Norman Collier dies at 87

His mic finally packs in for good...

Norman Collier, the comedian best known for his 'faulty microphone' routine, has died at the age of 87.

He passed away last night at a care home in Hull after a six-year battle with Parkinson's Disease.

A star of the club circuit in the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties, the Hull-born comedian was also well known for his onstage chicken impressions.

Among those paying tribute today was impressionist Jon Culshaw who tweeted: ‘Rest in peace Norman Collier.. Funny, funny, wonderfully funny man. People would be permanently laughing whenever they were around him.’

Danny Baker added: ‘Norman Collier has passed away. Expect lots of "broken up" tweets but that really was some act.’

Fellow comedian Joey Howard told BBC Radio Humberside: ‘Everybody loved him and he'll be sadly missed. Nobody could follow him, when he walked into a room and did his stuff. He was a natural clown ... such a natural, funny man and a very, very modest man as well.

’In his act, he was probably one of the first observation comedians from the Fifties and Sixties... he noticed things and that's what people loved. He had a great career and was very, very loved by us all.’

Collier was born on Christmas Day 1925, and served as a gunner in the Second World War. His showbiz career spanned 60 years, beginning in 1948, when an act failed to show up at Hull's Perth Street West club, and he volunteered to fill in.

But it took him 14 more years until he went pro, and he became an established name on the northern circuit, getting his national breakthrough at the Royal Variety Command Performance in 1971.

He leaves a wife, Lucy, to whom he was married for 40 years, three children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

A memorial gig will be held on September 16 at Hull New Theatre, which was planned before Collier’s death as it was known he was in poor health.

Howard said: ‘It's a celebration of his life.’

Here is Collier in action:

Published: 15 Mar 2013

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