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Brian Robinson

Blackpool Pleasure Beach sales and events manager Brian Robinson died after a long battle with cancer on October 29, aged 67.

He began working for Pleasure Beach in January 1991 and for more than 13 years promoted Pleasure Beach to the corporate market and the travel industry, throughout the UK and Ireland.

Born in Blackpool on July 12, 1937 Robinson took a variety of jobs after leaving school before meeting his future partner, comedian Ken Platt, in the early sixties. Then at the height of his fame, Platt was one of Britain’s most successful variety comics, known for his catchphrase “I’ll Not Take Me Coat Off, I’m Not Stopping” and his popular radio shows. Robinson became his full-time manager and smoothly guided Platt’s career until his death in October 1998.

The pair travelled everywhere together and Robinson quickly became a familiar face in showbusiness. His knowledge of theatre was profound and he knew everyone from top television executives to stage doorkeepers and wardrobe personnel.

Veteran variety producer Aubrey Phillips, who worked with Robinson and Platt for many years, said: “Brian was a valuable asset to have in any pantomime or summer season and could turn his hand to most theatrical jobs. He was also one of the first people to realise the potential of front of house merchandise in pantomimes. Sales of colouring books, baloons etc are the norm nowadays with Christmas shows but Brian had started doing this back in the late sixties. He was a great all-round professional.”

With the decline of variety and summer shows Ken Platt found work less easy to come by and in 1991 Robinson joined the staff at Pleasure Beach, where he quickly became one of the company’s most popular employees. He regularly represented the Pleasure Beach at exhibitions, joining forces with representatives from Blackpool Tourism and other resort partners, to promote the town of Blackpool. He also presided over the famous ‘Coffee Gang’ meetings and regularly performed a comedy double act with his friend and colleague, Karis Bailey.

In many respects Robinson, who was known by everyone as ‘Dolly’, was funnier than his partner Platt and many other professional Blackpool comics. With his sharp wit, voluptous voice and effete manner, he could easily have stepped from the pages of an Evelyn Waugh novel and he delighted in describing himself as being “as camp as Christmas”. Often self-deprecating but with a unique gift for friendship he would have been surprised how much he will be missed.

Patrick Newley

Amanda Thompson, managing director of Pleasure Beach, writes: “Dolly was a larger than life character who was loved by everyone. He will be missed by us all but especially by the visitors and guests he greeted so famously and grandly.”  

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