This article needs additional citations for verification . (February 2013) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|Born||19 June 1928|
Wood Green, London, England
|Died||31 March 2002 73) (aged|
Enfield, London, England
|Resting place||New Southgate Cemetery and Crematorium, London, England|
|Notable works|| The Army Game (1957–1961) |
Bootsie and Snudge (1960–64, 1974)
Round the Horne (1965–67)
Barry Took (19 June 1928 –31 March 2002) was an English writer, television presenter and comedian. His decade-and-a-half writing partnership with Marty Feldman led to the television series Bootsie and Snudge , the radio comedy Round the Horne and other projects.
He is also remembered in the UK for presenting Points of View , a BBC Television programme featuring viewers' letters on the BBC's output,and the BBC Radio 4 programme The News Quiz .
The son of a manager at the Danish Bacon Company, Took was born in Victoria Road, Muswell Hill,north London, and lived in Winton Avenue, Bounds Green. When evacuated to Wisbech in Cambridgeshire during the Second World War, he ran away from his assigned home there, cycling 20 miles to Peterborough in order to get a train back to London. He attended Stationers School but left at the age of 15. His elder brother Philip would eventually work for the US Space Program before dying as a young man.
With his limited education, Took found work as an office boy for a publisher and a cinema projectionist.During his period of National Service in the Royal Air Force in which he played the trumpet, he began performing and later worked as a stand-up comedian, eventually becoming a West End revue performer, working on For Amusement Only and For Adults Only .
In terms of his comedy writing, Took's best work was written in collaboration with Marty Feldman, whom he first met in 1954.The two men wrote for several television shows in the 1950s and '60s, including The Army Game and its spin-off Bootsie and Snudge . He co-wrote Beyond Our Ken for two series (1958–59) with Eric Merriman for BBC Radio before leaving after a disagreement with his fellow writer. With Marty Feldman he wrote most episodes of Round the Horne ; the intermittent partnership between them continued until 1974.
In the late 1960s Took became comedy advisor to the BBC, and was responsible for bringing together the performers who formed Monty Python's Flying Circus before he moved to the US to work briefly on Rowan and Martin's Laugh In .He returned to the UK in early 1970 and was involved in setting up the BBC series The Goodies , although he had returned to take up the position of Head of Light Entertainment at London Weekend Television. He resigned from this position when Stella Richman, his superior and the Director of Programming, was dismissed. On the Move (1975–76), a programme linked to a national campaign to promote adult literacy, was written by Took and featured Bob Hoskins and Donald Gee. He was involved in two further television series on the issue, Your Move and Write Away.
In 1977 Took hosted his own comedy sketch show, Took and Co. Also featuring Robin Bailey, Chris Emmett, Andrew Sachs and Gwen Taylor, the series ran for seven episodes late at night on ITV.
In 1979 he became chairman of The News Quiz on BBC Radio 4, a role he filled until 1981 and again from 1986 to 1995. In the same year he became a presenter of Points of View , staying with the programme for 7½ years.
Took also hosted the BBC Radio 2 comedy panel game The Impressionists, which included Peter Goodwright, Roger Kitter, David Jason and Dave Evans and, in 1998, the single-season revival of Twenty Questions titled Guess What?.
He had seven books published, including his autobiography and several histories of comedy.He also wrote Kenneth Williams's life story for the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography in 1996.
During his time with the Royal Air Force he met his first wife, Dorothy "Dot" Bird, who was serving in the Women's Royal Air Force.They married in 1950 and had three children (Barry, Susan and David), but were later divorced. In 1964 he married Lynden "Lyn" Leonard, this second marriage resulting in a daughter named Elinor. The couple separated in 1999 and eventually divorced. He also spoke publicly about his experiences with depression and undergoing extensive psychotherapy for several years.
After suffering from bladder cancer during the 1970s,in 1999 he was diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus, and suffered a stroke four weeks after undergoing major surgery. He died on Easter Sunday 2002, aged 73, in a nursing home in Enfield.
Graham Chapman was an English comedian, writer, actor, and author and one of the six members of the British surreal comedy group Monty Python. He played authority figures such as the Colonel and the lead role in two Python films, Holy Grail (1975) and Life of Brian (1979).
John Marwood Cleese is an English actor, comedian, screenwriter, and producer. Emerging from the Cambridge Footlights in the 1960s, he first achieved success at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and as a scriptwriter and performer on The Frost Report. In the late 1960s, he co-founded Monty Python, the comedy troupe responsible for the sketch show Monty Python's Flying Circus. Along with his Python co-stars Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin and Graham Chapman, Cleese starred in Monty Python films, which include Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), Life of Brian (1979) and The Meaning of Life (1983).
