Spike Milligan

Spike Milligan (Terence Alan "Spike" Milligan) | First Editions

1918 - 2002

Terence Alan "Spike" Milligan KBE (16 April 1918 – 27 February 2002) was a comedian, writer and actor. His early life was spent in India, where he was born, whilst the majority of his working life was spent in the United Kingdom. He disliked his first name and began to call himself "Spike" after hearing a band on Radio Luxembourg called Spike Jones and his City Slickers. Milligan was the co-creator, main writer and a principal cast member of The Goon Show, performing a range of roles including the popular Eccles and Minnie Bannister characters. Milligan translated his radio success into television, with Q5 - a surreal sketch show which is credited as a major influence on the members of Monty Python's Flying Circus.

Milligan wrote and edited many books, including Puckoon and his seven-volume autobiographical account of his time serving during the Second World War, beginning with Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall. He is also noted as a popular writer of comical verse; much of his poetry was written for children, including Silly Verse for Kids (1959). His poetry has been described by comedian Stephen Fry as "absolutely immortal—greatly in the tradition of Lear." One of his poems, "On the Ning Nang Nong", was voted the UK's favourite comic poem in 1998 in a nationwide poll, ahead of other nonsense poets including Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear.

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