What Time Is it Eccles?
Spike from The Goon Show, 1958
Classical music in the morning, jazz in the afternoons, half an hour for lunch (battenburg or a danish) and to open the French windows and talk to the birds. The Magic Roundabout at five to six and then a bath.
"The public perception of Spike is this scatty, mad person. He wasn't like that at all. He was very disciplined. And he was fairly regimented really."
Ever present in The Goon Show re-runs every week on Radio 4 Extra - it's hard to believe that it's ten years since the death of "the godfather of alternative comedy" Spike Milligan, on 26 February.
The Spike Show: Milligan Remembered commemorates his life and work and is presented by Spike's agent and friend, Norma Farnes for Radio 4 Extra.
Recording on location - a few of the digital radio station's team travel to Bayswater, the former home of London Associated Scripts. This famed HQ hosted many of the comedy greats of the period including Steptoe creators Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, Tony Hancock, Frankie Howerd, Johnny Speight and Eric Sykes.
With a blue plaque to the "Author and Artist" on the building, we ring the bell and are welcomed in by Norma.
In the hallway you can see the staircase down which Spike never walked but ran, always jumping the last few steps.
The room where we record is filled with photographs, Spike's typewriter and "DON'T TOUCH" is written in Spike's hand on the fridge plug. With this setting and Norma's unique comic and moving memories we are able to capture some of Spike's spirit in our three hour special.
I have had the privilege of listening to some wonderful and moving archive for the programme. We remember Spike's life and work and hear from his friends, children and Spike himself and some of the comedy which made him famous.
"It's ten years" says Norma, "but I still miss him."
Sarah Wade is a producer for Radio 4 Extra
- The Spike Show: Milligan Remembered: Saturday 25 February 2012, 9am and 7pm.
- More Plain Tales from the Raj: Milligan Chota Sahib - the Indian Childhood of Spike Milligan: Saturday 25 February 2012, 2pm.