Gender Education

"Gender Education" is an episode of the British comedy television series The Goodies.

"Gender Education"
The Goodies episode
Episode no.Series 2
Episode 11
Directed byJim Franklin
Produced byJohn Howard Davies
Original air date31 December 1971
(Friday — 9.35 p.m.)
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Women's Lib"
Next →
"Charity Bounce"
List of The Goodies episodes

This episode is also known as "Sex and Violence".[citation needed]

Written by The Goodies, with songs and music by Bill Oddie.


Mrs. Desiree Carthorse (Beryl Reid, a deliberate parody of Mary Whitehouse)[1] approaches The Goodies as the ideal people to make a clean sex education film about the facts of life. However, she thinks that S-E-X is a sin and does not want the word to be mentioned during the film.

The Goodies respond with an absurdly coy film ("How to Make Babies by Doing Dirty Things") that could not possibly offend anyone, but the use of the word 'gender' in the opening credits disgusts her to such an extent that she refuses to watch the rest of the film and begins legal proceedings, at which point The Goodies learn that her husband "keeps his distance".

The Goodies are then publicly attacked by everyone. To improve their image, they abduct a notorious MP and take his place on a chat show. Upon being uncovered, they learn the BBC's policy and are asked to make violent films for the BBC; Tim and Graeme are horrified about this and refuse the request, but Bill decides to do so and releases a string of violent films, including a very violent version of Cinderella, called Sinderella.

Tim, Graeme and Mrs Carthorse decide to end Bill's violent programming, but Bill, who has become obsessed with violence, goes on the rampage and wreaks havoc, resulting in the BBC Television Centre being destroyed, leaving "ITV back on top".

The scene where Bill explodes BBC Television Centre.

The absence of the BBC from the airwaves results in a vacuum in Mrs Carthorse's evening activities (formerly consisting of turning the television off) causes her to ask The Goodies what people do without television. When some romantic encounter is shown her with the aid of a telescope, she rushes through the street demanding that people "Stop it! Stop it!"

Afterwards, The Goodies escort three young ladies out from the closet in their office, and then proceed to play chess against them during the closing credits.


  • The special effects sequence of BBC Television Centre being blown up was reportedly screened at BBC functions and parties, where it attracted huge cheers. Bill Oddie, speaking to author Robert Ross for the book The Goodies Rule OK, said "everyone who's worked there has wanted to blow the place up at some stage — and we did it!"[citation needed]


Worried about their credibility, The Goodies created this episode with the sole intention of annoying Mrs Whitehouse, who had written to the BBC to praise the team's wholesome family-oriented humour, clearly overlooking the fact that the first episode contained, in the words of Bill Oddie, "drug references, tits and a royal scandal".

Tim Brooke-Taylor explains, "We made Mary Whitehouse - we hoped - seem crass, with lines like: Bill: 'What does your husband do?' Mrs Carthorse: 'He keeps his distance.'”[1]

According to Brooke-Taylor, Whitehouse did not complain to the BBC about the series until the episode Saturday Night Grease was broadcast in 1980.[1]

DVD and VHS releasesEdit

This episode has been released on DVD.


  1. ^ a b c Brooke-Taylor, Tim (24 May 2008). "Why The Goodies had to 'get back' at Mary Whitehouse". The Times. Retrieved 16 September 2015. (subscription required)
  • "The Complete Goodies" — Robert Ross, B T Batsford, London, 2000
  • "The Goodies Rule OK" — Robert Ross, Carlton Books Ltd, Sydney, 2006
  • "From Fringe to Flying Circus — 'Celebrating a Unique Generation of Comedy 1960-1980'" — Roger Wilmut, Eyre Methuen Ltd, 1980
  • "The Goodies Episode Summaries" — Brett Allender
  • "The Goodies — Fact File" — Matthew K. Sharp

External linksEdit

("Gender Education" is listed under the alternative title at IMDb)