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Sunday, 31 March, 2002, 15:35 GMT 16:35 UK
Comedian Barry Took dies
Took helped write radio comedy Round the Horne
Took helped write radio comedy Round the Horne
Comedian and scriptwriter Barry Took has died aged 73.

Took, who helped create classic radio comedy Round the Horne, had been suffering from cancer and died in his sleep at a nursing home in London.

Took also presented radio and TV shows
Took also presented radio and TV shows
He was a successful TV and radio presenter, hosting Points of View and panel games including BBC Radio 4's The News Quiz.

He died in the early hours of Easter Sunday, according to his youngest daughter, Elinor Holbrook.

Took, also responsible for bringing the Monty Python team to the BBC, recently said: "There are people worse off than me. I've had a very long run. I'm fine really. I'm just old."

He will be remembered with fondness for his sense of humour, Mrs Holbrook, 33, said.


He was always funny, he had a great sense of humour

Elinor Holbrook
Daughter
"He was taken ill in December last year. I was with him yesterday and he wasn't too good at all," she said.

He died at 0550 BST, she said, remembering her father by saying: "He was always funny, he had a great sense of humour."

He was described as one of the pioneers of radio comedy by people in the industry on Sunday.

"He was a great comedy scriptwriter who will be indelibly linked to classic hits like Round the Horne and Take It From Here," according to Alan Yentob, director of drama, entertainment and children's programmes at the BBC.

Took began his career performing in variety shows
Took began his career performing in variety shows
Took's fellow comedian and scriptwriter Barry Cryer said Took would be remembered for Round the Horne.

"It is one of the few really dated radio shows that doesn't date," he told BBC Radio 4's The World this Weekend.

"It still makes people laugh - younger people who weren't acquainted with it first time round. It is just so surreal."

Cryer also credited Took with developing new comedy acts like Monty Python.

"He was like an elder statesman to the younger breed who were around at the time. He was very good at putting people together and getting something going," he said.

Took started his career as a stand-up comedian, but soon formed a writing partnership with Marty Feldman, who he had met while performing at a variety show at the old York Empire.

Kenneth Williams starred in Round the Horne
Kenneth Williams starred in Round the Horne
The pair were the main writers on Round the Horne, the 1960s radio show that continued the comedy tradition started by The Goons.

It starred Kenneth Horne and Kenneth Williams.

Took also wrote a number of other radio shows, later moving to television with comedies including Bootsie and Snudge, which starred Alfie Bass and Bill Fraser.

He became the voice of viewers when presenting TV's Points of View, and chaired BBC Radio 4's The News Quiz.

In it, he kept the panel in order and the show proved such a success that it provided the basis for TV's Have I Got News For You?

Took is survived by three other children - Mrs Holbrook's half-brothers Barry, 50, and David, 40, and her half-sister Susan, 46.

See also:

31 Mar 02 | TV and Radio
Your tributes: Barry Took
20 Jul 98 | Entertainment
Comic actress Betty Marsden dies
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