The death of a Blackpool comedian often described as a modern-day Les Dawson has led to warm tributes from fellow funnyman on the Fylde coast.
Stand-up artist Greg Cook, 59, of Marton, had a chequered career which included work as a bouncer, binman, Blackpool cab driver and pub landlord.
He even appeared as a taxi driver in an episode of Coronation Street.
Greg died suddenly from a suspected heart attack last week while he had been working on security at the fracking site at Little Plumpton.
The news came as a shock to those who were close to him, including his colleagues in comedy.
It was his work as a deadpan comic for which he will be best remembered and in that capacity he worked with many comedians, including those on the Fylde coast.
Popular stand-up star Phil Walker said: “I got to know Greg well on the comedy circuit and he was a naturally funny man.
“One time we were travelling back from a gig and I was driving and he was telling me one of his many tales - tears were streaming down my face and I had to pull up and stop the car.
“That’s how funny he was. Greg looked like a bouncer when he walked on stage but people would then be surprised by his wit - he was down to earth but quite highbrow as well, a very bright man.”
Another comedian, Clive Cooper, said: “He was a bit like Les Dawson, he had a deadpan style.
“I heard the bad news from his daughter and I was shocked. He was a big character and will be missed.”
Greg’s career change, after 15 years taxi driving in Blackpool, came after he saw an appeal in Garry Bushell’s newspaper column for TV talent hunt Take The Mike.
He said he was drunk at the time and came out with some material over the phone on a Sunday night and on the Monday he was phoned back and ended up on stage in the West End just five says later.
When he got there he realised it wasn’t for people who had never done stand-up before, it was for stand-ups who had never been on TV - but it proved the launchpad to a whole new life in professional comedy.
Greg leaves partner Lynn and grown-up daughter Kirsty.
His funeral is at Carleton Crematorium on February 26 at 11am.