‘ Borderline genius’ Freddie Starr found dead in Spanish home
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