KEITH Harris, variety star and ventriloquist, has died today aged 67 at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

He had been suffering from cancer.

Harris will be most remembered for his vent act with puppet Orville but he had a showbiz career which ran for over fifty years.

At his professional peak between 1982 and 1990, Harris had his own BBC 1 Saturday night programme The Keith Harris Show, he sold over 400,000 copies of his Orville song I wish I could fly, and he performed at private birthday parties for Prince William and Prince Harry.

Although his popularity waned in line with the demise of variety, the entertainer never stopped working.

He developed an adult stage show featuring his ventriloquist puppets and in recent years became a panel show regular in shows such as Never Mind The Buzzcocks and reality TV such as Channel Five's The Farm.

Keith Harris, who lived near Blackpool, was married four times. His fourth wife, Sarah, is a former international model and the couple have two teenage children, Kitty, 15, and Shenton, 13. Harris also leaves behind his daughter Skye , 27, from his first marriage.