2015年4月28日星期二

Keith Harris dead aged 67 after cancer battle

  • Entertainer Keith Harris died in hospital in Blackpool this morning
  • Agent says he spent his last months 'watching the world go by' in peace
  • Harris found national fame through ventriloquism act with Orville the Duck
  • Had a Saturday night TV show appeared on Top of the Pops with hit single

Veteran entertainer Keith Harris, best-known for his ventriloquist act with puppet Orville the Duck, has died of cancer aged 67.

The star had a 50-year career in showbusiness which saw him perform at birthday parties for Princes William and Harry, as well as appearing on Top of the Pops with Orville.

He died this morning at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

Star: Keith Harris, pictured with his puppet Orville the Duck, has died of cancer aged 67

Star: Keith Harris, pictured with his puppet Orville the Duck, has died of cancer aged 67

His agent Robert C. Kelly wrote on Twitter: 'Sad to announce death from cancer of my client, dear friend and great talent, Keith Harris.'

Mr Harris is survived by his fourth wife Sarah and his three children Skye, 27, 15-year-old Kitty and Shenton, 13.

Mr Kelly said the entertainer spent his last months 'at his second home in Portugal, taking walks along the Blackpool seafront and sitting in the park eating ice cream and watching the world go by'.

He had his own Saturday night TV programme, The Keith Harris Show, between 1982 and 1990, making him one of the BBC's most recognisable faces.

Orville released a single, called Orville's Song but commonly known as I Wish I Could Fly, which sold 400,000 copies in 1982.

Keith Harris and Orville sing Orville's Song on Top Of The Pops

Early years: Mr Harris with Orville in 1979, before his Saturday night TV show on the BBC made him one of Britain's biggest stars

Early years: Mr Harris with Orville in 1979, before his Saturday night TV show on the BBC made him one of Britain's biggest stars

Despite his lower profile in recent years as variety entertainment faded in popularity, Mr Harris remained a cult figure among many viewers.

He made a cameo appearance on Channel 5's Big Brother in 2012, performing a stand-up routine for housemates who were forbidden to laugh.

Mr Harris was born in Hampshire and grew up in Chester, honing his act as an entertainer at summer camps before making his television breakthrough.



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