Monday, January 09, 2006

Spike Milligan

"Terence Milligan was in fact born on 16th April 1918 and was educated at the Convent of Jesus and Mary in Poona, where his father was serving in the British Army. In 1933 the family moved to England and young Milligan attended London Polytechnic in Lewisham. Within months of the outbreak of World War ll Spike volunteered for active service and joined the 56 Heavy Artillery. He survived the successful campaign in North Africa but was wounded at Salerno in Italy during an assault on Monte Cassino in January 1944, and also suffered severe shellshock. No longer suitable for active service, Milligan, on his recovery was transferred to the Army Welfare's General Pool of Artists. He was a musician and played in the Bill Hall Trio and it was here that he met Leading Bombardier Harry Secombe who at that time was doing a comedy act, and the two became firm friends.

After the war Milligan decided to go solo but apart from getting the occasional engagement he was unable to make a major breakthrough as a jazz musician. In order to support himself Milligan worked behind the bar at Jimmy Grafton's pub in Victoria, London. The Grafton Arms has often been described as a 'hotbed of eager ex-Forces writing and performing talent' and Grafton himself was employed as a scriptwriter for comedian Derek Roy's radio show. Milligan began to contribute bits and pieces for the show including a number of sketches that he himself described as "way out things which were consistently cut out." However, the rejected items appealed to Harry Secombe and he in turn brought them to the attention of two other Grafton Arms frequenters, Peter Sellers and Michael Bentine. Together with Milligan they wrote a series of sketches which they offered to the BBC. On May 28th 1951 they broadcast their first series of shows under the title of The Crazy People."

Find out more about Spike Milligna ( the famous typing error) HERE.

Spike Milligan - Wiry Twerp

Spike Milligan - I'm Going Out With A Mountain

These You Send It files are available for a week or 25 downloads, whichever comes sooner.


Cocaine Jesus said...

As far as I am concerned Spike is the greatest comic genius these islands have ever produced.

spice-the-cat said...

He's definitely in my top 5.

By the way Michael - too many posts at one time - I can't get through them.

hazel said...

Glad you are enjoying Spike. Definately broke the mould when they made him.
Too many posts? surely not! I have been quiet over the xmas period so trying to catch up.

hazel said...

Actually it was me who said that not Hazel who is down the school with Archie at a meeting about the Austrian ski trip next month.

Cocaine Jesus said...

Once the wife is out it is on with her clothes!
Time for a blackmail note methinks.

michael said...

After Xmas i can just about squeeze into my own clothes let alone anybody elses! One of my new years resolutions must be to loose a bit of weight as i am rapidly turning into pear-shaped man!