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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 May, 2003, 10:27 GMT 11:27 UK
Milligan notes could fetch £10,000
The Goons
Milligan (second right) wrote many Goons jokes in the books
An art dealer stands to make up to £10,000 when he sells private notebooks by Goons comic Spike Milligan - which he bought for just £30.

Dealer Phil Carey found the haul of Milligan's old notebooks at an antiques fair in Sussex.

He said he found one at the edge of a table, and after reading it realised it was Milligan's.

He offered the dealer £8 for it, and after being told there were 12 more he bought the lot for £30.

Mr Carey has had the books, dating from the 1950s, examined by Christie's auction house in London.

Christie's told BBC News Online they were hoping to put them up for sale in November.

But they added they were still examining the books, and confirmed that if they were genuine they could fetch £10,000.

"It is the biggest bargain of my career," Mr Carey told The Daily Telegraph. "It was just a matter of being in the right place at the right time, which happens maybe once in your lifetime.

"These books are like a treasure store of jokes and comments from one of Britain's greatest-ever humorists."

Scribbled jokes

Milligan, along with Peter Sellers and Harry Secombe, was a core member of the BBC radio comedy group from 1952 to 1960.

The books are a mixture of old Edwardian and Victorian children's book and books from the Religious Tracts Society, where he scribbled jokes and notes in the margins.

Spike Milligan
He died last year aged 83

Mr Carey said the first entry he noticed said: "This book belongs to a wandering idiot of no fixed abode known on most police charge sheets as Terence Milligan, also Spike, also Eccles, also Minnie Bannister."

The books have many jokes and banter used in the Goons shows, as well as many references to the show's characters.

There are many references to Peter Sellers' visits to Buckingham Palace.

Mr Carey said the seller had told him the books had come from a house clearance near Hastings , Sussex, where Milligan lived.

The comedian, a favourite of Prince Charles and often dubbed the father of alternative comedy, died last year aged 83.

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