Comedy writer Iain Pattinson has died

Monday 15th February 2021, 3:35pm

Iain Pattinson

Iain Pattinson, who has written countless jokes for shows including I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue, has died.

His agents, referencing one of the Radio 4 panel show's long-running jokes, revealed the news by saying: "I see we've had a letter from a Mrs Trellis of North Wales. It is with sorrow that we announce the death of our client and friend, Iain Pattinson. We are enormously proud of him and his extraordinary career, most notably as the writer of I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue."

Aside from the Radio 4 panel show, he also helped script Radio 4's The Unbelievable Truth and The News Quiz, plus has worked on TV formats like Would I Lie To You?, sketch shows including Spitting Image and other entertainment formats, like Tarrant On TV.

Across his career he won multiple Sony Gold Awards, a Broadcasting Press Guild Award, a TRIC, and a Viewers and Listeners Award.

Series 73 of I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue was on air in December and January, and picked up the Award for Best Radio Panel Show 2020.

In 2008, Pattinson wrote an article about working with former ISIHAC host Humphrey Lyttelton. He said in it: "There can be no greater compliment to the performance of a script than for the audience to fail to notice there is one. At recordings of Clue, even I could forget there was a script. Such was the transformation from the words I'd cobbled up into the masterful performance provided by this octogenarian, Old Etonian trumpet-player, I could collapse with laughter along with the rest of the audience, as if I'd never heard my own words before."

Speaking about how he worked, he joked: "When I am asked how a comedy writer is inspired to write new jokes every week, there is a pat answer: I get up and sit down at my computer with a cup of strong coffee. I then think about the show I have to write: its form, its style, its performers. I then begin to type, inspired by the thought of how the hell I'm going to pay the mortgage."

The BBC's Sioned Wiliam comments: "Iain was a witty and original writer who made a massive contribution to Radio 4 comedy over the years. From Week Ending in the late 80s to his fabulously silly and outrageously funny contributions to I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue, he will be greatly missed by all who knew him at Radio 4."

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