Round The Horne

Barry Took

Born 19th June 1928, Barry Took started out like many Londoners, evacuated during the war, and with a modest education. He had a selection of jobs before his National Service, where the showbiz bit, and he played trumpet and organised revues. He also met his first wife, Dorothy, whilst in the RAF - she was in the WRAF.

After he left, he tried his hand at stand up, something that, on his own admission, didn't go well all the time, but led to him meeting Marty Feldman. The writing partnership of Feldman and Took began with material for notable comics such as Frankie Howerd, Harry Worth and Peter Brough, but the zany brand of humour, mainly from Feldman's influence, was not liked by all comics.

The output was almost never ending, and by the early 60s, the duo were contributing to several radio and TV shows, with many other credits individually. The most memorable of these was Round The Horne.

Took was troubled by ill health, with smoking responsible for bladder cancer, and his first marriage ended when he became a heavy drinker. He was not easy to work with either, and by the time time Kenneth Horne had died, Feldman had already departed from the full-time writing team to pursue a performing career. Whilst this was not so much of a problem, Feldman taking pole-position was, and the relationship became strained.

A brief stint as a script advisor for the Beeb, led to the formation of Monty Python's Flying Circus, the launch fo the Goodies, and introduced Barry Humphries to the TV viewing public. He then succeeded Frank Muir as Head of Light Entertainment at LWT after Muir resigned.

His later career as a performer and writer was not very notable except for Points of View and Chairman of The News Quiz, and in recent years his second marriage failed and he succumbed to ill health again. He died in his sleep at a nursing home in London at 5.50 BST 31st March 2002, and is survived by two sons and a daughter from his first marriage, and one daughter by his second.