Comedy icon Russ Abbot now a recluse because his shows no longer air, says pal

Comedy legend Russ Abbot has become a recluse because he is hurt his shows are no longer aired, a telly pal said.

The 75-year-old was one of the biggest comic stars of the 80s and early 90s.

Millions tuned in to watch his sketch series The Russ Abbot Show, which ran across BBC One and ITV from 1980 to 1996.

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Former Family Fortunes star Les Dennis appeared in the show, providing laughs alongside Russ’ array of comedy characters, which included Basildon Bond, Cooperman and C.U. Jimmy.

Other shows from that era such as Only Fools and Horses, Porridge and The Two Ronnies continue to be watched on television on channels like Gold.

But The Russ Abbot Show has seemingly been consigned to the dustbin of history.

Les said: “Russ’ shows are not on Dave or Gold, or anything. You can only find them on YouTube.

“Russ has kind of given up now. I think he got a little bit disillusioned.

“He doesn’t work anymore. He lives in Portugal most of the time and he plays golf.”

Les, 69, says it is an outrage that Russ has been forgotten because his comedy is as good as anything from that period.

He argues that audiences both new and old are missing out on seeing gags written by titans of British comedy, such as the late Barry Cryer.

Cryer worked on The Russ Abbot Show as well as with household names like Ronnie Corbett and Ronnie Barker, Bruce Forsyth, Tommy Cooper and Les Dawson.

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The former Family Fortunes host added: “Barry would be the script associate and editor and people would send in sketches and new writers would be found as well.”

In 2013, Russ hit headlines again when his £70,000 car was stolen.

He had left his luxury Mercedes with valet attendants at a golf club, but staff returned to find the vehicle had vanished – with thieves allegedly stealing the keys from the concierge office, before driving off in the car.


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