|Baron Rix of Whitehall in the City of Westminster and of Hornsea in Yorkshire|
27 January 1924 |
Cottingham, East Riding of Yorkshire, England
|Known for||Farces (particularly at the Whitehall Theatre and on the BBC)
Campaigning for people with a learning disability (particularly through Mencap)
|Spouse(s)||Elspet Gray 1949–2013 (her death)|
|Children||Shelley Rix (deceased)
Rix was born in Cottingham, East Riding of Yorkshire, the youngest of four children. His father, Herbert Rix, and Herbert's two brothers, ran the shipping (and subsequently oil) company in Kingston upon Hull, founded by his grandfather Robert Rix. As a good Yorkshireman Brian, who was a talented cricketer, only wanted to play for Yorkshire CCC in his childhood, but when he was being educated at Bootham School, York his ambitions changed. He did play for Hull CC when he was 16 (and after the war for the MCC, the Stage and the Lord's Taverners) but during his school days his sister Sheila became an actress and Brian developed the same ambition – to go on the stage. All four Rix children had become interested in the theatre because of their mother, Fanny, who ran an amateur dramatic society and was the lead soprano in the local Operatic Society. All her children performed in the plays and two of them, Brian and Sheila, became professional actors. Sheila Mercier, as she was known, went on to play Annie Sugden for 25 years in the Yorkshire TV soap opera Emmerdale Farm having worked regularly with her brother in the Whitehall Farces in the 1950s and 1960s.
Actor and manager
Rix became a professional actor when he was 18, on deferred service from the Royal Air Force, with Donald Wolfit's Shakespeare Company. After only 4 months as a professional actor, he played Sebastian in Twelfth Night at the now demolished St James's Theatre in London. His deferment was extended and he gained his first weekly repertory experience with the White Rose Players at the Opera House in Harrogate. From there he went into the Royal Air Force, eventually ending up as a volunteer Bevin Boy working down the coal mines near Doncaster.
After the war, Rix returned to the stage, forming his own theatre company in 1947 as an actor-manager, a career he was to pursue for the next 30 years. He ran repertorty companies at Ilkley, Bridlington and Margate, and while at Bridlington, in 1949, he found the play that was to bring him fame and fortune – Reluctant Heroes. In the same year, he became engaged to Elspet Gray as an actress in his company and six months later they married. They were together, domestically and professionally, for 64 years, until her death in February 2013, appearing alongside each other in many of the TV farces, the Radio Series and three of the theatre productions. In 1950 the newly-weds toured together with Reluctant Heroes until Brian managed to persuade the Whitehall Theatre management that this army farce was the ideal play to follow the long-running Worm's Eye View. It was a happy choice, for Rix's productions ran there for the next 16 years, before he moved to the Garrick Theatre, breaking many West End records in the process. His farces for the BBC Television also began at the Whitehall, increasing Brian and Elspet's popularity as well as that of the Whitehall Theatre.
During the next 18 years, Rix presented more than 90 one-night-only television farces on the BBC. These were often presented at Christmas or on other bank holidays and were hugely popular, with viewing figures regularly topping 15 million. In the early 1960s Rix was the highest paid actor (along with Robert Morley) to appear on BBC TV. Alongside the regulars from his theatre company, Rix appeared in these TV productions alongside such names as: Dickie Henderson, Dora Bryan, Joan Sims, Ian Carmichael, John Le Mesurier, Robertson Hare, Patrick Cargill, Fabia Drake, Ann Firbank, David Jacobs, Henry Kendall, Sheila Hancock, Warren Mitchell, Thora Hird, Jan Holden, Brian Reece, Muriel Pavlow and Francis Matthews. Only 6 of his 90 farces remain in the BBC archive, however. The earliest were never recorded and many of the latest were wiped along with many other memorable programmes. This may go some way to explain why Brian Rix is so rarely mentioned in retrospective programmes looking at the early days of television. Rix also appeared in 11 films, and though he felt these were less suited to his talents as a farceur, these also met with some box-office success. Some of his co-stars in those films were: Tommy Cooper, Sidney James, Joan Sims, Ronald Shiner, Hattie Jacques, Brenda De Banzie, Cecil Parker, Katie Boyle, Peggy Mount, Naunton Wayne, Gerald Campion, Vera Day, Harry Fowler, Bryan Forbes, William Hartnell, Liz Fraser, Irene Handl, Anthony Newley, Leslie Phillips, and Michael Shepley, often accompanied by the music of Tommy Watt.
