By KATE HUNTER.
This morning I saw something on Facebook that changed my day – possibly my week, hopefully my life.
A friend had posted a link to a website called www.lettersofnote.com.
On it was a transcript of a telegram sent by comedian Peter Sellers to fellow Goon Show creator Spike Milligan. (Younger readers might need to Google the Goon Show – a BBC radio program hugely popular in the sixties).
It is one of the saddest, happiest paragraphs I’ve ever read:
28 MAY 80
MR SPIKE MILLIGAN
DEAR SPIKE I AM DESPERATE TO HAVE SOME REAL FUN AGAIN WITH YOU AND HARRY. PLEASE CAN WE GET TOGETHER AND WRITE SOME MORE GOON SHOWS? WE COULD PLACE THEM ANYWHERE I DONT WANT ANY MONEY I WILL WORK JUST FOR THE SHEER JOY OF BEING WITH YOU BOTH AGAIN AS WE WERE.
Peter Sellers was unwell when he sent the telegram. Just two months later, he died of a heart attack.
I got a bit teary when I read it – he must have been so sad, so lonely when he sent it. Then, a little while later, I felt envious of him. Of a sick man.
I was envious because Sellers, together with Milligan and Harry Secombe created something that did nothing but make people (themselves included) laugh until they could barely breathe.