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Ventriloquist Keith Harris dies
28 Apr 2015 12:12
Ventriloquist Keith Harris, famous for his act with his puppet duck Orville, died today 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.
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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.
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"Keith was not only a technically great ventriloquist, he was also a gifted mimic and an extraordinarily funny man both on stage and off.
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"Perhaps even rarer than that in showbiz, he was a thoroughly decent man, a great friend and a wonderful father and husband."
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Sad to announce death from Cancer of my client, dear friend and great talent, Keith Harris #keithharrisandorville http://t.co/ML5vL1QbJm</p>— Robert C Kelly (@TheRobertCKelly) April 28, 2015 <p>Mr Kelly said Harris, who died in hospital in Blackpool, 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".
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Harris, who married four times, had three children.
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He entertained generations of children with his sidekick Orville, a bright green duck who wore a nappy, and a monkey called Cuddles.
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At the height of his fame, he was a regular on Saturday night television and put on private performances at birthday parties for princes William and Harry.
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His 1982 single with Orville, 'I Wish I Could Fly', was a top five hit in the UK and sold more than 400,000 copies.
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