JOKING about mental illness may not seem the most obvious way of breaking down taboos and tackling discrimination.
WHEN Spike Milligan died the tributes gushed over the bottles of San Miguel in Groucho’s and Soho House.
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IF THE mark of a comic genius is an enduring ability to entertain and raise a smile even in death, then Spike Milligan, the king of madcap and the absurd, has proven his worth.
SPIKE Milligan once joked he hoped Sir Harry Secombe died before him because he didn’t want him singing at his funeral.
STARS from the world of comedy and entertainment were gathering today to pay tribute to the late Spike Milligan at a thanksgiving service.
NOW that Spike Milligan has finally departed to that great madhouse in the sky - and no, he isn’t working as a steward with British Airways - we should perhaps honour the hitherto little-remarked influence which the late Goon had on the world of sport.
ALAS, we must report the sad demise of Eccles. He was born, according to Spike Milligan, in 1863, the only child of Ethel Cox by a virgin birth. Eccles was educated at a convent till the ripe age of seven, which proved the end of his schooling. He then had 18,312 interviews for jobs, all without success. So he spent his days walking around saying "Hello dere" to anyone who would listen, particularly on The Goon Show on BBC Radio from 1951 to 1960.
SELLERS: A LIFETIME OF ENTERTAINMENT
SPIKE Milligan was known for his irreverent and often self-deprecating wit:
SPIKE Milligan, who famously described one of his biggest fans, Prince Charles, as a "little grovelling bastard", brought down the curtain on the Goon Show yesterday, when he died at the age of 83.
The telephone rang. Spike focused on the occasional table. "This?" He picked up the phone and spoke. "This is your friendly district visiting rapist. Have you registered?" On the other end of the line someone was trying to contact Spike Milligan’s wife. Looking half-apologetic, he put down the receiver. "I hate that ordinary ‘Hello, who’s speaking please?’ I want to get past that. Make them think."
Born: 16 April, 1918, in Poona, India
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