Page last updated at 20:09 GMT, Friday, 29 August 2008 21:09 UK

Comedy producer dies in accident

Geoffrey Perkins
Geoffrey Perkins worked on Spitting Image and Father Ted

The former BBC TV head of comedy has died in a road accident in London.

Geoffrey Perkins, 55, worked for many years for BBC Radio, where he created the game Mornington Crescent in I'm Sorry Haven't a Clue.

He also produced the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, one of the most successful radio shows ever made.

He became head of comedy for BBC TV with highlights of his TV career including The Catherine Tate Show, The Fast Show and Channel 4's Father Ted.

'Embraced talent'

BBC director of vision Jana Bennett said she was "shocked and deeply saddened" by the news.

"Geoffrey Perkins was an outstanding creator of countless comedy hits on the BBC and elsewhere, and a very distinguished former BBC head of comedy.

"He embraced comedy talent to create unique programmes which will be enjoyed for a very long time to come. All of our thoughts are with Geoffrey's family at this very sad time."

He left his role as a BBC radio producer to work at Thames TV for a brief period.

His many television credits include Spitting Image, Saturday Night Live and Friday Night Live, The Harry Enfield Television Programme, which he also co-wrote, and Ben Elton - The Man From Auntie.


He produced the topical drama A Very Open Prison for BBC Two and the first series of the BAFTA award-winning Father Ted for Channel 4.

A writer, producer and performer, Mr Perkins became BBC TV's head of comedy in May 1995.

He was previously a director of Hat Trick Productions, one of the UK's leading independent production companies, for eight years.

On leaving the BBC, he joined Tiger Aspect productions.

His latest production for the BBC with Tiger Aspect, Harry and Paul, with Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse, starts next week.

His credits as executive producer at the BBC included The Fast Show, Happiness, My Hero, 2 Pints of Lager, My Family, Coupling, and Big Train. He also co-produced both series of Ben Elton's The Thin Blue Line.

His writing credits include Radio Active and KYTV, co-written with Angus Deayton and winner of the Silver Rose Of Montreux, and Norbert Smith - A Life, co-written with Harry Enfield which also won the Silver Rose of Montreux and an International Emmy.

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