Comedy legend returns to Leeds

Comedy legend returns to Leeds

Barry Cryer
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Leeds comedian Barry Cryer returns to his hometown to reflect on his life and career to a sell-out audience

Yorkshire RTS invited Barry Cryer back to his Leeds birthplace for an evening of showbiz anecdotes. The comedian and writer, who turned 80 earlier this year, showed a sell-out crowd that he has lost none of his wit and sparkle.

The event took place in mid-October at the atmospheric Trinity Church in Leeds, just yards away from where Cryer started his extraordinary career, the City Varieties Music Hall.

Interviewed by author and broadcaster Louis Barfe, the comic spoke warmly about his early days in variety, including his time at London’s famous Windmill Theatre.

As Cryer moved on to his illustrious career in TV and radio, the stories and famous names came thick and fast.

Over the years, he seems to have worked with all the great names of TV comedy, including: Morecambe and Wise; Kenny Everett; Danny La Rue; Mike Yarwood; Spike Milligan; and the Two Ronnies. All of whom he spoke about with great warmth and affection.

Cryer paid tribute to The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin writer David Nobbs, who died earlier this year. They worked together on The Frost Report and Sez Les with the inimitable Les Dawson.

He also spoke with fondness about his time working at Yorkshire Television in the 1970s and 1980s, a period when the great and good of TV comedy could be found at the Kirkstall Road studios. However, Cryer also expressed great admiration for Britain’s current crop of comedians, particularly Ross Noble.

The evening was a treat for lovers of classic British comedy and entertainment, and a reminder of the importance of the men and women who undertake the deadly serious business of writing comedy.