Famous Orville the Duck ventriloquist
LONDON: Famous green bird puppet companion Orville the Duck (Keith Harris) has died due to cancer, aged 67.
The entertainer, who hosted The Keith Harris Show on BBC One, had a showbusiness career that spanned 50 years.
He has also performed at birthday parties for the young princes William and Harry, had a No 4 chart hit at the peak of his popularity in 1982 with Orville’s Song, which sold 400,000 copies.
He announced that he had cancer on stage last April, breaking down in tears while telling his audience he was set to have a bone marrow transplant.
Harris’s agent, Robert C Kelly, told the Press Association that Harris had become ill again in January after first being diagnosed in 2013.
“I spoke to Keith most days, whether we had business to do or not. I think I laughed every single time we spoke,” Kelly said.
Harris had three children, Skye, 27, Kitty, 15, and Shenton, 13, and had been married four times.
Kelly said Harris 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”.
The TV presenter and actor Keith Chegwin said: “So sad. A great entertainer and all round nice man Keith Harris has passed away. Best wishes to his family at this sad time.”