie, owie... we’ll do it!... we e e e’ll do... what’s the address?

Crun Death Grange, Slaughter Hill.

Moriarty That place!

Crun Yes.

Moriarty We’ll never do it, GP. It’s more than our life is worth to go to tha...

Seagoon (off) What about me? What about the acting part in the... I can’t sit down the back drinking brandy all night. I’ll be doin’ my nut, now!

Grytpype-Thynne Why not? You always do.

Moriarty Wait a minute. Come here, little Neddy. Put down that goat-skin full of brandy, and answer me one question. Have you ever heard of Death Grange, Slaughter Hill?

Seagoon No. Is it a holiday camp?

Moriarty (quietly) Owwww... (whispers conspiratorially) This is just the Charlie.

Grytpype-Thynne (whispers) Yes. I’ll do the talking, Moriarty.

Moriarty (whispers) Right, and I’ll put in the punctuation.

Grytpype-Thynne Neddy!...

Moriarty Comma.

Grytpype-Thynne um...

Moriarty Comma.

Grytpype-Thynne How would you like to earn five pounds?

Moriarty Question mark.

Grytpype-Thynne All you have to do is to go and collect the rent from Death Grange.

Moriarty Full stop.

Seagoon Certainly. How do I, er...?

Moriarty Just get on this bus.

Seagoon Does it go past the house?

Moriarty Yes, but you can jump off.

Seagoon Right. Good-bye.

grams ding (as in bus or tram). bus driving noises underneath.

Bus Conductress (similar to Lady Marks in the Affair of the Lone Banana) Fares, please. All fares, please.

Seagoon Slaughter Hill, please.

Conductress Slaughter Hill? Ooo, you’re asking for trouble, you are.

Seagoon No, I’m asking for a ticket! Ha-ha-ha! You’re too tall for me. E-ha-ha! Hu... hmmm. Four-penny one, please.

Conductress Four-pence? It’s six-pence to Slaughter Hill.

Seagoon Oh, righto. (aside) Little does she know it’s actually nine-pence.

Conductress (aside) Little does he know I’m not even the conductress on this bus...

orchestra linking chords – high trill, then down

Conductress (calling out) Slaughter Hill!

Seagoon Quick, stop the bus, then.

Conductress Not likely, you won’t catch us stopping here. You’ll have to jump for it.

Seagoon Right! Hup!

f.x. splash

Grytpype-Thynne Oh, dear, children. Look what has happened to poor Uncle Harry.

Little Jim (quietly) He’s fallen in the wat-ah!

Bill On arrival in the canal, Seagoon immediately inflated his Mae-West, blew up his rubber dingy, put on his water-wings, and sank like a stone.

f.x. splashing underneath.

Seagoon He-elp! Holf, Hilf, or if you’re French, oftre coure!

grams motor boat noises.

f.x. splashing continues gently underneath.

Seagoon What’s that? It’s a nautical gramophone playing a recording of a motor boat.

Grytpype-Thynne Yes, Neddy. We heard your cries of Help, Holf, Hilf and Wolf.

Seagoon Which one are you answering?

Grytpype-Thynne Hilf.

Seagoon Gad, you’re cutting it fine.

Moriarty Now, Neddy, what’s all the noise about?

Seagoon I have it on good authority that I’m drowning.

Grytpype-Thynne For a fee of one and six, we can salvage you.

Seagoon Right.

f.x. (all quickly) cash till: bell rings then opens. penny in till.

Grytpype-Thynne Thank-you. And here is a water-proof receipt.

Seagoon Just the thing for my submerged accountant.

Spike: (in background) He’s in trouble!

Seagoon And now... He-elp! I’m going down for the third time!

Moriarty The second... the second time! That’ll be another seven-pence.

Seagoon What for?

Moriarty For keeping count of the number of times you go down.

f.x. (all quickly) cash till: bell rings then opens.

Moriarty Thank-you.

f.x. penny in till.

