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Kelly Monteith death: BBC comedy legend dies aged 80

Comedian was the first American to get his own BBC show

Inga Parkel
Tuesday 03 January 2023 15:05 GMT
Kelly Monteith on ‘The Kelly Monteith Show’
Kelly Monteith on ‘The Kelly Monteith Show’ (BBC)

BBC comedy legend Kelly Monteith has died aged 80.

The American comic, best known for his self-titled BBC show, which ran from 1979 to 1984, died on Monday (2 January).

His death was announced by Los Angeles-based production company The Anglophile Channel, which he had worked closely with.

Monteith’s passing comes just a year after he suffered two strokes in February 2021 that left him with aphasia. At the time, his ex-wife Caroline Alexander created a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for his rehabilitation and speech therapy.

He reportedly spent two years at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre.

The Anglophile Channel shared a statement on social media which read: “It is with great sadness that The Anglophile Channel announces the passing of our dearest friend and teammate, award-winning comedian/host, Kelly Monteith.

“Kelly was an integral part of TAC having co-hosted Brit Flix with Kelly, Paul and Two-Buck Chuck and Kelly’s BBC Memories.

“In 2015, Monteith and Paul Boland were awarded the National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Award for Best Television Anchor/Host by the Los Angeles Press Club.”

Born in St Louis, Missouri in 1942, Monteith began his career as a guest comedian on NBC’s The Tonight Show and BBC’s Des ‘Connor Show.

“After a few successful appearances on the Des O’Connor Show, Monteith starred in his own successful comedy series, Kelly Monteith, which ran on the BBC for six seasons,” the statement continued.

“Monteith co-wrote his titular series with Neil Shand. Monteith was one of the first American comedians to get his own show on the BBC.”

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