Reluctant Heroes, the first Whitehall farce, was by Colin Morris, who later became well known for his dramatised documentaries on BBC TV. One of those, Jacks and Knaves, was the forerunner for Z-Cars, a long running police drama on the BBC. During the four-year run of Reluctant Heroes at the Whitehall, Rix also sent our National Tours of the play, generally with John Slater (later to be in Z-Cars) playing the dread Sgt. Bell, and always playing to packed houses. To give some sense of its popularity, at one time Rix had the play running at the Whitehall, three tours on the road and the film (which was no 1 at the UK box office in 1952) on release. Rix himself played the gormless north-country recruit, Horace Gregory, in both film and throughout the four-year run at the Whitehall. This is where his reputation for losing his trousers began. He subsequently lost them at least 12,000 times in the 26 years he was on stage in the farces; though he lost them less in the TV plays.
In the first two years at the Whitehall, Rix's understudy was John Chapman, who also played a small part in Act 3, which ensured a long wait in the dressing room. To occupy his time, he began the first draft of the play that was to follow Heroes. Dry Rot, later filmed, was produced in 1954 with John Slater, Basil Lord and Rix himself in the cast and ran for nearly four years. When Dry Rot went on tour with John Slater in the lead, he was joined by two young actors, Ray Cooney and Tony Hilton. Both became involved in Rix's next production at the Whitehall, Simple Spymen (again by John Chapman) and had time to draft One for the Pot, which followed Simple Spymen. In all, 7 playwrights were spawned by the Whitehall Farces – Colin Morris, John Chapman, Ray Cooney, Tony Hilton, Clive Exton, Raymond/Charles Dyer and Philip Levene. All because the plays ran and ran and they had time on their hands. Other writers of note who worked for Rix on TV included Christopher Bond, John Cleese and Barry Took.
Ronald Bryden (in the New Statesman) wrote of Rix and his company in 1964 after the opening of the fifth Whitehall Farce, Chase Me Comrade:
- "There they are are: the most robust survivors of a great tradition, the most successful British theatrical enterprises of our time. Curious that no one can be found to speak up wholeheartedly for them – no one, that is, outside enthusiastic millions who have packed every British theatre where they have played. ... It's particularly curious considering the current intellectual agitation for a theatre of the masses, a true working-class drama. Everything, apparently, for which Joan Littlewood has struggled – the boisterous, extrovert playing, the integrated team-work, the Cockney irreverance of any unself-conscious, unacademic audience bent purely on pleasure – exits, patently and profitably at the Whitehall. Yet how many devout pilgrims to Stratford East have hazarded the shorter journey to Trafalgar Square to worship at the effortless shrine at the thing itself? How many Arts Council grants have sustained Mr Rix's company? How many Evening Standard awards went to Dry Rot? How many theses have been written on the art of Colin Morris, John Chapman and Ray Cooney? The time has come surely to fill gap."
