He wrote jokes for generations of comedians, from Tommy Cooper and Morecambe and Wise through the Two Ronnies to Rory Bremner, and much of his professional pleasure came, like that of a demolition expert , from appreciating carefully engineered explosions from a distance.
A lot of the big laughs he received personally came on radio, where he was a chair man during the first series of I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue in 1972 before becoming a pivotal and consummate panellist for the rest of his life.
While his television appearances were more infrequent, Cryer was immediately recognisable, partly owing to a distinctive look – prematurely white hair offset by big, thick, black-framed spectacles.
Although he often wrote or collaborated with Oxbridgeeducated comics – Monty Python’s John Cleese and Graham Chapman, Graeme Garden and Tim BrookeTaylor of the Goodies – Cryer was shaped, in attitude and language, by Yorkshire education.
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