Bill Oddie has paid tribute to Tim Brooke-Taylor as a “true visual comic and a great friend”, following his death aged 79 after contracting coronavirus.
Alongside Graeme Garden, the pair found fame as members of 1970s comic trio The Goodies, and attracted millions of viewers in their heyday.
Brooke-Taylor died on Sunday morning and is survived by his wife Christine.
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
In a tweet, Oddie wrote: “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.”
Comedian Eddie Large, playwright Terrence McNally and musician Adam Schlesinger are among the public figures to have died from the virus.
A statement from Brooke-Taylor’s agent, Alison Finch of JFL Agency, said: “It is with great sadness that we announce Tim’s death early today from Covid-19.
“Joining Footlights in 1960 took him to providing a huge variety of splendid entertainment – television, radio, theatre, film, books, DVDs, CDs, quizzes, etc. – all of which he undertook with energy and a great sense of fun.
“We will remember him for so much but must just mention The Goodies and I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue. He had, of course, many fans whom he always treated cheerfully even after long and exhausting rehearsals and recordings.
“He was an exceptional client and a pleasure to represent. We’re grateful that we have so much of his work to view, read and listen to.
“In all the time with us and in all his showbiz work, he has been supported by Christine, his wife.”
Brooke-Taylor began his acting career at Cambridge University where he 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 John Cleese and Graham Chapman.
But it was as one of The Goodies, alongside Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie, that he found international fame, earning household name status in Australia and New Zealand and attracting millions of viewers in its heyday.
His Goodies co-star Garden said he was “terribly saddened by the loss of a dear colleague and close friend of over 50 years”.
He said in a statement: “Tim and I met at Cambridge University in the early 1960s and have enjoyed working together almost constantly from that time onwards, on radio, stage, and TV.
“He was a funny, sociable, generous man who was a delight to work with. Audiences found him not only hilarious but also adorable.
“His loss at this dreadful time is particularly hard to bear, and my thoughts are with Christine, Ben, Edward and their families.”
He was a regular panellist on BBC Radio 4’s I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue for over 40 years, and current host Jack Dee paid tribute: “It has come as devastating news to hear that Tim has succumbed to this dreadful virus – especially when we all thought he was recovering.
“Tim was a delightful man and never anything but great company.
“It’s always heartbreaking to lose a loved one, but these times have created the cruelest of circumstances for that to happen in.”
Sioned Wiliam, Radio 4’s commissioning editor for comedy, added: “Tim Brooke-Taylor had a long and distinguished career in comedy.
“He was charming, quick witted and a hugely skilful comic.
“He was much loved both by our listeners and by his colleagues, and he will be sorely missed by all at Radio 4.”