SCRIPT: SPIKE MILLIGAN & LARRY STEPHENS
PRODUCTION : PAT DIXON
RECORDED: SUNDAY 9th DECEMBER 1956
Wal: (This is the General Overseas Service of the BBC.(2)) This program is specially dedicated to Her Majesty's Forces Overseas, and to the Trans-Arctic Expedition, the Falkland Islands Dependency Survey Teams and the Royal Society Expedition at Halle Bay (, and Mrs. Rita Body (2)). Greetings from the Goons.
ORCHESTRA: Regal fanfare
Peter: This is the story of a great endeavour.
Eccles: (Is it? (1))
Peter: A story of land, sea and air. And in some cases, both. The date: the 23rd of November, 1956. Christmas was coming, the geese were getting fat. (Someone spent a penny in an old man's hat. (1)) But one problem lay heavily on Parliament's conscience.
GRAMS: Fade in crowd chatter and rhubarbs
Henry: Gentlemen ...
Henry: Um ... what are colonies?
Minnie: Um ... I don't know.
Harry: Think of something.
Minnie: Piece of land surrounded by dollars.
Henry: Ah. As Minister of Military-type Foods, I must state the picture regarding Christmas puddings for the forces overseas looks pretty black.
Harry: Then why don't we send 'em black puddings?
ORCHESTRA: Tattyrah chord, cymbal snap
Henry: Thank you, Sir Hartley Shawcross, K.C. And now, a few statistics from our resident statisticker.
ORCHESTRA: 'I Want To Be Happy'
Spriggs: I say, I say, I say, I say.
Harry: I say, look here ...
Spriggs: I say, gentlemen ...
Harry: I don't wish to know that.
Spriggs: Owing to the shortage of civilian contractors, they cannot supply sufficient Xmas-type duff for our forces overseas.
OMNES: Loud murmurs
Spriggs: Oh, a calamity, a terrible calamity. Oh dear.
Harry: What about the NAAFI?
Henry: NAAFI? What is NAAFI?
Harry: An organisation working for the downfall of the British Army.
Henry: Have they succeeded?
Harry: Several times.
Spriggs: Gentlemen, Gentlemen. I have a solution. I just took it off a bicycle tyre.
Henry: Speak up.
Spriggs: Now, listen to me, please. Why don't the services all combine in the building of a giant Christmas pudding for that old ...
GRAMS: Crowd applause, cheers fade in singing 'Land Of Hope And Glory', then speed up ...
Peter: The motion was adopted and passed. But meanwhile, At the Admiralty ...
FX: Bosun's caul
Sparks: (Spike) Ah, pardon me, sir, RN.
Neddie: What is it, Sparks?
Sparks: I'm sorry to interrupt you at squash, sir.
Neddie: It's all right. I'll drink it later.
Sparks: Right. Ah ... this morse signal just arrived from Magadan Trans-Antarctic Expedition, sir.
Neddie: Really? What's it say?
Sparks: I don't know, it's all little dots and dashes, I ...
Neddie: I see. Play it on the gramophone.
FX: Morse code
Neddie: What a lovely tune. What's it called?
Sparks: It's ... says 'We want a Christmas Pudding for, er, Christmas by the boys of the, er, Trans-Atlantic Ex - ahhh - pedition with the Taffy Williams at the mighty morse keys'.
Neddie: (aside) Three words a minute, that's 'is lot. (normal) Gad!
Sparks: Good luck, Taffy.
Neddie: You mean those lads out there in all that sand and snow are to be denied a Christmas Pudding?
Sparks: I fear so, sir.
Neddie: It's not British, I tell you, it's not British.
Sparks: Very few Christmas puddings are these days, sir, they're made in Japan.
Neddie: Wait! Wait! I have it, Robin.
Sparks: (Yes, I can say you've got it, sir. (1)) Have you sir?
Neddie: I have indeed, Robin, we ... we will have to ask the service chiefs to increase the size of the giant Christmas pudding to allow for an extra slice for the Antarctic base.
Sparks: Magnificent, sir.
Neddie: Ha ha.
