Bill Oddie has remembered his friend and comedy partner, Tim Brooke-Taylor, as an “extremely amiable, nice bloke” and the type of person you would not “think twice about asking for a favour”.
Brooke-Taylor died on April 12 aged 79 after contracting Covid-19.
The trio of Oddie, Brooke-Taylor and Graeme Garden found fame as members of 1970s comic trio The Goodies.
Oddie told PA news agency: “I mean Tim was not only a workmate for most of my life but also a friend, colleague… he’s one of those people who has been part of all sorts of aspects of my life.
“We were at university together so we discovered what we could and couldn’t do and decided we were both going to do comedy things there and that lead to us going around the world, literally with the Cambridge circus group with John Cleese and Graham Chapman and so it’s gone on…”.
The 78-year-old said he had not been aware of his friend’s illness and was in disbelief at the news of his death.
“I always thought of him as pretty fit, you know he used to play a lot of cricket and football and stuff like that. I couldn’t believe it when I was first told,” he said.
Oddie shared an anecdote from the Kitten Kong episode of The Goodies when asked about his fondest memories of Brooke-Taylor.
He said: “It’ll sound positively cruel, (but) a lot of the clearest memories (are of), one or two of us, or Graeme, whoever it was, getting into terrible trouble trying to do our own stunts and hurting ourselves.
“I remember one in particular with Tim where we were all dressed as mice and flying over London to find a kitten or something, as you do, and we both had to be hung up or all three of us had to be hung up as if we were flying, in a studio on these steel ropes, and one of them broke.
Fifty years and he only got cross with me once... well maybe twice... no quite a lot actually! No one could wear silly costumes or do dangerous stunts like Tim. I know it hurt cos he used to cry a lot. Sorry Timbo. A true visual comic and a great friend x.— Bill Oddie Official (@BillOddie) April 12, 2020
“I mean he (Tim) was very lucky he didn’t lash his hand off.
“You wouldn’t be able to do any of those things now of course, it’d be health and safety… there were lots of bits and pieces at university and working together in those circumstances was always fun, because it was quite an adventure”.
Brooke-Taylor’s acting career began at Cambridge University where he met Oddie and was president of the famed Footlights performing arts club.
He toured internationally with the Footlights revue in 1964 before finding wider recognition for his work on BBC Radio with I’m Sorry, I’ll Read That Again.
Brooke-Taylor moved into TV with At Last The 1948 Show, where he starred alongside Cleese and Chapman.
As members of The Goodies the trio found international fame, earning household name status in Australia and New Zealand and the television comedy show attracted millions of viewers in its heyday.
Oddie added: “He was an extremely amiable bloke, a very nice bloke, you’d never think twice about asking him a favour”.