The historic reunion of radio's greatest comedy team to celebrate 50 years of the BBC was their farewell performance and proved so momentous it was broadcast complete with the pre-show warm-up! In what became almost a Royal Command Performance, Neddie Seagoon, Hercules Grytpype-Thynne, the famous Eccles and Bluebottle were among the much-loved characters who found their voices again at the Camden Theatre on Sunday 30 April 1972.
This hilarious and fascinating Goons 40th Anniversary documentary Is packed with classic clips, inside Information and never-before-heard rehearsal recordings (including rare glimpses behind the scenes at The Last Goon Show Of All). In this extended version of the original broadcast, Spike Milligan, Harry Secombe, Peter Sellers, Michael Bentine and other members of the team tell the story of The Goons - from their first meetings to The Last Goon Show of All.
Starring Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe and Spike Milligan. With Ray Ellington and Max Geldray.
Script by Spike Milligan
Twelve years after the last 'last' Goon Show in 1960, Radio Light Entertainment Head, Con Mahoney, suggested a Goons Reunion as part of the BBC's 50th Anniversary celebrations, John Browell (who had overseen the Goons' 9th and 10th radio series) was detailed to produce and, after strenuous efforts, not only succeeded in reuniting Harry Secombe, Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan but also their musical foil Ray Ellington. Harmonica player Max Geldray was living in the United States and it was arranged to have him flown over for the show. Eventually the entire original team - except for the Musical Director Wally Stott/Angela Morley - was assembled to perform in the presence of a live audience which included their Royal Highnesses the Duke Of Edinburgh, Princess Anne and Princess Margaret. The Prince of Wales, much to his disappointment, was unable to attend as he was on active naval service at the time.
With some drama, Spike entitled the script The Last Goon Show of All. In fact there were hopes for more Goon Show reunions. BBC memos from the 1970s still exist proposing various ideas including taking up Prince Charles' offer of performing afloat 5 to a 'ship full of Seagoons'! In the end The Last Goon Show Of All proved to be exactly that. Much more than a reunion. A celebration of laughter and warmth... and magic.
The in-depth history of The Goon Show was broadcast on 27 May 1991 to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Goons' first radio series. Crazy People. It was a unique opportunity whereby the contributors to the shows could tell their own stories and illustrate them with clips from classic episodes.
As a result of much lost or privately-held material coming to light, thanks to Ted Kendall and The Goon Show Preservation Society, this digitally remixed and re-edited version now contains rare rehearsal material, retakes, sound effects plus additional material from Spike Milligan. The interviews, conducted by Michael Pointon and Dirk Maggs, included a marathon recording session in Spike's living room during which time Spike said he had never talked so much about the Goons for so long! Unfortunately, a similar session with Eric Sykes was less successful due to a faulty tape machine - so sadly, his contribution is somewhat limited.
Neverthless, this celebratory feature provides an introduction to the Goons for those who've never met them and a glorious reminder to those who have.
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