The Goodies (TV Series 1970–1982) Poster

(1970–1982)

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Classic English comedy from the 1970s!
Infofreak8 November 2001
'The Goodies' were one of the things that made growing up in the Seventies so much fun! This show may be dated fashion- and special effects-wise, but the humour is still as original and hilarious as ever.

Oddie, Garden and Brooke-Taylor shared a similar background and history to most of the Monty Python team. They also began as comedians while studying at University and various combination of Goodies and Pythons performed and wrote together for many television and radio comedies throughout the Sixties. Not long after Monty Python debuted on TV in 1969 The Goodies followed with their own series, which ended up lasting much longer. The Pythons aimed at adults, The Goodies at children, but for all their surface differences they shared a similar surreal Goons inspired wit, with an emphasis on wonderfully inventive sight gags.

Unlike Python, the show wasn't a sketch comedy. The basic premise was that out heroes would do anything, anywhere, anytime, which meant that they got into increasingly bizarre situations, which were often just an excuse for silly goings on and funny stuff. And the show WAS funny! Even today the best episodes stand up, and 'Kitten Kong', the unforgettable episode about a giant kitten terrorizing a city, must surely rank as one of THE highlights of television comedy, any decade!
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9/10
One of the best comedy series from the UK
rbingham18 July 2002
The Goodies were Tim, Bill and Graeme (character names the same as their real names). The shows ran from 1970 to 1980 and the plot usually involved one of the three going mad in some way and the other two attempting to stop him. In the early series there was a guest star who won the honour of being the baddie for the week, until the Goodies realised that the baddie was usually the best part to play!

The episodes were written by the trio and all stunts were performed by them as well. Their style was part slapstick and part dialogue driven comedy. Of the 75 or so episodes there are only a handful that do not stand the test of time (or taste, although the team have apologised for some of the incidental racism in the jokes which, however was standard for the time).

Some of the best episodes include The Giant Kitten (where a kitten is fed growth mixture, ends up two stories tall and eating London, and the Goodies have to don mouse suits to get close enough to inject the antidote), Pirate Radio (where the team start a pirate radio station, then pirate post office and Graeme attempts to take over the world), Goodies at the OK Tearooms (a western set in Cornwall where they mine for cream and scones, ending in a gunfight with sauce bottles) and The End (entire episode set in a room encased in a concrete block over a span of 100 years, with brilliant script and forced on them as they had used their series budget up).

The team had their start at Cambridge and Oxford with the boys from Month Python. They wrote a number of TV shows with the python lads and were good friends. The Goodies also starred in a radio series called I'm sorry, I'll Read That Again with John Cleese and some episodes written by Eric Idle which lasted for six years(1965-1971,1973). Monty Python's Flying Circus started about six months before the Goodies.

The Goodies was a classic TV series which is still funny and should be re-released on DVD ASAP.
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The Funkiest Gibbons In Town!
roisinmoriarty-125 February 2003
It's funny how the controller of BBC2 can allow repeats of "The Good Life" and "Fresh Prince Of Bel Air" (to name but two admittedly excellent comedies) to be shown over and over but her reasoning for not repeating "The Goodies" is that she doesn't want to air too many repeats. But the good, nay utterly brilliant, news is that Messrs Brooke-Taylor, Garden and Oddie themselves have bought the rights to their classic show and plan on releasing it on DVD and video. At this time it's unknown whether they'll publish the whole lot with loads of fabulous DVD extras (a commentary from the trio would be wonderful) but the fact that us Goodies fans can finally get to see our wacky heroes any time we like is reason for the most joyous of celebrations.

The jokes that sailed too close to the wind and the occasional mis-fired episode have already been discussed here but it still remains that these were some of the funniest guys of the Seventies (and beyond) and deserve a good deal more recognition than they currently enjoy. "Kitten Kong" and "Bunfight at the OK Tearooms" are no doubt their best known sketches but their take on "Bright Eyes" was hilarious and their flat-capped Yorkshiremen knocking nine bells out of each other with blackpuddings were side-splitting (unless you're from Yorkshire and therefore fed up to the back teeth with that kind of "eckie-thoomp" stereotype).

