Roy Hudd to donate music collection to UEA at Norwich

Comedy legend Roy Hudd is to hand over his vast collection of sheet music to the University of East Anglia (UEA) in Norwich.

Mr Hudd, 75, who lives in Suffolk, said the UEA had agreed to take the collection and allow public access to it.

Speaking on The Danny Baker Show on BBC Radio 5Live yesterday, he said sheet music had always been his greatest interest.

'I'm so delighted because I have found out last week that they have been working on it for about six months at the University of East Anglia to get the whole of my collection when I snuff it,' he said.

'I have agreed and said the one proviso is the public must be allowed access to it - not one of those things they put in a basement where you have got to be a bona fide student.

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'If people want to get hold of the music they can, and they have agreed to do that.'

Mr Hudd, who is president of the British Music Hall Society, said the Heritage Lottery Fund had agreed to finance the cataloguing of the collection, which includes music from 1840 to the present day.

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Mr Hudd said he would be donating the 'priceless' collection of 30,000 pieces to the university.

'Music hall was the entertainment of the masses. Lots of people still do it, and they often come to me for sheet music,' he said.

'It's important to me that people can access it without a lot of red tape.'

The logistics of exactly where the collection would be stored were still to be worked out, he said.

'I'm delighted to have got the ball in motion,' he added.

Mr Hudd started his career as a Butlins Redcoat and is best known for his long-running BBC Radio 2 series The News Huddlines.

He has appeared on a variety of television shows including Coronation Street and his acting roles include the Dennis Potter series Lipstick on Your Collar, for which he received critical praise.

He was appointed an OBE in 2003 and awarded an honorary doctorate in civil law at the UEA in 2007.

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