We hope everyone at The Bell in Ticehurst has a happy time tomorrow, with all the Spike Milligan and Goon Show events they are putting on. Spike lived in Ticehurst for some time. Our look-a-like Eccles is very sorry he can’t be there again this year. He is busy in the garden tending his money tree, forever the optimist!
Those with a keen eye will notice that our look-a-like Eccles is a shadow of the original but he was knocked up quickly for a Goon Show convention a few years ago.
With none of the original Goons alive the TeIegoons have had plenty of attention but sadly most of the Telegoon puppeteers have also passed on.
I was the youngest and last time I pinched myself I think I was still alive!
Yes I know a lot about the Telegoons because my family made the pilot film that sold the series to the BBC. Tony Young came to our studio many times for advice and we were involved in the developing the rubber for the marionettes. But Tony’s dad ended up making them.
At first Television puppeteers had to have Equity cards, I got mine as an entertainer during my first summer season in Eastbourne. The Equity card was an acknowledgement of the fact puppeteers were part of the drama and did not just pull strings. But during this series the rules change and affiliation to a different union was acceptable.
Sadly the show was never a big success in Britain maybe because most people had their own ideas as to how the characters might look like from listening to The Goon Show The Telegoons were much more popular in America and Australia.
I was one of the first puppeteers and performed with the marionettes and life-like models for 15 episodes. Whew! But working on that set carried enough setbacks and intrigue to fill another episode of the Goon Show!
Spike only ever visited the set once!
Some of the original sketches for the puppets.
My eldest son first met Spike Milligan reading his poems in the Chimpanzee Tea Party enclosure at London Zoo, an encounter, he says he will never forget.
Naturally the grandchildren now 24, 23, and 21 years old, all loved Spike’s poetry. Who wouldn’t appreciate ‘Ning Nang Nong Where the Cows go Bong’ and his other wonderful poems for children?