Sydney Lotterby

Sydney Warren Lotterby

(1926-11-30)30 November 1926
Paddington, London, England, UK
Died28 July 2020(2020-07-28) (aged 93)
OccupationTelevision producer, television director
Years active1948-2005
Notable work
Last of the Summer Wine
Open All Hours
The Liver Birds
Marcia Dos Santos
(m. 1997)

Sydney Warren Lotterby OBE (30 November 1926 – 28 July 2020) was a British television producer and director who produced numerous BBC comedy series.

Life and career

Lotterby was born in Paddington, London, to Winifred (née Warren) and Sidney Lotterby, a shop fitter, and grew up in Edgware, Middlesex. In 1941, on leaving Stag Lane school aged 14, he joined the BBC as a storekeeper in the electrical department at Broadcasting House, then worked in the sound control room at BBC Radio until beginning his national service in the British Army in 1946. After being discharged in 1948, he returned to the BBC and became a cameraman and progressed to becoming technical manager. He joined the BBC's Entertainment Department in 1958 and in 1963, became a producer/director.

Lotterby married Marcia Dos Santos in 1997.[1] He died on 28 July 2020 at the age of 93.[2][3][4]

Production and direction

Television comedy series which he produced or directed included: As Time Goes By, May to December, Last of the Summer Wine, Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister, Ever Decreasing Circles, Brush Strokes, Open All Hours, The Old Boy Network, Butterflies, Ripping Yarns, Porridge, Going Straight, Broaden Your Mind, the final series of Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em, The Liver Birds, Up Pompeii! and Sykes and A....

A sketch in At Last The 1948 Show in which four exactly alike men all called Sydney Lotterby ("The Four Sydney Lotterbies") was written by John Cleese, because he liked the name. The men were played by Cleese, Marty Feldman, Tim Brooke-Taylor, and Graham Chapman. Cleese also gave the name to the character played by Robert Lindsay in Fierce Creatures (1997).[5]


Lotterby won four BAFTA awards for comedy, including for Porridge (and also for a special in 1975), Going Straight (1978) and Yes Minister (1980). He was also nominated for 11 more. In 1994, Lotterby was appointed OBE.


  1. ^ Hayward, Anthony (3 August 2020). "Sydney Lotterby obituary". The Guardian.
  2. ^ "Sydney Lotterby OBE". BAFTA. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  3. ^ "Porridge director Sydney Lotterby leaves 'true legacy of laughter'". BBC News. 30 July 2020. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  4. ^ Porridge and Open All Hours producer Sydney Lotterby dies aged 93
  5. ^ Michael Palin Diaries 1969-1979: The Python Years, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2006