Monday 19 February 2018

Television ventriloquist Keith Harris dies at 67

Keith Harris and Orville
Keith Harris and Orville

Robert Dex in London

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

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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