Bye-de-Bye! to Hi-de-Hi! sitcom actor Paul Shane who has died aged 72

 

The Hi-de-Hi! actor Paul Shane died today at the age of 72 following a short illness, his agent said.

The star of the 80s BBC sitcom was surrounded by friends and family in a hospice in his home town of Rotherham, South Yorkshire.

Linda Kremer, the actor's agent for 15 years, said: “Paul Shane was a consummate professional, a true gentleman, a good friend, and a joy to work with.

”He didn't suffer fools, always maintained his sense of humour, never stinted on the time he gave to his fans.

“He lightened my life and I'll miss him enormously.”

Shane was born as George Frederick Speight in Thrybergh, near Rotherham, South Yorkshire.

He originally worked as a miner while also touring working men’s clubs as part-time cabaret act in the 1960s.

But after an accident ended his mining career at the age of 27 he made the decision to become a professional singer.

His transformation from a singer to comedian began with his rendition of Green Green Grass of Home, which ultimately became a comedy send-up of Tom Jones and marked the start of the Paul Shane act.

Shane’s big break came in 1979 when comedy writer Jimmy Perry spotted him playing Frank Roper in an episode of Coronation Street.

Off the back of this appearance, Perry offered Shane the part of Ted Bovis in his new holiday-camp sitcom Hi-de-Hi!.

The series ran from 1980 through until 1988, when Perry and co-writer David Croft penned the pilot episode of You Rang, M'Lord?, and invited Shane take on the part of Alf Stokes

After this show ended in 1993 Shane went on to play played Jack Skinner in two series of Oh, Doctor Beeching!, but he never equalled the popularity of his other comedy roles.

In his later career, the Hi-di-Hi! star continued to perform in theatre and Pantomine productions such as Jack and the Beanstalk.

He also enjoyed recurring roles in the television series Holby City and Emmerdale.

Shane is survived by three daughters and six grandchildren. His wife Dory died in 2001.

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