Encyclopedia Sabrina (Norma Ann Sykes)

Radio Sabrina

27 December 2017 - in 2016 a certain broadcasting corporation created a radio show about the legend of Sabrina - both the river, and our girl. I provided the Sabrina song for the programme. Enjoy.



To everyone in alt.fan.goons , there is a magical name. The name is Sabrina .
The name sends shivers up and down parts of the body most people never knew they had.

Sabrina was an object of fascination and unbridled lust to the Goon Show - especially author Spike Milligan. Cryptic references to her have puzzled some younger listeners. Now you know why they kept making steaming comments about her. All clips are MP3.

Recording dates are courtesy of the Goon Show Depository Goonabase and two sites which have since gone to the great Internet Graveyard.

Spike Milligan
Spike Milligna - the script writing man (and renowned typing error)

Bullet Through the snowy wastes of Sabrina -

From The History of Communications (29 Jan 54) (70K)

Eccles: Three hundred leagues have I run. Over the Ionicus (?), down the plains of Olympus, through the snowy wastes of Sabrina and over -
Seagoon: Yes yes yes. What's the message?
Eccles: Oh. Then I'll nip back and get it.

Note: this raises quite a mystery-- this is a very early Sabrina reference . It even pre-dates her first appearance on Before Your Very Eyes on 18 Feb 1955! In April 54, when she appeared on the cover of 'Blighty', she was still Norma Sykes. Rather odd... Note: The audience does not laugh at the reference as if she is still unknown... but how did Spike know her name?)

The Solution! Discovered 3 March 2007 - and an interesting extra wrinkle in the story: He does not say "the snowy wastes of Sabrina" - he says "the snowy wastes of Sabina" - wishful listening on my part. How did I discover the true words? Listen to this from Kenneth Horne's Beyond Our Ken, 28 May 1959 in the episode "Every Boy's Book of Birds" (MP3, 127K)
Notice something funny going on there? Radio comedy recycling, I believe!

Bullet Sabrina - with a beard ? (58K)
From The International Christmas Pudding (15 Nov 1955)

Seagoon: We are forestalled!
Bloodnok: Don't worry, lad. Don't worry. It's a blessing in disguise.
Seagoon: What is?
Bloodnok: Sabrina with a beard!
Seagoon: I don't see what Sabrina needs a beard for. I think she looks attractive enough without one.
I suppose she does, really. I've never thought of it that way.

Bullet "You crazy Sabrina and Michael Wilding" (54K)
From The Terrible Revenge of Fred Fu Manchu (6 Dec 1955).

Bloodnok: Dance with me!
Minnie: [over crazed waltz music] Ooohahhh!
Seagoon: Stop this! Stop this, you crazy Sabrina and Michael Wilding

Note: Michael Wilding: Michael Wilding was an actor contemporary with Sabrina. Is there a connection between Sabrina and Michael? The Oracle of Bacon says there is...

Michael Wilding was in The Egyptian (1954) with John Carradine.
John Carradine was in House of the Black Death (1965) with Sabrina (I) !

Bullet "By the Great Measurements of Sabrina " (50K)
From The Lost Year (13 Dec 1955)

Bloodnok: By the great measurements of Sabrina, who the devil are you?

Bullet John Snagge . The Male Sabrina? (upgraded 2011 - 700K)
From The Greenslade Story (S06E14, 20 Dec 1955)

Seagoon: You're the famous John Snagge, eh? Known as the male Sabrina of Portland Place!
Snagge: Now, steady Seagoon, or I'll ban your record on Housewives' Choice.

Bullet " She's a fine big girl " (116K)
From The Hastings Flyer (27 Dec 1955)

Bluebottle: I have to be photographed with Sabrina. Yes hehe! That's what I'll say. 'Ere. Thinks: that Sabrina's a fine big g-
Seagoon: Stop those naughty thinks at once. Thinks: he's quite right though... that Sabrina is a fine big girl, isn't she? Yes!
Bluebottle: Yes! I think I'd better start wearing long trousers soon.


A trifecta from The Mighty Wurlitzer (3 Jan 1956) ... (28K, 9K, 38K)

Moriarty : By the great sweaters of Sabrina and

Sabrina! Hooray! and

Seagoon: Here's a picture of SABRINA ...
Bloodnok: [whoosh] Where? Where? Where? ooooooh!
Seagoon: Bloodnok, throw that sofa away!


Sabrina outfit! (9K - poor quality)
From The Raid of the International Christmas Pudding (10 Jan 1956)

Seagoon: Blooknok! Take off that Sabrina outfit!


She even detained the Prime Minister (59K).
From The Jet-Propelled Guided NAAFI (24 Jan 1956)

Greenslade: That afternoon, the Strolling Prime Minister was summoned urgently from The Windmill to attend, of all things, a vital cabinet meeting.
Seagoon: Good afternoon gentlemen. Sorry I'm late, but Sabrina wasn't on 'til after the interval.


Sabrina cabaret culture (69K)
From Tales of Old Dartmoor (7 Feb 1956)

Grytpype: The prisoners are getting restless.
Seagoon: What what what what? They had Sabrina for the cabaret last night! I mean...
Grytpype: Yes, I know culture's all very well, Neddie, but what the lads really need is a holiday.

Bullet Is that Sabrina, or... ? (48K)
From The Fear of Wages, (6 Mar 1956)

Moriarty: Sapristi measurements! It's Sabrina!
Seagoon: Wrong! It's me with my arms folded.

