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Spike Milligan's comeback - Nick Newman

Features | By Nick Newman

Three of the Goons – from left, Spike Milligan, Harry Secombe, Peter Sellers, c 1963

Twenty years after his death, Spike Milligan is forgotten by the young. Nick Newman’s play brings him back to life

Seventy years ago, The Goon Show was divisive. Parents didn’t understand it at all – unlike their children. John Lennon, who turned 12 in 1952, later described it as ‘Hipper than the hippest and madder than Mad’. Today, the reverse is true. Parents are the ones who know the show – their children are in blissful ignorance about the ground-breaking radio comedy. While working on my play Spike, co-written with Ian Hislop, I was amazed to discover that my own children had never heard of Spike Milligan. You know, THE Spike Milligan (1918-2002), bestselling author, poet, revolutionary comic and inspiration for countless comedians from Monty Python to Dawn French. Nope – not a clue. ...

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