Stars of stage and screen took to Twitter today to pay their final respects to Eric Sykes, the legendary comedy writer and performer who has died aged 89.
Mark Gatiss set the tone for most of the tributes published on the microblogging site, writing: “The wonderful Eric Sykes has left us. A giant of comedy and a gentleman – funny to his very core. RIP”
Simon Pegg said: “Sad news on the passing of Eric Sykes,” and Stephen Fry spared no adjectives in his tribute, writing: “Oh no! Eric Sykes gone? An adorable, brilliant, modest, hilarious, innovative and irreplaceable comic master. Farewell, dear, dear man.”
Magician Paul Daniels tweeted: “RIP Eric Sykes. This man was a REAL Comic Genius and one of the funniest men you could ever meet and talk to,” while comedienne Katy Brand, with tongue in cheek, posted: “Eric Sykes goes just as the god particle is found – coincidence? I don’t think so. RIP Eric.”
Richard Herring said “Sad to hear that Eric Sykes has died,” and BBC Online wag Stuart Ashen concurred, writing: “Bah, Eric Sykes has died. One of the true British comedy heroes.”
Stand-up comedian Robin Ince paid tribute to Sykes with “sad to see that Eric Sykes has died, the last link to many of the most important early post war comedians – a great entertainer,” before reminding us of some of the comic’s latter day work. He wrote: “in recent years Eric Sykes gave lovely performances in The Others & Son of Rambow, and let’s not forget Theatre of Blood.”
Julian Clary kept his tribute simple, saying simply: “RIP Eric Sykes,” while away from Twitter, Sir Bruce Forsyth said: “Eric was one of the greats of comedy in this country, he was universally loved here.
“We used to play golf together with Sean Connery. We were a great golfing fraternity.
“He used to love smoking cigars on the golf course. I’d spike his cigar with my shoes… That’s a loving memory I have of his face when I did that. It was very expressive.”
And former BBC head of comedy Jon Plowman called Sykes “a warm man, a kind man, a warm family man.”
“We won’t see his like again,” he said. “He was a wonderful improviser. His genius was both as a scriptwriter but also someone who could do stuff off the cuff. He was classless and funny and warm.”