R.I.P. FRANK; Death of Timperley's Cult Comedy Legend Sidebottom

The Mirror (London, England), June 22, 2010 | Go to article overview

R.I.P. FRANK; Death of Timperley's Cult Comedy Legend Sidebottom


Byline: TOM BRYANT

COMEDY star Frank Sidebottom has died after collapsing at his home near Manchester.

The North-West showbiz legend - real name Chris Sievey - was recovering from an operation to remove a tumour from his chest.

With his character's outsized papier-mache head, he found fame through a series of TV appearances in the 1980s and remained a popular cult comedy figure.

Only last week he launched a comedy song for the World Cup, titled Three Shirts On My Line. But he posted a message on his Twitter site on Sunday morning sayin tog: "I'm still feeling very poorly."

An ambulance was called to his home in Hale, Cheshire, in the early hours of Monday and he was later pronounced dead in hospital. He was 54.

After limited success with late '70s punk band The Freshies, whose best known song was I'm in Love With the Girl on a Certain Manchester Megastore Checkout Desk, he created the role of Frank Sidebottom - styling himself as an aspiring singer-songwriter from Timperley, south Manchester.

His musical skills also led to singles such as Smiths parody Panic! (On The Streets Of Timperley).

And his live act would feature Frank singing a medley of Queen songs, complete with Freddie Mercury moustache. His TV fame peaked in the early 1990s with his own series Frank Sidebottom's Fantastic Shed Show.

Close friend Mark Alston, 34, said of his death: "It is just really awful. I just feel in shock.

"He was a big comedy name in Greater Manchester - one of the biggest. He was also a musical genius and a good friend to many. He was a legend in the region and will be missed."

Sidebottom announced last month on Twitter he had a tumour in his chest, close to his oesophagus. …

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