Wednesday, February 27, 2002

No more heroes: They're dropping like flies at the moment, I'm not going to have any heroes left at this rate. The sad news is that comedy legend (legend? He invented comedy!) Spike Milligan has finally bitten the dust. In the words of his own epitaph: "See? I told you I was ill".

Spike was a genius. Haunted by manic depression - the result of his wartime experiences - he wrote The Goon Show, a radio programme that changed the fce of British comedy. Everything that followed - Monty Python, the alternative movement is a direct result of Spike's influence. But he was much more than that - a musician, poet and conservationist, years before green issues became fashionable. And he was our hero.

Do us a favour: Read this book and listen to this tape. I grew up with The Goons and Spike's war memoirs. Trust me, you'll be snorting stuff out of your nose in public places in no time.

Random quote: "When I look back, the fondest memory I have is not really of the Goons. It is of a girl called Julia with enormous breasts." That's class, that is. Peace and love, Spike. Peace and love.

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