Despite being described by Harold Hobson in the Sunday Times as "The greatest master of farce in my theatre-going lifetime" and numerous other plaudits from critics and audiences alike, no theatrical awards were ever forthcoming. Rix has always been sanguine about such a response, recognising it to be the fate of so many low comedians before him. It never seemed to bother the audiences either. Rix broke the record for the longest running farce team in the West End of London with great ease. In 1961 he gave a glass of champagne to every member of the audience who had watched Simple Spymen. The drink was served by many of the popular actors who had been with Rix in one of his productions – on stage, on TV and in films – and was to celebrate the Whitehall Theatre Team passing the record held by the Aldwych Theatre Team, whose farces were so popular in the 1920s and 1930s. The Aldwych farces ran from 10 years seven months and four days. Rix went on for another 16 years! Regular members of his theatrical team included: Moray Watson, Rona Anderson, Leo Franklyn, Alexandra Bastedo, Basil Radford, Wynne Clark, Basil Lord, Anna Dawson, Leslie Crowther, Derek Farr, Jimmy Logan, Alfred Marks, Joan Sanderson, Denis Ramsden, Wally Patch, Joanna Lumley, Terence Alexander, Dermot Walsh, Jane Downs, Andrew Sachs, Terry Scott, Sheila Mercier, Derek Royle, Larry Noble, and Bill Treacher. Rix also had a particularly long and fruitful relationship with the director Wallace Douglas and with the set designer, Rhoda Gray (Elspet's sister), who created the setting for practically all of Rix's productions, both in the theatre and on TV. The Whitehall was particularly small and cramped and Rhoda's designs overcame the most difficult of obstacles.
In 1967, Rix moved on to the Garrick Theatre after the Whitehall Theatre lease expired. The larger stage gave him the opportunity to try his repertoire scheme. This was a similar idea to the way plays were presented at the National Theatre – that is several productions, each one being played on different days or weeks, thus giving the actors the chance to play a variety of roles – or even to have a night or two off. Rix tried with three farces – Stand By Your Bedouin, Uproar in the House and Let Sleeping Wives Lie – but as this was a commercial venture, without any state subsidy, it proved too expensive to run and Rix was forced to keep Let Sleeping Wives Lie on at the Garrick and transfer Uproar in the House (with Nicholas Parsons playing Rix's role) to the Whitehall. Stand By Your Bedouin went into storage. Let Sleeping Wives Lie enjoyed a further two-year run with Leslie Crowther, Elspet Gray, Derek Farr, Andrew Sachs and Rix playing the lead roles. After the first year, Rona Anderson took over from Elspet Gray.
After "Let Sleeping Wives Lie" finished at the Garrick it went on a short tour before opening for a summer season at the newly restored Playhouse in Weston Super Mare. Rix played the first four weeks and then Leslie Crowther returned and played the last six. Meantime the cast of Rix's next West End production travelled up by train every day to rehearse in London, returning in the late afternoon for their evening performance. "She's Done It Again", opened at the Garrick to the best reviews Rix had ever enjoyed, but it had the shortest run of any of his productions to that date. Rix could never find an obvious reason for the production's short run, for the play enjoyed a sell-out tour after the Garrick. His favoured explanation was that the play, funny as it was, might have seemed somewhat old-fashioned, adapted by Michael Pertwee from a pre-war farce "Nap Hand" by Vernon Sylvaine and based upon the birth of Dionne Quins.
Rix's next play, also by Pertwee, was "Don't Just Lie There, Say Something!” with Alfred Marks (followed by Moray Watson) playing the libidinous government Minister. Reviews were not as good as the previous play, but audiences kept coming and it ran for two-years at the Garrick and then enjoyed another successful tour. Rix who had never enjoyed touring now hated the endless nights away from home and was delighted when the play was turned first into a television series for HTV, "Men of Affairs" (with Warren Mitchell as the Minister) and then into a film (starring himself, Leslie Phillips and Joanna Lumley). After that, during the three-day week in 1973-4, came a relatively unsuccessful pantomime season in Robinson Crusoe at the New Theatre, Cardiff. Rix was by now becoming tired of going on stage night after night and sensing he had reached the peak of his success began to consider retiring from the stage. There were two more farces to come however, "A Bit Between the Teeth" (with Jimmy Logan and Terrence Alexander) at the Cambridge Theatre and then, back at the Whitehall, "Fringe Benefits" (with Terrence Alexander and Jane Downs). After 26 years of almost continuous performance in the West End, on 8 January 1977, Rix gave his final, very emotional performance to a packed house on the stage where it had all begun; the Whitehall Theatre.