Bullet Sabrina's agonised moans (168K)
From The Spectre of Tintagel (28 Oct 1956)

Valentine Dyall: Didn't you hear the dying screams of a Zulu caught in the clutches of a Maneating Matabele Iguana plant?
Seagoon: No.
Valentine: But didn't you see me whitened up with flour sacks and a false head screaming?
Seagoon: Come to think of it... no.
Valentine: Curses! At least you must have heard the agonised moans of Sabrina being passed through an electric sausage machine.
Seagoon: I'd have heard that!

Bullet Keep him covered (23K)
From Emperor of the Universe (3 Jan 1957)

Bloodnok: Quick, Neddie! Tie him to the chandelier while I keep him covered with these measurements of Sabrina.
Eccles: Sabrina??

Bullet From The Missing Battleship (18 Nov 1957) - (47K, 25K, 39K)

Grytpype: Men! Sabrina has fallen overboard . [GRAMS: Running footsteps, splashes] Well, that's got rid of them, Moriarty.

Seagoon: What what what what what what what what? Sabrina fallen overboard ? Poor little innocent photographer's model! I must get a lifebelt.

Grytpype: Didn't you hear me shout that Sabrina was overboard ?
Eccles: Who cares about him?

Bullet Here's a health picture of Sabrina (54K)
From The Spon Plague (3 Mar 1958)

Bloodnok: Here's my brochure and an interesting health picture of Sabrina.
Seagoon: Thank you... and here's a photo of her clothes.
Bloodnok: Good heavens! Who is that man inside them?
Eccles: It's me!
Bloodnok: Get out, you fool.
Eccles: I'm no fool!

Bullet "A bust (!) of Sabrina to bring you to the boil" (21K)
From Childe Harolde Reward, (8 Dec 1958)

Scottish voice: I'm just going to add this bust of Sabrina to bring you to the boil.

Bullet Thinking of Sabrina in the bath (88K)
From Quatarmass OBE [The Scarlet Capsule] (2 Feb 1959)

Seagoon: Unexploded German skulls? I hadn't thought of that.
Bloodnok: Elephant soup with squodge spuds.
Seagoon: I hadn't thought of that either.
Bloodnok: Sabrina in the bath.
Seagoon: Ha, ha, ha, ha! I do have some spare time.
Minnie: I don't think she has!

4 Aug 2003 - Well, folks. That seems to be the complete collection. I have scanned 147 Goon Shows and found 19 with breathless references to Sabrina. That means 13% of Goon Shows have SabrinaStuff!

Alas, some references to Sabrina were removed during various transcriptions, editings and re-broadcasts. One such terrible Sabrina deletio n was from 'The House of Teeth':

Bluebottle : (Confidentially) - Here - got any pictures of Sabrina?
Seagoon : You dirty little devil - I'll tell your Scout Master.
Bluebottle : He's the one who told us to collect them.
Seagoon : The naughty man - well, he won't get my collection.

Thanks to http://www.thegoonshow.co.uk/scripts/teeth.html for telling me that.

Sabrinasounds from Hancock's Half Hour

Though not as fanatical about Sabrina as Spike Milligan was, Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, the writers of Hancock's Half Hour managed to slip in a few Sabrina references...

Sabrina and Hancock
Sabrina with Tony Hancock, Royal Albert Hall, London. 1955

Bullet From Series 2, Episode 3, The Racehorse (an episode that was lost, and re-recorded in 2014) Bill buys a racehorse called Sabrina.

Andree - I think she's rather sweet. What's her name?
Bill - Sabrina.
Harry - What did you call her that for?
Bill - Well, I'm hoping she'll be well out in front.

Bullet From Series 2, Episode 9 , The Television Set , broadcast 14 June 1955, Tony essays to purchase his first television set. (30K). And this, apparently, is Philip Harben...

Philip Harben
For some reason I still prefer Nigella...

Bullet From Series 3, Episode 3, The Bequest , broadcast 2 November 1955, Tony chooses whom he will marry to get his inheritance - listen to his assessment of Sabrina - the bastard!. (153K)

Bullet From Series 3, Episode 5, The Winter Holiday broadcast 16 November 1955, one wonders how anyone can confuse Tony Hancock and Sabrina when it comes to asking for an autograph! (131K)

Bullet From Series 3, Episode 6, The Blackboard Jungle broadcast 23 November 1955, Sid describes how he used Sabrina to teach counting to his hopeless maths class. (62K)

Bullet From Series 3, Episode 9, A Visit to Russia (another episode that was lost, and re-recorded in 2014), Hancock laments the state of the British press...


Hancock - See? No idea. Never reads the papers!
Bill - I do read the papers.
Hancock - Read the papers?. You skim through them, and if there's no side view of Sabrina and no special reporter exposing the vice syndicates of London, that's it - you're finished.

Bullet From series 5 episode 2, Scandal Magazine , Sid proposes that his rag's readers would believe Sabrina was Arthur Askey's mother . From 1958. (Discovered 11 March 2007)

Miscellaneous Radio Sightings

Hughie Green Sabrina

A single reference to Sabrina was found by good 'Tim' in Hughie Green's ' Opportunity Knocks ' show broadcast on Radio Luxembourg in the mid-to-late fifties. Hughie relates how, when bumping into Sabrina, opportunity knocks more than once . Thanks, Tim!

At some undocumented time between 1958 and 1960, the classic long-running " My Word " BBC radio mentioned Sabrina in Transcription Service #27.

When Frank Muir was asked the defininition of "Calisthenics" the answer was "'Cali' means beautiful and 'thenics' means strength. These are physical education exercises that tended to develop the figure. So it's sort of Sabrina stuff as you might say."

27 December 2017 - in 2016 a certain broadcasting corporation created a radio show about the legend of Sabrina - both the river, and our girl. I provided the Sabrina song for the programme. Enjoy.

Last Changed: Friday 2021-12-17 12:40

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