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Monday, 1 April, 2002, 16:26 GMT 17:26 UK
Your tributes: Barry Took
Took presented Points of View and other shows
Took presented Points of View and other shows
Barry Took was behind some of the most popular radio and TV shows of the last 45 years, as well as being a successful performer in his own right.

Shows he helped write included Round the Horne, Take It From Here, Beyond Our Ken, The Army Game and Bootsie and Snudge.

He was also a presenter of BBC Radio 4's The News Quiz and BBC One's Points of View.

Send us your tributes to Barry Took

HAVE YOUR SAY

Barry's comedy seems to have been with me throughout my life. I feel as if I have lost a friend whom I could rely on to be funny, entertaining and thought provoking. My thoughts go out to his family - the world has a little less to smile about now.
Chris, UK


He'll be missed as one of the truly inspired creators of laughter and we shall always need people like Barry Took.

Danny Greenstone, UK
Barry Took was one of the kindest people I ever met. He was always encouraging. When I was researching my book on Dad's Army, he would phone up with stories and advice, in spite of the fact that, due to the strokes he had suffered, speaking was such a struggle. He was a dear man, and I'll never forget him.
Graham McCann, England

I was the producer of Radio 4's News Quiz for Barry's incumbency. I also produced many series of Animal, Vegetable Or Mineral? which he chaired for the BBC's World Service. Barry was thoroughly professional, thoroughly generous and thoroughly marvellous. He cast the twinkle in his eye over everything he took part in and he gave me more than my fair share of laughs.

I shall miss him personally, and I send my love to his family... but, more than that, he'll be missed as one of the truly inspired creators of laughter... and we shall always need people like Barry Took.
Danny Greenstone, UK

A tragic week, HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother and Barry. With both having a great sense of humour and always enjoying a laugh, Heaven will be a funnier place and earth a little sadder. God rest them both.
Ian Wilkins, uk

If a show had scripts by Barry Took and Marty Feldman, it was sure to be brilliant. Round the Horne and Beyond our Ken were just two of the shows that demonstrated the "off the wall" humour of Took. He was also a great presenter, he was always sharp witted and an asset to any program he was part of. He made millions of people laugh, what greater achevment could anyone wish. He will be sadly missed.
Peter, Wales

As time goes on we lose more of the old school classic comedians and it always seems too soon. I will always remember Barry Took and Kenneth Williams sparring with each other on Just a Minute and the hilarity that ensued. A truly great mind and talent.
Jon Blanthorn, Toronto, Canada

I didn't know until recently just how important Barry was to British comedy. He has been involved with so many of our favourite acts and shows over many years. He always sounded as though he were about to break into giggles when he hosted The News Quiz. Deepest sympathies go to his family and friends, a wonderful man.
Maureen, UK

I knew Barry Took way back in the 1940s. We were doing National Service together in the RAF at Innsworth. I put on a couple of variety shows on the camp and this tall gangling chap came along and said he was a comic. He was good and stated that he was going to go on the stage. I pooh-poohed his statement. How wrong I was. Thanks Barry for many many hours of fun and laughter. You'll be sorely missed.
SW Woods, France


His scripts will have me laughing for many years

Stephen Burslem
Thailand
I came into indirect contact with Barry Took by chance about eight or nine years ago. I met a mutual friend here in Bangkok and asked for a letter to be passed to him. I was amazed a few weeks later to receive a hand written reply from Barry. All correspondence from Barry was hand written.

I am deeply saddened to learn of his passing along with many other greats of British comedy recently. Strangely, just the other day, I was listening to my favourite sketches from the programme. Moby Duck, and the case of the Missing Eddie Braden. Even after listening to the sketches for maybe the 200th+ time, I was still laughing. In a weekend of deep sadness for the British nation, I hope that some time be spared to remember Barry Took.

To my mind he was a gentleman. His scripts will have me laughing for many years. Many years, many many years, many many many years...
Stephen Burslem, Thailand

Barry Took should be remembered for his outstanding contributions to comedy as a writer and performer and the skill he brought as an administrator and producer. From Round the Horne to Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In (he appeared in 1969-70 season), from The Army Game to Took and Co - what a span of work.

