Tim Brooke-Taylor of British comedy The Goodies dies of coronavirus battle

British performer Tim Brooke-Taylor, a member of comedy trio The Goodies, has died after contracting the new coronavirus. He was 79.

Brooke-Taylor’s agent says he died Sunday morning “from COVID-19.”

Brooke-Taylor was part of Cambridge University’s Footlights revue, the breeding ground of several generations of British comic talent. He broke into radio and television comedy in the 1960s alongside future Monty Python members John Cleese and Graham Chapman.

Cleese and British comic actors Rob Brydon and David Walliams were among those paying tribute this weekend to Brooke-Taylor on social media.

Brooke-Taylor went on to form The Goodies with Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie. The trio specialized in slightly surreal sketches incorporating visual inventiveness, slapstick and songs. Their song Funky Gibbon even became a U.K. top 10 chart hit in 1975.

Their TV show, which ran throughout the 1970s, was a hit in Britain, Australia and New Zealand and developed a cult following in many other countries.

The Goodies formed part of a golden era of British television comedy in the 1960s and 70s that included Monty Python’s Flying Circus and Not the Nine O’Clock News.

For more than 40 years, Brooke-Taylor was also a panellist on BBC radio’s much loved comic quiz show I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue.

The Goodies are shown during a 2003 event: from left, Bill Oddie, Graeme Garden and Tim Brooke-Taylor outside The Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Place, central London. (Yui Mok via The Associated Press)

Goodies co-star Garden said Brooke-Taylor 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,” Garden said.

Writer-performer Stephen Fry tweeted: “Just heard the devastating news of the death of Tim Brooke-Taylor. A hero for as long as I can remember, and — on a few golden occasions — a colleague and collaborator on I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue. Gentle, kind, funny, wise, warm, but piercingly witty when he chose to be. So sad.”

Brooke-Taylor is survived by his wife, Christine, and two sons.

Read more at CBC.ca