Home International Popular English entertainer, Des O’Connor dies at 88

Popular English entertainer, Des O’Connor dies at 88

by Mustapha Olamide
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Popular British entertainer, Des O’Connor has died at the age of 88, his agent has confirmed. The veteran comedian, singer and tv host died on Saturday following a fall at his range in Buckinghamshire a few week ago.

He was famed for hosting his own talk show , also as, Take Your Pick and Countdown; he was also notable for his friendship with comedy duo Morecambe and Wise, BBC reports.

In a statement, his agent said he was “well-loved by absolutely everybody” and “loved life”.

His long-time agent and family friend Pat Lake-Smith described him because the “ultimate entertainer” and said he had been recovering from the autumn before his condition had suddenly deteriorated.

She said, “He was a joy to figure with; he was talented, fun, positive, enthusiastic, kind and a complete professional. He loved life, and thought of enthusiasm almost as important as oxygen.”

The London-born, O’Connor presented his own prime-time TV shows for quite 45 years but also had success as a singer.

His friendship with comedy duo Morecambe and Wise saw him mocked for his singing ability in sketches despite a successful career including four Top 10 hits and quite 30 albums.

O’Connor appeared on stages round the world including many shows at the London Palladium.

His fame soared when he was hired to host The Des O’Connor Show, which ran on ITV from 1963 to 1971.

In 1977 he began hosting Des O’Connor tonight, which started on BBC Two before moving to ITV, where it stayed until it led to 2002.

He later hosted the Channel 4 quiz show Countdown alongside Carol Vorderman, with the pair bowing out together in 2008, and was made a Commander of the Order of British Empire for his services to entertainment and broadcasting therein year’s birthday honours.

O’Connor was married fourfold and has described the top of his first three relationships as casualties of his obsession with work.

In 2007, he married long-term girlfriend Jodie Brooke Wilson, who was 37 years his junior and gave birth to their son Adam when O’Connor was 72.

Tributes are paid following his death, with Countdown co-host Vorderman saying he was a “joy to figure with”.

“I will remember him most though for his brilliant chat shows within the days when families would gather round the telly to observe – Des O’Connor was the king,” she said.

Fellow Countdown star Susie Dent described him as a “true gent” while Call the Midwife star Stephen McGann said O’Connor “never took himself too seriously”.

Melanie Sykes, who hosted television program Today With Des And Mel alongside O’Connor, said it had been an “education and a privilege to figure with him”.

She wrote on Instagram: “He had talent in every fibre of his being and was stubborn as a mule. He was the complete ticket as a lover and colleague.”

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