The co-writer of the much-loved 1970s sitcom The Good Life, Bob Larbey, has died at the age of 79, the BBC confirmed.

Larbey, together with John Esmonde, 71, wrote several comedies, but the most well-known was The Good Life starring Richard Briers and Felicity Kendal as a couple who decide to quit the rat race and move to suburbia.

The two men wrote some of the most popular comedies on the BBC in the 1970s and 1980s including Brush Strokes, The Other One, Please Sir! and Mulberry.

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The lifelong friends first began writing for BBC radio shows such as I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again, and one of their most-enjoyed TV programmes, Please Sir!, was turned down by the BBC but was a success in 1968 for ITV. The pair also contributed sketches to The Dick Emery Show.

Larbey had successes on his own with As Time Goes By, Ain't Misbehavin, On The Up and Darling Buds Of May.

Mark Freeland, BBC controller of fiction and entertainment, paid tribute to Larbey's "brilliance".

He said: "The brilliance, volume, consistency and popularity of the comic material that his generation created and wrote is completely staggering. He was one of the best examples of this very British creative phenomenon."

Larbey died on Monday, March 31.