Des O’Connor, entertainer who ‘shared the laughs’, dies days after fall

Des O’Connor – an “ultimate entertainer” who “shared the laughs” – has died at the age of 88, just days after he suffered a fall at his home.

The TV star, who lit up screens with shows like Today With Des And Mel and Des O’Connor Tonight, died in hospital on Saturday.

His friend and fellow comic Jimmy Tarbuck said the much-loved star, who also enjoyed a singing career, was talking about a return to the stage just before his accident.

His long-time agent and family friend Pat Lake-Smith said in a statement to the PA news agency: “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.”

O’Connor presented his own prime-time TV shows for over 45 years and he also hosted Countdown with Carol Vorderman.

He first fronted his own show in 1963 while the success of his singing career saw him sell 16 million records and spend 117 weeks in the top 10 of the charts.

The four-times married star appeared on stage around the world, including hundreds of shows at the London Palladium.

He had his own US TV programme and his chat show Des O’Connor Tonight was a British television staple for a quarter of a century. He was also known for appearing in game shows Take Your Pick and Pot Of Gold.

Press Association


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