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Family pay tribute following death of former TV funnyman
4:10pm Friday 1st February 2013 in News
‘A BIG character with a big heart’ is the way family have described Duggie Whitfield after he died suddenly on Sunday.
The 83-year-old, from Padgate, was best known for appearing on ITV show The Comedians and had written jokes and sketches for fellow funnymen Russ Abbott and Jimmy Cricket as well as being close friends with Les Dawson.
The father-of-three, who has six grandchildren and three great grandchildren, started his career after being spotted by agents at a Butlins talent show.
Daughter Lynn said: “He was always making people laugh so my mum (Kathleen who died five years ago) dared him to get on stage.
“He would have people in stitches one minute and crying the next with his lovely singing voice.
“I told him he should have written a book as he had done so much and even caught a German spy with his mum when they lived off Manchester Road.”
The popular performer toured Germany twice in the early 80s entertaining British and American troops and worked with artists including Johnny cash, The Drifters and The Three Degrees.
It led to eventful evenings for his three children who enjoyed telling friends when they had stars including Alvin Stardust over for tea.
He also fundraised for The Matthew Ellis Trust after his grandson Matthew was diagnosed with Angelman Syndrome and enabled him to swim with dolphins in Florida.
The funeral will take place next Friday at 2.30pm at St Oswald’s Church, Padgate.