It's about time we finally got to see The Goodies on DVD but while we wait I can highly recommend that you listen to the BBC Radio 4 "quiz" show "I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue" which features both Graeme and Tim.
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9/10
Funny British comedy, doing anything, anywhere, anytime
ingemar-44 January 2009
The Goodies was a very original comedy series in the 70's, which appealed to all of us who liked Monty Python. While Monty Python are built from sketches with no punchlines, instead flowing into each other, a Goodies episode is built from some kind of theme, but with a storyline that rarely goes the expected way. The unexpected turns is a common feature in both shows.

The series is clearly related to both Monty Python and Mighty Boosh. Actually, Mighty Boosh appears to be the closest one, also being built on surrealistic stories rather than sketches. The Boosh members have indeed mentioned The Goodies as a source of inspiration. Monty Python, on the other hand, appeared at the same time, and both teams have a common background, working together in previous projects (like "At last the 1948 show"). I think it is no coincidence that both Goodies and Monty Python left the conventional sketch-with-punchline shows for a more original form.

The series is a mostly lighthearted comedy, wild as a roller-coaster ride. Sometimes it is silly on Benny Hill's level, but even when at that level it is inventive and imaginative. Anything can happen, as they do "anything, anywhere, anytime". The stories are about absolutely everything, including sex (Gender Education), racism (South Africa), monsters (Kitten Kong, Scotland).

Note that it is not always lighthearted comedy. In particular, the episodes The End and Earthanasia are dark stories about life, death and survival. They are good too, but in a completely different way.

Is it dated? Not worse than Monty Python. The only thing that really feels dated is the laugh tracks and some references to then current celebrities. I have to live with that (and there is at least one laughter-free episode on the DVDs). Of course, everything looks like the 70's, not only Graeme's sideburns, but that's not a problem. The special effects vary from primitive (Loch Ness monster, Graeme in the lighthouse) to very impressive, incredible for a TV series (The Movies). Some themes, like South Africa, comment on events in the 70's, but often still works after a quick explanation for the young ones. Apartheid may be gone, but racism is not. So all in all, it has aged very well. Another example of racism, which is really anti-racism, is all the references to "The Black&White Minstrel Show", which they mocked the most in "Alternative Roots". Their statement is clear: They very much know that black-face humor is racist and they are clearly against it. (Incidentally, "The Black&White Minstrel Show" was canceled not long after "Alternative Roots".)

The mix of dialog-driven humor, often funny visuals, and silent slapstick is part of the concept. There is often a slapstick part in the middle (Radio Goodies, South Africa) which gives the shows variation. Children's show? Well, the kids love the slapstick parts, which are sometimes less amusing to adults. But there is more to it than slapstick! The dialog-driven parts and satire are often more adult-friendly. It says "Fun for all the family" in the title, and that is quite correct.

