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The Goon Show - Pgm 18 - The Pevensey Bay Disaster

September 27th, 2008

"The Goon Show" is one of my all-time favorite radio programs, a remarkable bit of  silliness produced by the BBC throughout the 1950s and featuring Harry Secombe, Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers.  I never thought I'd find an original transcription from the series, but here 'tis.

"The Pevensey Bay Disaster" was originally broadcast on the BBC as episode 10 in the sixth "Goon Show" series on April 3, 1956.  A bit of trivia - just after this program was recorded, a rail disaster occurred and another program in the series was substituted that week; the program was run in the UK months after it was originally recorded.

What you'll hear in this post is a BBC Transcription Service version of the program as it was originally syndicated in the US in the mid to late 1950s.  The shows were edited slightly for overseas markets to remove time sensitive material or jokes that might have been a little too specific to British culture.  The BBC has produced a series of audio cds I'd encourage you to buy if you like the show, going back to the original master tapes to reproduce the series as it was originally broadcast.

I've often wondered what the reaction was to the "Goon Show" on its first syndicated run here in the States.  At the time, there was nothing quite like it on radio; the program was a huge hit in Britain and became something of an institution.  The Goons would inspire later comedy shows such as "Monty Python" and "Little Britain".

The show was transferred from an original set of BBC Transcription Service discs, matrix numbers 16PH86821 and 16PH86822.  There's a very brief "squeal" from "up cue" damage to disc on part two of the show.


  • Joe Mackey

    The Goons was one of the first radio shows I was introduced to (that I was able to actually listen to rather than just read about or hear very short clips), by a shipmate in the early ’70s. The other was I’m Sorry, I’ll Read That Again. Both were played on a station in Norfolk, VA.

    Sep 28, 2008 at 7:38 am
  • Michael O'Brien

    I remember one British science-fiction fan who attended an American SF convention in the 1960s reported that he was consulted by some Goon Show fans who had a long list of problems words — they needed to know if these were Britishisms they weren’t familiar with, or words that had been made up for comic effect.

    Nov 26, 2008 at 2:29 am