Seagoon Now, please help me, I’ve just paid you two shillings, already.

Grytpype-Thynne Two and a penny, Neddy! And that will be another half-crown for keeping your account.

f.x. (all quickly) cash till: bell rings then opens. penny in till.

Grytpype-Thynne Now, let us help you into the boat.

f.x. splashing continues underneath.

Seagoon, Grytpype-Thynne, Moriarty Hup... Ho... Ah... Hup... Ooo... As

Moriarty Now, Neddy, you want to be taken ashore?

Seagoon Of course.

Moriarty One shilling, please.

Seagoon I... er... I haven’t any more money.

Moriarty No more money? Ah- buh!!!

Seagoon No...!

f.x. big splash.

grams motor boat sails off (fades).

Seagoon He-el-l-l-l-l-lp!

Grytpype-Thynne (off) Good-bye!

Moriarty (off) Good-bye in French!

Seagoon Dear listener, left alone in the canal, with no hope of rescue, I was forced to swim to the bank, and... and climb out.

f.x. splashing continues underneath.

Seagoon Ow, hup (grunts, puffs). Gasp! Gasp! Heyyy-ya!

Constabule Harllo, harllo, harllo. What’s this ’ere, mate.

Seagoon Constabule(sic)!

Constabule Caught you in the act, didn’t I, my dear? Swimmin’ in the canal, thereby crontravening (sic) by-law thirty-seven.

Seagoon But I had to swim, oh, Toothless One! Otherwise... otherwise, I’d have drowned.

Constabule Arr, no law in this village against drownin’, only swimmin’. Swimmin’s is a crinimals (sic) offence.

Seagoon But constabule (sic)...

Constabule You’ll have to appear before the magistrate, my dear. Ain’t nobody swammed (sic) in the canal since old Jim Plong fell in dead drunk in his long underwear.

Seagoon And did he have to go in front of the magistrate?

Constabule He was the magistrate.

Little Jim (quietly) He felled in the watah.

Constabule Arrr... say it again, my little darlin’.

Little Jim (quietly) Ok... felled in the watah.

Constabule You heard what he said. Come on or you’ll be late for the Court of Little Filthmuck. But don’t worry, my dear, I’ll stand by you.

Seagoon Why?

Constabule It’ll make me look taller... Ha-ha-har!

Seagoon Duck’s Disease! — The Curse of the Seagoons!

orchestra linking chords.

grams barnyard noises... chickens, cows, pigs, etc.

f.x. banging of gavel continues under rhubarb.

Omnes Rhubarb... rhubarb...

Clerk of Courts Oi, then, silence in cowshed! The court will stand for His Worship, the Lord Chief Magistrate o’ Little Filthmuck.

Magistrate Hello, me old dears. Now then, is everybody nice and comfortable?

Omnes (consenting) Oh, arrr!

Seagoon (over, off, shouting) I’m not!

Magistrate Nobody’s worried ’bout you... ’ere, and keep away from them pigs. We don’t want them to catch anythin’ before the cattle-show. Right, now I declare that I will try the prisoner fairly and that I am entirely unbiased one way or the other, right?

Clerk of Courts Right, Sir.

Magistrate Good. (lowered voice) Now, Tom, just run across the road and get some good strong rope. Now then, Mr. Spriggs, did the jury swear the hoath (sic)?

Clerk of Courts Yessir.

Spike(?) Yessir!

Magistrate Did the prisoner swear?

Clerk of Courts I never heard such language, Sir.

Magistrate Right then, proceed with the hevidence (sic)!

Clerk of Courts Right, Sir. (clears throat) The prisoner was apprehended whilst swimmin’ in the canal. When brought before me, he was soakin’ wet and drippin’ without due care and attention. I asked him his name, and he said it was ‘Ahhh Tishoo’.

Magistrate Ah, Chinese prisoner, eh?

Seagoon What, what? My name is... Ahhh... Ahhh... Ah... Tish-oo!

Clerk of Courts You see, he admits it, Sir.

