The Race to Mornington Crescent
An original Goon Show started some time in the late 1990s and completed in 2001.
Greenslade: This is the BBC. FX: Duck quack Greenslade: Thank you. That duck was brought to you by the Governors of BBC wireless. Tune in to the Light Program next week when you will hear. FX: Duck quack GRAMS: Wild applause and cheering Greenslade: And now, we present... Sellers: One moment, Mr Greenslade. I have an important announcement to make. Greenslade: But you are interrupting my introduction of the introduction. Sellers: It's about your record. Greenslade: Really? Is it.... is it good news? Please, tell me. Sellers: Your record has sold.... ORCHESTRA: Fanfare Sellers: Three copies! Greenslade: I never thought it would go so well. And now... FX: Duck quack Greenslade: I thought that was next week. Seagoon: It's me. Greenslade: Have a care, Mr Seagoon. I have not yet introduced you. Seagoon: The proceed, Wallace. Announce to the listeners via the talking-type wireless the words they long to hear. Greenslade: Very well. Ladies and gentlemen, Ned Seagoon. GRAMS: Screams and running away Seagoon: Come back! Come back! Greenslade: This then is introduction to the highly esteemed Goon Show. ORCHESTRA: Weak, out of tune ta raa. Greenslade: We present The Race to Mornington Crescent. The winner will be the first person win by arriving at the finish line. I am joined in the commentary box by John Snagge. Snagge: Good afternoon and welcome to Neasden. This is a most memorable occasion for me as it is the 203rd occasion I have announced this race since it started in 1897. We have a few minutes before the race begins, so Wallace will interview some of the runners. Greenslade: You just want the box to yourself, John. Snagge: There is only one chair and one tea cup between us. The BBC isn't made of money and my record isn't selling well. Greenslade: Now I shall interview some of the runners. FX: WHOOSH Greenslade: Standing next to me is a short bladder of lard. What is your name, sir? Seagoon: You've already introduced me once, Wal. Greenslade: That was before I introduced the story. Seagoon: Oh, right. Then play this gramophone record and and all will be revealed. Seagoon: (pre rec, backwards) My name is Ned Seagoon. Seagoon: WhatWhatWhatWhatWhatWhatWhat? The label is upside down. Let me try again. Seagoon: (pre rec) My name is Ned Seagoon. Greenslade: Mr Seagoon, what makes you think you can win this race? Seagoon: Because I'm running for the glory of England, sir, for the honour of our island heritage! (sings) Rule Britannia, Britann- FX: Seagoon is hit by a flying haggis. Greenslade: For the benefit of listeners with black and white radios, Mr Seagoon has just been hit with a flying haggis. Laird Red Hairy McLegs: And there's more where that came from, laddie. Greenslade: Ah, a Scotsman, I see. McLegs: That's right, ye sassenach fool. Greenslade: Can I ask you why you think you can win this race? McLegs: Aye, ye can ask, but I'm sworrrrn tae secrecy. If I tell ye, then a powerful infernal device in ma sporran will explode! FX: Running feet recede into the middle distance. Greenslade: (shouting from distance) Perhaps I had better not enquire then. Now, who are these two gentlemen dressed in immaculate brown paper suits? Grytpype: Good afternoon. My name is Hercules Grytpype-Thynne. We are the Spon Team. This is my partner, count Jim "Trembles"... GRAMS: Bubbles Moriarty: Owwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. Grytpype: ... Moriarty. Winner of the 1923 race to Rue de Plonge. We have a winning strategy that cannot fail, revealed to us by secret stone and string tablets found in a dustbin in Exeter. Greenslade: And what is this winning strategy? Moriarty: We have two, I say! Two strategies. Grytpype: Each forming one half of a connected and foolproof whole. Moriarty, tell him what the first one is. Moriarty: Sex appeal, *sex* appeal, do you hear me? Greenslade: And the second? Grytpype: We're going to ride a motorbike! Seagoon: I say, isn't that rather a rotten trick? Grytpype: Is it? I wouldn't know. Greenslade: I'm sorry, I cannot