The Goon Show – The 60th Anniversary of the first show
Saturday 28th May 2011 is the 60th anniversary to the day of the first broadcast of ‘Crazy People’ subsequently renamed “The Goon Show”.
Celebrations at The Strutton Arms (formerly Graftons) 2 Strutton Road. London
Celebrities most likely to be there: Graham Stark, John Antrobus, Joe McGrath, Sandra Caron, Bert Kwouk,Charles Chilton, Sally & Jane Grafton (children of Jimmy Grafton), Marcel Stellman and Eric Sykes who it is hoped will unveil the commemorative plaque. Many more have also been invited.
The Goon Show Preservation Society under the enthusiastic guidance of John Respech the chairman and secretary Tina Hammond have raised funds to put up a plague to commemorate ‘The Goons’ at the pub where they started to write their scripts.
His daughter was much in evidence at the event and her son the current manager provided the buffet. The pub was full of ‘Goon’ related celebrities, including Charles Chilton, writer of ‘Journey into Space’ and ‘Oh What A Lovely War’. It was Charles who gave Spike his first break in show business at The London Palladium.
Bert Kwouk who worked with Peter Sellars in ‘The Pink Panther’ was also there.
Of course my lookalike Eccles made for a Goon Show convention insisted on travelling to London to enjoy the fun.
After the unveiling of the plaque leading actors of the day performed the first Goon Show script completely without rehearsal. The wonderful Dave Withall, Peter Stanford, Phil Ladd, Jon Glover, Jeffrey Holland and not forgetting the lovely Les Drew with sound effects! A huge success!
It was sad to note, however, that as the years go by there are less and less of these fascinating people around. Some of the younger people present had apparently learned of the Goons though the Telegoons.
My sons managed to win two raffle prizes, a bottle of Scotch and a wonderful CD donated by Marcel, lucky them!
All photographs by Paul Perrin
My family had been involved in the development of the Telegoons, our sync system used in early episodes. Our family were also the only puppeteers involved in the Pilot. The puppets were a visual expression of the famous radio series ‘The Goon Show’.
I went on to perform with the Telegoon Puppets for fifteen episodes. The Goon Show Preservation Society is still a thriving group and keeps the memory of the Goons very much alive!
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