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Brooke-Taylor, Tim (1940-)

Actor, Presenter, Writer

Main image of Brooke-Taylor, Tim (1940-)

Timothy Julian Brooke-Taylor, the son of a lawyer and a sports mistress was born in Buxton, Derbyshire on 17 July 1940. At Pembroke College, Cambridge, he studied law with his fellow Footlights performer, John Cleese. In his final year, he was named President of the Footlights and oversaw their successful revue A Clump of Plinths, which transferred to the West End and then toured New Zealand and Broadway.

In 1963, Brooke-Taylor and his circus team, including Cleese and future Goodie Bill Oddie, began the long running pun-ridden radio series I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again. On television in 1965, he graduated from researcher to performer on the consumer affairs magazine On The Braden Beat (ITV, 1962-67) and with Cleese, Graham Chapman, Marty Feldman and Aimi Macdonald created the surreal and ground-breaking sketch series At Last The 1948 Show (ITV, 1967). Brooke-Taylor struck up a close working relationship with Feldman and their partnership continued with the latter's series It's Marty (BBC 1968-69) and one-off special Marty Amok (BBC, tx. 30/3/1970).

The encyclopaedic sketch series Broaden Your Mind (BBC, 1968-69) conceived by Brooke-Taylor was co-written and performed with Graeme Garden. By the second series Bill Oddie had become a regular cast member and the final piece of the jigsaw was in place for the award-winning The Goodies (BBC, 1970-80; ITV, 1981-82), in which Tim's character was clearly defined as a union-jack waistcoat wearing Establishment member.

Away from the anarchic world of Cricklewood, he has slipped in and out of the cosy surroundings of sit-com: His and Hers (ITV, 1970-72), the long-running Me and My Girl (ITV, 1984-88) and You Must Be The Husband (BBC, 1987-88). A short but intriguing film career has seen him as a computer analyst in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (US, 1971) and, curiously, three short films with Orson Welles. In recent years he has performed mainly on stage, but co-hosted the quiz Beat the Nation (Channel 4, 2004) with Graeme Garden, with whom he continues to provide plenty of laughs as a regular panellist on radio's I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue.

Graham Rinaldi

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Selected credits

Thumbnail image of Goodies, The (1970-82)Goodies, The (1970-82)

Daft and surreal comedy from Tim, Graeme and Bill

Thumbnail image of It's Marty (1968-69)It's Marty (1968-69)

Marty Feldman's unjustly forgotten pre-Python sketch series

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Related people and organisations

Thumbnail image of Garden, Graeme (1943-)Garden, Graeme (1943-)

Actor, Presenter, Writer

Thumbnail image of Oddie, Bill (1941-)Oddie, Bill (1941-)

Actor, Presenter, Writer