Barry Took dies

Another loss for comedy world

Barry Took, the groundbreaking comedy writer, has died at the age of 73.

He died in a north London nursing home just before 6am on Easter Sunday after a battle with cancer.

His daughter Elinor Holbrook told the BBC: "He was always funny, he had a great sense of humour."

With Marty Feldman, he wrote the pioneering radio show Round The Horne, popularising the gay slang language Polari - as spoken by the outrageously camp Kenneth Williams and Hugh Paddick.

And as a BBC producer he was responsible for bringing the Monty Python team together - as well as discovering the writing team of Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran.

Yet - depite his impressive comedy achievement - he is still best-known among a generation of TV viewers as the genial host of BBC1's Points of View.

He started his career as a stand-up performer, and later hosted Radio 4's long-running The News Quiz.

His death caps a sad week in the world of comedy, that has seen the passing of Dudley Moore, American comic Milton Berle and director Billy Wilder - and coming only a few weeks after the death of Spike Milligan.

Took is survived by three other children.


Published: 31 Mar 2002

Today's comedy-on demand picks


The UK's longest-running improv team are putting a show online for the very first time since they started in 1985. They will be live-stream an hour of Sunday night footage from their archives from 7.30pm.

The line-up will feature Paul Merton, Richard Vranch, Neil Mullarkey Josie Lawrence, Lee Simpson and Andy Smart.

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... including Andrew Maxwell Breaks The Internet and a streamed version of the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe curio Panopticon, from the Consignia sketch group.

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