News: Tributes Paid To Comedian's Husband/Manager Terry Gibbons

Tributes have been paid to Terence Gibbons, the husband of comedian Abi Roberts who died unexpectedly on November 28, aged 53. 

Gibbons, Terry to his friends and family, managed Roberts and had previously been an actor and stand-up comedian himself. He was being treated for cancer at the Royal Marsden Hospital and was in remission, but suffered a cardio-respiratory failure. 

Gibbons was a proud Geordie from a working class family. In 1982, aged 17 he was cast in The World Cup: A Captain's Tale alongside Richard Griffiths, Nigel Hawthorne, Dennis Waterman and Tim Healy. He played the role of Tucker Gill. Nobody from his family had ever gone to university but encouraged by his mother Pauline he gained a 1st class history degree from Goldsmith's College.

In the early 1990s Terence performed stand-up himself for a few years and ran successful comedy clubs including the original Monkey Business Club at The Sir Christopher Hatton on Leather Lane. One of the first acts he booked was Noel Fielding who, according to Terry, was the only fully-formed comic he ever saw.

He then became a Public Relations Manager at London firms including Alex Sandberg at College Hill. He worked inside No 10 for both the Thatcher government and New Labour where one of his main roles was managing PR for the Millennium Dome project. He subsequently gave up his Labour Party membership. He told Abi Roberts that the things he witnessed didn’t sit comfortably with him.

Gibbons met Roberts in 2009 and they married in Moffat, Scotland in 2010 (pictured). He became her full-time comedy manager which included managing the website, booking and filming gigs, producing and directing shows and being a sounding board. "He was astoundingly brilliant with comedy advice," says Roberts. "Everything from very simple tricks for MCing to pacing a set. His mantra to me was ‘being funny is one thing but being consistently funny over twenty minutes when someone’s paying you is quite another’. Mostly he taught me that you can only get really good at comedy by doing it - A LOT. I will carry his wisdom with me for the rest of my life."

Tributes have come in from friends and family and a huge number of people in the comedy industry, including Al Murray, Mark Watson, Sarah Millican, Brenda Gilhooly, Jo Caulfield, John Gordillo, Bobby Mair & Harriet Kemsley, Roisin Conaty, Deborah Frances-White and Graham Duff (Terry was a huge fan of Duff's comedy Ideal). There were further messages from newer comedians who Gibbons had encouraged after seeing them at gigs. 

Al Murray and Brenda Gilhooly had been guests on Musical CID, the comedy/music format show that Terry devised for Edinburgh in 2014.

Roberts adds: "Amongst the lovely messages was a particularly heartfelt one from James Bearcat (the Bearcat was one of the first legendary clubs Terry was very proud I played). Pete Graham of Downstairs at the King's Head in Crouch End also posted a nice message."

Performer Philip Jeays has set up a Just Giving page to raise money for the Royal Marsden to further their ground-breaking research, which Roberts says is what Terry would have wanted. 

Donate here.

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