25 years on, the Goons are back

Twenty five years after the last Goon Show was made, a new generation of listeners is being given the chance to familiarise itself with a comedy legend.

Spike Milligan, Sir Harry Secombe and Peter Sellers were last reunited in 1972 as part of the BBC's 50th anniversary celebrations. The trio got together for The Last Goon Show Of All, a live performance recorded for radio at the Camden Theatre in London.

Next month, Radio 2 is marking the occasion by broadcasting a new version of the Goon finale, which will include material cut from the original performance. Milligan's version of I Left My Heart In San Francisco, the publishers of which prevented its broadcast 25 years ago, will be heard for the first time.

The show will be preceded by a history of the programme entitled At Last The Go-On Show, featuring Milligan, Secombe, Eric Sykes and the late Michael Bentine. This will include some seldom-heard recordings and a feature on the first Goon show, Crazy People, made 46 years ago.

Yesterday at the project's launch, the two surviving Goons proved they had lost none of their touch. Milligan, close to his 80th birthday, looked frail but retained his mischievous twinkle. When told that his friend John Cleese was unable to make the event, he retorted: "John Cleese is a miserable bastard. He is never able to make it." And when presented with a framed tribute to the show, Sir Harry responded graciously: "Oh that'll fit in the loo nicely."

Speaking at the launch, Radio 2 controller James Moir said: "The Goon Show used to be the black sheep programme of the BBC. Now it is the golden fleece.

"It had a profound and lasting effect on me. As a schoolboy back in the Fifties I thought it quite simply the funniest thing I had ever heard. Forty years on it still bends me double with laughter."

Prince Charles, a well-known fan of Goonism, once said: "No matter how much `fashion' in humour changes, there will always be thousands of people whose minds are attuned to the kind of mental slapstick and imaginary cartoonery that typifies Goonery ... It has always been one of my profound regrets that I was not born 10 years earlier than 1948, since I would then have had the pure unbounded joy of listening avidly to the Goons each week."

At Last The Go-On Show and The Last Goon Show Of All will be broadcast as a double bill on BBC Radio 2 on 5 October. A special 25th anniversary edition video and audio cassette is also going on sale.

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
News
news
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
New Articles
i100... with this review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Sport
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
i100
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
News
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Research Manager - Quantitative/Qualitative

£32000 - £42000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam