Veteran TV presenter Keith Chegwin dies aged 60
The family of television presenter Keith Chegwin have said he has died.
The family said he suffered a "long-term battle with progressive lung cancer".
He was 60-year-old.
In a statement, Chegwin's family said: "We are heartbroken to share the news that Keith Chegwin sadly passed away following a long-term battle with a progressive lung condition, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, which rapidly worsened towards the end of this year."
"Keith died peacefully at home shortly after midnight on the 11th of December. His wife Maria, his daughter Rose and his son Ted were by his side."
Can’t believe it about Keith . Such a lovely man at Big Bro and a great host Pleasure to have met him. RIP Cheggers x— Rylan Clark-Neal (@Rylan) December 11, 2017
I’m so stunned to hear that the utterly lovely @keithchegwin has died. Can’t get my head round this. One of my original Saturday morning heroes. Sending all my love to his family 😢— Phillip Schofield (@Schofe) December 11, 2017
Such sad news. Very much a part of my childhood. RIP Keith Chegwin. pic.twitter.com/IFL7TujE9b— Paddy McGuinness (@PaddyMcGuinness) December 11, 2017
"We would like to take this opportunity to thank Severn Hospice for the kindness, support and care they have shown us all over the last few weeks."
"Keith was a loving husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend. We would respectfully ask to be left to mourn his passing in private."
Chegwin, known as Cheggers, started his career as an actor but became a household name as a TV presenter of shows such as Multi-Coloured Swap Shop, Cheggers Plays Pop and Saturday Superstore.
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He made no secret of his battle with alcoholism but staged a comeback in recent years when he was a regular on reality TV.
He took part in Dancing On Ice in 2013 and Celebrity MasterChef and Celebrity Big Brother in 2015, when he came fourth and said that while his experience in the house had been a "nightmare" from beginning to end, he "actually quite enjoyed it".
Stars have paid tribute to the veteran TV presenter, with celebrities from the worlds of sport, business and entertainment posting messages online after the news broke.
Former heavyweight boxing champion Frank Bruno said: "Saddened to hear this, what a great guy! I worked with him a lot over the years, a great entertainer, you will be missed RIP Keith Chegwin."
DJ Tony Blackburn said he was "absolutely devastated" to hear of his friend's death, adding: "He was one of the nicest people I have ever known and over the years we did shows together and became great friends."
Comedian Paddy McGuinness tweeted in memory of Chegwin, who was "very much a part of my childhood."
Meanwhile, entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne said the entertainer was "too young to go", calling the news "so sad".
Belfast Telegraph Digital