abide by cheating. I shall have to report you to the judges. Grytpype: Fifty pounds be enough? Greenslade: Well, I... I... Grytpype: A hundred? Greenslade: Done. FX: Cash register Grytpype: Moriarty, warm up the motor cycle. I shall ride in the sidecar. Moriarty: Owwww..... GRAMS: Motor cycle starting up Grytpype: Pass me my leather helmet and goggles. Seagoon: This is supposed to be a running race. Grytpype: And she's running very nicely, too. GRAMS: Motor cycle gives a few revs. Seagoon: But you can't do that! i'm going to call tell the referees. Calling the referees! Heeeeeelp! Bluebottle: I heard you call, my capitan! I heard you call me. Enter Bluebottle, adjusts cardboard judges' badge, pauses for audience applause. Ooohh, I got a sosinge. Seagoon: Are you the referee? Bluebottle: Yes! We are! Eccles: Yer..... we are. Bluebottle: We are da ace race referees wot is in charge of dis race. I say, Eccles? Eccles: Yes, my good man? Bluebottle: How did you get to become a referee for this race? Eccles: Oooo... I found an ad in the paper. I was putting the paper in my socks when saw this ad wanting referees. So I called the nice man on the telephone and asked for the job and they gave it to me. Bluebottle: What is they paying you, Eccles? Eccles: What, what, what? Bluebottle: How much is they paying you to be a referee? Eccles: Nothing. They said all I got was this suit. Bluebottle: But your suit is made of brown paper. Eccles: You should have seen my last one! Ere, Bottle. What is they paying you? Bluebottle: I gotted dis cardboard badge and this bag of licorice. Eccles: Oooo... you must have a better agent than me. Seagoon: Now look here! Eccles: What, what, what? Seagoon: These two men are trying to enter a motor bike in a foot race. Eccles: Oooooo...... let me see. Grytpype: Eccles, this isn't a real motor bike, it's only a cardboard replica. Seagoon: But it looks like a motor bike, and it tastes like a motor bike! Bluebottle: It is! These naughty men are trying to cheat. Moriarty: Fifty pounds? Bluebottle: No. Moriarty: A hundred? Bluebottle: No! Moriarty: A quarter of dolly mixtures? Bluebottle: Tee hee. Now Molly Spits will think twice about me. Eccles: Wait a minute, my good man. Dis here is a real motor bike and my little book says dey are..... naughty! Grytpype: Fifty pounds enough? Eccles: Dat is also... naughty! Grytpype: A hundred? Eccles: No! Grytpype: A poster of Sabrina? Eccles: Oh ho ho ho ho! You can't do dat to me. Grytpype: Perhaps we can settle this amicably. Eccles: How? FX: Gunshot Eccles: Ooooowwwwww! I accept your apology. Greenslade: While Mr Eccles is recovering, Mr Max Geldray will play his new record in a reclining position. Max and orchestra: music Greenslade: The Race to Mornington Crescent, part 2. During the musical break, my record sold another copy at Fred Nutt's Music Emporium near Marble Arch. And now we return you to John Snagge in the commentary box for an important announcement. Snagge: Ladies and gentlemen, I have just received word that my record has just sold two more copies in Lewisham. And we have just had news of a late entry. The final entry, having just arrived by tram from Bombay, has parked at the podium. ORCHESTRA: Bloodnok theme GRAMS: Bloodnok explosions Bloodnok: Eiiiioooooorrghghghgh! Arrrgghhghghghghgh! As you were, lads, it's only me. Greenslade: Who are you? Bloodnok: I, sir, am Major Denis Bloodnok, of the 3rd Disgusting Lancers. We are going to win this race for the glory of the Army, and.... money! Isn't that right, lads? Banerjee: You are most definitely correct, sahib. Lalkaka: Your reasoning is of sound capacity to my mind. Seagoon: But they're riding horses. This is a foot race! Bloodnok: The horses *are* using their feet! Seagoon: Gasp! Me against horses and a motor bike, I'll never make it. I shall have to think of something. Greenslade: For the benefit of listeners, the short blue lad on the podium is about to start the race. Seagoon: ARGH! I can't think of anything. How can I win this race for the glory of England? Spriggs: Hello, Jim. Hello, Jeeeeem! Seagoon: Good heavens! It's a London