Yeti Producing Spike Milligan Doc for Sky Arts


Yeti Television has been commissioned by Sky Arts to produce Spike Milligan: The Unseen Archive, a feature-length doc with insight into the life and career of Spike Milligan.

The 90-minute feature provides an intimate and in-depth look at the newly discovered personal archive of Milligan’s work, which his family shared with a select group of the legendary comedian’s fans and friends this summer.

The archive includes film reels of previously lost sketches from the Q5 series, as well as The Gladys Half-Hour, a long-forgotten 1958 comedy special and unheard compositions recorded by Milligan for his friend (and The Beatles’ producer) George Martin. Comedian Al Murray will unearth a collection of photographs that reveal the lifelong impact of World War II on Milligan’s life and career. Additional contributors include Eddie Izzard, Joanna Lumley and Ian Hislop. Viewers also hear from John Antrobus, who co-wrote episodes of The Goon Show and play The Bedsitting Room, BFI television historian Dick Fiddy, writer David Quantick and writer Sarfraz Manzoor.

Sebastian Barfield is producer and director of the film.

Spike Milligan: The Unseen Archive will air on Sky Arts in December.

Sian Price, creative director at Yeti, said: “It has been a privilege to secure unprecedented access to the Milligan family archive—and for them to trust Yeti in piecing it together. The result is an eye-opening, sensitive, yet revealing new portrait of the many sides to Spike Milligan. A man who not just revolutionized British comedy but was also a playwright, poet, musician, soldier, product of Empire and father. It has been a pleasure to work with Sky Arts and the Milligan family on this unique film.”

Phil Edgar-Jones, director of Sky Arts, commented: “Spike’s work has been pivotal in shaping British comedy and now we have the opportunity to showcase these brilliant, unearthed works on Sky Arts. Through letters, home videos and those who knew him well, we’ve gained a new insight into who this comedy legend was. We’re thrilled to be working alongside Yeti Television to bring this previously untold story to life.”