Bernard Manning dies, aged 76

Controversial stand-up comedian Bernard Manning died in hospital on Monday, aged 76.

The veteran comic was being treated at North Manchester General Hospital.

A spokesman for the hospital said: “He died here at 3.10pm today.”

Showbiz agent and close friend Mickey Martin led the tributes, telling the Manchester Evening News his death was a sad loss.

The comedian had been rushed to hospital with a kidney problem two weekends ago. He had been receiving dialysis and there had been positive signs, his son said.

But he had to cancel a show at his famous Embassy Club – for the first time in six decades as an entertainer.

Last month he attended his own ‘wake’ – a gathering of 600 friends and fans at the Hilton Hotel in Manchester, to celebrate his life for a Channel 4 show called This Was Your Life.

He heard tributes from colleagues on the 1970s show The Comedians but told the audience: “I’m going to be with you for a long time yet!”

The comedian was born in 1930 in Ancoats, one of Manchester’s poorest suburbs, the second of three brothers and two sisters.

“We had absolutely nothing,” he once recalled. “One cold water tap in the house, no bath, outside toilet”.

He left school at 14 to work in a tobacco factory, and then in his father’s greengrocers, before becoming a singer.

He was set on the path to fame and subsequent notoriety with a 1971 TV series, The Comedians, based on an act developed at his club.

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