The year is 1951. Four young men, all former members of the armed services, are drinking in The Grafton Arms, near Victoria Station in London.
They improvise gags and sketches, invent voices and characters, and generally entertain the clientele.
The landlord, Jimmy Grafton, another ex-serviceman, sees the potential for these mad young would-be entertainers to carve out a niche for themselves on radio. Some of them already have as individuals- but what they have together is special. There is a spark there, a zaniness and surreality to their humour that is unlike anything else on the air.
The Goon Show is about to be created.
The year is 2020. I have bugger all else to do. I read books - lots of them - about these four young entertainers and the others they encountered. I research, write notes, and above all listen to hours of radio hilarity. The sound effects, music, jokes, and laughter echo across decades, and give me the strangest dreams when I fall asleep while listening.
The year is 2021. We're still in lockdown. Why not write a blog?
Where it all began.
(Image sourced from TripAdvisor)