Bristol

Goodies fans asked to choose favourite episode

Goodies and Dougal
Image caption The surreal comedy series ran from 1970 until 1981 on the BBC

An online poll asking fans to choose their favourite episode from surreal 1970s TV series The Goodies has been launched to mark its 50th anniversary.

Chris Daniels, from Slapstick Festival, said it was "about reminding people how great classic comedy was and can be".

The show starred Graeme Garden, Bill Oddie and Tim Brooke-Taylor.

Graeme Garden said: "The BBC gave us free reign and amazing support. It would be difficult to make it today, health and safety would stop it."

The Goodies was made up of sketches and situation comedy and was written by the three stars, who met at university. It was well-known for its silliness and an early user of chroma key special effects.

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Media captionOne of the most popular clips from 1970s BBC comedy series The Goodies was Kitten Kong.

Mr Garden said people's favourite episodes mentioned to him were "Kitten Kong, Radio Goodies, Goodies and the Beanstalk and String".

Remembering how they came up with Kitten Kong, he said: "Godzilla and King Kong were popular monster movies and we wanted to make one with the least threatening creature we could think of.

"The kitten turned out to be pretty threatening all the same. I remember we were pioneering early technology such as blue-screen - nowadays it's green-screen.

"For its time the effects were not bad, but I think the audience enjoyed the slightly ropey sequences."

Image caption The Goodies were filmed riding around the country on their three-seater "trandem"

When asked why the Goodies were still so popular, he said: "Dare I suggest it's because the show is funny?

"It seems to have lodged in people's memories pretty firmly, as most won't have seen it for 40 years."

Image caption Tim Brooke-Taylor, Bill Oddie and Graeme Garden created and wrote the show

All three Goodies will be present when the most popular episode is screened at the Slapstick Festival on 25 January at the Redgrave Theatre in Bristol.

Chris Daniels said: "I think there's something special about watching the work of great artists when they're present in the room with you.

"The Goodies are a phenomenon and in terms of slapstick their credentials couldn't be higher - the comedy is intelligent, visual and very funny.

"We're a nostalgic festival unashamedly and it's important that these great artists of the past are not forgotten, that they're still celebrated by fans and also by new audiences."

Image caption Comedian Omid Djalili said seeing a giant kitten flatten Michael Aspel was his favourite episode

Another big fan, comedian Omid Djalili, said: "Without a shadow of a doubt growing up as a child my favourite Goodies episode was Kitten Kong.

"I was already familiar with King Kong v Godzilla, so to see a giant kitten straddling the Post Office Tower was the second funniest thing I'd ever seen."

When asked about his favourite episode, comedian Matt Lucas said: "Kitten Kong. Seminal."

Comedian Tim Vine said: "I have a clear childhood memory of the thrill I felt watching the Goodies being chased by a giant Dougal from Magic Roundabout. That's the episode I'd choose."

Image copyright Slapstick
Image caption The Goodies are still making comedy together and have recently made an audio episode on Audible called The Big Ben Theory

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When asked if comedy had changed in the past 50 years, Graeme Garden said: "Yes, although people still laugh at the same things.

"For a time comedy became rather cruel and mean-spirited, but I think the warmth is creeping back."

He said his favourite episodes "varied from day to day" but said: "Today it's probably Bunfight at the OK Tearoom. It's a fun western spoof with some good set pieces.

"And of course the 'scon/scoan' debate. But you have to remember there are many shows I haven't seen for years, and are only faint memories now."

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