- Maurice Wiltshire
was script editor. All in all, Maurice re-worked twenty-six of the original Goon
Show scripts for The Telegoons. Out of
the scripts used,
fifteen were written by Spike Milligan, while the remaining eleven were collaborations
between Spike Milligan and (variously)
Larry Stephens, Eric Sykes,
and Jimmy Grafton (see
- Spike Milligan did
the voices of Eccles, Miss Minnie
Bannister, and Moriarty. Filmography
- Harry Secombe did
the voice of fall-guy and prize-chump Neddie
Sellers did the voices of Bluebottle,
Mr. Henry Crun, Major Dennis
Bloodnok, Grytpype-Thynne. Filmography
- Tony Young was producer for all
but one episode of The Telegoons (#2 of the 1st Series), and directed all but eight episodes (#3, #4 and #7
in the 1st Series, and #3, #8, #11, #12 and #14 in the 2nd Series). Tony
Young's film directing career spans 1951 to 1963. Filmography
- Wendy Danielli was associate producer, except for the second
episode, for which she was producer. Wendy's family put up the bulk of
the money for the construction of puppets, a short Telegoons
test film and The Telegoons pilot. Filmography
- Bill Freshman directed six
(#3, #4 and #7 of the 1st Series, and #3, #8 and #12 of the 2nd Series).
- Philip Grindrod was director of photography except for
the pilot film. After a varied career in cinematography that spanned more
than thirty years, Phil's health was fast deteriorating, mainly due to the
effects of alcohol. During the 2nd filming series of The
Telegoons, it got
so bad that Phil was taken ill and hospitalized for several weeks. In Phil
Grindrod's absence, camera operator Mike Wilson was upgraded to lighting
cameraman (three episodes in the 2nd Series #1, #4, and
#9; see also entries for Michael Wilson and Mike
Fox, below). Phil Grindrod
unfortunately died of alcohol-related illnesses soon after the filming of The
Telegoons was completed. Filmography
- Harry Orchard was director of photography for episode #2 of
the 1st Series of The Telegoons.
- Edward White
composed all of the music tracks for the The
Telegoons, including the signature
tune, Telegoon Toon. Ed's company was Musicus
- Bert Marotta was production
supervisor for The Telegoons.
- Bob Bucknell was film
editor for The Telegoons.
Bob's company was Caledonian Film Editing Services. Filmography
- Michael Wilson was camera
operator for The Telegoons, except for
episodes #1, #4
and #9 of the 2nd Series where he was lighting cameraman (Director of
photography Phil Grindrod was taken ill and spent several weeks in hospital during these
episodes. Note: The title of lighting cameraman probably allowed credit
to be given for doing the DP's job without stepping on
any toes) Mike Wilson also directed episodes #11 and #14 of
the 2nd Series. Filmography
- Mike Fox was focus
puller for all of the first series, and was upgraded to camera operator for three shows in
the 2nd series (#1, #4
and #9) during which Phil Grindrod was in hospital, and during
which Michael Wilson was lighting cameraman (see above). Quotation: "As
a long-standing, dedicated, fan of The Goon Show, it was an absolute
pleasure to go to work every day and listen to the [dialogue] tapes over and
over again. I never got tired of them and have a large selection of the BBC Goon
Show tapes in my collection. My favourite character: hard to choose, but
I think it is Major Dennis Bloodnok, if not Willium Mate." Mike
Fox's film industry career started in 1954, and is still going strong in 2005. Filmography & more
- Len Harris was camera operator for the two episodes that
Michael Wilson directed (episodes #11 and #14 of the 2nd Series). Filmography
- Dudley Plummer of Sound Films Limited was sound
- Cyril Brown was dubbing
mixer/dubbing editor. Prior to working on The Telegoons, Cyril
Brown was sound recordist on Roberta Leigh's Space Patrol, 1962 (UK
video release, episode numbers 9, 10, 12-15, 17-21, 25, 27-39). Filmography
- Kays Laboratories Ltd. (situated
at Finsbury Park, 8 km from Grosvenor's studio space in Kensal Road) was
responsible for the soundtrack dubbing and processing, under the careful supervision of
Cyril Brown (see above).
It was reported in Television Mail, October 18, 1963, that the
Kay's lab staff are still relatively sane, despite the out-of-the-ordinary
complexities of The Telegoons job.
- Doreen Soan did continuity
for all 25 episodes of The Telegoons following the pilot film.
A seasoned continuity person well before The
Telegoons went into production, Doreen became a sought after
script supervisor during a film career that spans more than thirty years. Filmography
- Stanley Moore designed the
- Stage-Decor Ltd. provided the scenery and properties.
- Ralph Dawson Young,
described by his son Tony as an 'inventor', together with Ron Field (see below),
designed and built the Telegoon puppets. Ralph and Ron were assisted in this by
Ralph's younger son, David.
