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Eric Sykes CBE (4 May 1923 – 4 July 2012) was an English radio, television and film writer, actor and director whose performing career spanned more than 50 years. He frequently wrote for and/or performed with many other leading comedy performers and writers of the period, including Tony Hancock, Spike Milligan, Peter Sellers, John Antrobus and Johnny Speight. Sykes first came to prominence through his many radio credits as a writer and actor in the 1950s, most notably through his collaboration on The Goon Show scripts. He became a TV star in his own right in the early 1960s when he appeared with Hattie Jacques in several popular BBC comedy television series. A trademark of Sykes's work is the idea of taking a single comic idea to its extremes.