Variety performer Max Bygraves dies

Halstead Gazette: Singer Max Bygraves has died in Australia Singer Max Bygraves has died in Australia

Comedian, singer and variety performer Max Bygraves has died aged 89, his agent said.

The veteran entertainer died peacefully in his sleep at home in Hope Island, Queensland, Australia, on Friday.

His agent Johnny Mans said: "His death is a great loss to the entertainment profession and a great loss to all of his friends in the industry."

Bygraves, whose wife Blossom died in May last year after battling a long illness, is survived by one son and two daughters. He also had several grandchildren.

One of them, Christine Green, was with him when he died, Mr Mans said. Bygraves moved to Australia several years ago to take advantage of the warm climate.

Born Walter Bygraves in south London in 1922, he adopted the name Max after his hero Max Miller.

He appeared in films, stage shows and hosted gameshow Family Fortunes during a long-running career.

Broadcaster Ed Stewart said his friend was a "unique talent" who "gave a lot of pleasure to a lot of people".

The former radio presenter told BBC News: "He as a person never dated. He was a great character with a great sense of humour, a lovely family and it's just a shame that he's gone, but at nearly 90, he had a good run. He was an entertainer through and through."

Mr Mans said Bygraves had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's two years ago. "He had become confused and often wasn't sure where he was," he said. "He was in good health otherwise but would have turned 90 on October 16 so was pretty ancient. We were hoping to do a big concert for him soon."

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