Series 5, Episode 18, Broadcast 25 January 1955

Under Two Floorboards

Wallace: This is the BBC Home Service

Peter: Is there no relief?

Wallace: Listeners, this is smiling Wallace Greenslade speaking to you. Here
is good news: from time to time in the next half hour I will be
appearing - hope you like me, kids! If, however, you are
determined to hear the rest of it get well soon

Harry: You over-paid word strangler, you! Ladies and gentlemen, he was
about to apologise for the highly esteemed Goon Show

ORCHESTRA: FLUTE AND HARP CALM AND FLOWING DUET
LINK

Wallace: High Towers with its great ivy-covered windows, relieved by
mundane walls. This was the ancestral home of Lady Seagoon - 1
butler, 2 cooks, 3 maids, 6 gardeners, 8 horses, 14 cows, 7 pigs
and Ned Seagoon

Neddy: Yes, I am the honourable Neddy Seagoon, eldest son. We'd all been to
the university, I took law while my brothers took medicine

Eccles: We were ill! Ha-ha! (singing) I'm only a smiling -

Neddy: Shut up Eccles!

Eccles: Well i wasn't in it last week

Neddy: I know you weren't. Well, it was the year 1908, we'd just come from
Baylial School, Cambridge. Oh, it was pleasant to be home and I
walked around the even lawn pausing only to smooth down the places
my brother had buried a bone. Then I noticed my uncle Grytpype-
Thynne. He was idly climbing out of a hammock which hung easily
between my two brothers

Grytpype: Ah, nephew Neddy! Looking forward to the ball tonight?

Neddy: Oh yes, sir!

Grytpype: Good

Neddy: My mother will be wearing the Blue Shower Necklace worth a King's
ransom, been in the family 300 years

Grytpype: She's kept remarkably well

Neddy: No, no, no, the Blue Shower

Grytpype: Yes. Neddy I have a little present for you

Neddy: Oh thank you, uncle, you're always giving me presents. First a
christening mug and now this!

Grytpype: It's a book

Neddy: A book! Oh yes, I've seen one of these before. Wait, I think I've read
this, what's it called? 10 and 6 net? Yes, I've read this, I've read the
sequel too, 12 and 6 net

Grytpype: I wonder if it would be wiser to draw pictures for him. It's called
"Beau Geste" Neddy

Neddy: Lovely, I'll read it tomorrow

Grytpype: No, no, you must read it all before the ball tonight. Oh, and here's a
bookmark

Neddy: I say, that's rather novel, it's a single ticket to Marseilles

Grytpype: Well done. I say, you're quite sure your mother is wearing the Blue
Shower tonight?

Neddy: Of course

Grytpype: Read

Neddy: "Beau Geste", what a wonderful book. During the next five minutes I
read it again and again. On the last page was a note from uncle, it
read "Pass it on to your brothers, I've given them both bookmarks".
What a kind man uncle was, I passed it on

Eccles: Oh look! Look what Neddy's given us

Bluebottle: Tee-hee! Let's put some wheels on it, then we can pull it round.
So enters honourable Bluebottle, the third son. I like this rich
game. Thinks: I'm a happy-go-lucky-lad! Signals butler to wipe
my nose

Neddy: Dear brothers, that thing there is a book

Bluebottle: Go on, read it to little Bluebottle, Eccles. I like it when you read
to me, you know that? Sits in listening pose so as not to miss
dinner gong

Eccles: Right, let me see, it's called "Beau Gost", er "Beau Goste" - shall I
draw a pussycat?

Bluebottle: No go on, read it Eccles, it was just getting interesting

Eccles: Yeah, well it starts off -

Bluebottle: What does it say?

Eccles: (struggling over each word) "Once upon a ti - tim-

Bluebottle: Time!

Eccles: Time! That's it, I knew it was a W

Neddy: Enjoying it?

Eccles: Yeah, it's a funny book, ha ha!

Bluebottle: Yeah, it's a funny book, hee-hee!

Eccles: It's a really funny book, ha-ha-ha!

Neddy: Perhaps I read it wrongly. After all, both my brothers held university
degrees. Do you mind if I listen while you read?

Eccles: Well okay, yeah! Um, let's see now: ""Then the big giant walked over
the hill with a big club in each hand"

Neddy: Where's that?

Eccles: There!

