I was saddened today to hear the news of the death of Eric Sykes, CBE…..writer, comedian and actor and all round great entertainer.
He was a man of such incredible and diverse talent, and he will undoubtedly be missed by so many fans all around the world. And despite for many years being partially sighted, he continued to write and thrill his audiences.
Back in the 1970s, he, as was his work, was an inspiration to many of my generation. He was the first actor and comic I ever really watched and understood. He was just so funny, and yet he was able to keep such a straight face himself when he had so many of us laughing in the aisles. I first remember seeing him in this era in films such as ‘Monte Carlo or Bust’, and of course ‘Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines’. but most of all I will remember seeing him in the 70s in his silent but extremely funny ‘The Plank’ (this was a short silent film that was made three different times in all) but I will always remember the 1967 version with the late but great Tommy Cooper which I watched for the very first time in 1976.
Apart from his acting, he wrote such scripts as The Goon Show, in fact, he had a hand in many comedy show scripts as well as acting in a lot of them. He wrote and starred in his own comedy series Sykes and A…… This was later called just ‘Sykes’. He worked along such other talented actors /comedians/writers such as Sir Harry Secombe, Spike Milligan, Peter Sellars, Tony Hancock, Arthur Lowe, Dianna Rigg, Leonard Rossiter, Jack Hawkins and his sister the fabulous Hattie Jacques, and many hundreds more too numerous to mention.
He played a few minor parts in films, and made guest appearances in very famous shows such as ‘Last Of The Summer Wine’, ‘Sherlock Holmes’. One of his more serious roles in 2001 was with Nicole Kidman in the film ‘The Others’ and in 2005 he appeared in ‘Harry Potter & The Goblet Of Fire’. In 1997 he provided narration in the BBC children’s series ‘ The Teletubbies’.
Eric Sykes….an extremely talented man, a true comic hero and genius, you made so many of us laugh. RIP