Tributes have been coming in after musician and comedian Neil Innes, who was known for his work with Monty Python as well as spoof band The Rutles, sadly died.
Sherlock actor Mark Gatiss and broadcaster Iain Lee were among those paying their respects to Innes, who penned a number of songs for Python as well as appearing in Life Of Brian.
Aside from author Douglas Adams, he was one of only two non-Pythons who was credited as a writer for the show.
He was also well-known as a member of the band The Rutles – a rock band who came under fire for parodying The Beatles, and who even landed him in court as a result.
How old was Neil Innes?
Neil Innes was 75 years old at the time of his death.
He celebrated his 75th birthday earlier this month, having been born on 9 December 1944 in Danbury, Essex.
What was Neil Innes’ cause of death?
The cause of Innes’ death has not been confirmed.
However the sad news of his passing was announced by his agent Nigel Morton on Monday.
According to Sky News, Morton said that his death was unexpected and that he had not been ill.
How was Neil Innes best known?
Innes originally found fame as a member of the 60s group the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, which he formed at college with friend Vivian Stanshall.
They were best known for their 1968 hit I’m The Urban Spaceman, which peaked at number five in the charts – and which went on to win Innes an Ivor Novello Award.
Another of their songs, Death Cab For Cutie, featured in the Beatles’ film Magical Mystery Tour – and also is the name of an alternative American rock band.
Innes became associated with Monty Python in the 70s, having contributed music to two of their albums – and played a big part in writing songs for the final series in 1974, following the temporary departure of John Cleese.
As well as writing songs for their 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, he also appeared in Life Of Brian in 1979 and in Terry Gilliam’s 1977 film Jabberwocky.
After Python finished its TV run Innes continued to work in TV, fronting his own series The Innes Book Of Records as well as appearing with Python cast member Eric Idle on the TV series Rutland Weekend Television – a sketch show set in a fictional regional TV station.
It was this which gave rise to The Rutles – a band who were an affectionate parody of The Beatles.
More recently, Innes was involved with comedy musical collective The Idiot Bastard Band, which featured Adrian Edmondson, Rowland Rivron, Simon Brint and Phill Jupitus.
Who starred with Neil Innes in The Rutles?
The Rutles featured a string of different members although the original line-up featured Innes, Eric Idle, David Battley and John Halsey.
The band gained attention after being featured in the 1978 mockumentary All You Need Is Cash – which featured former Beatle George Harrison, who also assisted in the film’s creation.
Despite this, the band’s music came under fire for parodying The Beatles and Neil was even taken to court by the owners of the group’s catalogue at the time.
He testified under oath that he did not listen to The Beatles’ music while recording The Rutles’ songs.
The band featured in a second movie, The Rutles 2: Can’t Buy Me Lunch, in 2002.
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