Goon Show Script

The Great Bank of England Robbery

Series 4, Episode 29

Script by Spike Milligan. Produced by Peter Eton. Transcribed by unknown. Corrections by thegoonshow.net



(Beginning missing)

Announcer (Greenslade):
...Home Service

GRAMS:
Angry Commotion

Secombe:
(Clears throat) Yes, it's the Goon Show!

ORCHESTRA:
Goon Show theme

GRAMS:
Cheers

Narrator (Sellers):
Stop! We present Open Casebook.

ORCHESTRA:
Dramatic music

Narrator:
Those of you who can afford newspapers will have seen the headlines. Those of you who can read will know what they meant. And if you knew what they meant--

FX:
Gunshot

Secombe:
Good luck. Every day sees new progress in the march of crime.

Narrator:
Every 24 hours averages 367 robberies, 824 assaults, 942 murders, and three repeats of "Life With The Lions."

Secombe:
But only once in a hundred years is there the crime of the century. And what could the crime of the twentieth century?

Eccles:
The Goon Show?

Secombe:
Idiot! No, the crime of this century was...

Bloodnok:
The Great Bank of England Robbery!

ORCHESTRA:
Dramatic music

Secombe:
My name is "Fingers" Secombe. Now they call me that because of my hands. I've got four fingers on each. Because of this deformity, I wear boots. For several years, I had been the mate on a small boat smuggling sand from Fez to the Sahara, but things got too hot, especially during the summer, and I returned to Huddersfield. I'd hardly time to drop anchor when...

FX:
Phone rings

Moriarty:
Secombe?

Secombe:
Yes?

Moriarty:
Pick up the telephone.

Secombe:
Why?

Moriarty:
I want to speak to you on it!

Secombe:
Right!

FX:
Phone ringing ends

Secombe:
(Blows on receiver) Hello?

Moriarty:
Is that you, Secombe?

Secombe:
Yes.

Moriarty:
I'm glad you were in! This is Moriarty. Now listen. I'm arranging to burgle the Bank of England. My men are all ready. My plans are laid. Your instructions await you in a sealed samovar.

Secombe:
The address?

Moriarty:
In the street of a thousand dustbins.

Secombe:
How do I get there?

Moriarty:
Go to a railway station, buy a workman's cheap day return to an unknown destination.

Secombe:
Right!

FX:
Hangs up phone

Secombe:
Within days I had arrived at the mysterious unknown destination.

Orchestra:
Xylophone music starts

Grytpype:
Grimsby.

FX:
ticket punched

Grytpype:
The Bournemouth of the Orient. Here on the dreaded eastern coast of Britain, Secombe groped his way through the fog that swirled across the eerie walls and lapis lazuli fish piers.

FX:
Foghorn

Secombe:
Yes, by the dim light of an unlit candle, I finally found the street I sought, and entered the most notorious of all the waterfront dives, Fred's Cafe.

FX:
Sound of beaded curtain

Grytpype:
Pushing through the beaded curtain, Secombe stepped inside.

Orchestra:
Xylophone music ends

Grytpype:
Good evening.

Secombe:
Looking 'round, I saw beside me a tall, handsome, attractive cross-eyed man with eczema, a bald moustache, and wearing a mink vase.

Grytpype:
I've been watching you.

Secombe:
Have you?

Grytpype:
Yes. You're horrible, aren't you?

Secombe:
In a fascinating way, yes.

Grytpype:
You're from, uh, you're from Moriarty.

Secombe:
How did you know?

Grytpype:
I listened to the start of this program.

Secombe:
You mean we're being overheard?

Grytpype:
Overheard? On the home service? Ha ha ha. You know about the job?

Secombe:
Yes, the Bank of England.

Grytpype:
Right. Now Moriarty will contact you with further instructions in a cellar beneath the Bank.

Secombe:
Splendid.

Grytpype:
Now here is the first part of the plan. You go to London tomorrow evening. At midnight precisely, Big Ben will go "oom, oom, oom" twelve times.

