Orville the Duck

Orville the Duck is the puppet of ventriloquist Keith Harris and was named after Orville Wright (one of the Wright Brothers). Orville is a green duckling who wears nothing but a nappy with a large safety pin on the front. He speaks with a falsetto voice.

Orville appeared on BBC television from 1982 to 1990 on The Keith Harris Show, which featured assorted puppets such as Orville the Duck and Cuddles the Monkey. At the peak of their popularity in December 1982, Harris and Orville released the single "Orville's Song", reaching number 4 in the UK Singles Chart in January 1983 and selling over 400,000 copies in total.

After The Keith Harris Show's close in 1990, Harris took up work for Butlins holiday resorts, performing on occasion to "over 5000 people a night."[citation needed]

In 2004, Harris provided Orville's personality in an advert for Surf washing powder. It was rumoured that Harris was in talks with ITV to bring Orville back for a new variety TV programme; however, as of May 2010, no further details have surfaced.[1] "Orville's Song" was also re-released, with disco and dance re-mixes. Harris, in an attempt to broaden the horizons of his original stage show, has also toured with a more adult offering entitled Duck Off.[2]

Orville and Keith had a short appearance on the sketch comedy series Little Britain as themselves in of a group of entertainers waiting to meet the royal family. In the television series Little Britain, Orville was portrayed as an out-of-work actor shopping at a supermarket, played by Matt Lucas, dressed as an oversized version of Orville, and had a regularly pitched voice. Harris and Orville have also made an appearance on Channel Four's Banzai.

In 2005, both Keith and Orville, appeared in the Channel 5 reality TV show, The Farm and went on to win it. They also appeared in the video for Tony Christie's "Is This the Way to Amarillo", which was re-released in that year.

In May 2009, Keith and Orville made a cameo appearance on the BBC drama Ashes to Ashes, set in November 1982.

There are two Orville puppets that Harris uses, one manual, one a radio-controlled animatronic version.

The Original Orville puppet is insured for £100,000.

External links


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