I would like to recommend the following favorite episodes: The movies, Hype Pressure, Snooze, Radio Goodies, Goodies in the nick, Gender education, Kitten Kong.
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"I spy with my little eye..."
bibimimi23 January 2003
I would not miss these guys along with Python when I was in high school, and I'm sure it warped me. I recall a jockey's uprising, no longer able to withstand the indignities of "Apart-Height". There was a couple of lucky scone miners who got squirted in the face when they hit a vein of strawberry jam. And of course, the longest game of 'I Spy' on record with only one piece of furniture in the room. Out of context, yeah, sounds daft, kinda like quotes from "The Aqua Teen Hunger Force".
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An all-time classic show
bananamanfan7 March 2001
This is one of my favourite TV shows, it's so funny! OK, occasionally they may have had a dud episode, like the one with them dressed as toothpaste tubes and bouncing around the world for charity, but most episodes are absolutely hilarious, like 'The End' or 'Earthanasia'. Graeme Garden, Bill Oddie and Tim Brooke-Taylor are funny and if you can get a chance to watch the show, don't miss it.
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8/10
Series One: It's whatever turns you on...
The_Movie_Cat12 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
... or so went the lesser-remembered early version of the theme tune. It's easily forgotten that The Goodies, running for twelve years, was spawned out of the tail end of the 60s. This goes from the sneaky drug references (just check out the initials of Bill's Lemon Sherbet Dip which gives him all the hallucinations) and the musical numbers by Oddie which seem to pass them over as wannabe Monkees. The first credit sequence sees them leaping in the air like some kind of carefree, youthful troupe, which of course The Goodies never really were. Corduroy and wild abandon never really sat well together, and Graeme Garden even confesses that he sprained himself jumping into the air. But looking back over the seven episodes of the first series from 1970, it's still difficult to answer the all-important question: are they still funny anymore? The initial signs weren't good. Seeing the trio on an old Top of the Pops repeat singing The Funky Gibbon was a painful realisation that three middle class (well, except for Bill) and practically middle-aged men dancing around and mugging hasn't followed us into the new century very comfortably. Dating, of course, is not the fault of the programme, which was made with the intention of airing to a 1970-1982 audience, not to be thrown into the harsh light of DVD in the 21st century. Yet it's strange how one decade's subversion is another's mainstream, and while at the time it was cutting edge and quite political, seen in 2007 its surrealism is very much end of the pier, while even the skits on the Royal Family are quaint in a modern context.

Naturally, being a product of the 70s, there's much to debate in terms of content. There's a "poof" or "fairy" joke in two of the first series episodes, topless women in three of them, and while blackface doesn't feature here, it was a semi-regular Goodies staple, even being used as late on as the 1981 Christmas special. Heritage is a question among the series. For a long time the stars touted themselves (legitimately) as peers of Monty Python, unfairly regarded as a "kid's show". Such things are not helped by their merchandising ventures, such as my dog-eared copy of The Goodies 1974 annual. Brought out by World, traditionally the makers of children's annuals, it's helped by the interest taken by the Goodies themselves, and there are one or two racy jokes in there, such as the tribal wife named Gentilia. But to allow what is a glorified kid's book (complete with five comic strips) to enter Christmas stocking and then complain about not being taken seriously is a little rich.

The heritage extends further back, with slapstick indebted to both the golden age of cartoons (a series a post-Goodie Tim would present, and directly referenced in Kitten Kong, and more) plus silent comedy, Tim's cries a blatant crib from Stan Laurel. Bringing this forward, one suggestion to give the series latter-day credibility is that its natural offspring was The Young Ones. Watching the staid opening episode might not immediately bring this to mind, but by the time we reach March 1975 and Graeme's eating a foghorn while they strike oil and launch a lighthouse into space, you can see where the claims are coming from. By the time The Goodies left our screens (sacked by a commercial channel who didn't really know what to do with them once they had them) it was the same year Rik, Vyvyan and Neil were due to take their place back on BBC2. That the year before saw the aforementioned final "blackface" incident perhaps indicates the real gulf between them and the "alternate" regime in terms of idealogy.

The 1970 series, then, while not being laugh-out-loud hilarious, is quite charming in its staid way. Sure, there are plenty of counterculture jokes, some bare boobs and Bill's bare backside, but a series that has an episode with Tim pretending to be a woman is a very quaint, almost music hall throwback. The decision to mimic television adverts in the middle of all the episodes is less Python style satire, more the sort of stuff that Benny Hill had been doing since the 1950s. (Having said this, the advert for "Razz" is probably the funniest part of the first series). In fact, "Caught In The Act" is arguably the most dated episode of the lot, one that predicts the rise of women's clubs – complete with male strippers – but has bawdy sexism, rear nude women and randy housewives as part of its lexicon. In referring back to The Young Ones, then having the third episode centred around police brutality is commendable, though curiously lacking in real edge to a modern audience. By some way the best episode of the first series, "The Greenies" (AKA "Army Games") sees not only a satire of the British military, but also an early dig at Apartheid and swipes at vivisection. The final episode of the first series, "Radio Goodies", is interesting in that Graeme becomes the "bad guy" for the episode, a narrative tool that they would go on to employ more frequently throughout future episodes.

