As the '70's wore on, sightings of 'The Goodies' on television became rarer than some of the lesser spotted birds Bill Oddie would watch years later on B.B.C.-2. Following Season 7 ( we'll gloss over the fact that it ended with the destruction of the world ), they did not appear again ( barring repeats ) for over two years. Change was in the air. 'Not The Nine O'Clock News' had crashed into view as the decade ended, giving us Mel Smith, Griff Rhys Jones, Pamela Stephenson and Rowan Atkinson. Perhaps to acknowledge these changing times, Season 8's opener has as its main target the recently elected Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. True, they had mocked M.P.'s before, including Sir Gerald Nabarro in Season 2's 'Sex & Violence', Ted Heath in 'The Goodies & The Beanstalk' and Harold Wilson in 'Goodies Rule O.K.?' but this was the first time they had devoted more than a few minutes to a democratically elected individual. Tim is delighted that a woman Tory is running the country but Bill pours scorn on the idea. Thatcher exploits a tax loophole and flees the country, and her party follows suit ( along with the opposition ). Britain is now ungoverned. Tim goes to see Graeme ( who is running a Saatchi & Saatchi like outfit ) to get himself elected purely on image alone. So does Bill. Tim emerges reborn as ( wait for it ) 'Timita' ( yes, its a parody of 'Eva 'Evita' Peron ) while Bill, clad in beret and khaki, becomes a militant left-winger, head of The Workers Revolutionary Party ( T.W.R.P. for short ).
The voters have their say - they stay at home. Timita and Bill have one vote apiece, and form a coalition government. Sound familiar? ( Timita and Bill would be welcome in No.10 right now, given that our present leaders are those comedians Nick 'shallow' Clegg and David 'mutton dressed as lamentable' Cameron ).
This was funny then, but looks funnier now in light of recent events. The cynical marketing of politicians is nicely spoofed, and the television coverage of the general election is conducted with the jovial air of 'The X-Factor' ( there's even a panel of celebrity judges ). David Dimbleby ( yes, the real one ) shows his respect for democracy by munching hot dogs and climbing into a bed on the studio floor as Election Night rolls on. Parliament had not begun to be televised when this went out, so 'The Goodies' give us a glimpse into a grim future where politicians appear on tacky shows such as 'Call My Bluff', 'The Generation Game', and a meeting at the United Nations turns into 'Blankety Blank'! ( This is a good episode for Graeme Garden fans - he impersonates Terry Wogan, Frank Muir, Larry Grayson, Willie Rushton, and Eddie Waring and does them brilliantly ). She may not be an M.P. any more, but as I write this Anne Widdecombe is on 'Strictly Come Dancing' so the lads were not far off the mark there.
Funniest moment - no, not the infamous 'don't cry for me, Marge and Tina' gag. Timita and Bill state their pledges in election broadcasts. The former wants to implement savage cuts to public spending such as scrapping the N.H.S. In future patients will have to cure themselves ( we see a man sawing off his own leg ). Bill on the other hand wants ( and I love this idea ! ) to send the Queen to live in Disneyland!
Second funniest moment - the send up of the 'American Express' advert. When asked to produce payment, a man in a mackintosh flashes at the receptionist. "That'll do nicely, sir!", she says with a smile.
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