Ray Alan

Ray Alan

Date of birth: 18-09-1930
Date of death: 24-05-2010

Regarded as one of Britain’s most technically brilliant ventriloquists, Ray Alan was born in Greenwich, London, on September 18, 1930.

He started in showbusiness young, entering a talent contest at his local cinema when he was aged just five. By 13 he had become a call-boy at the Lewisham Hippodrome, where he was allowed to perform magic between the acts on the variety bill, before adding ventriloquism to his repertoire.

In 1954, he supported Laurel and Hardy on their last tour of Britain, when he also came up with his most famous creation: the drunken aristocrat Lord Charles, who had a roving eye for the ladies and the catchphrase ‘you silly arse’. The puppet’s face was modelled on Stan Laurel's.

It was about this time he broke into TV in the Fifties, and Alan was a regular on TV variety shows and panel games, including The Good Old Days, into the Eighties. In later years, Alan was a cruise-ship entertainer, including a stint working on the QE2, before his retirement in 2008.

He died ‘very suddenly’ on May 24, 2010.

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