Legal name: Terence Alan Patrick Seán Milligan
Terence Alan "Spike" Milligan KBE (16 April 1918 – 27 February 2002) was a comedian, writer and actor. The son of an Irish father and an English mother, his early life was spent in India where he was born. The majority of his working life was spent in the United Kingdom. He disliked his first name and began to call himself "Spike" after hearing a band on Radio Luxembourg called Spike Jones and his City Slickers.
Milligan was the co-creator, main writer and a principal cast member of The Goon Show, performing a range of roles including the popular Eccles and Minnie Bannister characters. Milligan wrote and edited many books, including Puckoon and his seven-volume autobiographical account of his time serving during the Second World War, beginning with Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall. He is also noted as a popular writer of comical verse; much of his poetry was written for children, including Silly Verse for Kids (1959). After success with the groundbreaking British radio programme, The Goon Show, Milligan translated this success to television with Q5, a surreal sketch show which is credited as a major influence on the members of Monty Python's Flying Circus. He was the oldest, longest lived and last surviving member of the Goons.
Milligan's 1960 application for British citizenship and 1961 application for a British passport were blocked by his refusal to pledge an oath of allegiance to the United Kingdom, his adopted home for most of his adult life. When the Commonwealth Immigrants Act removed Indian-born Milligan's automatic right to British citizenship in 1962, he promptly became an Irish citizen, exercising a right conferred through the automatic retroactive Irish citizenship of his Irish-born father (ironically a British citizen).