Former comic and show host, Tom O’Connor, has died aged 81. He had been living with Parkinson’s disease for more than a decade.
A former teacher at St John of Arc Catholic School, Bootle, Tom left school when his showbusiness career began to take off.
“I was working very late at night, sometimes getting home at 3 o’clock or 4 o’clock in the morning,” said Tom. “I had to be up at seven for school. So I had to decide whether to give up teaching in order to concentrate on a full-time showbusiness career – or forget the entertainment industry altogether in favour of school.”
Showbusiness won. And Tom became the first person to win Opportunity Knocks three times. He became a regular on TV’s the comedians before hosting many light entertainment programmes including Name That Tune.
His daughter-in-law is the Olympic gold medallist, Denise Lewis. She told Sky News that,
having watched him all those years as a child with her mum on a Saturday night, she was “so overwhelmed” at how sweet, genuine and kind he was.
"It was exactly the person we saw on TV day and night," she said.