2 October 2002 | F Gwynplaine MacIntyre
A Milligan for all seasons
"Milligan in...", starring Spike Milligan, was not a conventional tv series... but then, Spike Milligan was never conventional. "Milligan in..." was actually 4 comedy specials, airing at 3-month intervals over the course of a year. The first, "Milligan in Autumn", was aired 1st October 1972; the last, "Milligan in Summer", was transmitted 27 August 1973. "...Winter" and "...Spring" came between.
Each half-hour edition featured a medley of songs, poems, monologues, and comedy sketches brim-full of Milligan's unique brand of surrealistic humour. Most of the material was scripted by Milligan and his collaborator John Antrobus, but Ian MacNaughton and the American writer Dick Vosburgh also contributed. Among the performers were Milligan, Antrobus, satirist John Wells (long before his Denis Thatcher impersonation), Madeline Smith and Fanny Carby.
Each episode made a vague attempt at a theme for its respective season. This was not very successful, but the comedy quotient was high. Another fine piece of work by the comedy genius Spike Milligan.