"Barry Took gravely ill"
from the Teletext news service
by Simon Holden
Tuesday, 12 March 2002

Very sad news about Barry Took... In 1969, Barry Took was advisor to BBC Light Entertainment and pretty much orchestrated the creation of Monty Python's Flying Circus... I heard it was his idea to bring together the six silly chaps. Our thoughts and prayers to Barry and his family.

Friends fear that Mr Took, 73, does not have long to live.

Political writer and News Quiz quiz master Simon Hoggart accepted the prestigious radio show of the year title at the annual TRIC Awards and dedicated it to him.

"Barry is very sick and we don't know how long he is going to be with us. I was thrilled that show won," said Hoggart.

Friends said Mr Took, comedian and former presenter of Points of View, is in a hospice and is being visited by his daughter only. Friends such as the humourist Alan Coren are not being invited to see him.

Hoggart told TV Plus: "I'd love to see him bounce back but he may be near the end now.

"Barry is the sort of person who could make everyone laugh and he has had a big influence on many of us.

"Barry is a comedy genius. He wrote Round The Horn and gathered The Monty Python crew together for the BBC.

"And more difficult than that he persuaded them to take the Pythons on for a second series. He was chairman of The News Quiz for a long time on Radio 4."

Mr Took also hosted Points of View from 1979-86.