Underground station master. Spriggs: Take the tube, Jim. Take the tube, Jeeeem! Seagoon: Of course! The only way to get to Mornington Crescent! Eccles: On your marks..... Bloodnok: Mount up, lads. Sabres at the ready. GRAMS: Horses and sabres Bluebottle: Get set.... GRAMS: Motor bike revving, bagpipes starting Moriarty: Hold on tight, Grytpype. Seagoon: There's the entrance to the tube station. It's only a short run. Bluebottle: Go! FX: Starting pistol Bloodnok: Charge! GRAMS: Motor bike, horses, bagpipes and running feet into the distance. GRAMS: Feet running closer with echo Singhz Thing: (pre rec) Mind the doors, hooray. GRAMS: Tube train departing station. Greenslade: While Ned Seagoon caught the Jubilee line towards Dollis Hill, Grytpype and Moriarty rode their motor bike towards Killburn with Bloodnok and his Lancers close behind, and the haggis-powered Laird bringing up the rear. GRAMS: Motor bike at speed Grytpype: Faster, Moriarty. They're gaining on us. Moriarty: I'm trying, Grytpype. GRAMS: Police siren Grytpype: Curses, it's the police! Pull over. GRAMS: Motor bike slows and stops Willium: 'Ello, sonny. Late for the garden party? GRAMS: Horses approaching Moriarty: It's Bloodnok! Bloodnok: Faster, lads. Last one to the Finchley Road mucks out the stables. GRAMS: Horses riding into the distance Moriarty: They're getting away! (panicking sounds) FX: Slap. Grytpype: Stop it, Moriarty. I have a plan. Constable, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Stanley Baldwin. Willium: But 'e's dead. Moriarty: Then we must get to a hospital at once! GRAMS: Motor bike driving off very fast. Willium: 'Ere, come back! I'll get you! GRAMS: Police car with siren driving away, followed by running feet and bagpipes McLegs: Oot 'o my way, mon! ORCHESTRA: Change of scene music. GRAMS: Tube train arriving at station Seagoon: As I arrived at Baker Street, I had no idea where any of the runners were. I decided to find out. I ran to the nearest telephone and called the BBC. I say, there! Spriggs: Yes, Jim? Seagoon: You again? Weren't you at Neasden? Spriggs: No, that was by brother Jim, Jim. My brother Jeeeeem! Seagoon: Can you direct me to a telephone? Spriggs: Over there, Jim. Seagoon: Thankyou. FX: Telephone dialing Greenslade: Meanwhile, at the master BBC control room and telephone exchange. FX: Electrical noises, wireless tuning and tinkering Henry: Mnk.. mnk... It's no good, these wires are too short. Minnie, did we get a new piece of wire this week? Minnie: Yes, buddy. Henry: There where is it? Minnie: You used it to hold up your socks, buddy. Minnie: Mnk... so I did. Never mind, I'll fix transmitter with a piece of string. FX: Phone ringing Minnie: Hello, BBC. Seagoon: (pre rec) Hello. Can you put me through to John Snagge? Minnie: One moment, sir. Henry.... Henry!!! Henry: What is it, Min? Minnie: There's a man on the telephone who wants to speak to John Snagge. Henry: Mnk.. mnk.. ask him what he wants. Minnie: What do you want, sir? Seagoon: (pre rec) I want to speak to John Snagge. Minnie: He says he wants to speak to John Snagge. Henry: Really? There's a gentleman on the telephone who wants to speak to him too. Minnie: Speak to who? Henry: To Mr Snagge. Minnie: John Snagge? The man on the telephone wants to speak to him. Henry: Who? Minnie: The man on the telephone. Henry: What does he want? Minnie: To speak to John Snagge. Henry: There's a man on the telephone who wants to speak to him too. Minnie: I know that, buddy. Where is he? Henry: Where is who? Minnie: Mr Snagge. Henry: I think he's talking to a man on the telephone. Seagoon: (pre rec) Hello? Hello? Are you there? Minnie: Yes sir. Seagoon: (pre rec) Can I speak to John Snagge? Minnie: You'll have to wait, there's a man on the telephone who wants to speak to him first. Seagoon: (pre rec) I am on the telephone! Minnie: Henry, he says he's on the telephone. Henry: Well ask him to wait, I've got ink on my trousers. Minnie: You'll have to wait, sir. Mr Crun has ink on his trousers. Seagoon: (pre rec) Tell him to use blotting paper. Minnie: Henry, the man says to use blotting paper. Henry: Ooohhh, that's