Suggs found out his father had died from Wikipedia.

The Madness singer - real name Graham McPherson - did not know his drug-addict father William, who walked out on his family when he was three, and only discovered the fate of his dad when he looked himself up on the internet.

Speaking in his show 'Suggs: My Life in Words and Music' at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, he said: ''One day my mate said, 'Have you ever looked yourself up on Wikipedia?'

''I looked myself up and there it all was. It said my father had died in 1975, aged just 40. The thing is, this website knew more about my life than me and my whole family combined.

''My dad had died in Birmingham, so I contacted the records office and a nice man there pieced things together for me.''

The 51-year-old star discovered his father had remarried and Hope he had turned his life around, but it turned out to be in vain.

He added: ''He had remarried so there was a glimmer of Hope that he had turned his life around. But it was all a bit of a mess. He didn't have any kids, which put paid to the chance that I might have stepbrothers or stepsisters. When his death certificate arrived it was a real shock.

''The shame was that he died when I was 15, when I was just starting in the band. If he been around a couple more years then my profile might have led him to get in touch and we could have met up but it wasn't to be.''