|low graphics version | feedback | help|
|You are in: Talking Point|
Tuesday, 17 April, 2001, 10:40 GMT 11:40 UK
Sir Harry Secombe: Your tributes
Sir Harry Secombe was one of the outstanding British entertainers of his time, equally popular on stage and screen, television and radio.
As one of the four members of the anarchic Goon Show, his many fans included Prince Charles and the late John Lennon.
In later years he presented Songs of Praise, and was known for his renditions of popular hymns as he visited parishes around the UK. He also did a great deal for charity.
Sir Harry was also greatly admired within his own profession for his comedic talents and his unstoppable ability to make people laugh.
Send us your tributes for Sir Harry Secombe.
This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.
I first saw Harry Secombe when I was seven years of age.
He was playing Buttons in Cinderella at the Coventry Hippodrome.
I thought he was just great. I always liked listening to him sing and there were times when I was troubled, that if I listened to him sing, I would feel quite peaceful.
He had a wonderful ability to reach people through his comedy, his singing, his books and his television programs.
I will miss him very much. He was a good man.
I would like to extend my condolences and my prayers to his family.
I had the joy and pleasure of meeting Sir Harry on several
occasions and I always came away from those meetings with them very same feelings.
The warmth has gone from our fireside.
As long as can remember, Sir Harry has been there with his wonderful and meaning songs. I have been ragged by my kids for years for having all his music but it has been an inspiration to me through many trials and tribulations. My condolences to his family.
I began listening to the Goons
almost 50 years after they were
first broadcast and found them
to be far funnier than a lot of the
stuff deemed "comedy" today. The
death of Harry Secombe is a
great and sad loss indeed.
Chris Miles, USA
Sir Harry Secombe has achieved immortality not only as a top class entertainer, but also as a wonderful human being. I feel that although he is no longer with us, he can still inspire us by his example. I would credit Sir Harry and his fellow 'Goons' with developing British comedy as we know it today.
I was saddened to hear of the passing of Sir Harry. I remember as a kid being glued to the radio listening to the Goon Show. What never ceased to amaze me was that someone so funny had such a marvellous singing talent too. His death leaves a great void in the entertainment world and his like will never be seen again. My deepest sympathy and prayers go to his wife and family, and my thanks to Sir Harry for all of the years of great joy he gave to all of us. Goodnight and God Bless Neddy.
Mildred & Waldo Elliott, Canada
Sir Harry Secombe was a man of immeasurable talent from the Goons through to Picwick and then Highway. We will not see his like again the world of Comedy has lost another of its brilliant stars. My thoughts and prayers go to his family and friends at this sad time.
Dear Sir Harry has left behind him love, laughter, happiness and respect.
What a legacy.
Peter Haslett, Australia
What a lovely, lovely human being. The goons were my favourite show when I was in England in the 1950's - such talented artists who captivated thousands each week. He will be so sadly missed by the many people who admired him both as an entertainer, great family man and devout Christian. May his family gain comfort from the many tributes that are being paid to someone who touched so many people all over the world.
With a smile and song, Sir Harry has always made me laugh.
My thoughts and prayers to his family.
Goodbye Sir Harry, goodbye Neddy Seagoon - you enhanced the life spirit of so many in the UK, Commonwealth and beyond.
Condolences to his family.
Thank you Harry for the way you have lit up the lives of so many. You will always be remembered as a truly wonderful person.
Will Fowler, Brit working in China
Having grown up with the Goons. Sir Harry was a great part of my life as a young child in the 50's. Life is less knowing he is not around. I'll miss him - Long live Spike!
I am so glad that Ishared the same time slot on this earth as Seagoon .The only infection I willingly caught was that laugh.
Patrick Springer, USA
Have been reading the comments. I called England this morning to commiserate with people I know and love. At least it made me feel better.
Yes indeed, let the BBC put the full series on the air again and the net.
Needle Nodle Noo Neddy!
Farewell Sir Harry, a man who brought us so much joy and happiness over several decades. He could make us laugh and cry at the same time. The Welsh Community of Auckland remember fondly. We wish his family every blessing and sincere sympathy.
Its a sad day but his love of life and sense of fun will live on he brought many generations together with his laughter He is something that is rare a Gentleman.
Every paper in the UK today had Sir Harry on the front page. That just shows how much he meant, and for so many different reasons, to everyone in the country and I'm sure the world. Thanks for all the laughter - our thoughts are with his family. Diolch yn fawr Sir Harry.
