John Bird Dies: Star of ‘Bremner, Bird And Fortune’ And “The Most Brilliant Of Satirists” Was 86



British actor and satirist John Bird has died aged 86.

The Bremner, Bird and Fortune star passed away “peacefully” on Christmas Eve at a care home in West Sussex, UK, according to his representatives.

Bremner, Bird and Fortune, which was from Vera Productions, ran for 16 seasons in the UK on Channel 4, ending in 2008.

His long-time comedy partner Rory Bremner led the tributes, writing on Twitter he was “deeply saddened to hear that the great John Bird has left us. One of the most modest of men and most brilliant of satirists. And one of the last surviving pillars of the anti-establishment.”

Bremner urged people to view Bird and John Fortunes’ ‘Long Johns’ comedy sketch interviews, in which they played members of the establishment, “and ask yourself if it’s ever been more beautifully done.

“I used to watch from the wings and marvel at how the two friends made it look so effortless, so blissfully funny, their skill and enjoyment in the moment making light of the seriously detailed research that went into each piece.”

Bird also worked with Fortune and Bremner on Rory Bremner, Who Else? for Channel 4 and the BBC’s Now Something Else.

Fortune died aged 74 on New Year’s Eve 2013.

“Lord knows, satire has missed them this last decade and now that loss is permanent,” said Bremner. “John may not have felt he got his life right, but by god he got it written.”

Bird met Fortune at Cambridge University, where he was part of the famous Cambridge Footlights Revue, where his contemporaries included Peter Cook. 

His career included spells at the Royal Court Theatre and acted in fantasy comedy film Jabberwocky, UK comedy series Yes, Prime Minister and One Foot in the Grave, and also played Professor Plum in a TV adaptation of board game Cluedo. He also appeared in popular British detective shows Jonathan CreekInspector Morse and Midsomer Murders.

He is survived by wife Libby and two stepsons.