BLACKPOOL comedian Duncan Norvelle is recovering in hospital after suffering a stroke.
The entertainer, famous for his “chase me” catchphrase, lightning impressions and faux camp act, has been ordered by doctors to take a year off performing.
It means the cancellation of his summer season at Blackpool Grand Theatre where he was due to appear weekly alongside Cannon and Ball. He has been replaced by Stu Francis.
Bobby Ball said: “Tommy and I are absolutely gutted Duncan can’t be with us this summer and when he is back on his feet we look forward to him working with us again.”
Duncan’s co-manager Tony Jo said: “We are organising a benefit night for Duncan at The Grand Theatre on Monday, October 25. Stars from all over the country will appear and of course Cannon and Ball as well as other Grand Theatre stars including Joe Longthorne, Roy Walker and Mick Miller subject to availability.”
Blackpool-based singer Mr Longthorne said: “I was very upset to hear about Duncan’s illness and we shall do all we can to support him through his difficulty.”
Duncan lives in Blackpool with his vocalist partner Nikki Miller who said: “Hopefully he will be out of hospital in the next couple of weeks and it will not be too long before he is back on his feet.
“I would like to thank all of his friends in showbusiness for rallying round in these difficult times. He is spending all of his time in hospital writing new material, so it certainly has not affected his sense of humour.”
Born in Hoton, near Loughborough in 1958, Duncan sprang to fame in the early 1980s. He has performed many Blackpool summer seasons – most recently on North Pier last year with Cannon and Ball.
He was last seen on television as one of the celebrities on the Come Dine With Me Comedy Christmas Special last December.
He has three children, Sophie (with ex-wife Trudi Dean), Yasmin (with former girlfriend Tina Hall) and Jack (with ex-wife Jane Lindsay).