The showbiz world has been paying tribute to South Yorkshire TV comedy star Paul Shane who has died aged 72 after a short illness.
Paul, who starred in shows including Hi-de-Hi!, Oh, Doctor Beeching! and You Rang, M’Lord? died on Thursday surrounded by family and friends at Rotherham hospice.
Paying tribute, Sheffield comedian Bobby Knutt said: “Shaney was a very funny guy. Like me, he was a child of the clubs. Back then, he was a top club comic who could really pack ’em in.
“We lost contact for a number of years after he got his TV break, but I was lucky enough to work with him again in a few episodes of Emmerdale when he joined the soap in the mid 2000s.”
Leading British comedian Ricky Gervais also paid tribute to Paul, calling him an ‘old school Britcom hero’, while former EastEnders star Shaun Williamson said he was a ‘comedy legend’.
Hollywood star Mike Myers, famous for his roles as Austin Powers and Shrek, said: “RIP Paul Shane. Great British Comic, actor and talent. Rest in peace, Sir.”
Linda Kremer, his agent for 15 years, said: “Paul was a consummate professional, a gentleman, a good friend, and a joy to work with.”
Born in Rotherham in 1940, Paul began his working life as a miner, but turned to the entertainment industry following an accident.
In his early career, he sang and entertained in pubs and clubs across South Yorkshire until he was offered TV work in the early 1970s.
His big break came as holiday camp host Ted Bovis in Hi-de-Hi! in 1980. The series, which ran until 1988, won massive audiences and was presented with a Bafta for Best Comedy Series in 1984.
As well as Hi-de-Hi!, Paul starred in the TV series You Rang M’Lord and Oh, Dr Beeching!
A widower, Paul is survived by three daughters and six grandchildren.