Comedian John Fortune dies aged 74

John Fortune, the comedian made famous on Bremner, Bird and Fortune, has died at the age of 74. His agent said the veteran satire comic died peacefully with his wife Emma at his bedside.

John Bird: John Fortune 'made me funny'

The comedian John Bird has paid tribute to his friend and lifelong collaborator John Fortune, who has died.

John Fortune (R) and John Bird with their BAFTA awards for Best Light Entertainment Performance in 1997
John Fortune (R) and John Bird with their BAFTA awards for Best Light Entertainment Performance in 1997 Credit: Fiona Hanson/PA Wire

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, he said Fortune was a "priceless asset as a working partner" and added that "not only was he a very funny person, but he made me funny".

"We used to work at my house every day ... and as soon as he arrived everything flowed ... He just made everything easy.

"He was a very compassionate and a very cultured person," he added.

Fortune was the 'funniest person you could ever meet'

John Fortune, the comedian made famous on Bremner, Bird and Fortune, has died at the age of 74. Credit: PA Wire

Friend and long-time producer on Bremner, Bird And Fortune Geoff Atkinson described John Fortune as "unique".

He said: "He was a joy to work with, an inspiration as a writer, and the funniest person you could ever meet. But it was as a friend that I valued him most.

"His partnership with John Bird seemed effortless on air yet every week they'd sit with a blank sheet of paper and 10 minutes to fill in five days' time - that they filled it so brilliantly week after week never failed to amaze me.

"He steered and shaped the shows we made (nearly 150) and it was his soul that sat at the heart of what we did.

"Honest, kind, caring, over 20 years, I benefited so much from his quiet wise words as a friend, and an inspiration. It's horrible to know we'll never hear George Parr's voice again."

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Satirist John Fortune became a household name

John Fortune was best known as half of the award-winning comedy duo The Long Johns alongside John Bird.

The pair became household names for their witty characterisations of bumbling politicians, military figures and businessmen.

John Fortune (R) with fellow comedians Rory Bremner (C) and John Bird
John Fortune (R) with fellow comedians Rory Bremner (C) and John Bird Credit: Chris Young/PA Wire

He played a key role setting up The Establishment Club with Peter Cook in the 1960s, taking the review on tour to America.

John Fortune (R) and John Bird with their BAFTA awards for Best Light Entertainment Performance in 1997
John Fortune (R) and John Bird with their BAFTA awards for Best Light Entertainment Performance in 1997 Credit: Fiona Hanson/PA Wire

In 1997 he won a Bafta for Best Light Entertainment Performance for his work on Rory Bremner, Who Else? alongside Bremner and Bird.

He was also nominated four times for Baftas between 1999 and 2003.

Comedian John Fortune dies aged 74

Comedian John Fortune has died at the age of 74.

His agent said the veteran satire comic died peacefully with his wife Emma at his bedside.

Read tributes and more.

John Fortune has died.
John Fortune has died. Credit: Jon Furniss/allaction.co.uk /EMPICS Entertainment

Vivienne Clore said: "It is with great sadness that I write of the death of John Fortune this morning aged 74.

"He died peacefully with his wife, Emma and dog Grizelle, at his bedside.

"A renowned satirist, early work included contributions to Peter Cook's Establishment club and more latterly his work with long term collaborator, John Bird and Rory Bremner.

"He is survived by his adored wife, Emma and three children."