AN iconic green duck and an ambulance driver from Carrbrook are teaming up for a Christmas shot at the pop charts.
Nearly 30 years after ventriloquist Keith Harris took Orville’s Song to number four, the furry puppet is back, this time under the wing of Kevin Butler.
Orville is actually a lookalike-snapped up from eBay during a gin induced moment earlier this year.
But Kevin, 45, received the blessing of Keith’s daughter, Kitty Harris, so he could get quacking on a festive record-Santa’s Team 2020, which was released on December 6.
All proceeds go to charity – in this case Shelter – as agreed with the family estate.
Anyone who donates will receive a studio version copy of Santa’s Team 2020 plus a personal video message of thanks from Keith and Orville.
The record has already made an impression on local radio audiences and is available via Spotify.
“Hopefully, it will get somewhere near the UK charts,” said Kevin who works at Glossop ambulance station. “But the main thing is to raise as much money as possible.”
Kevin is also delighted with the response from Kitty who made her own bid for stardom last year when appearing on Britain’s Got Talent. But without Orville!
“Kitty wished me all the best and said she hopes the record does really well and raises lots of money,” he explained.
“To use Orville in any video you have to go through Keith Harris’s estate. Happily, a solicitor gave me the permission as long the money goes to charity.“It is quite a big thing though. I believe I am the only person to be able to use Orville apart from Keith Harris.”
It was only after snapping up the replica Kevin realised he had done so just a week before the fifth anniversary of Keith Harris’s death aged 67.
“I have got a little pub in my garden and like to go there and gather my thoughts,” he laughed.
“So, I must have had a few gins when I decided to buy Orville. I think he cost me about 13 quid.
“I woke up the following day and just saw a message ‘your delivery will come tomorrow.’
“When he arrived, I posted a picture on Facebook and loads of people responded, saying how they remembered Orville.
“That got me thinking that by just seeing Orville, it made people smile, so if I can put a song and video together it might cheer people up because we were in the middle of a pandemic.“It got over 4,500 views and was seen in six or seven different countries. That spurred on me to do this Christmas song.
“I am not a professional singer or song writer. Just every so often I like to throw a few words down and make them all rhyme.
“One night I was sat at my little bar again and I put a post on Facebook saying if I get 100 likes I will write a Christmas song.
“Within three minutes I got them so I thought I had better get cracking.”
“A music teacher neighbour offered to do the music and Chris Taylor at the recording studio (Taylor’s Shure 5 Studios in Royton) gave up some of his time because he liked it so much.”
Kevin and Orville have already tasted the ‘high life’ asked to switch on the Christmas lights at Buckton Vale Institute.
All that is left surely is a Christmas number one! To buy Santas Team and donate to Shelter go to