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Actor Paul Shane died after a short illness aged 72

Actor Paul Shane died after a short illness aged 72

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Actor Paul Shane died after a short illness aged 72

Paul Shane, star of television sitcom Hi-de-Hi, who has died at 72, began his career as a comedian at the old, lamented Empire Theatre in Belfast in the early 60s.

I remember Paul, real name Paul Stephens, on the same bill one week as Ken Dodd.

The ex-miner, who played Ted Bovis in the holiday camp series, was introduced to the Empire in Victoria Square by singer Ruth Madoc, his co-star in Hi-de-Hi and a regular at the theatre and Opera House. He sang big ballads before being discovered by writer Jimmy Perry for Hi-de-Hi, which ran from 1980 for eight years.

Yorkshireman Shane loved Belfast and its Empire, which is now a shopping complex after closing in 1965. He was invited to appear with Frank Carson in the final show, but couldn't because of a previous booking in Rotherham.

Before Hi-de-Hi, Paul had bit parts in Coronation Street and Emmerdale. More recently he was Mr Bumble at the London Palladium in a revival of Oliver! In films he played a retired bank robber in The Grey Mile last year.

Belfast Telegraph