The BBC recently re-ran some episodes of The Goodies, the comedy show that launched Bill Oddie, Graeme Garden and Tim Brooke-Taylor into the public consciousness.
Looking back at them now, the shows seem somewhat dated, with shoddy sets and humour which, at times, is painfully weak. On the other hand, I say that knowing that those shows were cutting edge humour for their time and that, whilst tastes may have changed, technology improved and writing become sharper over the intervening three or (in some cases) four decades, what I am watching was positively avant garde when first screened.
As a child, I was very rarely allowed to stay up late. What I was allowed to do, on special occasions, was to go to bed and then be woken up to come downstairs to watch certain shows. Once I discovered sports I was, on extra special occasions pretty much limited to being in the same building as my Grandad, allowed to get up to watch Match of the Day. Long before then, at the tender age of seven, it was The Goodies that I was allowed up for.
I doubt that I saw every show. There were 76 of them, for one thing. But I am pretty sure that I saw the classic ‘Clown Virus’ and ‘Kung Fu Kapers’ episodes this way.
It is no coincidence, either, that all three went on to star in two of my favourite other shows – Garden and Brooke-Taylor in the spoof radio quiz ‘I’m Sorry, I Haven’t a Clue’ and Oddie in the Spring/Autumnwatch series of shows.
What is a coincidence is that I subsequently ended up marrying a distant relative of Graeme Garden’s. She doesn’t understand The Goodies at all, but then that part of my life is another story entirely.