Presenter Keith Chegwin has died aged just 60, following a long battle with a progressive lung condition.
He passed away last night in a hospice, with his wife Maria and two children, Ted and Rose, beside him.
In a statement, his family have 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.”
The actor and presenter, who was born in 1957, rose to fame while still at school, appearing in various TV shows including Troublesome Double and Egghead’s Robot. In 1971 he appeared in Roman Polanski’s Macbeth, and played a small role alongside Peter Sellers in 1973’s The Optimists of Nine Elms. During the early seventies he also had roles in Open All Hours, The Liver Birds, Z-Cars and The Adventures of Black Beauty.
But Keith became a household name as a presenter, and it’s how we best remember him. Whether making our childhood dreams come true on Multi-Coloured Swap Shop, or lining up our requests on Cheggers Plays Pop. He even made the charts, singing alongside Swap Shop presenters Noel Edmonds and Maggie Phlibin (who he was married to at the time) with I Wanna Be A Winner, in 1982!
Sadly, his career stalled in the 1980s and 90s, down to an alcohol addiction, but after he conquered his demons he came back with the Down Your Doorstep slot on the Big Breakfast – waking up viewers to give them prizes.
Since then, he’d presented his own show online, worked on a nudist gameshow (!) and appeared as himself in Extras. He even wrote jingles for Radio One and ran a bingo website.
It might have been a tragically short life, but there’s no doubt it was a full one, packed with laughs.