Ray Alan, who was regarded as Britain's best ventriloquist, has died in his sleep aged 79 at home in Reigate, Surrey. He will always be remembered for his puppet side kick Lord Charles's drunken shenanigans to whom he play the role of the straight man.

Born in 1930 Ray was one of the country's most loved and respected entertainers who was the guest on many a chat show and children's television program and also had his own show 'Titch and Quackers'.

I remember as a young child watching Ray Alan and Lord Charles with my father both of us crying with laughter at his remarkable and ground breaking ventriloquist act on The Good Old Days with his own brand of humour that was genuinely hysterical yet good clean family entertainment.

Lord Charles's face was based on that of Stan Laurel of Laurel and Hardy whom he performed with in 1954 on their last tour.

Peter Pritchard (Alan's agent) who worked with Ray for 30 years said he "passed away very suddenly" at home in his sleep.

Alan had complained about not feeling well for some time which had lead to him not working for several months.

Rest well Ray Alan and Lord Charles.

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