A NATIONALLY acclaimed performer with strong ties to the Isle of Wight has died at the age of 84.

Back in the summer of 1980, Peter Goodwright, one of Britain's most celebrated comedy impressionists, spent nearly six months at Sandown Pavilion in John Redgrave's Holiday Spectacular.

He was the leading performer in the resident support company which played host to a string of guest stars who stayed for short seasons. These were Billy Dainty, Ted Rogers, Frankie Howerd, Norman Wisdom and Leslie Crowther.

That summer Peter gained a notable following with his comedy, on many occasions stealing the show.

Peter had already enjoyed his own successes. These included a regular spot in the hit television series Who Do You Do? He'd also been a hit in the long running radio series The Impressionists.

After his Sandown summer he moved into acting, which gave his career fresh direction.

Later in his life Peter and his wife, Norma, moved to the Island and stayed for many years. They enjoyed living in Luccombe Village.

One favourite personal memory for me happened in his dressing room after a show, which I often visited for a lime juice and chat.

On one particular night a keen fan was brought up to Peter's dressing room for an autograph. She told him, quite rightly, how brilliant he was in the show. Then she said to me: "And you were very good, too."

After she'd gone, Peter and I fell about laughing. Neither us could imagine who she actually thought I was.

It certainly couldn't have been Frankie Howerd, who was topping the bill at that time.