12:00am Thursday 3rd February 2000
The cream of British entertainment has been chosen to front a memorial fund for Shipley actor Bryan Mosley.
Singer Sir Cliff Richard, comedian Ken Dodd and Coronation Street actors Sue Nicholls and Bill Roache have thrown their weight behind a £25,000 appeal to erect a monument in his home town.
And one of the ideas being mooted is a statue of Bryan in his Coronation Street role as shopkeeper Alf Roberts - wearing his signature pork-pie hat.
Bryan's daughter Jacquie Lambert, who lives in Shipley, said: "All the patrons were friends of my father and knew him very well.
"He had friends across the entertainment world and we were thrilled when they said yes."
Next Wednesday sees the first anniversary of Bryan's death, who collapsed while shopping in Shipley shortly after retiring from Coronation Street after 37 years.
Mrs Lambert said all four patrons would attend an unveiling ceremony - making it a major showbiz event.
Sue Nicholls, who was Bryan's screen wife Audrey Roberts for 16 years, and Bill Roach, who has played Ken Barlow since the soap's first episode, were chosen as they were close friends and colleagues.
Ken Dodd was a personal friend who spoke at Bryan's funeral.
And Bryan knew Cliff Richard through his Christian beliefs - and worked with the singer on several high-profile projects.
"Sue knew my father very well and he had us in stitches at his funeral when she told of his foibles," said Jacquie.
"He knew Cliff Richard because they were both members of Christians in Entertainment and he represents my father's religion which was very important to him.
"By including Sir Cliff and Ken Dodd it won't be just a Coronation Street affair as his interests spanned further than just Alf Roberts."
Jacquie's husband John Lambert, who is helping to organise the fund, said the patrons would each try to attend some of the fund-raising events to be held.
He said: "It's early days but their backing will raise the profile of the fund."
Sue Nicholls said: "Bryan will always be remembered by us here so it's lovely to think that there is something tangible to remember him by. I was honoured to be asked to be a trustee of the fund and I only hope that we can do him proud."
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