Essay Writer


Special Goon Show: The Dreaded Better Pudding Hurler

London: N.p. [BBC], 1955

23 mimeographed pp., secured with split pin to top left. Heavily annotated in a variety of coloured pencils, notes to title page and timings throughout. Edgewear and light age-toning, but in very good condition.

First edition. Valerie Simons' copy, with her plentiful notes and timings throughout.
The Dreaded Batter Pudding Hurler was first broadcast on 12 October 1954 as Episode Three of Series Five. Despite the evidence of this title page, all other sources cite Spike Milligan as the sole author of the episode. His regular roster of characters appear in it, the episode is well known, and has been released in a BBC CD compilation. This script, therefore, is something of an oddity: according to the title page it was recorded at the Camden Theatre in London on 22 May 1955; the sole credited author is Larry Stephens; and Spike Milligan's name is not included among the cast. We are grateful to Mark Cousins for the following explanation:

'The [Camden Theatre] session was originally booked to record a special programme (not Goon Show related) called Summer Is A Comin which was to have been scripted by Milligan. However, Milligan was having marital problems and in addition his children were quarantined with measles, all of which appears to have affected his fragile mental state. By May 1955 his doctor [had written] a sick note to the BBC: 'Mr T suffering from nervous disability and is unable to follow his occupation.'
The recording was due to have taken place the following weekend, so not wishing to lose a recording slot, producer Peter Eton came up with the idea of resurrecting an old Goon Show script. The possibility of getting Eric Sykes to write a new one was also explored, but he was busy writing for Frankie Howerd. Larry Stephens' name also came up, but apparently he was unwell, so Eton selected The Dreaded Batter Pudding Hurler which had already been particularly successful and well received by the listeners. (I suspect that Larry Stephens name on [this] script is simply an error rather than anything more calculating).
After the recording, the Home service decided not to broadcast the recording and it lay in the archives unheard until it was issued in Series 5 Part Two of The Goon Show Compendium.
The Goon Show Preservation Society has copies of all the Goon Show scripts....but not this one as far as I am aware.'

The script seems to be a straight reprint of its Series Five incarnation: Milligan's name is included in the cast and writing credits on the final page. But for this recording all the characters usually taken by Milligan were voiced by Peter Sellers, and in several two-handed scenes he plays both parts.


Keywords: Larry STEPHENS Spike MILLIGAN"


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