Local comics pay tribute to Tim Brooke-Taylor

PUBLISHED: 17:05 14 April 2020 | UPDATED: 17:05 14 April 2020

70's comedy stars The Goodies (L-R) Tim Brooke-Taylor , Graeme Garden and  Bill Oddie outside The Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Place, central London, for the video and DVD launch of 'The Goodies... At Last'. Picture PA

70's comedy stars The Goodies (L-R) Tim Brooke-Taylor , Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie outside The Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Place, central London, for the video and DVD launch of 'The Goodies... At Last'. Picture PA

PA Archive/PA Images

Hampstead resident Bill Oddie was among those mourning the death of his former comedy partner in The Goodies

Bill Oddie has paid tribute to his former comedy partner Tim Brooke-Taylor who died last week after testing positive for coronovirus.

The duo met at Cambridge University and performed in shows together with the Footlights before later writing scripts for The Frost Report.

Alongside Graeme Garden they were a fixture on TV between 1970 and 1980 with their legendary comedy series The Goodies and spin off records such as The Funky Gibbon.

“Fifty years and he only got cross with me once... well maybe twice... no quite a lot actually!” tweeted the long term Hampstead resident.

“No one could wear silly costumes or do dangerous stunts like Tim. I know it hurt cos he used to cry a lot. Sorry Timbo. A true visual comic and a great friend x.”

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As well as the madcap slapstick of The Goodies, Brooke-Taylor was well loved for his hilarious contribution to Radio 4 panel shows, not least I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue which he appeared on from 1972 until his death.

Belsize Park comic David Mitchell who appeared alongside him on what is billed as “the antidote to panel shows” tweeted: “Terribly sad news. He was a wonderful comedian and a really lovely man and I feel honoured to have known and worked with him. The world has been robbed - he had years more joy to give.”

Hampstead impersonator and comic Jon Culshaw who worked with Brooke-Taylor on a Goodies revival tweeted: “Tim was so wonderfully funny, brilliantly skilled and always so charming. Was honoured to have worked with him last year on a reboot of The Goodies. He was as funny, inspiring and delightful as he’d ever been.”

And Stephen Fry who was born in Hampstead described Brooke-Taylor as “a hero for as long as I can remember and on a few golden occasions a colleague and collaborator.

“Gentle, kind, funny wise, warm but piercingly witty when he chose to be.”

Kentish Town resident and Times columnist Giles Coren shared an anecdote from his childhood. He tweeted: “Oh No. Tim Brooke-Taylor. He lived round the corner and his son Ben was my friend. I’m one of the few people who ever saw Tim angry, when we hid behind sofas and used his books as hand grenades. He was livid. Then we turned on the telly and watched West Ham win the cup. 1980.”
Born in Buxton in 1940, Brooke-Taylor studied Law at Cambridge alongside John Cleese and later became president of the Footlights before touring with its successful revue Cambridge Circus in the 1960s.

As a cast member and writer on At Last The 1948 show with Cleese Graham Chapman and Marty Feldman it helped to kickstart a TV comedy career that made him a household name for decades.

He lived in Berkshire and is survived by wife Christine and sons Ben and Edward.


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