Terry "Spike" Milligan, often described as 'The Godfather of British Comedy' was an Indian-born comic writer and poet who lived most of his life in either Britain or Australia, but identified as Irish. He was conscripted into the British Army during WorldWarII and served with the Royal Artillery in North Africa and Italy, eventually recording his experiences as seven volumes of war diaries generally known by the title of the first volume, ''Literature/AdolfHitlerMyPartInHisDownfall''. Although DuringTheWar his main fame was as a jazz musician, after returning to Britain he broke into radio as a writer and broadcaster. Together with Creator/PeterSellers, Creator/HarrySecombe and [[ThePeteBest the almost forgotten]] Creator/MichaelBentine, he created one of the most influential British comedies of all time, ''Radio/TheGoonShow''.
His television work is less well known, though he also created the 'Q' Show, a [[DuelingShows Duelling Show]] with ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'' (ironically, the Pythons were inspired by Milligan's own writing on the Goons). A few years later he contributed to ''TheTwoRonnies'' as a writer (and occasionally appearing in the sketches as a cameo). He also wrote several comic novels and plays. Besides the Goons he is best known for his poetry, which generally took the form of AbsurdityAscendant nonsense verse.
Milligan suffered from bipolar disorder, as well as being driven to [[CreatorBreakdown manic depression]] by some of his traumatic experiences DuringTheWar. He was voted 'Funniest Person of the Millennium' by BBC viewers in 1999. He died in 2002, having wanted the inscription "I told you I was ill" on his gravestone - in the end it was allowed, but only in Irish Gaelic.
As a tangential note, Creator/RoaldDahl reportedly envisioned Milligan for the role of [[Film/WillyWonkaAndTheChocolateFactory Willy Wonka]], and was disappointed when [[WhatCouldHaveBeen this didn't come about for the movie]].
!!Works by Spike Milligan: