Tim Brooke-Taylor

Tim Brooke-Taylor

Date of birth: 17-07-1940
Date of death: 12-04-2020

Born in Buxton, Derbyshire, Tom Brooke-Taylor started comedy at Cambridge University, becoming President of the Footlights club. 

While at Cambridge.  he mixed with other budding comedians, including John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Bill Oddie, Garden and Jonathan Lynn.

Their 1963 Footlights revue, A Clump of Plinths was so successful during its Edinburgh Festival Fringe run, that the show was renamed as Cambridge Circus and played the West End and  Broadway.

He moved into BBC radio comedy with the sketch show I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again, also featuring Cleese, Garden, Oddie future BBC executive David Hatch and  Jo Kendall – where he became famous for characters including eccentric Lady Constance.

He has also a been a  regular on the spin-off, I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue, Radio 4’s ‘antidote to panel games’, since its launch in 197

In 1967, Brooke-Taylor became a writer/performer on the television comedy series At Last the 1948 Show, with Cleese, Graham Chapman and Marty Feldman, co-writing The Four Yorkshiremen that would later be made famous by Monty Python.

He also appeared on Marty Feldman,’s self-titled sitcom and a show called Broaden Your Mind with Graeme Garden and, later, Oddie, which sowed the seeds for The Goodies, which launched in November 1970 and ran for nine series until 1982.

Other credits include  Bananaman, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and Heartbeat.

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

His death was announced on April 12, 2020, at the age of 79, after contracting coronavirus.

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The Goodies are back... in book form

Novella charts a new adventure for Graeme Garden, Bill Oddie and Tim Brooke-Taylor

The Goodies are to make a comeback – as the stars of a new novella.

Avengers Dissemble has the backing of the surviving stars of the show, Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie, and Tim Brooke-Taylor’s widow Christine.

Avengers Dissemble book coverThe book – about the trio running a talent agency for superheroes – emerged from an audio project which reunited the stars in 2019. Goodies fan and producer Barnaby Eaton-Jones got the team back together to record The Big Ben Theory, a new audio story with a cast that also included Dame Joanna Lumley and Jon Culshaw.

It proved successful enough for a full series to be commissioned. But Tim Brooke-Taylor’s death from Covid in 2020, at the age of 79, meant the project had to be cancelled.

However, now Eaton-Jones has converted the script for one of those shows into the short book, which will be published in March.

Garden said: ‘We had great fun working on ideas for an audio series with the ever inventive and energetic Barnaby Eaton Jones, and he has now turned the first of those ideas into book form. If you don’t like fun, satire, weirdness, wordplay and downright silliness then this is not the book for you.’

Oddie added: ‘I have heard of a novella, but what exactly is it? A cheap Italian wine? A kind of pizza? A short irritating opera? Or an extremely entertaining little book featuring The Goodies written by Barnaby Eaton-Jones? You're right, it is a pizza. (PS Novella also plays centre forward for Juventus).’

The book - which features a foreword from Dame Joanna – is being released as a tribute to Brooke-Taylor with a quarter of the royalties going to his favourite charity, Thames Valley Adventure Playground.

Christine said: ‘Tim would have been really chuffed that The Goodies are reappearing in another form, from ideas he worked on with Graeme, Bill, and Barnaby. It's also lovely to know that a portion of the sales are going towards the Thames Valley Adventure Playground charity, which he was an active president of for over 25 years.’

Eaton-Jones will be launching the book at the Goodies Forever event as part of Bristol’s Slapstick Festival tomorrow. The event will be streamed live from the Watershed Cinema from 2.20pm,   hosted by Robin Ince. It will the likes of Rob Brydon, Tim Vine, and Harry Hill introducing their favourite Goodies clips.

Eaton-Jones  said: ‘For Graeme, Bill, and Christine to approve of the idea of this being my way of a tribute to Tim was on the way hand, humbling, on the other hand, exciting, and on the third hand (yes, I’ve got three hands) nerve-racking.

‘For fans, it gives them new, original adventures of the Super Chaps Three (which they initially were going to be called before The Goodies!), in the same style as the classic television series.’

He also thanked Gareth Gwynn and John-Luke Roberts, who wrote the audio episode and contributed ideas for the proposed follow-up series, for which 12 storylines were created. He added that if Avengers Dissemble does well enough, the other adventures could be made into short stories as well.

The book can be ordered here, priced £5.99, while tickets to watch Goodies Forever, either live or on catch-up over the next month, are  £5 and available here.

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Published: 28 Jan 2022

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