Entertainment world mourns Max Bygraves

Monday September 3, 2012

The entertainment world has paid tribute to showbiz giant Max Bygraves.

The 89-year-old comedian, singer and variety performer, whose catchphrase was "I wanna tell you a story", died peacefully in his sleep at home in Hope Island, Queensland, Australia.

Born Walter Bygraves in south London in 1922, he adopted the name Max after his hero Max Miller, going on to appear in dozens of films and stage shows during a long-running career.

His close friend, comedian Jimmy Tarbuck, said: "He was one of the greats of British entertainment. I have nothing but lovely memories of him. He was a big, big influence on me."

Actress Barbara Windsor told the Sunday Mirror: "The public absolutely loved him. Some people thought he just walked out on stage and did his thing, but he had the whole package.

" He was incredibly talented. He was one of the good ones and he'll always be remembered."

Comedian Ken Dodd described Max as a "magical performer". He told BBC News: "He was absolutely brilliant - an excellent comedian, a very good singer and quite a good actor. Yes, he was a giant of showbusiness, a wonderful, wonderful man."

Veteran entertainer Des O'Connor said Max had been a massive influence on his own career and had given him valuable guidance when he started out.

He said he wrote to him asking him for help and he was touched when he replied with a two-page handwritten letter full of advice. Des said: "I used to use it as a rule book when I was starting out and over the years everything he's said has been helpful to me."

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