The Goodies – The Big Ben Project: Podcast Review

When Parliament collapses under the strain of too many scandals, her Majesty asks three of Britain’s finest men to come to Britain’s rescue: but as they’ve been banned for punching a producer, she asks the Goodies instead.

Long long ago, when the trousers were as wide as the shirt collars, there were three men. One was a mad professor, one a grubby environmentalist and the other was a rather effete British twit.

Together, they saved the BBC from giant Kittens, Yorkshire Martial Artists and the occasional Clotted Cream mines, while riding on a trandem*. They were the Mrs. Brown’s Boys of the day, apart from being funny.

And then the world changed.

You see, dear reader, there was a time where we weren’t as enlightened as we are now, and to properly satirise, you had to delve into the muckiness that was the norm. Apartheid ranked alongside coal strikes and terrorist scares. As the satirists today have found, it’s often difficult to skate close to the edge without going over. Perhaps it was the Al Jonson sketch that did it?

While The Day Today skewered Drug Use and Paedophilia, as Spitting Image had the Hitlers visiting the Thatchers – that sort of thing wasn’t allowed on the BBC in the Seventies. The idea that anyone would dress in Blackface for satire was vehemently denied by quality newspapers like the Mail.

The Goodies were labelled the Baddies and disappeared for some time; while people forgot they had commanded millions of viewers by being funny as well as satirical. Forty, maybe fifty years later, the trandem returns but this time to the Audible podcasts.

Bill’s songs are still annoyingly catchy, Graeme’s dad jokes are truly trombone-worthy and Tim’s patriotic straight man is far more Vork** than Gammon. There’s a new sharpness to the humour, perhaps due to their treatment at the BBC, but I laughed out loud at least three times. It’s safe to say that their understanding of present-day politics still skates that edge – but a good way back now. Something that Britain can be proud of. 

Combining the Last of the Summer Wine, Dangermouse and Dead Ringers, the podcast is a surreal radio sitcom that’s well worth your time. You’ll get more of the jokes with a background in the original series, but it feels like they’re putting it to bed along with the Max Bygraves jokes. Now, the only criminal records are by Ed Sheeran.

Available on Audible:

* Three-seater bike

**Vegan Pork

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