Overall, while the 1970 episodes ARE dated, almost quaint, and linear compared to what came after, the tighter scripts and more verbal based nature means they stand up fairly well nearly four decades later. Not only that, but while the acting may have improved over time, there's a freshness and energy that the last couple of series may have lacked. Oh, one last thing... isn't it weird seeing Bill without a beard?
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One of the forgotten classics of British Comedy
BlackArt30 June 1999
The Goodies are a very funny British comedy group that grew out of a radio show called "I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again" (sometimes called "The Wonder Show".) The radio series also had John Cleese and a few others.

The writing for this group is always very sharp and filled with unexpected and dreadful puns.

If you can find a copy of this, rent, buy or borrow it! (That goes for any of their other movies.)
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More surreal than Monty Python
jancyclops26 October 2003
The Goodies and Monty Python both came out of the radio programme "I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again". Python was surreal and got well known for it. "The Goodies" was more consistently surreal and obviously missed the boat because of it. Personally I think "The Goodies" was more consistently funny than Python and, for the most part, as surreal (the chase at the end of "Saturday Night Grease" should be enough to confirm that!) or more so. I just wish that they were as popular so that more programmes were available on DVD! The "card" game in "The Bun Fight At The OK Tea Rooms" is enough to make people agree with that!
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10/10
Funny!
henrymadman7 July 2007
The Goodies is a surreal British television comedy series of the 1970s and early 1980s.

The series, which combines sketches and situation comedy, was shown during prime time, and is popular with all ages. The show was co-created and co-written by Graeme Garden, Tim Brooke-Taylor, and Bill Oddie, who also all starred in it. Bill Oddie wrote the music for the series — while "The Goodies Theme" was co-written by Bill Oddie and Michael Gibbs.

The directors/producers of The Goodies series were John Howard Davies, Jim Franklin and Bob Spiers.

The television series was made by the BBC 2[1] from 1970 to 1980 — and was then made by the ITV company LWT from 1981 to 1982.

An early title which was considered for the series was "Narrow Your Mind".
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The Goodies Rule - OK
timothyno_11 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I have enjoyed the madcapped humour of the Goodies for many years now and are yet to find someone that even comes close to them in originality. Their shows were a laugh a minute and certainly made the 70's well worth being a part of. We would race home from school so we could set ourselves up for our favourite English double - The Goodies and Dr Who. And then we would spend the next day at school discussing both shows in detail. Tim, Graeme and Bill have brought a lot of joy to a lot of people and have in the process influenced many an up and coming British comedian. Who could forget a Giant Kitten, a giant cod, a pirate post office/radio station and stacks of hilarious drag sequences. The brilliant writing was seconded only by the fabulous songs. 'Wild Thing', 'Funky Gibbon' and 'The Inbetweenies' are more than just funny words to music - they are fantastic songs in their own right. The Goodies - a much over looked and unappreciated British 1970's comedy. The Goodies Rule - OK!!!
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One of the funniest shows
oiyou27 July 2001
One of the funniest UK comedy shows. The episode "Bunfight at the OK Tearooms" features the best western saloon bar poker game scene ever filmed (using toast for cards and biscuits as chips then pies and cakes and finally a three-tier wedding cake as the stakes got higher). The poker game is played entirely to piano music with no dialogue. The celebrity safari park one was great too. Especially when they released Tony Blackburn back into the wild and someone shot him. The show was derived from the radio show I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again which was also part of Monty Python's ancestry featuring John Cleese in the cast and Eric Idle and Graham Chapman among the writers.
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10/10
The Men Who Put Cricklewood On The Map!
ShadeGrenade1 August 2006
Warning: Spoilers
The Beatles broke up in 1970, but another Fab Four were waiting in the wings to take their place - Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden, Bill Oddie, and director Jim Franklin. They created some of the funniest and most memorable television comedy of the '70's.

