Spike Milligan, Bayswater London 1995.

Sunday, 3 April 2011 I photographed Spike Milligan in the Orme Court office which he’d shared for many years with Eric Sykes.

When we met, I said, not unnaturally, “Hi, how are you?” To which he replied: “Why do you want to know, are you a doctor?” This was a line he’d often used but, since he said it without a smile, one wasn’t completely sure whether it was designed to amuse or disarm. He certainly seemed more than a little prickly and, by his own estimation, he’d been “fucking mad” his whole life. In my photos he didn’t look particularly happy but, of course, his life-long manic depression was well documented.

Sometimes a photographer will have to tiptoe around a subject somewhat and that was certainly the case here. But one could cut a guy like Spike a fair amount of slack. He was a complete comic original and had changed the face of comedy in his time.

Apart from that, he was my father’s favourite comedian and that’s certainly good enough for me.