HE would regularly visit the holiday parks of Hayling Island and have his audiences in stitches.
Warm tributes were today paid to the comic Frank Carson, who died on Wednesday at the age of 85 at his home in Blackpool.
The Northern Ireland-born comedian, who coined the catchphrase ‘It’s a cracker’, regularly performed at Sinah Warren Hotel, Lakeside Holiday Village and Mill Rythe Holiday Village.
Frank Pearce, a Hayling councillor and also a photographer, paid tribute to the funnyman.
‘He would quite often come three times a year to Hayling and visit the different holiday centres,’ he said.
‘He would turn up on a train at Havant and one of the team would go and collect him.
‘No-one left the room when he was performing.
‘As soon as he came off stage he would go straight to the bar and chat with people. He would still be there at 2am.
‘He would have breakfast with the guests, still telling gags.’
Mr Pearce added: ‘He was one of the old school of entertainers.
‘He would never stand and swear at the audience – he was just a superb comedian.
‘My favourite gag was “my wife does not like me, when I had a heart attack she wrote for an ambulance”.’
The comic rose to fame in the 1960s after winning talent show Opportunity Knocks three times.
He went on to appear in The Comedians and Tiswas.