Barry Cryer OBE
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Barry Cryer was born in Leeds and educated at Leeds Grammar School and Leeds University. While appearing in University revue, he was offered a week's work at the famous City Variety Theatre, home of The Good Old Days, the longest-running television entertainment show in the world. In later years, he was to appear on the show many times. He appeared all over the country in what were known as "the Number Threes"
His variety work led him to the Windmill Theatre in London, a legendary school for comedians, whose graduates include Sir Harry Secombe and Peter Sellers, and it has since taken him to theatres around the UK.
Barry performed in Expresso Bongo, a musical savaging the pop music scene of the day, starring Paul Schofield, Millicent Martin and Susan Hampshire. It was during this period he started making records and had the rare distinction of being Number One in Finland. He believes that this may have had something to do with the fact that they gave away a car with each record. After this, he commenced writing for revues at The Fortune Theatre, home of Beyond the Fringe. This led to writing and appearing in night club shows with Danny La Rue, an association that was to last for thirteen years.
While still working with Danny, he met David Frost who invited him to join the writing roster on the BBC program, The Frost Report – an amazing group of writers who included what was to become the whole of Monty Python, Marty Feldman, David Nobbs (author of Reginald Perrin series and a future writing partner) and many more.
He moved with Frost to ITV and wrote and appeared in The Frost Programme, Frost on Sunday, etc.. until he returned to the BBC as one of the original Two Ronnies writers.
His association with Ronnie Corbett had begun in the Danny La Rue shows and continued with Barry writing for Small Talk.
Highlights of his career include night club shows with Danny La Rue, charity shows at the Players' Theatre Old Tyme Music Hall and Two Old Farts In the Night, a collaboration with Willie Rushton which performed to full houses until Willie's untimely death in 1996. More recently, he has delighted audiences with his one-man show, The First Farewell Tour, accompanied by pianist Colin Sell.
Barry Cryer has successfully combined two careers in show business - as a writer and a performer.
As a writer he has written for practically every top comedian - past and present - in the country, including Morecambe and Wise, Bruce Forsyth, Tommy Cooper, Kenny Everett, Stanley Baxter, Dick Emery, Dave Allen, Frankie Howard, Les Dawson, Ronnie Barker, Ronnie Corbett, Mike Yarwood, Billy Connolly, Russ Abbot, Bobby Davro, Jasper Carrott, and many others.
He has contributed to some of the top entertainment shows, which have won many awards including the Pye Light Entertainment, BAFTA, the Royal Society and The Press Guild.
As a performer he has appeared on practically every panel game on television and radio including Countdown, That’s Showbusiness, Blankety Blank, Punch Lines, I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue - which recently completed its 30th series and has won the Sony Radio Award for Best Comedy Programme, amongst other accolades.
In 1990 Barry teamed up with old friend, the late Willie Rushton in their own show, Two Old Farts in the Night. They played for two seasons at the Edinburgh Festival and a forty-date UK tour as well as releasing a video.
In 1995, Barry joined an illustrious list by becoming a "victim" on This Is Your Life.
In 1998, Barry wrote his autobiography, You Won't Believe This But..., which has been broadcast on Radio 4.
Over the past few years, Barry has regularly performed his own one-man show, That Reminds Me, which was recently released on audio cassette. Barry has established a reputation for nurturing new comedy talent, having hosted The Stand-up Show on BBC Television and the BBC New Comedy Awards.
In November 2001 Barry was awarded an OBE
In 2002 Barry performed in his brand new show Rock Of Ages with Ronnie Corbett and The Rex at The Traverse Theatre – the show was a sell-out.
Barry has become one of the country's most popular after dinner speakers and hosts for corporate events.