Magistrate Ah, well, you’ve heard all the hevidence: now what shall we do to the prisoner?

Little Voice Hang him! Little Bootlard’s had two hangin’s this year, and we only had one.

Magistrate Ah, it’d be a chance of catchin’ up with them, wouldn’t it.

Little Voice Ah, let’s hang him now.

(Magistrate & Little Voice argue over each other:)

Magistrate Oh, no... come, come, come, come

Little Voice Come on, hang him, now!

Magistrate A, no, no, no, no...

Little Voice Ah, you can’t beat a long stretch of the...

(Magistrate over-rules the objections)

Magistrate Oh, no, you can’t hang him now... You gotta get the tickets printed and send the invitations out.

Villager Ah, yes, and then there’s the village band... They’ll have to get some practice in.

Magistrate Ah, they was shockin’ last time... and wasn’t fair to the prisoner. I mean you could see ’e was upset. Well, this time we must pick a nice tune, somethink like, well, wub... ah...
Where be that there blackbird to?
I know where ’e be.

Omnes ’E knows I, as I knows ’e,
’E knows (indistinct) I e artery(?)
Where be that there blackbird to?
Up that walnut tree! Ayyye!!!

Omnes (Shouts, applause, whistles) More... more...

Magistrate Well, thank you very much, very kind of you, but save it for the hangin’ if you don’t mind.

Seagoon This is ridiculous. You can’t hang me!

Magistrate ’E’s right, you know, ’e hasn’t got a neck. All right, then, all right, me dear. One hundred years ’ard labour!

Seagoon One hundred years, I’ll never do it!

Magistrate Well, do as much as you can then.

Seagoon I insist on appealing.

Magistrate Oh... Oh, well... you have to see the Squire ’bout that. You’ll find him at Death Grange.

Seagoon Death Grange?

Magistrate Death Grange.

Seagoon Death Grange? De-e-a-ath Gra-a-ange! What a bit of luck, dear listeners. That’s the place where I have to collect the rent. I can kill two stones with one bird.

orchestra music.


orchestra linking chords.

grams whistling wind, continues underneath.

Seagoon By nightfall, I reached the Grange — a tall, gaunt building with a belt at the back. Through a crack in the portcullis, I perceived see two of the inmates, and managed to overhear their conversation.

Bluebottle Heave, strain! Oh... Do you like exercise, Eccles?... Why don’t you answer me then?

Eccles (off, quietly) I can’t hear you.

Bluebottle (quietly) I’m hearing things... (louder) Say something, little friend.

Little Jim (quietly) He’s fallen in the wat-ah!

Bluebottle I’m glad I have got company. (exerting himself) Strain!

f.x. doorknob rattles, door opens.

Eccles Hello, Bottle! What are you doing...


... Now Bottle, when I was outside, I heard you straining inside.

Bluebottle I was straining.

Eccles Were you straining from the inside?

Bluebottle I was straining from the inside, while I was inside, (fading, unsure of himself) outside...

Eccles Yeah, fine, fine. I love all dat Aldous Huxley stuff, I love dat stu... Ah, ahhh, now den, ah, what were you straining fo-o-or, Bo-o-ttle?

Bluebottle It’s my new correspondence course in muscle-type development. Straining the type-heaves...

Eccles ... Do some, do some...

Bluebottle ... heaving-type strains... Pull-tug... Wrench... Lift... Wookey-wookey-wookey! (aside) Makes funny face; waits for applause; not a sausage. (normal) Pull-tug-lift!

f.x. spring boing.

Bluebottle Ooooh. My cardboard wrist-strap has flown off my muscular wrists.

Eccles And gone all the way down to your ankles without touching your body, ’adn’t it?

Bluebottle (quietly) Yeah.

Eccles Um, when did you start this muscle-type ars....

Bluebottle I’m starting it as soon as I get this brown-paper parcel open! Cardboard: heave!

f.x. tearing fabric or stiff paper.

