Norman Collier, Yorkshire comedian, dies aged 87

The former WWII gunner was a stalwart of the northern comedy circuit

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The Independent Online

The comedian Norman Collier has died, aged 87.

The Yorkshireman, whose comedy played on northern working-class stereotypes, was best known for his "faulty microphone" act.

Collier made his name on the northern comedy club circuit, before numerous TV appearances in the 70s and 80s. Jimmy Tarbuck dubbed him "the comedian's comedian."

The eldest of eight, Collier served as a gunner in the second world war, before working as a labourer and doing comedy on the side.

In 1971, though still little known, he got a standing ovation at the Royal Variety Show. He subsequently became famous for two television routines: one as a club compère whose microphone worked only intermittently, another as a chicken.

Despite success, Collier never moved to London, opting to stay in the village of Welton, near Hull.

His biographer, Mike Ulyatt, said: “He was a local lad who never wanted to move from East Yorkshire and a real family man. He often said to me 'All I ever wanted to do was make people laugh'”.

He is survived by Lucy, his wife of more than 60 years. he had three children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.