Beryl Vertue met Spike in 1955 when she started work as
secretary to him, Eric Sykes, Alan Simpson and Ray Galton
in a funny little office in Shepherd's Bush, London, above
the greengrocers' shop. They called their collective Associated
"We wanted to call it Associated British Scripts but...
we weren't big enough to be British."
Other writers to join ALS were Tony Hancock, Frankie Howerd,
Johnny Speight, John Antrobus (co-writer with Spike on "Goon
Show" scripts and "The Bedsitting Room"),
Terry Nation (future creator of "Dr. Who" and
the Daleks). Beryl became a successful producer and brought
"Men Behaving Badly", amongst other things, to
the television screen.
"I started off in this funny old office and I did the switchboard...
they had everything ancient where you'd put things in holes
- you know, like a 1920s movie. I could see why [Spike asked]
'what kind of tea do you make?' [in the job interview] because
I made it all the time, loads of tea, up and down, everywhere.
Typed the scripts, typed the Goon Show scripts and answered
loads of fan mail."
"One day Spike said, 'Send a telegram to my wife'.
And a telegram takes hours you know. 'Okay,' I said.
[The telegram said] 'Where is my bloody dinner?' and
I sent it... Of course it's very funny when you think about
it but it's sad that he was so enraged. I didn't think about
it then... which is probably my ignorance about it being
an illness. I put it down to stress and having to work really