Thanks for sharing your wonderful, special Harry with the world. I was privileged to see Harry in action in Johannesburg in the 70's, the night of The Bomb Scare, and the entire audience waited over an hour in the street until the theatre was declared safe. Harry rewarded us by coming on stage wearing a ridiculously tiny safety helmet and sang "Bless this House!" Thank you.
If I was to pick 20 people I had never met but had profoundly made my life happier and the world in general a better place to co-habit then Harry and his partners in mirth, Peter and Spike, would be amongst that esteemed group. God Speed to you Harry and thanks.
Sir Harry really brought Christianity alive for me with those wonderful conversations with local people in the parishes. I thank him for that. God speed.
Goodbye Ned, You'll be sadly missed. Say hi to silly old Sellers for us!
Fare well little Jim.
From a lifelong friend. You will be sadly missed.
It's a great loss, I had the privilege to work with Harry on 'Pickwick' a number of years ago, he's a great man and I know he will be missed by many.
I was fortunate enough to see Sir Harry perform when he last came to Australia in about 1993. I was 12 years old at the time and will never forget it. I have been a fan of his Goon work for many years and I am honestly delighted by the unpretentious, non-derogatory and just straight silly comedy that he was a part of and did so well.
I don't know about resting in peace, heaven will be rocking with laughter if our dear Goon has anything to do with it. Thank you for the years of smiles.
Dave Nightingale , England
I was once lucky enough to attend a charity event at which Sir Harry was guest speaker. He was a sincere and wonderful human being, who laughed, joked and signed autographs tirelessly. He seemed to remember everyone's name after a single introduction, and made complete strangers feel like old friends. He was an object lesson in celebrity.
As he once said of another great comedian - may he lie sweetly at rest.
How we laughed at and with Neddy. How we have been touched by Sir Harry's singing and his courage. We shall miss you God bless.
Robert Dickson, Melbourne, Australia
We were Yanks in England during the late 50's and early 60's and for us Harry Secombe WAS England. His brand of comedy, his huge and contagious laugh, his stunning singing voice - these represented the England we fell in love with and remain in love with. "If I Ruled the World" I would have a moment of silence for Harry and then a great big chortle and a chuckle from EVERYONE in memory of this superb entertainer.
Like most of the other contributors, I loved - and indeed still do love - the Goon Show. While always having had respect for all Sir Harry's subsequent achievements, he will be forever fixed in my mind as Ned Seagoon. A genial, warm-hearted man who loved to entertain has now gone, and I know I am not alone in feeling that a little more of an older, better world has gone with him.
If Harry had ruled the world, we all know what kind of days we would have had. I learned of Harry & the Goons when in High School (US), and have collected recordings ever since. His great voice will be missed, as well as his wonderful comic talent. Our thoughts & prayers go out to his family and friends.
Bruce Laing, Sydney, Australia
My thoughts and prayers are with Lady Myra and her loving family. Sir Harry will always be thought of by me as Uncle Harry, a truly good person. His wit, modesty, and singing voice will be his legacy. If "Uncle" Harry had to pass away, then Holy Week was the right time.
Much Love Sylvia.
'I will not leave thee comfortless: I will come to you.'
Sir Harry, Goons, Beeb and friends: As a little boy I was glued to the radio to hear the Goons. There is still no better radio to listen to. Sir Harry, I'll miss you and many thanks from a fellow broadcaster.
I remember him most when the Harry Secombe 11 would play a charity cricket match every year at Bickley in Kent. He always went out of his way to speak to all the people who walked up to him. He was a real clown on the pitch along with the likes of Leslie Crowther and Roy Castle. He will be sadly missed by all who were privileged to meet him.
God bless you Harry and your family.
Wales is proud to have called you their son.
Is it me or does it seem to be a little more grey and miserable out there today?
Roger Fielden, Australia
I was very saddened with the news of Harry's passing, I hope that his special talent will be picked up by some of the new merging comedians, they could learn a great deal from him.
Farewell Seagoon - who's going to read the South American gas meters now?
I have read the tributes from people of all walks of life and from all over the world. How wonderful to have lived and given so many happy memories to so many people. What an example to us all. I am sure God and Harry will share many a good joke in heaven. Thanks for all the fun.
Betty McTaggart, Canada
God Bless Herr Secombe! It was a privilege and an honour to have performed on stage with both you and the late Johnny Franz who no doubt will have re-tuned his piano forte in anticipation of a recital for Saint Peter. What a loss!
The sad death of Ned Seagoon reminds me of a cold front parlour in Liverpool, to which as a fourth former I was exiled to listen to The Goon Show on the radiogram because no one else could stand its being on the kitchen wireless. I would re-emerge chanting 'needle-nidle-noo' or making Eccles noises, much to the rest of the family's disgusted tolerance. Ned Seagoon will be sorely (roundly?) missed. Thank you for all those forbidden laughs.
