Series 5, Episode 17, Broadcast 18 January 1955

China Story

Wallace: This is the BBC Home Service, and jolly good programmes they put
on, too

Peter: (very camp) Oh isn't he a lovely talker?

Harry: (strained) Thank you, could you say some more, mister, please?

Wallace: Why certainly, this is Wallace Greenslade saying "Winds like to
variable"

Peter: (very theatrical) Oh Greenslade, how can they afford you?

Harry: (himself) Because 12 shillings a week is nothing to the highly esteemed
Goon Show!

ORCHESTRA: VERY SIMPLE PERCUSSION AND VOCALS,
PRIMITIVE CULTURE STYLE

Harry: Thank you listeners, next dance please. Mr. Greenslade loosen that
plastic sporran and make the introduction

Wallace: Listeners and losteners, we present an ancient Chinese play
translated from an old Greek soup recipe found engraved on the
seat of a dustman's trousers in East Acton. The trousers can now be
inspected in the Science Museum, internal combustion section.
This play was especially writted for the wireless

Peter: (very theatrical) Wireless! Curse! This means the end of the horned
phonograph and the little doggie that looks in to it. Exits left

FX: GONG STRIKES

Peter: (Chinese) Hello, you there. Oh boy, get this, we give you (and how)
one hot story of old home town

Neddy: Strange people, the Chinese, there are over 500 million of them. My
name is Neddy Seagoon and my chow-lady calls me Ducks - due to
a certain disease I have. I'm well known in China and voted best
dressed man of 1904 - in 1955

GRAMS: HARRY SECOMBE WHINING IN HIGH PITCH VOICE,
FOLLOWED BY A SPLASH

Neddy: It was Christmas night on the waterfront of the Shanghai. Still, it had to
come some time. As I walked the crowded streets people seemed to
know I was British - was it my bearing, cut of my dentures or was it
the 8 foot flood-lit union jack tied round my head? I'll never know

Grytpype: Yikes, Tally-Ho nutty! Have a noodle

Neddy: The words came from a two-legged, grey-headed man going bald at
the knees. He was bent backwards eating a bowl of unchopped-sui
from a leopard skin bladder. With a wave of his foot he beckoned
me over

Grytpype: He ignored my invitation, but then I aid something that had him at
my side - money!

GRAMS: WHOOSH!

Neddy: My name is Ned Seagoon

Grytpype: Have a noodle

FX: CLUNK

Neddy: Thank you. You called me over

Grytpype: Yes

Neddy: What do you want?

Grytpype: Well you have a kind face

Neddy: You can't have it, it's a fixture

Grytpype: A fixture, ey? My you are lumbered

Neddy: Have a care, sir, I'm not a man to be laughed at

Grytpype: I know, I've seen your act, the singing shaver isn't it?

Neddy: I have my dark secrets

Ray: Man, so do I!

Neddy: Silence, Ellington, or I'll have the white-washed brushes at you

Grytpype: Well said, Neddy. Oh, Neddy, this gentleman here is Count
Moriarty, French overland saxophone champion

Neddy: speaks French fluently

Moriarty: So, the pen of your aunt is in the garden, ey? You're a stranger in
town, are you, lad?

Neddy: Stranger? I came here as a boy

Grytpype: I didn't think you came here as a girl. Oh, I don't know, though. You
Chinese are damn clever people

Neddy: I'll have you know I'm English!

Moriarty: English? But that ragged kilt and your toes sticking out at the end of
your feet

Neddy: In my position that's no shame

Moriarty: You're not -

Neddy: Yes! The British ambassador

Grytpype: Poor fellow, you must be starving, have a noodle

FX: CLUNK

Neddy: Thank you

Grytpype: Waiter, two ice-rickshaws and a fur-skin of rice. So, you're the
British ambassador

Neddy: Yes

Grytpype: You silly twisted boy, you!

Moriarty: We wish to know that. now do we take it, Mr. Seagoon, that you are
pressed for money?

Neddy: Yes

Moriarty: Hmm, interesting, ey, Grytpype?

Grytpype: Yes. Come Neddy, have another noodle

FX: CLUNK

Neddy: Thank you

Grytpype: Neddy, how would you like 50 million yen?

Neddy: In cash

Moriarty: Crazy boy, Seagoon, you've heard of the fiendish Chinese leader?

Neddy: Not General Cash-My-Cheque?

