Eric Sykes, a well-loved British comedian, actor and writer whose career spanned more than 50 years, has died. His manager Norma Farnes tells Reuters Sykes passed away peacefully this morning after a short illness. He was 89. Sykes began his career as a comedy writer in the 1940s in London on the radio show Variety Bandbox and went on to co-write 24 episodes of the classic radio comedy The Goon Show on BBC. His breakthrough in television came in 1960 in Sykes and a…. in which he co-starred with Hatti Jacques in a brother-sister act. He had several supporting roles in feature films including Heavens Above (1963), Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines (1965) and The Spy With A Cold Nose (1966). He is possibly best remembered for the virtually dialogue-free film called The Plank  in which he and Tommy Cooper appeared as two workmen delivering planks to a building site. Most recently Sykes appeared in The Others (2001) starring Nicole Kidman, and Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire (2005).