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TV legend Des O’Connor dies aged 88

Des has died aged 88 (Picture: robbie jack/Corbis via Getty Images)

Des O’Connor has died aged 88. 

The TV legend’s agent confirmed that he died ‘peacefully’ in his sleep on Saturday in hospital, surrounded by family.

O’Connor was admitted to hospital a week ago after suffering a fall at his home in Buckinghamshire.

A statement from his agent and friend Pat Lake-Smith read: ‘It is with great sorrow that I confirm that Des O’Connor passed away yesterday. He had been admitted to hospital just over a week ago, following a fall at his home in Buckinghamshire.

‘He was recovering well and had been in great spirits, visited by his family – in accordance with hospital lockdown regulations – and looking forward to going home.

‘Unfortunately yesterday evening his condition suddenly deteriorated and he drifted peacefully away in his sleep.

‘He was a joy to work with – he was talented, fun, positive, enthusiastic, kind and a total professional.

‘He loved life, and considered enthusiasm almost as important as oxygen. He adored his family – they were everything to him.

‘He is survived by his wife Jodie, their son Adam and his four daughters, Karin, TJ, Samantha and Kristina.

‘Jodie’s world is shattered, she and Adam and Des’s daughters are hurting more than you could possibly imagine.

The star suffered a fall last week (Picture: ITV/REX)

‘Des was the ultimate Entertainer. He loved being on stage – entertaining a live audience. He always said the sound of laughter was like the sound of heavenly music.

‘He had a fabulous international TV career, presenting his own prime-time TV shows for over 45 years. On stage he starred at almost every leading venue throughout the world.’

O’Connor was one of Britain’s most loved entertainers, hosting a series of his own primetime shows over his illustrious 45 year career.

Between 1963 and 1971, he presented the variety show The Des O’Connor Show, before going on to host Des O’Connor tonight from 1977 until 2002 – with seven series on BBC Two and a further 17 on ITV.

In 2002, he began hosting Today with Des and Mel, an afternoon programme which ran until 2006. 

The following year, O’Connor replaced Des Lynam as the host of Countdown for two years alongside Carol Vorderman. 

He was also known for presenting gameshow Take Your Pick, on which he met his wife Jodie.

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