Francis Laidler, the “King” of pantomime died in the Duke of York Home, Bradford, on January 6, 1955. He had been admitted on December 29, at the start of his fifty-third pantomime season and had been seriously ill since.

For the first time in his long career, Mr Laidler had been unable to attend the first performance of his Bradford pantomime “Red Riding Hood” at the Alhambra Theatre on Boxing Day.