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Keith Harris

Blue Collar

Rat Register Number: 730, initiated 14 June 1981

Born in Hampshire but brought up in Cheshire, Keith's parents were both variety artistes, so he had an inborn schooling in his trade, first appearing on his father's knee, aged nine, as a "dummy".

He consequently appeared in summer seasons at holiday resorts, leading to his first television spot in 1965 on 'Lets Laugh', then to hosting the BBC's 'Black and White Minstrel Show'.

By now he was well known for his two character dolls, Cuddles (the cheeky monkey) and Orville (a giant, bright green, nappy wearing duck).

His own show 'Cuddles and Company' followed, plus spots on numerous TV variety programmes, notably 'The Good Old Days'.

Things really took off when he was commissioned by the BBC for his own 'Keith Harris Show' which ran from 1982 - 1990. (Until 1986, his scriptwriter was Past King Rat George Martin "The Casual Comedian" and former 'Basil Brush Show' writer, who also proposed him to join the GOWR.)

Keith also appeared in several Royal Variety shows and performed privately for the Royal Family. (This included being booked at the specific request of HRH Diana The Princess of Wales to entertain the Princes William and Harry at their respective 3rd. birthday parties.)

Keith had a big hit in 1982 with 'Orville's Song' (written by Bobby Crush) which sold 400,000 copies and reached number 4 in the charts.

In 2002 Keith featured in the Louis Theroux TV documentary 'When Louis met Keith Harris' and in 2005 he was included in the all star video line-up of comedian Peter Kay's 'Is this the way to Amarillo?'

He had two children with his fourth wife, Sarah, and one with his former wife, singer Jacqui Scott.

Scribe Rat Mike Martin
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