Moriarty: Yes. Listen lad he's willing to pay that sum to anybody who can
smuggle him a certain English Rosewood upright piano with brass
candle-holders

Neddy: Tell me more gentlemen

Grytpype: Well, Neddy, this is the plan

FX: GONG STRIKES

Everybody: Chinese crowd gibberish

Neddy: Back at the embassy I pondered over Grytpype Thynnes' offer. Why
on earth did General Cash-My-Cheque want a certain English upward
Rosewood piano with brass candle-holders? Cunning people, the
fiendish Chinese, you never know which whey they're going to go! I
was just about to retire for the night when -

FX: PHONE RINGS, PICKED UP

Neddy: Yes?

Grytpype: (other end of the phone) Neddy, Grytpype Thynne here. have you
made a decision about the certain English upright?

Neddy: Yes, I need the money, I'll do the job. But where do I get that certain
English upright Rosewood piano with brass candle-holders?

Grytpype: Go to the tea-house of the autumn Goon

Neddy: Just a minute, I'll take that down. "Go to the tea-house of the Autumn
Goon", right

Grytpype: Got that down?

Neddy: Yes

Grytpype: Burn it at once

Neddy: Right

Grytpype: Now set fire to the ashes

Neddy: Yes, I've done that

Grytpype: Good, now memorise the remains

Neddy: Right

Grytpype: Splendid. Now say after me, "I am an idiot"

Neddy: I am an idiot

Grytpype: Right. Now, when you arrive there knock 6,000 times and ask for
Ah-Pong

Neddy: But how do I get there?

Grytpype: How do you get there? Where are you now?

Neddy: I'm standing by the phone

Grytpype: Good, start asking your way from there

Neddy: Thank you

FX: PHONE PUT BACK ON HOOK

Neddy: I should be there in 3 minutes

ORCHESTRA: MAX GELDRAY AND THE ORCHESTRA

FX: GONG STRIKES

Everyone: gibberish Chinese crowd noises

Neddy: On arrival at the tea house, as instructed, I knocked 6,000 times

GRAMS: STEADY KNOCKING GRADUALLY SPEEDING UP
UNTIL SOUNDS LIKE A MACHINE GUN FIRING

FX: DOOR OPENS

Throat: Yes?

Neddy: Tea house of the Autumn Goon?

Throat: No

FX: DOOR SLAMS

Neddy: Curse, it's next door! It's always next door in China!

GRAMS: STEADY KNOCKING GRADUALLY SPEEDING UP
UNTIL SOUNDS LIKE A MACHINE GUN FIRING

FX: DOOR OPENS

Peter: (Chinese) Somebody knock?

Neddy: Yes, tea-house of Autumn Goon?

Peter: Yes sir

Neddy: You are Ah-Pong?

Peter: Yes, we are up until 11 o'clock

Neddy: I've come about a certain English rosewood upright

Peter: Ah, you are Neddy Sleegoon, yeah?

Neddy: Yes, Blitish Ambassador

Peter: Ah good, good, good! Follow me please

Neddy: I was lead through a bead curtain and across the floor, so cunningly
laid that no matter where you stood it was always under your feet.
Finally I was lead to a military man declining on a cooling

Bloodnok: Aaaah! So you're the man who's going to do the job

Neddy: Yes

Bloodnok: So, about the certain English upright rosewood piano

Neddy: Yes, where is it?

Bloodnok: Upriver at the Kargoon Missionary

Neddy: Kargoon? That's 600 miles away!

Bloodnok: Is it?

GRAMS: FOOTSTEPS RUNNING AWAY INTO THE DISTANCE,
SILENCE, FOOTSTEPS RUNNING BACK TOWARDS
MICROPHONE

Neddy: Yes, it's exactly 600 miles

Bloodnok: That's too far to travel, therefore we shall take the fiendish Chinese
river-steamer tonight

FX: GONG STRIKES

Neddy: In the darkness we sat huddled on the fiendish Chinese river-steamer,
the silence broken only by the sound of the silence being broken

Bloodnok: Ah, Seagoon! I've just been speaking to the fiendish Chinese
Captain, he says we'll be in Kalgoon at 2300 hours

Neddy: What time is that?

