Mike Winters, who has died aged 82, was the straight-man half of the ebulliently zany comic duo Mike and Bernie Winters who, when knockabout music hall seemed to be dying, carried on the tradition with success on television and on the seaside resort summer-show circuit.
At the outset of their careers, when doing a show at Chatham, Kent, for a naval audience, the brothers had decided that Mike should be the funnyman. They rethought this strategy only after Mike, wearing a comical hat, had led his brother on stage to a saltily raucous reception. He suddenly felt all wrong, turned round, thrust the hat at Bernie and said: "You be the comic." Bernie did, for years very successfully, leaving the more solid, pipe-smoking Mike as the agent provocateur and sweeper-up of their act.