British comedian and TV star Des O'Connor dies aged 88

'He loved life, and considered enthusiasm almost as important as oxygen,' says his agent

British TV legend Des O'Connor has died aged 88.

The comic's family confirmed that he died "peacefully" in his sleep on Saturday,  November 14, after being admitted to hospital in Buckinghamshire, England, last week.

"He was a joy to work with – he was talented, fun, positive, enthusiastic, kind and a total professional," a statement from his agent reads.

"He loved life, and considered enthusiasm almost as important as oxygen. He adored his family, they were everything to him.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 19: Des O'Connor attends the press night for "Wicked" at Apollo Victoria Theatre on December 19, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images)

"He is survived by his wife Jodie, their son Adam and his four daughters, Karin, TJ, Samantha and Kristina. Jodie’s world is shattered, she and Adam and Des's daughters are hurting more than you could possibly imagine.

"Des was the ultimate entertainer. He loved being on stage – entertaining a live audience. He always said the sound of laughter was like the sound of heavenly music.

"He had a fabulous international TV career, presenting his own prime-time TV shows for over 45 years. On stage, he starred at almost every leading venue throughout the world."

O'Connor was best known for his chat show The Des O'Connor Show. He also presented the British game show Countdown for two years. In 2008, he was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in Queen Elizabeth II's Birthday Honours.

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