Friends of Hi-de-Hi! star Paul Shane paid tribute to the ‘comedy genius’ as they joined thousands of fans who lined the streets to pay tribute to the much-loved actor at his funeral, writes Molly Lynch.
Shane, best known for his role as holiday camp compere Ted Bovis in 80s sitcom, died aged 72 on May 16 at a hospice surrounded by his family following a short illness.
VIDEO: Press the play button to watch our video report from the funeral.
Family, friends and co-stars were joined by thousands of fans at the public funeral yesterday, held at the Minster in his home town of Rotherham, to pay their respects to the ‘kind-hearted’ actor.
Mourners applauded as the coffin – decorated with a flower cortege spelling ‘BYE-DE-BYE’ – was carried into the church.
Actress and close friend Su Pollard who co-starred with him in Hi-de-Hi! and You Rang, M’Lord?, was joined by Shane’s co-stars Ruth Madoc, Bernie Clifton, Darren Day and his friend and actress Jean Fergusson.
Su said: “I have so many wonderful memories of Paul. He would have been deeply moved if he had seen how many people have turned out today.
“I bet he would have joked and said ‘well, I must have done something right’.
“No one has a bad word to say about Paul because he was loads of fun and he only ever had a kind word to say about people.
“He’s a comedy genius who is really loved and has touched the hearts of many.
“He was so proud to be from here and this is where his heart always was. He always felt very supported and loved from his fans and he will be greatly missed.”
His friend and co-star Jeffrey Holland, who was in Hi-De-Hi, You Rang M’Lord? and Oh, Doctor Beeching! with his pal, delivered a moving tribute to the packed church.
He said: “The first time I met him I had been asked to read lines with him. I held out my hand to introduce myself and he froze.
“He asked me if we had met before because he said I looked familiar and from then on, we had so much chemistry and we became great pals.
“It was a great joy for me to work alongside him for so many years and to watch him grow in stature.”
Jean Fergusson said after the service: “He was a great man - not only on screen but also in person. He was never in a bad mood and he was incredibly kind-hearted.”
Darren Day, who starred in the panto Cinderella with Shane, said: “He was one of the warmest, most generous men in the business.
Comedian, Bernie Clifton, who was a great friend of Shane’s, said: “He was a genuine, down to Earth Yorkshireman who had a big heart.
Shane is survived by three daughters and six grandchildren – his wife Dory died in 2001.