31/01/2008

Prankster Presenter Loses Battle To Pneumonia

Personalities from the world of British TV have been paying tribute to the popular presenter and prankster Jeremy Beadle who died on Wednesday at the age of 59.

The man best known for fronting such shows like ‘You’ve Been Framed’, ‘Game For A Laugh’ and ‘Beadle’s About’, passed away in hospital with his wife Sue and close friends at his bedside after losing a short battle with pneumonia.

Beadle has been plagued by ill health in recent years. In 2004 he lost a kidney to cancer before being diagnosed with leukaemia a year later.

Henry Kelly, who co-presented ‘Game For A Laugh’ with Mr Beadle, said: "Jeremy and I were firm friends for nearly 30 years. I loved and admired him and I shall miss him desperately."

Noel Edmonds said the pair enjoyed a "friendly rivalry" when Mr Beadle presented ‘Game For A Laugh’ and he hosted the ‘Late Late Breakfast Show’.

"I am so shocked at the news. I didn't realise he was so ill. He was a consummate professional but also a greatly misunderstood man - a great TV talent who was never truly appreciated,” he said.

Recognised as one of the most popular hosts during the 1980’s in his heyday Beadle would have regularly attracted television audiences of 15 million for ‘Beadle's About’ and ‘You've Been Framed’.

Beadle was also recognised for his regular charitable work. He raised funds for Children with Leukaemia and is estimated to have generated more than £100m for the charity, for which he was made a MBE in 2001.

His television career began as a writer and presenter of ‘The Deceivers’, a BBC2 history of swindlers and hoaxers, and ‘Eureka’, which told the stories behind everyday inventions.

After the BBC turned down a format called ‘Gotcha!’, Beadle took its practical joking element to LWT's ‘Game for a Laugh’, which established him as Britain's king of the practical joke.

The show ran for five years and was followed by another hidden camera show, ‘Beadle's About’.

In 1990, he launched ‘You've been Framed’, which featured viewers' disastrous home videos.

Despite battling with health in the later years of his life the veteran broadcaster refused to let it affect his work rate. In autumn 2007 he released three books, and he had been working on ideas for television programmes when he fell ill.

(GC)


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