Having retired from performing, Rix joined Cooney-Marsh Ltd – a theatre-owning and production company – run by Ray Cooney, Laurie Marsh and Rix himself. Ably assisted by his former stage manager and now PA, Joanne Benjamin, Rix was responsible for obtaining productions for various West End Theatres including the Shaftesbury, the Duke of York's, the Ambassadors and the re-built Astoria which opened with the award-winning Elvis, starring P.J. Proby, Shakin' Stevens and Tim Whitnall. Rix and his partners were also responsible for re-opening the Billy Rose Theatre in New York, renaming it The Trafalgar and opening with a smash hit – Whose Life Is It Anyway?, starring Tom Conti. Whilst in this post, he also presented (with his daughter, Louisa) the BBC TV series, Let's Go. This was the first British programme to be created specifically for people with a learning disability and ran from 1978 until 1982.
Rix found being on the wrong side of the footlights increasingly frustrating and in 1980 he became the Secretary-General of Mencap (then the National Society for Mentally Handicapped Children and Adults, shortly to become The Royal Society). He returned to performing and the stage intermittently in later years, playing Shakespeare on BBC Radio, doing a 6-month run in a revival of Dry Rot, directing a play with Cannon and Ball, playing his favourite big band Jazz on Radio 2, and touring three one-night-only shows, one with Elspet, which explored theatrical history and his own remarkable experiences of life.
From 1986 to 1993, Rix served as Chairman of the Arts Council of Great Britain Drama Panel, resigning over cuts being made to drama.
Brian Rix believed that it was quite understandable why he and Elspet became so involved in the world of learning disability. In December 1951 the first of their four children was born. She was a daughter, Shelley, and had Down Syndrome, in those days referred to as mongolism. There was no welfare support for such children and certainly no education. The only offering the state made was a place in a Victorian, run-down so-called hospital where "patients" were left to their own devices for hours on end. The Rixes were determined to try and do something to better matters and became involved with various charities fighting to do the same. Among these roles, in the early 60s he became the first Chairman of the Special Functions Fundraising committee at the National Society for Mentally Handicapped Children and Adults. Both his personal experience and his leading position as a fundraiser in the field finally lead to Brian applying for the job at Mencap and then when he retired in 1987 to him becoming chairman in 1988. In 1998, he became President, an office he holds to this day.
Since entering the House of Lords as a Cross Bencher in 1992, Rix has campaigned ceaselessly on any legislation affecting people with a learning disability. He has been one of the most regular attenders in the House and every year has introduced numerous amendments to legislation, mainly that associated with health, social welfare and education. He recognises that much has been achieved, but much remains to be done. He finds the length of time required to change legislation very frustrating. For example, in 1994, Rix introduced a Private Member's Bill ensuring that local authorities would provide short-term breaks for carers and cared-for alike, on a reasonably timed basis. The Bill romped through the Lords but couldn't even achieve a First Reading in the Commons. Rix tried again when New Labour became the government in 1997, but again to no avail. Eventually, 12 years after Rix's Private Member's Bill, short-term breaks sneaked through in an Education Bill, introduced by the then Secretary of State, Ed Balls. Even though such respite care is now on the Statute Book, many local authorities - if not the majority - are still not providing this most essential of services. The extent of his involvement can be seen by looking at the some of other legislation altered in the same year as the Education Bill (2006). His amendments to the Childcare Bill extended statutory childcare provision for children with a disability from 16 to 18 years old, whilst changes to the Electoral Administration Bill lead to people with a learning disability being able to vote freely. Another change in legislation bought about by Rix, was nothing to do with disability. He discovered in the mid-nineties that the legislation regarding State Earnings-Related Pension Scheme (SERPS) had been altered under Margaret Thatcher. The original Act had ensured that widows and widowers would receive the full SERPS addition to their state pension if their spouse died first. The change in legislation halved the amount received. Rix campaigned to restore the original payment and after a number of years arguing the point with the New Labour Government, he succeeded.
