YORKSHIRE actor Paul Shane, best known for his role in the 1980s TV sitcom Hi-de-Hi!, has died at the age of 72.
Mr Shane passed away surrounded by his family yesterday afternoon at Rotherham Hospice following a short illness.
Linda Kremer, his agent for 15 years, said: “Paul Shane was a consummate professional, a true gentleman, a good friend, and a joy to work with. He didn’t suffer fools, always maintained his sense of humour, never stinted on the time he gave to his fans. He lightened my life and I’ll miss him enormously.”
Born in Rotherham, Mr Shane, whose real name was George Speight, worked as a miner but was pensioned off at 27 after an accident at the Silverwood Colliery.
His first showbusiness job was as a singer at the Grafton pub, in St Ann’s Road in Rotherham.
National fame came calling with the part of holiday camp comic Ted Bovis in Hi-de-Hi!, which ran on BBC1 from 1980 to 1988, a role he landed after cameo appearances in Coronation Street.
Speaking in 1999 about the success of Hi-de-Hi! he said: “When it first started, we used to get bus loads of kids arriving from schools asking for autographs. I’ve never turned anybody down in my life. There are a lot of stars I know who run out of the stage door so they don’t have to sign autographs but that’s not for me. Those people put you where you are so why not give them something back?”
Mr Shane’s popularity in Hi-de-Hi! paved the way for further TV comedy roles in You Rang M’Lord and Oh! Dr Beeching. His other credits included Kavanagh QC, Holby City, Doctors, Coronation Street and A Touch of Frost.
Mr Shane is survived by three daughters and six grandchildren. His wife, Dory, died in 2001.