Death of Morecambe and Wise dance partner

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Sheffield -born acrobatic dancer Jean Bamforth – once the stage partner of comedians Morecambe and Wise – has died at her home in East Anglia, aged 87.

Jean was born at High Green in 1925 and showed talent from an early age.

Her big break came at the age of 14 when she was spotted by variety star Jack Hylton while performing in a children’s matinée at the Lyceum theatre.

She was offered a spot in Bandbox at the London Palladium, where she shared the stage with young Ernie Wise. They then went on to join a nationwide tour, teaming up with another youngster, Eric Morecambe – and soon the trio were being billed as Morecambe, Bamforth and Wise.

The onset of war put an end to the act, but Jean went on to enjoy a successful dancing career, first as part of the Bentley Sisters and then in her own right.

She quit showbusiness following the birth of sons Tom and Simon, and the breakdown of her marriage to musician Colin Beaton.

Jean joined the BBC’s drama costume department, becoming head dresser and working with many stars up to her retirement in 1985. She then moved to Norwich where she died on Sunday after suffering a stroke.