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    The Best of Spike Milligan
    BBC/Roadshow Entertainment . R4 . B&W . 80 mins . M15+ . PAL

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    Spike Milligan invented and starred in The Goon Show. In doing so, he created a form of humour forever idiosyncratically British.

    Before Spike there was situation comedy. After Spike came the wild freeform of Monty Python's Flying Circus. But Spike, as this tribute compilation shows, was more than just funny. He was mad, bad, dangerous and anarchical. Totally unpredictable; always hanging out from the end of the longest limb and daring it to break.

    This DVD compilation, previously released on video, traces his career from 1968 to 1982, through excerpts from two shows, the long-running Q and the short lived There's a Lot of it About. A pleasing feature is the recurring appearances of our own John Bluthal, who shares Spike's lunacy exceedingly well.

    It's good to have these memories of Spike, but I regret that it preserves nothing from one of Spike's better efforts, the Beachcomber series, nor anything from his appearances on the BBC current affairs comedy show Quiz of the Week. His best moment on that show came as he announced he had a special birthday present for Princess Anne - and then, on live television, stood up and dropped his daks. End of his appearances on Quiz of the Week!

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    The show comprises excerpts from television series' spread over more than a dozen years. Most are in black and white, some are in colour, including fresh material especially filmed when making the compilation.

    There are some signs of video-age, but the overall quality is remarkably good. The vintage appearance of the picture just emphasises the value of this archival material. The sound, while unremarkable, is clear and unmuffled. Extras are limited to precisely none.


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  •   And I quote...
    "The genius still shines through, in this tribute to Britain's greatest Indian-Irish comic of all time, Spike Milligan."
    - Anthony Clarke
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