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‘Ultimate entertainer’ Des O’Connor has died aged 88

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Des O’Connor is known for presenting his self-titled show along with gameshow Countdown

Des O’Connor is known for presenting his self-titled show along with gameshow Countdown

Des O'Connor has died aged 88. Pic: Granada Productions/PA Wire...E

Des O'Connor has died aged 88. Pic: Granada Productions/PA Wire...E

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Des O’Connor is known for presenting his self-titled show along with gameshow Countdown

TV legend Des O’Connor has died aged 88 after falling in his home.

Tributes have poured in for the “ultimate entertainer” who is known for presenting his self-titled show and Channel 4’s Countdown.

The veteran entertainer, who spent six decades in the industry, had been in hospital for the past week after his fall.

According to his long time agent and family-friend Pat Lake-Smith he had been looking forward to going home before his condition suddenly deteriorated and he “drifted peacefully away in his sleep.”

Mr O’Connor is survived by his wife Jodie Brooke Wilson, his son Adam and his four daughters Karin, TJ, Samantha and Kristina.

Tributes have flooded in for the veteran entertainment presenter.

Pop-star Olly Murs took to Twitter to share his condolences, writing: “Very sad news to hear Des O’Connor has died, to be on his show in 2012 was a highlight after watching him throughout my childhood. An icon on TV, a gentleman and one of the best! Rest in peace Des x”

Broadcaster Piers Morgan wrote: “RIP Des O’Connor, 88. A wondrously talented, warm, funny, charming man. Truly one of the nicest people in showbiz. What very sad news.

Thanks for all the fun, Des.”

David Schneider said: “Had the honour of sitting next to Des O’Connor at a wedding a couple of years ago. His wit was razor-sharp and he showed the same generosity and interest in younger comics that helped so many careers. RIP.”

Ms Lake-Smith announced his death in a statement, writing: “It is with great sorrow that I confirm that Des O’Connor passed away yesterday (Saturday 14 November).

“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.

“Des, who was 88, was so well-loved by absolutely everyone. 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.

“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.”

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