Tributes continued for comedian and writer Barry Cryer, who has died. A writer for comedy giants like The Two Ronnies, Bob Hope, Tommy Cooper and Morecambe and Wise, he was also a star of the airwaves and the stage in his own right, including on BBC radio panel shows like Just A Minute and I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue.
His son Bob Cryer said: “My father died peacefully, in good spirits and with his family around him.
He leaves behind him a life of fun, joy, love and silliness and we'll all be doing our best to maintain that legacy." Leading the tributes on Twitter, broadcaster Gyles Brandreth described him as "just the loveliest guy; funny and generous".
Stephen Fry described him as "one the absolute greats of British comedy", while actor and writer Mark Gatiss added: "Barry Cryer was the real deal.”
Bob Cryer continued in his statement on social media: "Dad was a talented comedy writer and comedian in a particularly golden vintage.
"It'll be of no surprise to those that knew and worked with him that he was telling an Archbishop of Canterbury joke to a nurse not long before he died. That was one of his gifts, making strangers feel welcome, making them laugh."
Born in Leeds, Barry began writing for Irish performer Danny La Rue after a move to London. One evening at a nightclub performance, Cryer was spotted by Sir David Frost who suggested they work together.
The pair went on to collaborate on several shows on the BBC and ITV, including The Frost Report on the BBC, Frost Over England and Frost On Sunday.
Cryer's early TV appearances were bolstered by a string of panel shows, with his comic timing entertaining audiences on That's Showbusiness, Blankety Blank and What's My Line. He continued to be the go-to writer for many high-profile comedians, including Mike Yarwood, Sir Billy Connolly, Bobby Davro, Jasper Carrott, Stanley Baxter, Dick Emery, Frankie Howerd and Les Dawson.
Dame Esther Rantzen paid tribute to Barry Cryer as an "encyclopaedia of humour".
Alongside his comedy achievements, Cryer bizarrely also had a surprise number one hit to his name. Novelty song Purple People Eater was popular upon its release in 1958, but a cover version by Cryer achieved sudden success in the Nordic countries and reached number one in Finland.
Cryer was made an OBE in 2001 and received a lifetime achievement award in 2018 for his comedy career from the British Music Hall Society. He said in 1998: "I haven't had a career, just a series of incidents. I've been dogged by good luck all my life."
Last month, he launched a podcast with his son Bob, titled Now, Where Were We?, which had featured guests including Stephen Fry, Danny Baker and Miriam Margolyes. He died at Northwick Park hospital in Harrow.
He was 88.