Veteran TV presenter Keith Chegwin has died at the age of 60, his family have announced.
In a statement, Chegwin’s family confirmed that the former It’s A Knockout host passed away following a “long-term battle” with chronic lung condition idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
His condition deteriorated towards the end of this year before he died at home earlier today with his family at his side.
“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”, his family confirmed in a statement.
“Keith died peacefully at home shortly after midnight on the 11th of December. His wife Maria, his daughter Rose and his son Ted were by his side. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Severn Hospice for the kindness, support and care they have shown us all over the last few weeks.
“Keith was a loving husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend. We would respectfully ask to be left to mourn his passing in private.”
Can’t believe it about Keith . Such a lovely man at Big Bro and a great host Pleasure to have met him. RIP Cheggers x
— Rylan Clark-Neal (@Rylan) December 11, 2017
I have known Keith Chegwin for many years He was one of the nicest guys I've ever met in this biz I had been told he was very poorly but unable to contact him for a while What a dreadful shame to lose such a lovely friend Love to his family RIP Cheggers! I'll miss that smile ?
— Bobby Davro (@BobbyDavro1) December 11, 2017
So sad to hear about the death of the lovely & funny Keith Chegwin.
RIP you National Treasure. #PopKnobInFanny
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) December 11, 2017
Born in Liverpool in 1957, Chegwin began his career as a child actor on local television, before making his big screen debut in Roman Polanski’s 1971 adaptation of Macbeth, alongside a small role with Peter Sellers in 1973’s The Optimists of Nine Elms.
But while more screen roles inevitably followed, he first became a British household name in the mid 1970s after hosting a string of hit gameshows – including Multicoloured Swap Shop, Cheggers Plays Pop and later, Saturday Superstore.
He later experienced a second wave of popularity in the early 90s, presenting Down Your Doorstep on The Big Breakfast, before leading a revived version of It’s A Knockout on Channel 5.
Still not right. I will be back – But not for a bit yet. I’m so sorry
— Keith Chegwin (@keithchegwin) September 28, 2017
In recent years, he also became known for his partnership with Ricky Gervais after making a notable cameo in sitcom Extras and later Life’s Too Short.
He last tweeted on September 28, writing of failing health condition: “Still not right. I will be back – But not for a bit yet. I’m so sorry.”