TV legend Des O'Connor has died, aged 88

15 November 2020, 11:02

Des O'Connor in 1997
Des O'Connor in 1997. Picture: Getty

By Tom Eames

Entertainer Des O'Connor has passed away at the age of 88, it has been confirmed.

The TV presenter, comedian and singer died on Saturday (November 14), following a fall at his home in Buckinghamshire two weeks ago.

Des O'Connor was known hosting his own popular chat show, as well as shows like Take Your Pick and Countdown - and for his friendship and tongue-in-cheek feud with Morecambe and Wise.

His agent said he was "well loved by absolutely everybody" and "loved life".

Des O'Connor hosted his own massively popular TV shows for over 45 years, and also had success as a singer. He scored a number one hit in 1968 with the song 'I Pretend'.

His friendship with comedy icons Morecambe and Wise led to ongoing sketches that saw him being mocked for his singing ability.

Jennifer Rush and Des O'Connor - ,,Power of Love" Duet (Des O'Connor Tonight, 09.11.1988)

He hosted quiz show Countdown opposite Carol Vorderman, with both presenters leaving the show together in 2008. He was also made a CBE for his services to entertainment and broadcasting in the same year's birthday honours.

His fellow Countdown star Susie Dent described him as a "true gent", while Melanie Sykes, who hosted the show Today With Des And Mel alongside the late star, said it was an "education and a privilege to work with him".

Tony Blackburn paid tribute, saying that "he was a great entertainer and more importantly a very nice person".

Des O'Connor leaves his wife Jodie, their son Adam, and his four daughters, Karin, TJ, Samantha and Kristina.