Entertainment

Veteran performer and comedy writer Barry Cryer dies aged 86

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

Veteran comedy writer and performer Barry Cryer has died aged 86.

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

He had a long-running partnership with Sir David Frost, with their collaborations including The Frost Report on the BBC.

Barry Cryer with Roy Hudd and Ronnie Corbett in 2009
Barry Cryer with Roy Hudd and Ronnie Corbett in 2009 (PA)

The Leeds-born performer was also a panellist on BBC Radio 4’s I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue for more than four decades.

He wrote for legends of British comedy, including Ronnie Barker, Ronnie Corbett, Sir Billy Connolly and Tommy Cooper.

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

Broadcaster and author Gyles Brandreth, a close friend of Cryer, was among those paying tribute.

Sharing a photo of them together on Twitter, he said: “Here we are only a few weeks ago. Baz was just the loveliest guy: funny & generous.

“He’d worked with everybody & everybody he worked with liked him. I shall miss his happy company so much – & his regular phone calls: he gave you a gem of a joke with each one.”

He added: “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.”

Cryer was born in Leeds and studied English literature at the University of Leeds.

He was made an OBE in 2001 and was also a member of the entertainment charity the Grand Order of Water Rats.

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

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