Musical comic was suffering from cancer

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Musical comedy legend [b]Frank Sidebottom[/b] has died, it has been announced.

[b]Sidebottom[/b], whose real name was [b]Chris Sievey[/b], was best known for the giant papier mache head cast that he wore while performing.

[b]Sievey[/b] was diagnosed with cancer last month and was recovering from an operation to remove a tumour. He collapsed at home yesterday (June 21) and did not recover, according to the Manchester Evening News.

After forming punk band [b]The Freshies[/b], [b]Sievey[/b] came up with the character of [b]Sidebottom[/b]. His surreal humour influenced by the northern cabaret circuit, and he would often perform songs on an organ. Although family-friendly, [b]Sievey[/b]’s jokes and his songs earned him cult status.

In the ’80s, [b]Sidebottom[/b] became closely associated with the [b]Madchester[/b] scene, and regularly appeared on television with the late [b]Tony Wilson[/b]. [b]Caroline Aherne[/b]’s comedy character [b]Mrs Merton[/b] started out as a guest character on a [b]Sidebottom[/b] radio show.

Although he retreated into obscurity in the late ’90s, he remained a cult icon, and was still performing last week, when he returned to action after his operation to launch a charity World Cup song called [b]’Three Shirts On My Line'[/b], in aid of cancer charities.

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