UPDATED: Puppet man is alive

One of Norfolk’s most well known buskers has been spotted alive and well today after rumours about his death exploded on social media sites.

Rumours about the death of the Norwich and Great Yarmouth ‘puppet man’, David Perry, began on social network sites Twitter and Facebook early yesterday evening.

It was said that Mr Perry passed away in Great Yarmouth yesterday after suffering from a heart attack.

Mr Perry received five phone calls from friends and relatives last night, including a call from his girlfriend, ex-wife and sister about the rumours.

Playing and performing to Amazing Grace outside Primark on Gentleman’s Walk in the city centre today, he said: “That’s what I would want to be played at my funeral if anything happened to me.

“When I received the phone calls I thought this could be funny but it is not really, and although it is not the publicity I want, it is good publicity to raise more money for charity.”

Twitter users traced the source of the rumour to a single individual on Facebook.

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The 67-year-old, who lives in Great Yarmouth, was most recently in the news in September 2007 after saying he would be retiring, but appeared back on the street performing after a week.

He is known for performing in Norwich city centre, usually along Gentleman’s Walk near Starbucks, and Great Yarmouth, usually outside McDonald’s Restaurant on Regent Boulevard, with his collection of puppets.

He has also appeared in the Evening News previously, receiving new puppets donated from the Langley’s toy shop in the city centre.

Today Mr Perry was performing with one of his oldest puppets, a dog called Mick Jagger.