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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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Have a gorilla

Despite several missteps, the Radio Times was determinedly ploughing on with its publication of a synopsis for each new Goon Show episode...

My Wildest Dream

The same week as the third episode of the Goon Show’s sixth series aired (see ‘The Last Emperor’), producer Peter Eton roped in Harry...

The Secret Escritoire

Episode two of the sixth series of the Goon Show aired on the Home Service at 8:30pm on 27 September 1955. Proof can be found on page 24...

Both Sides of the Microphone

The year is 1952. While television is quickly gaining in popularity, radio is still the main broadcast medium – reflected in the title of...

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...

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...

The Man Who Won The War

The Goon Show returned for its sixth series on 20 September 1955, and began in true Goon fashion: with the now-infamous ‘Fred the Oyster’...


Exactly 21 years ago (well, give or take a day) the BBC broadcast the first episode of Gormenghast, a four-part TV adaptation of Mervyn...

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