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Tributes to writer, actor and comedian Barry Cryer


Barry Cryer, who’s worked with the likes of Tommy Cooper, Bob Hope and Les Dawson, has died, aged 86.

Born in Leeds in 1935, he spent much of his early life in the city, a pupil at the local grammar school and then studying English Literature at Leeds University.

It was during a Leeds University revue that he was talent spotted and offered the chance to appear at City Variety Theatre, which at the time was used by the BBC for its The Good Old Days Show.

A London agent picked up him up and he ended up moving to the capital, collaborating with Willie Rushton and Danny La Rue at the Windmill Theatre.

He was a prolific writer, with his material used by comics across the ages, including Tommy Cooper, Stanley Baxter, Dick Emery, Dave Allen, Les Dawson, Bob Hope, Kenny Everett, Sir Harry Secombe, Billy Connolly, Jasper Carrot and Richard Pryor.

He was a regular panelist on BBC Radio 4’s Just A Minute and I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue.

Since 2018, Comedy Legends with Barry Cryer has aired on Sky Arts.

He was awarded an OBE in 2001 and in 2017, Leeds University gave hm an Honorary Degree.

BBC Director-General, Tim Davie said:

“Barry Cryer was a uniquely funny, talented and generous person. He was an incredible comedian and writer. If you heard or saw a great sketch there was always a good chance Barry was behind it. He worked with every major showbiz legend, because everyone wanted to work with him.

“Barry will be hugely missed by his many friends at the BBC and the wider public.”

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