Dear Sir or Madam... Tim, it's for you.
Thursday 18 November, 2010
So, Blog Two: Quest For Glory.
As I've said before on this site, I'm a fan of a LOT of things. I grew up watching a lot of TV, and thanks to some leniency on my parents' part, I watched a lot of shows that would stay with me throughout my life.
One of these shows was 'The Goodies', the classic 70s comedy show starring Tim Brooke-Taylor, Bill Oddie and Graeme Garden. Each week, the 'Superchaps Three' would have some ridiculous premise from deep within their office, and come up with all manner of crazy ways to string it across the show, before reaching each ludicrous solution. From giant kittens terrorising London (Kitten Kong) to giant beanstalks (The Goodies and the Beanstalk), and from a plague of Rolf Harrises (Scatty Safari) to the terrorisation of the Scout movement (Scoutrageous), the Goodies were there to provide madcap fun all the way. It ran for 9 series (8 on BBC, the last series on ITV), and is often remembered with fondness and a far-away nostalgic look. A number of campaigns exist to get The Goodies repeated, but for one reason or another, the tv companies never seem to listen.... However, they have a massive following in Australia, where the shows are constantly re-run.
November 2010 saw the 40th Anniversary of The Goodies, and a nationwide tour for the 3 gents, who made an appearance at HMV in Oxford Street on the 12th November, to celebrate the release of a new DVD boxset. Knowing that this was an opportunity to meet three childhood heroes, and to unleash an idea that I'd been toying with for some time, I set to work designing a Goodies 'property trading game'. Remarkably easy, given the time I had; I had several resources to hand such as books, episode guides and albums to check my memory banks against.
Thanks to the incredibly talented printers who laminate and mount all of my boards for me, the artwork I had sent them returned in finished form a few days later. With a day booked off work, I headed into Oxford Street bright and early, determined not to miss out on the all-too-brief hour signing slot. I lurked the aisles of HMV, killing time and keeping an eye as the very efficient staff and security set up the stage, and joined the queue as soon as I could. As I was on my own, all I could do to record the event was prop-up my camcorder in jacket pocket, and hope that security didn't shout at me.
The time came. Graeme, Bill and Tim stepped onto the stage to a roar of approval, as press cameras snapped for the event. Then the line opened, and I made my way forward. As I stepped up to the stage, Bill exclaimed 'What have we got here?', to which I explained. Tim said 'Fantastic! That is fantastic!', and commented on my Union Flag shirt that I'd wore for the occasion (fans of the show will remember Tim's patriotic waistcoat), and nudged Graeme to have a look. Both Tim and Graeme posed for photos with the board (Bill was brunting the constantly moving queue). After signing the board, Graeme asked with a smile, 'Do you want it back?' - to which I could only reply, 'Yes - do you want one?'. And Tim jumped at the chance and said 'Yes!'. So I handed over my card to all three. It'll be interesting to see if any of them do get in touch; chaps, if you are reading this, I'd be only too honoured!
After the signing, I spoke to Professor Dave, who was interviewing for 'The Goodies Podcast', and he very kindly let me plug this site, and even tried to drum up some commissions for me! There were also a couple of photographers at the event, and Alex at HMV has very kindly agreed to allow me to use the ones of Tim and Graeme, as well as the video footage of the day (they had a much better scope for filming than me with my pocket-cam). HMVs footage is on this page. To see all of HMVs images from the signing, please visit here.
The Goodies Signing at HMV 150 Oxford Street video, and pictures of Tim Brooke-Taylor and Graeme Garden © 2010 HMV, reproduced with kind permission
A few weeks after meeting The Goodies, I received an email from Graeme, asking if it would be possible for him to get three boards in time for Christmas – two for his sons, and one for his granddaughter. I was happy to oblige, and sorted out the relevant personalisations and dedications. A week after that, I received an email from Tim, asking if he could have one for Christmas for himself. I arranged all four boards, and couriered them to Graeme and Tim respectively. Shortly after Christmas, I received a lovely thank you letter from Tim, which can be seen below.