Tributes have been paid to one of Northern Ireland’s most influential figures in the television industry.
It is understood the successful businessman suffered a heart attack following a minor operation.
Before starting up his own production company Mr Waddell was a journalist and earned his stripes at the Belfast Telegraph during the early 1960s.
He then moved to UTV where he worked his way up the career ladder and eventually became Director of Programmes.
After almost three decades he retired from the local broadcaster to set up Waddell Media in 1988, which has gone on to become one of the leading television production companies in Northern Ireland and recently celebrated its 20th anniversary last year.
The company produces around 50 hours of television each year for most of the leading UK broadcasters.
Some of the programmes include The One Show, Getaways, What Kids Really Think and Northern Ireland WAGS.
Waddell Media also has an office in New York, run by Waddell’s son Jon-Barrie. It produces programmes for Discovery, National Geographic and A&E.
Former colleague Eddie McIlwaine, who worked with Waddell when he was at the Belfast Telegraph, paid tribute to the businessman describing him as a “lovely man” who was a “first class reporter” in his day.
“I knew Brian when I was just a young reporter in the Belfast Telegraph in the early days,” he said last night. “He was a first class reporter and he was a lovely man. He always had the ambition to go out on his own. When he set up his own company, it was groundbreaking.
“He defied all the rules, he was an Ulsterman who was determined to do things.”
Mr Waddell is survived by his wife Audrey, son Jon-Barrie and daughters Nikki and Janine, who is managing director of the firm.