Spike Milligan, recipient of awards for contribution to British comedy, but an Irish writer

Taking a look at the life of Spike Milligan on what would have been his 101st birthday

In 1994 his contributions to British humour were acknowledged when he received a lifetime achievement award for comedy during a ceremony at the London studios. Photograph: Eddie Kelly

In 1994 his contributions to British humour were acknowledged when he received a lifetime achievement award for comedy during a ceremony at the London studios. Photograph: Eddie Kelly

“What would you rather have, a boring truth or an exciting lie?” – Leo Alphonso Milligan.

The above quote, attributed to his father by Terence Alan “Spike” Milligan appears to have been a question the son repeatedly returned to throughout his life. He labelled his Irish father a “fantasist”, a man who constructed an extraordinary alternative reality where he spent his time wrestling tigers, shooting elephants and strangling cobras. The apple certainly didn’t fall far from the tree.

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