Published On: Sun, Apr 12th, 2020

Coronavirus: Tim Brooke-Taylor, star of The Goodies, dies after contracting COVID-19 | Ents & Arts News


Tim Brooke-Taylor, the comedy star best known for ’70s TV show The Goodies, has died aged 79 after contracting coronavirus, his agent has said.

A fixture in British comedy, his career took in radio, television, film and theatre over more than half a century.

In a statement, his representative said: “It is with great sadness that we announce Tim’s death early today from COVID-19.

Tim Brooke-Taylor, seen in his familiar Union Flag waistcoat, in a scene from The Goodies, with Graeme Garden (rear) and Bill Oddie (right)
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The comedian found worldwide fame as part of the anarchic TV show The Goodies

“We will remember him for so much but must just mention The Goodies and I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue.

“He had, of course, many fans whom he always treated cheerfully even after long and exhausting rehearsals and recordings.

“He was an exceptional client and a pleasure to represent.”

Fellow Goodie Graeme Garden said: “I am terribly saddened by the loss of a dear colleague and close friend of over 50 years.

“Tim and I met at Cambridge University in the early 1960s and have enjoyed working together almost constantly from that time onwards, on radio, stage, and TV.

“He was a funny, sociable, generous man who was a delight to work with. Audiences found him not only hilarious but also adorable.

“His loss at this dreadful time is particularly hard to bear, and my thoughts are with Christine, Ben, Edward and their families.”

Tim Brooke-Taylor was awarded an OBE in 2011
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Brooke-Taylor was awarded an OBE in 2011 for services to entertainment

Modern-day TV comedy stars, including Stephen Fry, Rob Brydon and David Walliams, were quick to pay tribute.

Walliams recounted his early days as a Goodies fan, while Fry called the news “devastating”, calling Brooke-Taylor “gentle, kind, funny, wise, warm, but piercingly witty”.

He was a regular panellist on BBC Radio 4’s I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue for over 40 years, often alongside Graeme Garden.

Current host Jack Dee said: “It has come as devastating news to hear that Tim has succumbed to this dreadful virus – especially when we all thought he was recovering.

“Tim was a delightful man and never anything but great company.”

Sioned Wiliam, Radio 4’s commissioning editor for comedy, added: “He was charming, quick witted and a hugely skilful comic” who will, she said “be sorely missed by all at Radio 4.”

LONDON, UK - 1974: Timothy Julian Brooke-Taylor OBE (born 17 July 1940) is an English comic actor. who began acting in comedy sketches while at Cambridge University. He worked on BBC Radio with I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again, then moved into television with At Last the 1948 Show working together with old Cambridge friends John Cleese and Graham Chapman
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Friends say he was ‘a delightful man and never anything but great company’

After starting his performing career in the famed Footlights group at Cambridge University, he moved onto radio with I’m Sorry, I’ll Read That Again.

His break into TV came in 1967 in At Last The 1948 Show, where he starred alongside future Monty Python members John Cleese and Graham Chapman.

The comedian found worldwide fame as part of The Goodies, an anarchic TV comedy which ran from 1970 to 1982, alongside Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie.

The programme, set in a flat shared by the trio, drew audiences of millions of viewers in its heyday, making them household names in the UK, as well as Australia and New Zealand.

Often compared to groundbreaking post-war radio comedy The Goon Show, The Goodies, written and performed by the trio, was massively popular in its time.

The show was a wild mixture of surreal sketches and sitcom, with the odd song and touch of satire thrown in.

Its wit appealed to adults, while its visual humour, such as a memorable episode that featured a giant kitten toppling the Post Office tower, drew in children.

The show’s songs, notably The Funky Gibbon, achieved chart success.

Brooke-Taylor also appeared on stage, in films such as 1971’s Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory and on other TV shows such as long-running ITV series Me And My Girl and Heartbeat.

He received an OBE in 2011 for services to entertainment, following in the footsteps of Oddie and Garden, even though The Goodies used to satirise the government’s readiness to hand out gongs in the 1960s.

Born in Buxton in 1940, he is survived by his wife Christine and sons Ben and Edward.





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