May 11th 1972

“recorded half of goodies programme”

My “tape recording” fever was not merely limited to popping the microphone in front of the record player’s speaker and ‘pirating’ an LP or two.

Every so often I would sit the mic in front of the TV and record the audio from programmes I liked – usually comedy shows – and then play them back ad infinitum.

For the uninitiated (read “American readers”), The Goodies were a comedy troupe consisting of Bill Oddie, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Graeme Garden. At times as anarchistic (if not often moreso) as Monty Python, the comedy revolved around the wacky trio hiring themselves out to “do and solve anything”.

Their mode of transport was a three-seater tandem bike and the kind of things they solved was a giant cat terrorising London, the end of the world, women’s lib and even apartheid in South Africa. It was all very surreal stuff, often politically-aware, and helped immensely by the persona of the three leads. Graeme was the mad professor character, Tim a die-hard royal-supporting Tory and Bill the liberal weirdo.

Unlike Python, the humour and popularity didn’t cross the Atlantic, which is a shame as it’s probably even more “British” than Cleese & Co., and I am sure the show would still be in cable re-runs even now if it had. In 1972 The Goodies was the epitome of “must-see TV” (even if the phrase hadn’t yet been invented), and ran for 12 years and over 70 episodes.

Yes, I have the DVDs. Yes, I might be a little sad.

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