Tiddlywinks, the 24th episode of the 8th series, is one of the few episodes in the Goon series which dealt with current events, specifically current events which involved the Goons, namely the playing of a game of tiddlywinks against students of Cambridge by the artists after being nominated by Charles Windsor as his 'champions'. Charles was, and remains, an ardent admirer of the Goon Shows. Further details of this occasion are to be found in Wilmots book.
The show is shallow and badly flawed in its construction. It follows the early series style of writing where it plays one small scene prior to the Geldray number, then a longer scene for the second and third scene of the half hour episode. The first scene is an extremely funny expose of Sellers addictions to 'cars, cameras and a touch of the old tape recorders'. It is energised by Sellers magnificent portrayal of himself. In light of the recently released film and DVD of his private life, it seems a remarkably well observed depiction of Peter.
The story of the Tiddlys limps along badly from the start. Milligan has no bright ideas and resorts to the worst sort of military gagging to get him through, like the tired joke about the 'swelling of the wallet' and the 'second hand army dinner'. The final song, 'Naught but Tiddlywinks' is not the slightest bit funny, though it seems to me the audience was enjoying themselves all the same. The syntax of the lyrics is very suspicious. I suggest someone else's hand is at work here. Milligan did not have enough education to write in this manner, and it is ultimately what made him an effective comedy writer. His educational constraints forced him to write in a prose style both unaffected and economical. The text of this hymn to tiddlywinks seems to me to come from a rather more Ox-bridge hand than Milligan's.
The line in the song I have transcribed as ..'commoners were beaten'... is not what Secombe sings, but the alternative...'conifers were beaten'... makes no sense at all so I have left it for others to fix.
The reference to A. E. Matthews dislike of lampposts was a reference to the script of the following episode, "The Evils of Bushey Spon" in which A. E. Matthews actually appeared.
The BBC recording I have used has obvious cuts in it. I have notated when they occur. Two of Bloodnok's riskiest jokes are mangled by the censers.
On the positive side, apart from Sellers brilliant impression of himself, is Grytpype's line concerning Moriarty possessing a 'do it yourself marriage kit'. Considering that the army term for the genitals was 'wedding tackle' I should imagine he is describing the equisite art of onam. Wink

1st BROADCAST: 10 Mar 1958

Script by Spike Milligan

GREENSLADE: Down with the Light Programme. It’s war! W – A – R, pronounced –
GRAMS: (Recording – slightly faster.) MILLGAN: WAAAAAARRRR!
SECOMBE: Mister Greenslade….
GRAMS: (Recording – slightly faster, and vary speed at end) Bugle playing charge.
GREENSLADE: That’s the call! CHARGE!
GRAMS: Horses hooves galloping off. Distant artillery.
SECOMBE: They must be fighting over this month’s O.B.E. allocations.
BRUCE MILLIGAN: (Australian) I know I haven’t had mine yet, Pat.
SECOMBE: Peter Sellers, forward!
SELLERS: (T model ford) Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrp. Parp! Parp! Parp! Parp! Brrrrrr… Hurry up Tim. Hurry up. I’m on my way to buy a new motor car Tim.
SECOMBE: You’ve only just bought a new Rolls.
SELLERS: Ah, but it’s facing the wrong way Tim. It’s facing the wrong way.
FX: Phone from cradle.
SELLERS: Hello motorcar man. Hello. Hello. Hello motorcar man. Can you send me a catalogue of motorcars facing the other way please?
FX: Phone into cradle.
SELLERS: Thank heavens that’s done Tim. Perhaps I can get some sleep now.
SECOMBE: What’s the matter? Aren’t you sleeping?
SELLERS: No, I’m trying to give it up Tim. You see I keep hearing voices all the time.
ORCHESTRA: HARP - Ghostly glissandi
LALKAKA: (Reverb) Oooooooooo! Mister Sellers! Mister Sellers! Wake up. There’s a speck of dust under the mud guard.
SELLERS: What! What! What! What! What! What! Tape record that. Tape record it quick! What!
FX: Boots running frantically down stairs.
SELLERS: Where’s my trousers? All hands to the pumps.
OMNES: Frantic shouting.
FX: Door opens.
SELLERS: Hurry up men! Look under the axel there. Come along men.
FX: Door closes.
SELLERS: Alright. Got it. Mister Drury , have this speck of dirt flown to Rolls Royce to be serviced.
MAD MILLIGAN: Alright mate.
SELLERS: I’ll just make a tape recording of that. Hello. Hello. Have this speck of dirt flown to Rolls Royce to be serviced. Hmm, yes. I’ll just play that back now…
GRAMS: (Recording. Slightly faster playback speed) SELLERS: Hello. Hello. Have this speck of dirt flown to Rrrolls Rrrroyce to be serviced.
SELLERS: Wonderful. Wonderful. Wonderful. Now I’ll take a flashlight photograph of me saying it. Um. Yes, F – 16 will do. Six feet, yes – (Continue under)
SEAGOON: Hello folks. Hello folks, it’s sad folks. For ten years he’s been stricken with cars, cameras and a touch of the old tape-recorder. I’ll have to have him cured.
GREENSLADE: Part two. A gentleman’s rest home in Sussex.
FX: Cuckoo whistle.
ECCLES: Come on nice doggie! Come out of that tree doggie. Come on doggie.
SELLERS: (Off mic) WRONG AGAIN MAD DAN! I’m not a doggie. I’m a motorcar. Mrs Plumber, I’m a motorcar d’ you hear!
ECCLES: Come out of that tree Mrs Plumber - the - Motorcar.
SELLERS: Brrrrrrrrrrp. Parp! Parp! Parp! Parp! Parp! Parp! Parp! Parp!
ECCLES: Oooh! Here listen, I... Listen! Brrrrrrrrrrr. Parp! Parp!
SELLERS: What a thrill. You’re a motorcar too.
ECCLES: Yeeeeeeeh! Let’s go for a drive together. Oooh!
SELLERS: First say ah!
GRAMS: Jet of liquid. Bubbling.
ECCLES: (Swallowing) Ta.
SELLERS: Can’t go without petrol Jim.
ECCLES: I know.
SELLERS: Now bend down and I’ll start you up.
ECCLES: Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr – parp, parp, parp, parp, parp! parp!
SELLERS: (Self fade) Parp! Parp! Parp! Parp! Parp! Parp! Parp! Brrrrrr…. Parp! Parp! Parp! Parp! Parp!
SEAGOON: How are they getting on Doctor?
ECCLES: (Distant) Brrrrrrrr … Parp! Parp! Parp! (etc)
GRYTPYPE: Not very well I fear. By purging I’ve cured his tape recorders. But the car is rather deep rooted. That is why I’ve called in that great military M. O, Doctor Jim “Drop-‘em” …
FX: Side whistle.
GRYTPYPE: …Moriarty, temporarily confined to his body.
MORIARTY: Hello Neddy. The only way to cure him of cars is to make him believe he is a horse.
GRYTPYPE: Why not?
SEAGOON: Why, why - not?
GRYTPYPE: Why not? Why - why – not?
SEAGOON: Knick knock knick kno …
GRYTPYPE: Knick knock knick knoo knickie knee knah!
SEAGOON: Well if you put it like that I agree. Pronounced –
GRAMS: (Recording) MILLIGAN: Agreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
GRYTPYPE: Bring him to this address.
SEAGOON: Right. Peter! Peter! Puss, puss, puss, puss, puss, puss!
ECCLES: Meeeow! Meeeowwuuuu!
SEAGOON: You’re not a pussy.
ECCLES: I am. I know my rights. Meeeowu!
SEAGOON: I’ll soon fix you. Where’s the vet?
ECCLES: What? No, no! (Sudden chicken attack) Buck buck buck buck buck buck!
GREENSLADE: The scene – the outpatient’s department of a bombed car-park.
SELLERS: (Approaching) Barp Parp! Parp! Parp! Parp!
ECCLES: Cuckoo! Cuckoo! Cuckoo! Cuckoo!
SEAGOON: Alright lads. You can pull up here.
GRYTPYPE: Ah. Welcome. Welcome. Now Mister Sellers, just lay back on this consulting ground would you? How are we today?
GRAMS: (Recording. Slightly faster.) MILLIGAN: Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr – parp! parp! parp! parp! Erp! Erp! Ahh-haup! Brrrr - parp! parp! parp! parp! Phwwwwi – phwwwuuu …
GRYTPYPE: Oh, are we? Well Moriarty, roll up his sleeve.
