MENU
News Thats Used [dot com]

Thursday, June 22nd , Year Unknown


A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | N | M | O
P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

I told you I was ill

Even in death Irish comic genius Spike Milligan managed to have the last laugh. Two years after his death at his home in Sussex, England, the creator of "The Goon Show" has finally got the epitaph he wanted. A headstone bearing the words "I told you I was ill" has been erected above his grave at St. Thomas's Church in Winchelsea, East Sussex. Sadly for more than two years after his death at the age of 83, the funny man's grave had no gravestone, and was marked only with flowers and a small statue. Problems arose after his family had been unable to agree on a headstone. Now his epitaph has finally been added to a Celtic cross above his grave. The monument carries the inscription in Gaelic - Milligan was an Irish citizen, though he was born in India and lived most of his life in England. The Irish text his family finally settled on - "Duirt me leat go raibh me breoite" or "I told you I was ill" - got the approval of the Chichester Diocese. Bill Horsman, chairman of the Goon Show Preservation Society, welcomed the news of the headstone going up as "marvelous". He admitted they had been very concerned for some time about the situation. He said it was sad to see that the grave was in such a state, but there were very sensitive family problems involved and they simply could not get involved. Dubbed the "godfather of alternative comedy" by Eddie Izzard, the gifted comedian suffered bipolar disorder - or manic depression - all his life. He once tried to kill Peter Sellers, but they remained friends despite this. Regarded as the father of British comedy, he devised and wrote the famous "Goon Show" for BBC radio in which he starred with Peter Sellers and Harry Secombe in the 1950's. Its anarchic and often surreal humor inspired later television shows like "Monty Python's Flying Circus." One of Spike's most noted fans was The Prince of Wales. Even he wasn't spared his irreverent wit and Milligan caused a stir when he called him a "little grovelling bastard" on television in 1994. Spike later sent a fax to the prince, saying "I suppose a knighthood is out of the question now?" Spike was finally awarded his knighthood in 2000 - it was an honorary one because of his Irish citizenship. Among the books he wrote were: "Puckoon," "Silly Verse for Kids," "Adolf Hitler: My Part in his Downfall" and "Depression and How to Survive It" (with Professor Anthony Clare). - May 25, 2004