Sparks: Do you know, they're mixing it at Chatham at this very moment, sir.
Neddie: Well done.
Sparks: I'll drive you there, Get up, sir!
FX: Pair of boots running away
GRAMS: 'Claire de Lune' - cymbal snap
Bill: We included that brief excerpt from 'Claire de Lune' for people who speak French. And now, over to Richard Dimbleby.
GRAMS: Bubbles, machinery, spurts, plops
Dimbleby: The sound you are now hearing is the great combined Services Christmas Pudding in the making. Ah ... I am standing by the great dry dock at Chatham in which the Christmas pudding is being mixed. Standing next to me (, two feet lower down, (1)) is Admiral Seagoon, RN.
FX: (Bosun's caul
Neddie: Ah, that's better. (1)) Well, we've had a good day, today.
Dimbleby: (Peter) Grand, sir.
Neddie: Number three flotilla motor torpedo boats have been going backwards and forwards churning up the mixture. The cruiser Ajax has been following in their wake, dropping depth charges to bring the raisins to the surface.
Dimbleby: How splendid to see the ... the finest traditions of the silent service being maintained.
FX: (Bosun's caul
Neddie: Ah, that's better. (1)) Yes. Yes, we ha ... we try to keep the men happy when they're off duty by giving them little tasks like this.
Dimbleby: We could do with more of that spirit.
Spike: (uncouth) You could do with a big clout on the back of your big fat steaming nut, dere.
Neddie: Put that Admiral under arrest.
Spike: (uncouth) I'll write to my MP.
Dimbleby: How do you ...
Neddie: You can't write.
Dimbleby: How do you test the ... the density of this great patriotic pudding mixture?
p Neddie: We've sent a diver down. He went down half an hour ago. We're getting rather worried.
Neddie: He hasn't got a diving suit on.
Dimbleby: Ha ha. What a splendid joke that was to play on him.
Dimbleby: (over) And now the great dockyard is being cleared, as the Fairey Gannets of 824 Squadron swoop low over the pudding.
GRAMS: Whistle of falling bombs - plopping into pudding
Dimbleby: A direct hit on the great Christmas pudding mixture. This is indeed a grand day for the Empire.
Spike (seaman): Ah, pardon me, sir. Er ... oil tankers standin' by for to take on the pudding, sir.
Spike (seaman): Right, there.
Neddie: Tell them to drop the suction pumps into the mixture and suck it.
Spike (seaman): Righto, sir.
Neddie: Thank you.
GRAMS: Suction pump, slurping sounds
Dimbleby: And so the great pudding mixture is siphoned out of the dry dock and into the great all-British oil tanker, Aristotle Onassis, (which is registered as a bakery in Rangoon (1))
Neddie: Yes, she'll transport it to an empty gasometer near Salisbury Plain. From then on the pudding is under Army command. Unfortunately.
Dimbleby: Thank you, Admiral Seagoon. And before we go, what is the great record of your choice?
Neddie: I should say Max Geldray.
Spike (seaman): I'm orf den.
MUSIC: MAX GELDRAY plays 'Sweet Lorraine' (Burwell/Parrish) pub. EMI Mills Music
Bill: Operation Christmas Duff, Part two.
Spike: (burp) Pardon.
GRAMS: Bugle call, speeded up, slowed down, etc.
Bloodnok: Ohhh! Oh, coo-ee-oo-ee-oo-ee. (Smacking lips) Reveille ... and first thing in the morning, too. Ooh, what a shock. Mm. Quick, get me some brandy.
Captain Thing: Have you got a weak heart, sir?
Bloodnok: No. a weak will.
Captain Thing: (Oh, so have I sir. (drinking)
Bloodnok: Put that bottle down.
Captain Thing: I'm trying to, sir.
Bloodnok: Give me that. (drinking)
FX: Dripping tap
Captain Thing: You're leaking, sir. (1))
Bloodnok: Now, Captain Thing, what's the latest sitrep?
Captain Thing: 0600 hours, sir.
Bloodnok: Yes, yes?
Captain Thing: Tank transporter arrived with converted gasometer containing 600 tons of Christmas pudding, ready for cooking.