Secombe:
Why?

Grytpype:
It always does.

Secombe:
Continue.

Grytpype:
I shall. As the last stroke fades away, an inconspicuous fish van with yellow mudguards, orange wheels and a French number plate will draw up at the back of the bank.

Secombe:
Who will be inside?

Grytpype:
Nobody. It would be spotted right away...

Secombe; Yes...

Grytpype:
...it's only a decoy, you understand.

Secombe:
Gad, what a narrow escape.

Grytpype:
Exactly. Now while the, the attention of the police is attracted to this van at the back, at the front --

Secombe:
Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes?

Grytpype:
Please don't interrupt. At the front will appear eight men in straw hats, alabaster feet, black faces, and carrying thirty Wurlitzer organs.

Secombe:
Will they play them?

Grytpype:
Good heavens, no. Do you think we want to arouse suspicion?

Secombe:
You've thought of everything!

Grytpype:
Hm hm hmm.

Secombe:
What part do I play?

Grytpype:
Second banjo. Now meanwhile, unobserved, a tram will be lowered from a helicopter through the glass roof of the London School of Economics. Inside will be Major Bloodnok and two accomplices.

Secombe:
How shall I tell them apart?

Grytpype:
They'll all be wearing black masks on their wrists.

Secombe:
Brilliant!

Grytpype:
I'm glad you appreciate the subtleties of the plan. One of them will admit you through a plastic coal hole. Got everything clear in your mind?

Secombe:
Yes.

Grytpype:
Very well. Shall we dance?

Secombe:
Of course!

Grytpype:
Good!

Secombe:
Pick up thar!

Max Geldray performs "Hot Toddy"

GRAMS:
Big Ben chimes twice, fades

Bloodnok:
Oh! Midnight and that blasted Secombe hasn't turned up! We shall have to start the robbery without him.

Secombe:
Psst! Psst!

Bloodnok:
Aeorgh! What's that, what's that?

Secombe:
It's me, Secombe!

Bloodnok:
Where the devil are you?

Secombe:
I'm inside the pillar box!

Bloodnok:
Bravo, so you were here all the time! Come on lad, let's be having you.

Secombe:
I can't, it's locked!

Bloodnok:
Good heavens! And what time's the next collection?

Secombe:
Ten minutes ago.

Bloodnok:
Curses! You mean to tell me you didn't get out when the postman opened the thing?

Secombe:
Well I, I couldn't see him, you see I'm in a brown paper parcel.

Bloodnok:
But why didn't the postman collect the parcel?

Secombe:
I made a fatal blunder.

Bloodnok:
What?

Secombe:
I'm insufficiently stamped.

Bloodnok:
Dear dear, this is going to need a genius to solve.

Eccles:
I got the answer.

Bloodnok:
Obviously I was wrong.

Eccles:
Oh. Well, I got a key.

Bloodnok:
Bravo. Open it up then, get inside and give Secombe a shove-up.

Eccles:
Okay, okay! Let's see now, the old key in the lock...

FX:
Key turning, metal door opening

Eccles:
Ho! There it goes, open the door, and in we go!

FX:
Metal door closes

Eccles:
Ooo... Oh, done a wrong thing there, let me see now, where am I? Don't want to stamp on a stamp, oh ho ho! That's a joke. Oh yeah. Oh, it's dark in here, isn't it? Mr. Secombe, where are you?

Eccles (echoed):
Where are you?

Eccles:
Hello?

Eccles (echoed):
Hello?

Eccles:
Who's that?

Eccles (echoed):
Who's that?

Eccles:
I'm Eccles.

Eccles (echoed):
I'm Eccles.

Eccles:
You can't be, I'm Eccles.

Eccles (echoed):
You can't be, I'm Eccles.

Eccles:
I'm Eccles, I tell you!

Eccles (echoed):
I'm Eccles, I tell you!

Eccles:
I tell you I'm Eccles!

