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Barry Cryer: tributes paid to comedian and I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue panellist who has died aged 86

Barry Cryer was famed for his long-running partnership with Sir David Frost and as a panellist on BBC Radio 4’s I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue

<p>Veteran comedy writer and performer Barry Cryer has died aged 86 (PA)</p>

Veteran comedy writer and performer Barry Cryer has died aged 86 (PA)

Comedy writer and performer Barry Cryer, famed for his long-running partnership with Sir David Frost and as a panellist on BBC Radio 4’s I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue, has died aged 86.

During his seven-decade career, Cryer appeared on stage, screen and radio and penned jokes for countless household names.

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The Leeds-born performer wrote for legends of British comedy, including Ronnie Barker, Ronnie Corbett, Sir Billy Connelly and Tommy Cooper.

He also appeared on I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue for more than four decades and worked with Sir David on many projects, including The Frost Report on the BBC.

In 2018, he was handed a lifetime achievement award for his comedy career by the British Music Hall Society.

He married his wife Theresa in 1962 and they have four children.

Family’s tribute to Barry Cryer

Barry Cryer’s family has said that the comedy star “died peacefully, in good spirits and with his family around him”.

A statement said: “It is our sad duty to inform you that our dear dad Barry (or Baz to his mates) died on Tuesday afternoon (25th January 2022) at Northwick Park Hospital, in Harrow.

“However, we’re pleased to say that he died peacefully, in good spirits and with his family around him. He was 86.

“Dad was a talented comedy writer and comedian in a particularly golden vintage. Incidentally he never really liked the terms ‘comedy writer’ or ‘comedian’ instead preferring hack and entertainer, and always thought the term ‘national treasure’ meant he’d just been dug up. He was, in his words, arrogant in his humility.

“He had a gift for friendship (as anyone who still has a landline will testify) and a genius for putting people at their ease. Oh yes, and he made many people laugh. A lot. Over many years.

“Baz was, firstly, a loving husband to Terry for nearly sixty years and a gentle father to Tony, David, Jack, Bob. He was a friend to their partners Jayne, Matt, Garry and Suzannah. As a grandfather Ruby, Tom, Evan, Archie, Hope, Martha and Connie all loved him and more recently, Ruby’s daughter, Isobel, had the good fortune to spend time with him as a great grandfather.”

Comedians and celebrities pay tributes to Barry Cryer

Paying tribute, Gyles Brandreth said: “Wherever Barry went he brought laughter with him – even to memorial services.

“And he went to lots because he’d worked with everyone! He was generous about everyone: a great mentor & friend.”

Actor Stephen Fry tweeted: “Such sad news, one of the absolute greats of British comedy, Barry Cryer, is no more.

“A glorious, gorgeous, hilarious and gifted writer and performer who straddled all the comic traditions.

“Universally beloved … farewell, Baz.”

Comedian Ross Noble tweeted: “Devastating news to hear of the passing of Barry Cryer.

“He was a legend of his generation and more engaged with the many new generations of writers and comics who followed him than anyone else in the business.

“Spending time with him was always a great joy. Such a funny and nice man”

Writer and broadcaster Victoria Coren Mitchell tweeted a photo, writing: “Here’s Barry Cryer at our wedding.

“How young we all were! Except Barry, obviously.

“I was so proud to have him there, and it made my father feel closer.

“He was a lovely, lovely man and this is a very sad day.”

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