Bob Monkhouse dies

Comic succumbs to cancer at 75

Comedy stars have been paying their tributes to Bob Monkhouse, who died last night at the age of 75.

He had battled for two years with prostate and bone cancer, but died peacefully in his sleep at his Bedfordshire home with his wife Jackie at his side.

His manager of 38 years, Peter Prichard, said: "He was respected by all the other comedians because he was dedicated to his craft - he never stopped making people laugh.

"He was a total professional and one of the funniest men in the world.

"I knew it was coming, but when you get the news you realise we have lost one of the greatest comics that England has ever produced."

Barry Cryer, who worked with Monkhouse since the Sixties, said: "We used to say Bob had a computer in his head. He was amazingly methodical man, completely in control of what he was doing."

Les Dennis, who took over as host of Family Fortunes from Monkhouse, said: "When I first joined Family Fortunes he called me out of the blue to give me some support and encouragement. He was a genuinely sincere person.

"He was brilliant and inspirational and there are not many comics of his calibre around any more."

Mike Yarwood said: "Bob was a very gifted comedian but a very modest man with no ego. Hewas a perfect gentleman, a nice man, and I shall miss him."

Private Eye editor Ian Hislop, who worked with Mokhouse on Have I Got News For You, said: "He had a reputation for being cheesy and smarmy but he had millions of good jokes. Nobody could stop him, he was like a machine gun."

BBC director-general Greg Dyke, said: "Bob was a major entertainment figure for nearly half a century. He probably understood television entertainment better than anyone else."

And BBC2 controller Jim Moir added: "Bob Monkhouse, since his schoolboy days, worked at perfecting the art of comedy.

"He became a brilliant technician and his gift for laughter-making and entertaining the British public embraced cinema, the stage, radio and TV. He was a giant, unique and irreplaceable. I mourn his loss."


To pay your tributes to Bob in our forums

Published: 29 Dec 2003

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