Wednesday 29 February 2012 by JonnyB

Man who died laughing during 1975 ‘Goodies’ episode comes back to life during ‘Watson and Oliver’

A King’s Lynn man who suffered a fatal heart attack over three decades ago was unexpectedly revived during Tuesday’s BBC2 sketch show ‘Watson and Oliver’.

Alex Mitchell, a bricklayer, had died after a fit of uncontrollable laughter at the Goodies’ ‘Ecky Thump’ episode. His story was heavily featured in the national press of the time.

However onlookers were surprised when his reanimated corpse burst from the ground crying and clutching its ears. It is thought that dialogue from the second episode of the female double act’s mainstream comedy sketches had drifted across the cemetery via the TV of a deaf pensioner living nearby.


Mr Mitchell’s widow, who had written to the Goodies after his death to thank them for making his final moments so pleasant, said: “it were all a bit awkward when he turned up”.

“Firstly we almost didn’t recognise him, due to the decomposition and that. Then I had to introduce him to my new husband. But he was fine with that; he just sat there on the sofa moaning ‘but I went out on such a high’ and ‘what was that shit?’”

The former Mrs Mitchell was not watching the new show at the time. “We saw the first couple of minutes, but didn’t find it very funny, so I had switched over to a documentary about babies who are born addicted to heroin”, she said. “It’s just as well – it could have pushed him over the edge.”

On calming down, Mr Mitchell’s corpse was eager to know what had happened to his original comic heroes.

“We told him that Graeme Garden and Tim Brooke-Taylor are still working as radio comedy legends”, recalled his widow.

“He did ask about Bill, but we changed the subject.”

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