Keith Chegwin
Image caption Chegwin was a familiar face on children’s television

Veteran TV presenter Keith Chegwin has died aged 60 after a long illness, his family has said.

They said he had endured a “long-term battle with a progressive lung condition” which “rapidly worsened towards the end of this year”.

He died at home on Monday with his family by his side, who said they were “heartbroken”.

Chegwin was known for hosting programmes including children’s game show Cheggers Plays Pop and Swap Shop.

The larger-than-life character, described by his family as “a loving husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend” leaves two children and his wife Maria.

He had been cared for at a hospice in recent weeks.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Chegwin also starred in Ricky Gervais’s Extras and ITV’s Daybreak

Chegwin was previously married to fellow TV presenter Maggie Philbin, whom he had met on Swap Shop.

Philbin paid tribute to her former husband, saying: “It is incredibly sad. Keith was a one-off. Full of life, generous and with a focus on things that mattered – his family.

“I saw him two months ago at his sister Janice’s wedding, where he was still attempting to be life and soul of the party despite being on portable oxygen and made sure he knew how much he meant to us all.

“Our daughter Rose flew home from San Francisco to be with him over the last few weeks and I know he was surrounded by so much love from his second wife Maria, their son Ted, his sister Janice, his twin brother Jeff and his father Colin.

“Keith was loved by everyone who knew and worked with him.”

Tributes have been paid by fellow TV stars, including Gaby Roslin, who worked with him on The Big Breakfast. She described him as “so generous and kind” and a “happy and joyous man”.

Bobby Davro said Chegwin was “one of the nicest guys” in showbiz.

And Tony Blackburn said he was “devastated” at the loss of his friend.

Chegwin’s career fell away in the 80s and 90s and he had a well-documented struggle with alcoholism for many years. But it was revived by a stint on the Big Breakfast.

Image caption Chegwin starred with a team of presenters including Noel Edmonds on Swap Shop

He went on to make infamous Channel 5 nudist gameshow Naked Jungle, appearing naked except for a hat, and also starred as himself in Ricky Gervais show Extras.

Chegwin – known affectionately by the nickname Cheggers – also appeared in Celebrity Big Brother and Dancing on Ice.

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Source: BBC