FX:
Sounds of fighting start

Eccles (regular and echoes):
I'm Eccles! I'm Eccles! (Grunting noises)

FX:
Sounds of fighting stop

Eccles:
Ok, you win, you're Eccles.

Eccles (echoed):
Ok, you win, you're Eccles.

Eccles:
Oh, that's better, uh hum. That taught him a lesson, folks, uh hum. Well now then I've got to find Mr. Secombe, now let me see. Hello, Mr. Secombe?

Eccles (echoed):
I say?

Eccles:
Yeah?

Eccles (echoed):
Have you finished with me?

Eccles:
Yeah!

Eccles (echoed):
Goodbye!

Eccles:
Goodbye! Hello! Hello? Hello? Where are you?

Woman (Milligna):
Hello sailor!

Eccles:
Sai-- Oh! Pardon me, a, a lady, oh ho ho, I think! Here, have you seen a brown paper parcel in here?

Woman:
Ho ho, you cheeky boy! Ha ha ha!

Eccles:
Ho ho ho! Ha ha ha! What ha ha!

FX:
Banging noise

Bloodnok:
Weargh, Eccles, what are you doing in there?

Eccles:
Having a good time! Ha ha!

Secombe:
Eccles!

Eccles:
Oh, Mr. Secombe.

Secombe:
There you are.

Eccles:
Ooo.

Secombe:
Well, I managed to smash my way out of that parcel.

Eccles:
What strength!

Secombe:
Ha ha! Nothing at all. Never mind, now bend down, and I'll climb on your back; I'll reach the mouth of the letterbox like that.

Eccles:
Um, ok. (Straining noises)

Secombe:
(Somewhat distant) No, no, it's no good, I can't reach.

Eccles:
Well, you stay where you are, and I'll get on your shoulders.

Secombe:
Right!

Eccles:
(More distant) Nope, no good, not high enough yet.

Secombe:
Well, keep there, and I'll climb on your back.

Eccles:
Okay!

Secombe:
(More distant) Nearly there

Eccles:
Keep it steady now (distant voices of Secombe and Eccles)

Greenslade:
Listeners, may I draw your attention to this problem. Seagoon gets on Eccles's back, and Eccles, half-way up a wall, stays where he is while Seagoon mounts on his back and so on. What's the distance between Seagoon, Eccles, and the ground? I'll tell you, it's, um...

Secombe and Eccles:
Wahhhhh! (Crash)

Greenslade:
...exactly.

Eccles:
Why don't you keep your big mouth shut?

Secombe:
Help, we can't get out!

Eccles:
Help!

Bloodnok:
(Somewhat distant) Wait a minute, I'm throwing a length of rope through the aperature. (Grunt)

Secombe:
Right! Got it!

Bloodnok:
Good. Now grab on and I'll pull you through. Take the strain…

Eccles, Secombe, Bloodnok:
Heave!

FX:
Sound like cork popping

Bloodnok:
(Normal) You blasted idiots! Now we're all in it!

Eccles:
Oh ho ho! Right in it, aren't we?

Secombe:
Shh! Shh! Listen!

Eccles:
What?

Secombe:
Listen!

FX:
Footsteps

Secombe:
Hear it? It's the postman.

Eccles:
Ooo.

Secombe:
Now, now, watch, now, as soon as he opens that door...

Eccles:
Ya

Secombe:
...everyone make a sound like a registered letter. He'll collect us, and put us in his sack. Then we can cut our way out.

Eccles:
You sure it will work?

Secombe:
Of course it will.

Eccles:
Okay.

Secombe:
Everything clear?

Eccles:
Yeah.

Secombe:
Good! Now shh!

FX:
Sound of postman singing lightly as he walks, opening pillar box, gathering letters, closing pillar box, and walking off

Eccles:
Well, didn't work, did it? Haha!

Secombe:
Of course not! Some idiot was making a sound like an unstamped postcard.

Eccles:
Oh!

