Author(s): Norma Farnes
An arresting collection of interviews, collated by Norma Farnes, Spike Milligan's close friend and longstanding agent, bringing to life the late, great Milligan in all his various guises. Heralded as brilliant and difficult in equal measure, Spike Milligan is one of the most prolific and mould-breaking writers of the twentieth century. Fantastically funny and incredibly talented, on his death in 2002, Spike left behind him one of the most diverse legacies in British entertainment history. Creative, inspirational, and at times doggedly loyal, yet famously tempestuous and fickle, Spike was many things to many people. In 'Memories of Milligan', Norma Farnes sets out to interview those who knew him best, amassing an array of personal memories from fellow performers and comedians, long-time friends and former girlfriends. Compiled of intimate stories, small exchanges and habits that go into making up a relationship, be it personal or professional, 'Memories of Milligan' captures another side to the performer's public persona, to build a complete picture of one of the greatest British comic writers to date. Ranging from interviews with fellow comedian Barry Humphries, scriptwriters Galton and Simpson, director Jonathan Miller, stalwart presenters Michael Palin and Terry Wogan, to comic geniuses such as Eric Sykes and producer George Martin, this original book encapsulates a moving portrait of a man who is synonymous with a unique era in post-war entertainment.
'Keeper of the flame Norma Farnes gathers a cast of the great and the good! who look mainly back with affection and make a pretty good case for his centrality to post-war British humour.' - Belfast Telegraph 'No one is more fearlessly realistic about his complex character than the collector and editor of these memories, Norma Farnes! this puzzling, troubled comic genius comes credibly out of these memories.' - The Oldie Reviews for 'Spike: An Intimate Memoir': 'Compelling! you cannot stop reading, so revealing is it of the tortured individual that lurked behind the public facade.' - Sean O'Hagan, Observer 'Written with infectious verve! a cheery book.' - Humphrey Carpenter, Sunday Times Reviews for Box 18: The Unpublished Spike Milligan: 'The volume does have a peculiar fascination, its tone set by the initial photograph of an elderly Milligan gripping the famous red This Is Your Life book in front of him as if it might afford some kind of defence. Much of the volume reproduces actual pages of handwriting, or handtyping. Naked script and unedited work generate a strange intimacy as one of Britain's most famously depressed and mercurial human beings bounces from mood to mood, some of them apocalyptic. It's hard not to love the ones who make us laugh. And it's hard to get enough of what we love.' - A.L.Kennedy, Guardian 'This book gives us the feeling of looking over Spike's shoulder as he worked and is the nearest we are ever likely to get to the real Spike Milligan. It most certainly complements Norma's earlier "Spike: An Intimate Memoir." Most definitely a book for all lovers of Spike's work.' - Mike Brown, Chairman of the Goon Show Preservation Society 'This is a book which any Spike Milligan fan pore over for hours.' - The Oldie 'For lovers of vintage British comedy.' - The Gloss Magazine
Norma Farnes was Spike Milligan's agent, manager and friend for over 35 years. She lives in Yorkshire and London.