Neddy: There? It says "The garden was bathed in the cold light of the august
moon"

Eccles: Shall I draw a pussycat?

Bluebottle: Tee-hee!

Neddy: Then I'll read it for you

Neddy: "Once upon a time there were three brothers - (speeds up to gibberish)

ORCHESTRA: MYSTIC HARP CHORDS LINK

Everyone: crowd noises over speech

Grytpype: Ah, nephew Neddy, enjoying the ball?

Neddy: Immensely, I've danced every dance

Grytpype: Oh, who's the lucky girl?

Neddy: I don't bother with them, I'm much better on my own

Grytpype: Charming. by the way, did you red "Beau Geste"?

Neddy: Oh yes, about the three brothers who having come back from Baylial
School attended a ball where their mother's diamond was stolen and
rather than sneaking on each other joined the foreign legion

Grytpype: Right load of charlies - I mean noble lads!

Neddy: You know, uncle, that's the sort of thing I'd do. Honouris Temperal
Gratis, up the school, last man in and ten runs to get (sings) Boots,
boots, boots, boots, tramping over Africa! There's no discharge in
the worldddd!

Grytpype: You silly twisted boy, you! By the way have you got the ticket to
Marsei - I mean the bookmark?

Neddy: Yes

Ray: (shouting) Neddy!

Neddy: Yes, mother?

Ray: Come in to my room!

FX: DOOR HANDLE TURNED, DOOR OPENED AND SLAMMED

Ray: Okay, which one of you three layabouts has it?

Spike: He was alright at the audition

Ray: The Blue Shower Necklace has been pinched!

Neddy: Just like the book!

Eccles: Oh, has that been pinched too?

Ray: If that necklace hasn't been returned by tomorrow I'll send for the po-lice

Neddy: At the mention of the police we all went white

Ray: Get me a mirror!

Neddy: Listen, mother -

Ray: I don't want to know, come on off you go to your rooms, you've got until
tomorrow

GRAMS: THREE WHOOSHES IN QUICK SUCCESSION, THREE
DOORS SLAMMED IN QUICK SUCCESSION

Grytpype: To think that the Blue Shower has cost me only 10 and 6 net, oh
yes and 3 novel bookmarks. So far so good. (singing) I'm only a
strolling vagabond, so good - (talking) Ah, here we are, Neddy's
room!

FX: THREE KNOCKS ON THE DOOR

Grytpype: Oh Neddy, it's your rich uncle

FX: DOOR HANDLE TURNED AND OPENS DOOR

Grytpype: Ned - Oh splendid, lad! He's gone and a farewell note to his mother,
how charming

Spike: The devilish cunning of it all!

Grytpype: And that isn't all. Geldray, play Neddy's journey to Marseilles

MUSIC: MAX GELDRAY AND ORCHESTRA

GRAMS: MARCH MUSIC AND MARCHING SPED UP, MILITARY
TRUMPET TUNES SPED UP (ADVANCE AND RETREAT)
OVER SCREAMS

Neddy: Stop! (stops immediately) I haven't joined yet! It had been a pleasant
journey in a first-class railway coach marked H-Verks 40-ons and one
Charley. And now here I was in the legion recruiting centre at
Marseilles. I was just reading the second wall when the door opened

FX: DOOR HANDLE TURNED AND DOOR OPENS

Major: Oooh! Moulin Rouge, Foli Bijou and other naughty French words. So
you want to join the legion, ey?

Neddy: I gazed at the legion officer, his skin was burnt fiery red by the hot
Algerian brandy. On his breast was a coloured ribbon on which
dangled a penny

Major: We can't all have medals, you know. Now, my lad, a few questions:
Name?

Neddy: Ned Seagoon

Major Ned S E A G O O O O doubleO N

Neddy: Oui, mon capitain

Major: Oh, you're German!

Neddy: No, I'm a true Britisher

Major: Well that's a novelty. You speak French?

Neddy: Oui, mon capitain je parle francais dans le legion

Major: Well you'll just have to learn it, same as I did. now for the jackpot
question: have you any money or valuables on you?

Neddy: About 5

Major: Oh, there'll be joy-bells in the NAAFI tonight! Hand it over

Neddy: But, I mean, look here -

Major: It will be returned to you on your demob. Off you go, first door on the
left

Neddy: This door?