ORCHESTRA:
Melancholy violin music

Greenslade:
Nine bitter months later.

Bloodnok:
We've got to get out of here! We've eaten all the food parcels, and all the brandy's gone.

Eccles:
Yep, and I want to sell my collection of stamps, ho ho!

Secombe:
Ha ha. Admit it lads, (clears throat) we've never had it so good.

Bloodnok:
That's not the point, we set out to do a job and...

Secombe:
And?

Bloodnok:
You're quite right, you know, we have never had it so good. Any more parcels of whisky or brandy left?

Eccles:
Nope, none.

Bloodnok:
Curses.

Eccles:
Oh. Oh, there's one parcel left, yeah!

Bloodnok:
What what?

Eccles:
From a fellow who signs himself "Jack."

Bloodnok:
What's in it?

Eccles:
A rubber dinghy. Ho ho!

Bloodnok:
Then he must be all right.

Eccles:
Suppose so, yeah.

Secombe:
A rubber dinghy? A rubber dinghy, we're saved! Now we can sail out of here.

Bloodnok:
But we haven't got any water, man.

Secombe:
Eccles, any parcels of water?

Eccles:
No, I drunk the last one.

Secombe:
Hmm, then we'll have to dig for it.

Bloodnok:
Splendid, Secombe.

Secombe:
Ah yes, they don't call me an idiot for nothing.

Bloodnok:
You mean you pay them?

Secombe:
Only by check.

Bloodnok:
Oh.

Secombe:
Quick! Hand me that pneumatic drill!

Eccles:
I haven't got a new one.

Secombe:
Then hand me that old-matic drill.

Eccles:
Okay, hah!

FX:
Sounds of drilling

Announcer:
For the benefit of listeners without radio sets, it should be explained that although they are unaware of the fact, Major Bloodnok and his confederates are drilling for water straight through the base of the pillar box, down to the bed of one of London's famous underground rivers, the Wallbrook. Will they be successful, will they find it?

FX:
Splash

Bloodnok:
Ohhh! Ohh! Greenslade, why don't you keep your big mouth shut?

Eccles, Secombe, Bloodnok:
(All shiver)

Secombe:
Up lads! Now, ah, are we all in the dinghy?

Eccles:
Yep, we're all in there.

Secombe:
Right!

Eccles:
Right!

Secombe:
Now, we must keep a listening watch for police submarines. Eccles, Eccles, switch on the ASDIC.

Eccles:
Righto, Fred.

Secombe:
I'm not Fred.

Eccles:
Well, I ain't Dick.

Bloodnok:
This is mutiny!

Secombe:
Do as I say, Dick, switch on the ASDIC!

Eccles:
Okay, Dick.

GRAMS:
Beeping sonar

Ray Ellington performs "Such a Night"

Announcer:
Changing course in order to avoid the music you've just heard, Bloodnok and his buccaneers soon found themselves on the upper reaches of the underground river -- see chapter two -- and directly beneath the Bank of England.

Secombe:
Shh, shh.

Bloodnok:
All ashore now, splendid, splendid.

Secombe:
It's very dark, Major, shall I strike a match?

Bloodnok:
Certainly not, I know the way perfectly! Follow me.

GRAMS:
Splash

Bloodnok:
Argh, strike a match! Get me out of here!

Eccles:
Steady now. (Commotion, straining noises)

Bloodnok:
Now we must proceed up this secret tunnel. It leads straight to the vaults, but remember, for the next fifty yards, not a sound.

Secombe:
Right.

Bloodnok:
Right?

Secombe:
Yes

FX:
Long silence

Announcer:
Listeners, we admit that this lengthy period of complete silence cannot be regarded, properly speaking, in the category of entertainment. But as silence is necessary to the safety of these three men, we hope that you will bear with us for another few yards.

FX:
More silence

Announcer:
Thank you.

Eccles:
Woah, woah! Looks like the end of the tunnel!

Bloodnok:
Is it a cul-de-sac?

