Entertainer Povel Ramel dead

One of Sweden's best-loved entertainers, Povel Ramel, has died at his home, his family has announced. He was 85 years old.

Ramel, who was a writer, singer, musician, songwriter and comedian – often all at the same time – had experienced heart problems and had been given a pacemaker earlier in the year. He was with his family when he died on Tuesday evening.

As recently as two days ago Ramel’s son Mikael had, while presenting his father’s ‘Karamelodikt’ stipendium, expressed the hope that he would recover.

“He’s feeling, as they say, all right under the circumstances. He’s lying at home relaxing and we hope that he will get better,” said Mikael Ramel.

Povel Ramel spent most of his life entertaining Sweden. Music and wordplay were the mainstays of his vast repertoire, which included over a thousand songs.

In 1939, at the age of 17, Ramel established his own revue at Källviksbrunn outside Västervik, where he worked as a restaurant pianist.

His first real breakthrough came in the mid-1940s with ‘Johansson’s Boogie Woogie Waltz’ and by 1952 Ramel had his own consert house show. Later that year Ramel, in association with Felix Alvo, started the ‘Knäppupp’ series of shows and films that were to become a Swedish favourite over the next 16 years.

Ramel was prolific, performing his legendary brand of comedy music up until 2006. He was a regular on Swedish television performing with Hasse Alfredsson.

His playful songs live on, not least in school choirs across Sweden which often have his ‘Lingonben’ in their repertoires.

During his life Ramel won numerous awards. He returned the compliment in 1983 when he inaugurated the ‘Karamelodikt’ stipendium. The award is presented to a Swedish entertainer every May.