A comedian well known for his roles in the Tudor Crisps adverts has died from coronavirus.
Tributes have been pouring in for Kenny Williams ever since the sad news that the funnyman and actor had lost his battle with the Covid-19 virus.
Geordie Kenny was well-known and much-loved in the North East as a regular on the region’s club circuits, the Chronicle reports.
But he achieved national notoriety throughout the 1980s and 90s when he starred as a newsagent in a series of famous TV adverts for Tudor Crisps.
On one occasion he was even recognised by fellow Geordie superstar Sting.
His family and friends have now been left heartbroken after the 87-year-old died due to coronavirus.
Kenny, who had vascular dementia, was living at Armstrong House care home in Gateshead.
His family say he tested positive for Covid-19 but initially showed very little symptoms. Three weeks later, he started to experience breathing problems and sadly died on Monday.
Now warm tributes have been paid to Kenny, who has been described as a “laugh a minute” and a devoted family man, who adored his loved ones.
Kenny was born in Byker, Newcastle, and moved to Dunston, Gateshead, after marrying his wife Brenda.
The couple, who had three sons – Gareth, Nicholas and Martin – brought up their family in Dunston, before moving to Whickham in the late 1970s.
He worked as a club comedian and singer from the age of 19. But he was also a welder and over the years worked at factories and shipyards. He joined British Gas in the 1970s and worked there until he retired.
He was also part of a choir in Whickham and travelled with the group around hospitals and care homes to entertain people.
As well as the Tudor Crisps adverts, Kenny appeared in commercials for British Gas and Northern Gas.
In addition, he starred in several TV shows and dramas, with roles in Spender, Byker Grove, Silent Witness and a drama filmed in Dunston called United Kingdom, with Val McLane and Ricky Tomlinson.
Paying tribute to his dad, his son Nicholas, 57, said: “He was fantastic. He was a total laugh a minute. He was a very busy man and also a devoted family man.
“In his heyday, he was doing around three or four gigs a week, travelling around the North East. He was certainly a top bloke and a top class entertainer. All our life, he has made us laugh.
“He did become renowned for the Tudor crisps commercial. He was always asked about it and would be recognised in shops in town. People were forever shouting slogans from the advert at him.”
Kenny was also an ardent Newcastle United fan. At one match, while he was at the bar, he felt a tap on his shoulder and turned around to find superstar Sting, who asked him if he was “the bloke off the Tudor Crisps advert”.
Kenny, in his usual humorous manner, replied: “Yes. Do you want me to give you an autograph?”
Nicholas said: “He was also a tremendous sportsman, he played cricket and football. He was busy but he had so much time for everybody. He was such a smashing bloke.”