Caroline Aherne, English comedian, actress and writer, Died at 52

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Caroline Mary Aherne was born on December 24, 1963, and died on July 2, 2016.

She was a British comedian and BAFTA-winning writer and actress, best known for playing the acerbic chat show host Mrs. Merton, roles in The Fast Show, and as a lead in The Royle Family.

She started out performing on the Manchester comedy circuit as characters such as Mitzi Goldberg, lead singer of the comedy country and western act the Mitzi Goldberg Experience, and Sister Mary Immaculate, an Irish nun.

Caroline acquired her Mrs. Merton character with Frank Sidebottom for his show on Piccadilly Radio, where she worked as a receptionist.

Her first TV appearances were as Mrs. Merton in a semi-regular spot on the Granada TV discussion show “Upfront” in 1990.

Caroline Aherne made short appearances in The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer in 1993 and alongside Steve Coogan and John Thomson in a Granada TV pilot entitled The Dead Good Shows.

From the year 1994 to 1997, Aherne appeared in and wrote for the BBC comedy series The Fast Show.

Caroline Aherne most notable characters were the “Chanel 9 Neus” meteorologist Poula Fisch, who invariably reported a temperature for all locations of 45 °C (113 °F) while exclaiming “Scorchio!” with apparent surprise.

Caroline Aherne real fame came in 1994 as she created character Mrs. Merton on the mock talk show The Mrs. Merton Show under her married name of Caroline Hook.

Her guests were real-life celebrities, not actors, who found themselves the subject of outrageous faux naïve questions – in one memorable example the wife of magician Paul Daniels, Debbie McGee, was asked “So, what first attracted you to the millionaire Paul Daniels?” Another episode featured comedian Bernard Manning and actor Richard Wilson. Manning clashed with Wilson and Aherne, although he acknowledged that One Foot in the Grave was funny.

That series played in various formats from 1994 to 1997, winning a BAFTA for best talk show in 1997.

The popularity of the show was partly attributed to the “round vowel sounds of the North West accent” which “naturally sound safe and unthreatening” and which allowed the character “to ask the most outrageous, below-the-belt questions of her guest stars”.

Her Mrs. Merton character was given a sitcom, Mrs. Merton and Malcolm, which depicted her home life with her “mummy’s boy” son (played by co-writer Craig Cash).

This part of Malcolm’s character was overdone to the point that many complained the series ridiculed those with learning difficulties.

However, Mrs Merton and Malcolm lasted one series and was released on DVD in 2008.

She was married to Peter Hook of the rock band New Order from 1994 until 1997.

While in the marriage, he appeared in her TV series as leader of Hooky & the Boys, the house band of The Mrs Merton Show

Caroline Aherne passed away at 52 years old.

 

 

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