FX: Tearing of cloth.
GRYTPYPE: Taa. Now this may hurt just a little…
MILLIGAN: Arrrghhhhhh!
GRAMS: (Recording) MILLIGAN: Aergghhhhhhhhhh – (Add in screams, drunken football crowd and psychotic whistles. All speeded up.)
GRYTPYPE: There. That wasn’t so bad after all was it?
SEAGOON: Yes. But why did you do it to me?
GRYTPYPE: Becausssssssse – iyye – ooooraw – iyyyyi. I want you in my power. In three seconds that injection will turn you into a chicken.
SEAGOON: Ha, ha, ha! You don’t expect me to – (sudden chicken attack) Buck buck buck buck!
MORIARTY: Quick. Get him onto this perch.
GRAMS: Iron door snaps shut.
SEAGOON: Let me out!
SEAGOON: I’ll write to the farm board about this. I’m no chicken.
GRYTPYPE: You said it Ned. Swallow this chromium Max Geldray.


GREENSLADE: And that ends the Goon Show for this week.
ORCHESTRA: ‘Old Comrades’ playout. (Short version with tatty ending.)
GREENSLADE: Well, we appear to have finished a little early so here is next week’s Goon Show.
SELLERS: Next week’s Goon Show will be about REVENGE!
BLUEBOTTLE: (Distant) Hey!
FLOWERDEW: Yes, yes, every little helps - as the old lady said when she ate.... (Cut?)
SELLERS: Next week’s Goon Show starts in a moor swept Manor on a windy day. The Master paces the floor.
GRAMS: Hurried footsteps approaching, fading, approaching and fading.
SEAGOON: Curse. Curse. Curse. Curse. Curse. Cambridge should never have beaten us. Curse it!
SEAGOON: Any message of consolation from the Palace?
CYRILL: Er, no sir. No.
SEAGOON: He’s a lot of good, isn’t he? My life. There we were, dressed up like idiots, popping little buttons into a cup and still no signs of a knighthood.
CYRILL: I know sir, and I’ve had the man on the roof all day keeping a lookout.
SEAGOON: Put another in the cellar in case he comes by underground. I tell you, I should have been knighted.
CYRILL: Well, if you had been - (ha he he he he he) I think you’d have been the shortest knight of the year. Ha ha ha…
FX: Pistol shots.
CYRILL: Arghhh!
FX: Body falls to floor.
SEAGOON: Gad! He’s allergic to bullets. Up you get crutty!
CYRILL: Oh, you hurt me d’y’see.
SEAGOON: Yes, well, this doesn’t really happen till next week.
SEAGOON: Now. Place this picture of the Cambridge tiddlywinks team on the mantelpiece.
CYRILL: Right.
GRAMS: Three sharp pistol shots.
SEAGOON: That’ll teach them a lesson.
CYRILL: Have you finished with me now sir? Could you help me on with this gas mask and de-contamination suit sir?
SEAGOON: What are you going to do?
CYRILL: Your laundry sir.
SEAGOON: It’s a lie I tell you. I’m a most hygienic fellow. I air my socks three times a day and I pay my rates you understand.
GRYTPYPE: Yes, but you’re still the laughing stock of the tiddlywink world.
SEAGOON: Who are you?
GRYTPYPE: My card.
SEAGOON: My fist.
FX: Thud on board.
GRYTPYPE: Pronounced…
GRAMS: (Pre-recorded) MILLIGAN: Owwwwwwwwwwww!
SEAGOON: State your business.
GRYTPYPE: Immediately. First a mere formality. This is Count Jim Groins…
FX: Stick in jam-tin. Rapid.
GRYTPYPE: …Moriarty, winner of the perforated vest award for the butler’s revenge contest, and owner of a ‘do-it-yourself’ marriage kit.
MORIARTY: Hello Neddy. Neddy, what a nice man he is. Neddy, Neddy. Hello nice Neddy…(etc. raves)
GRYTPYPE: Neddy, we have a plan for revenging your tiddlywink defeat.
GRYTPYPE: Yes. You’re going to challenge Cambridge to a leaping contest.
SEAGOON: Leaping? I’ll start at a disadvantage. I’m the lowest man on earth.
GRYTPYPE: No comment.
