Barry Cryer dies aged 86 as celebrities and fans lead tributes

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Cryer was a comedian who wrote for many famous faces including David Frost, Jasper Carrott and Tommy Cooper (PA)
Cryer was a comedian who wrote for many famous faces including David Frost, Jasper Carrott and Tommy Cooper (PA)

The comedian, actor, and writer Barry Cryer has passed away at the age of 86.

He leaves behind his wife Theresa, four children, seven grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

Born in Leeds in 1935, Cryer was recruited as a variety performer while appearing in a university revue, and eventually went on to work with Sir David Frost on The Frost Report.

Beginning his career at London's famed Windmill Theatre, he wrote with and for the biggest names in British comedy.

This included The Two Ronnies, Morecambe and Wise, Jasper Carrott, Tommy Cooper, Sir Bruce Forsyth, George Burns, Dave Allen, Stanley Baxter, Spike Milligan, Frankie Howerd, and Bob Hope.

He also made a name for himself in radio, being part of BBC Radio 4's I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue since its inception in 1972.

Additionally, Cryer had recently begun a podcast with his son Bob, called Now, Where Were We?.

Tributes pour in for Barry Cryer

The actor and broadcaster Gyles Brandreth paid tribute to Cryer in a tweet on his account.

He wrote: "RIP #BarryCryer. I took this happy picture in the churchyard of St Paul’s, Covent Garden.

"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."

Author and writer Neil Gaiman also spoke positively of Cryer, saying it had been "an utter joy" to watch him act and tell jokes.

He wrote in a Twitter post: "I'm so so so sorry to hear this. I only worked with Barry Cryer once, on the @BBCRadio4 Anansi Boys - and he wasn't in the broadcast version, as he was unwell.

"But being in the room and watching him act and tell jokes was an utter joy."

Actor Mark Gatiss praised Cryer's talent saying: "Barry Cryer was the real deal. An incredibly funny man who worked with - and wrote for - the giants of comedy.

"Yet he remained forever curious and delighted by whatever was fresh and original. Kind, encouraging, generous, and a one-off. Goodbye, Cheeky."

Piers Morgan also paid tribute, saying: "RIP Barry Cryer, 86. Such a warm, funny, and talented man.

"A giant of British comedy. Thanks for all the laughs, Barry."

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