Showbiz legend Lionel Blair dies, aged 92

4 November 2021, 20:48 | Updated: 4 November 2021, 20:59

Lionel Blair leaves the Celebrity Big Brother house in January 2014
Lionel Blair leaves the Celebrity Big Brother house in January 2014. Picture: Karwai Tang/WireImage/Getty

The dancer, presenter and TV personality has passed away, his management company have said.

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TV personality and entertainer Lionel Blair has died, aged 92.

The star's management company confirmed that Blair had passed away on Thursday (4 November), surrounded by his family..

His agent told the Daily Mirror: "He got to a very ripe old age, he was loved by his family, and I think he died in their company, which is lovely."

Lionel had been a prominent figure on British television since the 1960s, and was best known for being a team captain on the charades game show Give Us A Clue from 1979 until 1992 and the presenter of Name That Tune between 1986 and 1987.

The actor, presenter and dancer also took part in Celebrity Big Brother in 2014, and also appeared in the second series of the BBC reality series, The Real Marigold Hotel.

Lionel Blair receives his COVIS-19 vaccination in December 2020
Lionel Blair receives his COVIS-19 vaccination in December 2020. Picture: Steve Parsons - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Earlier this year, Lionel made an appearance on This Morning’ where he spoke about receiving his second COVID-19 vaccination after getting his first just after his birthday in December 2020.

Speaking in January, he said: I’m feeling fine, it was the best birthday present I could have had because I was 92 on December 12th and on that day, they said I can have my first one, which I did. And yesterday, I had my second.

“I want to thank the scientists for getting this together, it’s just wonderful what they’ve done. I do the flu jab every year, I do as I’m told!”

Lionel also said at the time he had been shielding at home and had been taking measures to ensure he took the pandemic seriously.

Filmed after getting his first jab, he said: “I couldn't believe it when they called me. [They said] ‘It's next week and then the next one is in January' and here I am.

“I’m hoping it's going to make me live a bit longer! And seeing my grandchildren and children growing up.

“The whole thing means a great deal to me ... My back is the only thing that is weak. My doctor says it's because of all the dancing in my career."

Lionel Blair joins Kenny Everett and Cleo Rocos in a sketch on their BBC TV show in 1982
Lionel Blair joins Kenny Everett and Cleo Rocos in a sketch on their BBC TV show in 1982. Picture: Don Smith/Radio Times via Getty Images

Blair's dance troupe was a fixture on British TV in the 1960s, leading to an appearance alongside The Beatles in their film A Hard Day's Night in 1964. The performer's engaging personality and vivacious manner made him into a personality in his own right, and he soon became a regular on chat shows and quiz programmes from the 70s to the 00s. He sent himself up in shows like The Kenny Everett Television Show and an infamous "Gotcha" prank on Noel's House Party with Noel Edmonds.


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