- Ron Field of Ron and Joan
Marionettes (husband of Joan Field, and father of
Ann Field) developed the method of automatic
lip-synch used in the 2nd filming series of The
Telegoons (twelve episodes) (uncredited), a
technology for which he was awarded two British patents, numbers 965,916 and
965,917 (filed June 22, 1962, published Aug 6, 1964). Apart from a few extra
puppets provided by John Dudley, all of the puppets used in the production
were designed and built by Ron
Field and Ralph Young (see above). They were assisted in this by
Ralph's younger son, David. However, despite Ron Field's pivotal role in designing
and building the puppets, a dispute with the producers arose over the terms
of use of Ron's
electronic lip-synch technology. The result was that Ron Field did not receive a screen
credit for his puppetry in the pilot, nor for his role as co-designer and
constructor of the puppets. In the revised version of the pilot (broadcast
as episode #2 of the 1st Series) Ralph
Young was credited as animation controller & designer.
Later episodes went even further than this, and said that the puppets were designed
and constructed by Ralph Young. If and when The
Telegoons are ever released on home video, I believe that this wrong
should be put to rights, especially since for the later episodes, the
producers went ahead and used Ron's lip-synch system regardless, apparently
claiming that they were using an American system. Newspaper reports at the
time are said to have mentioned "patent pinching." Click here for
a detailed biography of Ron Field.
- David Young (brother
of Tony Young, and son of Ralph
Young) was puppets supervisor for the
series. He also helped
build the puppets.
- The pilot film that secured The Telegoons series from the BBC
(The Lost Colony), involved the entire
Field family, all of whom were well known professional puppeteers and puppet
Note: Due to a dispute with the producers over rights to Ron Field's
electronic puppet lip-synch technology, apart from Ann (who was a puppeteer
for the first filming series), none of the Field family got screen credits
despite their important role in the genesis of The
||The puppets, including the
latex rubber rod puppets, and the electronic lip-synch mechanism were developed by Ron Field and
Ralph Young. Ron was also lead puppeteer on the pilot film.
||In addition to being one
of the puppeteers on the pilot film, Joan advised on the
puppets' costumes and adapted Major
Bloodnok's uniform to ensure he
could meet the requirements of the director (Bloodnok's uniform was
||One of the jobs Ann had
during the filming of the pilot was the stringing of all of the marionettes.
- Episode #2 of the 1st broadcast series (The Lost Colony), was a
modified version of the 33 minute pilot film. The changes included the
cutting of more than 17 minutes or footage, and the addition of
a 1:26 opening sequence. These changes made the pilot episode uniform with
the other episodes, and brought the run time down to the required 15
minutes. The added opening sequence used the following team of puppeteers:
- The following table gives the number of episodes for the puppeteers who
worked on the 1st and 2nd filming series of The Telegoons,
colour-coded into their usual teams, in credits order. The entire series consisted of twenty
characters: Eccles, Bluebottle,
Crun, Major Bloodnok, and assorted stock characters.
Quotation: "Eccles was definitely my favourite character."
Famous for The Dudley Marionettes, the largest touring puppet theatre in the UK
during the 1960s. Some of The Telegoons background
sequences used puppets from The Dudley marionettes. After
devoting 55 years to variety, cabaret, and children's entertainment,
these days Richard Wheeler (John Dudley is his stage name) lives a quieter life somewhere in North Devon, UK.
Click here for a more detailed biography.
(as Ann Field)
||Puppet characters: Mainly
Quotation: "We were young and all mad and even
madder doing the Goons everyday... By the way, I remember Spike coming
to the set at one point."
Ann Perrin comes from a famous family of English puppeteers, active
continuously since 1946. She worked in puppetry with her family, and as a solo performer, and
a double act with her sister Judy.
After a wide ranging career in puppetry and acting lasting more
than forty years, Ann is currently recreating some of her family's
better known puppet shows on digital video.
Ann's father, Ron Field, was principal developer of the automatic puppet lip-synch
apparatus used in the later episodes of The
Click here for a more detailed biography.
(as Violet Phelan)
Eccles, Bluebottle, Neddie
Minnie Bannister, (briefly) Major
Bloodnok, and others.
Quotation: "...I think Eccles was my favourite. He was
the most 'cartoony' looking. And of course, Bluebottle was funny.
Henry and Min Crun were well realized, I think, for that kind of a
character, little old people. I think the most successful
[Telegoon puppet] was probably Eccles. Bloodnok was
perfect of his kind, but...I had to give him up in the end because he was so
heavy...because of his size. John [Dudley] took him over."
Violet Philpott has had a wide-ranging puppetry career spanning 50 years. Always noted
for her voices, interestingly Violet's final puppet show (prior to
semi-retirement, c.1998) had no
dialogue, relying instead on mime. These days Violet lives a quieter
life somewhere in London, UK. Click here for a more detailed
| Jock Egon
||Jock Egon was the driver for the
studio, and was not a professional puppeteer. Following the departures
of Ann Field and Violet Phelan (which left
John Dudley as the only
professional puppeteer on the production), Jock took over as
one of the puppet manipulators for the last ten episodes.
| Terry Thompson
||Following the departures of
and Violet Phelan (which left John Dudley as the only professional
puppeteer on the production), Terry Thompson took over as
one of the puppet manipulators for the last ten episodes.
| Pauline Klotz
||Pauline Klotz was "discovered" in the prop
making workshop, and was not a professional puppeteer. Following the
departure of John Dudley, Pauline took over as one of the puppet
manipulators for the last eight episodes. When not at work, Pauline was
an activist in the campaign for nuclear disarmament.
Most times throughout the series when
small "puppet-sized" human hands were called for, they were
Pauline's (wearing white rubber-gloves).