Bloodnok: What's its map reference?
Captain Thing: 7981.
Bloodnok: Salisbury Plain?
Captain Thing: Yes, sir.
Bloodnok: Where's that?
Captain Thing: You're standing on it, sir.
Bloodnok: Well, I'm dreadfully sorry, I hope I haven't dirtied it.
Captain Thing: It's ... it's all right, sir. we have it blancoed every other day.
FX: Knocking on door
Bloodnok: Come in, two three!
FX: Door opens, navy whistle
Bloodnok: Ah, it's a naval snotty, RN. What are you doing so far inland?
Neddie: I ran aground, sir. I was sent alongside to report on the cooking.
Bloodnok: Mm, well, you'd ... you'd ... you'd better follow me.
Bloodnok: (over) The ... er ... Derbyshire Yeomanry have laid on fourteen flame-throwing tanks.
Neddie: I see.
GRAMS: Bugle, 'Come To The Cookhouse Door'
Neddie: I say, what call is that?
Bloodnok: Er ... 'Cookhouse'. Number one on our hit parade, you know. Has been for three hundred years now.
Neddie: Well done, yes, yes.
Bloodnok: Now, here we are, now, if you'll just come in to this observation post you'll be able to watch the whole of the Christmas pudding being cooked.
Neddie: Oh, good.
Bloodnok: Now let's go over to the screen ...
Neddie: Right, yes, yes, I see.
GRAMS: Whooshing of flame-throwers
Bill: Hello, listeners. The sound you're hearing are the tanks which are bringing their flame-throwers to bear, as they cook the giant Christmas pudding in its gasometer. And now a word from our military observer.
Captain Berk: Well, at dawn this morning, number forty five Commando went in under cover of daylight, and brought back samples for testing by the Army Catering Corps.
Bill: What was it like?
Captain Berk: Pretty good.
Bloodnok: I say, Captain Berk.
Captain Berk: Sir! Two, three, four!
Bloodnok: Um, Field Intelligence reports that the, er, pudding is done.
Captain Berk: Splendid, sir. Absolutely first class.
Bloodnok: Mm, yes.
Captain Berk: Yes, I should wait till things have cooled down a bit, then send in the Sappers to blast open the gasometer with Bangalore torpedoes, leaving the pudding completely at our mercy.
Bloodnok: Splendid. Over, Roger, and out.
Captain Berk: Thank you.
Bill: Er .... excuse me, Major. Er ... I'm from the BBC.
Bloodnok: I'm sorry, I don't have any money on me, I ... Ask John Snagge, he's got a fortune in his mattress, you know.
Bloodnok: Ohhh! There she goes!
Bloodnok: There she goes, you see that? Split the gasometer completely in two. Well done, Sappers.
Bill: Indeed yes, listeners. Right in two, revealing a great big steaming Christmas pudding.
Bill: And ... er ... there you hear the 74th Medium Regiment R.A., firing over open sights, smack into the pudding itself. Er ... tell me, Major, what are they firing?
Bloodnok: Er ... threepenny bits.
Captain Berk: Excuse me, sir. The infantry have gone in. Their C.O. is on the walkie-talkie.
Bloodnok: Oh, er ... Hello? Sunray here.
Mousetrap: Mousetrap speaking.
Mousetrap: Here's a sitrep, sir.
Mousetrap: B Company 2nd Northants have reached the summit of the Christmas pudding.
Bloodnok: Right. Consolidate. Roger and out.
Mousetrap: Roger and out, sir.
Bloodnok: Gentlemen, the Army's task in this matter is completed. It is now under RAF command. Unfortunately.
GRAMS: 'Dam Busters March'
Harry: That night, an excited House was given the news.
Spike: (off) Do you hear that, Mr ... ?
GRAMS: Crowd noise, mutterings
Spike: (off) Very good, sir.
Churchill: (Peter) Honourable members, I have this moment received good news. At 1700 hours, British troops gained the summit of the combined Services Christmas pudding, and there planted the British holly.
