‘ Bor­der­line ge­nius’ Fred­die Starr found dead in Span­ish home

The Scotsman - - AROUND SCOTLAND - By KEIRAN SOUTH­ERN news­[email protected] scots­man. com

Des O’con­nor has led trib­utes to “bor­der­line ge­nius” Fred­die Starr fol­low­ing the co­me­dian’s death at the age of 76.

The comic made s ev­eral mem­o­rable ap­pear­ances on O’con­nor’s chat show in his hey­day.

“At his best, Fred­die was bor­der­line ge­nius,” the en­ter­tainer said. “Al­ways un­pre­dictable, he could cre­ate may­hem in a TV stu­dio with his wacky, unique hu­mour.”

Starr, a house­hold name who rose to fame in the 1970s, was found dead in­side his apart­ment in the re­sort of Mi­jas on the Costa Del Sol in Spain.

A post on Facebook and Twit­ter pages cl ai ming t o be­long to Starr ap­peared to con­firm the news.

I t said: “This i s Fred­die’s man­ager just to con­firm Fred­die has passed away. R. i. p to our great­est co­me­dian of all time.”

Mersey­side- born Starr was known by fans for his ec­cen­tric and of­ten un­pre­dictable be­hav­iour.

The Sun ran the in­fa­mous “Fred­die Starr ate my ham­ster head­line” in 1986 – and the claim fol­lowed the comic for the rest of his life de­spite his de­nials.

Marri e d f o ur t i mes a nd fa­ther to six chil­dren, Starr’s life was full of ups and downs.

His later years were marred by al­le­ga­tions of his­tor­i­cal sex­ual as­sault and a bit­ter and ul­ti­mately un­suc­cess­ful defama­tion law­suit that cost him a ru­moured £ 1 mil­lion.

The Liver­pudlian started out as the lead singer of the Mersey­beat group the Mid­niters dur­ing the 1960s and rose to na­tional promi­nence in the early 1970s af­ter ap­pear­ing on Op­por­tu­nity Knocks.

The show led to an ap­pear­ance in the 1970s Royal Va­ri­ety Per­for­mance and a place in the line- up of sketch show Who Do You Do?

Russ Ab­bot, who ap­peared i n S t a r r ’s Va r i e t y Ma d - house com­edy se­ries in 1979, de­scribed the stand- up as a “loose com­edy can­non”.

He said: “You never knew what he would do next – a nat­u­ral fun­ny­man and hi­lar­i­ous.

“H e h e l p e d l a u n c h my ca­reer, of course, and for that I will al­ways be grate­ful. He was hugely pop­u­lar in his day, unique in his un­pre­dictabil­ity and burst­ing with a tal­ent not seen be­fore or since.”

C o medi a n B o b b y Davr o told Good Morn­ing Bri­tain “I might have been one of the last peo­ple to speak to him”.

He said: “I went over to Spain to do a cou­ple of gigs last year. Some­one said he was liv­ing in that place in Spain.”

Davro asked if Starr would like to meet up for a cup of tea in town. “He said ‘ no, I’ve not been too well’,” Davro re­called.

0 Fred­die Starr - who was known for his ec­cen­tric and of­ten un­pre­dictable be­hav­iour - was found dead in his apart­ment

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