Tim Brooke-Taylor

Tim Brooke-Taylor

Infobox Comedian
name = Tim Brooke-Taylor

imagesize =
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pseudonym =
birth_name = Timothy Julian Brooke-Taylor
birth_date = birth date and age|1940|7|17|df=yes
birth_place = Buxton, Derbyshire, England
death_date =
death_place =
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nationality = English flagicon|England
active = 1964-present
genre =
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influences =
influenced =
spouse = Christine
domesticpartner =
notable_work = "I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again" (1964-1973)
"How to Irritate People" (1968)
"Marty" (1968)
"Broaden Your Mind" (1968-1969)
"The Goodies"
"I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue" (1972-)

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past_members =
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goldenglobeawards =
tonyawards =
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Timothy Julian Brooke-Taylor (born 17 July 1940) is an English comic actor known in Britain and Australia as a member of The Goodies and in the comedy radio shows "I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue", and "I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again".

Early life and education

Brooke-Taylor was born in Buxton, Derbyshire, England, the grandson of a parson who played centre-forward for England's football team in the 1890s. His mother was an international lacrosse player and his father a solicitor. Despite an expulsion from school at the early age of five and a half years, Tim Brooke-Taylor studied at Winchester College and at Pembroke College at the University of Cambridge. There he read Economics and Politics before changing to read Law, and mixed with other budding comedians, including John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Bill Oddie, and Jonathan Lynn in the prestigious Cambridge University Footlights Club (of which Tim became President in 1963)."From Fringe to Flying Circus" – 'Celebrating a Unique Generation of Comedy 1960-1980' – Roger Wilmut, Eyre Methuen Ltd, 1980.] "Footlights!" – 'A Hundred Years of Cambridge Comedy' – Robert Hewison, Methuen London Ltd, 1983.]

The Footlights Club revue, "A Clump of Plinths" was so successful during its Edinburgh Fringe Festival run, that the show was renamed as "Cambridge Circus" and the revue transferred to the West End in London, and then later taken to both New Zealand and to Broadway in September 1964. He was also active in the Pembroke College drama society, the Pembroke Players.


Brooke-Taylor moved swiftly into BBC Radio with the fast-paced comedy show "I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again" in which he performed and co-wrote. As the screeching eccentric Lady Constance de Coverlet, he could be relied upon to generate the loudest audience response of many programmes in this long-running series merely with her unlikely catchphrase "did somebody call?" uttered after a comic and transparent feed-line, as their adventure story reached its climax or cliffhanger ending. Other members of "I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again" were John Cleese, Bill Oddie, Graeme Garden, David Hatch and Jo Kendall.

In the mid-'60s, Brooke-Taylor performed in the TV series On the Braden Beat with Canadian Bernard Braden, taking over the slot then-recently vacated by Peter Cook in his guise as E L Wisty. Brooke-Taylor played a reactionary right-wing city gent who believed he was the soul of tolerance.

In 1967 Brooke-Taylor became a writer/performer on the television comedy series "At Last the 1948 Show", with John Cleese, Graham Chapman and Marty Feldman. The famous "Four Yorkshiremen" sketch was co-written by the four writers/performers of the series. The sketch was one of the few sketches which survived the destruction of the series (by the tapes being wiped), by David Frost's Paradine Productions (which produced the series), and the sketch appears on the DVD of "At Last the 1948 Show". The "Four Yorkshiremen" sketch has also been performed during Amnesty concert performances (by members of Monty Python - occasionally including other comedians and actors in place of Monty Python regulars - notably Rowan Atkinson and Alan Rickman), as well as being performed during "Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl" and on other Monty Python shows.

Brooke-Taylor also took part in Frost's pilot programme "How to Irritate People" in 1968, designed to sell what would later be recognised as the 'Monty Python' style of comedy to the American market. Many of the sketches were later revived in the Monty Python TV series, notably the job interview sketch where Brooke-Taylor played a nervous interviewee tormented by interviewer John Cleese. The programme was also notable as the first collaboration of John Cleese and Michael Palin.

In 1968-1969, Brooke-Taylor was also a cast member and writer on the television comedy series "Marty" starring Marty Feldman, with John Junkin and Roland MacLeod. A compilation of the two series of "Marty" has been released on a BBC DVD with the title of "The Best of Marty Feldman".

At around the same time, Brooke-Taylor made two series of "Broaden Your Mind" with Graeme Garden (and Bill Oddie joining the series for the second season). Describing itself as "An Encyclopedia of the Air", this series was a string of comedy sketches (often lifted from "I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again"), linked (loosely) by a weekly running theme. Unfortunately, nothing but a few minutes of film inserts exist for this programme, though home-made off-air audio recordings survive for both seasons. Its success led to the commissioning of "The Goodies", also with Bill Oddie and Graeme Garden. First transmitted on BBC2 in November 1970, "The Goodies" was a huge television success, running for over a decade on both BBC TV and (in its final year) UK commercial channel London Weekend Television, spawning many spin-off books and successful records.

During the run of The Goodies, Brooke-Taylor took part in the BBC radio series "Hello, Cheeky!", a bawdy stand up comedy show also starring Barry Cryer and John Junkin. The series transferred to television briefly, produced by the UK commercial franchise Yorkshire Television.

He also appeared on television in British sitcoms, including "You Must Be the Husband" with Diane Keen, "His and Hers" with Madeline Smith, and "Me and My Girl" with Richard O'Sullivan.