OMNES: Applause and cheers
Churchill: One hour later, Sopwith Camels of Bomber Command dropped delayed brandy bombs, and set the pudding alight. The magnificent Christmas duff is now ready for transportation.
OMNES: Cheers, etc.
GRAMS: Crowd singing 'Land of Hope and Glory'
Bill: Late that night, Service chiefs were given their instructions at the War Office.
GRAMS: Bar-room sounds, honky-tonk piano playing, drunken singing and comments
Neddie: (over) Gentlemen, please, please. If the Chief of the Imperial General Staff would lay off the joanna ... ! Thank you.
GRAMS: Piano stops
Throat: Cor blimey, I've always played it before.
Neddie: I have here sealed orders containing four tickets for the Windmill, and this message ...
Spike: (off) Oi oi! Good luck there.
Neddie: The pudding will be ...
Spike: (off) What about the old General Staff, there?
Neddie: I don't wish to know that.
Spike: (off) What about the old ...
Neddie: I say, look here.
Peter: (off) What about the flying duck, there?
Neddie: What about it? What about the turkey in the shop? 'Ere now then. 'The pudding will be divided as follows: One slice to be cut and filled with anti-freeze for immediate transport to the Trans-Antarctic Expedition. The remainder of the giant Christmas pudding will be fitted with wheels, a diesel engine, and drive to the Middle East depots for distribution. Signed, Field Marshall Montgoonery.'
GRAMS: Descending chords, heavy vehicle struggling
Bluebottle: Have you ever driven a Christmas pudding before, Eccles?
Eccles: No, I never driven anything before.
Bluebottle: Then how did you get the job?
Eccles: Well, the Sergeant said, 'One pace forward, my good man, anyone who can play the piano.'
Bluebottle: Oh. Can you play the piano, then?
Bluebottle: Then why are you drivin' a Christmas pudding?
Eccles: I want to learn to play the piano.
Bluebottle: Then it's true what the recruiting posters say.
Eccles: What ... what do the recruiting posters say?
Bluebottle: They say, 'You're somebody in the modern army of today'.
Eccles: Oh. And what are you?
Bluebottle: I'm somebody in the modern army of today.
Eccles: Oh. I wondered who you were.
Bluebottle: Hello Kitty. Hello Ted.
Eccles: Hello Jim. Um ... um ... how did you ... how did you join?
Bluebottle: Well ...
Eccles: Well ...
Bluebottle: I was in the street ...
Bluebottle: Writing somethink on the wall.
Bluebottle: No, I was only writing my name.
Eccles: Ohh. Well, wouldn't they know who done it, then?
Bluebottle: No, I didn't sign it.
Eccles: Ah, you got brains, Bottle.
p Bluebottle: Then ...
Eccles: Go, go on, then.
Bluebottle: ... then up comes a naughty hairy man wearing a soldier set ...
Bluebottle: And he said 'Little Finchley lad, you don't want to write your name in silly chalk. You want to write your name in ink'. And then I said 'Where?' And he said 'On this nice military dotted line'. So I sign-ed. And then they said 'Can you play the piano?' and I said 'Yes'. And here I am.
Eccles: Give us a toon.
Bluebottle: What would you like?
Eccles: My ticket.
Bluebottle: How does it go?
Eccles: It goes ... (sings) Doctor, my dear military doctor, you gotta believe me, I got a bad back in the front. I'm not fit for active service, I got a bone in my leg. And when I close my eyes, I can't see. When I lie down it hurts me to lie sideways, and ohhh, it's time for Ray Ellington.
Bluebottle: Go man, go.
MUSIC: RAY ELLINGTON sings 'Old Man River'.
GRAMS: Wind howling
Grytpype: (over) Moriarty?
Moriarty: Grytpytpe? (What? Can't you see I'm busy licking a jam spoon? (1))
Grytpype: Tell them who we are.
Moriarty: Moriarty and Grytpype. It got a laugh, it passed the time. Continue.
Grytpype: Hello, Ted.
Moriarty: Hello, Jim.
Grytpytpe: What's that coming 'round the mountain pass in Cyrenaica?
