by Alexandra Abumuhor
Comedian Tom O'conner passes away at the age of 81.
The game show host was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease 14 years ago, his relatives revealed.
Before rising to fame, Tom taught math and music, and once said the only way he could get through to his pupils was by telling jokes: “It worked a treat … and that’s really how the comedy all started.”
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 - the former Olympic athlete.
Denise said that, having watched him all those years as a child with her mum on a Saturday night, she was "so overwhelmed" at how sweet, genuine and kind he was.
"It was exactly the person we saw on TV day and night," she said.
Celebrities offered their condolences to the late star on Twitter, scroll down to see their tributes.
So sad to hear about Tom O’Connor , my condolences to his family , another great comic gone .— Tommy Cannon (@TheTommyCannon) July 19, 2021
I still occasionally baffle my kids by saying "I'll name that tune in 5..."— Paul Waugh (@paulwaugh) July 19, 2021
Tom O'Connor, such a lovely man. https://t.co/3h2qqNKnEF
Sad to hear of the death of Tom O’Connor. Worked with him a couple of decades ago on a show called Crosswits. He was hugely funny and witty. We were crying laughing half the time. And also a perfect gent. RIP Tom.— Sue Cook (@SueC00K) July 19, 2021
Bless you Tom O’Connor. One of the humble greats that, when I met him, seemed completely unaware of how in awe of him us younger comics were. https://t.co/nWe0kGzvXJ— Hal Cruttenden (@Halcruttenden) July 19, 2021
RIP Tom O'Connor, 81.— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) July 18, 2021
Comedian, TV game show host, Liverpool legend & a very funny man. Sad news.
Thanks for all the laughs, Tom. pic.twitter.com/nGkPtKE8Mv
Sad Day! another great comic has left us #TomOConnor. This was Tom at the unveiling of the #Beatle Statue along with The Spinner’s all those years ago. I raised the money at the Shakespeare Club to build the first ever salute to them. Tom came along. He became a household name pic.twitter.com/0ZxSA1CNDN— Pete Price (@PeteCityPrice) July 18, 2021
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