Rory Bremner honors John Bird as ‘one of the greatest satirists’

Comedian Rory Bremner paid tribute to “one of the greatest satirists,” John Bird, who has died aged 86.

ird is known for sketches done alongside John Fortune and Bremner on the Channel 4 satirical show Bremner, Bird And Fortune.

Scottish impressionist Bremner, 61, wrote: “It is ironic that one of our greatest satirists, so brilliant at portraying ministers, civil servants or high-ranking officials, always self-satisfied, yet very humble and modest.

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John Bird (left) and John Fortune (right) are famous for their comedy skits The Long Johns (Chris Young/PA)

“In the end, John Bird was never satisfied with himself, always felt he should have done better, was less lazy, had a late Brahms-like period, ‘where everything was idle and abstract. ‘.

“The reality is that he and his friend and collaborator John Fortune, along with Peter Cook, are the mainstays of the opposition.”

A statement announcing Bird’s death said he passed “peacefully” at Pendean’s care home and that the family’s funeral would then be celebrated with his birthday in the new year.

Bremner said it was “astonishing” that Bird passed away on Christmas Eve “nine, close to the date” after Fortune, who died aged 74 on New Year’s Eve 2013.

“God knows, satire has missed them for the past decade and now, that loss is permanent,” he added.

“John may not feel like he got it right, but thanks to God, he wrote it.”

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Comedian Rory Bremner (Ian West/PA)

Bird and Fortune have become household names with their comedy skit The Long Johns, in which the double actor plays politicians, military figures and bumbling businessmen.

They were nominated for four Bafta Awards and won a TV award for their performance in 1997.

Bird, Bremner and Fortune also collaborated on BBC shows Now Something Else and The Rory Bremner Show and the Channel 4 series Rory Bremner, Who Else?

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Bird has appeared in the fantasy comedy Jabberwocky, the comedy shows Yes, Prime Minister, A Very Peculiar Practice, Chambers and One Foot In The Grave and the detective shows Jonathan Creek, Inspector Morse and Midsomer Murders.

Bremner added that seeing Bird and Fortune in action was the “highlight” of his life and that he would be “surprised at the genius of it all”.

He added that Bird can be shy and nervous before the cameras start rolling but once he has to perform, he’ll be “shamefully playful”.

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John Bird won a Bafta Award for his performance in The Long Johns in 1997 (Michael Walter/PA)

In 2007, Bird and Fortune revived their show in a special called The Last Laugh which aired on ITV’s The South Bank Show.

Bremner added that watching the sketch with comedians, playing an investment banker and an interviewer, is a way to “get a sense of the madness behind the 2008 financial crash” as it “mocking the city’s culture led to the collapse with amazing insight”.

He added: “They realize that the real irony lies not in personal attacks on politicians but in exposing the incompetence behind ‘market discipline’ and the culture of privatization. where executives are rewarded for success and rewarded for failure.

Bird, born in Nottingham, attended a grammar school before going to Cambridge and meeting comedy partner Fortune.

While there, he also directed comedian Peter Cook and actress Eleanor Bron in 1959’s Cambridge Footlights Revue, an annual show by the college comedy club featuring David Mitchell, Richard Ayoade and Eric Idle among members.

Bird later joined the Royal Court Theater as assistant director, hosting the first episode of Beyond The Fringe, directing Austrian-American singer Lotte Lenya in a Brecht rendition, and unboxing Night Club Established with Cook in London and New York.

He is survived by his wife Libby, a concert pianist, and his two stepchildren Dan and Josh. Rory Bremner honors John Bird as ‘one of the greatest satirists’

Fry Electronics Team

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