Des O’Connor

Popular British entertainer, Des O’Connor has died on Saturday following a fall at his home in Buckinghamshire about a week ago.

The veteran comedian, singer and television host was 88.

According to his longtime agent and family friend Pat Lake-Smith in a statement to the PA news agency, the “ultimate entertainer” had been recovering from the fall when he died.

“It is with great sorrow that I confirm that Des O’Connor passed away yesterday,” she said.

“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 was known for shows like Today With Des And Mel and Des O’Connor Tonight.

His agent said: “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.”

O’Connor was married four times and has described the end of his first three relationships as casualties of his obsession with work.

In 2007, he married long-term girlfriend Jodie Brooke Wilson, who was 37 years his junior and gave birth to their son Adam when O’Connor was 72.

Tributes have been paid following his death, with Countdown co-host Vorderman saying he was a “joy to work with”.

“I will remember him most though for his brilliant chat shows in the days when families would gather around the telly to watch – Des O’Connor was the king,” she said.