Jimmy Cricket described Paul Melba, who has died aged 84, as one of the finest comedians and impressionists in showbusiness.
Paul Melba, whose real name was Francis ‘Frank’ Staunton, passed away on 11 August from heart failure.
The dad-of-three grew up in Huyton on Merseyside and went on to enjoy a successful career on stage and television.
It included him performing at the Royal Variety Performance and he became friends with some famous celebrities.
He was known for voice impressions of stars such as James Mason, John Wayne, Eric Morecambe, Ken Dodd and Billy Connolly.
Paul also did memorable singing impressions of the likes of Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jnr among many others.
Northern Irish entertainer Jimmy said on social media: “Sad to hear of the passing of one of showbiz’s finest comedians and impressionists the great Paul Melba.
‘Great entertainer and gentlemen‘
“Known for his classy mimicking of the great stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood, alongside his acclaimed James Mason voice, amongst others! R.I.P.”
Jimmy’s post prompted tributes from others.
:: Met him once lovely talented man Jimmy will be greatly missed!
:: A great entertainer and gentlemen, RIP
Paul’s daughter, Kate Richards, 50, organised the fundraiser, saying: “I am so sad to say that my Father passed away peacefully at his home in Spain on the 10th of August.
“Unfortunately his financial circumstances were not great and he left no will.
‘Dad would have been so overwhelmed’
“I am sorry to say that we are struggling to find the money to cremate my Father and need to raise the funds to do this due to our own personal financial circumstances.
“Anything you can donate would help towards easing the financial responsibility which has been placed solely with me.
“Many thanks for anything you can spare.
The target was £3,000 and Kate posted again several days later.
She said: “Thank you so much for all of your help, Dad would have been so overwhelmed.
“We have reached the goal with further donations from The Royal Variety Charity & The Water Rats charity.”