Spike and Co: Inside the house of fun with Milligan, Sykes, Galton and Simpson by Graham McCann
This is the story of how four people, grouped together inside a set of offices five floors above a greengrocer's shop on Shepherd's Bush Green in West London, launched a golden age of British comedy. On any weekday morning, if you dare to clamber over the crates of fruit and veg that the greengrocer has allowed to pile up outside on the pavement, climb the five flights up the dangerously rickety staircase and creep inside the entrance to Associated London Scripts, you will find Milligan, Sykes, Galton & Simpson, shaping the latest shows, swapping the odd story and searching for a funnier line. Spike Milligan is in one office, slumped over his typewriter, tapping away at the next script for The Goons. Eric Sykes is seated at his desk inside the next office, writing out in longhand another routine for Frankie Howerd or the cast of Educating Archie. Galton and Simpson are in their own office, plotting the next half hour for Tony Hancock. Together, this eclectic bunch, and their bizarre office block, were responsible for a golden age in British comedy, which included - The Goons, Hancock's Half Hour, Sykes, Steptoe and Son, Comedy Playhouse, The Frankie Howerd Show, Beyond Our Ken, Round the Horn, The Arthur Haynes Show, The Army Game, Bootsie and Snudge, That Was The Week That Was, and Till Death Us Do Part, to name but a few. HOUSE OF FUN is their incredible story.