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The Omar Khayyam Show

Spike Milligan made wrote and performed in three series of the radio comedy program The Idiot Weekly for the Australian Broadcasting Commission in 1958-1962. Six episodes were remade by the BBC in 1963 as The Omar Khayyam Show.

The cast was Spike Milligan, John Bluthal, Bob Todd, Bill Kerr and Barry Humphries with music by George Chisholm & his Jolly Jazzers. Brian Wilde appears in episode 1 and Tim Gudgin in episodes 2-6. The producer was Charles Chilton who had also produced some episodes of The Goon Show, on which The Idiot Weekly was based.

It was broadcast weekly from 27 December 1963. The episodes were (in broadcast order) Ned Kelly, The Ashes, The Prime Minister's Trousers, The Flying Dustmen, The America Cup and Walzing Matilda. The scripts had minor changes to remove some references to Australian locations and personalities unfamiliar to British audiences. However some better known personalities remained, notably Sir Donald Bradman.

Episode Title Original broadcast date Preservation
1 Ned Kelly 27 December 1963 Edited BBC "ring main" (internal distribution system) recording, and unedited domestic off-air recording
2 The Ashes 3 January 1964 Domestic off-air recordings
3 The Prime Minister's Trousers 10 January 1964 Domestic off-air recordings
4 The Flying Dustman 17 January 1964 Unedited BBC Sound Archives copy
5 The America Cup 24 January 1964 Edited BBC "ring main" recording, and unedited domestic off-air recording
6 Waltzing Matilda 5 May 1964[1] Domestic off-air recordings

Commercial releaseEdit

The complete series has been released on CD as bonus material on The Goon Show Compendium Volume 11 (2015), comprising the best available recordings as detailed above, compiled into complete episodes and remastered by restoration expert Ted Kendall.


  1. ^ Radio Times/BBC Genome