‘Ultimate entertainer’ Des O’Connor dies aged 88

Des O'Connor

Entertainer Des O'Connor has died at the age of 88 – days after a fall at his home.

The TV star died on Saturday, his longtime agent and family friend Pat Lake-Smith said.

She said in a statement to the PA news agency that 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."

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English comedian Des O'Connor (left) with pop singer Cliff Richard during rehearsals for the show 'Stars In Your Eyes' at the London Palladium, 26th May 1960. (Photo by Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - JANUARY 01: Photo of Des O'CONNOR; Des O'Connor performing on tv show (Photo by David Farrell/Redferns)
UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 01: Des O'Connor performs on stage in the 1960's. (Photo by David Redfern/Redferns)
Gillian Vaughan, wife of comedian Des O'Connor, had a baby daughter five days ago, their first child. Tracy Jane was photographed with her parents in the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital, Paddington. Tracy has a lot of dark hair and weighed 7lbs 2oz at birth, 26th November 1962. (Photo by Doreen Spooner/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
Actor Des O'Connor with wife, actress Gillian Vaughan, and daughter Tracy Jane, 6th August 1963. (Photo by Howard Walker/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
Singer and entertainer Des O'Connor with his daughters Samantha and Tracy, at their home in Great Yarmouth, circa 1960-1970. (Photo by Chris Ware/Keystone Features/Getty Images)
UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 01: Photo of Des O'CONNOR; Des O'Connor performing on tv show (Photo by David Farrell/Redferns)
10th November 1969: Queen Elizabeth II meets Mireille Mathieu during the aftershow presentation following the Royal Variety Performance, which had taken place at the London Palladium; also seen here are (left to right) Bernard Delfont, Danny La Rue and Des O'Connor. (Photo by Tim Graham/Fox Photos/Getty Images)
26th August 1971: Irish comedian and singer Des O'Connor in his riding silks at Newmarket stables where he is training for the Epsom Champagne Amateur Riders Derby. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)
Comedians Eric Morecambe (right) and Ernie Wise with presenter Des O'Connor (centre) on the Christmas special of the BBC television series 'The Morecambe and Wise Show', 1975. (Photo by Don Smith/Radio Times via Getty Images)
British pop star Engelbert Humperdinck (c) celebrates with fellow stars Freddie Starr (l) and Des O'Connor (r) at a party in London following a concert at the Royal Albert Hall, London. (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)
Des O'Connor plays genial host to his guests Jimmy Tarbuck and Mart Caine. The recording of Des' first ITV Christmas Show was taking place at Thames studios. 18th November 1983. (Photo by Alisdair MacDonald/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
Singer and entertainer Des O'Connor in hospital with a broken leg, being visited by friend and fellow entertainer Eric Morecambe, Wellington Hospital, London, February 27th 1978. (Photo by Frank Barratt/Keystone/Getty Images)
LONDON - OCTOBER 23: British television presenter Des O'Connor and his wife and daughter attend the "Royal Television Awards" at the Royal Albert Hall on October 23, 2001 in London. (Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)
Janet Jackson interview on Des O'Connor Show, London, 2nd December, 1997. (Photo by Jo Hale/Redferns)
Today With Des And Mel' Tv Programme, Britain - 25 Feb 2004, Des O'Connor And Melanie Sykes (Photo by Brian Rasic/Getty Images)
Des O'Connor arrives at the reception party for Sir Elton John and David Furnish at their Old Windsor mansion, Wednesday December 21, 2005. The couple 'married' in a Civil Partnership Ceremony earlier today at Windsor Guildhall. (Photo by Matt Faber - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 20: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK TABLOID NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME. MANDATORY CREDIT PHOTO BY DAVE M. BENETT/GETTY IMAGES REQUIRED) (L to R) Richard Madeley, Judy Finnigan, Des O'Connor and Cilla Black attend a party celebrating the addition of veteran entertainer Des O'Connor to the cast of the West End Production of "Dreamboats And Petticoats" at the Playhouse Theatre on October 20, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Dave M. Benett/Getty Images)
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O'Connor presented his own prime-time TV shows for over 45 years.

He 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."

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