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Tributes paid at funeral of 'Orville' star Keith Harris

By Kim Pilling

Family, friends and fans have paid tribute to ventriloquist Keith Harris, who was remembered at his funeral as "a truly, thoroughly decent man".

The popular children's entertainer took centre stage at the service rather than his puppet duck Orville, who brought him fame in the 1980s.

At the height of his popularity Harris was a regular on Saturday night television and put on private performances at the third birthday parties of Prince William and his brother Harry at the request of Princess Diana.

His 1982 single Orville's Song was a top five hit and sold more than 400,000 copies. His other popular puppet was Cuddles the monkey, whose catchphrase was 'I Hate That Duck!'.

Among those attending yesterday's service at Sacred Heart RC Church in Blackpool was his fourth wife Sarah, whom he met 19 years ago, and his three children.

Harris's agent Robert Kelly told mourners: "Most people would know Keith as the star, but he was the most kindest, generous, most loving friend you could ever wish for."

Harris, of Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire, was first diagnosed with cancer in 2013 and became ill again in January. He died aged 67 in hospital in Blackpool on April 28.

Belfast Telegraph


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