Surreal comedy writer Victor Lewis-Smith dies in Belgium aged 65

Victor Lewis-Smith dies aged 65: Writer and broadcaster known for his surreal comedy passes away in Belgium following a short illness

  • Satirist and broadcaster who wrote for Private Eye for 30 years dies in Belgium
  • The surrealist comedian was also known for high-profile prank calls on A-listers
  • His final production, Hitler’s Jazz Band, will be broadcast on Wednesday

Satirist and comedian Victor Lewis-Smith has died aged 65 after a short illness.

The Essex-born broadcaster was known for his surreal comedy style and prank calls on celebrities including Princess Diana.

Lewis-Smith also wrote for Private Eye from 1993 until his death, which took place on Saturday in Bruges according to his agent.

Other targets included the Harrods department store and TV series Jim’ll Fix It.

His calls, often broadcast as part of his radio shows, would be cited by comics including Sacha Baron Cohen as inspiration.

Lewis-Smith is pictured with his unmistakable hairstyle during the making of a programme

Born in Essex, he began his broadcasting career at BBC Radio Medway before studying music in the late 1970s at the University of York.

Victor Lewis-Smith is pictured walking in an undated image

After presenting for Radio York, he moved to Radio 4 where he was a staff producer for Midweek and Start The Week during the mid-1980s.

He brought his anarchic style to the long-running show Loose Ends.

Lewis-Smith left the BBC to pursue a career as a print journalist, working as chief television reviewer for the London Evening Standard for more than 15 years and as a columnist for the Daily Mirror for a decade.

He also served as restaurant reviewer for Harpers & Queen and spent 30 years contributing to Private Eye.

In 1996, Lewis-Smith posed as astrophysicist Stephen Hawking using the same electronic voice technology as the professor to hoax Diana.

Their freewheeling conversation, covering the now King and the Clinton family, was released in its entirety in 2015 after being kept in a safe for two decades.

Lewis-Smith pretended to be Stephen Hawking when he made the prank call on Princess Diana

His television production company, Associated Rediffusion Productions, has been behind numerous programmes including TV Offal (1997-1998) and Keith Meets… with stand-up Keith Allen for Channel 4.

His final production, Hitler’s Jazz Band, will be broadcast by Sky Arts on Wednesday December 14 at 9pm.

He is survived by his wife Virginia and his daughter Lucia.

Source: Read Full Article