Frank Carson RIP

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Frank Carson RIP

Post  eddie on Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:39 pm

Frank Carson dies aged 85

Northern Irish standup comedian died at his home in Blackpool. He had been battling cancer for a number of years

Jasmine Coleman, Wednesday 22 February 2012 23.12 GMT

Frank Carson, the Northern Irish standup comedian, has died after a long battle with cancer. He was 85. Photograph: Graham Whitby-Boot/Allstar Picture Library

Northern Irish comedian, Frank Carson, has died at the age of 85.

The standup, who famously appeared on television in The Comedians and Tiswas in the 1970s and had been battling cancer for a number of years.

He died at his home in Blackpool on Wednesday morning and plans are now being made for a funeral in his home town of Belfast.

In a statement, his family said: the "husband, father, Gaga and comedian set off for his final gig today. He went peacefully at his home in Blackpool surrounded by his greatest fans - his extended family. We will be taking him home to Belfast to lay him to rest and celebrate his joyful life. It's quieter down here now. God help them up there!"

The comic, known for his catchphrases "It's the way I tell 'em" and "It's a cracker", rose to fame in the 1960s after winning talent show Opportunity Knocks three times.

He was still performing across the UK until recently, taking part in around 80 events a year.

But he had been ill for some time with heart problems, and was diagnosed with stomach cancer last year.

The former tradesman dedicated much of his life to looking after his wife Ruth, who had poor eyesight, with his sons Tony and Aidan and daughter Majella.

His spokesman Ashley Yeates said on Wednesday: "It is with great sadness that we have to announce the passing of Frank Carson.

"Frank will be remembered for being a wonderful standup comedian from the golden era of light entertainment on television shows such as The Comedians, Tiswas, Opportunity Knocks and many, many more.

"His audience and friends alike will remember him as a genuine, kind-hearted and generous man who was also very funny because of 'the way he told 'em'.

"We will remember him as one of the nicest people in showbiz, a gentleman and a friend."

The son of a binman, Carson grew up in an area of north Belfast known as 'Little Italy'.

He worked as a plasterer and electrician and then joined the Parachute Regiment.

He served three years in the Middle East in the 1950s, before turning his attentions to a career in showbusiness where his contemporaries included Eric Morecambe, Tommy Cooper and Spike Milligan.

Journalist and friend Eddie McIlwaine told of how Carson once joked with the Pope.

"He met the present Pope [Benedict XVI] and the Pope said 'did you ever meet Elvis Presley' and Frank said 'no I have not but it won't be long now'."

Pope John Paul II knighted Carson in 1987 into the Order of St Gregory in recognition of his charity work.

He had moved to Blackpool in later life, where he became involved with the UK Independence Party.

McIlwaine added: "He was not just a comedian on stage, he was always a funny man and an expert at the one-liner, he was a naturally born comedian."

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Re: Frank Carson RIP

Post  eddie on Sun Mar 04, 2012 2:05 am

Hundreds line streets for Carson

Press Association

Stars of screen and stage are paying their final farewells to Frank Carson

Hundreds of people have lined the streets to pay tribute to "prime minister of fun" Frank Carson at his funeral Mass in Belfast.

Family and friends of the comic, 85, famed for one-liners including "it's a cracker" and beloved to millions who saw him on television packed St Patrick's Catholic Church for the service in the same building where he was married 62 years ago.

Wife Ruth and his three children led mourners from around the world.

Bishop Edward Daly told them: "Frank made millions of people smile and laugh. He brightened up their lives. He was a prime minister of fun. That was his mission in life."

Television presenter Eamonn Holmes said he was at the funeral as a family friend and neighbour from the earliest years. He said: "He is one of the most famous sons of Ulster, that sums up what he means to everybody in Northern Ireland."

Comedian Stan Boardman and snooker player Dennis Taylor were among mourners. Dana, former Irish MEP, comedian Roy Walker and boxer Barry McGuigan were also present.

Boardman said: "Frank was a nice man, whenever he went into the room, even before he came into the room, he was approachable, he would go over and talk to people.

"He was a sort of uncle, everybody used to call him Uncle Frank. He did not offend anybody, his gags were brilliant and he was a funny man."

Taylor remembered a flight to Bangkok with Carson and Boardman for charity work. He said: "Sitting on a flight for 14 hours between Stan Boardman and Frank Carson, that is an experience I will never forget."

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