Tim Brooke-Taylor

Derby Theatre


Billed as  An Audience With Tim Brooke-Taylor, the genial writer, broadcaster and performer was in conversation with Chris Serle, for one night only at Derby Theatre.

Warmly greeted by the audience, the evening began with some early recollections of his schooldays, which included the disgrace of being expelled at the age of five and a half, his encounters with the Brownies and, his subsequent educational experiences at Winchester and Cambridge.

Born into a family whose background was firmly based in the legal profession, it may have been expected that he too would follow in his forebears footsteps. However, he did study Latin, his only concession to anything remotely connected to the world of law.

Once at Cambridge he joined the famous Footlights and was very soon a member of the illustrious sketch troupe, both writing and performing, along with John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Bill Oddie and Graeme Garden, eventually becoming president of the society in 1963.

During this time, satirical and anti-establishment material were the accepted genre, and Tim summed up this exciting period in a phrase that perfectly encapsulates the mood of the period . . . "In the sixties, everything was possible "

Success followed when he became a researcher on The Frost Programme, and soon more TV with At last - the 1948 show and, possibly the series for which he is most well-known, The Goodies.

Filming with Orson Wells was a highlight and throughout the evening, snippets of footage were interspersed with the interview, giving us a reminder of the vast range and versatility that has spanned a career stretching more than 50 years.

Some lovely stories included the time Tim played at a pro-am golf tournament with his hero, Seve Ballesteros. Also, his lifelong association with Derby County football club of which he was a former director, plus, honorary doctorates at both Derby and St Andrews add to his list of achievements.

Currently, Tim is a regular panellist on Radio 4 with the long running show, I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue which seemed to ignite a huge spark of familiarity within the Derby audience. Finally, written questions from the floor were answered with amusing anecdotes, honesty and humour bringing the one man show to its close. A pleasant evening in the company of a man who has entertained generations of fans with his unique style, covering a wide variety of hugely successful and memorable presentations and . . . one will surely never forget, The Funky Gibbon.

Elizabeth Smith and Rosemary Manjunath


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