Bloodnok: I don't know, my watch only goes up to 12

Neddy: Curse this fiendish Chinese triple-summertime

FX: GONG STRIKES

Neddy: By mid-day the following month we arrived at the fiendish Chinese
river port of Kalgoon

Bloodnok: But to our bearded horror we discovered that missionary Crun had
put the certain English upright rosewood piano up for auction

Neddy: We had no option but to bid against 300 fiendish oriental John
China men

Everyone: gibberish Chinese crowd atmosphere

FX: JUDGE'S HAMMER HIT 3 TIMES

Henry: Attention, fiendish Chinese bidders, the auction commences. First
object to come under the hammer is this glass jar

FX: GLASS JAR SMASHED BY HAMMER

Henry: The next object is this certain English rosewood upright. Now then, let
us start the bidding at 1 pound

Harry: (Chinese) 1.10

Spike: (Chinese) 2

Ray:(Chinese) 3

Harry: 3.10

Peter: (Chinese) 3.15

Harry: Thlee pounds flifteen and slixpence

Ray: 4.10

Peter: 4.10 and 10-pence

Harry: 5

Peter: Flive pounds

Spike: Flive pounds and flive

Henry: Any advance on flive pounds flive?

Wallace: (Chinese) Flive pounds four and 4-pence

Spike: Flip-flong

Peter: Flip-flong ten

Harry: 10

Ray: Blasee-a-blas-bing

Spike: Bloo-bla-bing

Harry: Bing-bang-bloom

Peter: Bing-bang-blom

Minnie: Ying-Tong

Harry: Ying-Tong-Iddle

Minnie: Ying-Tong-Iddle-I

Harry: Ying-Tong-Iddle-I-Po

Everyone: Good!

Henry: Any advance on Ying-Tong-Iddle-I-Po?

Wallace: (himself) Ladies and gentlemen, the BBC have asked me to tell you
the sentence Ying-Tong-Iddle-I-Po has no meaning at all and is not
a form of currency. Therefore in bidding Ying-Tong-Iddle-I-Po for
the piano it has proved that the bidders are fiendish Chinese and
we return you now to the fiendish auction

Everyone: gibberish Chinese crowd atmosphere

Henry: Any advance on fiendish Ying-Tong-Iddle-I-Po?

Neddy: 10

Henry: Mnnk! Sold for 10!

FX: JUDGE'S HAMMER STRUCK ONCE

Moriarty: Well done, Neddy boy, well done!

Neddy: Moriarty!

Moriarty: Yes

Neddy: Grytpype Thynne! What are you doing here?

Moriarty: This is the reason: Before that piano can be dispatched to the secret
Chinese NAAFI Cash-My-Cheque, the keyboard must be reversed

Neddy: Why?

Grytpype: Well you see, Neddy, fiendish Chinese pianists always play from
right to left

Neddy: What fiendish Chinese cunning!

Grytpype: Yes. Now, out you go and get me a packet of Coolies

Neddy: Cork-tipped, of course

Grytpype: Of course

Neddy: Right!

Grytpype: I say, Moriarty

Moriarty: Yes?

Grytpype: Do you think he suspects?

Moriarty: About the time-bomb in the piano to kill General Cash-My-Cheque?
No

Grytpype: No. Have you wired it up to explode?

Moriarty: Yes it detonated when a certain note is played, listen

ORCHESTRA: PIANO PLAYS A TUNE (CHOPSTICKS) MINUS
LAST NOTE OF REFRAIN

Moriarty: This is the note

ORCHESTRA: FINAL NOTE OF REFRAIN PLAYED

Grytpype: You have a copy of that music?

Moriarty: Of course

Grytpype: In Chinese?

Moriarty: Yes, scored from right to left and upwards

Grytpype: Brilliant, brilliant! Then tomorrow we send Seagoon and the piano
to the fiendish Chinese NAAFI and that will be the last of our
dreaded rival General Cash-My-Cheque

MUSIC: RAY ELLINGTON AND HIS QUARTET

Neddy: August the third, moving inland through the bandit province of
Yanghtsee towards the secret Chinese NAAFI, strapped to the back
of a mule was the certain English etcetera etcetera with brass candle-
holders - I said etcetera etcetera because it saved me saying the full
sentence which was a certain English upright rosewood piano with
brass candle-holders. That's why I said etcetera etcetera, thought you
might like to know

Bloodnok: Seagoon, stop the caravan, there is someone behind those fiendish
Chinese bushes ahead

Neddy: Hand me that loaded China man

Bloodnok: Don't point him at me!

Neddy: It's alright I've got a safety catch on. Ahoy there, come out from
behind that bush!

Bluebottle: Wait a minute, don't shoot at me!

