Happy birthday, Maurice Wiltshire
Updated: Sep 20, 2021
The evening of 13 November 1953 saw the launch of ‘The First Albert Memorial to the Moon’ in the seventh episode of the fourth series. It appears in the Radio Times here, unfortunately without an illustration.
An hour before lift-off, at 8:30pm on the Home Service, the first episode of a new series of Take It From Here was broadcast, starring Dick Bentley and Jimmy Edwards and new female co-stars June Whitfield and Alma Cogan. Page 6 has an amusing article from Frank Muir and Denis Norden previewing the new series.
A reworked version of this Goon Show episode – titled simply ‘The Albert Memorial’ – was recorded as part of the Vintage Goons series and broadcast on 27 October 1958.
Scriptwriter Maurice Wiltshire was born on this day in 1918. He was the co-writer – along with Larry Stephens – of four Goon Show episodes:
The Thing On The Mountain (Series 8 Episode 15)
The Moriarty Murder Mystery (Series 8 Episode 17)
The White Neddie Trade (Series 8 Episode 19)
The Seagoon Memoirs (Series 9 Episode 7)
As well as these, he adapted radio scripts for the 15-minute-long episodes of the Telegoons.
He partnered with Larry Stephens on other projects such as The Army Game, taking on the mantle of lead writer later in the show’s run after Stevens died in 1959.
Other BBC projects he worked on included HMS Paradise, a TV adaptation of the successful radio comedy The Navy Lark, and The Dick Emery Show in 1965 and 1966.
In the late 1960s, Wiltshire moved to Australia and wrote several comedy series for the Australian broadcaster ABC. He died in 1991 in Sydney.
The Telegoons website has a full rundown of Wiltshire’s work in the UK and Australia. It’s a shame there isn’t more information about his life – much like Larry Stephens, it appears he may be somewhat forgotten in the world of British comedy.
Image sourced from the Telegoons website