Comedy legend Eric Sykes dies aged 89

Comedian who worked alongside Tony Hancock, Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers passes away following a short illness

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The comedian Eric Sykes has died at the age of 89 following a short illness, according to his manager Norma Farnes.

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Born in 1923 in Oldham, Sykes enjoyed a comedy career which spanned seven decades, and in his time he worked alongside a host of comedy legends including Tony Hancock, Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers.

Perhaps best known for his work on The Goon Show in the 1950s, Sykes also starred in his own sitcom Sykes and A… with Carry On actress Hattie Jacques in the early 1960s.

During the course of his career Sykes won the love and respect of both his peers and the public, winning a string of awards including BBC TV Personality of the Year in 1964, the 25th Golden Rose of Montreux in 1985 and a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 1992 British Comedy Awards. He was also made an OBE in 1986 and a CBE in 2004.

Despite being very hard of hearing, Sykes remained a regular face on TV until the end of his life, his last on-screen role coming in an episode of Agatha Christie: Poirot called Hallowe’en Party in 2010.

Confirming Sykes’s passing, Farnes added in her statement: “His family were with him.”

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Read tributes to Eric Sykes from stars of stage and screen here.