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Thursday, 28 February, 2002, 11:44 GMT
Press praise for 'genius' Milligan
Spike Milligan
Spike Milligan's life has been remembered in the press
Britain's press has added its voice to the wealth of tributes paid to actor and comic Spike Milligan, who died on Wednesday aged 83.

The Times expressed the view of the majority of the papers in calling Milligan a "genius " and a "master of black humour".

Milligan died at his home in Sussex from what is believed to have been liver failure. He had suffered from ill health for a long time.


His greatest fear was that his passions and adventures would be condensed into an obituary that merely read: 'He wrote The Goon Show and died'

The Times

Milligan was one of Britain's most respected performers and was known to millions as one of the founding members of The Goon Show.

The Times stated that Milligan had always considered what might be said about him after his death.

"His greatest fear was that his passions and adventures would be condensed into an obituary that merely read: "He wrote The Goon Show and died."

But, said the paper: "Fortunately, The Goon Show star was to delight his fans with a further 12 years of madcap absurdity and bizarre wit."

Prolific

The Telegraph echoed this opinion, calling Milligan "one of the most original talents in British entertainment".

It summarises his achievements beyond The Goon Show as "producing prodigious amounts of comic and serious verse and prose and excelling as a jazz trumpeter".


He worked harder than almost any entertainer one can think of

The Guardian
As well as nine years of The Goon Show and eight series of the comedy Q, Milligan wrote more than 50 books.

He also made countless stage performances and appeared on TV and radio.

Most of the papers expressed awe at Milligan's output. The Guardian said "he worked harder than almost any entertainer one can think of".

Milligan's chauffeur told The Independent that he would even write in the car on the way to the next job.

The Sun devoted seven pages to its send-off for the legendary entertainer. The Daily Star said: "Spike Milligan was barking mad - which is why so many of us loved him."

Meanwhile, in Australia, Milligan's brother Desmond also paid tribute to his sibling.

He said that Spike, with his strong sense of the absurd, had a lasting effect on British humour.

Desmond Milligan said his brother changed the face of British humour forever "from its rather staccato, simplistic forms to a far more abstract futuristic form of comedy".



Fans pay respects

His comic art

AUDIO/VIDEO

LOCAL MEMORIES

TALKING POINT

Picture gallery
Spike's life in pictures

See also:

26 Oct 01 | TV and Radio
Secombe the 'clown' remembered
27 Feb 02 | TV and Radio
Charles leads Milligan tributes
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