MORIARTY: Don’t worry Ned. We have here two rocket propelled boots.
GRYTPYPE: Yes. By pressing two buttons we can rocket you to ten thousand feet Ned.
SEAGOON: Gad. Then I’m bound to win. Hahahahahhaaaaa….bound to win…ha hum. Yakamoto!
YAKAMOTO: (Rapid Japanese sponing)
SEAGOON: Take a letter on a penguin.
YAKAMOTO: (Rapid Japanese)
SEAGOON: Men of Cambridge…
GRAMS: Penguin squawking. Continue under.
SEAGOON: The Royal champions challenge you… challenge you to a leaping contest… signed Ned. Let’s hear that back.
GRAMS: Penguin and piano music hall routine – (from ‘Insurance, the White Man’s Burden”, slightly faster.)
SEAGOON: Splendid! Now to try the rocket boots.
MORIARTY: Right. Hold tight. Go!
GRAMS: Sudden burst of gas.
GREENSLADE: Meantime, in another part of next week’s Goon Show, an illicit grouse shoot is taking place.
GRAMS: Series of explosions.
BLOODNOK: Oooh. Oooooh dear. (Something is cut here.) Oh. Oooooo dear, here comes a huge pheasant! Me guns!
GRAMS: Grape shot.
BLOODNOK: Got ‘im.
SEAGOON: Oooooooooh!
FX: Body thuds to the floor.
ELLINGTON: Major! This is very strange bird. Its wearing boots and they’re smoking.
BLOODNOK: I don’t know how they can afford it.
SEAGOON: Awwwwww!
ELLINGTON: He said ‘owwwww’.
BLOODNOK: Alright, alright. I speak the language. Wait a moment. I recognize the shape of that voice.
FX: Opening old newspapers.
BLOODNOK: Where’s me old newspaper cuttings? Here they are… Ah ha! Oahhhhh! It’s Private Seagoon, late of the 1st Heavy Things. Ooahhh! Ooahhh! Ooaaahhh my dear! Just look at that terrible swelling in his wallet.
FX: Zipper opening.
BLOODNOK: I shall have to remove the pressures.
FX: Paper currency being counted.
BLOODNOK: …twenty four, twenty five…thirty. there. Poor, poor fellow.
SEAGOON: (Coming around) Aaahh! Oh, where am I?
BLOODNOK: Steady lad. Steady! You need nourishment. Here’s the menu. Order freely.
SEAGOON: What do you recommend?
BLOODNOK: Special today – just on the market, one second hand army dinner, twelve shillings.
SEAGOON: How old is it?
BLOODNOK: A young forty three.
SEAGOON: No, I’m sorry. I’m going steady with an irish stew.
BLOODNOK: Oh, a broth of a girl! Oh-hhhahahaha! Oh dear, oh dear. It was jokes like that made me the toast like Mymushlike.
SEAGOON: What’s Mymushlike?
BLOODNOK: The back of a bus. The immortal line!
SEAGOON: Kindly leave the army!
BLOODNOK: You look like a sporting man. How would you like to buy half-shares in my knees?
SEAGOON: Your knees aren’t worth anything.
BLOODNOK: No now they’re not, but invest them while the market is cheap lad, because tomorrow – who knows? my knees might rule the world! Can’t you see the Financial Times; BLOODNOK’S KNEES UP FOUR POINTS!
ELLINGTON: Major, look! A peasant.
GRAMS: Double barrelled shotgun.
MORIARTY: Aaaahhh! Awwwraghhh!
ELLINGTON: You fool Major! I said peasant not pheasant!
BLOODNOK: Oh! Oh dear. [Something is cut here]… laundry marks!
SEAGOON: Laundry marks? That’s old Alf Mark’s dad!
BLOODNOK: Every one a genuine handwritten Monkhouse!
MORIARTY: Now come on Neddy. We must get back to eating practice now.
SEAGOON: Shhh! Listen Moriarty!
SEAGOON: There’s someone hiding inside you.
MORIARTY: What! It must be a Cambridge spy.
SEAGOON: Yes. Say ‘ahh’.
MORIARTY: Ahhhhhhhh!
SEAGOON: (Reverb) Anyone down there? I’d better go down and see.
MORIARTY: Under you go.
FX: Footsteps down wooden stairs.