Moriarty: I'll soon tell. Hand me my wig, I'll just trim the fringe. (scissors snipping) Ah yes. Sapristi bompet! It's a giant Christmas pudding, with a sign on top that says 'Low Bridge'.
Grytpype: Anything else?
Moriarty: Yes, a low bridge. This is our big chance!
Grtypype: Big chance to what?
Moriarty: To eat! Food! (smacking of lips) Food! I've got to have food. Ohh. Ooh, give me my teeth back. Give me my teeth back.
Grytpype: You shan't have them, Moriarty, they're mine.
Moriarty: Oh no.
Grytpype: They're mine forever.
Moriarty: Oh no. Be kind to a little steaming wreck. Oh da ...
Grytpype: You should never have left France.
Moriarty: (smacking of lips) I never left it - it left me.
Grytpype: You ... you ... you ... nissing Norman, you. First we must stop them, Moriarty. Now, you lay across the road, and show the top of your boot
Grytpype: Not too much, though, it may be a lady driver.
GRAMS: Screech of tyres
Grytpype: Dear Moriarty, she pulled up.
Moriarty: But they ran over me first!
Grytpype: And I ruined the gag.
Moriarty: And I continued as though nothing had happened.
Grytptype: I shall follow suit.
Bluebottle: Oh, poor little thin man. Did we hurted you?
Moriarty: Yes. Little cardboard string lad, only one thing can save poor old Moriarty's life.
Grytpype: Yes, (let me speak, I'm his guru, (1)) he must have a diet of military Christmas pudding, which he must eat on the move.
Eccles: That's a bit o' luck. Christmas pudding will keep you on the move all right, chum. Here ... and we're ... we're ... we're driving one on the move as well.
Grytpype: Quick, help me get him inside then. (strains)
Eccles: OK, I'll ... I'll take his legs. You take his hound, and I'll take the ... oh, there's nothin' left, is there.
Bill: Meanwhile ... meanwhile, the portion of the pudding destined for the Antarctic base was on board the Theoron, going full steam ahead over the ice floes.
GRAMS: Howling wind, huge seas
Bloodnok: (over) Oh gad, what a night. Nothing but sleep. I tell you ... I tell you it's hell out there.
Neddie: Actually it's a little bit colder.
Neddie: Keep your chin up, Major.
Neddie: It's in the soup.
Bloodnok: I'm sorry, I thought my beard was on fire.
Spike (seaman): (off, calls) Land ahead!
Neddie: You hear that? They've sighted the Filscher ice shelf. Gad, in a few days we'll be at the base with the pudding. What a thrill it will be ... I can see Dr. Fuchs' face now.
Bloodnok: You've got damned good eyesight, that's all I can say.
Neddie: Pre ... prepare ... prepare to unload pudding, dogs and sleds.
Spike: (barking) Woh! Woh! Woh!
ORCHESTRA: Descending chords
Bill: Seven months later.
GRAMS: Howling wind
Bloodnok: (over) Ohh. Oh, Seagoon. What's the time?
Neddie: I can't tell you until it gets dark.
Bloodnok: Why not?
Neddie: My watch has got a luminous dial.
Bloodnok: Curse! We shall have to wait till nightfall before we know it's late.
Neddie: Who cares about things like that? When we've ... when we've run out of food.
Bloodnok: We've still got the Christmas pudding. Let us eat that.
Neddie: What? You touch that, Bloodnok, and I'll ... I'll drop you in your tracks.
Neddie: Ahha. That's for the boys at the Antarctic base.
Bloodnok: But if we don't eat it we won't have the strength to pull it.
Neddie: At the back of my legs I knew he was right. Alright, Bloodnok. But we'll ... we'll just have a thin quarter-ounce slice of pudding each.
Bloodnok: Can't I have a thick quarter-ounce slice?
Neddie: No, but .. I'll meet you halfway.
Bloodnok: Alright, I'll see you there, then. Forward.
Spike: (off) Give him a Benzedrine.
ORCHESTRA: Dramatic link
GRAMS: Howling wind, continues under ...
Neddie: December 52nd. Took off record of effects.
GRAMS: Wind stops
Neddie: For three nights now, gallant Bloodnok has volunteered to stay awake and guard the pudding.
