Ventriloquist and singer Keith Harris has died aged 67. Here a tribute to the man who made Orville and Cuddles household names.

Keith Harris with Orville the duck

The entertainer who is best remembered for his theatre and television work with the green puppet duck Orville died earlier today at the Blackpool Victoria Hospital. Harris, with a career spanning five decades, announced in 2013 he was suffering from cancer of the spleen to his fans. Given the all clear he returned to the stage last year. However later told audiences the cancer had returned.

“Sad to announce death from cancer of my client, dear friend and great talent, Keith Harris,” – agent Robert C Kelly commenting on social media

Keith appeared with his comedy and music routine across holiday camps, nightclubs and theatres with his own shows and as a supporting artist. It was television that brought him his biggest following after a number of guest spots on high rating shows of the time, such as ATV’s Saturday Variety, he was given his own BBC series The Keith Harris Show.

Later programmes for Children’s BBC followed and in more recent years celebrity spots on programmes such as Pointless, The Weakest Link, Blankety Blank and Saturday Night Takeaway had kept him in the spotlight.

In 1982 he performed on Top of the Pops thanks to his novelty record ‘I Wish I Could Fly’ – a duet between himself and Orville – selling over 400,000 copies.

And for our tribute that’s how we’ll remember Keith, with his green pal…

Share Button