TRIBUTES have been paid to Chris Harris, the West Country’s favourite pantomime dame, who died on April 30 after experiencing complications related to cancer.

The highly talented actor, writer and director, who lived in Portishead with his wife Victoria, was aged 71.

Chris was a well-known character in Portishead, always willing to support community events from the switching on of the town’s Christmas lights to the opening of school fairs or the launch of a new business.

He taught and performed around the world but is remembered most fondly for writing, directing and starring in pantomimes at both the Bristol Old Vic and Bath’s Theatre Royal. His last panto, Peter Pan, ran until January 12 this year.

Paying tribute to his father, son Sam said: “Dad loved Portishead and had many wonderful years living here. The messages from friends and neighbours have meant a great deal to us and we would like to thank everyone for their love and support.

“It was lovely to visit The Ship on Sunday and share some memories along with a pint or two of Otter, with his friends at the Sunday Club. Portishead will always be a place I visit to remember the kind, generous, gentleman and joker my dad was.”

Chris’s other son Matt, along with his wife Gabe and grandsons Leo and Arley, are travelling halfway across the world from their home in Melbourne, Australia, to be with the rest of the family in Portishead.