Creator of cult comedian Frank Sidebottom dies

Chris Sievey, the man behind comic creation Frank Sidebottom, has died after collapsing at his home.

Known for his over-sized, papier-mache head, Sidebottom found fame through a series of TV appearances in the 1980s. Sievey, 54, died after being taken to hospital from his home in Hale, Cheshire, shortly after 1am yesterday. He had been recovering from treatment to a chest tumour, his agent said.

After limited success with punk band The Freshies, Sievey created the role of Sidebottom, styled as an aspiring singer-songwriter from Timperley, south Manchester. Often accompanied by Little Frank, a glove puppet made in his own image, his fame peaked in the early 1990s with the TV series Frank Sidebottom's Fantastic Shed Show.

David Behrens, who produced the 1992 series, said: "Chris was a genuinely funny and creative comic talent. He had been ill recently but his death is terribly sudden and sad. He came from a great comedy tradition in refusing to acknowledge his real identity when he was in character. As soon as the prop head went on, he'd answer to Frank, never Chris."