CHARLES GRAHAM - Frank memories

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THE world bids farewell to the lovely Frank Carson this weekend.

I’ll forgive him a rare case of bad timing in that his demise was announced only moments after last week’s page went to press and dwell instead on a wonderfully worthwhile career in generating belly laughs.

I had the good fortune to have a bit of a natter with him a few years ago on a trip to Blackpool Tower Circus and am happy to report he was just as jocular and likeable off-screen.

We are currently in a golden era for stand-ups, the best of whom can fill stadia rather than theatres and clubs, and the current format tends to be more narrative than the gag-driven repartees of when Carson was in his pomp.

But I think many will always harbour a soft spot for the unstoppable joke routines that he perfected, including his self-deprecating Irish jokes, such as “Have you heard about the Irishman who bought a water ski and spent the rest of his life trying to find a sloping lake?”