Margarita Pracatan death: The Clive James Show singer dies aged 89

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Getty Images

Margarita Pracatan, the Cuban singer who found fame as a novelty act on Clive James‘s TV show, has died at the age of 89.

Her daughter, Maria Gorshin, confirmed to Sky News that the TV star died on Tuesday (23 June).

As well as her popular appearances on James’s 1990s TV series The Clive James Show, Pracatan was also played regularly by radio DJ Martin Kelner on his BBC Night Network and Radio 2 shows.

On James’ series, Pracatan, born Margarita Figueroa, would sing heavily accented versions of popular music hits, such as “Hello” by Lionel Richie.

After starting out in New York performing at club nights in small venues, Pracatan began hosting her own cable TV show that ran from the late 1980s to the mid-2010s. James featured her on his series, and she went on to tour the country.

James once said of her: “She never lets the words or melody get in her way. She is us, without the fear of failure.”

Tributes to the late singer have poured in on social media.

Broadcaster Matthew Sweet wrote: “Sorry to hear of the death of Margarita Pracatan, social media star before social media. We got her live on @BBCRadio3 once, to the faint annoyance of Clive James. In 2017 I saw her live in Catford & was delighted to discover she still considered the right notes unnecessary.”

One commenter wrote: “So saddened to hear of the passing of Margarita Pracatan. Right until the end, she continued to keep us entertained, even during lockdown. RIP, baby.”

“So sad to see the social media reports saying that Margarita Pracatan has died aged 89,” wrote another. “Her performances on The Clive James Show were beyond wonderful.”

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