Page last updated at 17:00 GMT, Monday, 8 December 2008

Ab Fab director Spiers dies at 63

Absolutely Fabulous
Spiers directed the entire run of Absolutely Fabulous

Bob Spiers, who directed classic TV sitcom Absolutely Fabulous, has died at the age of 63 after a long illness.

Spiers, born in Glasgow, began his career as an assistant floor manager before becoming one of the BBC's most prolific sitcom directors.

His other credits include the second series of Fawlty Towers, as well as episodes of French and Saunders and Dad's Army.

In 1997, he directed the Spice Girls' movie Spice World.

Spiers also directed the pilot of Not the Nine O'Clock News, as well as episodes of Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie's sketch show A Bit of Fry & Laurie.

Former BBC head of comedy Jon Plowman, who last worked with Spiers on Ab Fab and French and Saunders, called him "simply the best comedy director there ever was".

Dad's Army (1977)
Fawlty Towers (1979)
Are You Being Served? (1977-83)
French and Saunders (1988-93)
Press Gang (1989-1993)
Absolutely Fabulous (1992-2001)
A Bit of Fry and Laurie (1995)

In the 1980s he left the BBC to work as freelance director and producer, and directed many of the episodes of Channel 4's The Comic Strip Presents...

He also directed episodes of The Goodies and ITV children's drama Press Gang.

In an interview with the website Joking Apart, he said: "Think of the people I work with. It's there in the scripts. I'm in safe hands. I simply have to bring it out."

Spiers died in Devon surrounded by his family, but until recently had been living in Acapulco, Mexico.

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