A sad loss today was the passing of the great comedian and script writer Eric Sykes. For those of us of a certain age Sykes was an institution all our lives. From small beginnings in the forties Sykes, like many other ex-servicemen, began a career in show business that was to make him an institution. His influence was everywhere, or radio, TV, stage and films. Both acting and directing, his film without words 'The Plank,' was a great hit when it appeared in 1967. He wrote for Frankie Howard, Britain's highest paid comic at the time, for 'The Goon Show,' an institution in itself, and wrote and acted with Hattie Jacques as brother and sister in a long running sitcom.
Sykes comedy was gentle, clever fun. His was not the cynical comedy so popular today, although he could laugh at any powerful soul if need be. He was one who laughed with you, not at you. Comedy arose from any situation and Eric knew how to put a funny slant on it. This success made him Britain's vest paid writer in due course, which must have pleased his family, and came in spite of going deaf. He wore glasses which contained no glass, instead they conveyed sound vibrations to his ears so he could see. With them he continued to act, even appearing in a 17th century comedy play wearing them! His eyesight also failed but he continued to appear as often as possible. A great wit, a great comedian and a great actor. he gavce the impression of being a great man also. His comedy will be much missed.