Sid Green, co-writer of classic sketches for Morecambe and Wise, has died, aged 71.

He and the late Dick Hills were among the most prolific television comedy writing duos of the late 1950s and 1960s, penning punchlines for Bruce Forsyth, Arthur Askey, Sid James, Bob Monkhouse, Frankie Howerd, and others.

But it was for their work with the nation's favourite comics, Morecambe and Wise, that they became most associated.

Green and Hills were credited as the Morecambe And Wise Show's main writers from 1961 to 1968. They also appeared in person as extra characters during some of the sketches.

The duo had their own TV vehicles, That Show and Those Two Fellers, during the mid-1960s.

Philip Jones, Thames Television's former light entertainment boss, said: ''They were very good sketch writers, very much associated with ATV through Morecambe and Wise, Bruce Forsyth and many Saturday spectaculars.''

Green and Hills continued to write for Eric and Ernie in their first BBC1 colour series in 1968, but soon afterwards left

to sign an exclusive contract with ATV.

Two years later, they left Britain for America, where they joined teams of writers for The Johnny Carson Show.

By the mid-1980s, Green was back in Britain and writing for Freddie Starr, Michael Barrymore, and even for the Krankies, but the golden age of the variety comic had all but passed.

Green and Hills were both old boys of Haberdasher Askes school in south London and found their vocation writing its Old Boys Rugby Club Christmas pantomime.

Both had previously been officers in the forces, Green in the Army and Hills in the Navy.

They struggled to find a

home for their scripts until

rising star Dick King took them on as his regular writers in the


They went on to work for all the big names of the day - Eamonn Andrews, Charlie Drake, Bernard Bresslaw, Jewell and Warriss, and more.

Green was also the author of a bizarre 1960 comedy starring singer Anthony Newley, The Strange World Of Gurney Slade.

Green died in a hospital near his home in Frinton-on-Sea, Essex. He leaves a wife, Margaret, and three daughters.