The ventriloquist Keith Harris played an important part in the childhood of any child of the 80’s in the UK, but it was his puppet Orville the Duck who was the real star of the show. The Keith Harris Show ran from 1982 to 1990 and he scored a top 10 hit single with his novelty track ‘Orville’s Song’. Despite selling an astonishing 400,000 copies it was later voted the worst song ever recorded by the British public.
After his show was terminated he became a novelty act, appearing as guest on comedy panel shows and taking work wherever he could get it. He was twice declared bankrupt after making bad investments, he would later blame his failures on his dyslexia (not being able to read a contract properly before signing it).
In this 2002 episode of ‘When Louis Met…’ Theroux spends time with Harris as he attempts to make a living long after his TV career had effectively died. He still had a large home and a flashy car, but his latest gig was a stint starring in a pantomime show in the hum drum Northern town of Crewe. Harris doesn’t do a very good job of hiding his bitterness at the direction his career took.
Harris subsequently contributed to the final episode of the series, Living with Louis, where the various participants in the series talk about what it was like spending time with – and being interviewed by – Louis. Harris died of cancer in 2015 at the age of 67.