Humphrey Lyttleton 23 May 1921 – 25 April 2008

Obituary: Humphrey Lyttelton

Slightly disconcerting to find the obituary of Humphrey Lyttleton written by George Melly, who predeceased him by nine months. Unlike Melly, who gave up playing jazz in the sixties, only to return later as a rather irritating, glorified Fat's Waller impersonator, Humph continued playing the trumpet to the end. But it's for his radio programmes that I'll remember him most fondly. 'I'm sorry I Haven't a Clue', where he was undisputed champion of the double entendre and 'The Best of Jazz', which was essential listening for any jazz fan.

He was, like Ronnie Scott, the perfect ambassador for jazz, but, as another "old fool", for me he will always be that Pied Piper on the cusp of the 1950s, beating in Snake Rag in a magic cellar when we were young and didn't even know it. - George Melly