One of the few British television comedy acts to put together a consistent run of hit records, the Goodies comprised Bill Oddie (b. 7 July 1941, Rochdale, Lancashire, England), Graeme Garden (b. 18 February 1943, Aberdeen, Scotland) and Tim Brooke-Taylor (b. 17 July 1940, Buxton, Derbyshire, England). All three were educated at Cambridge University and were involved in the Footlights Revue in the early 60s, although not all at the same time. Oddie and Brooke-Taylor then joined the Cambridge Circus Show (with John Cleese) and toured worldwide. They then moved on to the BBC radio show I’m Sorry I’ll Read That Again where they were eventually joined by Graeme Garden (who replaced Graham Chapman). Brooke-Taylor also spent time in the theatre and made films before starting to work in television on programmes such as At Last The 1948 Show. Oddie wrote and performed for programmes like That Was The Week That Was and Twice A Fortnight before meeting up with Brooke-Taylor again, and Garden (now a qualified doctor after medical training at Kings College Hospital, London) in the comedy programme Broaden Your Mind. Oddie, a prolific songwriter, also entered the recording world with three singles on Parlophone Records including a passable stab at pop with ‘Nothing Better To Do’ (a lament about Mods And Rockers fighting). The three teamed up for their own comedy show which was originally to have been called Narrow Your Mind but was eventually broadcast as The Goodies starting on the BBC on 8 November 1970. Several series were broadcast throughout the 70s and a number of spin-offs including several UK hit singles were created including ‘The In Betweenies’, ‘The Funky Gibbon’, and ‘Black Pudding Bertha (The Queen Of Northern Soul)’, the first two of which both made the UK Top 10.
In 1980 they left the BBC for Independent Television but the Goodies soon went their separate ways. Oddie, a keen ornithologist, has written several books on the subject and appears regularly on television in this guise or in general factual programmes. He also hosted a jazz programme (another of his passions) on radio. Garden works in radio quizzes and game shows but has also used his medical background to present some light-hearted health and fitness programmes. Brooke-Taylor has worked successfully in television situation comedies.