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Remembering Barry Humphries at 90 – and Dame Edna, Sir Les Patterson and Barry McKenzie

Blog | Feb 14, 2024

RIP Dame Edna, Sir Les Patterson and Barry McKenzie

Radio 4 will pay tribute to the late great Barry Humphries (1934-2023), a treasured Oldie columnist, on his 90th birthday. Barry Humphries: Gloriously Uncut is on 17th February at 8pm.

The show features Oldie contributor and cartoonist Nicholas Garland, who, with Barry, created Barry McKenzie, the Private Eye cartoon strip. Another Oldie contributor, film director Bruce Beresford, who directed The Adventures of Barry McKenzie, appears, as does Oldie editor, Harry Mount.

Barry was remembered in a state memorial service at the Sydney Opera House in December. He richly deserved a state memorial service but wasn’t always adored in his native land, where some Australians thought he was mocking them.

At the Oldie, we always revered him. In Barry Humphries, we got four columnists for the price of one: Barry himself, Barry McKenzie, Dame Edna Everage and the great Sir Les Patterson. How tolerant Oldie-readers are – in three years of his columns, no one ever complained about the earthy philosophy of Sir Les Patterson, except for one complainant, who thought Sir Les was real: ‘The thoughts of Sir Les Patterson are disgusting – it’s quite extraordinary that HM the Queen should have appointed him as her cultural attaché to the Court of St James.’