‘Kick Rolf off carpet’

Rolf Harris
Rolf Harris
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Celebrities and visitors have demanded Rolf Harris’ name is removed from the resort’s Comedy Carpet.

The disgraced Australian entertainer is serving more than five years in prison for sex crimes against children.

His name is one of more than 1,000 comedians and entertainers placed around the border of the Comedy Carpet – Blackpool’s £4m public art installation opposite The Tower.

Blackpool Council, which is currently undertaking maintenance work on the Promenade attraction, says it will now consider removing 
Harris’ name.

TV star Keith Harris – whose name sits below that of Rolf Harris – today joined calls for Harris to be removed from the tribute to the world of comedy.

The Poulton-based ventriloquist said: “Anyone that does anything with children deserves to be jailed.”

North Pier comedian Joey Blower, whose name is also on the Carpet, said: “Removal (of Harris’ name) should be taken as a given.”

Harris was jailed in July 
after he was found guilty of 12 indecent assaults against four girls – including one aged just seven.

Keith Harris said: “I worked with him and did two TV series. He was a charming person and brought a lot of happiness to a lot of people.

“But anyone who’s touched children deserves to be put away forever.”

North Pier comedian Joey Blower added: “The removal is something that should be taken as a given when somebody’s been prosecuted and it’s proven. I’d suggest common sense should prevail.”

Following Harris’s conviction Fylde-based singer Linda Nolan told how she had been targeted by Harris, who kissed her neck when she was just 15.

Coun Mark Smith, who represents Talbot ward, which covers the section of the Prom on which the Comedy Carpet sits, said: “With the history of what’s happened it’s probably not appropriate for it to be on there.

“It’s something to be looked at and investigated, and I’ll look at it myself.”

Tourists viewing the Comedy Carpet have echoed calls for the removal to take place during the ongoing renovation.

Jackie and Stephen Callender, visiting the resort from Witham, Essex, said: “It should be removed because of what he’s done.

“Blackpool’s been trying to represent children for so long so I think it would be detrimental not to remove it given the circumstances.”

Peter and Julie Little, from Hawick, in Scotland, added: “As it is I think it would offend a lot of people.

“It would be the same if it was Jimmy Savile’s name or anybody else.”

Paul Guilding, from Scunthorpe, said: “They shouldn’t really give prominence to him now and his name shouldn’t be put to anything.

“Blackpool is a family-orientated place.”

Coun Christine Wright, Cabinet Member for Culture and Heritage, said council officers would now speak to artist Gordon Young –the Comedy Carpet’s creator.

She said: “Since Mr Harris was charged with offences in 2013 we haven’t received any complaints or concerns from members of the public in regard to his name featuring on the Comedy Carpet.

“Now the inclusion of his name has been brought to light we will speak to the artist who designed the Carpet and consider the best course of action.”