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Scots Panto Favourite Gerard Kelly Dies, Aged 51

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Scottish actor and pantomime favourite, Gerard Kelly has died, age 51, after a sudden illness. Kelly suffered a brain aneurysm and died in hospital in London on Thursday (28 October 2010). Kelly was recently seen playing The Narrator in the national tour of Rocky Horror Show and had been due to appear at Glasgow's King's Theatre next week.

It was today announced (1 November 2010) that following Kelly's death his close friend and fellow Scottish comic actor Andy Gray will step into the role when the show opens in Glasgow on 8 November.

Kelly appeared in some of the most successful Scottish-made television comedies, including Rab C Nesbitt, Scotch and Wry and as a theatre director in Ricky Gervais' comedy Extras. He took more serious TV roles, including that of the villain Callum Finnegan in the long-running Channel 4 soap Brookside.

His best known part was in the 1987 BBC comedy City Lights, where he played would-be author Willie Melvin alongside Gray. The pair had also regularly appeared in the King's pantomime and had been due to perform in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the theatre this Christmas.

Kelly is survived by two brothers and a sister. A private service is to be held for family and closest friends, and details of a memorial service will be announced at a later date.

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