Buxton-born comedian Tim Brooke-Taylor dies at 79 of coronavirus

Buxton born comedian and actor Tim Brooke-Taylor has died after contracting coronavirus.

Sunday, 12th April 2020, 1:28 pm
Updated Wednesday, 15th April 2020, 3:45 pm

The Goodies and I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue star died at the age of 79, after contracting COVID-19, his agent said.

Born in Buxton in Derbyshire in 1940, he first took up comedy at Cambridge University and was one of the biggest comedy TV stars of the 70s and 80s, starring alongside Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie in The Goodies.

The grandson of Francis Pawson, a parson who played centre forward for the English football team in the 1880s, his mother was an international lacrosse player and his father a solicitor and the family grew up in Buxton.

Comedian Tim Brooke Taylor. (Photo: Getty).
Comedian Tim Brooke Taylor. (Photo: Getty).

He was expelled from primary school at the early age of five and a half and was then schooled at Thorn Leigh Pre-Preparatory School, Holm Leigh Preparatory School and Winchester College which he left with seven O-levels and two A-levels.

While studying at Cambridge University, he mixed with other budding comedians, including John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Bill Oddie, Graeme Garden and Jonathan Lynn in the prestigious Cambridge University Footlights Club, of which Brooke-Taylor became President in 1963.

It saw him move into BBC Radio with the fast-paced comedy show I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again and in 1967, Brooke-Taylor became a writer/performer on the television comedy series At Last the 1948 Show, with John Cleese, Graham Chapman and Marty Feldman.

After appearing in a series called Broaden Your Mind with Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie, it led to the three of them teaming up for The Goodies, which ran for over a decade on both BBC TV and ITV.

Tim Brooke Taylor found fame and fortune with The Goodies, Graeme Garden (left) and Bill Oddie (centre).

Other BBC radio programmes in which Brooke-Taylor played a part include the self-styled "antidote to panel games" I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue which started in 1972, and he appeared in the show throughout its run.

He married Christine Weadon in 1968 and the couple have two sons, Ben and Edward.

He was made an OBE in the 2011 Birthday Honours list.