Prolific comedy writer, 55, dies in Marylebone high street

PUBLISHED: 12:12 05 September 2008 | UPDATED: 15:22 07 September 2010

Geoffrey Perkins

Geoffrey Perkins

Comedian, writer and producer Geoffrey Perkins has died after being hit by a lorry in Marylebone High Street. Last Friday the 55-year-old former head of comedy for the BBC was hit by a three-and-a-half tonne truck after he collapsed and fell into the road

Comedian, writer and producer Geoffrey Perkins has died after being hit by a lorry in Marylebone High Street.

Last Friday the 55-year-old former head of comedy for the BBC was hit by a three-and-a-half tonne truck after he collapsed and fell into the road at 9.20am.

At this stage the full cause of the accident is still uncertain but it is thought the Bafta winner may have fainted.

Mr Perkins was a central figure in British comedy with a successful career spanning 30 years.

He won numerous awards throughout the course of his career and received a total of eight Bafta nominations.

"He was an outstanding creator of countless comedy hits on the BBC and elsewhere, and a very distinguished former BBC head of comedy," said Jana Bennett, director of vision for the BBC.

"He embraced comedy talent to create unique programmes which will be enjoyed for a very long time to come. All of our thoughts are with Geoffrey's family at this very sad time."

Before becoming involved in television, Mr Perkins enjoyed a successful career with BBC Radio 4 - where he created the much-loved parody game Mornington Crescent on the show I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue.

His move to television has left a lasting legacy with hits including the Royle Family, Men Behaving Badly, The Catherine Tate Show, The Fast Show and League of Gentlemen. His latest work starring Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse is due to air on the BBC next week.

But after his public despair of the BBC's dismissive attitude towards sitcom comedy, he left in 2001 to become executive producer for Tiger Aspect - the independent production company responsible for such shows as The Vicar of Dibley and Mr Bean.

Chairman Peter Bennett-Jones described his former colleague in glowing tones: "Geoffrey was the kindest, most loved and uniquely talented person one could ever hope to meet."

A spokeswoman for Westminster Police confirmed they were called to a collision between a pedestrian and a flat-bed vehicle in Marylebone High Street on Friday morning.

"The pedestrian was seriously injured and given emergency first aid by the ambulance service at the scene where he was pronounced dead at 9.45am," she said.

"The victim has been formally named as Geoffrey Howard Perkins."

She added the incident is being investigated by the Euston Collision Investigation Team and enquiries are ongoing. There have been no arrests.

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