Geoffrey Perkins, the former BBC TV head of comedy, has died after a London road accident.

The 55-year-old produced The Hitch-Hikers' Guide to the Galaxy for BBC Radio as well as masterminding the success of The Catherine Tate Show, The Fast Show and Channel 4's Father Ted.

He co-wrote The Harry Enfield Television Programme and executive produced a number of BBC comedy hits including Happiness, My Hero, Two Pints of Lager, My Family, Coupling, and Big Train.

Perkins had recently completed production on Harry and Paul, with Enfield and Paul Whitehouse, which begins next week.

BBC director of vision Jana Bennett said she was "shocked and deeply saddened" by Perkins' death.

"Geoffrey Perkins was an outstanding creator of countless comedy hits on the BBC and elsewhere, and a very distinguished former BBC head of comedy.

"He embraced comedy talent to create unique programmes which will be enjoyed for a very long time to come. All of our thoughts are with Geoffrey's family at this very sad time."

Pete Bennett-Jones, chairman of Tiger Aspect productions with whom Perkins had recently been working, added: "Geoffrey was one of the kindest, much loved and uniquely talented people we knew. He genuinely made the world a funnier place.

"It is an absolute tragedy and our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time."

30/08/2008 11:39:22