Major: That's the one

Neddy: Thank you

FX: DOOR HANDLE TURNED AND DOOR OPENS

GRAMS: MILITARY TRUMPET TUNES SPED UP (ADVANCE AND
RETREAT) OVER SCREAMS

Wallace: Listeners may like to know how one can walk through a door in
Marseilles and appear in the thick of a battle in Africa. We're not
giving all our secrets away, by Jove we're not

GRAMS: MILITARY TRUMPET TUNES SPED UP (ADVANCE AND
RETREAT) OVER SCREAMS

Moriarty: Silence! Legion will fall in!

Everyone: disgruntled asides

Moriarty: Silence! Sacre-bleu sapristi-knuckle! You there! You with the size
53 nut count off! March!

FX: ONE MAN MARCHING AND SHOUTING AS HE GOES

Moriarty: Silence! slope umbrellas!

FX: SOUND OF LONG OBJECT BEING SLANTED OVER
SHOULDER

Neddy: So this was the famous legion. I drew myself to my full height and
stared dead-ahead at his belt

Moriarty: Tell me, my petit frog, can you march?

Neddy: only with my feet

Moriarty: Good! It's only twenty miles back to the fort. I hope, for your sake,
you will be able to keep up with us

Neddy: Oui, mon capitain. Keep up with him, indeed! Ha-ha! Little did he
know that I was a Britisher

Moriarty: (in distance) Legion, by the left, quick march!

GRAMS: MARCH MUSIC AND MARCHING SPED UP

ORCHESTRA: DRAMATIC SLOW TUNE, AS IN "LAWRENCE OF
ARABIA" ONE MAN PLOUGHING THROUGH
THE SANDS OF THE DESERT ALONE AND LOST

Neddy: Alone in the African desert without a compass or a guide. However,
by carefully noting the position of the sun I could tell it was still
daytime. But this heat was hot. I unbuttoned my overcoat and just as I
was about to call "water" I saw two people approaching

Henry: Dear dear

Minnie: Dear dear, I told you, Henry, the tide was out

Henry: We're not going back home without having a paddle

Minnie: Listen, Henry, the man will want another thruppence for this, buddy

Neddy: Excuse me -

Minnie: I don't want a donkey ride

Neddy: I don't intend to give you one

Henry: Young man, can you tell us where the sea is?

Neddy: I'm afraid not

Henry: And you call yourself a lifeguard?

Neddy: I'm not a lifeguard, I'm a legionnaire, but I've lost the fort

Henry: Where did you have it last? I asked him when he had it last, Minnie

Minnie: I thought he was a donkey man

Henry: Well no

Minnie: You can't get the donkeys

Minnie and Henry: take turns at saying "No you can't" for several minutes

Neddy: I'm sorry to butt in, but I have to find the fort. I'm a legionnaire, you
know. The crack fighting force, let them all come, ils ne passeront
pas Ha-ha! (sings French anthem as he goes into the distance)

Minnie: I wonder if that young man could help us

Henry: How, Min?

Minnie: To find Ned Seagoon

Henry: We don't have to ask anybody, Min., we have his description, it's only
a matter of keeping our eyes open

Minnie: We've only got to find the soldier wearing the Blue Shower Necklace

Henry: Well I never thought of that

Minnie: And you call yourself a detective!

Henry: Minnie, keep quiet, dear, or you'll break out in another rash

ORCHESTRA: DRAMATIC SLOW TUNE, AS IN "LAWRENCE OF
ARABIA" ONE MAN PLOUGHING THROUGH
THE SANDS OF THE DESERT ALONE AND LOST

Wallace: 10 days later the weary figure of Ned Seagoon approached the fort

Neddy: (out of breath) It wasn't 10 days, it was 3 and a half weeks

Wallace: At the risk of being volatile, I would like to inform listeners that
according to the Radio Times it was 10 days, however, after Ned
Seagoon's ordeal in the desert we can forgive his inaccuracy

Neddy: I should know, shouldn't I? I was here, wasn't I? It was 3 and a half
weeks

Moriarty: Ah, our new recruit! Where have you been for the last ten days?

Wallace: And the Radio Times only costs thruppence

Moriarty: Thank you. Tell me now, legionnaire, look at the state you're in,
covered in sand, where have you been?

Neddy : In the desert

Moriarty: A likely story!

