Spike Milligan KBE (born Terence Alan Milligan; 16 April 1918 – 27 February 2002) was a comedian, writer, musician, poet, playwright, soldier and actor of Irish parentage and dual Irish and British nationality. His early life was spent in India, where he was born but 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 the City Slickers.
He claimed his right to Irish citizenship (as a child of an Irish citizen), after the British government declared him stateless. He 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.