Theatre Royal pays tribute to Paul Shane

Just Regional
May 17, 2013 3 mins read

Warm tributes are being paid by Norwich Theatre Royal following the sad death of comedian, entertainer and panto star Paul Shane, who has died at the age of 72 after a short illness.

Best known for playing holiday camp entertainer Ted Bovis in the hit BBC sitcom Hi-De-Hi, he also played King Rat opposite Faith Brown, Rikki Jay and Helen McDermott in the 2000-2001 pantomime Dick Whittington.

Norwich Theatre Royal chief executive Peter Wilson remembered Paul as a hugely talented performer who was also a fantastic team-player. He said: “We place a high premium in the Theatre Royal about people being good members of the panto family and you need the stars to be people who will pull their weight, help the younger members of the company and be constructive. Paul was all of those things.

“He was a gentleman and a great performer. He pulled in a lot of audiences who wanted to enjoy his brand of humour and he also had the most fantastic singing voice.”

Paul’s skill in a variety of performing disciplines also helped mark him out as a showbusiness legend, according to Norwich Theatre Royal chief executive Peter Wilson. He said: “What we forget is that people like Paul who are good in variety are good across the board at singing, dancing and comedy. Paul was brought up in a time when you had to be able to do everything on a variety bill. What made him irresistible in Hi-De-Hi and You Rang M’Lord was that he completely understood the audience come first, they need to be entertained by somebody who is talented, and they need to be somebody like Paul who has a nice rich, warm personality.”

His Dick Whittington co-stars also spoke of Paul with great affection. Popular comedian and entertainer Rikki Jay, who played Idle Jack, said: “It was wonderful to share the stage with such a generous performer and someone I had admired so much on TV. His character Ted Bovis in Hi De Hi is legendary and I’m sure influenced so many comics and comic actors as it did indeed me.

“I’ll always remember our time together at Norwich Theatre Royal with great fondness and I know he’ll be sadly missed.  Ho-De-Ho my friend.”

The festive production also starred Anglia TV and BBC Radio Norfolk favourite Helen McDermott, who remembered Paul as a fantastic all-round entertainer. She said: “Lots of people remembered him from his time in Hi-De-Hi which made him a popular member of the company. He had a very strong vocal talent and we all admired him as a great performer.”


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