The Goodies was a BBC TV comedy series that ran from 1970 to 1980 (later transferring to ITV for one series in 1981). It starred Bill Oddie (born 1941), Graeme Garden (born 1943) and Tim Brooke-Taylor (1940-2020). The three actors met each other as undergraduates at Cambridge University, where Brooke-Taylor was studying law, Garden was studying medicine, and Oddie was studying English. Their contemporaries included Graham Chapman, John Cleese, and Eric Idle, who later became members of Monty Python, and with whom they became close friends. Brooke-Taylor and Cleese studied together and swapped lecture notes as they were both law students, but at different colleges within the university. All three Goodies became members of the Cambridge University Footlights Club, with Brooke-Taylor becoming president in 1963, and Garden succeeding him as president in 1964.
Links To Peel
In the episode 'Superstar', first broadcast on 7th July 1973, John Peel made a cameo, impersonating fellow Radio One DJ Jimmy Savile. Peel was later a target for the Goodies in later episodes, like in "Daylight Robbery On The Orient Express", where he "bored for Britain", and in "Punky Business" where he was supposedly a blindfolded member of the Trendsetters Ball judging panel.
On 10 December 1983 (BFBS) John relates hearing Bill Oddie reviewing the Vauxhall Nova, and bemoaning the lack of a cassette player, so he had to listen to the John Peel show, and wondering how an intelligent man could play such rubbish. John simply points the listeners to the Funky Gibbon....
In October 1996, Peel told an anecdote about two of The Goodies, back in the day, trying to start a fight with him because he gave their 'Funky Gibbon' single a bad review in a music paper. That paper was Sounds, published on 26th April 1975, where Peel described it as "Seconded. 1973 vintage Goodies and quite dreadful." The Goodies later denied the allegation. In a questionnaire, Garden was asked "What's the most ludicrious piece of gossip you've read about yourself?" He replied "hang on, I'll find the book...it's from the Guinness Book of Classic British TV: "John Peel had given one of the Goodies' singles a slagging in a music magazine. He was beaten up by the group in the Marquee club in London. Peel commented dryly that he wouldn't have minded if it had been someone fashionable."
Bill Oddie was also a recording artist for Peel's Dandelion label, where he recorded the Yorkshire folk tune 'On Ilkla Moor Baht' to the tune of Joe Cocker's version of 'With A Little Help From My Friends', it was produced by Peel. After he died, it was discovered to be one of the singles found in John Peel's Record Box. The Independent said of this in 2005:
"The late, lamented John Peel may have been famed for his love of both obscure Japanese thrash metal and punk standards like the Undertones' "Teenage Kicks", but among his most treasured records of all time is one particularly odd piece of vinyl. It is a recording of Bill Oddie, now the nation's favourite twitcher, singing the Yorkshire folk song, "On Ilkley Moor Bah 'Tat" in the raucous style of Joe Cocker's "With a Little Help From My Friends". Peel kept it in a battered box alongside more than 100 other favourites by artists as varied as Status Quo and the White Stripes. The novelty album was released on Peel's own short-lived Dandelion record label in 1970 with Oddie backed by Cocker's legendary Grease Band.  It was, say Peel's friends, simply typical of the man's eclectic tastes."
Oddie himself contributed to John Peel's Record Box and was surprised to find the single there. He had, like John Cleese of Monty Python, been a cast member of I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again and had taken the opportunity on that show to lampoon John's presenting style.
- Bill Oddie
- 25 December 1973: On Ilkla Moor Baht’at (7") Dandelion
- Bill Oddie - On Ilkla Moor Baht download
- Complete show with Peel Goodies anecdote from October 1996 Part One, Part Two
- Graeme Garden denies Peel's story
- Independent article about Oddie in Peel's record box
- Guardian article on by Paul Morley on Peel's Record Box, mentions Oddie
- ↑ Though Peel claimed in 1996 it was Mott The Hoople backing Oddie.