John Clark, Scotland
Seagoon deaded? My knees have fallen off! Still - now all heaven will laugh, and be enthralled by that wonderful voice. God bless, Harry, and thanks for all the great memories.
In school, in the 50's The Goon Show was IT.
I have most of the Goon Show tapes, and I will play them tonight in honour of Neddie Seagoon.
As long as I am still able to laugh, Neddie will NEVER die.
My father, who died last year, will now have his favourite singer to entertain him. They are both sadly missed.
Darren Parmenter, Spain
I remember in a show in New Zealand and how he stood back from the microphone, so powerful was his wonderful voice. He may have been a Goon, but to me he was just a marvellous, beautiful singer.
Well done Harry. Thanks for all the laughs. Go well.
My thoughts go out to Sir Harry's family and those who knew him, for whom his death is a terrible loss. Those of us who were not so fortunate but will never forget the Goon shows - and the pain of laughing till we could laugh no more - will want to celebrate the wonderful memories of rushing home on a Tuesday (was it Tuesday?) night so as not to miss the show. I feel sure that he would want us to remember him that way.
George Car, Australia
Dear Ned. You've left us at the very time we need you most. You brought humanity and laughter to a world that is bereft of it. I never met you (although saw you on stage in UK and New Zealand), but feel as if we've known each other for years through laughter. I have a particularly unique, precious, and tangible memento of you; one of your socks! You kindly donated it for auction by 'Save the Children Fund' in New Zealand some 30 years ago. I'll wear it for the next three days in tribute. Thank you for all the laughter and song. Rest In Peace.
Everybody has expressed my thoughts. To his wife and family, my sincere condolences.
John MacLeod, UK
From the earliest glimmerings of his post-war music hall act, 'the shaving sketch', to the powerful-voiced lead in 'Pickwick', Harry Secombe showed that he possessed a rare genius.
Harry may not have had the brilliant script-writing abilities of Spike Milligan, or the staggering multi-voiced talents of Peter Sellers, but he was the effervescent heart of the Goons.
Our hearts go out to his family, his friends, and everyone whose life was touched by his grace.
The world is suddenly a smaller, sadder place.
You have made me laugh all of my life and I will always think of you when I hear 'There'll be a Welcome in the Hillside'. My Dad died 13 years ago this month and together we would listen to you sing and laugh in the Goons. You are a special person. God bless you and keep making people laugh in heaven.
Hazel and Glanville Williams, Canada
Yin-Tong no more! Goodbye Neddy, say hello to Bluebottle from all us Goon-lovers. We'll miss you.
I will always remember Sir Harry with fondness. As a child, my mother always watched his programmes and in those days of limited TV channels, we had to sit and watch what the grown-ups watched. The pleasure and happy memories you gave to me as a young child and my Mam will always be remembered with fondness. The world is now a much more saddened place, without you. God Bless you
I was shocked and saddened to hear the news of Sir Harry's death. He was a talented entertainer and a great comedian and he will be sorely missed. My heart goes out to his wife and family at this difficult time. Even though I'm probably too young to remember his days with the Goons, I do remember him in other shows and thought he was wonderful. Rest In Peace, Sir Harry.
There will be a lot of things that Harry will be remembered for but nobody could ever forget that laugh. Remember, it's not just yawning that's infectious. God bless you Harry.
Dr David F Clark, Scotland
I am thinking about Sir Harry now and though I know he is no longer with us, just thinking about him makes me laugh. That was his great gift. May his family be sustained at this sad time by the knowledge that he is now in heaven and that he has given so much pleasure to so many for so long.
My heart goes out to his wife and family at such a sad time. May they gain some comfort from the pleasure he gave to millions, he made so many people laugh and will be sadly missed by all of us.
I do hope Sir Terence (Spike) Milligan sings at Sir Harry's funeral.
Harry, you were a great entertainer. You will be sadly missed. My thoughts are with those close to you.
Naslie Brazao, UK
He was the man with the most infectious laugh on earth, and I am still a frequent victim! He will be sadly missed. At ease, Seagoon...
Yin-Tong no more! Goodbye Neddy, say hello to Bluebottle from all us Goon lovers. We'll miss you.
Dave Rhodes, UK
I'm only 36 but grew up with the Goons due to my father's influence. My younger brother and I would collapse with laughter every time one of the team appeared and we held them all so highly. A true gentleman and a very funny man, God Bless Neddy.
