In The News

Comedian Norman Collier passes away

Comedian Norman Collier passes away

ONE of Britain’s best-known comedians Norman Collier has passed away. He was 87.

Mr. Collier came from Hull and remained loyal to his northern roots throughout his career.

He performed his first stand-up routine in 1950 at a club in his home city and that was to be the start of a long and successful career. The first few years were spent honing his skills on the club circuit, but it was his appearance on the Royal Variety Performance in 1971 that brought him to national attention.

His performance earned him a standing ovation and rave reviews. It also led to him becoming a national star with regular appearances on television.

Many fans will remember him for two key elements of his stage act — the faulty microphone routine and his chicken impression. 

He had been inspired to develop a routine in which the microphone appears to be working intermittently following an incident in real life (see below).

Over the years, he also performed in Christmas pantomimes.

Mr. Collier once said that all he had ever wanted to do was make people laugh. All the many tributes to him acknowledge that he never failed in that ambition.

His friend and fellow comic Tommy Cannon was among those to pay tribute. He said: “Norman was a giant of British comedy and he will be sorely missed. I’m absolutely devastated. I only visited him about three weeks ago and I knew he wasn’t in the best of health. But I’m sorry for his family.”

Comedian Jim Bowen also paid tribute. “He was the funniest of all of us,” said   the comic, “He was one of the nicest men in showbusiness. There was one thing for certain, you never wanted to go on after Norman.”

In recent years Mr. Collier had been suffering from Parkinson’s Disease and had been living in a nursing home.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Lucy, and his three children.

To view an interview in which Mr. Collier explains what inspired him to develop his faulty microphone routine, click here.

To see footage of Mr. Collier on stage, click here.

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