Ventriloquist Keith Harris dies from cancer

Keith Harris and Orville
Keith Harris and Orville
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ENTERTAINER Keith Harris has died from cancer.

The 67-year-old, who was best known for his ventriloquist acts with puppet Orville, was a regular at Ferneham Hall, in Fareham.

General manager Rod Cameron said: ‘Keith was a great guy to work with, a true professional and genuine person, always upbeat and positive who just wanted to be on stage entertaining children of all ages.

‘Even now I am still asked can I get Keith & Orville & Cuddles back to Ferneham Hall.

‘Keith phoned me in March this year while I was in Tenerife and said in his upbeat manner he was battling cancer again but would not let it win and we spoke of a return to Fareham again.

‘We will all miss Keith and our thoughts are with his wife Sarah, children Kitty, Shenton and Skye and his mother Lila.’

His agent, Robert Kelly, announced the news on Twitter this morning.

He said: ‘I spoke to Keith most days, whether we had business to do or not.

‘I think I laughed every single time we spoke.

‘Keith was not only a technically great ventriloquist, he was also a gifted mimic and an extraordinarily funny man both on-stage and off.

‘Perhaps even rarer than that in showbiz, he was a thoroughly decent man, a great friend and a wonderful father and husband.’

Mr Harris was diagnosed with cancer in 2013 and became ill again in January.

Keith Harris’ five pantomime shows at Ferneham Hall:

- Dick Whittington 2003/04

- Goldilocks and the Three Bears 2005/06

- Aladdin 2006/07

- Cinderella 2007/08

- Dick Whittington 2008/09