The cartoonists here are the ones who did jokes in daily newspapers, or weekly and monthly magazines, though the main source, Private Eye, was fortnightly. They did the words / concept and the picture. They usually worked in line drawing in black and white. Record sleeves were their chance to show what they could do on a larger canvas.

I like the BBC Records art department. They reissued their stack of archive Goon Show recordings from 1974 onward, at one a year, and each LP in the series used a different current cartoonist, most of them Private Eye and Punch contributors. I was (and still am) immune to the charms of the Goon show, but love the sleeves. I’ve based this article around that BBC series.

The most you’ll se them for is a fiver. They’re highly framable.

David Machell

Goon Show Classics: BBC Records 1974

These two shows were issued in 1974.

The Dreaded Batter Pudding Hurler Of Bexhill-On-Sea features the complete radio show originally broadcast on BBC Radio in October 1954 and features the song “Old Man River” by The Ray Ellington Quartet and “They Were Doing The Mambo” by Max Geldray

The Histories Of Pliny The Elder features the complete radio show originally broadcast on BBC Radio in March 1957 and features the song “You Made Me Love You” & “This Can’t Be Love” by The Ray Ellington Quartet and “Get Happy” by Max Geldray

Bill Tidy

One of my favourite all-time cartoonists. I have several books of his cartoons. The cartoonists didn’t do comic strips as a rule, though Bill Tidy was the exception – he did The Cloggies in Private Eye, The Fosdyke Saga and other short B&W strips.

Bill Tidy did three in the series, all with military connections … Spike Milligan’s war memoirs show the link.

Goon Show Classics Vol 2: 1975

The Jet-Propelled Guided NAAFI was broadcast on BBC Radio on Tuesday 24th January 1956 and features the song “Three Handed Woman” by The Ray Ellington Quartet and “All God’s Children Got Rhythm” by Max Geldray 

The Evils Of Bushey Spon was broadcast on BBC Radio on Monday 17th March 1958 and features the songs “You’d Better Know It” by The Ray Ellington Quartet and “LuLu’s Back In Town” by Max Geldray 

He also did Volume 6:

Goon Show Classics Vol. 6: BBC LP 1979

Wings Over Dagenham features the complete radio show originally broadcast on the BBC Home Service on 10th January 1957 and features “Rockin’ And Rollin'” by Ray Ellington and “Cheek To Cheek” by Max Geldray 

The Rent Collectors  BBC Home Service on 17th January 1957 and features “Old Mother Hubbard” by Ray Ellington and “Lulu’s Back In Town” by Max Geldray 

He got to do Zeppelins twice:

Goon Show Classics Vol. 8: BBC Records 1981

World War I is  BBC Home Service on 24th February 1958 and features “Beep Beep” by Ray Ellington and “Sometimes I’m Happy” by Max Geldray 

The Nasty affair at Burami Oasis was BBC Home Service on 4th October 1956 and features “Stranded In The Jungle” by Ray Ellington and “When You’re Smiling” by Max Geldray

Bill Tidy did the sleeve for Joseph & The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat in 1974.

Joseph & The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat: Tim Rice & Andrew Lloyd Webber MCA LP 1974

He also did this:

Fantastic Liverpool Party Record: Atarah’s Band, Benbo LP 1974

David Langdon

Goon Show Classics: Volume 3, BBC LP 1976

Lurgi Strikes Britain, BBC Radio in November 1954 and features “My Very Good Friend The Milkman” by Ray Ellington and “Pink Champagne” by Max Geldray
The International Christmas Pudding BBC Radio in November 1955 and features “The Crocodile Crawl” by Ray Ellington and “For Me And My Gal” by Max Geldray

David Langdon became famous in the early 1940s for his World War II cartoons. Langdon was best known as a political cartoonist with a knack for caricature, hence the three Goons … Harry Secombe, Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan – are drawn.

Ed McLachlan

Napoleon’ s piano BBC Radio on 11th November 1955 and features “Bloodshot Eyes” by Ray Ellington and “Ain’t Misbehavin'” by Max Geldray 
The Flea  BBC Radio on 20th December 1956 and features “You Do Something To Me” by Ray Ellington and “Lady Be Good” by Max Geldray

Ed McLachlan illustrated several of my text books, and did the cover illustrations for four of the Dart Travis ELT novels. We have an Ed McLachlan Private Eye cartoon on the wall.


Martin Honeysett

Honeysett also did three, Volume 5 and Volume 7. and Volume 9.

Goon Show Classics Vol 7: BBC LP 1978

The Treasure of Loch Lomond was originally broadcast on the BBC Home Service on 18th February 1956 and features “Hold Him Tight” by Ray Ellington and “You’re Driving Me Crazy” by Max Geldray 

The Greenslade Story BBC Home Service on 18th December 1955 and features “Jingle Bells” by Ray Ellington and “One Two Button Your Shoe” by Max Geldray 

Goon Show Classics Vol 7: BBC LP 1980

The Man Who Never Was

The Case of The Missing CD Plates. 1980 … CD plates on a car … Corps Diplomatique . This is by the cartoonist Honeysett (1943-2015).

Goon Show Classics Vol 9: BBC Records 1982

The Call of The West was 20th January 1959 and features “You’d Better Know It” by Ray Ellington and “A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square” by Max Geldray 
The Last Smoking Seagoon was BBC Home Service on 28th January 1959 and features “Too Marvelous For Words” by Ray Ellington and “What More Do You Want?” by Max Geldray

Other records with Honeysett illustrations include Ivor Cutler and Audio cassettes:

Life in A Scotch Sitting Room: Ivor Cutler Speakout LP, 1987
The Queen & I: Sue Townsend, tread by Miriam Margolyes: BBC Audio Collection cassette 1992

Hunt Emerson

He differs in starting out in the British underground press, and is more related to Robert Crumb than the Private Eye / Punch contributors.

Goon Show Classics Vol 10: BBC Records 1983

The Whistling Spy Enigma  BBC Home Service on 28th September 1954 and features “ABC Boogie” by Ray Ellington and “I Don’t Know Why” by Max Geldray 
I Was Monty’s Treble originally broadcast on the BBC Home Service on 10th November 1958 and features “Sunday” by Ray Ellington and “There’ll Never Be Another You” by Max Geldray

He went straight on to Volume 11. Both sides get illustrations, though they’re the same with the front inked.

Goon Show Classics ol 11: 1985

1985 is from the BBC Home service 4th June 1955
Shifting Sands is from 24th January 1957

After Volume 11, they stopped producing vinyl LPs, and switched to cassette or CD compilations under the BBC Radio Collection banner. The numbers of the Radio Collection sets do not match the LP versions. They have photographic covers … unfortunately.


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