The popular comedian passed away yesterday his manager announced.

Freddie Starr in a promo for his stint in ITV’s I’m A Celebrity.

Entertainer, singer and comedian Freddie Starr has died aged 76 his agent late last evening confirmed. The performer had deteriorated dramatically health-wise since 2012 when, on the back of the Jimmy Savile sex-abuse allegations, Starr was arrested, however never charged with any offenses due to ‘insufficient evidence’.

Starr was born in Huyton, Lancashire in January 1943. His first venture into showbiz was as a child actor in the movie Violent Playground in 1958 however his first big break came when he was part of The Midnighters pop group of the early 1960s who were managed by The Beatles mogul Brian Epstein. The group, however, didn’t have the same chart success as the fab-four despite a string of recordings produced for Decca Music. While performing songs in the club and nightclub circuit Starr introduced comedy to his act which ultimately lead him to audition for Thames Television’s talent show Opportunity Knocks. His popularity with ITV viewers saw him also feature in the 1970 Royal Variety Performance before joining LWT as one of their key talents.

During his time with London Weekend Television series produced for ITV included ensemble series Who Do You Do? with Starr later promoted to lead personality in specials such as The Freddie Star Experience and then his own show Freddie Starr’s Variety Madhouse alongside the likes of Russ Abbott, Bella Emberg and Norman Collier. The series drew star names to take part in the chaos including screen legend Diana Dors and World of Sport icon Dickie Davies. When Freddie left the Madhouse he handed the format over to Russ Abbott – who had several further successful years with the series – while Starr went over to the BBC where he rebooted his comedy sketch format with The Freddie Starr Showcase.

In the 1990s and 2000s Starr remained a regular on television screens appearing as a guest on chat shows and quizzes such as Des O’Connor Tonight, Blankety Blank and performing ITV comedy specials and series including An Audience With Freddie Star for LWT, The Freddie Star Show for Carlton Television and Freddie Starr with Central TV, all airing back on ITV. Across the later years he also performed several stand-up tours, many of which were later released on VHS and DVD. He also took to the reality circut appearing on shows such as Channel 4’s Wife Swap and ITV’s I’m A Celebrity.

However in 2012 he was left stunned by allegations of sexual misconduct which had, allegedly, taken place in 1974 during the production of BBC television series Clunk Click fronted by Jimmy Savile, with Starr one of several guests across the series. Following the claims Starr’s physical and mental health deteriorated dramatically. Freddie however made several television appearances to discuss the claims and declare his innocence.

Freddie Starr was found dead at his apartment in Mijas on the Costa del Sol. Reports suggested a possible heart-attack may have been behind his sudden demise. His manager took to social media to pay tribute to Starr and confirm his passing late last evening. “This is Freddie’s manager. Just to confirm Freddie has passed away. RIP to our greatest comedian of all time,”

Despite his controversial final years fans and celebrity co-stars have been celebrating his comedy career which spanned five decades. Comedian and presenter Jim Davidson said ‘Just heard the news. Freddie Starr was the greatest.’ While impressionist and actor Bobby Davro noted ‘I’ve just heard that Freddie Starr has died. He was the funniest man I have ever seen. I’m so sad we have lost one of our greatest comedy talents. RIP Freddie.’

Frederick Leslie Fowell – Freddie Starr – 1943 – 2019

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