Tommy Cooper's former home honoured with blue plaque
Published 12/05/2016 | 17:41
Entertainer and "comic genius" Tommy Cooper has been honoured with a plaque at his former home, where he entertained fellow comedians Jimmy Tarbuck, Roy Hudd and Eric Sykes.
A crowd sporting red fez hats chanted Cooper's catchphrase - "just like that" - a s a bunch of red and white balloons were released, revealing the plaque at the house on Barrowgate Road in Chiswick, west London.
The comedian, who died after collapsing during a live broadcast in 1984, is one of just a handful to be awarded the English Heritage plaque.
The honour has also been bestowed on his contemporaries Kenneth Williams and Tony Hancock.
Greg Dyke, FA chairman and member of the English Heritage Blue Plaque panel, led the ceremony and paid tribute to the "enormous man who wore a funny fez".
He said: "Tommy Cooper was a comic genius and none of us quite understand how and why but he was.
"Here's a man who put on a fez, would do magic tricks badly and make bad jokes and the world rolled around - a nd it was all about the timing.
"He was one of the great comedians of the post-war years and therefore it's only right that there's a plaque on his house."
Mr Dyke, a former director general of the BBC, added: "He died quite a long time ago, but what he left behind was a certain approach to telling jokes, which were terrible. They were just terrible, but you laughed.
"It was about this enormous man who wore a funny fez. I don't know why but people did laugh."
Cooper's friend and colleague Ken Dodd had supported the proposal for a plaque in his honour, but was unable to attend the ceremony.
He said: "Tommy Cooper was a giant of a man with an equally gigantic sense of humour that was unique to him. He belonged to everyone who loved to laugh and was a true comedy legend."