WARM tributes have been paid by the world of comedy to the much-loved veteran comedian Eric Sykes following his death at the age of 89.
The star, best remembered for long-running TV sitcom Sykes And A... with Hattie Jacques died yesterday after a short illness.
The comedian’s manager, Norma Farnes, said the star of television, stage and films “died peacefully” and that “his family were with him”.
Prodigious in his output, both for himself and other comedians, Sykes wrote scripts for some of the biggest acts of the last 60 years, including Peter Sellers, Frankie Howerd and Tony Hancock, and penned material for The Goon Show.
His film credits included 2005’s Harry Potter and the Goblet Of Fire, The Others in 2001 and Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines in 1965.
The star, who was also a novelist, director and producer, began his career writing for hit BBC radio shows before moving into television.
Sykes continued working on screen and on the West End stage into his eighties, despite his failing vision and hearing.
Paying an affectionate tribute, comedian Ken Dodd said that Sykes was “a joy to be with, a wonderful man to know… a genius at creating comedy”.
“He found laughter in anything,” he said. “More than anything else, he loved everybody and everybody loved him.
“He was never cruel or nasty with his comedy. He was a wonderfully creative man and internationally famous.
“He worked with the great stars but never got big-headed. He was brave and courageous, wanting to work despite the difficulty with his hearing and sight.”
Sir Bruce Forsyth called the “gentle” star “one of the greats of comedy in this country”. “He was universally loved here… He was just one of the funniest men ever in comedy.”
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Saturday 18 May 2013
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