Constable Benson, Constable Henderson, Constable Phipps, Constable ffoulkes, Constable Drat, Constable Murder, Constable Bristle, Constable Thistle, Constable Runcible, Constable Dunstable, Constable Digby, Constable Smith, Constable Gunga Ram Alec Singh and Constable Neptune

a Something item by J Nash (Sunday December 26th, 2010)

Some time ago (about 23 of your humang months ago) I, wee but wiry J Nash, had the considerable delight of being tangentially associated with the singular but rippling MR MILLINGTON, the magnificently bearded MR D MAGGS and the rugged yet saucy MR MAGGS TROUPE in THE ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE, STARRING FAMOUS WONDER THROATS.

Astoundingly, the resulting baffling roar of thrills and intrigue(tm) was broadcast on Radio 2, possibly because of a contractual misunderstanding. (They probably expected the Western Brothers, or other Radio Fun stars as featured on the Light Programme.)

As far as I know, S Blake remains one of the only four or five Beeb programmes to feature an actress entering labour during rehearsal, plus an actor appearing who is clinically dead. To this I attempted to add, “Also, one of the writers was mystifyingly killed in July with a snow plough,” but MR MILLINGTON obstinately leapt for the kerb.

Now, later, with the initial startled publicity having diminished to the point where MR MILLINGTON cannot even command an appearance in his local news-paper The Wolverhampton Rubbish by hurling his naughty torso repeatedly in front of a snow plough, I consider it acceptable to release to you, the pretty public, an mp3 of the first episode as heard all that time ago by nearly persons.

(The complete serial comprises six episodes, which were expertly chopped to the allotted fifteen minutes each by MR MAGGS’ skilful ear and powerful chin-carpet to make ninety minutes of noisy wonder. By comparison, the CD version gallops a considerable distance past two hours, or approximately four-tenths as long again, with bonuses such as the nearly plot. For example there’s another six minutes of the first ep, including the line, “Argh, me differentials.”)

Should you enjoy the ep, you can purchase the compleat (complete) adventure (adventure) from Perf Norm (also individually by episode if you are a Caledonian) or as a “compacted-discular-device” via Play McCom, a shopkeep. We receive royalties from neither, on account of misreading the legalese (the old “royal teas” ploy), but shall ruffle the hair of anyone who spots all 177 “references” (ie, sources from which we stole the jokes) (ie, I stole the jokes).

BBC Radio 2 declined to present a second series but, y’know, I’ve been on the Beeb. They must have been so drunk.

Download ep 1 (broadcast version, 17mb).

(The “constables” gag does not appear until episode 3. Sorry.) (Except not that much.)

There have been 7 comments on this item so far

  • Sadly, I did not spot any jokes stolen from me. I demand that next time, you steal one/two.

  • I can heartily recommend this series and/or device. I sometime find it useful to play the CD for a highly effective morale boost while, for example, menially labouring in the employ of a buffoon. Well worth the money, and getting an episode for free is a deal of such good value that it is sure to violate several laws.

    No royalties, though? How absurd. What kind of royalty were you expecting, exactly? If it is 23 pence per copy (or fewer) I may be able to top you up, like.

  • In fact, the “no royalties” thing was a joke. One of the nine or fifty hundred excellent things for MR MILLINGTON and me about working on S Blake was experiencing the legendarily splendid Beebness we all know and love from the history of Britain.

    (Everyone’s heard the gags about the proud tradition of Programme Planners, for example, and it was a spectacular thrill to realise we could now legitimately claim that connection when Radio 2 rescheduled the final ep but forgot to mention they’d done so to anyone at all anywhere. In fact, we were slightly kicking ourselves afterwards for the, “To be concluded,” curtain line the week before, because otherwise we’d’ve looked so avant garde with that surprise ending where everyone’s killed and the crim escapes to pull off the scheme that’s never disclosed.)

    Anyway, obv nobody really expected royalties for such a niche prog (apparently it’s such a ridiculous hassle prodding the Beeb to keep track of such tiny sums that they auto-bung a couple of quid on your bit of the fee instead), but we asked for monkey points on principle and because it was funny — essentially, we’re foreshadowing scoring another box in Beeb Bingo when a cheque eventually arrives in full settlement for 37p just like T Scott’s in that fantastic story he told about the year’s lavish overseas takings for Terry & June.

    I’m sure local thousandaire MR MILLINGTON would concur when I say you should give your earmarked change to a tramp instead. Also, that tramp is probably me so hurrah.

    I like the sidebar comment summaries for this item.

  • Hello. As someone who invested in the Compacted Disk, I was sorry to hear Aunty Beeb did not see fit to commission a second outing for your S Blake. However, if you’re willing, I have a microphone of some kind and three nearly new C120s. Please bring the sundries (script, speaking actors, etc) and we’ll make a go of it. I look forward to your response.

  • Wow, it’s almost like some kind of Christmas present.

  • Is there possibly a version of this with American subtitles? I like the punchy sound effects and exciting music but I wish I knew what everyone was saying.