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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.

UPDATE: JUNE 2024

I am in the process of transferring this blog to Substack. You'll find me at theseagoonmemoirs.substack.com, where you can read for free and sign up to receive new posts (twice a week) direct to your email.

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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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More catchphrases

One thing I’ve noticed about what I shall call the Sykes era of Goon Shows is that there is a new propensity for catchphrases. The Goons...

That tiger's got flu

In early 1955, Britain was in the grip of a “big freeze” that saw thick blankets of snow covering much of the country. Many villages were...

Yehti

Greenslade: Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, here is our usual warning to those of a nervous disposition, those without a nervous...

Fireballs and crispy bacon

Wallace Greenslade is delighted to announce that, unlike the last episode of series five that we covered, this one is as billed in the...

Nineteen-Eighty-Five (again)

Such was the immediate success of the Goons’ spoof of George Orwell’s 1984 that the team revisited the script again just a few weeks...

The Lost Music of Purdom

On 1 February 1955 the 19th episode of the fifth series of the Goon Show was broadcast, as per page 24 of the Radio Times. Unusually for...

Beau Geste, Goon-style

On 25 January 1955, the Goons once again turned to classic literature for inspiration. ‘Under Two Floorboards – A Story of the Legion’ is...

China Story

Greenslade: Listeners and losteners, we present an ancient Chinese play translated from an old Greek soup recipe found engraved on the...

The Case of the Missing Heir

On 11 January 1955, the Goons investigated ‘The Case of the Missing Heir’ for episode 16 of the fifth series. Readers of the Radio Times...

Ye Bandit of Sherwood Forest

It’s almost December, which means one thing: pantomime season! Greenslade: Doncaster, late in the 12th century. 'Tis December, and the...

Pea soup

In the early 1950s – and in fact for decades before, too – London was plagued by instances of thick fog, dubbed ‘pea soupers’. Air...

The Spanish Suitcase

Young Ned Seagoon is wintering in Spain when he is approached by Senor Moriarty of the Deuxieme Bureau, who casually mentions that Major...

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