His agent has confirmed that Des O’Connor died following a fall at his home at the age of 88.
TV Allrounder has been leading his own prime time TV chat shows for over 45 years and has built a successful music career to his name with four top 10 singles.
Pat Lake-Smith said in a statement: “I am deeply saddened that Des O’Connor passed away yesterday.
“Following a fall at his home in Buckinghamshire, he was admitted to hospital a week ago. He recovered well, was in high spirits, was visited by his family – according to the hospital lockout rules – and was expected to go.
“88-year-old Tess is loved by all. She’s a joy to work with – she’s talented, fun, positive, enthusiastic, kind and totally professional. She loved life and considered excitement almost as important. She adored her family – they were all there for him. Wife couple, their son Adam and his four daughters, Karin, DJ, Samantha and Christina.
“The couple’s world is shattered, and she and Adam and Tess’s daughters are in more pain than you can imagine.
“Tess was the ultimate hobbyist. He loved being on stage – he entertained a live audience. He always said that the sound of laughter was like the sound of heavenly music. He had a wonderful international television career, presenting his own prime-time shows for over 45 years. On stage he was around the world. He played in every leading position. “
Melanie Sykes, O’Connor’s co-host for four years, said she paid tribute to the star and said working with him was one of the best moments of her career.
Along with a picture of the couple, he wrote: “Tess had the soft hands and warm hearts of anyone I met. He had talent in every strand and was as stubborn as a donkey.”
“He was a full ticket as a friend and colleague. It was one of the best days of my career when he chose me as his co-host on today’s daytime show. It was an education and a privilege to work with him for years to come.
“We worked a long time, but always laughed a lot, because when it’s on show he will tell me I’ll always be like a bandit dog! I will never forget him in these years. Darling des you will always miss. Melanie x.”
Top Gear presenter Bedi McKinnon tweeted: “Such sad news. Des O’Connor was never afraid to look at himself and laugh, it was part of his charisma.
“Whether Eric Morkambe mocked him, or the Freddie Star smashed his studio, Tess always laughed. Another part of my childhood tele view is gone. RIP des O’Connor”.
Susie Dent, an expert in the corner of the Countdown’s dictionary, wrote on Twitter, paying tribute to her former colleague: “We lost a real agent, never more than a hint from a song or a laugh. They praised him – we did. Sing, Des. “
Such sad news. Des O’Connor was never afraid to look at himself and laugh, it was part of his charm. Whether Eric Morkambe mocks him, or whether Freddie Starr smashes his studio setting, Tess always laughs. Another part of my childhood tele vision is gone. RIP des O’Connor pic.twitter.com/ZzLarNiTm6
– Paddy McGuinness (adPaddyMcGuinness) November 15, 2020
Labor vice-president Angela Rainer tweeted: “I am so sorry to hear that the entertainer, comedian and all-around handsome man des O’Connor has died.
“I saw a lot in Delhi when Tess was a child. I send my deepest condolences to Tess’s family and friends. RIP”
We are deeply saddened to hear that the entertainer, comedian and all-around handsome man des O’Connor has died. I extend my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Des ☹️ RIP, the most visited entertainment in Delhi when Des was a child pic.twitter.com/4YPJvI2hYy
– 🌈 Angela Rainer 🌈 (n Angela Rainer) November 15, 2020
Born to a Jewish mother and Irish father in Stepney, East London, the comedian joked that he was the only O’Connor with Bar Mitzvah.
A young O’Connor briefly showed football as a profession, played professionally with Northampton Town, before serving in the National Air Force and later joined the Buttlins Vacation Camp as a Red Coat.
When The Des O’Connor was launched on ITV in 1963, he participated in theatrical genres before gaining a big screen break.
Des O’Connor tonight was followed by a visitor with Des O’Connor and other Facebook shows including Today with Des and Mel.
He also featured on a number of popular sporting events, including Take Your Big and Countdown.