Comedy legend Barry Cryer dies aged 86

Barry Cryer
Barry Cryer has sadly passed away. (Image credit: Alamy)

Comedian and scriptwriter Barry Cryer has passed away at the age of 86. 

The legendary writer dedicated his life to comedy, working with entertainment icons like The Two Ronnies, Bob Hope, Tommy Cooper, and Morecambe and Wise, as well as carving as a hugely successful stand-up comedian in his own right. 

Barry also became a household name for appearances on the airwaves in Just A Minute and he also appeared on Radio 4's I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue since it began in 1972.

Barry also wrote episodes for the TV comedy series Doctor in the House.

Barry Cryer

Barry Cryer wrote for some of the most iconic comedians in British entertainment.  (Image credit: Getty)

Barry's celebrity friends have been paying tribute to the star on social media following his death. 

This Morning and Celebrity Gogglebox star Gyles Brandreth shared the most recent photo of himself with Barry, adding: "Here we are only a few weeks ago. Cryer was just the loveliest guy; funny and generous. He’d worked with everybody & everybody he worked with liked him."

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Author and comedy star Stephen Fry has spoken of Cryer's many talents that he showcased over the years: "Such sad news, one of the absolute greats of British comedy, Barry Cryer, is no more. A glorious, gorgeous, hilarious, and gifted writer and performer who straddled all the comic traditions. Universally beloved … farewell, Baz."

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Actor and writer Mark Gatiss added: "Barry Cryer was the real deal. An incredibly funny man who worked with - and wrote for - the giants of comedy."

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Broadcaster and journalist Piers Morgan tweeted: "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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The comedian, who married his wife Theresa in 1962, leaves behind four children, seven grandchildren, and one great-grandchild and was awarded an OBE in 2001. 

He also had a long-running partnership with Sir David Frost, with their collaborations including The Frost Report on the BBC. In 2018, he was given a lifetime achievement award for his comedy career by the British Music Hall Society.

Claire Crick
Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch

Claire is Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch and has been a journalist for over 15 years, writing about everything from soaps and TV to beauty, entertainment, and even the Royal Family. After starting her career at a soap magazine, she ended up staying for 13 years, and over that time she’s pulled pints in the Rovers Return, sung karaoke in the Emmerdale village hall, taken a stroll around Albert Square, and visited Summer Bay Surf Club in sunny Australia. 

After learning some tricks of the trade at websites Digital Spy, Entertainment Daily, and Woman & Home, Claire landed a role at What’s On TV and writing about all things TV and film, with a particular love for Aussie soaps, Strictly Come Dancing and Bake Off

She’s interviewed everyone from June Brown — AKA Dot Cotton — to Michelle Keegan, swapped cooking tips with baking legend Mary Berry backstage at the NTAs, and danced the night away with soap stars at countless awards bashes. There’s not a lot she doesn’t know about soaps and TV and can be very handy when a soapy question comes up in a pub quiz! 

As well as all things soap-related, Claire also loves running, spa breaks, days out with her kids, and getting lost in a good book.