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  1. #1
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    BBC News - Comic Frank Carson dies aged 85

    Comic Frank Carson dies aged 85


    A look back at Frank Carson's career

    Continue reading the main story Related Stories


    Northern Irish comedian Frank Carson best known for the catch phrases "It's a cracker" and "It's the way I tell 'em", has died aged 85.
    Carson had suffered from poor health and his family said he passed away at his home in Blackpool, Lancashire.
    The comic rose to fame in the 1960s after winning talent show Opportunity Knocks three times. He went on to appear in The Comedians and Tiswas.
    Plans are being made for a funeral in his home town of Belfast.
    Carson had a successful operation for stomach cancer last year, but told the BBC his health had been a problem for some time.
    "I have had a bad five years," he added.
    "First it was the pacemaker, then it was a new knee, then I had a hernia and then of course I had this problem."
    The family statement said Carson, "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!!"
    Papal recognition Born in Belfast on 6 November 1926 to a family of Italian descent, Carson was the son of a binman.
    He grew up in the Little Italy area of the city and worked as a plasterer and electrician, and then joined the Parachute Regiment.
    He served three years in the Middle East in the 1950s, before his attention turned to showbusiness.
    Spotted for his stand-up work, he was a popular performer on Irish television before moving to England.
    There, the comedian appeared in the TV music hall revival show The Good Old Days, before his appearances on Opportunity Knocks propelled him into the mainstream.
    He went on to appear alongside fellow comics Charlie Williams, Bernard Manning, Mike Reid and Jim Bowen in the 1970s TV series, The Comedians.
    A familiar face on British TV for the next two decades, Carson's other shows included Who Do You Do? and variety show The Wheeltappers and Shunters Social Club.
    He became known for his self-deprecating sense of humour.
    In 1975, Carson signed up to play Paddy O'Brien in Spike Milligan sitcom The Melting Pot, but the show was cancelled shortly after the first episode was broadcast.
    He later claimed Milligan had mocked his constant stream of wisecracks - by writing a joke of his own: "What's the difference between Frank Carson and the M1? You can turn off the M1."
    Carson continued to work following a heart operation in 1976, and was a frequent guest on children's series Tiswas.
    He was also at home on radio, appearing alongside David Frost and Leslie Crowther on 1980s BBC Radio 2 show Pull The Other One.
    In 1987, Pope John Paul II knighted Carson into the order of St Gregory at a private audience in Rome, in recognition of his charity work in Northern Ireland.
    "He kissed me and said I was a wonderful man," Carson later told the Daily Mail.
    "I was in there for 17 minutes - the priests time it. President Reagan only got 11, so that was nice."
    Despite his showbusiness career, the comedian also served as Mayor of Balbriggan in North Dublin twice.
    "It is my favourite place in the world," said Carson, who spent his honeymoon in the area, "it always brings back happy memories".
    Following the ascent of alternative comedy in the late 1980s, the performer largely returned to his roots in stand-up, and was performing hundreds of shows a year as recently as 2008.
    He moved to Blackpool in later life, where he became involved with the Eurosceptic UK Independence Party.
    Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph last year, Carson said he wanted to be cremated and his ashes scattered around the Corporation Street in Belfast, where he grew up.
    He leaves a wife, Ruth, daughter Majella and sons Tony and Aidan, as well as 10 grandchildren.

  2. #2
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    (excerpt)

    'Northern Irish comedian Frank Carson best known for the catch phrases "It's a cracker" and "It's the way I tell 'em", has died aged 85.
    Carson had suffered from poor health and his family said he passed away at his home in Blackpool, Lancashire.

    The comic rose to fame in the 1960s after winning talent show Opportunity Knocks three times. He went on to appear in The Comedians and Tiswas.
    Plans are being made for a funeral in his home town of Belfast.'

    BBC News - Comic Frank Carson dies aged 85

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Country: Fiji
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    What a gap Frank will leave in the world - such an infectious and irresistible sense of humour!

    Rest In Peace Frank - nobody will ever tell them that way again...

    Respect,

    Smudge

  4. #4
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Tigon Man's Avatar
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    Sad to see on the news that Frank Carson has passed away. A great club comic from the Wheeltappers and The Comedians. His family said it's a lot quieter without him, but heaven help those upstairs!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Country: England markrgv's Avatar
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    Sad news. A great comic and a very nice and friendly person.

    RIP Mr Carson

    Mark.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Country: Australia wadsy's Avatar
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    A very funny man. He always seemed to me to be a nicer, gentler man than most of his contemporaries. R.I.P. Frank!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Country: Ireland jimw1's Avatar
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    A Funny and Very Nice Man..R.I.P. Frank






    Frank Carson obituary | Culture | guardian.co.uk
    Last edited by jimw1; 23-02-12 at 08:54 AM.

  8. #8
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Country: Ireland Edward G's Avatar
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    Thanks for the clip, Jim.
    Like Wadsy, I always felt from his interviews that he didn't have the ego of some of the other comedians ; just a professional who never forgot his roots or the importance of being able to make people laugh.
    Belfast should be very proud of his life and career.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Country: England Johnallan's Avatar
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    We’ve lost a wonderful comedian of the old school. I can still remember how much I enjoyed his performances on the 1970s show ‘The Comedians’ including that joke about the wheelbarrow with the squeaky wheel. With his Irish accent and ebullient delivery you couldn’t fail to be grabbed by him. But I think his real secret was the way he told ‘em.

  11. #11
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    A gem.

    A cracker.

  12. #12
    Super Moderator Country: UK batman's Avatar
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    I saw him live in the early 80s ..... he didn't stop laughing and telling jokes for an hour and a half ..... the audience (inc me) were in hysterics ..... it was an amazing performance. RIP Frank.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Country: Scotland
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    Look at Yahoo News, and their story on Frank's death.

    Amazing to think such idiots get paid for such stupidity.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Country: UK Windthrop's Avatar
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    RIP Frank

    Your comedy always left me with a smile on my face.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    Always liked Frank Carson, one of my favourites, very inoffensive and didn't resort to using bad language like a lot of the others.
    R.I.P.

  16. #16
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    RIP Frank. You made many people laugh.

    Alan French.

  17. #17
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    What a shame. A genuinely funny man who was never lost for words. Guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

    Rest in peace Frank, I bet your making them laugh upstairs already.

    cassidy.

  18. #18
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    Really you know, only now can we appreciate our film and TV watching in the 1960's and 1970's as a result of the passing of Frank Carson, and similar before and just a few to come.

    We all experience watching a risque TV show nowadays and hoping our young family members not getting embarrased at the 'blue' jokes. Frank was someone as a 20-year old in the early 1970's i could watch and thankfully my parents not getting embarrased!

    such is life;Frank Carson, we treasure you!

  19. #19
    Senior Member Country: UK golightly's Avatar
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    Sad to see him pass away, a top class comedian and thoroughly likeable personality.

  20. #20
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    RIP Frank - you were a one off! Much missed and no doubt they will rolling about with laughter up there.
    Mark

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