Page last updated at 17:12 GMT, Thursday, 18 December 2008

Carry On star Jack Douglas dies

Jack Douglas in 2001
Douglas was known for his nervous and fidgety character Alf Ippititimus

Carry On actor Jack Douglas, who was also known for his theatrical work in plays and pantomimes, has died aged 81.

He had been ill in recent years and died on the Isle of Wight, where he lived with his partner, Vivien Howell.

His character, Alf Ippititimus, had the catchphrase "phwaay" and the actor appeared in eight Carry On films, two Christmas specials and a TV series.

Des O'Connor, a long-time friend, said: "I can't recall a day with Jack that we didn't have a laugh together."

The pair often performed together in the 1960s and O'Connor said the Alf Ippititimus character "was responsible for some of the loudest laughter I've ever heard from an audience".

"Jack was a brilliant 'straight man' and an even better comedian," he added.

Phil Dale, who was Douglas's agent, described him as "one of those lovely people who came from the world of comedy and understood comedy timing in the sense of the old British tradition of farce".

This was an art that was "seldom done these days", Mr Dale added.

Theatrical family

Douglas, who was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, was also seen with The Goodies and on The Benny Hill Show.

His credits included Carry On Matron, Carry On Abroad, Carry On Girls, Carry On Dick, Carry On Behind, Carry On England and Carry On Emmanuelle.

And he was seen in the film which revived the franchise in 1992, Carry On Columbus.

He had put on his first stage show at the age of 15, having come from a theatrical family where his father was a producer.

On one occasion he performed, standing in for an actor who was ill, and enjoyed it so much that he decided he preferred to be on stage rather than behind the scenes.

As well as his acting career, he wrote a musical, a cookery book and an autobiography, entitled A Twitch in Time.

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