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

Larbey worked with John Esmonde to create the comedy series, which starred Richard Briers and Felicity Kendal as Tom and Barbara, a middle-class couple who give up the rat race in an attempt to become self-sufficient in suburbia.

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

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Mark Freeland, BBC controller of fiction and entertainment, 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."