Paul Shane (George Frederick Speight)

Paul Shane

Paul Shane was born George Frederick Speight in Thrybergh, West Riding of Yorkshire, near Rotherham. He was a miner at Silverwood Colliery but slipped on soap in the pit-head baths in 1967, resulting in double herniated discs. He was pensioned from the pit at 27. Two years later, he became a professional entertainer since he already had ten 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 (now demolished) on St. Ann’s Road, Rotherham. His first club booking was at St Ann’s Club in Rotherham, for 30 shillings (£1.50). His transformation from singer to comedian was gradual, starting with his rendition of Green Green Grass of Home, straight at first, but ultimately a send-up of Tom Jones, which marked the start of the Paul Shane act. Small parts and guest appearances in television series began throughout the 1970s, and, in May 1979, comedy writer Jimmy Perry spotted Shane playing Frank Roper in a 1979 episode of Coronation Street, and offered him the part of Ted Bovis in his new holiday-camp sitcom, Hi-de-Hi!. The series ran from 1980 until 1988, when Perry and co-writer David Croft wrote the pilot of You Rang, M’Lord? and invited Shane to play Alf Stokes. The show ran until 1993. In 1991, Shane was given his own series, Very Big, Very Soon, but it ended after one series. Between 1995 and 1997, he played Jack Skinner in two series of Oh, Doctor Beeching!. Subsequently, he appeared most frequently in theatre, but also in the television series, Holby City and Emmerdale. Paul Shane’s “cringe-inducing” performance of “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” on Pebble Mill at One in 1996 was voted 72nd funniest moment on British television in a poll on Channel 4 in 2004. Paul Shane also appeared in variety theatre in venues such as Blackpool in 2006, and in pantomime in Jack and the Beanstalk in 2008. In 2008, he was in an episode of the ITV drama series, A Touch of Frost, playing boatsman “Diesel Bob”. Paul Shane was married to Dory, who died in 2001. They had three daughters. In May 2009, he was admitted to Sheffield Northern General Hospital for a heart operation, and made a recovery. Paul Shane died at a hospice in Rotherham on 16 May 2013 after a short period of ill health, aged 72. His three daughters and six grandchildren survive him. His funeral was at Rotherham Minster and attended by colleagues from his Hi-de-Hi! days.

More Images

  • Shane As Bovis -

  • Paul-Shane -


  • June, 19, 1940
  • United Kingdom
  • Thrybergh, West Riding of Yorkshire, England


  • May, 16, 2013
  • United Kingdom
  • United Kingdom

Cause of Death

  • Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England

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