May I send my thoughts and prayers to his family, and tell them also how much I and others of my generation appreciated him.
Andrew Hesford, Liverpool, UK

What a loss to the world of comedy. Barry was a true comic, a wonderful comic genius who brought the world some of the greatest comics. He will be missed by many but his legacy will live forever.
Andrew Powell, UK

On those magical Sunday afternoons with my mom and dad sitting around the transistor radio listening to those great comedy shows of the time, Round the Horne was always the best. Sad day for someone I did not know personally but admired tremendously.
Keith Dixon, USA


He was a warm, compassionate and humble man

Chris Isaac, UK
I had the privilege of knowing Barry in the mid-70s. I came into contact with him through his wife and my wife and I used to baby-sit for (Took's daughter) Elinor when she was about seven. We often used to wander across the road to Lord's and watch the cricket together.

Although I have not seen him for many years, he was often in my thoughts and today his family will be in my prayers. He was a warm, compassionate and humble man. The world will be a less funny place without him.
Chris Isaac, UK

Barry's multiple achievements in broadcasting had a far greater impact on my life than did the Queen Mother. Thank you Lifeman Barry for Oneupmanship, among many others.
Jim Turner, Spain

A thoroughly nice person with so many cutting edge achievements in broadcasting and entertainment. His passing is very sad and my condolences go to his family - especially his son (also named Barry), who was the best man at my wedding in the 1970s.
Chris B, England


Barry was an icon of British radio comedy, he will be greatly missed

Ian Stevens
Scotland
Round the Horne was my introduction to the wonderful world of comedy. Every Sunday 2-3pm, I would listen to Navy Lark, Al Read etc, and my all-time favourite Round the Horne. A few years ago, I wrote to the BBC concerning the show, and months later, to my delight I received a letter from Barry.

We exchanged letters, and they form very prized possessions from a man who always remembered the fans. I hope he is up in Heaven with Marty, Kenneth Williams, Betty, Hugh and the rest working on new shows. If they are not, "I'm not going".

My thoughts are with his family. To me Barry was an icon of British radio comedy, he will be greatly missed.
Ian Stevens, Scotland

A sad loss to the world of comedy on both radio and television.
Anne, UK

A great writer, and a wonderful chairman of The News Quiz - I was listening to a recording only last week. His death is a great loss to radio, and to the wider world of entertainment.
Rob Fenwick, UK

I remember Barry on radio and recently on Wogan's Web - very funny. God rest his soul
Fran Hunt, Wales


Although I never knew Barry, I felt a sense of friendship whenever I listened to him, and I am sure many millions of fans felt the same

Rod Wiltshire, USA
The man brought Monty Python into our world! Millions are forever in his debt.
Bruce Jewell, Australia

I had the privilege of working with Barry, first as director and then as series producer on Points of View in the early 1980s. He was very professional, and his scripts were always on time and to time, but the best part of each week was the post-recording de-briefings. He had an amazing ability to come up with devastating one-liners so quickly and so perfectly timed that only he could have said them.

He had an encyclopaedic knowledge of comedy - he probably knew more about 20th century comedy than anyone - and a constant fund of fascinating stories, often about celebrities he'd worked with.

Like many genuinely funny people, he had a deeply serious side. He cared intensely about social injustice, and he worked with several charities, including the NSPCC, and projects for the deaf and promoting adult literacy.

To my surprise and delight he kept in touch after our professional ways diverged, and it was always wonderful to hear that familiar voice and see that smile, which really was like the sun coming out. We'll miss him.
Yvonne Hewett, London, UK

Today's comedians owe much to the pioneers of radio comedy. Among my first memories of radio in the 50s are Hancock's Half Hour, The Goons, and Round The Horne, all of these shows, in their unique styles, took comedy to a new level.

In later life I used to commute from London on the M25 and can remember the tears of laughter streaming down my face as I listened to the Radio 4 shows at 6.30, The News Quiz, I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, and Just a Minute. Barry Took was a major contributor to all these productions, and to a great deal of pleasurable memories for me, his quick wit and gentle self parody were unique and will be greatly missed.

