Monday 23 April 2018

Son pays tribute to funnyman Carson

Comedian Frank Carson was a child at heart who just wanted to have fun and give fun, his son has said.

Tony Carson paid a heartfelt tribute to his father, who died on Wednesday at the age of 85 at his home in Blackpool, Lancashire.

Mr Carson said the family felt it was only right that the Northern Ireland-born comic was buried in his home town of Belfast.

"He was good dad, right up to the end he was very good," his son told BBC Radio Ulster. "He just had such a positive outlook on everything. There was definitely a child within and he just wanted to have fun and give fun to everybody."

Immortalised as one of the "jolly jesters" of British comedy, the stand-up had been suffering from stomach cancer.

The showbusiness world has been celebrating the life of Carson, who coined the catchphrase "It's a cracker". The comic rose to fame in the 1960s after winning talent show Opportunity Knocks three times. He went on to appear in The Comedians and Tiswas.

His friend and television presenter Eamonn Holmes said: "The term legend is often overused - but Frank Carson was a legend and we will never ever see his like again. He was just a complete bundle of energy and at 85 he was still going and still cracking jokes. He immortalised the phrase we will all remember him for - 'it's a cracker'."

Comedian Ken Dodd, who worked with Carson on the BBC Radio 2 show Pull The Other One in the 1980s, described his "good friend" as a "jolly jester" who had the "fantastic gift of making people happy".

Carson, who underwent an operation for stomach cancer last year, died surrounded by his family. They said in a statement: "He went peacefully at his home in Blackpool surrounded by his greatest fans - his extended family. It's quieter down here now. God help them up there!"

Much of Carson's life was dedicated to looking after his wife Ruth, who had serious eyesight problems, with his sons Tony and Aidan and daughter Majella, despite his own heart problems. They also put a huge effort into bringing the two sides of the community in Northern Ireland together through education.

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