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Goodies File, The

It's anything you want it to be...Altogether now: “Kids’ book!” Well, in many cases yes, but what a kids’ book! The first comedy TV tie-in to fully capitalise on the ‘warped Eagle annual’ format that Monty Python’s Big Red Book inaugurated, The Goodies File settled into its new habitat with alarming gusto. Compiled by all three Goodies  (unlike the series, which was mainly a Bill and Graeme production), the brown-covered File followed the ‘random scrapbook’ format of the Python templates (with invaluable visual input from designer Anthony Cohen) and gave it an admittedly slight sitcom-like overall ‘plot’ – in this case the determination of Edna Tole (Mrs), the lady who ‘does’ for our intrepid trio, to fit them up for the tabloids as a bunch of ne’er-do-well ‘coots’, and cop a fat cheque from publishers Weiden, Feld and Nicolson (‘a song, a smile, and amazing stunts with a grapefruit!’) in the process.

The stage is set for an assortment of as-it-occurs-to-them daftness: a lurid home-printed promotional booklet for the ‘anytime, anyplace, anywhere’ outfit; a ‘dress your own Goodies’ cut-out doll tableau (complete with ‘Tim’s sensible shoes’, ‘Bill’s tasteful trousers’ and ‘Graeme’s impressive shirt’); the story of the smash-hit musical Super-Pope; a good hundredweight of OBE references, and Bill’s bird-watcher’s guide with over-defensive foreword (”There’s nothing weird about me, you know […] STOP GETTING AT ME. OR I shall CRY.’)

It’s the early years of the Superchaps’ telly incarnation clapped effortlessly between hardcovers, and with its copious photostatted royal invitations ans secret plans (some scrawled on the backs of actual fag packets – ’20 Gut-rotters coke-tipped’), criminal records and notes from one Izzy Bent, it set the template for even greater, more intricate literary excursions that were to follow. At the time, it was the most Goodies-related fun you could have at the time without access to a VCR, a trandem, and the lease on a 6-legged pantomime dromedary costume. Will you please get off my desk?

10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Arthur Nibble

    October 14, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    This included a made-up Top Ten albums chart which featured “Cliff’s Dirty Songbook” and a pretend book list which had the Roald Dahl classic, “My Parents Couldn’t Spell Ronald”. Inspired!

  2. Applemask

    October 14, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    Are you sure that Roald Dahl joke was in this? Because I know for a fact it was in the Not the Nine O’Clock News book. Maybe it’s just not that original a joke.

  3. Arthur Nibble

    October 15, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    Whoops, sorry – I had both those books!

  4. B B Beyer

    October 16, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    Not forgetting the follow up books “The Goodies’ Book of (Criminal) Records” and “The Making of the Goodies’ Disaster Movie”, the latter featuring (from memory – my brother has the books!) classics such as “extra” Kenneth Wrotts’s CV (“man in queue – Z Cars; Passer-by – Crossroads”, etc.), Wotwigs, and the Charles Bronson Polyphoto Range of Expressions (20 identical pictures: happy, sad angry, intense, etc.). Great stuff.

  5. Lee James Turnock

    May 20, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    All the books are great but ‘Criminal Records’ is by far and away the best, if only for the ‘Goody Goody’ comic for nice children (“Surprise your parents – come down to breakfast drunk!”), the Tim Brooke-Taylor songbook (“She’ll be riding Tim Brooke-Taylor when she comes”…not a mental image on which I wish to dwell), the Goodies as semi-nude models (you’d be surprised how highly regarded these photos are in certain circles!) and some surprisingly filthy bits tucked into the fine print which only a sharp eye can readily find. “Swedish couple at it like knives” and “**** off, said Bill” stick in the mind particularly.

  6. Richard Davies

    June 7, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    When I was young a friend of mine had a copy & we would browse through looking for the funnier bits.

    It was just after Kitten Kong was repeated as part of TV 50, so we already had an idea of what The Goodies were about, with some memories of the later ITV shows.

    “How to cook a leather armchair” was one of our favourites, along with the first draft of the lyrics & the Trandem plans.

    I found a copy in a 2nd hand bookshop years later & still have it around.

  7. Barbara

    July 18, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    I feel sure this is the one with the picture of the ambulance with ‘Loo-nee, loo-nee’ coming out of it – unfortunate considering Bill Oddie’s later mental health problems and the history of his mother having had similar as shown on ‘Who Do You Think you Are’.

  8. Barbara

    July 18, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    Re: the ‘Goody Goody’ comic – I remember the Cecil The Swot strip in this, because my brother in law’s mum married a man around the same time who my sister said looked like the character as he wore glasses and had a bald head with a little patch of hair in the centre!

  9. Doctor Eidelburger

    October 7, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    The photos which accompanied the ‘Super Pope’ story were so convincing that I spent several fruitless years searching for this lost classic of the Goodies’ repertoire. Is it one of the lost/wiped episodes?
    Additionally, “Kids Book’? Either this or the follow-up had ‘police evidence’ photos of an orgy included that were anything but…

  10. Lee James Turnock

    June 24, 2011 at 2:41 pm


    Doctor Eidelburger:

    The photos which accompanied the ‘Super Pope’ story were so convincing that I spent several fruitless years searching for this lost classic of the Goodies’ repertoire. Is it one of the lost/wiped episodes?…

    They’re from the 1973 special episode ‘Superstar’. Bloody hard to get hold of.

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