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Entertainment legend Des O'Connor dies, aged 88

Entertainment legend Des O'Connor dies, aged 88
© Reuters
Des O'Connor has died "peacefully" in his sleep following a fall at his home, the TV legend's agent announces.

Entertainment veteran Des O'Connor has died at the age of 88, his agent has announced.

In a career stretching back to the 1950s, O'Connor not only became one of the most familiar faces on British television for the best part of 50 years but also had success as a singer, releasing 36 albums.

O'Connor had been in hospital for a week following a fall at his home in Buckinghamshire and was on the mend before his condition suddenly deteriorated. He is said to have died peacefully in his sleep on Saturday.

"Des, who was 88, was so well loved by absolutely everyone," said his long-time agent Pat Lake-Smith. "He was a joy to work with - he was talented, fun, positive, enthusiastic, kind and a total professional.

"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."

Melanie Sykes, who hosted the chat show Today with Des and Mel with O'Connor in the early noughties, paid tribute in a lengthy post on Instagram.

"Des had the softest hands of anyone I ever met and the kindest of hearts," she wrote. "He had talent in every fibre of his being and was stubborn as a mule. He was the full ticket as a friend and colleague.

"When he chose me to be his co host on the 'Today' daytime show it was one the greatest days of my professional life. It was an education and a privilege to work with him for the years that followed.

"We worked long hours but always laughed lots, not least because when it it was showtime he would always tell me I looked like a robbers dog!

"These years I will never forget and nor will I forget him. Darling Des you will be forever missed. Melanie"

O'Connor is survived by his four grown-up daughters, his wife Jodie Wilson and their teenage son Adam.


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