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Paul Shane of Rotherham

History of Rotherham
  • Entertainment
  • birth: Jun 19, 1940

Paul Shane (born 19 June 1940) is a British actor, best known for his part in the sitcom, Hi-de-Hi!.

He was born in Thrybergh, near Rotherham, his real name being George Frederick Speight. He has also been referred to as Jason Shepherd from time to time - this was mostly when doing the comedy circuits when he was younger. He worked as a miner, but had an accident at Silverwood Colliery in 1967 by slipping in the pit-head baths on some soap, resulting in double herniated discs and was pensioned off from the pit at the age of 27. Two years later, he made the decision to turn to professional entertainer. He had already had 10 years experience as a part-time entertainer around the pubs and clubs in South Yorkshire. His first appearance, as a straight singer, was at the Grafton Pub on St Ann's Road, Rotherham, now demolished. Paul's first club booking was at St Ann's Club in Rotherham, for thirty shillings (1.50).

Paul's transformation from singer to comedian was a gradual one, starting with his rendition of Green Green Grass of Home, straight at first, but ultimately a hilarious send up of Tom Jones which marked the start of the Paul Shane act.

Small parts in television series began to materialise and in the late 1970s, comedy writer Jimmy Perry spotted Paul in an episode of Coronation Street and offered him the part of Ted Bovis in his new holiday camp sitcom Hi-de-Hi!. The pilot episode knowingly featured a nod to the discovery, as Ted waits to hear whether he has got a part in a series which sounded suspiciously like Coronation Street. His audition having proved unsuccessful, Ted is forced to remain as camp host at Maplin's Holiday Camp.

The series ran from 1980 to 1988, when Perry and co-writer David Croft penned the pilot episode of You Rang, M'Lord? and invited Paul to play Alf Stokes. The show ran until 1993. In 1991, Paul was given his own series entitled Very Big, Very Soon but it failed to achieve anything like the popularity of his other roles.

Between 1995 and 1997, Paul played Jack Skinner in two series of Oh Doctor Beeching!. Subsequently, he has appeared most frequently in theatre but has also enjoyed recurring roles in television series Holby City and Emmerdale.

Paul Shane's 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 a poll on Channel 4 in 2004.

In 2008 he guest starred in an episode of the ITV drama series A Touch of Frost, playing the role of boatsman Diesel Bob.

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