Sir Harry Secombe will be truly missed by so many people. I remember my mum watching him on TV when I was a child, she adored him. He was admired by the church and so many people in so many different ways he will be sadly missed.
Goodbye Neddy. Comedian, singer, writer and all-round good guy.
Nigel Baldwin, UK
A wonderful singer, a talented cartoonist and writer and a great comic - Sir Harry should have had a massive ego to match his massive talents. He didn't. He was OUR Harry and we loved him. This man will be missed far more than most and rightly so - a good man has gone on before us.
The world's greatest raspberry-blower is no more. Thanks Ned.
A very sad day. Sir Harry was a great comedy performer and a gentleman who will be sorely missed by legions of fans for his Goon Show performances to his presenting Songs of Praise and also for his tireless works for charity. Goodbye Neddy!
Mark White, Wales
A part of my childhood has gone forever.
When I was a child my dad played me the Goon shows, I was immediately hooked. I don't think they will ever be forgotten. I shall have a big Goons session this weekend. Thanks Harry, we'll miss you.
So sad and sorry to hear of Sir Harry's death.
All our sympathy goes to his family.
Goon but not forgotten. It was really sad to hear of Sir Harry Secombe's death. As a kid I enjoyed the Potty Show and from that discovered the Goons and his excellent film work. A comic mainstay and an all-round entertainer has been lost.
Harry proved that, for people who know and trust Jesus, being dull and boring is optional.
Daniel Boys, Surrey.
I may not be old (or is that young?) enough to recall the Goon Show when first broadcast, but I have been a fan for 20 or so years. This world will be a less funny place for a while.
I am saddened to hear of the death of Sir Harry. I worked with him on a few Sunday concerts as stage manager at the Futurist Theatre, Scarborough and have fond memories "of a kind man".
Sir Harry seemed like a link to a better time. He and his fellow Goons were essential building blocks to many of us "baby boomers". I'm sad to see him go.
Kathleen Beedles, England
My fondest memories date back to the early 1950's when I was attending a boarding school in North Devon. Official bedtime varied between 7:45pm and 9:30pm depending on your age. Transistor radios were not as compact as they are today and yet we somehow managed to listen to the good old BBC Home Service on steam radio and immerse ourselves for half an hour each week in the wonderful selection of characters brought to life by Spike Milligan, Peter Sellers and of course Harry Secombe. He will be sorely missed.
Roger Miller, USA
Well done Neddy! A bright light has gone out. Goodbye, and thank you for your sense of fun. God bless you.
What a lovely man Sir Harry was. He interviewed me (on Highway) and I interviewed him (for a Christian magazine) and he was warm, generous full of fun - but knew how to be serious too. He spoke about his deep love for all his children, his wife - and for God. And I know he meant it all. The world hasn't just lost a wonderful entertainer, but a loving human being too.
Simon Jordan, UK
My family met Harry at the Palladium Show in Toronto in the early 80's. He invited us backstage and gave my Mother (who is now 94) a big hug! He was a lovely man with a big heart and will be missed by all.
A sad, sad day. He made so many smile and laugh he will be completely missed.
Sir Harry always reminded me of my own Grandad and I'm deeply saddened to hear of his death. He was a wonderful man who entertained generations of TV and radio audiences and was always guaranteed to raise a smile. My thoughts are with his family at this sad time, though it may help to remember that he is no longer suffering from the physical pain that beset him over the past few years. He may be gone, but his memory will be with us for many, many years. He was a true man of the people and I'm sure if he was anything like my Grandad was, he was one of the most wonderful men in the world.
I found the Goons purely by accident...they were hiding under the floorboards...but without Sir Harry it could never have been the same. God speed Neddy you will always be in our hearts.
Ying Tong Idlle I Po
Trevor Janes, UK
So sorry to hear of the loss of a unique and loveable character like Harry Secombe. Like so many of our wonderful comedians and entertainers, he will be sadly missed.
The time had to come, Neddy. Thank you for being such a joyful part of my life. I'll now take comfort in imagining heaven echoing to your manic little high-pitched chuckle. And I bet you're front and centre in the angelic choirs.
Thanks Neddy for your infectious laugh, your joy of life and for being you.
Ron Sharp, Australia
Although I am only 16 years old, Harry Secombe had one of those faces that you just remembered. I will sadly miss your face on my TV and in the media. Farewell great man.
What a lovely man.
Wg Cdr Clive Coombes OBE, USA
My dad introduced me to The Goon Show when I was young, and in the last 20 odd years I've often fallen asleep listening to my recordings of them, as I did as a child. Little did I know when I did so last night that Seagoon would be gone today. I hope he rests peacefully wherever he is.
