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Cues and lines became irrelevant as Milligan verbally rewrote the play each night. In a 2005 poll to find The Comedians' Comedian he was voted among the top 50 comedy acts ever by fellow comedians and comedy insiders. The decrepit manager of a seedy London hotel in Bruce Beresford's The Adventures of Barry McKenzie (1972).
After success with the ground-breaking British radio programme The Goon Show Milligan translated this success to television with Q5 a surreal sketch show which is credited as a major influence on the members of Monty Python's Flying Circus. His early life was spent in India where he was born but the majority of his working life was spent in the United Kingdom. He claimed his right to Irish citizenship (as a child of an Irish citizen) after the British government declared him stateless following changes resulting from the British Nationality Act 1981.