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Tributes paid after death of comedian O’Connor

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Comedian Tom O’Connor passed away yesterday aged 81. Credit: Paul Treacy/PA

Comedian Tom O’Connor passed away yesterday aged 81. Credit: Paul Treacy/PA

PA

Comedian Tom O’Connor passed away yesterday aged 81. Credit: Paul Treacy/PA

Comedian Tom O’Connor has been recalled as a man who made so many people smile after his death at the age of 81.

The entertainer, born in Bootle, Merseyside, was best known for presenting several hit gameshows including Crosswits and Name That Tune.

He died yesterday morning, his family confirmed.

O’Connor’s comedy career started out in working men’s clubs, however he broke into television on shows including The Comedians and Opportunity Knocks.

He then went on to establish himself as a household name through the 70s and 80s including in Pick Pockets and The Zodiac Game.

O’Connor hosted Name That Tune from 1976 until 1983.

Later in his career O’Connor continued to appear on television, starring in BBC soap Doctors in the early 2000s and the celebrity edition of Come Dine With Me in 2010.

In 2011 he also appeared on the Pointless Celebrities quiz show with his daughter-in-law Denise Lewis, who is a former Olympic athlete.

Lewis said she had watched his TV shows with her mother on Saturday nights and when she first met him, was overwhelmed at how sweet, genuine and kind he was.

"It was exactly the person we saw on TV day and night," she added.

Liverpool City Council paid tribute to O’Connor in a post on its official Twitter page.

“Sad news breaking about the death of veteran Liverpool comedian Tom O’Connor,” it said. “Our thoughts are with his family and friends. Thanks for the laughs, Tom.”

TV presenter Piers Morgan also paid tribute to O’Connor.

“RIP Tom O’Connor, 81. Comedian, TV game show host, Liverpool legend and a very funny man,” he tweeted. “Sad news. Thanks for all the laughs, Tom.”

BBC Breakfast host Dan Walker tweeted: “How sad. I had the pleasure of meeting Tom O’Connor and he was kind, funny and a true gent.

“I loved watching him on telly — Crosswits was great. My sympathies are with his family and friends.”

Former EastEnders actor Stuart Anthony paid tribute to O’Connor in a post on Twitter.

He wrote: “Very sad to hear that Tom O’Connor has passed away. He was a lovely man with some great stories. My thoughts are with his family.”

Former Countdown presenter Carol Vorderman said: “Tom O'Connor made so many of us who knew him smile as soon as he entered the room … You were one of the very best. Rest In Laughter Sir.”

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