Thank you so much for so many tears of joy and laughter. Rest in the peace of knowing how much pleasure you gave to so many Goons fans and Christians alike.
Go and make heaven 'chuckle'!
The death of Sir Harry Secombe is a great loss. He was a fantastic entertainer, a great singer, and a perfect gentlemen, and will be sorely missed by many.
I will always remember him for the Goons show, and later his wonderful singing talent on "Songs of Praise".
May you Rest In Peace Sir Harry Secombe, as heaven will surely open it's gates wide to welcome you.
I grew up with him always around, on television, the radio, everywhere. Its a huge loss, like losing someone in the family.
Thanks for everything Sir Harry
Four years ago I received from Sir Harry, in his own hand, a delightful reply to a letter I had penned to him in which I thanked him for the immeasurable pleasure he had given my family and me over the years, as Neddy Seagood, and more recently on "Highway".
He told me how much he enjoyed living near Cranleigh, where I was born, raised and schooled.
We have lost an entertainment icon. God Speed, Sir Harry.
Some people will
never be forgotten,
and Harry Secombe
is one of them.
Harry Secombe dead! What, what, what, what, what, what!!!! His passing will leave British entertainment with a big gap to fill. A BIG gap... HUGE... MASSIVE!!! Best look out for loud thunder tonight as the heavens will roar with laughter. You will be sorely missed Harry.
Sir Harry was quite simply "A Delight". I was numbed when I heard of his passing
A little part of each one of us has died with Sir Harry.
Good night and God Bless
Ray Jenkins, Sydney Australia
I am a Brit. resident in the U.S. for the last 8 years. It was with enormous sadness I read of the passing of Sir Harry Secombe of whom I, along with countless others, have the happiest memories...from the laughter he brought us as one of the Goons....to the pleasure he brought us with his wonderul singing voice. He possessed one of life's greatest gifts... that of making so many feel so happy for so many years. Peace to his dear soul.
A lovely voice, and a great sense of humour,he'll be sadly missed.
A sad loss. The Goon Show was a real breakthrough in comedy and the shows are as funny now as they were then. He also had a wonderful singing voice.
Goon but not forgotten. Poorer world, richer heaven - a very funny and talented man, with a big, BIG heart.
Someone the entire country admired,
loved, and listened to; no matter what your
religion, or beliefs, there was a side to this
man anyone could listen to. He will be
Much of modern comedy derives from ideas and styles first explored by the Goon Show. Put simply, Harry Secombe was one of the Beatles of comedy.
Patrick Stewart, U.K.
Rich and poor all men may be but few are rich in offering joy, fellowship, love and kindness - Harry Secombe was one who diplayed all that and provided much more, a sense of fellowship within mankind. I will miss him sorely.
We have followed Sir Harry's career from The Goons to Highway with the greatest of amusement and pleasure. From here in Canada we along with countless others, watched his program Highway every week. His obvious sincerity and good humour always shone through. He was truly the greatest of entertainers.
Britain has lost a great singer, comedian, personality, but most of all, person. My condolences go out to his wife and children.
My childhood memories of this great talent will stay with me forever
Great entertainers like Sir Harry don't die, only their bodies have gone. What he created and left behind will live with the Brits forever. RIP Se-goon.
I have watched Sir Harry's programs, Songs of Praise and Highway for many years. Sir Harry's programs have been my musical bible and I will miss his great statements of faith each week very much.
What can really be said about a man who, along with Milligan, Sellers and Bentine, helped change the face of British Comedy. His memory will go on, whenever, and wherever a Goon Show is listened to.
Ex-Brit -- grew up on the Goon Shows --miss his wit and geniality.
Andy Carter, England
Harry Secombe and the Goons will always for me embody all that was British humour. Not to appreciate the Goons is to be in need of a funny-bone transplant. He will be sorely missed.
Thanks for all the fun you gave me, glued to my radio set as a young teenager when I should have been doing my homework!
you'll never know how much you and your co-conspirators influenced my life.
One of the greatest talents that ever lived
I liked Harry. Spike Milligan once described his work in the Army as consisting of a lot of gibbering, f*rting, and shaving, and with his future career in the Goons you can see that the description wasn't far off wrong. His life was replete with good works, and shall be remembered as a happy one. At this time of his death we should look to his legacy - a man to entertain all. He shall be missed.
Other Talking Points:
Links to more Talking Point stories
|^^ Back to top
News Front Page | World | UK | UK Politics | Business | Sci/Tech | Health | Education | Entertainment | Talking Point | In Depth | AudioVideo
To BBC Sport>> | To BBC Weather>>
© MMIII | News Sources | Privacy