Eccles:
I don't know, it's got a wall built right across the end of it.

Bloodnok:
Curses.

Secombe:
Don't worry, don't worry, I've got Moriarty's instructions on me.

Bloodnok:
Gad, strike a light.

Secombe:
I can't, we've lost all our matches.

Bloodnok:
So have Arsenal.

Secombe:
Ha ha. Chin up, laddo, Moriarty cunningly foresaw this exact situation.

Bloodnok:
You mean?...

Secombe:
Exactly.

Bloodnok:
Ahhhh.

Secombe:
He's made a two-sided, short playing gramophone record of the entire plan. Eccles, prepare the hand-wound phonograph.

Eccles:
Oh, gonna have a dance? Hoho.

Secombe:
No, you fool, give it to me! Now, listen closely.

Record:
Polynesian Bells, played by London Regimental Band, Edison-Bell Records. (Music)

Bloodnok:
Oh, you fool, you put on the wrong record.

Secombe:
It must be on the other side.

Bloodnok:
But it's an old cylindrical record.

Secombe:
Then we must play it inside out.

Bloodnok:
Ahh. This is going to be very difficult.

Secombe:
Not at all. I have here a reversible, unilateral, bamboo, high-fidelity, boot-pointed needle made especially for this purpose.

Bloodnok:
What a bit of luck!

Secombe:
Haha yes!

Bloodnok:
Insert it into groove A.

Secombe:
Haha right. There.

Moriarty on phonograph:
Moriarty speaking. This is an Edison-Bell record. Now listen, here are your instructions. Have you reached the end of the tunnel?

Secombe:
Yes!

Moriarty:
Good! Now, I've got some notes written here, so strike a match.

Secombe:
We haven't got any.

Moriarty:
Curse! Never mind, I'll nip out and get some. Taxi? Taxi!

GRAMS:
Taxi approaches

Moriarty:
To a tobacconist's shop, quickly!

GRAMS:
Door closes, taxi accelerates away

GRAMS:
End of record skips

Secombe:
Curse! We've come to the end of the record and he's gone! How can we get him back again?

Bloodnok:
Play it backwards, of course!

Secombe:
How do you play the inside of a cylindrical record backwards?

Bloodnok:
Perfectly simple, you pot -- put it on in the opposite direction, going away from you, but only the other way.

Secombe:
Of course, hahaha! Right, here we go, backwards.

Bloodnok:
Right.

GRAMS:
Sound of record being played backwards

Secombe:
The swine was speaking backwards! Ahh, how can we get in touch with him now?

FX:
Phone rings

Secombe:
Hello?

Moriarty:
You fools!

Secombe:
Moriarty, where are you?

Moriarty:
In hospital, badly scratched. You were using a blunt needle!

Secombe:
Well, what's the next move?

Moriarty:
As soon as I ring off, follow me.

Secombe:
Right!

Bloodnok:
Ohhhoh, which, which way did he go?

Secombe:
Oh, gad, we must find a way out of this tortuous labyrinth. Tap the walls as we go along.

Eccles:
Okay.

FX:
Tap tap tap (pause)

FX:
Quieter tap, tap, tap

Eccles:
Oooh

FX:
Tap tap tap tap (pause)

FX:
Quieter tap tap tap tap

Eccles:
Mmm hmm!

FX:
Quick tap tap tap tap

FX:
Quieter quick tap tap tap tap

Eccles:
Ah. I'll get him.

FX:
Tapping to beat of "Shave and a haircut"

Eccles:
Hands up those who thought he was going to...

FX:
Tapping to beat of "two bits!"

Eccles:
Oh, he did! What what what?

Secombe:
Shh. There's somebody on the other side of this wall!

Bloodnok:
What? Hand me your stethoscope. Yes, just as I thought!

Secombe:
What?

Bloodnok:
It's definitely...

FX:
Tap tap

Secombe:
Are you positive it's...

FX:
Tap tap

Bloodnok:
Positive, it's quite clearly...

