Video: Tributes paid to Yarmouth entertainer Steve Ace

A GREAT Yarmouth entertainer who wowed audiences with his colourful characters and showmanship has died after a long illness.

Steve Ace was renowned for his dedication to the performing arts through roles as the pantomime dame and Gorleston Pavilion Theatre’s master of ceremonies for Summer Season.

He died on Saturday at the age of 50.

His wife Jude Gleason, 47, a local council worker, said: “He was an amazing man. I never heard him say a bad word about anyone. He laughed a lot and was very soft hearted. He was just one of the nicest people in the world.”

Originally from London, Mr Ace moved to Norfolk as a teenager where his parents ran the Marine pub on the Yarmouth seafront.

He performed as a magician and even opened his own deli diner on Prince of Wales Road, Norwich, called the Bizness.

His work at Pleasurewood Hills saw him create and perform in numerous shows alongside Mr Blobby and Noel Edmonds.

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Stuart Malkovich, theatre director at the Gorleston Pavilion Theatre, said: “He was always forever the joker and a real character.

“He would make me laugh all the time and was very quick witted. He was one of the nicest guys I have had the pleasure of working with - a joy to be around and fantastic to be with on and off the stage.”

Former radio presenter Tony Mallion, who regularly reviews shows at the Pavilion for the Mercury, said: “We have lost a genuinely funny performer who had many talents. He was a superb panto dame.

“A few years ago he helped me dress up in the part - for one night only - for a Children in Need stunt live on the radio from the Pavilion.

“He provided the costume and wig and the big slipper-type shoes he used to wear. It certainly made me appreciate what a challenge is this is, and how extraordinarily well Steve could do it.

“It is true to say that he will be greatly missed.”

He is survived by his wife, his sons Ben, 25, and Stephen, 24, and his two granddaughters Evie, one, and Alexa, three.

A funeral will be held on Thursday December 1, 1pm, St Andrews Church, Gorleston. Donations made to the Haemochromatosis Society.