Friday 28 October 2016

Television ventriloquist Keith Harris dies at 67

Robert Dex in London

Published 29/04/2015 | 02:30

Keith Harris and Orville
Keith Harris and Orville

Ventriloquist Keith Harris, famous for his act with his puppet duck Orville, died yesterday aged 67, his agent said.

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Robert C Kelly said Harris, whom he described as a "thoroughly decent man", was first diagnosed with cancer in 2013 and became ill again in January.

He said: "I spoke to Keith most days, whether we had business to do or not. I think I laughed every single time we spoke.

"Keith was not only a technically great ventriloquist, he was also a gifted mimic and an extraordinarily funny man, both on stage and off."

Harris, who married four times, had three children.

He entertained generations of children with his sidekick Orville, a bright green duck who wore a nappy, and a monkey called Cuddles.

At the height of his fame, he was a regular on Saturday night television.

His 1982 single with Orville, 'I Wish I Could Fly', was a top five hit in the UK, selling more than 400,000 copies.

Irish Independent

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