Memories of Milligan, By Norma Farnes

Spike: the man, but not his work

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The Independent Culture

"He left an indelible blank on my mind," Spike Milligan once quipped of an underwhelming stand-up.

Milligan himself, of course, was nothing if not memorable. In this book, friends and colleagues recall their encounters with the man whose anarchic humour, showcased in The Goon Show, changed the landscape of British comedy. He emerges as a mercurial character: Michael Palin saw him as "affectionate"; Barry Humphries found him to be "envious and yet very generous"; Jonathan Miller discerned a deeper "resentment". But while his complex personality is analysed at length here, his seminal work receives curiously little attention, and as a result this is likely to be of interest only to the most enthusiastic Milligan fan.