ENTERTAINMENT

Des O & # 39; Connor: The all-round entertainer and chat show king whose success spanned decades


Des O & # 39; Connor, who died at the age of 88, was an all-round entertainer whose success spanned decades and as regularly in prime-time TV slots.

O & # 39; Connor was born in Stepney in London's East End in 1932 to a Jewish cleaner and an Irish garbage man. After the outbreak of World War II, he was evacuated to Northampton.

After completing his national service in the Royal Air Force, O & # 39; Connor got his first experience in show business when he began performing in variety shows and as Butlin & # 39; s Redcoat.

His music career began in 1967 with the release of his first single, Careless Hands.

O & # 39; Connor was born in Stepney in the East End of London in 1932, the son of a Jewish cleaner and an Irish garbage man. After the outbreak of World War II, he was evacuated to Northampton (Image: Des O & # 39; Connor, 1970)

His music career began in 1967 with the release of his first single Careless Hands (Image: Des O & # 39; Connor 1967).

His music career began in 1967 with the release of his first single Careless Hands (Image: Des O & # 39; Connor 1967)

Des O & # 39; Connor (center) with Eric Morecambe (left) and Ernie Wise (right), March 1999

Des O & # 39; Connor (center) with Eric Morecambe (left) and Ernie Wise (right), March 1999

The song was followed by I Pretend, which came out in 1968 and went to number one on the singles charts.

In total, he had four top 10 hits and recorded 36 albums.

However, in 1975 he appeared in a Morecombe and Wise sketch joking that he could not sing.

After Eric Morecambe receives one of his records, he asks, "Is this the one where he sings the correct notes in?"

O & # 39; Connor then comes on stage to deal with Morecambe and Ernie Wise's obvious criticism of him in the sketch.

Des O & # 39; Connor Tonight's talk show started on the BBC in 1977, where it ran for five years before moving to ITV and broadcasting in the US. It was consistently successful and was last broadcast in 2002.

At the age of 82, O'Connor revealed that the secret to being a good presenter on a chat show is to be polite.

In total, he had four top 10 hits and recorded 36 albums (Image: Des O & # 39; Connor, Nyree Dawn Porter, Jodie Wilson, 1992)

In total, he had four top 10 hits and recorded 36 albums (Image: Des O & # 39; Connor, Nyree Dawn Porter, Jodie Wilson, 1992)

O & # 39; Connor (pictured) is survived by his son Adam and four daughters Karin, TJ, Samantha and Kristina

O & # 39; Connor (pictured) is survived by his son Adam and his four daughters Karin, TJ, Samantha and Kristina

1968: Des O & # 39; Connor with his wife Gillian and children Tracy-Jane (6) and Samantha (4) leave Heathrow Airport in London for Christmas in Barbados

1968: Des O & # 39; Connor with his wife Gillian and children Tracy-Jane (6) and Samantha (4) leave Heathrow Airport in London for Christmas in Barbados

'You have to learn to listen,' he said, and added, 'If you ask someone something, answer yourself, it is not very wise.

“It's about the guest feeling like a guest.

“Don't make fun of them. It's about being polite and kind. & # 39;

In the 2000s, he appeared on Today With Des And Mel, along with host Melanie Sykes, where the couple interviewed celebrity guests and hosted viewing competitions.

He was also known for appearing on game shows such as Take Your Pick and Pot Of Gold, and received the Special Recognition Award at the 2001 National Television Awards at the Royal Albert Hall.

In 2007, he took over the presentation on the quiz show Countdown on Channel 4, where he stayed for two years and presented nearly 500 episodes.

Des O & # 39; Connor at the 2001 National Television Awards at the Royal Albert Hall

Des O & # 39; Connor at the 2001 National Television Awards at the Royal Albert Hall

Des O & # 39; Connor Tonight's talk show started on the BBC in 1977, where it ran for five years before moving to ITV and broadcasting in the US. It was consistently successful and was last broadcast in 2002 (Image: O & # 39; Connor with his family, 1969)

Des O & # 39; Connor Tonight's talk show started on the BBC in 1977, where it ran for five years before moving to ITV and broadcasting in the US. It was consistently successful and was last broadcast in 2002 (Image: O & # 39; Connor with his family, 1969)

Des O & # 39; Connor poses with his CBE for entertainment and broadcasting services given to him by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace, London with wife Jodie and four year old son Adam

Des O & # 39; Connor poses with his CBE for entertainment and broadcasting services given to him by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace, London with wife Jodie and four year old son Adam

Des O & # 39; Connor arrives for the unveiling of a plaque marking the 100th birthday of the London Palladium Theater in 2010

Des O & # 39; Connor arrives for the unveiling of a plaque marking the 100th birthday of the London Palladium Theater in 2010

O & # 39; Connor was named an entertainment services CBE in 2008.

He continued working later in life and starred in a West End run of Dreamboats And Petticoats at the Playhouse Theater in 2012.

That year, ITV also broadcast a one-off special entitled The One And Only Des O & # 39; Connor as a tribute to his 50 years of experience in show business.

In 2015 he performed with fellow vaudeville artist Jimmy Tarbuck at the London Palladium for a charity show.

At the time of his death, O & # 39; Connor was married to Jodie Brooke Wilson, his fourth wife.

He is also survived by his son Adam and four daughters Karin, TJ, Samantha and Kristina.

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