a good idea. I think John Snagge has some. But he's out calling the race. Minnie: Does he have a telephone? Henry: Don't be a silly billy, Min. He's in Neasden. I'll get him on the wireless. GRAMS: Radio being tuned Henry: This is BBC master control centre calling special broadcast station Neasden. Come in Neasden. Snagge: (pre rec, crackling) This is Neasden. Go ahead, control. Henry: This is master controller Henry Crun speaking. Do you read me? Snagge: (pre rec) Neasden here. Reading you loud and clear, control. Henry: Mnk.. good. I have a message for you, Neasden. Are you ready to receive it? Snagge: (pre rec) Ready to receive. Go ahead, control. Henry: Do you have any blotting paper? Snagge: On my desk, control. Under a pile of unsold copies of Greenslade's record. Henry: Thankyou, Neasden. Oh, wait. There's a man on the telephone who wants to talk to you. Minnie, what does the man on the telephone want? Minnie: What did you want, sir? Seagoon: (pre rec) I want to find out who is winning the race. Minnie: He wants to know who is winning the race, buddy. Henry: Hello Neasden? The man wants to know who is winning the race. Snagge: (pre rec) Hello control. The leader is Major Bloodnok. Over. Henry: He says it's Major Bloodnok, buddy. Minnie: He says it's Major Bloodnok, buddy. Seagoon: (pre rec) ARGH! FX: Click Minnie: He's gone, buddy. Henry: Good. Now where's the gentleman who wanted to speak to Mr Snagge? ORCHESTRA: Dramatic change of scene music Greenslade: Indeed, Major Bloodnok was in the lead. But not for long. GRAMS: Horses at speed. Bugle call. Bloodnok: Faster, lads. Faster! (sings) I travel the road, I travel the road, I travel the road, in a military way. Lalkala: Look out! Bloodnok: Stop! GRAMS: Horses screeching to a halt Bloodnok: What is this? Out of the way, man! Fred Bogg: What do you want? Bloodnok: Get this dirty great hole in the road out of the way. We're trying to win a race. Bogg: All right, all right. Calm down. We're just doing the drains, you see. We'll be done in a couple o' weeks. Bloodnok: What? GRAMS: Motorcycle driving up at speed, screeching to a halt Moriarty: Look, a hole in the road, Grytpype. A hole, I tell you! Oowww! FX: Slap Grytpype: Silence, Moriarty. Do you want to be arrested for committing a public oowww? Let me talk to the gentleman. I say, my good man. Bogg: What do you want? Grytpype: The steaming French Count and I are in a race. Would you be so kind as to move this hole so we can continue? Bogg: What a lark. We're doing the drains, you see. Hang about and we'll be done in a couple o' weeks. Moriarty: Argh! We could be stuck her for weeks with no food. No food, I tell you! FX: Slap Moriarty: Ooowwww! Grytpype: And another! FX: Slap GRAMS: Bagpipes screeching to a halt McLegs: Oot 'o my way, mon! Canna ye see that I'm trying to win a race for Scotland? Bogg: Not another one! All right, calm down or I'll nut you with this shovel. Just wait a couple o' weeks and... McLegs: Weeks? Och, time for a wee drappie then. GRAMS: Long recording of pouring liquid, bubbles, gulping McLegs: Ah, that's better. GRAMS: Running feet approaching Seagoon: Stop! GRAMS: Feet stop Seagoon: What's happening? Why has the race stopped? Bloodnok: This scoundrel won't move this hole in the road. It's blocking the race. Why, I'd form the troops into an extended squadron line and charge these council workers if I wasn't a complete coward. Seagoon: We need the referees to decide on this one. Calling the referees! Heeeeellp! Eccles: Hello. Seagoon: These council workers won't move their hole in the road. It's holding up the race. Eccles: Oooooo.... let me see, my good fellow. Bottle? Bluebottle: What is it Eccles? Eccles: These good men won't move this hole in the road. Bluebottle: Ooohh! Let me talk to them, Eccles. I say, I can practice my talking for my new record. FX: Clunk Bluebottle: Aaaaiiyyyyeee! What's the matter with you? Hitting my nut. Bogg: I told you, belt up or I'll nut you with this shovel. Eccles: Fine, fine, fine. Now look here, my good man. I.. FX: Clunk Eccles: Yeeeeooowwww! I accept your apology. Bluebottle: Eccles, I