Final incarnation of the comedy trio’s three-seater to be sold in October
A three-seater bicycle, the trademark vehicle that launched many much-loved Goodies comedy sketches in the 1970s and 80s, could be yours next month when it goes under the auctioneer’s hammer in Surrey.
The comedy trio – Bill Oddie, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Graeme Garden – were once mainstays of television light entertainment, specialising in an anarchic brand of humour inspired by Monty Python, with an added narrative spin. Episodes started with footage of the three pedalling away together on their elongated bike, or “trandem”, and some of the best-remembered comic sequences included Kitten Kong’s destruction of the Post Office Tower and the episode Bun Fight at the O.K. Tea Rooms.
The Goodies also enjoyed unlikely chart success with hit songs The Funky Gibbon and Black Pudding Bertha (The Queen of Northern Soul).
Their trandem actually came in three guises, with a new one assigned to them for each series. The blue version, the one that starred throughout The Goodies third and final series, once they had moved from the BBC to London Weekend Television, is up for sale on 4 October at the Surrey auction house Ewbank’s.
The bike was originally sold at Sotheby’s in 1987: an unusual lot in a wider auction of veteran, vintage and classic vehicles and ephemera. The trandem then passed through the hands of several collectors until it ended up with another comedy trio, The Trap, who used it in 2004 at the Edinburgh fringe and are now selling it.
A year later, the trandem was back on television when the new owners loaned it to the Richard & Judy daytime chat show. It was rolled out when the Goodies made a guest appearance and Brooke-Taylor, 78, cycled it around the television studio car park. That year, the comedians were also the subject of a BBC 2 retrospective, following a live stage show in Britain and Australia.
The Goodies reunited again last May to film An Audience With … at the Leicester Square Theatre.
Brooke-Taylor and Garden, 75, are regulars on the long-running Radio 4 show I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue, while Bill Oddie, 76, is a wildlife presenter for the BBC.
“The trandem is an iconic piece of TV history from a golden era of comedy,” said Ewbank’s specialist Alastair McCrea, ahead of the sale, where it is estimated to reach more than £1,000. Like Tommy Cooper’s fez or Ken Dodd’s tickling stick, the trandem is instantly recognisable in its association with the Goodies.”