Sunday, September 3, 2006


Charlie Williams, who found fame poking fun at race issues on the hit 1970s TV show 'The Comedians' in England, has died at the age of 78.

Born in Yorkshire of Jamaican descent, Williams was the first black comedian to make the big time on British TV. He played professional football for Doncaster Rovers before developing the comedy catchphrase "me old flower".

Williams's biographer Stephen Smith told the BBC News website that the comedian was an "innovator" and a "trailblazer".

"He opened the door for black performers to be accepted everywhere," he said.

Williams found his talent for comedy at school, where he said he could either deal with racial prejudice by fighting or making people laugh. He chose the latter, saying: "I never liked soiling my clothes."

He went on to host the 'Golden Shot' game show in the mid-1970s and other black entertainers such as Lenny Henry and Gary Wilmot later cited him as an inspiration.


No comments: