Barry may not be the youngest comedian on the block but he is proof - if proof were needed - that maturity can add wisdom without blunting the sharp delivery that is an essential part of any stand-up or cabaret comedy act. A comparison of recent and old episodes of the much loved long-running BBC Radio 4 panel game I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue (Barry has been a panellist on the show for over 30 years!) provides ample evidence that he has maintained his quick wit and sardonic style, with added warmth and charm.
Barry's long-running career has involved both writing and performing. He is a superlative performer, with a relaxed style that audiences immediately warm to. No wonder Barry is regarded as the first choice for Cabaret, Awards ceremonies and After-dinner speeches, addressing and entertaining at hundreds of corporate events. His sense of timing is so natural that one sometimes forgets that his humour is actually written and not just off the cuff! This skill may be innate but it also reflects his talent as a writer, in which capacity he has also worked with just about every British comedy legend one can think of, from Frankie Howard and Tommy Cooper to Jasper Carrott and Rory Bremner.
Barry got his big break in the 1960s when he joined the writing team for David Frost's TV show The Frost Report (1966-1967), alongside John Cleese, Graham Chapman and Marty Feldman. He subsequently wrote in partnership with fellow comedian John Junkin, including several editions of The Morecambe and Wise Show during its BBC heyday (including the 1972 and 1976 Christmas shows), when regular writer Eddie Braben was unavailable. Barry also hosted the ITV comedy panel game Jokers Wild (1969-74).
With a new generation of comedians who wrote their own material emerging in the 1980s, Barry turned towards performing to supplement the writing side of his career, touring with Willie Rushton in Two Old Farts in the Night and, after Rushton's death, That Reminds Me. After a brief early stint as chairman, Barry became a regular panellist on I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, which first aired in 1972. He is also familiar with the live comedy scene, having hosted BBC 1's Stand-Up Show and toured with his own stand-up show, including a stint at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Barry has written an autobiography, You Won't Believe This But..., as well as a book of miscellaneous anecdotes entitled Pigs Can Fly.
Barry is one of our leading After-dinner Speakers and just about the best in the business. To book him for your event, contact us via the Prime Performers online booking enquiry form or alternatively call 020 7251 8222.
- Business and Economics Presenter on Radio 4's flagship Today Programme. Simon is also known for being a financial journalist, broadcaster and the face of BBC Breakfast’s business news.
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- Sir Alan Sugar's right-hand man on The Apprentice and presenter of C4 Countdown.