£3,000 - £6,000
Type of Entertainment
Speaker - After Dinner Speaker
Corporate Events, Conferences, Award Ceremonies, Launch Events
Radio and stage actor, Tim Brooke Taylor is also an author of several witty books and of course a former Goodie!
Tim was born in Buxton, Derbyshire. His father was a solicitor, his mother a Lacrosse International and his maternal grandfather, a parson who played centre-forward for England in the 1890’s.
After a bad educational start – he was expelled from his first school at the age of five and a half – he went to various schools in Buxton and then on to Winchester College. Before going to Cambridge he taught at two private schools but only subjects he knew very little about.
In 1960 he began an Economics and Law degree course at Pembroke College, Cambridge and as a result of a promise he made to the Derbyshire Education Committee, he joined the Footlights Revue Club. It was in the Footlights that he first met, wrote and performed with Bill Oddie, Graeme Garden, John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Eric Idle and Jonathan Lynn. He appeared in the 1962 revue produced by Trevor Nunn, who also directed him in Much Ado About Nothing and Ibsen’s Brand. In 1963 he became president of the Footlights, got a much better degree than he deserved and stayed with that year’s revue, Cambridge Circus, when it transferred to the West End for five months.
When the show closed he spent nine months as a researcher with ATV until July 1964 when Cambridge Circus was revived for visits to New Zealand and Broadway. After six months in New York with an appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show with The Animals and Joan Sutherland, he left Cambridge Circus in the hands of a new American cast and toured the States and Canada with a stage version of That Was The Week That Was (the cast included David Frost, Bill Oddie and Willie Rushton).
In 1965 he returned to England, wrote scripts and edited a Spike Milligan series for ATV. Later he made his first regular TV appearances in On The Braden Beat, as a bowler-hatted character he had created with views far to the right of even the most avid Euro Sceptic. He was an editor for the first series of the thrice-weekly live Frost Programme. David Frost asked Tim to do his own show, which eventually resulted in two series of At Last The 1948 Show in which he wrote and co-starred with Marty Feldman, John Cleese, Graham Chapman and ‘the lovely’ Aimi McDonald. They produced many classic sketches including the almost legendary Four Yorkshiremen (‘eee you were lucky’). This led to two series of Marty for the BBC.
Simultaneously he had started to write for and act in the long-running radio series I’m Sorry I’ll Read That Again in which he is best remembered as Tim Brown-Windsor, Lady Constance de Coverlet and Spot the Dog.
In 1968/9 he wrote and co-starred with Graeme Garden in two series of Broaden Your Mind. A third series was commissioned but, together with Bill Oddie, they handed the BBC a set of scripts with a completely different format – The Goodies. The off-beat humour was retained but instead of random sketches with punchlines there were now three definite, regular characters, loosely based on themselves, with a complete storyline every week. The Goodies proved immensely popular around the world and is still being shown regularly in Australia and New Zealand. Steven Spielberg even expressed an interest in making a Goodies movie. Tim is ‘slightly puzzled’ that the BBC hasn’t repeated them, though they have released six shows on two videos (available at all good outlets and some pretty awful ones as well). Their books and records were all best sellers. Who can forget The Funky Gibbon? Well we can try.
Tim has had two considerable stage successes in Australia with My Fat Friend and the musical Privates on Parade and many in England including West End runs with Graeme Garden in Royce Ryton’s very funny play The Unvarnished Truth, with Richard O’Sullivan in Run For Your Wife and with Edward Fox in The Philanthropist.
His straight roles on TV include a three hander for the BBC – Possibilities by Jonathan Raban and for ITV The Overnight Bag by Graeme Greene.
Tim, Barry Cryer, Graeme Garden, Willie Rushton and Humphrey Lyttleton have made thirty series of the infuriating radio panel game I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue. In 1998 after 26 years I’m Sorry won it’s first Radio Show of the Year award and it’s second – one from the critics and one from the listeners. The death of Tim’s regular partner, the irreplaceable Willie Rushton, has left a huge gap filled by guests such as Paul Merton, Stephen Fry and Sandi Toksvig.
In the eighties he recorded a comedy series for the American cable company, HBO, called Assaulted Nuts and also chaired a BBC TV panel game Loose Ends. He has hosted a weekly, live, talent show for Granada TV, The Fame Game, a daily quiz, live, for Channel 4, QD The Master Game and chaired a couple of series of Does The Team Think for Thames, with Frankie Howard, Beryl Reid, Jimmy Edwards and Willie Rushton.
After a successful run of 52 programmes with Richard O’Sullivan in LWT’s Me & My Girl, he joined forces with one of it’s writers, Colin Bostock-Smith, for two series of You Must Be The Husband at the BBC. Colin wrote a stage play very loosely based on the television series You Must Be the Husband which was first produced at the Palace Theatre, Watford. Tim co-starred with Brigit Forsyth in this production and the play was revived in 1992, with the same leads, for a tour of the UK in the Spring and the far and middle-East in the Autumn. During a similar tour, for Derek Nimmo in 1990, Tim played the part of Norman in Alan Ayckbourne’s Table Manners, a tour which took in Peking and a war-torn Gulf. Also for Derek Nimmo he has starred in two Ray Cooney plays, Wife Begins at Forty in 1994/5 and in 1997 Move Over Mrs Markham.
Christmas 1997. He enjoyed playing the part of the baddie, Abanazar at Windsor where he was attacked twice daily by Rod Hull and his Emu. He also moved as Victor Meldrew’s new next door neighbour in the Christmas special of One Foot In the Grave.
He has written three books, Rule Britannia, Tim Brooke-Taylor’s Cricket Box and Tim Brooke-Taylor’s Golf Bag.
He says he could go on and tell you about the two times he acted, wrote with and directed Orson Welles. He could also tell you about the time he helped Seve Ballesteros with his golf. Not to mention the time he replaced Olivia Newton John in a Cliff Richard TV film, as was himself once replaced by Emma Thompson. But he won’t because, although true, he thinks you’ve probably stopped reading by now.
He is proud to have served for three hard-working years as Rector of St. Andrews University and was highly delighted when the University awarded him an honorary doctorate. Dr. Brooke-Taylor was also, briefly, a director of Derby County Football Club and will always be a devout fan. His golf handicap is currently 12.6.
He is married to Christine, having met as two terrified beginners on a ski slope in Switzerland but has no intention of saying “and they’ve been going downhill ever since”.
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