TRIBUTES have been paid to popular Stourbridge comedian Lee Wilson who died suddenly at his Pedmore home following a short illness.

Mr Wilson, whose real name was Geoff Beards, was 74, had only been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer just four weeks before his death.

His showbiz career stretched back to the 1950’s where he began as a guitar vocalist before going onto entertain the troops while on active service.

He sprang to fame in 1976 when he won television talent show New Faces.

Following that success, Mr Wilson then went onto star in top television show The Comedians.

He also became a popular figure on Black Country Night Out evenings.

When the cabaret circuit began to diminish, Mr Wilson went onto establish himself as an accomplished after dinner speaker and also featured on a number of cruise liners.

He was also invited to join the Variety Club of Great Britain’s Golfing Society where he mixed with many famous showbiz celebrities, while raising thousands for charity.

His agent of almost 40 years, Jake Elcock, said: “Lee was a lovely bloke, very well liked and a great friend. We spent a lot of time together and he was the life and soul of the party.

“He was also a superb fisherman and sometimes he would take me with him. He even had his own piece of water on the river Wye. He was also a very good golfer.”

His daughter Debbie Dunn said: “We have been innundated with cards by people from all over the country. He did loads of work for charity and was simply the best dad ever.”

He leaves a wife, Sheila, and children Tracy, Lee and Debbie.

His funeral will take place on Tuesday June 25 at St Mary’s Church, Oldswinford, at 2.30pm followed by a private cremation.

Relatives have requested immediate family flowers only but donations can be made to the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund via funeral directors H. Porter & Sons, South Road, Stourbridge.