Amongst his many activities, he is the co-Chairman (with Tom Clarke CBE MP) of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Learning Disability; Chairman of the Rix Thompson Rothenberg (RTR) Foundation which provides small grants for projects serving people with a learning disability; and President of the grant making Normansfield and Richmond Foundation. He is also a constant supporter of the Rix Centre at the University of East London, which develops and disseminates tools and training for multi-media advocacy to enhance the lives of people with a learning disability. Rix also served as the first Chairman of the Arts Council Monitoring Committee on Arts and Disability as well as founding and chairing the charity Libertas (working alongside Sir John Cox and Rix's son, Jonathan) which produced dozens of Audio guides for disabled people at museums, historical buildings and other places of interest. Subsequent legislation in which he played an important role made this charity redundant. He has also been involved as Chairman and President of Friends of Normansfield, President of the Roy Kinnear Memorial Trust, Chairman and founder (with Dr David Towell of the King's Fund) of the Independent Council for People with a Mental Handicap and is Patron of RAIBC - The Charity Working for Radio Amateurs with Disabilities. Rix has also campaigned against smoking. Having been a smoker for ten years, Rix gave up smoking on Boxing Day in 1950 when he lost his voice during a matinee of Reluctant Heroes. He subsequently became a rabid non-smoker and a Founding Member of ASH (Action on Smoking and Health).
Rix is the author of two autobiographies, My Farce From My Elbow (1974) and Farce About Face (1989), and two theatre histories, Tour de Farce and Life in the Farce Lane. He also edited, compiled and contributed to Gullible's Travails, an anthology of travel stories by famous people for the Mencap Blue Sky Appeal. For Mencap's 60th anniversary he produced All About Us! – The history of learning disability and of the Royal Mencap Society.
In 1949 he married the actress Elspet Gray. The couple had four children, including the producer and children's author Jamie Rix and actress Louisa Rix. Their daughter Shelley Elspet Rix was born with Down's syndrome, and he has always used his name to promote public awareness and understanding of learning disabilities. Shelley Elspet Rix died in July 2005 in Hounslow, Greater London. Elspet Gray died on 18 February 2013.
Rix became a radio ham at the age of 13 and a life Vice-President of the Radio Society of Great Britain in 1979. His call sign is G2DQU. He is also President of the Friends of Richmond Park. In 1970 he was President of the Lord's Taverners and he continues his love of cricket as a member of the MCC and Yorkshire CCC.
Rix was the subject of This Is Your Life on two occasions, in October 1961 when he was surprised by Eamonn Andrews at a friend's house in Surrey, and again in April 1977, when Andrews surprised him at Her Majesty's Theatre in London. He was also a castaway on Desert Island Discs on two occasions. The first was with Roy Plomley on 16 May 1960, which was also the first time a castaway was caught on film and broadcast the following evening. His second appearance was with Kirsty Young on 1 March 2009.
Honours and awards
Rix was created a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1977, and knighted in June 1986 for his services to charity. On his 68th birthday, 27 January 1992, he was created a life peer, becoming Baron Rix, of Whitehall, in the City of Westminster and of Hornsea in Yorkshire. (Hornsea at that time was in North Humberside but Rix had it moved back into Yorkshire (on paper at least) two years before it actually happened!). He was Vice Lord Lieutenant of Greater London from 1987–1997 and was the first Chancellor of the University of East London from 1997–2012. He is now the Chancellor Emeritus.
