Tony Gerrard

Tony Gerrard

A professional comedian since 1969, he claims to be the only professional act working from a wheelchair, the result of polio he contracted at the age of four.

He has toured with Bernard Manning and is a regular at working men's clubs and at Jongleurs. He has performed four consecutive summer seasons at Butlins.

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Tony Gerrard dies

Comic's career spanned 44 years

Tony Gerrard, who had performed for almost 45 years on both the mainstream and the Jongleurs circuit, has died.

He billed himself as Britain's best 'sit down' comedian, as he had been confined to a wheelchair since the age of four after contracting polio.

Leading the tributes on Twitter was footballer ‘Razor’ Ruddock tweeted: ‘RIP Tony Gerrard great comic and top bloke,1 of the best speakers on the after dinner circuit thanks for everything pal x’

Comedian Lloyd Hollett called him ‘a unique and genius act!’

However, his act did not always chime with the modern circuit. In a 2008 review, Chortle described him as a ‘dinosaur’ with ‘a relentlessly unpleasant mix of lazy pub-style gags based on tired, horrible stereotypes’. Plenty of punters disagreed, however, and added much more positive reviews.

Gerrard, who died yesterday, first started performing in 1968 alongside the likes of Bernard Manning, Frank Carson and Mike Reid in the working men's clubs.

Much of his material was based around being in a wheelchair, while outside of comedy he was also a rock and jazz saxophonist. His TV credits included Celebrity Squares and The Comedians – and he twice appeared in both EastEnders and The Bill.

Click here for a clip of him performing

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Published: 25 May 2012

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