It was not their first series for the B.B.C. 'Broaden Your Mind: An Encyclopaedia Of The Air' was. I never saw it ( my television set could not pick up B.B.C.-2 in those days ) so had to contend with odd clips on the viewers' request show 'Ask Aspel'. In 1969, 'Monty Python's Flying Circus' was launched on an unsuspecting world, so instead of continuing with 'Broaden Your Mind' the lads decided to create an entirely new show. The result was 'The Goodies'.

The idea behind the show was simplicity itself; an agency composed of three men ( ultra-patriotic Tim, hippie-like Bill, and brainy Graeme ) who rode about on a three-seater bike and who did 'anything, anytime'. That was all, but it allowed the writers freedoms they otherwise would not have enjoyed. The chief inspiration seems to have been the American series 'The Monkees'. The wacky plots, 'Tom & Jerry'-style chases, catchy pop music, and cartoon violence were elements common to both shows. There was satire involved too. A regular feature in the first three series were the spoof commercials.

In one episode, the Goodies tried to capture the Loch Ness Monster. In another, they went to the Moon where they encountered super-intelligent rabbits. In yet another, they set up a safari park whose main attractions were showbiz stars. In 'The Goodies & The Beanstalk', they spoofed the traditional British pantomime.

Because 'The Goodies' took the mickey out of '70's pop culture, some have mistakenly interpreted it as an attack on the decade itself. 'Star Wars', 'Close Encounters' and 'Jaws' were popular and thus ready-made targets for parody. 'The Goodies' soon became a part of that very same pop culture, especially when they started having Top Ten hits such as 'Black Pudding Bertha' and 'Funky Gibbon'.

The show boasted an impressive array of guest stars such as George Baker, Stanley Baxter, Bernard Bresslaw, Patrick Troughton, Beryl Reid, Liz Fraser, Mollie Sugden, Jon Pertwee, Joan Sims, June Whitfield, Ronnie Stevens, Jack Douglas, Alfie Bass, and Jane Asher. Celebrities of the calibre of Eddie Waring, Sue Lawley, Michael Aspel, Patrick Moore, Raymond Baxter, and most notably Tony Blackburn were happy to send themselves up.

Because children loved the show, the B.B.C. got uptight over the content, most notably 'Rock Goodies' in which they tackled punk rock, 'South Africa', and 'Royal Command' which was broadcast in the Queen's Silver Jubilee year, and predictably upset rabid monarchists.

'Monty Python' also featured near-naked girls, racial stereotypes, and bandied about words like 'poof'. So did Spike Milligan on his 'Q' series. The point is this - it was incredibly funny.

Yet adults preferred the more anarchic 'Python'. For my money, 'The Goodies' was the more consistently funny; 'Python' ran out of steam after three seasons, 'The Goodies' hit its stride with Season Five.

After a decade on the B.B.C., the Goodies defected to I.T.V. for a final ( disappointing ) run. They pedalled off into the sunset in 1982. Since then, repeats have been noticeable by their absence. Unlike 'Porridge', 'The Good Life', and 'Some Mothers Do Ave Em', 'The Goodies' was too much a product of its time period. But fond memories linger. Those of us who lived through the '70's will never forget 'those blokes and their bike'.
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6/10
A British Comedy TV Classic!
dreamcast373 July 2006
This was a really funny series when we first rented the DVD, It's has quite the controversial episodes and funny antics of the subjects used in it, the main men were brilliantly performed...

This is a lost classic show, beside "Black Adder" and such.

It has it's bad editing but it's what's it like back in the old days...

The days when Britain had it's good comedy gold which still continues today but maybe not as much...

This is a 1970-80's delight! A classic that must be seen! and is still known today!

