Kelly Monteith, US comedian who starred in self-titled BBC show, dies aged 80

US comedian Kelly Monteith, who was best known for his self-titled BBC comedy show, has died at the age of 80.

Monteith died at his home in Los Angeles surrounded by his family on New Year’s Day, The Anglophile Channel – an LA-based production company which he worked with over the years, announced on Tuesday.

The stand-up first gained prominence in the UK on the BBC’s Des O’Connor Tonight and later wrote and starred in his own self-titled BBC show – which ran for six seasons between 1979 and 1984.

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In the series, which was part sitcom and part sketch show, he would break the fourth wall and allow the audience a glimpse into his dressing room.

The series went on to win the Silver Rose for the broadcaster at the Montreux Television Festival in Switzerland.

Monteith also performed at the Royal Variety Performance in 1983 in front of Queen Elizabeth II.

The comedian’s time in the UK was also significant as this is where he met his future wife Caroline.

In a statement shared by The Anglophile Channel, Caroline recalled how people would come up to meet him while they were dining out in London.

She said: “He was always so kind to them and generous with his time. He loved meeting and interacting with his fans.”

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In America, he featured on a number of shows including as a guest on NBC’s The Tonight Show and had a variety show on CBS titled The Kelly Monteith Show.

He later hosted Kelly Monteith’s BBC Memories with The Anglophile Channel, which is dedicated to British culture and entertainment.

In February 2021, Monteith suffered a stroke and struggled to come back from his debilitating illness for almost two years.

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Comedians and famous faces from the world of entertainment paid tribute to Monteith following the news of his death including Welsh writer and stand-up Bennett Arron.

He tweeted: “Kelly Monteith has passed away! A few years ago I said in an interview that, along with Morecambe and Wise, Tommy Cooper and my father, he was one of my favourite comedians.

“He heard about it, got in contact and thanked me. It’s sad that many won’t know of him”.

While Actor Sanjeev Kohli described Monteith as “funny, personable & (like Dave Allen) way ahead of his time” in his tribute on Twitter.

He added: “Judging from the reaction on here he was a bigger influence than he ever knew.”