ORCHESTRA: LONE TRUMPET PLAYS A REFRAIN THREE
TIMES TO ANNOUNCE A VISITOR

Moriarty: Sacre Fred! We're being attacked! Up on the wall, men! If you want
me, I'll be under the bed

Neddy: Stop! Sir, there's only one of them

Moriarty: Is he unarmed?

Neddy: Yes

Moriarty: Right men, fire!

GRAMS: HUNDREDS OF GUNS BEING FIRED OF VARIED
TYPES (MACHINE GUNS, PISTOLS, RIFLES, ETC.)

Moriarty: Missed! I say, keep still out there, these bullets cost money!

Neddy: Perhaps he has a message for us. Avez vous une message pour us?

Eccles: Oui. (sings) I'm only a lonely -

Neddy: Sir, this idiot is my brother. Eccles, what are you doing dressed as an
Arab?

Eccles: It's my foreign legion uniform

Neddy: It's not, it's the uniform of the Arabs

Eccles: Well, when I joined the Foreign Legion they gave me this, closed the
gates, and said "Good luck"

Neddy: I ran to let my brother in. It was good to see him again. Eccles, you've
got tall!

Eccles: Oh, this isn't all me!

Neddy: Isn't it?

Eccles: No, I'm sitting on mother's shoulders

Neddy: Mother's shoulders?

Eccles: I couldn't get a camel

Ray: Neddy, my eldest boy!

Neddy: Mother! Mother, what are you doing here? This is a white-man's grave

Ray: What's the matter with you, colour-blind?

Moriarty: Mother, may I have the honour of playing you the music?

Ray: With pleasure

MUSIC: RAY ELLINGTON AND HIS QUARTET "THE NAUGHTY
LADY OF SHADY LANE"

GRAMS: MARCH MUSIC AND MARCHING SPED UP

Neddy: In the next few weeks we must have marched hundreds of miles a day.
During these marches not a word of complaint passed my lips as I sat
huddle in Eccles' pack

Eccles: Ooh, you been riding around in my pack?

Neddy: You don't mind, do you?

Eccles: You'd better not let mother know

Neddy: Why?

Eccles: I've been riding around in hers! Ha-ha!

Neddy: Good old mater

Eccles: Yeah. Oh by the way. Neddy, I saw the Captain last week and he told
me to tell you that he wants to see you in his office right away

Neddy: What? Why didn't you tell me last week?

Eccles: Well if I told you last week you would have forgotten by now

Neddy: Yes, thank you Eccles. I'm only a week late. A week!

GRAMS: WHOOSH!

FX: THREE KNOCKS ON THE DOOR

Moriarty: Come in!

Neddy: I'm terribly sorry, sir, really I am. I know I'm late but it's my own fault.
My brother told me last week and I forgot. I am completely to blame.
I should have reported to you last week when my brother informed
me but it slipped my memory and the blame is entirely mine

Moriarty: Come in!

FX: DOOR HANDLE TURNED AND DOOR OPENS

Neddy: It's all Eccles's fault, sir!

Moriarty: Never mind, now. I have a visitor to see you, sir

Neddy: A visitor?

Moriarty: First of all, how much is the Blue Shower Necklace worth?

Neddy: About a King's ransom, all depends on who the King is! Ha-Ha!

Moriarty: So, you are Neddy Seagoon, I have a visitor for you. Entrez!

FX: DOOR HANDLE TURNED AND DOOR OPENS

Grytpype: Ah nephew Neddy

Neddy: Uncle Grytpype

Moriarty: Sacre-nonduci-fristi-yacka-backaras. Then it is true, you are this
charlie's uncle

Grytpype: I'm afraid so. Now, Neddy, the necklace!

Neddy: I haven't got it, uncle

Grytpype: Search his neck!

Neddy: Aaaaah!

Moriarty: Curses, nothing but a string of glass beads and a full-length portrait
of his mother

Grytpype: Listen, Neddy, I took the Blue Shower Necklace, but at the ball I
hung up my jacket to do the mambo and when I returned the
pocket containing the necklace was gone

Neddy: What a dastardly trick! Who'd want to rob you? But I didn't take it,
honestly I didn't

ORCHESTRA: LONE TRUMPET REFRAIN OF ATTACK

Moriarty: Sapristi-knuckles! Man the walls! The Arabs are attacking!

GRAMS: BATTLE SCREAMS AND TRUMPETS BLARING AT
DIFFERENT SPEEDS

Neddy: (over GRAMS) It was a terrible battle, the enemy hurled themselves
at us with swords, rifles and machine-guns, and worst of all - 700
rock-cakes!