I have lived in the USA for several years now, and one of the things I miss greatly is British radio comedy. We led the world in the genre for decades, and Barry Took was always at the forefront of the movement.

Although I never knew Barry, I felt a sense of friendship whenever I listened to him, and I am sure many millions of fans felt the same. My sincere condolences go out to his family. Goodbye Barry, and thank you.
Rod Wiltshire, USA


Barry was thoroughly professional, thoroughly generous and thoroughly marvellous. He cast the twinkle in his eye over everything he took part in and he gave me more than my fair share of laughs

Danny Greenstone, UK
It's interesting to see how many of the tribute messages are personal - it seems that Barry made friends throughout his life. I remember that when he was in his teens he still had time for the kids of the neighbourhood, of which I was one, and when he was working backstage at the Wood Green Empire he was happy to anwer all my questions - with diagrams! - about the working of the act drop and other stage equipment. A truly nice bloke as well as a very talented one.
Chris Hughes, UK

What a priceless wit, the Beeb and the world of comedy was blessed with in Barry Took. He is irreplaceable. Almost a genius with his double-entendres, he had the touch which enabled so many other comedians to bring so much humour to so many people. I shall always remember Beyond Our Ken and Round The Horne in the UK on Sunday at lunchtimes. What a source of irrepressible hilarity was Barry Took. We shall miss him so much.
Derek Coomber, Toronto, Canada

I remember his voice hosting a BBC radio programme called "Animal, Vegetable or Mineral". It was a funny game show, he will be missed.
Jason, Canada

I was taken to a Round the Horne recording in about 1967. I was 9....underage for attending BBC shows. It was a Monday and the Paris Studio was packed. Office workers facing a long week and getting the relief of humour from a great show. Barry Took (and Marty Feldman) wrote expertly for a diverse cast and created a radio masterpiece. His work was often underrated ... his passing should not be.
Andrew, Australia

I will always remember him as the host of Points of View for my generation, particularly the letters addressed to "Dear Took..."! I never knew Barry Took's history with Kenneth Williams until I read his diaries, and am sad to hear of his death.
Andrew Smith, UK


My thoughts go out to his family - the world has a little less to smile about now

Chris, UK
Sorry to hear about Barry Took's death. He was a very clever and wonderful comedy writer. A sad loss to us all.
Sheila Field, Canada

You have either been listening to or just missed Barry Took. Thank you. I was listening and you were a GREAT entertainer. Rest in peace.
Richard Fraser Weir, Wales

I remember him very vaguely as a child when he was presenting Points of View. He was a signal to me that we are in the 'middle of the week', for POV was transmitted on Wednesdays. I never knew how much he contributed to British comedy until now. The real shame is that so many known faces are dying lately.
Christopher Tsangari (age 22), London

I met Barry Took once a few years ago at BBC Manchester. He was a gentle, funny, true gentleman and the world will be the sadder for his passing.
Sue, England

Barry Took was one of the kindest people I ever met. He was always encouraging. When I was researching my book on Dad's Army, he would phone up with stories and advice in spite of the fact that, due to the strokes he had suffered, speaking was such a struggle. He was a dear man, and I'll never forget him.
Graham McCann, England


He was the ideal facilitator for programmes such as the News Quiz - very funny himself but sufficiently kind and modest to let the panelists have their say - a rare talent indeed

Peter and Vanessa Munro, UK
I was the producer of Radio 4's News Quiz for Barry's incumbency. I also produced many series of "Animal, Vegetable Or Mineral?" which he chaired for the BBC's World Service... and then there was "Old Took's Almanac" and the day that the studio team were paid a visit by the then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher...

Barry was thoroughly professional, thoroughly generous and thoroughly marvellous. He cast the twinkle in his eye over everything he took part in and he gave me more than my fair share of laughs. He could teach a young and nervous producer almost everything he ever needed to know... without it ever seeming like a lesson - and how happy you were to do the homework!