Eccles Ooh, dat’s my trousers!

Bluebottle Oooh, look, there it is: the Munroe Chest Expander. It says here (reading) ‘Jaranteed (sic) to put two inches on your chest’.

Eccles Now left me see how big your chest is before you start. Um, lift up your arms.

Bluebottle E-e-e-e-eeeeeh!

Eccles Here, let me help you.

Bluebottle Ta.


Eccles A-a-ah!

Bluebottle E-e-eeh!

Eccles Um, let me see now... eight inches... including shoulders, yeah?

Bluebottle Eight inches? Cor, if I’d known my chest was as big as that, I wouldn’t have had to send for this silly stuff.

Eccles Eight inches isn’t very big, you know, Bottle!

Bluebottle Well, no, but I was breathing out. When I breath in, it is different, you know. Look! (big gasp) (between teeth) Look!

Eccles Seven and a half.

Bluebottle See the difference?

Eccles Yeah!

Bluebottle Now this Chest Expander can put two inches on.

Eccles Two?!

Bluebottle Stretch... Yeee! Stretch... Yeee! (between teeth) Now den, measure it, quick!

Eccles Ah, six and three-quarters.

Bluebottle I’ve been swindled! Send it back, my good man.

Eccles Meanwhile, Lord Bluebottle. (aside) He’s not really a lord, folks, but this is a gentlemen’s rest home, and we got to humour ’em here, you know.

f.x. doorknob rattles, door opens.

Bloodnok Ah, Doctor Eccles!

Eccles What is it, my good man?

Bloodnok (aside) He’s not really a doctor, ladies and gentlemen, only this is a gentlemen’s rest home, and we have to humour them, you know.

Abdul Major Bloodnok, Sir. The enemy are approaching, Sir!

Bloodnok What? Sound the alarm!

grams tatty, ratty charge, played at various speeds.

Bloodnok Bluebottle! Man the cannons. Eccles?

Eccles Yeouiugowh?

Bloodnok Man Bluebottle! Can you see anything?

Eccles Yeah, dere’s a man, down dere, outside the moat.

Seagoon (off) I say, are you the Squire?

Bloodnok (quietly) Hold your fire, lads.

Eccles (quietly) OK.

Bloodnok (loudly) What tribe are you?

Seagoon (off) Tribe? I’m Welsh!

mds (normal) That does it. (loudly) Fire!

grams cannon shot.

Seagoon (off) Don’t shoot! I’m Neddy Seagoon! I want to talk to you!

Bloodnok (normal) He might be a King’s messenger. Let him in, but make him give the password, which is ‘I don’t know’.

Eccles ‘I don’t know’, OK.

f.x. doorknob rattles, door opens.

Eccles (aside) We’ll fox him (indistinct, unsure). (clears throat)

f.x. a couple of footsteps.

Eccles (normal) Hello, my good man. Now den, what’s de password?

Seagoon I don’t know.

Eccles Oh, he got it right first time, too.

Little Jim He fell in de wat-ah, dis man, he fell in da wat-ah...

Bloodnok Thank heaven, you got through, young ensign. Now, any news of General Gordon?

Seagoon General Gordon? He was killed at Khartoum!

Bloodnok What! This is terrible! No reinforcements... we shall never hold out against all these savage tribesmen... Eccles?

Eccles (quietly) Yah, major?

Bloodnok Fire!!!

grams cannon shot.

Bloodnok And, Abdul, pour me another brandy, will you?

Abdul I’m sorry, Sir, all the European-type brandy has all been drunk, Sir.

Bloodnok What? Oh, bwani, this means a horrible death by thirst!

Seagoon But there’s a tub-full of water over there!

Bloodnok We can’t use that!

Seagoon Why not?

Bloodnok No soap!

Spike (off, quietly) Oww!

Seagoon How about that well?

Bloodnok I think it’s dry.

Spike (off, quietly) Try it!

