Comic Malcolm Hardee found dead

Jeremy Austin

Comedian Malcolm Hardee has been found dead in the River Thames in south east London on Wednesday – two days after he had last been seen.

The stand-up, described as one of the most colourful characters on the circuit, had last been seen on Sunday night taking the dingy from his pub, the Wibbly Wobbly, on a converted barge in Greenland Dock, Rotherhithe in south London to his houseboat. A post mortem was due to be held this week.

Hardee ran some of the most notoriously tough comedy clubs in London including The Tunnel at Rotherhithe and more recently Up the Creek, Greenwich, although he had ceded control in the past few years. He was best known as part of balloon comedy troupe Greatest Show on Legs and was a regular at the Glastonbury and Edinburgh Fringe festivals.

The son of a tugboat man, he turned to comedy after numerous brushes with the law and stints in detention centres. He was well known for outrageous behaviour, sometimes urinating on hecklers.

A memorial service is expected to be arranged soon.

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