The announcer famed for the phrase "ELVIS HAS LEFT THE BUILDING" has died in a car crash en route home from an Elvis Presley convention in California.

AL DVORIN - who was a close friend and road trip manager for the rock 'n' roll legend throughout the seventies - was in a car driven by longterm Elvis photographer ED BONJA at the time of his death. He was 81.

In the early 1970s he was required to inform fans at an Elvis gig that their music idol would not be making an encore.

He strolled out onto the stage and announced, in his own inimitable style, "Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has left the building. Thank you and goodnight."

The phrase - now an internationally recognised expression - subsequently became a staple at Elvis concerts thanks to Dvorin's unique delivery.

TODD MORGAN, a spokesman with the Presley estate in Memphis, Tennessee, says, "Al made it his own with his particular style. He's the man when it comes to that saying."

Dvorin - who organised Elvis' live shows and appearances for 22 years - was on the final tour before the singer's fatal heart attack on 16 August 1977.

24/08/2004 17:14