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Harry Secombe

Harry Secombe (September 8, 1921 - April 11, 2001) was a Welsh entertainer, with a fine tenor singing voice and a talent for comedy. He was one of the original Goons, appearing in the radio series as Neddy Seagoon, the protagonist of the show's ridiculous plots. He had first met Spike Milligan, the founder of the Goons, during army service in World War II in North Africa.

Secombe appeared in many stage musicals, including Pickwick (1963) and The Four Musketeers (1967), and had several chart successes, the song most associated with him being "If I Ruled the World" (from Pickwick). He also appeared as Mr. Bumble in Lionel Bart's film Oliver! (1968).

Later in life, Secombe (whose brother was a vicar) attracted new audiences as a presenter of religious programmes, such as the BBC's Songs of Praise and ITV's Highway.

He was knighted in 1981. After suffering a stroke, he was forced to abandon his television career, but made a documentary about his condition in the hope of giving encouragement to other sufferers.

UK chart singles:

  • "On With The Motley" (1955)
  • "If I Ruled The World" (1963)
  • "This Is My Song" (1967)

Quotations

  • "I suffer fools gladly because I am one of them."
  • "My voice is not so much 'bel canto' as 'can belto'."
  • "Anyone who, for 25 years, has built a career on such tenuous foundations as a high-pitched giggle, a raspberry and a sprinkling of top 'Cs' needs all the friends he can get."



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