He has been awarded ten Honorary Degrees by the following Universities: Hull (MA 1981), Open (MA 1983), Essex (DU 1984), Manchester (LLD 1986), Nottingham (DSc 1987), Dundee (LLD 1997), Exeter (LLD 1997), Bradford (DU 2000), Kingston (DLitt 2012), East London (DEd 2013) and five Fellowships including Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine (FRSM) and the Royal College of Psychiatrists (FRCPsych). He has also received numerous Awards including: The Evian Health Award (1988), RNID Campaigner of the Year Award (1990), The Spectator Campaigner of the Year Award (1999), Yorkshire Lifetime Achievement Award (1999, UK Charity Awards (2001), Lifetime Achievement Award for Public Service – British Neuroscience Association (2001) and the e-Politix Charity Champions Lifetime Achievement Award (2004).
Theatrical performances as actor-manager
|1950–1954||Reluctant Heroes (1,610 performances)|
|1954–1958||Dry Rot (1,475 performances)|
|1958–1961||Simple Spymen (1403 performances)|
|1961–1964||One For the Pot (1210 performances)|
|1964–1966||Chase Me, Comrade (765 performances)|
|1966–1967||Chase Me, Comrade; Stand By Your Bedouin; Uproar in the House;|
|1967–1969||Let Sleeping Wives Lie|
|1969||She's Done It Again|
|1971–1973||Don't Just Lie There, Say Something|
|Cambridge Theatre (+ extended tour)|
|1974–1976||A Bit Between the Teeth|
|Occasional One Night Stands|
|1994–2012||Tour de Farce; Life in the Farce Lane; A Peer Round Whitehall;|
90 Full length and one act plays for the BBC. More than 30 were live.
Sunday-Night Theatre; Laughter from the Whitehall; Dial Rix; Brian Rix presents…; Six of Rix;
|1952||Reluctant heroes (Act 1); Postman's Knock;|
|1954||Dry Rot (Act 1);|
|1956||Love in a Mist; The Perfect Woman; Madame Louise; Queen Elizabeth Slept Here; Reluctant Heroes;|
|1957||You Too Can Have a Body; Jane Steps Out; Plunder; What the Doctor Ordered; Thark;|
|1958||On Monday Next…; Nothing But the Truth; Wanted, One Body; Cuckoo in the Nest; Simple Spymen (Act 1);|
|1959||A Policeman's Lot; Nap Hand; Beside the Seaside; Sleeping Partnership; A Cup of Kindness;|
|1960||Is your Honeymoon Really Necessary?; Doctor in the House; Reluctant Heroes; Boobs in the Wood;|
|1961||A Fair Cop; Wolf's Clothing; Basinful of the Briny; Flat Spin; Will Any Gentleman?;|
|1962||One for the Pot (Act 1); A Clear Case; See How They Run; Between the Balance Sheets; What a Drag; Round the Bend;
Nose to Wheel; No Plums in the Pudding;
|1963||Come Prancing (18 million viewers); Love's a Luxury; Caught Napping; Skin Deep; Rolling Home; What a Chassis; High Temperature;|
|1964||Trial and Error; All for Mary; One Wild Oat; Chase Me Comrade! (Act 1); Dry Rot; Simple Spymen; (This year they also started repeats)|
|1965||Don'Just Stand There; Rookery Nook; The Brides of March; Women Aren't Angels;|
|1966||The Dickie Henderson Show; To Dorothy, a Son; Good Old Summertime; The Little Hut; One for the Pot;|
|1967||Look After Lulu; Stand By Your Bedouin (Act 1); Is Your Honeymoon Really Necessary?; Uproar in the House (Act 1);
Money for Jam; Chase Me Comrade;
|1968||One for the Pot; Let Sleeping Wives Lie; Keep Your Wig On; A Bit on the Side; A Public Mischief;|
