Barry Cryer appears on Would I Lie to You in 2011
Would I Lie to You

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

Cryer’s family said the star “died peacefully, in good spirits and with his family around him” on Tuesday afternoon at Northwick Park Hospital, in Harrow.

During his seven-decade career, Cryer appeared on stage, screen and radio and penned jokes for countless household names, including Ronnie Barker, Ronnie Corbett, Sir Billy Connelly and Tommy Cooper.

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

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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.

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

Those to share tributes on social media included writer Neil Gaiman and writer and broadcaster Gyles Brandreth.



















Cryer’s family’s statement read: “Dad was a talented comedy writer and comedian in a particularly golden vintage.

“Incidentally he never really liked the terms ‘comedy writer’ or ‘comedian’ instead preferring hack and entertainer, and always thought the term ‘national treasure’ meant he’d just been dug up. He was, in his words, arrogant in his humility.

“He had a gift for friendship (as anyone who still has a landline will testify) and a genius for putting people at their ease. Oh yes, and he made many people laugh. A lot. Over many years.

“Baz was, firstly, a loving husband to Terry for nearly sixty years and a gentle father to Tony, David, Jack, Bob. He was a friend to their partners Jayne, Matt, Garry and Suzannah. As a grandfather Ruby, Tom, Evan, Archie, Hope, Martha and Connie all loved him and more recently, Ruby’s daughter, Isobel, had the good fortune to spend time with him as a great grandfather.”

The statement continued: “Never lose touch with silly, he said, quoting his idol Humphrey Lyttelton – something we’ve all been very grateful for in the last few days.”

It also thanked doctors, nurses and consultants who had cared for their father, mentioning the names of people from Macmillan, adding: “It’ll be of no surprise to those that knew and worked with him that he was telling an Archbishop of Canterbury joke to a nurse not long before he died.

“That was one of his gifts, making strangers feel welcome. Making them laugh.”

His family said a funeral would take place in the coming weeks and would be followed later by a “more inclusive” memorial service.

The statement continued: “Don’t worry, there’ll be plenty of opportunities over the coming year to raise “just the one” to the old man.

“Details of both the funeral and the memorial service will be posted on Twitter at @barrycryer80.”

The family also asked for messages, photos or videos to be submitted to a book of condolence, details of which would also be announced on Twitter.

“He leaves behind him a life of fun, joy, love and silliness and we’ll all be doing our best to maintain that legacy. He regularly told fantastic stories and anecdotes about others – the many brilliant and fascinating people he’d worked with and knew – but as he was loved and admired by to many – why don’t we start telling some stories about Baz and his brilliant and mischievous life and career?,” the statement said.

“And to end, as Dad would say, ‘Same time tomorrow?”

With reporting by PA.

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