At last! TfL looks into plaques for ‘I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue' stars

Exclusive: Marcus Brigstocke is latest familiar face to support CNJ idea

Thursday, 28th July — By Harry Taylor

cryer

Barry Cryer died in February

TRANSPORT chiefs are finally looking at honouring a pair of the country’s best-loved comics after a New Journal campaign to see plaques go up for Barry Cryer and Tim Brooke-Taylor at Mornington Crescent station.

The possibility that Transport for London (TfL) might be softening to the idea came as comedian Marcus Brigstocke became the latest famous face to add his support.

Speaking at a stand-up gig at St Mark’s Church in Maida Vale, the 49-year-old, who appeared alongside Mr Cryer on BBC Radio 4’s I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue, said it was an excellent idea.

“Barry Cryer was a judge at the BBC New Comedian awards in 1996, which I won and I thought he put his arm around me and kept it around me throughout my career,” said Mr Brigstocke, who is playing at the Edinburgh Festival next month.

“Actually, Barry’s arm was around everyone in comedy and he was so supportive of everyone. First he would always tell me a new joke I hadn’t heard, then he’d tell me about comics I hadn’t seen. I always count myself enormously lucky to have worked with both Tim Brooke-Taylor and Barry Cryer.”

 

Tim Brooke-Taylor died of Covid [Ed g2s]

The New Journal called for permanent memorials to the comics after Mr Cryer’s death in January aged 86. Both had been on the radio show – termed the “antidote to panel games” – since it began in 1972.

Mr Brooke-Taylor, also known for appearing in The Goodies, died from Covid in April 2020.
Mornington Crescent is the name of a round on the show where panellists try to reach the tube stop through a system of incomprehensible and ever-changing rules.

A plaque is currently in place to former panellist Willie Rushton, and for the first time, this week, TfL said it was working with the BBC to create a memorial to the link between the station and the veteran comedians. So far it has been reluctant to agree to a plaque, instead suggesting a poster – which has been seen as weak alternative.

Marcus Brigstocke

The idea of a proper plaque has had the support of the families of the late Mr Cryer and Mr Brooke-Taylor’s. The British Comedy Society is also in talks with TfL about the possible tribute.
Mr Brigstocke said: “You can always tell an episode which Barry was on because you would just hear the crow – him roaring away with laughter in the background.
“I was never on the show with Barry Cryer and Jeremy Hardy at the same time, but I know when Barry used to fall asleep, Jeremy Hardy would leave a note saying ‘do not resuscitate’.”

Mornington Crescent and, below, our campaign gathering pace earlier this year

Those who have already backed the idea include Victoria Coren-Mitchell and Michael Palin.

A TfL spokesperson said: “With guidance from the BBC, we are working on creating something which celebrates the link between the station and British comedy legends. The form this will take is still under scope to ensure it respectfully pays tribute to comedy legends in the station environment.”

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