Page last updated at 07:50 GMT, Saturday, 26 April 2008 08:50 UK

Tributes to Humphrey Lyttelton

Humphrey Lyttelton
Humphrey Lyttelton was "warm, erudite, funny and scurrilous"

Jazz legend and I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue chairman Humphrey Lyttelton has died aged 86.

The award-winning musician and broadcaster had recently undergone surgery in an attempt to repair an aortic aneurysm.

Friends and colleagues have paid tribute following his death.

BARRY CRYER, I'M SORRY I HAVEN'T A CLUE PANELLIST

His timing was like a razorblade.

He was the only broadcaster I have ever known who could get a laugh from dead air, silence. An amazing gift.

We hoped it didn't sound indulgent but we're all old friends and it was more like telepathy than anything else.

ADRIAN MACINTOSH, DRUMMER IN LYTTELTON'S BAND

[Humphrey Lyttelton was an] immense talent, and not only as a trumpeter, but as a band leader. He was a great songwriter and lyricist.

I'll remember his wit onstage with the band. It wasn't just I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue.

He was a great friend. We all loved him.

DIGBY FAIRWEATHER, JAZZ TRUMPETER

He was one of my principal inspirations for taking up the trumpet.

I think people in a sense looked to Humphrey Lyttelton as their principal spokesman, role model and the man that people regarded as the voice of jazz in Britain.

When I started recording in the 1970s, Humph was one of the first people to play my records on the radio.

He always encouraged young performers.

He really was, in the best possible way, a jazz machine.

JENNY ABRAMSKY, BBC DIRECTOR OF AUDIO AND MUSIC

He championed British jazz, with his weekly programme on Radio 2 introducing millions of listeners to the glories of the British jazz scene.

At the same time his deadpan stewardship of I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue, the unique ringmaster of an anarchic world, ensured the programme became the jewel of radio comedy.

Humph was warm, erudite, funny and scurrilous. His audience loved him.

He was an irreplaceable voice on British radio.

MARK DAMAZER, RADIO 4 CONTROLLER

Humphrey Lyttelton was a great and towering figure in the history of Radio 4 comedy.

Of course he was fabulously funny and sharp, but more than that he was the definition of a certain sort of wit - self-deprecating, mordant and linguistically brilliant.

It was a wonderful combination, allied to a natural human warmth.

DAN FLEMING, BULL'S HEAD PUB LANDLORD, BARNES, LONDON

(Humphrey Lyttelton and his band had performed monthly at the Bull's Head for the last 42 years.)

I've been here 26 years and in that time he never missed one concert.

He played his last concert here two weeks ago and gave a sparkling performance, was on top form and had the audience completely in the palm of his hand. I am just stunned that this has happened.

[My overwhelming memory] is of a kind, of a gentle, truly humorous and truly compassionate man, who loved jazz and loved the work he did and loved the audiences he performed to.

In my 26 years I never saw him angry or anything but smiling and happy.


SEE ALSO
Jazz legend Lyttelton dies at 86
26 Apr 08 |  Entertainment
Obituary: Humphrey Lyttelton
25 Apr 08 |  Entertainment
Humphrey Lyttelton: Your comments
25 Apr 08 |  Have Your Say
In pictures: Humphrey Lyttelton
25 Apr 08 |  Entertainment
Lyttelton show pulled for surgery
22 Apr 08 |  Entertainment
Lyttelton to end radio jazz show
11 Mar 08 |  Entertainment

RELATED BBC LINKS

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2013 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific