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What’s on the telly? Part one of a few

Updated: Jan 13, 2022

Greenslade: This is the BBC Home Service. Sellers: Aaaaaach! What's on the telly? Greenslade: You will find the answer to that question in the Radio Times, price thruppence. Three copper coins, mark you, and by jove, it has become so interesting I would much sooner settle down and read it than listen to the radio any day.

(from ‘Yehti’, Series 5 Episode 24, broadcast 8 March 1955)

Now that we’ve finished our trek through series five of the Goon Show, let’s switch the wireless off and see what’s on the telly.

One thing I missed as an ‘on this day’ feature was The Secombe Saga, a 1957 TV feature broadcast on 7 December.

Penned by Jimmy Grafton and starring, of course, Harry Secombe, the show also included Terry-Thomas (who I’m always amazed never graced a Goon Show studio), David Hutcheson, Bill Fraser, Ann McMurdo, Vicki Stuart, Fred Kitchen, and choreographer and dancer Paddy Stone, who appeared with “the Show Dancers”.

The Radio Times listing for the show - subtitled 'The Tarnished Years' - is here.

David Hutcheson was a comedy actor best known for his comic relief roles in films such as Powell & Pressburger's The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp from 1943, which also features Goon Show guests Valentine Dyall and AE Matthews. Hutcheson also had a minor role in The Magic Christian, the 1969 film starring Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr, and also featuring Spike Milligan as an angry traffic warden.

Bill Fraser was, at the time of this show, an up-and-coming comedy actor with a regular role in Hancock's Half Hour. He went on to play Sergeant Snudge in The Army Game, a TV series that had Larry Stephens and Maurice Wiltshire (Goon Show co-writers) among its script authors. He later appeared in the TV movie version of Pickwick, starring the above Harry Secombe.

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