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8 People in sitter grouping: Goons

Aired on the BBC home service between 1951 and 1960, The Goon Show was a comedy send-up of a struggling post-war Britain, with continuing shortages, failing leadership and the demise of the empire. For its first run it was entitled Crazy People – Featuring Radio's Own Crazy Gang – the Goons, with actors often playing multiple characters and making use of all sorts of noises and funny voices to characterise the already bizarre characters. The Grafton Arms, a public house near Victoria railway station would provide a base for co-conspirators Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan, Harry Secombe and Michael Benetine on Sunday evenings to write and bounce ideas for the show off each other. Landlord and radio editor Jimmy Grafton would assist and edit some of the first series of the shows, and was affectionately nicknamed 'King of the Goons and Voice of Sanity' (KOGVOS). Having originally only booked the Goons for 6 shows, the BBC ultimately extended the show for 10 series. The final episode The last Goon show of all was broadcast on the 5th October 1972 for the BBC Golden Jubilee celebrations.

John Antrobus

1933-
Playwright
Sitter in 1 portrait

Michael Bentine

1922-1996
Actor, comedian and writer
Sitter in 2 portraits

Stanley Black (Solomon Schwartz)

1913-2002
Composer and conductor
Sitter in 1 portrait

Ray Ellington

1916-1985
Jazz musician and bandleader
Sitter in 4 portraits

Spike Milligan

1918-2002
Comedian and writer
Sitter in 20 portraits

Sir Harry Donald Secombe

1921-2001
Comedian, actor, writer, singer and television presenter
Sitter in 8 portraits | Artist of 4 portraits

Peter Sellers

1925-1980
Actor
Sitter in 14 portraits

Eric Sykes

1923-2012
Actor, comedian, writer, director and producer
Sitter in 10 portraits