GRAMS: BATTLE SCREAMS AND TRUMPETS CALLING THE
RETREAT

Neddy: (over GRAMS) Then it came, the order to retreat. We didn't know it at
the time but this was one of the greatest retreats in the history of war.
Back we went, as far as Morocco, to the African core still fighting,
the Mediterranean was littered with doers and dead sampans as we
gamely retreated. Twice we had to buy ammunition from the Arabs.
Days turned into weeks

FX: WHISTLE BLOWN, GRAMS STOP IMMEDIATELY

Everyone: huge crowd of people waiting to go through customs over speech

Peter: (slightly camp) Next please, anything to declare? Watches, clocks,
finery?

Neddy: Nothing

Moriarty: Nothing

Ray: Nothing

Peter: Well, anything to declare?

Eccles: It's good to be alive!

Peter: Yes, pass along please. Next

Harry: Welsh gibberish

Peter: Thank you, next

Spike: Indian gibberish

Peter: God there's hundreds of them. Alright, go straight through

FX: WHISTLE BLOWN

GRAMS: BATTLE SCREAMS AND TRUMPETS BLARING AT
DIFFERENT SPEEDS

Neddy: And still the battle raged, down the South End Road and up the
Guildford bypass (GRAMS die down)

ORCHESTRA: HARP PLAYS MYSTIC CHORDS LINK

Wallace: Meantime in the ancestral home of Lady Seagoon a lone figure lay in
bed idly dangling the Blue Shower Necklace

Bluebottle: Tee-hee! I'm a happy-go-lucky rich boy! Thinks: now that
everyone is in the Foreign Legion I'm next in line for the title.
Tee-hee-he! Stares at pimply reflection in the Blue Shower and
at the same time also thinks: here in the countryside I am safe.
It's the others who will get the dreaded deading

GRAMS: IN DISTANCE BATTLE SCREAMS AND TRUMPETS
BLARING AT DIFFERENT SPEEDS

Bluebottle: What is that sound that tickles little Bluebottle's ear-hole?

FX: DOOR HANDLE TURNED, DOOR OPENS, GRAMS GET
LOUDER

Peter: (Butler) Sir, it would appear your brothers have returned home, and
furthermore -

Neddy: Hello, Bluebottle, I'm glad to see that - Wait! You've got the Blue
Shower. Stop! (GRAMS stop immediately) Gentlemen, I'm sorry, but
you have to cease the battle now

Everyone: groans and complaints

Neddy: I know you're upset, I'm sorry, but this is our home, you know. And
what's more we've found the necklace

Everyone: Hooray! Hooray! Hooray!

Bluebottle: But the necklace is mine. Nay nay, nay nay, nay

Eccles: Here you go, Bluebottle, in return here's a rock-cake

Bluebottle: Oh thank you, Eccles. I like rock-cakes I do, I like them. Yes.
Thinks: I've never seen a rock-cake with a pin in it before. Oh
well, I had a good long run this week. Stands to one side and
pulls pin out

GRAMS: EXPLOSION, BITS OF METAL AND GLASS HITTING
GROUND

ORCHESTRA: FLUTE AND HARP CALM AND FLOWING DUET
LINK

Wallace: High Towers, the home of Lady Seagoon, 1 butler, 2 cooks, 4 maids

GRAMS: WHINING SOUND OVER SPEECH AS IN BOMB FALLING
FROM A PLANE

Wallace: And 842 Arab gardeners, 6 horses and -

FX: GRAMS STOP, HEAVY OBJECT FALLS ON TOP OF
WALLACE (THUMP NOISE)

Wallace: Ooooh!

Bluebottle: Oh I'm sorry, did I fall on you?

Wallace: Yes, you small knobbly ham

Bluebottle: Oh, you're smiling Wallace Greenslade 'aint you?

Wallace: That's right

Bluebottle: Listen, could I have a signed photograph of you? 'Cause I like you
on the wireless

Wallace: So do I, have a toffee

Bluebottle: Thank you. 'Cor, fancy this, you're bigger than I thought you were.
'Cause I like you on the wireless

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 Eric Sykes and Spike Milligan, announcer Wallace
Greenslade, the programme produced by Peter Eton.

ORCHESTRA: FINISH THEME TUNE AND PLAY THEM OUT