Gala night in memory of comedian Frank Carson will be a cracker
His legendary one-liners and distinctive personality entertained audiences in Northern Ireland and beyond for decades.
Next year, the spirit of comedian Frank Carson will be reincarnated in a charity gala performance in his honour.
The Priests will lead emotional tributes to the late comedian at Belfast’s Grand Opera House next February, in a show to mark his one-year anniversary.
The variety performance will be hosted by Gloria Hunniford and Brian Kennedy, Dana, Roy Walker, Rose Marie and Tom O’Connor will also perform.
James Nesbitt, Patrick Kielty and Lenny Henry have been named as guest performers, but their participation has not yet been confirmed.
The show promises to celebrate the life and career of Frank Carson, while raising funds for charities he supported throughout his life.
All performers will appear free-of-charge and ticket sales will be given to CLIC Sargent, the UK cancer charity and the Integrated Education Fund.
Frank’s children, Tony and Majella Carson, put the show together as an alternative to a memorial service for their father.
Tony Carson said: “We wanted a fitting tribute to our dad within the year of his passing but we didn’t want a sombre, solemn memorial. This night is a celebration and it’ll be great craic.
“A lot of the acts who have signed up either knew our dad personally or performed with him, so it’s going to be a really special walk down memory lane.
“It’s the perfect mixture of tributes, performances in his memory, musical numbers, and a lot of reminiscing.”
When asked what his father would make of the occasion, Mr Carson said: “He’d love it, he’d be the first in the door.”
Majella Carson said the night will be an emotional one for Frank’s family.
Frank Carson: It’s the Way He Told ‘Em will be at the Grand Opera House, Belfast on February 28, 2013
Born in belfast in 1926, Hugh Francis Carson was brought up in the ‘little Italy’ area of north Belfast. After working as a plasterer and electrician, Carson spent three years in the army. He started his showbiz career on the talent show Opportunity Knocks and rose to fame on the TV show The Comedians in the early 1960s. Carson coined the catchphrases “It’s a cracker” and “It’s the way I tell ‘em” and was famous for his charity work. He died of cancer in February, aged 85.