Tributes to comedy writer John Langdon | Gagsmith had a 30-year partnership with Rory Bremner

Tributes to comedy writer John Langdon

Gagsmith had a 30-year partnership with Rory Bremner

Comedy writer John Langdon, who worked on Not The Nine O’Clock News and The News Quiz and had a 30-year partnership with Rory Bremner has died.

He had been suffering from the lung disease chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

Bremner broke the news on social media, saying: ‘So sad to report that my lifelong writing partner, best buddy, supporter, champion, encourager, and joy-giver John Langdon died on Monday. The kindest, most generous and funniest man and most brilliant of writers, he’s left me with a lifetime of great memories.

‘We were paired up by BBC producers Alan Nixon & Jennie Campbell at Edinburgh in 1984 & he was at my side every step of the way from then, writing brilliant jokes, improving others beyond all worth, teaching me everything about writing & delivering jokes. Loved him dearly xx’

He added: ‘He was writing lines for the tour of I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue right up to early January, despite failing sight and being on oxygen for severe COPD. Loved jokes, comedy & people. I’ll write a piece this week.’

Langdon also wrote for Frankie Howerd and Kenny Everett in his long career and even had a joke format named after him.

A Langdon is a switcheroo formula of the type: ‘Boris Johnson was tested positive for coronavirus today. The destructive parasitic organism that has brought Britain to its knees… remains Prime Minister.’

Producer Alan Nixon recalled him as ‘the writer of cracking comedy lines’ and a ‘master of the unexpected joke, sharp jibe or the plain silly idea’.

He added:  ‘John Langdon was always affable and entertaining company on many great occasions. Despite being a writer of the sharpest political lines, he himself was never churlish, dour or downbeat. 

‘No matter what seemed to be happening in his tangled life, John was always happy to be part of your world where he was the unsung contributor to many great shows – radio and television and many great nights. 

‘His company, his warmth, and the many witty jokes will be sorely missed.’

Among those expressing sympathy were Lenny Henry, Jenny Eclair and Mark Steel, who tweeted that Langdon was ‘brilliant company and a generous spirit. I expect he was dreaming up Coronavirus gags to the end.’

Fellow writer  John O’Farrell added: ‘John was a lovely bloke, a great writer and a legend in the world of comedy.

Published: 27 Mar 2020

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