Jimmy Tarbuck backs seaside theatres ahead of summer show at Great Yarmouth’s Britannia Pier

Jimmy Tarbuck. Photo: TMS Media

Jimmy Tarbuck. Photo: TMS Media - Credit: Archant

One of Britain's most famous comics has given his backing to seaside theatres.

Jimmy Tarbuck with the owners of the Pavilion Theatre in Gorleston. Photo: TMS Media

Jimmy Tarbuck with the owners of the Pavilion Theatre in Gorleston. Photo: TMS Media - Credit: Archant

Comedy legend Jimmy Tarbuck, a patron of Gorleston Pavilion Theatre, was speaking ahead of visiting the resort in the summer for a show.

The Liverpudlian laughter man has added his name and reputation to the Edwardian entertainment palace after trying out material for a major show at the London Palladium where Jimmy made his name.

MORE: There's no business like showbusiness of yesteryearHe fell in love with the atmospheric venue – and regularly does special shows there to help raise funds for its ongoing restoration programme.

Jimmy, now 77, spoke of his love of the Pavilion and how similar seaside venues need to be cherished.

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He said: 'Theatres like the Pavilion are a joy to perform because of the intimacy with the audience. It has an almost 'dining club' atmosphere to it.

'These theatres are old fashioned but there is nothing wrong with that. They need to be wrapped in cotton wool and preserved – and the team at the Pavilion are doing a great job. I hope my association with them helps by attracting acts and audiences.'

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Jimmy is appearing in Yarmouth this summer, when he brings his one man show, to the Britannia Pier on August 18.

It is an area he has visited many times including in the mid-1960s as his career took off when he took over presenting Sunday Night at the London Palladium from one of his idols Bruce Forsyth.

'I was at Great Yarmouth doing a summer season at the Wellington Pier in 1965 when I got a call up to compere Sunday Night at the London Palladium – which changed my life. I was just 24, working with the biggest stars of the time, in front of 20m TV viewers. It was terrifying.'

It was ahead of a high-profile show at the Palladium in 2015 to mark 50 years in 'the business', jointly starring Des O'Connor, that he visited Gorleston Pavilion to try out new material.

Gorleston Pavilion co-owner Kevin Lynch said: 'Having Jimmy's backing really helps raise our profile – and shows we are not just a little hidden-away seaside theatre.

'When he rang up out of the blue and said who he was I was speechless. When Jimmy asked if there was anything he could do for us, we asked him to be patron.'

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