Showbiz veteran Lionel Blair dies aged 92 - Special talent

Showbiz veteran Lionel Blair dies aged 92 - Special talent

The showbusiness veteran Lionel Blair dies aged 92 according to a statement by his agent.

He died in the early hours of Thursday morning, his agent said. The comedian Mark Lamarr paid tribute to him last night: “God bless Lionel Blair. A truly lovely man and always great fun to be around.

It’s easy to forget how brilliant Lionel was. Here he is performing with Sammy Davis Jnr in 1961. He was a phenomenal dancer and entertainer, he was also very good at charades.

Lionel Blair dies leaving a void at the bar

Once, after a long day’s filming Blair was enjoying a drink in the bar on Blackpool pier when word came that a desperate man was threatening to commit suicide by jumping into the sea.

Blair, whose stage and screen career spanned eight decades, died early on Thursday morning.

Best known as a team captain on the game show Give Us A Clue, in recent years he acted in Ricky Gervais’s Extras and also appeared on Celebrity Big Brother.

Diverse on-air TV talent

Born in Canada in 1928, he moved to the UK as a young boy and began performing in air raid shelters in World War Two.

On television, he was a choreographer for and appeared on programmes such as the Tommy Cooper Hour and the Jimmy Tarbuck Show, before becoming a judge on the talent show New Faces in the late 1970s.

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Blair became a household name as team captain opposite Una Stubbs – who also died earlier this year – on ITV’s long-running Give Us A Clue.

His friend, the actor and presenter Christopher Biggins, called him “the most wonderful [man], kind, funny, a real giver of life. His energy was extraordinary.”

“He lived his long life to the full & leaves a legacy of style & smiles & laughter,” Brandreth said.

He married Susan Blair in 1967 and the couple had three children.

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