Frank Sidebottom creator Chris Sievey dies aged 54


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Feb 19, 2006
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on borrowed time
The creator of the man with the biggest head in showbusiness, Frank Sidebottom, has died.

Sidebottom was the bulbous-headed alter-ego of comedian and musician Chris Sievey, who eclipsed the fame of his creator. Sievey, 54, diedtoday after collapsing at his home in Hale, Greater Manchester, where he was recovering from surgery for a tumour on his chest.

Sidebottom, an aspiring pop star from neighbouring Timperley whose style was cramped by a lack of talent, an old-fashioned suit and the fact he lived at home with his mother, was intended as a one-off promotional gimmick for a band.

The character took on a life of his own and became a major star in the late 1980s and early 1990s through television, radio and live appearances.

Only last week he launched a World Cup anthem, Three Shirts on my Line.

Another invented monster, Caroline Aherne's Mrs Merton, began life as a sidekick to Sidebottom on his radio show, and Chris Evans was at one point billed as driver for his band.

Sievey kept his fans up to date with his cancer progress in cheerful blogs in character: "I've got a few weeks off from live shows now to have a couple of ops and get shut," he explained. His last communication was a tweet on Sunday, in which he admitted: "I'm still feeling very poorly."

Mark Alston, 34, a close friend for many years who helped organise Sievey's appearances as Frank Sidebottom, said: "He was a big comedy name in Greater Manchester, one of the biggest. He was also a musical genius and a good friend to many. He was a legend in the region and will be missed. He was saying that he was going to get shut of the cancer and not to cancel any more bookings."