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 – he was just the best: a powerhouse of positivity and a wonderful talent as a dancer, choreographer & entertainer. He told me stories of his time with Errol Flynn & Ernest Hemingway – he lived his long life to the full & leaves a legacy of style & smiles & laughter. pic.twitter.com/6CkuUoZGZk
— Gyles Brandreth (@GylesB1) November 4, 2021
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.
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.