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The Seagoon Memoirs

Chronicling a 21st century idiot's obsession with a 1950s radio comedy masterpiece.

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A digital
time capsule

Welcome, dear reader - pull up a bollard.

On 28 May 1951, four young men took to the airwaves on the BBC's Home Service to launch their unique brand of comedy on an unsuspecting world.

In the mid-1990s, an even younger idiot was introduced to recordings of their broadcasts - and there began a strange obsession crossing decades and generations.

The Seagoon Memoirs is an attempt to channel this obsession into something creative, chronicle the show's history, development and legacy, and in some small way contribute to preserving this masterpiece of British radio comedy.

Listen to me waffle on about the Goons on the excellent Goon Pod here. Alternatively, listen to more interesting people on other episodes of Goon Pod, including Jane Milligan, Al Murray, Dirk Maggs, and the cast of 'Spike!', the new Milligan/Goon-themed play by Ian Hislop and Nick Newman.

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Third Division debuts

The issue of the Radio Times published on this day in 1949 carried a preview of a new series of shows on the BBC's Third Programme. No...

Christmas 1953

The Christmas period of 1953 was a busy one for the Goons and their associates, as a thumb through the Radio Times listings will show....

The Six-Five Special

On this day in 1957, viewers of BBC television were treated to an episode of the Beeb’s new rock ‘n’ roll programme, Six-Five Special....

The Ladykillers

On this day in 1955, The Ladykillers opened in UK cinemas. It starred Alec Guinness alongside a young, up-and-coming character comedian...

Happy Holiday

It wasn’t all about the Goon Show for our intrepid heroes. Spike Milligan had a role in the Max Bygraves radio series Paradise Street,...

I'm All Right Jack

The Goons conducted ‘A Survey of Britain’ as part of episode 11 of the third series, broadcast on 20 January 1953. As the listing on page...

The death of Peter Sellers

On this day in 1980, Peter Sellers died of a heart attack. His health had been up and down for years, and he’d already survived several...

The Mouse That Roared

If you happen to be perusing the Radio Times for the week beginning 1 June 1952, on page 22 you’ll find the listing for episode 19 of the...

More recommended viewing

Episode 14 of the second series was broadcast on 29 April 1952 – find it in the Radio Times here. Incidentally, this is the FA Cup Final...

Enter Bluebottle!

Episode 12 of the second series was broadcast on 15 April 1952 at 9:30pm on the Home Service. The Radio Times listing is here. A genuine...

Peter Sellers

Episode 11 of the first series was broadcast on 9 August 1951 and can be spotted in the Radio Times on page 26. Secombe: It sounds like...

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