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Every year, Her Majesty The Queen attends The Royal Command Performance at The Palladium, but never sees it because the acts are so boring she falls asleep. The Goodies are put in charge of the next one. Done in the style of 'The Good Old Days' T.V. series, The Royals are given the option of dispensing with boring acts by various means, including trapdoors, hangman's nooses, and the rack.
The Royals go into showbiz for themselves, as 'The Amazing Tumbling Royals' ( footage of them falling off horses was to have been used, but got deleted and replaced by a joke caption ). With every bone in their bodies broken, the Royals hire the Goodies as stand-ins; Tim as 'Her Majesty The Queen', Graeme as 'Princess Anne', Bill as 'Prince Charles' and a tailor's dummy replacing 'Prince Philip'.
The Goodies enjoy being Royals so much they decide to stay in the job, and a rerun of The Coronation is planned at Westminster Abbey. Hearing about this, the Royals leave their sick beds and attempt to stop them...
I can only recall a handful of occasions when Britain was an absolutely unbearable place to be - all those occasions involved the Royal Family. In 1977, Her Majesty was celebrating her Silver Jubilee, and for what felt like months you could not pick up a paper or switch on a radio or television without being reminded of the fact. The airwaves were dominated by fawning sycophants in suits droning on about how lucky we were to have a Monarchy. Thank goodness for Johnny Rotten and 'The Sex Pistols'!
In the street where I lived, a massive party was organised. You couldn't move for flags, overexcited children, old age pensioners weeping for joy, sausage rolls, Tizer, and strawberry jelly. Only one person was absent from this jamboree - me! Where was I? At home, in front of the television, watching a repeat of 'Goodies-Rule O.K.'! And I've never regretted it!
This programme provided a welcome antidote to the nausea of the Jubilee celebrations. Whilst not as disrespectful as the later 'Not The Nine O'Clock News' and 'Spitting Image' shows, it ridiculed the Royals in a way television hadn't done before ( yes, the Goodies poked fun at them in 'Tower Of London', but that was gentle stuff compared to this ). The sight of a bandaged Queen and Prince Philip riding a horse and cart was considered so shocking that the episode was pulled on the night of its intended transmission - Princess Anne had gone into hospital to have a baby - and a repeat of '2001 & A Bit' went out in its place. 'Royal Command' was eventually shown, but still managed to upset rabid Monarchists. "I have yet to see a ruder programme!", huffed one angry 'Radio Times' reader.
Funniest moment - it doesn't involve The Queen, funnily enough. At The Palladium, 'The Brotherhood Of Man' are trilling 'Save Your Kisses For Me' and doing that bizarre dance whereby they stare at the soles of their feet, when four nooses are lowered, and the entire group is hanged mid-song! Terrific stuff!
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