FX:
Tap tap

Bloodnok:
I knew them both in Africa. Then they split up and became...

FX:
Tap

Bloodnok:
...and...

FX:
Tap

Bloodnok:
...but of course they joined forces again later, and are now...

FX:
Tap tap

Bloodnok:
...again.

Secombe:
I'm glad to hear it.

Bloodnok:
Mind you, if you hear...

FX:
Tap tap tap

Secombe:
Yes?

Bloodnok:
One of them's an impostor.

Secombe:
Which one?

Bloodnok:
This one.

FX:
Tap

Secombe:
You may be right. You may be right indeed. But right or wrong, there's someone on the other side of this wall. Suppose, suppose it's the police?

Bloodnok:
The police? I know how to handle the police.

Secombe:
How?

Bloodnok:
Wait here.

FX:
Sound of footsteps running away

Secombe:
And to this day, I've never seen him again. Now, the next step is to dynamite our way through the ceiling into the gold vault. Now, where's my trusted man? (calls) Bluebottle!

Bluebottle:
I heard you call me. I heard you call my etcetera etcetera etcetera etcetera. Gets it quick over this week as I'm late for the Leighton County high school old boys football club fish supper. Yes, it is I, Bert Show-us-ya-weasel Bluebottle. What do you want my lovely capitan? As if I did not know...

Secombe:
Here. Plug these sticks of dynamite into the chandelier, and I'll detonate them merely by turning on the switch.

Bluebottle:
I will do it my capitan, immediately! I shall go and... Wait a minute, haha hahaha, you will not switch on while I'm there, will you?

Secombe:
Ha ha, of course not.

Bluebottle:
I will do it, I shall do it! 'Cause I trust and love my lovely little hairy capitan, I will prepare myself for the task. Strips to waist, as done by young starlet in search of free publicity. Successful, of course, exits up ladder.

Secombe:
There he goes, brave lad. Just look at his shoulder blades rippling under that bronze skin, and the muscles knotted like shredded string.

Bluebottle:
I'm up here my capitan, and I'm plugging in the dreaded dynamite piece by piece. It's not easy work for one so fragile. It's jolly dark up here...

Secombe:
Dark? Oh, then I'll switch on the lights.

Bluebottle:
No, don't!

GRAMS:
Loud explosion, glass shattering

FX:
Phone ringing

Secombe:
Hello?

Bluebottle:
You rotten swine, you! Oh! You, you have deaded me. You have ruined my chances of entering the Junior Jetman's cardboard spacesuit contest. Picks up badly singed earholes, three teeth, bent legs, and weasel. Reverses phone charge, and exits left to YMC restroom.

FX:
Phone hangs up

Secombe:
Huh, look, look, it's blown a hole, round, narrow hole in the ceiling!

Eccles:
Quick, up the ladder!

Secombe:
Right!

FX:
Sounds of climbing ladder

Eccles:
Watch your head, up we go again. Ooo, it's dark up here!

Secombe:
Never mind about that.

Eccles:
Ooh.

Secombe:
We must find the gold. Feel about a bit.

Eccles:
Okay. Ooo, what's this?

Bloodnok:
Take your filthy hands off me, you shocking oaf!

Secombe:
Bloodnok, what are you doing here?

Bloodnok:
I'm waiting.

Secombe:
Waiting for what?

Bloodnok:
The next collection, we're all back in the blasted pillar box again!

Secombe:
Nooooo!!! (Others join in)

ORCHESTRA:
The Goon Show theme

Greenslade:
That was the Goon Show, a recorded programme featuring Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe and Spike Milligan with the Ray Ellington Quartet and Max Geldray. The orchestra was conducted by Wally Stott, script by Spike Milligan, announcer Wallace Greenslade, the programme produced by Peter Eton.

Greenslade:
This is "Flying Saucer" Greenslade with another warning. We would like to remind listeners who have not paid their licenses that they got this lot for nothing.

ORCHESTRA:
Plays out