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The Les Dawson Show

‘Saddened to hear of the passing of Marie Ashton’ 150 150 mhamer

‘Saddened to hear of the passing of Marie Ashton’

So saddened to hear of the passing of Marie Ashton, I had the great pleasure working with her and the rest of the girls, they were such fun to be with backstage. So glad she found happiness with the great comedian Jack Diamond as they settled in Southport

Jimmy Cricket has been fondly remembering dancer Marie Ashton who died recently.

Marie was a member of the well-known comedy dance troupe, the Roly Polys.

She joined the group in 1982 after spotting an advert in a stage magazine asking for plus-size lady dancers.

The success of the Roly Polys took them across the world to perform.

They travelled to France, Holland, Sweden, Hungary, Italy and Japan in their 20-year career.

The troupe were especially popular with German audiences and visited the country on numerous occasions.

Marie appeared in numerous Royal Variety performances, on Des O’Connor Tonight, Surprise Surprise and – most famously – on The Les Dawson Show.

Jimmy said: “I was saddened to hear of the passing of Marie Ashton.

Interesting showbiz story

“I did both a national tour and a summer season at the Blackpool Opera House with Marie when she performed with the wonderful dance troupe the Roly Polys!

“Marie’s showbiz story was a very interesting one, which I found out about while chatting to her backstage.

“Before she joined the Roly Polys, she toured extensively with her former husband Ronnie Parnell in a tap dance act.

“Indeed, it was while performing this act at a seaside resort that Marie looked out of her dressing room window and saw a child struggling in the water.

“Undeterred, she immediately ran out of the theatre and jumped in to save the boy.”

One of Marie’s favourite places to perform was her home town of Southport.

Added Jimmy: “She found happiness in the later stage of her life when she married the great comic/compère Jack Diamond (Mr Blackpool).

“Mrs C. and I used to visit them. R.I.P. our great friend! 🎭

The Southport Visitor’s report on Marie’s return to Southport in 2008

Also read: LEP column was epitaph to the wonderful Vera Lynn