Verity Maidlow

Radio Times review

You may be expecting a breezy, knockabout profile of a zany comic talent. Certainly there are ripping clips: the sort of humour that constantly tore up the rulebook and demolished the fourth wall ("What are we going to do now?"). But Verity Maidlow's detailed biography ends up being a profound meditation on work pressure, mental pain, and the things that really matter in life.

The story of his life (born in India, scarred by the Second World, dedicated to entertaining) is told by Milligan himself in archive interviews, his daughters and admirers. A poet, trumpeter and green campaigner, Milligan developed a style of comedy that was like freeform jazz. As director Richard Lester says, he had ideas "like fireworks going off".

The goofing clown of anarchic classics The Goon Show and Q comes across as a passionate, sometimes tormented soul - he bravely admitted his depression at a time when it was taboo to do so. But it was his children that brought out the inner calm in Milligan (Love, Light and Peace refers to his sign-off in letters). Asked what he considered his greatest success, he replied, "Being a good father."

Mark Braxton, Radio Times, 10th December 2014