Brooke-Taylor also appeared regularly in advertisements, including the Christmas commercials for the Brentford Nylons chain of fabric stores, and in a public information film for the now-defunct E111 form.

In 1971, he played the short, uncredited role of a computer scientist in the film "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory". After the end of "The Goodies" on UK television, Brooke-Taylor also worked again with Garden and Oddie on the animated television comedy series "Bananaman", in which Brooke-Taylor was the narrator, as well as voicing the characters of King Zorg of the Nurks, Eddie the Gent, Auntie, and Appleman. The voice of the children's TV series "Gideon" was also provided by Brooke-Taylor.

Tim appeared, with Bill Oddie and Graeme Garden, in the Amnesty International show "A Poke in the Eye (With a Sharp Stick)" (during which they sang their hit song "Funky Gibbon"), and also appeared in the Amnesty International show "The Secret Policeman's Other Ball" in the sketches "Top of the Form" (with John Cleese, Graham Chapman, John Bird, John Fortune, Rowan Atkinson and Griff Rhys Jones), and "Cha Cha Cha" (with John Cleese and Graham Chapman).

Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden, and Bill Oddie also appeared on "Top of the Pops" with their song "Funky Gibbon". Brooke-Taylor also appeared with Graeme Garden in the theatre production of "The Unvarnished Truth".

Other BBC radio programmes in which Brooke-Taylor played a part include the self-styled "antidote to panel games" "I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue". On 18 February 1981 Brooke-Taylor was the subject of Thames Television's "This Is Your Life".

Graeme Garden was a regular team captain on the political satire game show "If I Ruled the World". Tim Brooke-Taylor appeared as a guest in one episode, and, during the game "I Couldn't Disagree More" he proposed that it was high time "The Goodies" episodes were repeated. Garden was obliged by the rules of the game to rebut this statement, and replied "I couldn't disagree more... it was time to repeat them ten, fifteen years ago." This was followed by uproarious applause from the studio audience.

In 2004, Brooke-Taylor and Graeme Garden were co-presenters of Channel 4's daytime game show, "Beat the Nation", in which they indulged in usual game show "banter", but took the quiz itself seriously. He remains a well-spoken, instantly recognisable, radio and stage actor and has appeared on stage in Australia and England, usually as a middle-class Englishman. Around 1982, he branched out into pantomime as the Dame in Dick Whittington. He is also the author (and co-author) of several humorous books based mainly around his radio and television work and the sports of golf and cricket. Tim also took part in the "Pro-Celebrity Golf" television series (opposite Bruce Forsyth).

Personal life

Brooke-Taylor is married to Christine and they have two sons, Ben and Edward. ["Who's Who on Television" — Independent Television Books, London, England (1985). ISBN 0-907965-31-6] ["Who's Who on Television" — Independent Television Books, London, England (1988). ISBN 0-907965-40-0] He lives in Berkshire. [Old Wykehamist Record.]


As sole author:*"Rule Britannia":*"Tim Brooke-Taylor's Golf Bag":*"Tim Brooke-Taylor's Cricket Box"

As co-author
* Tim Brooke-Taylor also co-wrote the following books with the other members of The Goodies:

:*"The Goodies File":*"The Goodies Book of Criminal Records":*"The Making of The Goodies Disaster Movie"

Footlights presidency

Other information

Tim Brooke-Taylor served the University of St Andrews as Lord Rector between 1979 and 1982 and is an honorary Vice-President of Derby County FC.


External links

* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/guide/talent/b/brooketaylor_tim.shtml Tim Brooke-Taylor] — BBC Guide to Comedy
* [http://www.museum.tv/archives/etv/B/htmlB/brooke-taylor/brooke-taylor.htm Tim Brooke-Taylor] — The Museum of Broadcast Communication
* [http://www.londonspeakerbureau.co.uk/speakers/viewSpeaker.aspx?speakerid=168 Tim Brooke-Taylor] — London Speaker Bureau
* [http://www.normanphillips.co.uk/tim_brooke_taylor_bio.htm Tim Brooke-Taylor biography] — Personally Speaking – Norman Phillips Organisation
* [http://firstpersonquiz.com/brooketaylor_tim.html Tim Brooke-Taylor] — First Person Quiz
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/clue/article/tim.shtml Tim Brooke-Taylor] — BBC — I'm Sorry, I Haven't a Clue
* [http://www.phill.co.uk/people/b/brooke.html Tim Brooke-Taylor] — TV Comedy People
* [http://www.tv.com/tim-brooke-taylor/person/120426/summary.html Tim Brooke-Taylor] — TV.com
*imdb name|id=0111756|name=Tim Brooke-Taylor
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/clue/interviews/team.shtml ISIHAC interviews — with Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden, and Barry Cryer]
* [http://orangecow.org/pythonet/otherprepythonshows.html The Origin of Monty Python] — mentions Tim, ISIRTA and "At Last the 1948 Show"
* [http://radiohaha.typepad.com/central/2006/06/episode_1.html#ep1interview "Radio Ha Ha" interview] — Tim discusses his career in Episode 1 of Australian comedy podcast "Radio Ha Ha"
* [http://www.footlights.org/past/1963 "A Clump of Plinths"] - the 1963 Cambridge Footlights Club revue - later renamed "Cambridge Circus" (this was the Footlights revue during the time when Tim Brooke-Taylor was President of the Footlights. Tim was also a member of the revue cast)
* [http://www.ibdb.com/person.asp?id=79015 Tim Brooke-Taylor] in "Cambridge Circus" on Broadway at the Internet Broadway Database

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