SEAGOON: (Singing) Dum dum dum dum dee dee…
GRAMS: Distant bubbling of cauldron.
SEAGOON: So that’s what he had for breakfast. Hm. I’d better go further down.
WILLUM: It’s quicker in the lift, mate.
GRAMS: Ancient lift, doors close, hiss of machinery.
WILLUM: Going down. Fourth floor – adam’s apple, tonsils and that wobbly bit at the back. What floor d’you want mate?
SEAGOON: Bottom.
WILLUM: Oh. Bottom floor. Liver, giblets and a dirty great lump of suet pudding.
SEAGOON: Thank you. By the way, where’s the nearest exit?
WILLUM: There.
SEAGOON: Ah, an ear’ole. And there’s an eye looking in!
WILLUM: What’s the matter, don’t you trust us mate?
GRAMS: Cauldron bubbles.
SEAGOON: Gad! Soaked! Moriarty - you filthy swine, stop drinking tea up there. Hello folks! While I dry my teeth here’s the whole cunning of the Ellington Quartet.
ELLINGTON: Oohhhh, I’ll get him for that, cor blimey!


LALKAKA: I’ll be putting it here sir. Mr Panerjee will put it here, you understand.
PANERJEE: Alright, alright. Putting it in there.
LALKAKA: You are understanding it.
PANERJEE: Would you first get permission of this gentleman.
LALKAKA: Pardon me sir, you are living in this house?
SELLERS: (As A. E. Matthews) Yeees.
LALKAKA: We are going to put a lamppost here now.
SELLERS: I’m not moving from here until you take that blasted concrete lump away!
LALKAKA: Oh, good heavens…
GREENSLADE: That was in the nature of a bravado sir. However, next weeks Goon Show we come to is part two. Spelt T – W – O, and pronounced…
GRAMS: Recording (Milligan) TWWWOOOOOOO!
GREENSLADE: Unbeknown to Neddy, Bloodnok has revealed the secret of the rocket boots to the Cambridge leaping team.
FX: Till. Coin in tray.
BLOODNOK: Thank you gentlemen, thank you. As an old light blue I thought it my duty to tell you all.
UNDERGRADUATE: I say, Seagoon’s an absolute bounder sir!
FX: Door opens.
SEAGOON: Hands up! Don’t make a move you Cambridge devils. I’ll be avenged mark ye!
BLOODNOK: Don’t be an eleven plus fool. Take your medicine like a Neolithic man sir.
SEAGOON: Never! I’ll take to the hills of Wales. Farewell!
GRAMS: Horses hooves into distance.
SEAGOON: (Singing. Over) “We’ll keep a welcome in the hillside…”
HERN: And so began the legend of Ned Seagoon – outlaw. For months the dreaded cry rang out –
SEAGOON: Hands up! Your tiddlywinks or your life.
BANNISTER: Owwww! Oh dear. Oh dear Henry, it’s a masked bandit riding a tricycle, side-saddle!
CRUN: Ohhh. Get behind me Min.
CRUN: Now sir, one step nearer and I’ll brandish this shopping list at you.
SEAGOON: Very well, I’ll have you both searched from top to bottom.
BANNISTER: Me first!
FLOWERDEW: Oh, don’t get excited dear. It’s only me.
FLOWERDEW: No tiddlys on her dear… or him. Makes you want to spit doesn’t it.
BANNISTER: Oh dear. Thank you. Ca… ca… can we go free?
SEAGOON: If you’re in the woods, yes. Now then, this is the plan. Tonight we attack
Trinity College Cambridge.
BANNISTER & CRUN: (Variously) Good night sir.
SEAGOON: Good moooooorning!
TUTTI: (Variously) Mooooorning…. Moooooooorning!
SEAGOON: Tonight we attack Trinity College Cambridge, the heart of the tiddlywink country.
GRAMS: Fade in bells of Trinity College over.
ECCLES: Four o’clock…(etc. rubbish) … CUCKOO!!
SEAGOON: Now men, this is how we get them to come out.
GRAMS: Running boots – very small size. Start very far off, approaching gradually, then suddenly very close. All speeded up.
BLUEBOTTLE: (Panting) What is it, Jones minor?
GRAMS: Sharp belt.
BLUEBOTTLE: Heuo-heoughh! Oh my legs.
