Thanks for the memories Duggie…
Duggie Chapman: Former entertainer and theatre producer dies
1 April 2017
- From the sectionLancashire
One of Lancashire’s showbusiness veterans, Chapman produced stage shows for more than 50 years and made more than 100 appearances on the BBC.
Born in Burnley, he began his career with an appearance in a feature film aged 11 and was awarded an MBE in 2009 for services to light entertainment.
His partner, Beryl Johnson, said “showbusiness was Duggie’s life” and he “will be sorely missed”.
She said he died at about 6am GMT on Saturday – a day after his birthday.
Comedian Stu Francis said many people “relied on Duggie” to help them into the entertainment industry.
Paying tribute to him, the former presenter of children’s television series Crackerjack said Chapman “gave a lot of work to a lot of people”.
“A lot of entertainers at one point relied on Duggie” because “he would put you in pantomime” and when it finished he would take performers on to his tours or variety shows in Blackpool.
ON OCTOBER 30TH 2009
DUGGIE RECEIVED AN MBE FOR HIS SERVICES,
TO LIGHT ENTERTAINMENT AND CHARITY,
FROM HRH PRINCE CHARLES AT BUCKINGHAM PALACE
|An entertainer and producer of international status Duggie actually began his career as an 11-year-old film star. Duggie landed the part through auditions for a northern boy for the Robert Donat film The Cure for Love.
He got the showbiz bug at the age of 15, on leaving school, went on tour with a boy singing group The Four Blue Pages. During three years of continuous touring in variety his voice broke and developed an unmusical croak overnight.
He decided to turn to comedy after working with so many idols, and his first engagement as a comedian was at the age of 18 at the Old Collins Music Hall on Islington Green, a mecca at that time for agents and talent scouts. He was spotted by a representative of Vie Oliver who introduced him to the BBC producer Alistair Scott-Johnson, who gave him his first broadcast in Variety Playhouse.
Many more radio shows followed and in all over 100 broadcasts for the BBC.
Duggie became popular as a summer show comedian and starred in summer shows throughout the country. Always in demand as a pantomime Dame he spent three consecutive Christmas seasons at Richmond Theatre, London, and for the Derek Salberg at Bournemouth and Birmingham.
Duggie played in the Peter Chelson award winning Feature Film starring Jerry Lewis ‘Funny Bones’ as The Reporter and the film starring James Bollom ‘Seaview Knights’ as Charlie.
Duggie recently co starred with Roy Hudd in Director Norman Stone’s award winning BBC Film “FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE” as the General.
It was in the sixties that Duggie went into business on his own account and his hugely popular Chapman Music Hall played every major town and city in Great Britain and abroad. Visits with the show to South Africa, Scandinavia (3 times) and USA (4 times) have meant a very busy schedule for today’s top stars in a series of concerts and is a director in his own right, having produced more than 400 pantomimes, summer shows and plays.
In 1997 Duggie was awarded the first ‘Roy Castle’ trophy for outstanding services to variety, from an impressive list of nominees.
MOST RECENT AWARDS HAVE BEEN 2008 “A LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD FROM THE BRITISH MUSIC HALL SOCIETY, “RAT OF THE YEAR” GRAND ORDER OF WATER RATS, IN 2009 “PRODUCER OF THE YEAR” ENCORE MAGAZINE. THE ULTIMATE HONOUR FOR DUGGIE CAME IN JUNE 2009 IN THE “QUEENS BIRTHDAY AWARDS” WITH AN MBE FOR HIS SERVICES TO LIGHT ENTERTAINMENT AND CHARITIES.