‘Modest’ Barry Cryer kept Northwick Park nurses laughing in his final days

File photo dated 02/02/16 of Barry Cryer arriving for the Oldie of the Year awards, at Simpsons-in-t

Barry Cryer died at the age of 86 - Credit: PA

The Northwick Park Hospital team who cared for Barry Cryer before the comedian’s death have paid tribute to his “joking” nature. 

Cryer, best known for his 50 years on BBC Radio 4 panel game I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue, died in January aged 86.

Nurses have said that he lost none of his timing or knack for punchlines even towards the end of his life, as he “kept everybody laughing” on ward.

Nisanthan Mahalingam, an assistant practitioner who looked after him, said: “He was a lovely patient who was always joking and making us smile, despite the fact that he was ill.

“He showed a lot of courage and humour and is a good example to us all. He was so modest and didn’t even mention who he was although I should have guessed from the jokes.” 

Cryer has been married to wife Theresa Donovan for sixty years and the pair had four children. 

As well as his long time radio passion, Cryer was also a prolific writer of comedy and passed on his material to legends of the UK scene including The Two Ronnies and Morecambe & Wise. 

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He once said of himself: “I’m 59 and people call me middle aged. How many 118-year-old men do you know?”

His death led to an outpouring of tributes from writers and comedians across the generations. 

The novelist Jonathan Coe tweeted: “Every single thing he did was in the name of laughter, and lifting our spirits. That’s what I call a life well lived.”

Macmillan medic Mahalingam is part of a team looking after patients requiring end-of-life care ensuring their needs are met and as well as acting as an advocate for families.

He added: “It’s a privilege to be part of someone’s journey and the Cryer family sent a lovely message of thanks which we all appreciated.”