‘I Met Spike’

Michael Colreavy with the paper clipping of when he met Spike-001

If you have been following me on Twitter you will have seen various tweets about trumpets and knickers. I’m sure most people think I had lost the plot but it was all in the name of Spike and now I can tell you more about it.

The ‘I Met Spike’ exhibition came about as a result of me listening to Jane Milligan talking about her dad in November of last year. I was fascinated by the stories she told of her childhood and I wanted to know more about the man. Afterwards I was talking to a couple of friends about Spike and they happened to mention that they’d met him, or knew of someone who had met him. This got me thinking, and after consulting with Colin (who is one of the founders of the Spike Sligo Comedy Club and Bright Side of Life Festival), ‘I Met Spike’ was born.I managed to meet people from Sligo or living in Sligo that had met Spike. I took their photo and listened to their story.

The project has been a brilliant experience for me, and given me a real sense of who the true Spike Milligan was. Each person’s story showed a different side to Spike and proved what a very complex and diverse individual he was.

Pictured above is Michael Colreavy TD who met Spike in Eason’s, Dublin in 1972.


Kieran was a producer on Sky News. Spike came in to do an interview and caused chaos by asking  the female presenter what colour knickers she was wearing on live TV.


Martin was working on Number 6 Holborn Street (where Spike’s dad was born). A man and his daughter called to the house and asked to look inside it. The man introduced himself as Spike and said the house was where his father was born. Martin didn’t know who he was but he showed the man around and the incident stuck in his head because the man was moved to tears.


Vanessa thinks she met Spike 16 years ago when she was walking along Doorly Park. An old man said hello to her and carried on walking. Vanessa remarked to her friend that the man was from The Goon show.

When I started the project Jane was convinced that Spike had never been to Sligo, after collecting these stories (and these are just a few), I’m convinced he did visit.


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