The 60th Anniversary – The Goon Show

The Goon Show – The 60th Anniversary of the first show  

Today I am a very minor celebrity, as one of the ‘Telegoon’ puppeteers in the 60s.  Off I go to the The Strutton Arms with Alan my partner and my two sons Robin and Paul.

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.

Jimmy Grafton was the publican at the  Strutton Arms who did much to encourage artists and comedians to after the war.

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.  

Marcel Stedman and his wife were also honoured guests.

Marcel was responsible for producing many of the Goon songs, especially the world famous ‘Ying Tong Song’. 

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!

We also had the pleasure of the company of the writer Brad Ashton from London Associated Scripts.

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.

A huge success obviously followed by anecdotes from the celebrities.

My sons managed to win two raffle prizes, a bottle of Scotch and a wonderful CD donated by Marcel, lucky them!

Eccles disgraced himself unfortunately, by insisting on being photographed unveiling the plaque when in fact Charles had performed the honour.. “Doh” said Eccles! Charles did not mind!

All photographs by Paul Perrin

Robin Perrin performed with our lookalike Eccles at the convention a few years ago.

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!

the link to the film on youtube is below.

I am a keen film maker and have won competitions, all my films are edited some better than others,  but I sometimes compromise on technical expertise, just to get the highlights of the event!

Type in ann perrin in youtube and you get most my films, good, bad and indifferent!


This entry was posted in Cheer yourself up, London out and about, Marionette, Photography, Puppethouse mayhem and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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