Legendary American Comedian and BBC Television Star Kelly Monteith Passes Away at 80

Legendary American Comedian and BBC Television Star, Kelly Monteith, Passes Away at 80.

[JAN 1, 2023 – LOS ANGELES]

It is with great sadness that The Anglophile Channel announces the passing of our dearest friend, teammate and creative collaborator, award-winning comedian/host, Kelly Monteith, who died on January 1, 2023 at the age of 80. 

Monteith was an integral part of The Anglophile Channel having Produced and co-hosted “Brit Flix with Kelly, Paul and Two-Buck Chuck” for which Monteith and Paul Boland were awarded the National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Award for Best Television Anchor/Host by the Los Angeles Press Club.

Born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1942, Monteith made his stand-up comedy debut in 8th grade where he did five minutes in a talent show in front of his classmates. His jokes included material on the students, teachers and cafeteria. After that he got the comedy bug!

Monteith rose to fame after a few successful appearances on the “Des O’Connor Show” which led to Monteith starring in his own successful comedy series, “Kelly Monteith,” which ran on the BBC for six seasons. Monteith co-wrote his titular series with Neil Shand which included series regulars Gabrille Drake, Lisa Vanderpump and Sting’s wife, Trudie Styler. Monteith was the one of the first American comedians to get his own show on the BBC.

Monteith with co-star Gabrielle Drake

Trudie Styler was a series regular that Monteith remembers fondly in “BBC Memories”

BBC’s Kelly Monteith

Monteith later Produced and Hosted “Kelly Monteith’s BBC Memories” which featured a look back at his groundbreaking comedy series which was noted for breaking the fourth wall. A mix between sit-com and sketch show, it later became the inspiration for many network comedy series. 

Bravo’s Lisa Vanderpump played Kelly’s girlfriend on BBC’s Kelly Monteith.

Visit The Anglophile Channel on YouTube to watch KELLY MONTEITH’S BBC MEMORIES:  Kelly Monteith’s BBC Memories

One of the many appearances Monteith made on the Des O’Connor show which led to his own self-titled comedy series on the BBC.

With Des O’Connor

In America, Monteith starred in two series on CBS called, “The Kelly Monteith Show” and “The Hit Squad.” 

Freddie Prinze appears on Monteith’s CBS variety show.

Monteith also made 40+ appearances on “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” and Jay Leno as well as “The Late Show with David Letterman.”

THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JOHNNY CARSON — Pictured: (l-t) Comedian Kelly Monteith during an interview with host Johnny Carson on December 3,1976 — (Photo by: Ron Tom/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

Monteith often said that one of the highlights of his career was performing for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at the Royal Variety Performance in 1983. Monteith’s time in England was also incredibly special to him as that is where he met his future wife Caroline. 

Monteith meets The Queen after The Royal Variety Performance in 1983

Caroline recalls that one of their favorite places to dine in London was the famed Mayfair eatery, Langan’s Brasserie, which was just around the corner from where they lived. “We would be at dinner and people would come up to our table to meet Kelly. He was always so kind to them and generous with his time. He loved meeting and interacting with his fans.” 

Monteith was also well-respected in the comedy world amongst peers such as Jerry Seinfeld, Steve Martin and Jay Leno. Leno called Monteith a comedian who was “always extremely clever, extremely funny. One of the benchmarks. For those of us of a certain generation, Kelly was the guy.” Comedians Dennis Miller and Brian Regan also praised Monteith, often citing him as their inspiration for going into stand-up comedy.

On the road Kelly enjoyed a career working in Las Vegas opening for legendary entertainers Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis Jr., Aretha Franklin and many more. Kelly became a top headline entertainer for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and was always much in demand. 

In February 2021, Monteith suffered a massive stroke and struggled to come back from his debilitating illness for almost two years. On New Years Day at 6:07pm Monteith passed away peacefully at his home in Los Angeles surrounded by his family.

On a personal note, Kelly was more than a teammate to us, he was a dear friend who we considered family.

He will be greatly missed by The Anglophile Channel family including Executive Producers Marlise and Paul Boland, Creative Director/Writer/Editor Juliette Boland, Host/Writer Elyse Ashton, Music Composer Richard Allen and Social Media Admin Meghan McKillop, and by his fans and admirers around the world.

RIP Kelly Monteith. Our hearts will never be the same but we know your work will live on to entertain audiences and inspire comedy talent for generations to come.

Share your messages of condolence for Kelly here or how his work entertained/inspired you. All messages will be shared with the Monteith family. 

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