Neddy: Come on out

Bluebottle: Enter Bluebottle. Is the Bluebottle popularity slipping? No

Neddy: Who are you, you little high-bred wreck

Bluebottle: I'm a member of General Cash-My-Cheque's secret NAAFI.
Strikes dramatic pose as done in film "The Bridges of Totorees",
by Grace Kennings and William Holdings in a Japanese bath
scene.Thinks: I wouldn't mind a bath night like that. Tee-hee!

Neddy: Have you proof of your identity?

Bluebottle: Yes I have, my cap-i-tain, yes. Look: points to Chinese dragon
tattooed at great expense on tail of shirt

Neddy: What does that prove?

Bluebottle: It proves that I have a Chinese dragon tattooed on the tail of my
shirt at great expense. Thinks: I've got a Chinese dragon tattooed
to the tail of my -

Neddy: Yes, yes, yes. But why have you got that boot full of Chinese porridge
strapped to your head?

Bluebottle: I always have a bowl of Chinese porridge strapped on my head on
a Monday

Neddy: But today's Tuesday

Bluebottle: Is it? Oh, I feel a proper fool! Tee-hee! Than you Chinese
sausages

Neddy: Stop those radio award jokes, now how far are we from the secret
Chinese NAAFI of General Cash-My-Cheque?

Bluebottle: I will not tell you, you're not talking nicely to little Bluebottle

Neddy: Fiendish China man gunner Ellington, take charge of this man

Ray: Right! Come on, come on you mushroom legs!

Bluebottle: Eeeeeh! take your hands off my little arm, you might rub off on
me. Here, you're not Chinese

Ray: How do you know?

Bluebottle: I can tell by your eyes

Ray: Come on, come on now, how far do we go until the secret Chinese
NAAFI?

Bluebottle: I don't like this game

Neddy: Tell us, or we play Bluebottle and taxidermists

Bluebottle: No, no! I'll tell you! It is across this river, it is behind the Great
Wall of China. Ying-Tong-Iddle-I-Ping

Neddy: Guards, forward!

GRAMS: FOUR WHOOSHES IN A ROW

Bluebottle: Right, here we are at the secret fiendish Chinese NAAFI. I will
knock-ed

FX: FEW KNOCKS ON DOOR AND OPENS

Peter: (Chinese) Oh boy, look, it's a Bluebottle and honourable piano. Look,
bloys, honourable naughty piano has arrived

Everybody: (Chinese) Hip-Hip-Hullay! Hip-Hip-Hullay!

Neddy: Together -

FX: HEAVY OBJECT BEING DRAGGED OVER SCREAMS

Wallace: Ladies and gentlemen, while our heroes are getting the English piano
up on the stage of the secret Chinese NAAFI I would like to draw
your attention to page 52 of this week's Radio Times. It shows a 3
quarter rear view of a lady wearing a pair of corsets. we would like
to point out that this is an advertisement and not a programme,
though I must say it might be the basis of a jolly good show. I see
now that the certain English piano is in position and a fiendish
Chinese pianist is about to play

Everybody: gibberish Chinese crowd atmosphere

Harry: (Chinese) Silence, please silence! Honourable pianist will now play
western style tune

ORCHESTRA: PIANO PLAYS SAME TUNE AS BEFORE BUT
STOPS BEFORE THE LAST NOTE

Grytpype: Curse it, Moriarty, he hasn't played the note!

ORCHESTRA: PIANO PLAYS SAME TUNE AS BEFORE BUT
STOPS BEFORE THE LAST NOTE

Grytpype: Oh, he's missed it again!

Spriggs: Chinese gentlemen, don't fret! Your poor fiendish pianist can not play
the piano so I will sing you another melody. Could I have an A
please?

ORCHESTRA: PIANO PLAYS AN A, THE FINAL NOTE OF THE
PREVIOUS TUNE

GRAMS: GIANT EXPLOSION, GLASS SMASHING AND OBJECTS
FALLING ON FLOOR

Grytpype: Damn clever these Chinese!

ORCHESTRA: CLOSING THEME TUNE

Wallace: That was the Goon Show, a Recorded programme featuring Peter
Sellers, Harry Secombe and Spike Milligan with the Ray Ellington
Quartet and Max Geldray. The orchestra was conducted by Wally
Stott, script by Spike Milligan and Eric Sykes, announcer Wallace
Greenslade, the programme produced by Peter Eton.

Bluebottle: I didn't get deaded this week! Tee-hee!

ORCHESTRA: FINISH THEME TUNE AND PLAY THEM OUT