SEAGOON: Where’s the Cambridge tiddlywinks safe?
BLUEBOTTLE: No, I will not tell …Oooo. Suddenly sees studio audience. Hello everybody, and if you’re listening at home hello Eileen Briggs. I told you I was on the wireless didn’t I?
SEAGOON: What are you doing?
BLUEBOTTLE: I’m talking to my bird at home.
SEAGOON: You dirty little devil you!
BLUEBOTTLE: Argh aoeugh!
SEAGOON: Take that and that..
FX: Various sized sticks on shins and jam-tins.
ECCLES: Heogh! What’s going on here?
SEAGOON: Nothing.
ECCLES: Oh, well I’ll clear off then.
SEAGOON: Eccles, come back here.
ECCLES: What, what, what!
SEAGOON: Swallow this bullet and keep this child covered.
ECCLES: (Swallows) Ok.
SEAGOON: I’ll go and destroy the Cambridge tiddlywinks.
GRAMS: Whoosh.
ECCLES: Don’t move. This blanket’s loaded.
BLUEBOTTLE: ‘Ere, whose side you on then Eccles?
ECCLES: I’m on the Royal Champion’s side.
ECCLES: I went to Buckingham Palace.
BLUEBOTTLE: Cor! What happened?
ECCLES: I got thrown out.
BLUEBOTTLE: There’s still romance left in England you know. Is that a royal lump what you’ve got on your nut then?
BLUEBOTTLE: Ooh. Looks like they’re hard to get.
ECCLES: Not if you’re trying to break into the Palace it ain’t. Hehaahaheeehough!
BLUEBOTTLE: Can I be the man who sees that no-one touches it for you?
ECCLES: ‘Ere, they made a record of this lump. Listen, I’ll play it for you.
GRAMS: Slapstick on shins. (Recording) ECCLES: Owww! Piano chord in C. Distant ‘hoi!’
BLUEBOTTLE: Oh, what a lovely thing to pass onto your children.
GREENSLADE: Meantime, Neddy’s about to destroy the Cambridge secret hoard of tiddlywinks.
FX: Explosive timer being adjusted.
SEAGOON: Hahahaha! I’ll soon have this safe opened. Hehehe! Got it. What??
SPRIGGS: Hands up Neddie Seagoon. Hands up Neddy Sea-goooooon!
SEAGOON: Curse. It’s the captain of the Cambridge tiddlywinks team.
SPRIGGS: Oh Jim! Oh Jim! Oh Jim! Oh Jeeem! We’ve been waiting in this safe for you Jim, spelled J – I – M, pronounced …
GRAMS: (Recording) SPRIGGS: (Octaves) Jeeeeee-eeeeeeeeem!
SNAGGE: (Recorded) You’ve been a cad Seagoon.
SEAGOON: Ah, ho ho ho! John Snagge!
SNAGGE: Your conduct as a royal champion has been disgraceful.
SEAGOON: (Crying)
SNAGGE: I must ask you formally to hand back your tiddlys.
ORCHESTRA: “Hearts and Flowers” scratchy violin solo. Under.
SEAGOON: (Crying) Oh the shame, oh folks the shame!
SNAGGE: I have here a royal proclamation that you be taken to the tower and incarcerated.
SEAGOON: Oo, oo, oo, oh - aah aah ahhhh! Not that. Not that!
SNAGGE: First, as a penalty you will raise your right leg; you will face east; and you will sing the tiddlywinks national anthem.
SEAGOON: (To the tune ‘Men of Harlech’) All the nations are before us
With their Sputniks and Explorers.
What can confidence restore us?
Naught but tiddlywinks.
On the fields of Eton.
Commoners were beaten.
But today our patriot play
This sport which needs such grit and concentration.
Rule this game of skill and power
England knows her finest hour
And her stronghold, shield and tower
Must be tiddlywinks!

GREENSLADE: That was the Goon Show, a BBC recorded programme featuring Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe, Spike Milligan and John Snagge with the Ray Ellington Quartet, Max Geldray and the orchestra conducted by Wally Stott. Script by Spike Milligan. Announcer Wallace Greenslade. The programme produced by Charles Chiltern.

Last edited by yukka tukka indians on 23rd Jan, 2006 01:18 am; edited 2 times in total