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Comedy star Eric Sykes dies aged 89
Comic actor Eric Sykes has died at the age of 89 after a short illness.
In a wide-ranging career, he will be remembered best for the long-running and widely acclaimed Sykes And A... TV series with Hattie Jacques.
He also wrote scripts for stars such as Peter Sellers, Frankie Howerd and Stanley Unwin.
His manager, Norma Farnes, said: "Eric Sykes, 89, star of TV, stage and films died peacefully this morning after a short illness. His family were with him."
Sir Bruce Forsyth paid tribute to the Oldham-born star and scriptwriter, who appeared on the West End stage: "Eric was one of the greats of comedy in this country. He was universally loved here. He was just one of the funniest men ever in comedy.
"He was very lovely, very gentle and not a loud-mouth. He was a very clever writer. His scripts were amazing."
Actor Bernard Cribbins, who starred in two of Sykes's comedy shorts, The Plank (1979) and It's Your Move (1969), also paid tribute.
"He will be very sadly missed," he said. "I just wish him a lot of rest up there with all the other comics, Spike Milligan and Harry Secombe. They will all be up there, having a laugh together."
Cribbins added of the star, who was also his friend and golf buddy: "He was a very, very good writer, not only for himself but for other people as well. There was a strange, quirky, off-beat quality to his writing."
Comedy writer Eddie Braben said of Sykes: "He was a monumental man of comedy, an inspirational figure for those who aimed for comedy success and a fine hero of comedy. He leaves an enormous gap in the field of fun. His was the comedy of innocence. He didn't raise any bruises, only laughter."