shall use the powers of da mind to move dis naughty hole. Stares at naughty hole. Toot, toot, toot, toot. Move, naughty hole. You cannot resist the powers of Bluebottle. Strain!!! You cannot stand up against my willpower. My mind power will move you. You cannot resist my power! FX: Metallic pop GRAMS: Rushing water Bogg: Now look what you've done. Burst a water main. Now stop that or I'll nut you with this shovel. (General confusion) Greenslade: Ladies and gentlemen, while our runners and the council workers attempt to reach an amicable agreement..... FX: Clunk Eccles: Ooowwww! Greenslade: .. we present the all new record by Ray Ellington. Seagoon: Round the back for the old brandy.... GRAMS: Many feet running into distance Ray Ellington Quartet: music Greenslade: The Race to Mornington Crescent, part 3, in which my record sells another two copies. We now return to Killburn where our runners have been halted by a hole in the road, which is now rapidly filling with water. A horse drawn omnibus owned by the BBC arrives behind the runners. GRAMS: Horse drawn omnibus approaching and stopping Snagge: Here's is an important news flash. My record has soold another copy at a tea shop in Cairo. In other news, the race to Mornington Crescent has been delayed by a hole in the road in Killburn. I am speaking to you from the scene where the runners and several council workers are discussing what to do. FX: Clunk Moriarty: Ooowwww! Bogg: Now belt up! Grytpype: I say, I think I may have the answer. Gather round and I shall tell you. I think we should... (whispers for some time) Seagoon: Speak up! Grytpype: I was saying that if the council won't move this hole, perhaps we should... go around it! GRAMS: Wild applause and cheering, followed by Land of Hope and Glory. Eccles: Wait a minute, my good man. The race goes along this street and any other street is... naughty! Grytpype: But the hole has a burst water main, and I can't swim. Eccles: Neither can I. Grytpype: Then perhaps we can settle this amicably. Eccles: How? No, no! Put me down. I... GRAMS: Splash Little Jim: He's falled in the water. Seagoon: I say, perhaps if we plug the hole we can get across when the water drains away. Bloodnok: Excellent idea, lad. Now where can we find something small and rubbery to bung in the hole? Seagoon: Here's something. Bluebottle: Put me down! Seagoon: Curses. What if we build a bridge over the hole? Grytpype: Splendid! It just so happens that I have a portable bridge building kit. Available for the small price of 10,000 small pounds. Seagoon: But I don't have 10,000 pounds. Major Bloodnok, do you have 10,000 pounds? Bloodnok: Sorry, lad. The regimental funds have... gone missing. Some scoundrel stole them. Seagoon: Well if we can't build a bridge, perhaps we can float something across the hole? What will float on water? FX: Duck quack Seagoon: That's not until next week. But wait.... yes, I've got it! Taxi! FX: Taxi approaching and stopping Willium: Yes, mate? Seagoon: Aren't you a policeman? Willium: That's my brother, mate. Where to? Seagoon: Portsmouth, and step on it. Willium: Right, mate. FX: Taxi driving away at speed Greenslade: While Ned is on his way to Portsmouth by taxi, I have an important announcement that my record has sold another copy. While the other runners are waiting patiently at the hole in Killburn.... Bloodnok: Break out the brandy ration. And let's listen to Greenslade's record. Greenslade: Oh, thank you! While they are waiting patiently, Ned arrived in Portsmouth. GRAMS: Seaside sounds. Ship horn. Seagoon: I arrived at the Royal Navy base, and knocked on the door of the nearest ship. FX: Knocking on metal door. Door opening. Admiral (Sellers): Hurrumph. What do you mean by waking up an Admiral at this time of day? Seagoon: My name is Ned Seagoon. Admiral: Are you the tailor? Seagoon: No, why? Admiral: I've spilled ink on my uniform, and John Snagge has run out of blotting paper. What do you want? Seagoon: I want to borrow your ship to sail across a hole filled with water in Killburn. Admiral: And what makes you think I will lend you one of Her Majesty's