[25] In the year Sykes died they marked their 60th wedding anniversary. The first series (five episodes, all written by Johnny Speight) premiered on 29 January 1960 and were an immediate hit, establishing 'Eric and Hat' as one of Britain's most popular and enduring comedy partnerships. Eric Sykes, one of Britain's most-loved comic actors, died yesterday at the age of 89.

It starred Peter Sellers, with Sykes, Kenneth Connor, and Valentine Dyall. [24] He stopped smoking cigarettes in November 1966, but continued to smoke cigars until 1998.

The first went out under the title of Eric Sykes Presents Peter Sellers, and the second, in 1958, was called The Peter Sellers Show. Eric Sykes' two eldest daughters are Katherine Sykes (1952-) a film producer and Susan Sykes (1953-). In 2001, he had one of his few serious screen roles, playing a servant in the blockbuster supernatural thriller film The Others, starring Nicole Kidman. Select the portrait of interest to you, then look out for a Buy a Print button. [citation needed]. Returning to television, Sykes and Jacques appeared in the 1967 special Sykes Versus ITV with Tommy Cooper and Ronnie Brody.

In 1970, Sykes returned to BBC television with a guest appearance in an episode of Till Death Us Do Part. In 1967, Sykes expanded one of his routines into a 45-minute wordless colour short, The Plank which features, among others, Sykes, Tommy Cooper, Jimmy Edwards, Graham Stark, Hattie Jacques, and future Goodies star Bill Oddie. Sykes was born in Oldham in 1923. The supporting cast included pop singer turned actor Kenny Lynch, Geoffrey Hughes, Norman Rossington, Sam Kydd, Jerrold Wells, and Fanny Carby as Arthur and Kevin's landlady.

[13] All subsequent episodes were written solely by Sykes. In the 1970s, Sykes and his friend Jimmy Edwards took part in a show for Ian Smith in Rhodesia. [12], Nine short seasons of Sykes and a... were made between 1960 and 1965, ranging between six and nine episodes each, plus a short 1962 special in the BBC's annual Christmas Night with the Stars programme, now lost. He became a TV star in his own right in the early 1960s when he appeared with Hattie Jacques in several popular BBC comedy television series.

By this time Sykes had developed hearing problems; he subsequently lost most of his hearing, but learned to lip-read and watch other performers say their lines to get his cues. If you miss the "Game of Thrones" cast and the characters you loved or loathed, here are our TV and movie picks to stream now.Get some streaming picks Sykes was an honorary president of the Goon Show Preservation Society. [21] In 1998, Sykes appeared in one episode of Dinnerladies as the father of Stan (Duncan Preston).

In 2005, he played Frank Bryce in Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire. Fraser took the impoverished Sykes to the theatre, offered him food and drink, and then asked if Sykes would like to write for him. Forming a partnership with Sid Colin, he worked on the BBC radio ventriloquism show Educating Archie,[6] which began in 1950, and also Variety Bandbox. From March 1997, Sykes, together with Tim Whitnall, Toyah Willcox and Mark Heenehan, provided narration for the BBC pre-school TV series Teletubbies. Also in 1967, Sykes and his old friend Jimmy Edwards started touring with the theatrical farce Big Bad Mouse which, while keeping more or less to a script, gave them rein to ad lib and address the audience. In 1985, he played the Mad Hatter in the Anglia Television serial adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, joining an all-star cast that included Michael Bentine, Leslie Crowther, and Leonard Rossiter, and he also had an uncredited role (as an arcade attendant) in the Julien Temple film musical Absolute Beginners (1986) which stars Patsy Kensit. Eric Sykes CBE (4 May 1923 – 4 July 2012) was an English radio, stage, television and film writer, comedian, actor, and director whose performing career spanned more than 50 years. Can you tell us more about this portrait? It was during this series that Sykes introduced one of his best known creations, the wordless slapstick routine The Plank, which originally appeared in Episode 2, Series 7 of Sykes and a..., first broadcast on 3 March 1964 under that title.[14]. It was cancelled on the instruction of the Independent Broadcasting Authority after a series of six episodes.[15]. In 1989, in his first series since the Sykes series ended in 1979, Sykes starred as the golf club secretary in the ITV situation comedy The Nineteenth Hole, written by Johnny Speight. [9] It was not a success, however, and neither recording nor the script has survived. During 1982, Sykes played the Chief Constable in the slapstick police comedy film The Boys in Blue, which starred the comedy duo Cannon and Ball, with Jon Pertwee. In 2000, Sykes appeared as Mollocks, the servant of Dr Prunesquallor, in the BBC's mini-series adaptation of Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast, which was the last production to feature both Milligan and Sykes (although they did not appear together on screen).

If you wish to license this image, please use our Rights and Images service. [16], Sixty-eight colour episodes of Sykes were made between 1972 and 1979;[7] forty-three of the shows were re-workings of scripts from the 1960s series, which had been recorded in monochrome. In October 2010 Sykes appeared in Hallowe'en Party, an episode in the twelfth series of Agatha Christie's Poirot.

In 1957, he created Closing Night, which closed the 1957 show. Sykes was the subject of Thames Television's This Is Your Life, broadcast on 25 December 1979. Sykes was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1986 and promoted to Commander (CBE) in the 2005 New Year Honours[26] for services to drama, following a petition by MPs. In 1977, Sykes wrote and starred in another television special, Eric Sykes Shows a Few of Our Favourite Things. We'll need your email address so that we can follow up on the information provided and contact you to let you know when your contribution has been published. We would welcome any information that adds to and enhances our information and understanding about a particular portrait, sitter or artist. [4] Sykes was educated at Ward Street Central School in Oldham. (Sykes and Milligan later jointly formed Associated London Scripts (ALS) with Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, a writers' agency which lasted for well over a decade until being effectively dissolved in 1967). Wattis left the show after series 3 and his departure was explained by having Mr Brown emigrating to Australia. Switchboard: +44 (0) 20 7306 0055, You must have Javascript enabled to view zooming images, We are currently closed until spring 2023, while essential building works take place. The special was broadcast in June 1954 and featured the regular Goon Show cast (Harry Secombe was then appearing in both)[8] plus Peter Brough, his dummy Archie Andrews and Hattie Jacques. In 1969, Sykes co-starred with Spike Milligan in the ill-fated television sit-com Curry and Chips, a satire on racial prejudice created and written by Johnny Speight and made for London Weekend Television. Sykes began providing scripts for both Fraser and Frankie Howerd and soon found himself in demand as a comedy writer. The turning point in his life and career came on the Friday night of his first week in London: he had a chance meeting in the street with Bill Fraser, who was by now featuring in a comedy at the Playhouse Theatre. During the 1970s, Sykes and Jimmy Edwards took part in a performance of Big Bad Mouse entertaining Rhodesian troops for Ian Smith, the Prime Minister of Rhodesia.[17][18]. He enjoyed an acclaimed career spanning the stage, screen and radio over five decades. Choose an adventure below and discover your next favorite movie or TV show. His next venture for the BBC was a one-hour special, Sykes Directs a Dress Rehearsal, playing a harassed director in a fictional TV studio rehearsal room, just before going live to air. The film employed an idea drawn from the British showbiz tradition in which extras used the word "rhubarb" to simulate low-level background dialogue, which had also been a running joke in The Goon Show. It is his voice that announces "Teletubbies!"

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