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Summary Article: Milligan, Spike (Terence Alan) from Chambers Biographical Dictionary

1918-2002

Irish humorist

Born in Ahmadnagar, India, he was a singer and trumpeter before doing war service. He made his radio debut in Opportunity Knocks (1949) and, along with Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe and Michael Bentine, co-wrote and performed in the Goon Show (1951-60). His unusual perspective on the world, allied to his sense of the ridiculous and the surreal, has had a great influence on British humour. On stage, he appeared in Treasure Island (1961, 1973, 1974, 1975) and The Bed-Sitting Room (1963, 1967) which he also co-wrote. His many television programmes include Paging You (1947), Idiot Weekly, Price 2d (1956), A Show Called Fred (1956), Son of Fred (1956), The World of Beachcomber (1968-69) and the Q series (1969-80). He appeared in films such as The Bed Sitting Room (1969), The Magic Christian (1969) and Digby - The Biggest Dog in the World (1973). He published a variety of children's books, poetry, autobiography and comic novels including Puckoon (1963), Adolf Hitler, My Part in His Downfall (1971), Where Have All the Bullets Gone? (1985), The Looney: An Irish Fantasy (1987) and Peacework (1991). In later years he published a number of humorous reworkings of classic works of literature in the … According to Spike Milligan series, such as Wuthering Heights According to Spike Milligan (1995). He was awarded an honorary knighthood in 2000.

  • Scudamore, Pauline, Spike Milligan (1985).
© Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd 2011

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