- Birth name:
- Terence Alan Patrick Sean Milligan
- Date of Birth:
- 27 February 1918 Ahmed Nagar, India
- 5' 11½" (1.82 m)
Spike was born an 'Army Brat', the son of an Irish Captain in the British Raj in India. Educated in a series of Roman Catholic schools in India and at Lewisham Polytechnic in England, he spent his formative years playing the fool and playing the trumpet in local jazz bands.He joined the British Army himself (under protest if you believe his auto-biogs) as a conscript at the outbreak of WWII. He served in the Royal Artillery as Gunner Milligan through the North African and Italian campaigns. He got a bit too close to an exploding shell and was hospitalised with shell-shock. On his escape from army life he started his "real" work as an author and humourist.Most famous for 'The Goon Show' with Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe (and originally Michael Bentine), these radio shows are commonly regarded as re-writing the rules of comedy (even before Monty Python). However under the pressure of writing all the scripts he suffered a breakdown and became a clinical manic-depressive.He was fondly regarded as the last of the great British eccentrics and had written a wealth of comic poetry mainly for children, a few novels and his multi-volume auto-biography. Spike was also a keen (fanatical?) environmental campaigner.