ENTERTAINMENT

Keith Harris Dead: Ventriloquist Explained Why He 'Created A Monster' In Orville The Duck But Didn't Resent Him

28/04/2015 11:45 BST | Updated 28/04/2015 11:59 BST

Keith Harris, who has died at the age of 67, once addressed the complicated nature of his job, which involved a 30-year partnership with Orville the Duck, admitting he knew he'd created a monster.

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Keith was being filmed for a documentary by Louis Theroux, which aired in 2008, 25 years after Keith first came up with the idea of a green furry duck with a nappy pin, which became Orville, his most popular character from the 1980s onwards.

keith harris

Keith Harris with his popular creation, Orville the Duck

Keith's other most popular creation, Cuddles the Monkey, famously felt competitive towards the in-demand duck, and Louis Theroux asked him if he sometimes felt a similar resentment.

Keith explained, "You can't resent him. He made me a household name after 20 years of being in the business.

"But I obviously created a monster... that it's very hard to get away from that. Everybody knows Orville, not everybody knows Keith Harris.

"I can't say he's been a burden, but he put me into a pigeon-hole."

Addressing a rumour that Keith had once had a drink and kicked Orville to the ground, he replied, "No, you can't get angry with him. He's not that sort of person."

It was confirmed this morning that Keith Harris had died in Blackpool aged 67. He had been having treatment for cancer. His illness was made public last year, when he broke down on stage and told an audience in Great Yarmouth that he was preparing for a bone marrow transplant. He then continued to perform and got a standing ovation.

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