Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan, Harry Secombe, and The Goon Show blue plaque in London

The Last Goon Show of All starring Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan & Harry Secombe was recorded by the BBC in this Theatre on 30th April 1972

Peter Sellers, CBE (born Richard Henry Sellers; 8 September 1925 – 24 July 1980), was a British film actor, comedian and singer. He performed in the BBC Radio comedy series The Goon Show, featured on a number of hit comic songs and became known to a world-wide audience through his many film characterisations, among them Chief Inspector Clouseau in The Pink Panther series of films.Born in Portsmouth, Sellers made his stage debut at the Kings Theatre, Southsea, when he was two weeks old. He began accompanying his parents in a variety act that toured the provincial theatres. He first worked as a drummer and toured around England as a member of the Entertainments National Service Association. He developed his mimicry and improvisational skills during a spell in Ralph Reader's wartime Gang Show entertainment troupe, which toured Britain and the Far East. After the war, Sellers made his radio debut in ShowTime, and eventually became a regular performer on various BBC radio shows. During the early 1950s, Sellers, along with Spike Milligan, Harry Secombe and Michael Bentine, took part in the successful radio series The Goon Show, which ended in 1960.Sellers began his film career during the 1950s. Although the bulk of his work was comedic-based, often parodying characters of authority such as military officers or policemen, he also performed in other film genres and roles. Films demonstrating his artistic range include I'm All Right Jack (1959); Stanley Kubrick's Lolita (1962) and Dr. Strangelove (1964); What's New, Pussycat? (1965); Casino Royale (1967); The Party (1968); Being There (1979) and the five films of the Pink Panther series (1963–1978). Sellers's versatility enabled him to portray a wide range of comic characters using different accents and guises, and he would often assume multiple roles within the same film, frequently with contrasting temperaments and styles. Satire and black humour were major features of many of his films, and his performances had a strong influence on a number of later comedians. Sellers garnered much critical acclaim for his work; he was nominated three times for an Academy Award, twice for the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performances in Dr. Strangelove and Being There, and once for the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film for The Running Jumping & Standing Still Film (1960). He won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role twice, for I'm All Right Jack and for the original Pink Panther film, The Pink Panther (1963) and was nominated as Best Actor three times. In 1980 he won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for his role in Being There, and also earned three other Golden Globe nominations in the same category. Turner Classic Movies calls Sellers, "one of the most accomplished comic actors of the late 20th century."In his personal life, Sellers struggled with depression and insecurities. An enigmatic figure, he often claimed to have no identity outside the roles that he played. His behaviour was often erratic and compulsive, and he frequently clashed with his directors and co-stars, especially in the mid-1970s when his physical and mental health, together with his alcohol and drug problems, were at their worst. Sellers was married four times, and had three children from his first two marriages. He died as a result of a heart attack in 1980, aged 54. English filmmakers the Boulting brothers described Sellers as "the greatest comic genius this country has produced since Charles Chaplin."

Source: dbpedia

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 dual English/Irish nationality. His early life was spent in British India, where he was born, but the majority of his working life was spent in the United Kingdom.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.

Source: dbpedia

Sir Harry Donald Secombe, CBE (8 September 1921 – 11 April 2001) was a Welsh comedian and singer. He played Neddie Seagoon, a central character in the BBC radio comedy series The Goon Show (1951–60). He also appeared in musicals and films and, in his later years, was a presenter of television shows incorporating hymns and other devotional songs.

Source: dbpedia

The Goon Show was a British radio comedy programme, originally produced and broadcast by the BBC Home Service from 1951 to 1960, with occasional repeats on the BBC Light Programme. The first series, broadcast between May and September 1951, was titled Crazy People; all subsequent series had the title The Goon Show, a title inspired, according to Spike Milligan, by a Popeye character.The show's chief creator and main writer was Spike Milligan. The scripts mixed ludicrous plots with surreal humour, puns, catchphrases and an array of bizarre sound effects. Some of the later episodes feature electronic effects devised by the then-fledgling BBC Radiophonic Workshop, many of which were reused by other shows for decades afterwards. Many elements of the show satirised contemporary life in Britain, parodying aspects of show business, commerce, industry, art, politics, diplomacy, the police, the military, education, class structure, literature and film.The show was released internationally through the BBC Transcription Services (TS). It was heard regularly from the 1950s in Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, India and Canada, although these TS versions were frequently edited to avoid controversial subjects. NBC began broadcasting the programme on its radio network from the mid-1950s. The programme exercised a considerable influence on the subsequent development of British and American comedy and popular culture. It was cited as a major influence by the Beatles, Monty Python (especially Cleese, Chapman, Gilliam, Palin and Jones) and the American comedy team The Firesign Theatre.

Source: dbpedia

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