PetitionOnline is shutting down. Read more.

1960s The Telegoons on Home Video

  • Author:
  • Send To:
    British Broadcasting Corporation
  • Sponsored By:
    Goon Show Preservation Society
  • More Info at:
We believe that The Telegoons, which represents an overlooked (but never forgotten) chapter in the history of British television comedy and puppetry, deserves to be seen again.

The Telegoons, comprising 26 fifteen-minute television puppet films made in 1963, represents the television version of the radio Goon Show. Broadcast after the radio show ended, and popular with the pre-teen and teenage television audience (as evidenced by a more than 3-year run of the comic strip in TV Comic), The Telegoons was shown on BBC TV over two seasons in 1963/4.

The Telegoons has primary historical significance as a creative work of the Goons. It also has important historical significance as the first intentionally humorous television puppet show designed for adults. The puppets were based on sketches of the Goon characters, mainly drawn by Spike Milligan, who also gave final approval for the look of the puppets. The films were voiced by the late Sir Harry Secombe, Peter Sellers, and Spike Milligan. None of the old radio recordings were re-used. Script editor Maurice Wiltshire, mindful of the television medium, inserted a lot of visual humour, and the shows were produced by a dedicated team of skilled puppeteers and film industry professionals.

Apart from a few episodes repeated immediately following the 2nd season, The Telegoons has never been repeated on television. That this important creative work remains unrepeated and unreleased on home video is a tragedy.

We earnestly ask therefore, that you start work on releasing a "best of" or commemorative compilation of The Telegoons on DVD. Suggested candidate episodes for this release are: The Lost Colony, China Story, The First Albert Memorial to the Moon, Tales of Montmartre, The Canal, Napoleon's Piano, The Last Tram, The Ascent of Mount Everest, The Dreaded Batter-Pudding Hurler of Bexhill-on-Sea.

If this release is done soon, it should still be possible for several surviving crew to contribute to an extra DVD feature about the production.

We would like to congratulate the BBC on the successful release of nearly eighty Goon Shows in the CD format. We wish the BBC all success with the future release of the radio show's television counterpart on home video.