|1969||What an Exhibition; Two on the Tiles; Sitting Ducks; The Facts of Life; Odd Man In;|
|1970||Let Sleeping Wives Lie; Clutterbuck; Lord Arthur Savile's Crime; So You Think You're a Good Wife?; Stand By Your Bedouin!;|
|1971||Reluctant Heroes; She's Done It Again!;|
|1972||What the Doctor Ordered; Will Any Gentleman?; One Wild Oat; Aren't Men Beasts!; A Spot of Bother; Madame Louise;|
|1973–1974||"Men of Affairs" (17 episodes – 13 broadcast):
1. May We Have Our Ball Back?; 2. Brick Dropping; 3. Passes That Ship; 4. Half a Dozen of the Other; 5. Well I'm Burgled; 6. Horseface; 7. Near Miss; 8. To Russia With...; 9. Dash My Wig; 10. Desirable Residence; 11. Flagrant Memories; 12. Arabian Knights; 13. Silver Threads; 14. A Fair Cop; 15. ...As a New Born Babe; 16. Dinner for One; 17. It's a Bug!;
|1977||"A Roof Over My Head" (8 episodes)
1. A Roof Over My Head; 2. First, Find Your House; 3. Take Me to Your Solicitor; 4. The Sitting Tenant; 5. Learn to Dread One Day at a Time; 6. Not Cricket; 7. Another Fine Mess; 8. Home and Dried;
|1978–1983||Let's Go (42 episodes)|
|1954||What Every Woman Wants|
|1955||Up to His Neck|
|1957||Not Wanted on Voyage|
|1960||And the Same to You|
|1961||Nothing Barred; The Night We Dropped a Clanger; The Night We Got the Bird;|
|1973||Don't Just Lie There, Say Something!|
|1963||Yule Be Surprised|
|1964||One Man's Meat (15 episodes)Example|
|1968||Radio series – Brian Rix says That's life|
|1971||Radio play- For Love of a Lady|
|1978–1979||Brian Rix – Sunday mornings –Radio 2|
|1982||Falstaff in Henry IV (pt1); Josiah Bounderby in Hard Times|
|1975||My Farce from My Elbow|
|1989||Farce About Face|
|1992||Tour de Farce: A Tale of Touring Theatres and Strolling Players (from Thespis to Branagh)|
|1995||Life in the Farce Lane|
|1996||Gullible's Travails (ed)|
|2006||All About Us! The story of people with a learning disability and MencapExample|
- Bootham School Register. York, England: BOSA. 2011.
- Information provided by Brian Rix to his son Jonathan
- John Wyver, Brian Rix presents: Reluctant Heroes, Posted 7 December 2011, https://screenplaystv.wordpress.com/2011/12/07/brian-rix-presents-reluctant-heroes-bbc-1952/
- Rix, B. (1975) My Farce From My Elbow, Secker and Warburg
- Deaths England and Wales 1984-2006
- Dennis Barker Obituary:Elspet Gray, The Guardian, 18 February 2013
- Famous Ham Radio Operators and their Callsigns
- "Lord Rix". www.parliament.uk. Retrieved 1 November 2012.
- "About the Friends of Richmond Park". Friends of Richmond Park. Retrieved 1 November 2012.
- "Desert Island Discs with Brian Rix". Desert Island Discs. 1 March 2009. BBC. Radio 4. http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/factual/desertislanddiscs_20090301.shtml.
- The London Gazette: . 30 December 1986. Retrieved 23 January 2011.
- Discussion between Brian and Jonathan Rix
- Brian and Elspet Rix's diaries
- BBC Archives
- Brian Rix at the Internet Movie Database
- Whitehall Theatre History
- The Rix Centre – Learning Disability Charity
- Mencap Official site
- Brian Rix's appearance on This Is Your Life
- The Brian Rix Archive is held by the Victoria and Albert Museum Theatre and Performance Department.
|Chancellor of University of East London
Gulam Noon, Baron Noon