The Comedian With The Faulty Microphone, Normal Collier Dies, Aged 8715 March 2013
The Yorkshire-based comedian stayed true to his roots and never moved away from the Hull area
Norman Collier, the British comedian from Hull, has died aged 87.
The performer, known for his ‘faulty microphone,’ sketch in which he pretends the onstage mic doesn’t work, so the audience only hear part of what he is saying, passed away at the nursing home where he lived. He was hugely popular in the 1970s and 1980s, when he performed in comedy clubs up and down the UK, but it was in the north of England where he first made his name.
Born into a working class family in Yorkshire, in 1925, Collier first started out in the world of comedy back in 1948, after serving as a gunner in World War II. He was still a relative unknown at the start of the 1970s but in 1971, he elicited a standing ovation at the Royal Variety Show and soon became infamous for his failed mic routine and his ‘chicken’ act, as well, with many of his set pieces based on stereotypes of Northern England.
A highly regarded comic of his time, Collier was thought highly of by fellow comedians such as Little and Large, Frank Carson, Les Dawson and Jimmy Tarbuck. Throughout his life and despite his popularity, Collier never made the move to the big some, deciding instead to remain in the Yorkshire village of Welton, near Hull. He is survived by his wife Lucy, his three children and his grand-children and great grand-children.