Seagoon Well, you can soon find out from the echo. Listen. (shouts) Hello-o-o!

grams (Seagoon echo) hello-o-o-o-o-o-o!

Seagoon (shouts) He-e-elp!

grams (Seagoon echo) he-e-e-e-e-e-elp!

Seagoon Good heavens!

Bloodnok What?

Seagoon There’s a man down there, calling for help! (shouts) Are you all right?

grams (Seagoon echo) are you all ri-i-ght?

Seagoon (shouts) Yes, I’m all right.

grams (Seagoon echo) yes, i’m all right.

Seagoon Ah. We needn’t have bothered... He’s all right.

Abdul Ah! (then very, very indistinct!) It must be dirty, those naught as crappier (???) tribesmen are attacking again, without check! (???)

Bloodnok What? Fire!

grams cannon shot.

Seagoon Major Bloodnok, please. What’s all this about the tribesmen attacking, here, in the middle of England?

Bloodnok England? (slowly) You’ve got a touch of the sun, old lad. This is Aphsponistan.

Spike (off, quietly, indistinct) This is ___ ___ ___.

Bloodnok Abdul, bring me a bottle of my last-stand, home-brewed whiskey.

Spike (off, quietly, indistinct) ___ ___ ___ ___.

Bloodnok I can’t bear the sight of those sun-drenched mountains any longer.

Seagoon Sun-drenched mountains? Where?

Bloodnok Outside. I never allow them in the house.

Seagoon But this is England, I tell you! Out there is a green field with trees and hedges.

Bloodnok So you can see them, too, can you? Abdul, the mirage is stronger than ever today.

Abdul Major, look! Two thousand tribesmen are attacking our (mumbles)...

Bloodnok What? Fire!

grams cannon shot.

Seagoon Major. (evenly) I can’t see any tribesmen attacking.

Bloodnok That’s funny. Neither can I. Hand me that bottle of whiskey, there. (gulp, gulp) Hahhhh! Arrrr, now I can see them.

Seagoon (clears throat) Major Bloodnok. I’ve come for your back-rent amounting to eight thousand pounds, eleven and four-pence.

Bloodnok Pardon?

Seagoon Your back-rent: eight thousand pounds, eleven and four-pence.

Bloodnok I... I can’t hear you. That blasted brass band’s started again.

Seagoon Brass band? I can’t hear them?

Bloodnok Have a drink of this whiskey.

Seagoon (gulp, gulp)

grams brass band playing a circus ringside tune. continues under...

Seagoon (over) Fire!

grams cannon shot. brass band stops.

Seagoon (smirking) That stopped them.

Bloodnok The tribesmen have broken for lunch. Abdul? What’s the total today?

Abdul A hundred and forty-eight bottles of brandy, Sir. (pause) Shall I get some more?

Bloodnok Yes, yes, yes, certainly! No, no, no, I mean, certainly not! I don’t want it to become a habit!

Eccles (quietly) It has!

Bloodnok I tell you what you can do, though.

Eccles What, Sir?

Bloodnok Fire!

grams cannon shot.

Seagoon Major, please. I must speak to you. The people in the village are going to hang me!

Bloodnok I know, I’ve been asked to do the catering.

Seagoon But they’re going to hang me for nothing!

Bloodnok That’s damned charitable of them. They usually charge all kinds of things, you know.

Seagoon Please, can’t you settle it clean for me?

Bloodnok I suppose I could... for a consideration...

Seagoon All right... (braces himself) How much?

Bloodnok Well, let me see. Shall we say, um, eight thousand pounds, eleven and four-pence.

Seagoon Ah-h-h-h... ahh-h-h... a-a-a-hhhh

orchestra signature tune.

Bill That was The Goon Show. A BBC recorded program, featuring Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe and Spike Milligan, with Bernard Miles, the Ray Ellington Quartet, Max Geldray, and the orchestra conducted by Wally Stott. Script by Spike Milligan and Larry Stevens. Announcer Wallace Greenslade. Program produced by Pat Dixon.