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Paul Shane (19 June 1940 – 16 May 2013) was an English comedian and actor known for his television work, in particular playing Ted Bovis in Hi-de-Hi!, a 1980s BBC sitcom.[1]

Paul Shane
Paul Shane.jpg
Shane in July 2011
George Frederick Speight

(1940-06-19)19 June 1940
Died16 May 2013(2013-05-16) (aged 72)
OccupationActor, comedian
Years active1972–2013
Spouse(s)Dorothy Shane (1961 - 2001) (her death)
Children3 daughters


Early life and careerEdit

Shane was born George Frederick Speight in Thrybergh near Rotherham in the West Riding of Yorkshire.[2] He was a miner at Silverwood Colliery until he slipped on soap in the pit-head baths in 1967, resulting in double herniated discs. He was pensioned from the pit at 27. Two years later he became a professional entertainer. He already had 10 years' experience as a part-time entertainer in pubs and clubs in south Yorkshire.[citation needed]

His first appearance, as a singer, was at the Grafton pub—now demolished—in St Ann's Road, Rotherham. His first club booking was at St Ann's Club in Rotherham, for 30 shillings. His transformation from singer to comedian was gradual, starting with his version of "Green, Green Grass of Home", which was straight at first, but ultimately became a send-up of the version by Tom Jones.[citation needed]

Hi-de-Hi and You Rang, M'Lord?Edit

Shane played small parts and made guest appearances in television series throughout the 1970s. In May 1979, the comedy writer Jimmy Perry spotted Shane playing Frank Roper in an episode of Coronation Street and offered him the part of Ted Bovis in his new holiday-camp sitcom Hi-de-Hi!. The series ran from 1980 until 1988, when Perry and his co-writer David Croft wrote the pilot of You Rang, M'Lord? and invited Shane to play Alf Stokes. That show ran until 1993.

In 1991, Shane was given his own show, Very Big Very Soon, but it ended after one series.[citation needed]

Later careerEdit

Shane's intentionally "cringe-inducing" performance of "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" on Pebble Mill at One in 1996 was voted the 72nd-funniest moment on British television in an opinion poll on Channel 4 in 2004.[3]

Between 1995 and 1997, Shane played Jack Skinner in two series of Oh, Doctor Beeching!. Subsequently, he appeared most frequently in theatre, though he also had guest spots in Holby City and Emmerdale.

Shane also appeared in variety theatre in towns including Blackpool in 2006,[4] and in pantomime in Jack and the Beanstalk in 2008.[5] In 2008, he was in an episode of the ITV drama series A Touch of Frost, playing boatsman "Diesel Bob".

He was the subject of This Is Your Life in 1981, when he was surprised by Eamonn Andrews.[6]

Personal lifeEdit

Shane was married to Dorothy (née Shortt), who died on 2 October 2001.[7] They had three daughters.[2]

On 1 April 1984, he was inducted into the Grand Order of Water Rats.[8]

Health and deathEdit

In May 2009, Shane was admitted to the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield for a heart operation and made a recovery.[9]

Following another short period of ill-health, he died on 16 May 2013 at a hospice in Rotherham, aged 72. His three daughters and six grandchildren survived him.[10] His funeral was at Rotherham Minster; the mourners included former colleagues from Hi-de-Hi!.

Television rolesEdit


Year Title Role
1979–1980 Turtle's Progress Mashcan
19801988 Hi-de-Hi! Ted Bovis
19881993 You Rang, M'Lord? Alf Stokes
1991 Very Big Very Soon Harry James
1995–1997 Oh, Doctor Beeching! Jack Skinner
1996 Two Minutes Ernie


Year Title Role
2000–2004 Holby City Stan Ashley
2004 Emmerdale Solomon Dingle
2008 A Touch of Frost Diesel Bob

1982 Muck and Brass. Dennis Catto

Film rolesEdit


  1. ^ Jeffries, Stuart (17 May 2013). "Guardian: Paul Shane obituary". The Guardian.
  2. ^ a b "Paul Shane". Retrieved 18 January 2010.
  3. ^ "Channel4 – 100 Greatest FUNNY MOMENTS". Archived from the original on 12 February 2008. Retrieved 26 November 2007.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  4. ^ "The Two O'Clock Show at the Grand Theatre Blackpool – Starring Paul Shane, Andy Eastwood, The Patton Brothers..." Retrieved 18 January 2010.
  5. ^ "Panto Paul Shane to Trott up the beanstalk". The Star. Retrieved 18 January 2010.
  6. ^ "Paul Shane". Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  7. ^ "Paul Shane". Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  8. ^ "Biography of a Water Rat". Retrieved 18 April 2017.
  9. ^ "Comedy star Paul Shane to have bypass operation". Sheffield Telegraph. Retrieved 18 January 2010.
  10. ^ "Hi-de-Hi! actor Paul Shane dies". BBC News. 16 May 2013. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  11. ^ soundtrack to the album of the same title by Chris Rea
  12. ^ "Paul Shane profile at AllMovie". Retrieved 18 January 2010.

External linksEdit