Bloodnok: December 1st. Pudding getting smaller.
Neddie: Bloodnok getting bigger.
Bloodnok: Seagoon getting suspicious.
Neddie: December 19th.
Neddie: Caught Bloodnok brown-handed, digging into the pudding.
Bloodnok: It's a lie! We're just good friends, I tell you. Officer! Arrest that pudding for molesting me out of season, do you hear?
Neddie: Bloodnok, you ... you devil of the snows!
Neddie: Open your hand.
FX: Coins falling on floor
Neddie: Ahhh. So that's what you're after ... the threepenny bits.
Bloodnok: Yes, I wanted to make a brown phone call.
Neddie: Phones? Here? Ha ha ha ha.
FX: Phone rings
Neddie: Don't answer it! It's a mirage.
Bloodnok: Nonsense! It's a phone.
FX: Phone receiver picked up
Spriggs: (on phone) Hello, this is a mirage speaking.
FX: Phone crashed down
Bloodnok: Ohhohh! You were right, Seagoon. Oh, unless we reach the base soon my mind will give out.
Neddie: Well, try to use it as little as possible.
Bloodnok: I always do.
GRAMS: Screech of brakes, lorry stops
Eccles: Hello, hello. Hello, fellas, Hello. We've brought you your Christmas pudding.
Neddie: What what what what what what what what what what what what, what ?
Eccles: No. No thanks, I'm tryin' to give 'em up. Hello dere. (Phew, what a scorcher!
Neddie: The voice came from an idiot in a vest and sun-helmet, pouring with sweat.(1))
Eccles: Here, I bet this is the first time you've had snow in Libya.
Bloodnok: What? We're in Libya?
Neddie: Nonsense! Ha ha.
Eccles: Ah. I am.
Neddie: According to my kilcalutions and our position on the map, we are twenty miles south of here.
Bloodnok: Well, we shall soon settle this. Let's ask somebody. Excuse me, sir, where's our position?
Bill (French): Cher monsieur, soyez le bienvenu a New York.
Bloodnok: He says 'Welcome to New York'.
Eccles: What's New York doin' in Libya?
Neddie: Nonsense. Nonsense, Eccles. You mean 'What's New York doing in the Antarctic?' Bloodnok: Perhaps it's on holiday.
Eccles: It ... it's just a bad time of the year.
Neddie: Will you stop talking rubbish?
Eccles: I make my livin' doin' that.
Bloodnok: Sing, Frankie. Well, we'll soon settle where we are. Stand me on my head. Right.
Bloodnok: Now then. I'll just toss this coin.
FX: Sound of coin spinning
Bloodnok: This melody coin. Ah. Heads! There! We are in Mongolia!
Neddie: Ah, but you're using a Mongolian penny.
Bloodnok: Yes, but only from the inside.
Neddie: What does that mean?
Bloodnok: It means, we're in Mongolia.
Eccles: I want to learn the piano.
Neddie: Liberace started that lark an' look how he's turned out.
Eccles: Wait a minute, look ... (continues chatter)
Bill: (over chatter) Here is an urgent communique from the War Office. If a sledge drawn by Seagoon RN should arrive at the transit camp in Melbourne ...
Eccles: Good luck.
Bill: Will the Commanding Officer please redirect him to the the Antarctic base.
Grytpype: Here is a further message. If a hollow Christmas pudding on wheels should report to the British Embassy in Calcutta ...
Grytpype & Eccles: (together) Will they please shoot the driver. And, er ... oh yeah ... Merry Christmas to you all. Goodnight.
Harry: Good night.
ORCHESTRA: Signature tune
Bill: (over) That was the Goon Show, a BBC recorded programme, featuring Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe and Spike Milligan, with the Ray Ellington Quartet, Max Geldray and the Orchestra conducted by Wally Stott. Script by Spike Milligan and Larry Stephens. Announcer: Wallace Greenslade. The programme produced by Pat Dixon.
ORCHESTRA: Signature tune to end, then playout
(1) In published script, not in any aired version
(2) In UK original, not in December '87 airing.