Paul Shane (1940-2013)
Paul Shane was a British actor, best known for his part in the sitcom Hi-de-Hi!.
He was born in Rotherham in 1940, his real name being George Frederick Speight. He worked as a miner, but had an accident at Silverwood Colliery in 1967 by slipping in the pit-head baths on some soap and was pensioned off from the pit at the age of 27.
He had already had several 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 on St Ann's Road, Rotherham, now demolished. Paul's first club booking was at St Ann's Club in Rotherham, for thirty shillings (£1.50). His transformation from singer to comedian was a gradual one, starting with his rendition of Green Green Grass of Home, straight at first, but ultimately a hilarious send up of Tom Jones.
Paul turned professional in 1974 and small parts in television series began to materialise. In the late 1970s comedy writer Jimmy Perry spotted Paul in an 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 to 1988, when Perry and co-writer David Croft penned the pilot episode of You Rang, M'Lord? and invited Paul to play Alf Stokes. This show ran until 1993.
In 1991, Paul was given his own series entitled Very Big, Very Soon but it failed to achieve anything like the popularity of his other roles.
Between 1995 and 1997, Paul played Jack Skinner in two highly successful series of Oh Doctor Beeching!. Subsequently, he has appeared most frequently in theatre but has also enjoyed recurring roles in the TV series Holby City and Emmerdale.