Spike Milligan, byname of Terence Alan Patrick Seán Milligan KBE (16 April 1918 – 27 February 2002), was an English-Irish comedian, writer, poet, playwright and actor. The son of an Irish father and an English mother, Milligan was born in India where he spent his childhood, relocating to live and work the majority of his life in the United Kingdom. Disliking his first name, he began to call himself "Spike" after hearing the band Spike Jones and his City Slickers on Radio Luxembourg.
Milligan was the co-creator, main writer and a principal cast member of the British radio programme The Goon Show, performing a range of roles including the Eccles and Minnie Bannister characters. He was the earliest-born, longest-lived and last surviving member of the Goons. Milligan parlayed success with the Goon Show into television with Q5, a surreal sketch show credited as a major influence on the members of Monty Python's Flying Circus.
Milligan wrote and edited many books, including Puckoon (1963) and a seven-volume autobiographical account of his time serving during the Second World War, beginning with Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall (1971). He also wrote comical verse, with much of his poetry written for children, including Silly Verse for Kids (1959).
When the Commonwealth Immigrants Act removed Indian-born Milligan's automatic right to British citizenship in 1962, he became an Irish citizen, exercising a right conferred through his Irish-born father. Spike died from liver disease at the age of 83 on 27 February 2002.