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Why 'The Seagoon Memoirs'?

Updated: Oct 12, 2021

I chose this name based on the title of seventh episode of the ninth series, broadcast on 15 December 1958.

In this episode, Harry Secombe’s Neddie Seagoon – the central character for most episodes from the third series onwards – decides to publish his tell-all war memoirs. Lacking access to a typewriter, he types them out on a piano, only for the piano to be burned to ashes.

Neddie: My piano’s on fire. Eccles: Oh, I’d better write that down in my notebook. C-A-T, cat. Neddie: No, no – piano. I want you to put it out. Eccles: Oh. I can only spell ‘cat’, so I'll have to put the cat out.

Instead, Seagoon enlists the help of Major Denis Bloodnok (Peter Sellers) to have the contents of his head published.

It seemed an appropriate title, seeing as – for the most part – I will be publishing the contents of my own head. And for that, I can only apologise.

It’s all in the mind, you know.


Episode two of the debut series of the Goon Show aired on the BBC Home Service on 4 June 1951. Proof, if needed, is on page 16 of this week’s Radio Times.

Photo sourced from Wikipedia article about the genuine RAF tradition of piano burning.

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