I shall miss him personally, and I send my love to his family... but, more than that, he'll be missed as one of the truly inspired creators of laughter... and we shall always need people like Barry Took.
Danny Greenstone, UK

A tragic week, HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother and Barry. With both having a great sense of humour and always enjoying a laugh, Heaven will be a funnier place and earth a little sadder. God rest them both.
Ian Wilkins, UK

If a show had scripts by Barry Took and Marty Feldman, it was sure to be brilliant. Round the Horne and Beyond our Ken were just two of the shows that demonstrated the "off the wall" humour of Took. He was also a great presenter, he was always sharp witted and an asset to any programme he was part of. He made millions of people laugh, what greater achievement could anyone wish. He will be sadly missed.
Peter, Wales

As time goes on we lose more of the old school classic comedians and it always seems too soon. I will always remember Barry Took and Kenneth Williams sparring with each other on Just a Minute and the hilarity that ensued. A truly great mind and talent.
Jon Blanthorn, Toronto, Canada

Barry's comedy seems to have been with me throughout my life. I feel as if I have lost a friend whom I could rely on to be funny, entertaining and thought provoking.

My thoughts go out to his family - the world has a little less to smile about now.
Chris, UK

I marvelled at the sheer versatility of his scriptwriting and the amazingly genuine way he carried it off. I would say that Round the Horne has not been topped as one of the funniest comedy programmes for me. God bless, Barry.
Andrew Johnson, UK

Round The Horne and Monthy Python were inspired, created, written and performed by comedy geniuses. Barry Took was one such genius. I'm touching 30 but still find much of Barry's comedy hilarious. Thanks for the laughs
Paul Wooding, England

We always felt that Barry Took seemed a really genuinely nice man, and how much classic comedy he has provided for us for so many years, on TV and Radio. A life well lived. What a loss! God bless him, deepest condolences to his family. Rest in Peace.
John and Debbie Duckman, London, England

Growing up, Barry Took's Points of View was one of my favourite shows. He was such a lovely gentleman. God rest his soul.
Elizabeth A. Jordan, Toronto, Canada

Barry was once impersonated by Griff Rhys Jones on Not The Nine O' Clock news doing Points of View. It was very strange with the Queen Mother gone and now Barry. It's been a very sad weekend all round. God bless and rest them both, they'll be sorely missed.
Gavin Culloty, England

What a sad few weeks it has been. Kenny Woolsenholme, Billy Wilder, Dudley, (ah, poor Dudley,) and now, Barry Took. For me, his partnership with the great Marty Feldman on Round The Horne will remain one of the highlights of radio comedy. I'm sure I speak for many of us who are 40 plus when I say "Thank you, Barry. You did make us laugh."
Steve Nixon, UK

We never met Barry Took but have always admired his work. He was the ideal facilitator for programmes such as the News Quiz - very funny himself but sufficiently kind and modest to let the panelists have their say - a rare talent indeed. A man worthy of much respect - we will miss him.
Peter & Vanessa Munro, England

Barry always managed a clever turn of phrase no matter what the occasion. He was usually behind the scenes but there was a period when he was almost on every game show or panel. This served to highlight his enormous talent. He will be sadly missed.
Chris Ashmore, Ireland

At a time when so much radio and television comedy is distinctly ordinary it's only right to commemorate a man who created so much sublime humour in his day and I hope tribute will be paid to him on television in the full and fitting way he deserves.

I recall him saying with feeling (on Benny Hill's Heroes of Comedy tribute) "Political Correctness is bunkum!" Indeed it is and Rambling Sid Rumpo would have agreed. "Now then me dearios, let's all remember the genius of Barry Took."
C Diamond, Scotland

A gentle, funny and brilliant performer and writer. He had a view on the world which was unique and most importantly very funny. The world will be a sadder place without him.
Stewart Webb, UK

Very much loved and sadly missed. The News Quiz has never been quite the same since Barry left (not that it isn't worth a listen now as well!)

As an ex-pat American living in the UK for the last 35 years, I have always loved the quality of radio of this nation. Barry Took's contribution to this medium is formidable and will afford a lasting influence in the broadcasting industry for years to come.
Bill Hamilton, England

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31 Mar 02 | TV and Radio
Comedian Barry Took dies
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