TV chef Keith Floyd, whose booze-fuelled shows made him a household name, has died, his ghost-writer James Steen said today.
Floyd, 65, who revealed in July that he was battling bowel cancer, died of a heart attack at his partner's home in Dorset, Mr Steen said.
Born in Somerset, after leaving Wellington School he began his professional life as a journalist in Bristol.
He honed his skills as a cook after joining the army, trying out his dishes in his officers' mess.
After leaving the forces, Floyd worked in London and France as a barman, dish-washer and vegetable peeler as well as undertaking many other kitchen duties.
He also owned three restaurants in Bristol, in one of which he had his big break after meeting a TV producer.
The result was his first programme, which led to a BBC offer of a seven-part series called Floyd On Fish.
From there his career took off, with numerous television series, some of which were screened around the world.
He also wrote more than 20 books, many of which went straight into the best-seller lists.
Keith Floyd cooking fish stew for Dan Luger and Joe Roff
His latest autobiography Stirred But Not Shaken, in which he described his battles with the bottle, is due to be published next month.
Celebrity chef Marco Pierre White paid tribute to a "beautiful man".
He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "Keith, in my opinion, was an exceptional human being. He had great qualities.
"His ability to inspire people to cook just with his words and the way he did things was extraordinary.
"If you look at TV chefs today they don't have his magic. It's a very, very, very sad day for my industry and secondly for a nation."
He added: "Keith was intellectual, he was intelligent, and he was articulate - he used words which everybody could understand. He was very special.
"The thing which is very sad is a little piece of Britain today died which will never be replaced. He was a beautiful man."