Rent or Buy one Today! Goody, Goody, Yum, Yum!!!
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Wild 70's era British comedy show needs a reshowing
ChungMo10 January 2005
This series came on my local public television station in the wake of Monty Python's success. It didn't last long and has not resurfaced since. It didn't make a great impression on me although I did enjoy several episodes which, interestingly, have been mentioned in other comments. I fondly remember the cast going nuts after their house is encased in concrete with one character shrieking, "I'M A TEAPOT!!" while mimicking a pouring teapot.

That said I usually found their sometimes hysteric "Let's Be WACKY!" delivery a step down from the Monty Python method. And the theme song drove me nuts, it still haunts me with that irritatingly upbeat, "The Goodies...Goodies Yum Yum!" or something like that. It was over 25 years ago I last heard it outside my head.

By reading fellows commentators here, I now understand why my younger siblings enjoyed the show. They were very disappointed when WNET-TV here abruptly stopped showing it. They kept turning the TV on each week for months in hope it would reappear. This show was made for them.

Hopefully the series will be re-released in Britain and then brought over to the US.
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Die Laughing
snoozer4310 May 2001
It was reported that a man watching an episode of "The Goodies" laughed so hard he had a heart attack and died. I watched some of them and they were a riot. Some of their episodes had to be the funniest stuff I've ever seen on T.V. I wonder where the clips are sitting now, collecting dust.
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10/10
Goody Goody Yum Yum!
mouserd12 January 2019
Gobsmackingly funny when I was a kid, is it still good?

Its still Goody Goody Yum Yum!

The three Goodies in question Tim, Bill & Greame before this show where script & joke writers for the likes of David Frost, The Two Ronnies and yes Monty Pythons flying circus.

Finally they figured out that the real money is in writing for yourself so in 1970 they became the Goodies, three guys who will do anything anywhere anytime usualy with a guest star or celebrity playing the villian.

Part way through the series (again) they figure out that they where missing out, this time not the money but the fun. The guests where getting the best part of the show (villians) so each episode one of the boys would eventualy get corrupted, go loony and have to be stopped by the other two.

Most of the shows comedy is visual so language is no barrier to the shows apeal and it was relevent everywhere.

While I like Montey Python & other UK comedy shows this is probably the best there was.

This is the only show which it is recorded that a viewer laughed until he dropped dead!

I am not joking here someone laughed so much they had a coronry, its that funny.
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8/10
Good When I Was A Child, Good Now.
WakenPayne1 April 2012
I Remember When I Was 12 I Discovered This Little UK TV Show, I Decided To Give It A Go, I Loved It And From Then On I Watched The Show As Often As I Could - At That Point It Was My Favorite Show - At The Time I Was Very Into 70's British Comedy Like This Despite Me Not Being Alive To Watch It When It Was Broadcasted.

I Thought It Was Pretty Funny But Then Again A Lesser Quantity Made Me Ignore It Until Last Year When For Good Friday The Comedy Channel Aired A Goody Marathon, I Seized The Opportunity To Tape As Many Episodes As I Could.

It Isn't Nearly As Good As What I Remember But It Is Still Good. I Watch As Many Episodes As I Feel Like But Over Time It Does Get A Bit Repetitive. As For A Favorite Episode I Would Have To Say "Gender Education" It Is A Hilarious Episode, Especially The Short Film The Goodies Make About Sex Making It As Clean And Censored For All Kids As Possible.

Overall I Do Hold Some Personal Favoritism To This Show But It Is A Very Good Show And I Hope You Enjoy It, If You Don't Well Its All Opinion.
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One of the best...
Ness-824 May 1999
I absolutely love this show. If you haven't seen it, or heard of it, you are missing out on something hilarious. I wish it were repeated more often, as I haven't seen it in a while. Seeing Tim Brooke-Taylor dressed as a woman, singing "Don't cry for me Marge and Tina" (To the music for "Don't Cry for Me Argentina), is worth watching any of it.

Watch it, and you won't be disappointed.
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