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Sounds like gooseberry mildew http://apps.rhs.org.uk/advicesearch/profile.aspx?PID=739
Mixture of gooseberry sawfly and pigeons jumping on them eating the fruit? Can you take a photo?
I think it is a double,whammy of sawfly and mildew. I would prune to allow air into the cemtre of the bush.....good time now.....and give a generous feed,of fish blood and bone. A winter wash in autumn, after new leaves have gone, will help too.