Kelly Monteith dies at age 80: BBC comedy legend passes away one year after suffering two strokes

Kelly Monteith has died at age 80, one year after suffering two strokes. 

The BBC comedy legend was best known for his self-titled show that ran from 1979 to 1984.

His death was confirmed today by Los Angeles based production company The Anglophlile Channel, which worked closely with him.

Just a year ago the comedian suffered two strokes, seeing his ex-wife Caroline Alexander, who he had two children with, set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for his rehabilitation and speech therapy.

Kelly Monteith, the BBC comedy legend who died aged 80, was best known for his self-titled show that ran from 1979 to 1984

Kelly Monteith, the BBC comedy legend who died aged 80, was best known for his self-titled show that ran from 1979 to 1984

His death was confirmed today by Los Angeles based production company The Anglophlile Channel, which worked closely with him

He reportedly then spent two months at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre.

The Anglophlile Channel said in a statement today: ‘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.

Just a year ago the comedian suffered two strokes, seeing his ex-wife Caroline Alexander (pictured together) set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for his rehabilitation and speech therapy

Just a year ago the comedian suffered two strokes, seeing his ex-wife Caroline Alexander (pictured together) set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for his rehabilitation and speech therapy

He reportedly then spent two months at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre

He reportedly then spent two months at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre

The Anglophlile Channel said in a statement today: 'It is with great sadness that The Anglophile Channel announces the passing of our dearest friend and teammate, award-winning comedian/host, Kelly Monteith'

The Anglophlile Channel said in a statement today: ‘It is with great sadness that The Anglophile Channel announces the passing of our dearest friend and teammate, award-winning comedian/host, Kelly Monteith’

‘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.

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

The statement continued: ‘In America, Monteith starred in two series on CBS called, The Kelly Monteith Show and The Hit Squad.

‘As Kelly often remarked, one of the highlights of his career was performing for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth Il at the Royal Variety Performance in 1983.

‘His time in England was incredibly special to Monteith. During his time there, he met his future wife Caroline. The couple have two children.

‘Kelly will be deeply missed at The Anglophile Channel, in the world of comedy and by his family and friends alike.’

The statement continued: 'Kelly was an integral part of TAC having co-hosted Brit Flix with Kelly, Paul and Two-Buck Chuck and Kelly's BBC Memories' (Kelly pictured centre)

The statement continued: ‘Kelly was an integral part of TAC having co-hosted Brit Flix with Kelly, Paul and Two-Buck Chuck and Kelly’s BBC Memories’ (Kelly pictured centre)

In the statement, The Anglophlile Channel said: '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'

In the statement, The Anglophlile Channel said: ‘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 stand-up star first made a name for himself in the USA’s comedy circuit back in the 70s, having performed 40 times on NBC’s The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson

The stand-up star first made a name for himself in the USA’s comedy circuit back in the 70s, having performed 40 times on NBC’s The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson

The stand-up star first made a name for himself in the USA’s comedy circuit back in the 70s, having performed 40 times on NBC’s The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

Once he moved to the UK, he appeared on Des O’Connor Tonight and Blankety Blank.

After these appearances were successful, he was offered his own series by the BBC that ran for six seasons.

In 1983 he performed at the Royal Variety Performance before embarking on a nation-wide tour.

He was known for breaking the fourth wall by appearing in his dressing room before and after a scene, thereby ‘breaking’ the illusion of having a separate world in which the character exists versus the one in which the audience lives. 

Once he moved to the UK, he appeared on Des O’Connor Tonight and Blankety Blank

Once he moved to the UK, he appeared on Des O’Connor Tonight and Blankety Blank

After these appearances were successful, he was offered his own series by the BBC that ran for six seasons (pictured right at Stringfellows second birthday party in London in 1982)

After these appearances were successful, he was offered his own series by the BBC that ran for six seasons (pictured right at Stringfellows second birthday party in London in 1982)

In 1983 he performed at the Royal Variety Performance before embarking on a nation-wide tour

In 1983 he performed at the Royal Variety Performance before embarking on a nation-wide tour

He was known for breaking the fourth wall by appearing in his dressing room before and after a scene, thereby 'breaking' the illusion of having a separate world in which the character exists versus the one in which the audience lives

He was known for breaking the fourth wall by appearing in his dressing room before and after a scene, thereby ‘breaking’ the illusion of having a separate world in which the character exists versus the one in which the audience lives

Fans took to social media to share tributes following the news of Kelly’s death.

Actor Sanjeev Kohli tweeted: ‘Sad news about Kelly Monteith. Funny, personable & (like Dave Allen) way ahead of his time.

‘Judging from the reaction on here he was a bigger influence than he ever knew.’

Comedian Nick Pettigrew mirrored his admiration, adding: ‘RIP Kelly Monteith. Prototype of Garry Shandling, Seinfeld, etc. and obviously influenced by George Carlin.

‘Way ahead of his time but not seen as such because he made his innovation mainstream. Loved him as a kid.’

And comedian Bennett Arron said: ‘Kelly Monteith has passed away!

‘A few years ago I said in an interview that, along with Morecambe and Wise, Tommy Cooper and my father, he was one of my favourite comedians.

‘He heard about it, got in contact and thanked me. It’s sad that many won’t know of him.’

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