battleships? Seagoon: For the glory of England! Rule Britannia, Britannia... Admiral: I'm sorry, but I just can't.... Seagoon: And if I don't win, the Army will. Admiral: Cast off! All ahead full! GRAMS: Ship leaving port Seagoon: As we sailed one of Her Majesty's battleships out of the Solent and around the Kent coast, I wondered what the others were doing. Moriarty: Curse this hold in the road! If we wait here much longer without food, we won't be able to win! Grytpype: Steady, Moriarty. But you should write out you will anyway. Moriarty: Good. I will. GRAMS: Scracthy pen under next line Moriarty: I, Count Moriarty, leave one empty tin to my Uncle Jacques, and my collection of antique string to.. Oowww! Grytpype: What? Moriarty: I've spilled ink on my trousers. Snagge: I have some blotting paper. Moriarty: Thankyou. Ow, dropped it. Wait.... look, Grytpype! The blotting paper is soaking up the water! Grytpype: You're right! More blotting paper! Throw it in the hole! Bogg: Ere, wait! You can't do that! FX: Clunk Bogg: Oowww! Moriarty: More paper, then we can drive over it. Grytpype: There, nearly full. Start the motorbike. GRAMS: Motor bike starting Moriarty: The power, the brown power! Bloodnok: Mount up, lads! Prepare to charge. Eccles: Come on, Bottle. We better get to the finish line. Bluebottle: Yes. You drive the car cos I got ink my trousers. Eccles: Use blotting paper. Snagge: Here is an important announcement. My record has sold another copy. This makes it equal with Greenslade. The latest copy.. (fades out) Greenslade: Meanwhile, on the battleship. GRAMS: Battleship noises Seagoon: As we sailed the Battleship up the Thames, I tuned into the BBC on the wireless. GRAMS: Wireless tuning noises Snagge: (pre rec) ..was sold in Glasgow. Meanwhile, the runners in the race to Mornington Crescent have filled the hole and are preparing to start again. Seagoon: Argh! I can't let them win! Admiral: Ramming speed! GRAMS: Battleship speeding up Seagoon: Faster, faster. Watch out for Westminster Pier. Don't worry about the bus, just sail up Tottenham Court Road. GRAMS: Traffic noise, cars honking, battleship hooting back Greenslade: Listeners may question the possibility of sailing a battleship up Tottenham Court Road on a busy afternoon. Bond Street would be much faster. And with my record selling another copy, putting me ahead of John Snagge, we present the thrilling climax. The Race to Mornington Crescent, part 4. GRAMS: Motorbike at speed Grytpype: Faster, Moriarty! Moriarty: I'm trying! GRAMS: Horses at speed Bloodnok: Charrrrrge! GRAMS: Bagpipes McLegs: Aye, mon! Scotland forever! Och, what? The inferrrnal device in ma sporran is stuck. GRAMS: Battleship hooting Seagoon: Hurry, we're almost at there. There's Euston. Snagge: And as we wait at the finish line with just seconds to go, the horses, motorbike and battleship appear to be neck and neck, with the Scotsman right behind. This is going to be a photo finish. Bluebottle: Are you ready with the camera, Eccles? Eccles: Yes, Bottle. Hold the flash for me, my good man. Seagoon: I think we're going to win! Last hundred yards! McLegs: Och, ma sporran's going to explode! Moriarty: Oh no! Seagoon: Look out! Arrrrrrrgggghhh! GRAMS: Huge explosion, followed by falling rubble and metal clunks Bluebottle: You rotten swine, you! Greenslade: Later that evening.... GRAMS: Time pips Snagge: This is the BBC Home Service. Here is the news and this is John Snagge reading it. The annual race to Mornington Crescent was cancelled this afternoon when a battleship blocked the finish line. Police are looking for a Major Denis Bloodnok in connection with the disappearance of several horses from the Horse Guards Parade early this morning. Police are also looking for two men in connection with the theft of a motorbike and sidecar in Preston Road at about the same time. And finally, sales of Greenslade's record stopped this afternoon when the warehouse in Mornington Crescent was blown up. Greenslade: You may think the loss of my record would worry me, dear listener. But it doesn't, because it's all in the mind, you know. Orchestra: Play out