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Veteran performer and comedy writer Barry Cryer dies aged 86

During his seven-decade career, Cryer appeared on stage, screen and radio and penned jokes for countless household names

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Pictured: Barry Cryer. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Pictured: Barry Cryer. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Pictured: Barry Cryer. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Veteran comedy writer and performer Barry Cryer has died aged 86.

During his seven-decade career, Cryer appeared on stage, screen and radio and penned jokes for countless household names.

He had a long-running partnership with Sir David Frost, with their collaborations including The Frost Report on the BBC.

The Leeds-born performer was also a panellist on BBC Radio 4’s I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue for more than four decades.

He wrote for legends of British comedy, including Ronnie Barker, Ronnie Corbett, Sir Billy Connolly and Tommy Cooper.

In 2018, he was handed a lifetime achievement award for his comedy career by the British Music Hall Society.

Broadcaster and author Gyles Brandreth, a close friend of Cryer, was among those paying tribute.

Sharing a photo of them together on Twitter, he said: “Here we are only a few weeks ago. Baz was just the loveliest guy: funny & generous.

“He’d worked with everybody & everybody he worked with liked him. I shall miss his happy company so much – & his regular phone calls: he gave you a gem of a joke with each one.”

He added: “Wherever Barry went he brought laughter with him – even to memorial services. And he went to lots because he’d worked with everyone!

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“He was generous about everyone: a great mentor & friend.”

Cryer was born in Leeds and studied English literature at the University of Leeds.

He was made an OBE in 2001 and was also a member of the entertainment charity the Grand Order of Water Rats.

He married his wife Theresa in 1962 and they have four children.


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