Tributes to Frank’s loving wife

Ruth Carson walks behind the coffin of her husband comedian, Frank Carson after a funeral mass at St Patrick's Catholic Church in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Saturday, March 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

Ruth Carson walks behind the coffin of her husband comedian, Frank Carson after a funeral mass at St Patrick's Catholic Church in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Saturday, March 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

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The devoted wife of the late comedian Frank Carson – who was “always guaranteed to laugh at his jokes” – has died in Blackpool.

Ruth Carson passed away on January 6 in the couple’s adopted home town, almost three years after Mr Carson’s death.

Today, friends said she will be greatly missed.

Mrs Carson has been described by her family as the “dearly loved Ma” of her children Majella, Tony and Aidan, and their extensive family circle.

Blackpool theatre producer Duggie Chapman said: “She was a lovely lady, loyal to Frank. I’m so sorry to hear about her death.”

Mrs Carson is to be buried alongside her childhood sweetheart Frank at the Milltown Cemetery, following a service at St Patrick’s Church, Donegall Street, in Belfast, tomorrow.

Mrs Carson was known as the outgoing comedian’s anchor, always by his side.

Robin Duke, Gazette columnist and our former entertainment editor, said: “Mrs Carson was a loyal companion, always guaranteed to laugh at Frank’s jokes.

“She wasn’t like him at all, but she was a really good counterbalance to his outgoing humour, and she kept his feet on the ground.

“They were always by each other’s side.”

Best known for the catchphrases “It’s a cracker” and “It’s the way I tell ‘em”, the popular comedian died at his home in Blackpool on February 22, 2012, having continued to perform gruelling shows right up to the months before his death from ill health.

Mr Carson rose to fame in the 1960s after winning talent show Opportunity Knocks three times.

He became a fixture on TV through the 1970s and 1980s on shows such as The Comedians and Tiswas.

At the time of his death, Belfast City Council opened a book of condolence in his memory. Mr Chapman added: “Ruth was Frank’s childhood sweetheart, but quiet compared to him.

“I’m sure she missed him terribly in recent years.”