British performer Tim Brooke-Taylor, a member of comedy trio The Goodies, has died after contracting coronavirus. He was 79.
Brooke-Taylor’s agent says he died on Sunday morning “from COVID-19”.
Brooke-Taylor was part of Cambridge University’s Footlights revue, the breeding ground of several generations of British comic talent. He broke into radio and television comedy in the 1960s alongside future Monty Python members John Cleese and Graham Chapman.
Brooke-Taylor went on to form The Goodies with Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie.
The trio specialised in slightly surreal sketches incorporating visual inventiveness, slapstick and songs.
Their song Funky Gibbon even became a UK top 10 chart hit in 1975.
When I was young, The Goodies were my gateway drug to silly, absurdist comedy. RIP Tim Brooke-Taylor pic.twitter.com/RKsNKnE928
— Stephen Merchant (@StephenMerchant) April 12, 2020
It’s always hard when a part of your childhood goes, so bless Tim Brooke-Taylor – the patron saint of silliness. Clearly loved and a gentle gentleman. From The Goodies to I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue he was simply always there. “Don’t cry for me Marge & Tina”. RIP
— Mark Gatiss (@Markgatiss) April 12, 2020
I'm very saddened to hear of the loss of our old friend and fellow Pembroke alum Tim Brooke-Taylor. He and Bill Oddie auditioned me for the Pembroke Smoker in 1963, starting my career. I always thought him a wonderful man, funny, kind and generous. Merde. This fucking virus.
— Eric Idle (@EricIdle) April 12, 2020
Their TV show, which ran throughout the 1970s, was a hit in Britain, Australia and New Zealand and developed a cult following in many other countries.
The Goodies formed part of a golden era of British television comedy in the 1960s and 70s that included Monty Python’s Flying Circus and Not the Nine O’Clock News.
For more than 40 years, Brooke-Taylor was also a panelist on BBC radio’s much loved comic quiz show I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue.
Goodies co-star Garden said Brooke-Taylor was “a funny, sociable, generous man who was a delight to work with. Audiences found him not only hilarious but also adorable”.
“His loss at this dreadful time is particularly hard to bear,” Garden said.
Writer-performer Stephen Fry tweeted: “Just heard the devastating news of the death of Tim Brooke-Taylor. A hero for as long as I can remember, and – on a few golden occasions – a colleague and collaborator on I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue. Gentle, kind, funny, wise, warm, but piercingly witty when he chose to be. So sad.”
Brooke-Taylor is survived by his wife, Christine, and two sons.