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Farewell to laughtermaker

PUBLISHED: 13:15 06 February 2008 | UPDATED: 11:31 01 July 2010

CELEBRITY tributes have been pouring for prankster Jeremy Beadle, writes Kate Nelson. The former Orpington County school pupil, who grew up in Petts Wood, died last Wednesday night after a short battle with pneumonia,

CELEBRITY tributes have been pouring for prankster Jeremy Beadle, writes Kate Nelson.

The former Orpington County school pupil, who grew up in Petts Wood, died last Wednesday night after a short battle with pneumonia, aged just 59.

His friend Sir Alan Sugar said it was 'a sad loss' and called Beadle a 'very, very nice man'.

Noel Edmonds admitted to the BBC, they shared a 'friendly rivalry' when Beadle presented Game For A Laugh and he hosted the Late Late Breakfast Show.

He said: "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."

His co-presenter Sarah Kennedy, said the renowned joker, watched by 15 million people, was 'probably not the man the public knew'.

She added: "He loved the showing-off side but was a clever, clever boy. I'm terribly upset. The underneath of him was a deeply intelligent person - during the Game For A Laugh days he had much more to do with the planning."

Henry Kelly, his co-host on 1980s ITV show Game For A Laugh, said he would miss him desperately.

He added: "I loved and admired him."

Beadle, who was born in Hackney, east London, leaves behind his wife Sue, daughters Cassie and Bonnie, and his stepchildren Leo and Claire.

In recent years, the star concentrated on corporate and fundraising events, while writing a weekly trivia quiz for The Independent newspaper.

In 2001 he was awarded an MBE for his services to charity after raising millions for charity. Three years ago, he was diagnosed with a mild form of leukaemia in 2005.

katherine.nelson@archant.co.uk

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