27 January 2022

Comedy legend Barry Cryer shared ‘amazing’ tales about his life at the local pub

27 January 2022

Veteran performer Barry Cryer shared “amazing” tales about his seven-decade career at the pub he used to frequent, staff have recalled.

The comedy star, who appeared on stage, screen and radio and penned jokes for countless household names, has died age 86.

Over the last decade, the Leeds-born performer had been visiting his local pub The Moon And Sixpence in Harrow, sharing stories that “always had a punchline”.

A member of staff, who did not want to be named, remembered a particular tale he liked to tell about the kindness of Diana, Princess of Wales.

She told the PA news agency: “He was meant to met her with his wife but for whatever reason she was not well.

“Barry, who was sat next to the Princess, explained to Diana that his wife was unwell … during a speech by Prince Charles she said to him ‘wouldn’t you rather be somewhere else?’, which was a reference to it being boring.

“Princess Diana was given lots of flowers and she said ‘please can you give these flowers to your wife’.

“He was so shocked she had remembered his wife was unwell as she had met lots of people that day.”

Barry Cryer has died age 86 (Yui Mok/PA) (PA Archive)

Cryer reportedly told the pub staff he went straight home and gave his wife, Theresa, the flowers from Diana.

The employee described Cryer as a “character” who “always had a smile on his face”.

In tribute, she said: “He was a very nice man, a very humble man, he was always kind to everyone who came over to him.

“He would tell his old jokes and stories, everything always had a punchline.

“He used to say ‘touring at 80, I am lucky to be doing anything at 80!’

“It does not matter the day, he never seemed angry, he was always so happy, it was exciting to go over to him… we will miss him dearly.”

During his seven-decade career, Cryer wrote for legends of British comedy, including Ronnie Barker, Ronnie Corbett, Sir Billy Connolly and Tommy Cooper.

The pub employee, which belongs to the JD Wetherspoon chain, added: “I used to watch his shows, my dad was a big fan.

“When I first started working here I remember whispering ‘is that Barry Cryer’, people my age did not know who I was talking about.

“He was so friendly, he was more than happy to talk, he knew everyone.”

Cryer’s family said a funeral would take place in the coming weeks and would be followed later by a “more inclusive” memorial service.

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