Monty Python were a British surreal comedy troupe who created the sketch comedy television show Monty Python's Flying Circus, which first aired on the BBC in 1969. Forty-five episodes were made over four series. The Python phenomenon developed from the television series into something larger in scope and influence, including touring stage shows, films, albums, books and musicals. The Pythons' influence on comedy has been compared to the Beatles' influence on music. Regarded as an enduring icon of 1970s pop culture, their sketch show has been referred to as being "an important moment in the evolution of television comedy".
Sir Michael Edward Palin is an English actor, comedian, writer and television presenter. He was a member of the comedy group Monty Python. Since 1980 he has made a number of travel documentaries.
David Graeme Garden OBE is a British comedian, actor, author, artist and television presenter, best known as a member of The Goodies and a regular panellist on I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue.
Charles Kenneth Horne, generally known as Kenneth Horne, was an English comedian and businessman. He is perhaps best remembered for his work on three BBC Radio series: Much-Binding-in-the-Marsh (1944–54), Beyond Our Ken (1958–64) and Round the Horne (1965–68).
Martin Alan Feldman was a British actor, comedian and comedy writer, known for his prominent, misaligned eyes. He initially gained prominence as a writer with Barry Took on the ITV sitcom Bootsie and Snudge and the BBC Radio comedy programme Round the Horne. He became known as a performer on At Last the 1948 Show and Marty, the latter of which won two BAFTA awards. He quickly became a celebrity in the United Kingdom.
Round the Horne is a BBC Radio comedy programme starring Kenneth Horne, first transmitted in four series of weekly episodes from 1965 until 1968. The show was created by Barry Took and Marty Feldman, who wrote the first three series. The fourth was written by Took, Johnnie Mortimer, Brian Cooke and Donald Webster.
Terence Graham Parry Jones was a Welsh actor, author, comedian, director, historian, poet, presenter, writer, and member of the Monty Python comedy team.
I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again is a BBC radio comedy programme that originated from the Cambridge University Footlights revue Cambridge Circus. It had a devoted youth following, with live recordings enjoying very lively audiences, particularly when familiar themes and characters were repeated; a tradition that continued into the spinoff show I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue.
Eric Idle is an English actor, author, comedian and musician. Idle is a former member of the British surreal comedy group Monty Python and the parody rock band The Rutles, and is the writer of the music and lyrics for the Broadway musical Spamalot.
Timothy Julian Brooke-Taylor OBE was an English actor and comedian. He became active in performing in comedy sketches while at the University of Cambridge, and became president of the Footlights, touring internationally with its revue in 1964.
Beyond Our Ken (1958–64) was a radio comedy programme, the predecessor to Round the Horne (1965–68). Both programmes starred Kenneth Horne, Kenneth Williams, Hugh Paddick, Betty Marsden and Bill Pertwee, with announcer Douglas Smith. Musical accompaniment was provided by the BBC Revue Orchestra. The title is a pun on the first name Kenneth, which hinges on the familiar expression 'beyond our ken'.
Bootsie and Snudge is a British sitcom that aired on ITV for three series from 1960 to 1963, with a fourth in 1974. The show is a spin-off of The Army Game, a sitcom about soldiers undertaking national service, and follows two of the main characters after they returned to civilian life. The first series is titled Bootsie and Snudge in Civvy Life. Between the 1963 and 1974 series, a spin-off called Foreign Affairs was broadcast.
Ray Alan was an English ventriloquist and television entertainer from the 1950s until the 1980s. He was associated primarily with the dummy Lord Charles and later also with the puppets Tich and Quackers. Lord Charles was the first ventriloquist's dummy, to have his own personal microphone, which was first fitted by sound professional Douglas Oakley whilst working with Lord Charles at Thames TV, and became a regular feature thereafter.
Stephen Punt is a British comedy writer, comedian and actor. Along with Hugh Dennis, he is part of the double act Punt and Dennis and presenter of BBC Radio 4 satirical news programme The Now Show. He is also a writer and programme associate for various television panel game shows, including Would I Lie to You? and Mock the Week, and is a writer for fellow comedians such as Rory Bremner and Jasper Carrott.
The "Four Yorkshiremen" sketch is a comedy sketch that parodies nostalgic conversations about humble beginnings or difficult childhoods. It features four men from Yorkshire who reminisce about their upbringing. As the conversation progresses they try to outdo one another, and their accounts of deprived childhoods become increasingly absurd.
The Army Game is a British television sitcom that aired on ITV from 19 June 1957 to 20 June 1961. It was the very first ITV sitcom and was made by Granada, and created by Sid Colin. It follows the exploits of Hut 29, a dysfunctional group of soldiers and their National Service conscription into the British Army during the post war years.
John Antrobus is an English playwright and script writer. He has written extensively for stage, screen, TV and radio, including the epic World War II play, Crete and Sergeant Pepper at the Royal Court. He authored the children's book series Ronnie, which includes Help! I am a Prisoner in a Toothpaste Factory.
Tony Roche is an English television, radio and film comedy writer and producer, best known as a writer of the HBO comedy Veep, the BBC Television series The Thick of It and its film spin-off In the Loop.